TripAdvisor is a great place to turn for travel advice. One person's opinion may be wrong, but if 700 people all say the same thing... there's probably some truth in it. Of course, there are also plenty of funny TripAdvisor reviews too. If heaven were a real place here on Earth, there would still be no shortage of people going online to complain that it's just not good enough.
So let's take a few minutes to laugh at the funniest TripAdvisor reviews written about iconic world landmarks.
The Colosseum -- Rome
You know the Colosseum: it's where Russell Crowe lives. But it turns out some people are decidedly not entertained by one of the most famous landmarks left over from the Roman Empire.
“shoddily maintained and poorly organized — do not see!!!" says one disgruntled reviewer. "Apparently Rome has not yet discovered building maintenance. The coloseam was very rundown and did not have any refreshment stands or cleaning crew of anykind.“
I mean, really! What kind of city doesn't maintain and update its ancient monuments? What's the point of stepping into the past if they don't have any twenty-first century comforts there? Have you considered installing an Orange Julius? That's historical! It has the word 'Julius' in its name for crying out loud!
Bizarrely, some other reviewers shared the same sentiment:
"Certainly a ruin... you are left to imagine everything at the flava... impressive construction by the Romans... but hope to see Italy restoring the amphitheater"
Yes, it certainly is a ruin. That's why people come to see it. When do you think gladiator fights were ended?
Sagrada Familia -- Barcelona, Spain
The church of Sagrada Familia is one of the most recognizable and distinctive in the world. It was designed and begun by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí in 1883. While it technically remains unfinished, the church is a major draw for tourists, who come to witness its curious blend of Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture up close.
Of course, not everyone is a fan.
"This is the ugliest building I have ever seen," one guest opines. "Still can’t see what others see. There are so many beautiful cathedrals through Spain and the world that put this building to shame."
Kind of leaves me wondering: why did you go? The church is prominent enough on the Barcelona skyline that you could see it from afar and decide it's not your cup of tea. Are you some kind of architectural masochist?
"We had no sense that the architecture had any connection to spirituality," says another. "Picasso agrees with us."
How, exactly, are bricks and mortar supposed to be more spiritual? And if you think Sagrada Familia looks weird, you must never have seen a Picasso...
"It's like they put the worst of the worst together and put it in, up and between some nice buildings," declares another detractor. "Raspberries and other kind of fruit on top of building. We even saw a Xmas tree look a like with birds. It proofs that having no taste is a taste aswell. It's horrible."
Oh, go blow your raspberries elsewhere. There's no accounting for taste.
Stonehenge -- Wiltshire, England
Stonehenge is the most famous monument to the prehistoric people of Great Britain. It was erected sometime between 3000 and 2000 BC. For what purposes no one is exactly sure, but it is aligned with the sunset on the winter solstice and the sunrise on the summer solstice.
Despite the enduring mysteries about the ancient civilization that built Stonehenge and their motivations for doing so, plenty of internet people are left unmoved.
“If this is our most visited site outside of London then we must do better. English Heritage run the site but it needs someone like Branson to present this site to the world," offers one reviewer, referring to Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin.
Yes, reviewer. Maybe when Sir Richard gets done parasailing with Barack Obama, he and Elon Musk could find a way to send Stonehenge to the Moon. Would that impress you?
"A lot of made-up hype and mystery over nothing! In Egypt you actually get to touch the pyramids and go inside them. Not here though, where we have a ‘world heritage site’ consisting in some standing and some fallen stones.”
Yes, in Egypt you actually get to touch the Pyramids. In fact, some Englishmen touched them so much that now the largest collections of Egyptian relics are in the UK.
Alcatraz -- San Francisco
Alcatraz is undoubtedly one of the world's most famous prisons, having once held infamous criminals like Al Capone and Whitey Bulger. And, of course, it's equally famous for escape attempts made by its notorious occupants. Isolated on an island just off San Francisco, it's the real life version of Azkaban.
But it wasn't quite gruesome enough for this guest.
"Overpriced and overrated. Didn’t realise prison was mainly for white collar crime. Always thought it was for hardened crimes but not so. Rather boring experience"
Oh, I'm sorry that the criminals of Alcatraz weren't quite bloodthirsty enough for you. Also, thanks for playing into the notion that white collar crime somehow isn't real crime because it's committed by rich guys who wear suits. If you find this lugubrious gulag so boring, maybe you'd like to spend the night?
Strangely, another reviewer felt the exact opposite.
"There is nothing here to uplift the human spirit. I recommend you spend the afternoon at the DeYoung Art Museum instead."
I do love the idea of shiny, happy people sailing out to Alcatraz in search of something uplifting to the human spirit. Sorry, dude; it's a prison, not the Paralympics.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa -- Pisa, Italy
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is, famously, one of the most overrated attractions in the world. Really, it's a building on a slight angle. The only reason to visit is to take the same picture of yourself holding the tower up that ten million people have taken before. But there are still some pretty comical remarks from the denizens of TripAdvisor.
"Wasn’t what I expected. Towers barely leaning and it’s £40 to walk up it. Full of lucky lucky men too."
Not sure what the 'lucky lucky men' thing is about -- are people doing it in the Tower of Pisa? Seems like too much of a risk of falling out mid-act.
