Didn’t expect that.
There are must-do tourist attractions in every destination—you know the ones that make it to every guidebook? But sometimes, they don’t quite make the impression you’d expect. Personally, the Taj Mahal in Agra was underwhelming for me; it’s a beautiful structure but didn’t live up to my expectations. And that’s another thing: must-do attractions are subjective and preferences are personal, so no consensus about attractions can guarantee all positive reviews.
That’s why the lowest-rated tourist attractions list by The Family Vacation Guide will seem surprising. After all, the Great Wall of China is placed ninth, so more than a handful must have left unimpressed. The website started with collecting a list of the world’s favorite attractions and then went on TripAdvisor to calculate the percentage of reviews marked “Excellent” against the total number.
Of the lowest rates attractions, five are in the U.S., but what’s also interesting is that the world’s top attraction is also in the country. Six Flags Hurricane Concord has 79% “Excellent” reviews against the total number of reviews, followed closely by Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris and Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.
Even though the following places are placed at the bottom, these attractions still entertain millions of visitors annually.
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The largest theme park in Germany has 100 attractions and shows and 13 roller coasters. There are six themed hotels and 45 restaurants and bars, and the events calendar is loaded with tons of entertainment for the 2.5 million who visit annually. All that and it’s still at the bottom of the lot with an attraction score of just 1.09.
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi
The 1.65-million-square-foot Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi isn’t doing much better with reviews. It’s an air-conditioned indoor theme park with 29 rides—it’s Abu Dhabi so sweltering heat in the summer would have made family fun impossible in the summer. Two million people visit annually, but it scores just 1.35.
WHERE: The Netherlands
It’s a tie for third place with a score of 2.05. Efteling is a fairytale-themed park with rides, restaurants, and hotels designed using elements of myths and folklore. Around 3 million people enter through its gates every year to witness the magical wonderland, but the Excellent reviews are on the low side.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
WHERE: Tampa, Florida
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is an animal-themed amusement park with more than 200 species. There are animal experiences, roller coasters, and shows and events. Surprisingly, it also has one of the most expensive theme park entry tickets in the world.
WHERE: Washington, D.C.
More than six million people come to admire this monument in Washington, D.C., which pays homage to President Abraham Lincoln. However, the percentage of Excellent reviews is just 21% and it takes the fifth position with a score of 2.44.
Universal Studios Singapore
Located within the expansive Resorts World Sentosa, the Hollywood-focused theme park on the island of Sentosa has 24 rides, bringing to life the worlds of Jurassic Park, Madagascar, Transformers, and Battlestar Galactica. There are also restaurants, shops, and VIP experiences. But this theme park also fails to impress visitors. It’s sixth on the lowest-rated travel attractions list with an attraction score of 2.69.
One of the oldest amusement parks in the world, Tivoli Gardens opened in 1843 and it still runs one of the oldest roller coasters in the world. It’s a popular tourist attraction and 1.6 million people come for a thrill ride, but it’s still not highly rated.
Portaventura is another theme park on this list. It was the first amusement park in the country and it is the biggest with six themed worlds. But the foot traffic isn’t nearly as much as the others on this list: 700,000 people visit annually and the attraction score is 2.76, tied with Tivoli Gardens.
Great Wall of China
The ninth spot is a four-way tie, each with a score of 3.27. The Great Wall of China, which stretches over thousands of miles in Northern China, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world with 9 million visitors annually. The fortification was built over 2,000 years to protect the borders. This major tourist attraction was featured in Fodor’s No List 2018 as it is threatened by overtourism, graffiti, and erosion.
National Air and Space Museum
WHERE: Washington, D.C.
With 7 million annual visitors, the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., is a big hit among space and aviation enthusiasts. It has the world’s largest collection of aviation artifacts and it has been undergoing a major renovation since 2018.
Universal's Islands of Adventure
WHERE: Orlando, Florida
This Orlando park invites as many as 8 million revelers. Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Popeye, Spider-Man, and the Hulk have all found their place here, and there’s something to keep every adult and kid entertained. But 29% haven’t given it an Excellent review, so it’s at the ninth spot.
Universal Studios Hollywood
WHERE: Los Angeles
Another Universal that made it to the lowest-rated travel attractions in Los Angeles. It’s a great place to be introduced to Hollywood sets and movies, and roller coasters, shows, rides, and stimulators offer family-friendly fun. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is also here. Despite all that, just 39% of reviews gave it Excellent reviews.
How can you mix the amusement parks with museums and cultural/historical sites?
It is like rating bananas vs oranges (non-juicy vs juicy) both are ok, unless your expectations are unreasonable.
What a silly article. Who are these people who "rate" these places...most probably those who go to just "check off a place from their bucket list". To group the Lincoln Memorial, with its incredible words of Lincoln, the Great Wall with its amazing history/age, and the Air and Space Museum (amazing pieces of history) with Universal Studios. So what are the TOP rating places that I will want to avoid?