9 Travel Destinations That Don't Live Up to the Hype

More than 10 million people visit the Great Wall of China every year. (Photo: Paul McKinnon/Shutterstock)

So you've got a case of wanderlust and an urge to travel to an exotic destination after seeing a jaw-dropping image on Instagram or Facebook. Chances are you aren't the only person who wants to visit the Great Wall of China or the Palace of Versailles.

Before you get your hopes up too high that you'll be able to peacefully enjoy a vacation in near solitude and capture that "Insta-worthy" photo, you may want to take a look at just what these settings look like in real life. You may be in a for a big surprise.

Here are several popular destinations and what the experience is really like for most tourists.

Great Wall of China

Imagine meditating while taking a peaceful walk along the ancient Great Wall of China. (Photo: zhu difeng/Shutterstock)
More like you and thousands of other people packed in like sardines moving at a snail's pace. (Photo: Bankoo/Shutterstock)

Venice, Italy

What could be more romantic than a gondola ride through the canals of Venice?. (Photo: Pablo Rogat/Shutterstock)
Being stuck in a gondola traffic jam doesn't exactly set the mood for a date night. (Photo: Stanislav Samoylik/Shutterstock)

The Mona Lisa

Thousands of people flock to The Louvre in Paris to see Leonardo da Vinci's iconic 'Mona Lisa.'. (Photo: Takashi Images/Shutterstock)
Good luck even trying to get close enough to see the painting, which is only about 3 feet by 2 feet. (Photo: lapon pinta/Shutterstock)

The Great Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza

You probably imagine the towering Great Pyramids of Giza are in a desert far away from modern civilization. (Photo: Pius Lee/Shutterstock)
In reality, the pyramids are right next to the bustling city of Cairo. (Photo: Prin Adulyatham/Shutterstock)

Santorini, Greece

The blue-roofed white buildings of Oia make the perfect setting for Greece's sunsets. (Photo: Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock)
Too bad you'll be fighting the crowds to get a good seat to watch that sunset. (Photo: PitK/Shutterstock)

Stonehenge, England

Stonehenge is a sight to behold, making you wonder how it was formed and is still standing in modern times. (Photo: Brian C. Weed/Shutterstock)
Then you get there and realize there really isn't that much to see. (Photo: Vivvi Smak/Shutterstock)

Palace of Versailles, France

You can imagine what life would have been like if your were a king and had the entire palace to call your home. (Photo: Takashi Images/Shutterstock)
But you're not the only one who wants to imagine a life of such decadence. (Photo: Fotos593/Shutterstock)


The Maldives is best known for the bungalows that sit above the water. (Photo: Stockforlife/Shutterstock)
When in reality, the island has a growing problem with garbage and plastic pollution. (Photo: Sappasit/Shutterstock)

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Ahhh ... the peaceful, calm serenity of Blue Lagoon. You can wade in to absorb its healing properties. (Photo: Alla Laurent/Shutterstock)
But if you look in a different direction, you'll see this seemingly industrial setting, the pools surrounded by buildings and bridges. (Photo: Palmi Gudmundsson/Shutterstock)