But your problem with all this is that the tower is 'barely leaning'? My dude: towers that lean any further fall over. Nobody would want to see the leaning rubble of Pisa.
Machu Picchu -- Peru
The most famous relic of the Inca civilization, Machu Picchu was build in the 15th century, probably as a retreat for the emperor Pachacuti. It's basically a palatial estate on top of a mountain. Who could possibly complain about that? Even though you have to beat back a tide of other tourists to get there, you'd think it would melt even the hardest of hearts.
"Founded in 1470 you can see only stones. Literally nothing else. Not a statue, a painting, a ceiling, a mosaic, a floor, a writing. Nothing. It has been founded in 1470 so not so long ago. The place is a rip off for tourists but even so it is overcrowded."
Some people just don't enjoy anything, do they?
No statues, paintings, ceilings, mosaics? It's. A. Ruin. No writing? The Incas didn't have writing, birdbrain. Did you even bother to learn anything about them while you were there?
And if you think 1470 wasn't "so long ago", we'll see how you look when you're 549 years old. Even in death, my guess is you'll probably spend all your time on Yelp! writing negative reviews of your own grave.
Pompeii -- Italy
The Roman city of Pompeii was buried in ash and dust when the nearby volcano Mount Vesuvius exploded in in 79 AD. Preserved for thousands of years under stone, it has since been excavated and restored as one of the most unmissable destinations in Italy.
But not so fast!
"There is absolutely nothing of significance there, just the ruins of a town, and some imaginations from the Italian tourism to put some colors to it. Yes, there were casts of people and animals caught in the firestorm, but even if these are authentic, there was no feeling of awe, no feeling of historic, art, or cultural significance."
Umm, the thing of significance here is the ruins of a town. Is it not significant to you that you're walking down the boulevards of a remarkably well-preserved Roman town? So well preserved, in fact, that we can even read 2,000-year-old graffiti. If that doesn't inspire a feeling of awe, you might just be a robot.
"We saw no human forms aside from one that was stuck behind a locked cage inside a glass box. There was also a dog in the same location along with dozens of pottery that reminded me of props from Raiders of the Lost Arc in Disney. We then came across a blocked fence that you couldn't see around. My nosey crew climbed up and around only to find BODY MOLDS... They are taking what they excavate and making molds and replacing the finds with fakes. Disappointing."
Dude. Thousands of people died here, choking and suffocating on pyroclastic fumes, terrified and powerless to save themselves or their children. I know it happened a long time ago, but... do you seriously have no respect for human life at all? That's like going to Ford Theatre and being mad that there aren't still pieces of Lincoln's brain splattered on the walls.
Of course they've taken the petrified human remains off the street. They did it so dimwits like you couldn't violate and ruin them by taking selfies!
Big Ben -- London, England
I know what you're thinking: they're not going to get mad and yell at a clock tower, are they? You better believe it.
"absolutely terrible I would never ever go again im glad they blew it up in v for vendetta. its just a big clock and the whole experience left me unsettled."
How is it humanly possible to hate a clock so much that you wish it could be blown up? And what sort of person is 'unsettled' by a clock? I guess none of us much appreciates the ravages of time.
"SO I went last week to the famous 'Big Ben'. Let me tell you we should rename it medium ben. Ive seen bigger lego towers! Will return if they build it higher."
Well, I guess size really does matter.
Fenway Park -- Boston
Having been the home of the Boston Red Sox since 1912, Fenway is the oldest park in Major League Baseball. The grand, green old lady has been renovated many times to keep it up-to-date and enjoyable for fans. Still, it comes in for its share of attacks from the green monsters over at TripAdvisor.
"Very old and out of touch looking ballpark... The whole place is like walking into a century ago."
Yes, that's exactly right. Because it is in fact from a century ago. That's why Fenway is on every sports fan's bucket list. I bet you go to the museum and complain that they don't have anything modern on display.
The CN Tower -- Toronto, Canada
I live in Toronto, and I will gladly admit that the CN Tower is pretty much a tourist trap. It's a great view from the top, but you'll pay a lot of money and wait in line a long time for the chance to see it. That said, one person on TripAdvisor had an especially odd complaint.
"Unfortunately I highly advise skipping this. The putrid body odors alone from these unventilated spaces made me almost faint several times and vomit. I kid you not, this is a dangerously unhealthy situation."
Um. I don't think the B.O. at the CN Tower is so bad that it's a health risk. Also, the smell isn't emanating from the tower itself, so you should probably give one star to whoever was standing next to you, not to the building itself.
By the way, if you think the inside of the tower stinks, there's an open air sky terrace where you can absolutely go get some fresh air.
Eiffel Tower -- Paris
Alright, let's end with one funny review that's obviously tongue-in-cheek:
"OVERRATED!!! They tried to copy the one in Las Vegas and I can only describe it in one word... UNDERWHELMING!!!! The one in Vegas has drinks and wayyy better crepes, plus it's walking distance from a Hard Rock. WILL NOT BE GOING BACK."
But the Eiffel Tower review that takes the cake is less tongue-in-cheek and much simpler: "Sh*t’s whack."
Brevity is the soul of wit. Or sh*t, as the case may be.