My Top 10 Most Over Rated Cities From My First 186 Countries

Everything’s amazing. Every single city in the world is awesome. Wow what a cool monument! Such an amazing church. Great Mosque there. Inspiring skyline. Delicious food. I call bull5hit. Not everything is that cool really and I hate seeing bloggers write such fake excremental posts, especially use of the words “super”, “awesome” and “cool”. Some of these excrement exits stalked myself and my friends and family. None of them will ever be anything more than a fake, liar or small time petty thief. Jurassic chickenburger.

Everything is NOT awesome and amazing - you lied.

Everything is NOT awesome and amazing – you lied.

Some cities are ridiculously over-rated and I’ve called a top 10 here, I could have filled a whole load more slots. Also, I have only included cities here – so towns, villages, mountains, museums, conorbations are not included.

1. Beijing, CHINA

China is one of my favourite countries to go backpacking in, yet somehow, Beijing remains one of my least favourite cities! While Beijing was the first ever city in China that I personally visited, it remains the least inspiring from my travels through 13 of China’s Provinces. There’s just something about it that leaves that unwanted aftertaste. Twice to Tiananmen Gate on my travels, 3 times in Beijing now and if it wasn’t for my desire to do the Tran-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian, I’d probably avoid ever stepping in this smoggy monster again.

Backpacking in Beijing - Tiananmen Square - all happy back on my first visit...

Backpacking in Beijing – Tiananmen Square – all happy back on my first visit…

Head to Chongqing, Xiamen, Nanchang etc. and give a wide berth to the Chinese capital. The very use of the word capital says it all – with DickMonalds on every corner of the CBD, capitalism has over taken communism in a city famous for its duck. Yes – the duck’s great. I’ll give it that. But it’s still over rated.

2. Tel Aviv, ISRAEL

I have no qualms sticking the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on here. But I need to say that apart the dreary Tel Aviv, I loved Israel. I’ll rant and rave about Jerusalem , Masada, Eilat, Haifa, Akko, Afula etc. But Tel Aviv is an industrial mess. Golden beaches meet grey unfinished, once bombed tower blocks. Over priced supermarkets and streets still seeing the aftermath of the bad times. And don’t give the excuse that it’s been through tough times – so has Belfast, so has Jerusalem, so has Warszawa and so has Coventry but those cities come out shining. Don’t even get me started on the beach…

tel aviv sights israel

Top sights in Tel Aviv, Israel

Do yourself a favour and stay in Jaffa instead. Which is so close a neighbour, it almost got mistakenly swallowed up by Tel Aviv. Tell Avoid.

3. Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA

BA = Badly Arrogant. Apart from a night out on a pub crawl and seeing Maradona’s home, my lingering opinion of Buenos Aires will be one of extreme arrogance. Argentinians are wildly over the top for the most part, and this is true from most Argentinians I have ever met in life. However I loved Puerto Iguazu and I made some good friends with Argentinians over the years including Nikolas I must say, a cool Argie dude I met in Hong Kong. But BA can move over Beethoven. Montevideo shines brightly over your dirt. If you want to visit it – do the Maradona then get the fuck out!

Doing the Maradona in Buenos Aires, Argentina

4. Bangkok, THAILAND

If I see another travel blog raving about their time in Bangkok, I despair. The place is an overhyped shithole. No it’s not cool to go backpacking in Bangkok. Everyone’s been there. It’s a white middle class backpacker’s easy safety option. Oh let’s go backpacking through Thailand and Cambodia and get off the beaten track. You won’t. It’s all too easy for you. Do yourself a favour and test yourself as a traveller. Get a death bus through Ethiopia, swim the rapids of Juquitiba, backpack through Iraq or get your passport stamped in the Republic of Uzupis. You’ll earn just a wee bit more respect than becoming another of the thousands in the Kok. Dirty city, yuk.

Jonny Blair in Khaosan Road in Bangkok

I don’t really LOVE Khaosan Road in Bangkok

5. Prague, CZECHIA

One of the ugliest cities in Europe with corrupt Police and over exaggerated tourist sights. Of course I visited twice now and had some good times there with friends but the locals and the attitude mixed with the disrespectful foreigners does my head in. As a bonus, I got to see Northern Ireland go 3-0 up against Czechia away. But it was no saving grace.

Prague Castle – what’s the fuss all about?

The next five I didn’t even want to write why I hated them so much. It’s been documented before and there is a load of stuff about them in my book series, Backpacking Centurion…I stuck the photos in though.

6. Riga, LATVIA

Food poisoning, headaches, peelers, arrests – all that leads to the opposite of bliss. No thank you, Riga.

Backpacking in Riga, Latvia. Suffering from food poisoning and not impressed at all!

Backpacking in Riga, Latvia. Suffering from food poisoning and not impressed at all!

7. Caracas, VENEZUELA

I never want to step foot in this shithole again.

On a local bus in Caracas – the world’s biggest shithole?

8. San Cristobal, VENEZUELA

I never want to step foot in this shithole again.

My bus from San Cristobal to Caracas, Venezuela

My bus from San Cristobal to Caracas, Venezuela

9. Algiers, ALGERIA

The Algerian capital shouts “foreign twat” at you as if to say you’re not welcome here. The country and the city still owe me £1,600 and as for the lady who works in the Embassy in London – a corrupt liar who accepts bribes and stole my passport.

Algeria – get the fuck out

10. Paris, FRANCE

This list could go on and on, but we will stop at Paris. The smell is enough to put me off, even after 8 visits to the city…

Inside the Louvre, Paris back in my earlier backpacking days.

Inside the Louvre, Paris back in my earlier backpacking days.

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