Glamorous European Cities That Are Actually Huge Let Downs

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Stephanie is a cherished member of the Sampling America writing team, dedicated to crafting captivating narratives that transport readers to thrilling adventures across the country and beyond.

Have you ever heard of Paris Syndrome? It’s a condition experienced by tourists with vast expectations of Paris, who wind up incredibly disappointed by the reality of the city. 

Paris is presented as almost a completely different place through TV and movies. Many people will experience psychological and even physical symptoms upon experiencing a colossal letdown of a place they built up so much in their minds.

Symptoms include an array of physical and physiological conditions, such as shortness of breath, exhaustion, and even hallucinations and perceptions of hostility from locals. 

But Paris is only one of many romantic European cities tourists say is a huge letdown and a waste of money. Review our list of disappointing cities and save yourself the headache. 

Rome, Italy

Trevi Fountain Rome
Image Credit: Depositphotos.

Italy has some of the best food, wine, and architecture that Europe has to offer, but many say that Rome is a big waste of time.

Due to its fame, Rome is one of the most overcrowded places to visit. Many say that trying to see the Trevi Fountain is a frustrating experience. The number of tourists there trying to get to the front of the fountain feels like walking through a sardine can.

The Colosseum is another spot that tourists say is a strange experience and that it’s much smaller than pictures present it as. These experiences often leave tourists feeling let down and disappointed.

Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt Germany
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Frankfurt is one of those cities that people say you *must* visit if you’re going to be in Europe. The food, beer, and classic, colorful German buildings must be experienced at least once in person.

But Germany is a relatively cold and rainy place. Many people say that their trips to Germany are ruined due to the weather. As a tourist, you will inevitably be walking around a lot.

Your best bet is to keep your travel plans open and stop in Germany when the weather is promising.

London, England

London England
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London is another city prone to a lot of rain, so be prepared to walk around with an umbrella for most of your trip.

It’s also a city that isn’t known for being especially kind to tourists. It’s a city very similar to New York in that most people who live in the downtown core will be coming and going from work and trying just to live their everyday lives.

The countryside in England, Scotland, and Ireland are well known for its castles and rich history with monarchies. If you want to visit to learn more about royal history, there are better places to stop.

Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos Greece
Image Credit: Depositphotos.

Mykonos is one of the cities that Instagram has presented as entirely different. While the city’s beauty is remarkable, photos can often be photoshopped or fixed with filters to make the scenery seem better than reality.

The city has also seen a dramatic decline in tourism due to the outrageous costs. Many tourists visit Croatia or Albania for a fraction of the price instead of going broke in Greece.

The types of photos that you might see with the white houses with blue roofs are private residences, and locals will not be forgiving to tourists who choose to trespass on their roofs or even break their umbrellas. So getting one of the iconic Mykonos photos might be impossible. 

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona Spain
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Barcelona is known for its colorful tiled houses and dramatic Gothic churches. But upon seeing these sights in person, many people feel like the sights are pretty underwhelming.

The famous Gaudi Basilica, in particular, is always under construction, so it’s difficult to see the beauty of the building.

Spain hosts many other beautiful basilicas and cathedrals that are more worth visiting and will have much smaller crowds.


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