Are These Really the Ten Most Overrated Cities in the World?

hat is overrated and what is underrated are purely subjective and dependent on myriad factors; but that did not stop Yahoo! Travel from publishing a list of the ten most overrated cities in the world based on the results of a survey conducted by its staff.

I have been to eight of the ten cities on the list; and I plan on visiting one of the two to which I have never been sometime next month. The cities are as follows:

  1. Las Vegas 28 percent
  2. New York City 18 percent
  3. Miami 14 percent
  4. Paris 11 percent
  5. Dubai 7 percent
  6. Honolulu 6 percent
  7. London 3 percent
  8. Bora Bora 2 percent
  9. Rome 2 percent
  10. Sydney 2 percent
  11. Other 5 percent


I have no idea as to how many people participated in the survey. I do not know what criteria were used; nor how the questions were asked. I suppose we are just supposed to look at the numbers and base future travel decisions on them.

For me, Las Vegas is an overrated city. The last time I was there was several months ago. Frankly, I would not be disappointed if I never returned…

…but why listen to me? Of course Las Vegas would seem to be overrated for me. I do not drink alcoholic beverages. Gambling is not fun to me. I cannot stand resort fees. The temperature can be too hot and the air too dry. I am not really into glitzy shows or expensive buffets with mediocre food…

…and I am sure that someone will tell me of a place where I can get great food for a reasonable price in Las Vegas. I have been to places outside of Las Vegas such as Hoover Dam.

On the other hand, New York is not overrated to me; but then again, I will be the first to admit that I am clearly biased: New York is where I was born, raised and educated. There is so much to do in New York that a person can spend years there and still have not done everything that city has to offer. I should know, as I lived there for years and still have not done everything — such as visit the One World Observatory at the new World Trade Center, which is set to open on Friday, May 29, 2015. I hope to be there in June; and if I am, I intend to post a trip report here at The Gate.

Honolulu reminded me of Los Angeles on an island; and although it is not my favorite city, Paris is not overrated to me…

…but what exactly is overrated? The cost of visiting is too high? There is not enough to do? It is too crowded and inconvenient?

The following discussions which have been posted on FlyerTalk are a good indicator of just how subjective is the term overrated


…but please do not let that stop you from giving your opinion about what cities or places you believe are overrated; and take what anyone claims is overrated — including myself — with a grain of salt and find out for yourself.

After all — that is what travel is all about…

  1. I always get a kick (or a cringe) out of articles like that. Ask 100 people for the most overrated cities and you’ll get 110 opinions!

    I can’t say that Las Vegas is overrated since I haven’t been there, but I have little desire to do so…which I guess makes it overrated in my mind!

    I love NYC, but agree that Miami is overrated and there are many other spots in Florida much more worth your time. I’d agree with Rome being overrated – though I love other areas of Italy. Paris is one of my favorite cities. Sydney? It’s an amazing city and have enjoyed it, but I would rank it far down the list compared to other cities and areas in Australia that are even better!

    I think Auckland, NZ is overrated, though again I really like other parts of NZ.

  2. I’ve lived in NYC for several years now and I still haven’t done everything the city has to offer! I’ll admit I do most of the sightseeing stuff whenever friends visit me but overall I love the city’s diversity. From watching world-class ballet at Lincoln Center to people/ratrace watching down in Wall Street, the city has so much to offer for any budget.
    Of the top 10, the only city I have yet to go to is Bora Bora… but I am finally going there later this year so I’ll let you know if I think it’s overrated or not.
    To me, I feel a city is overrated if I stayed there a week and then get bored — or if I feel like there’s no need for me to visit that city again after a week of staying there. Of the cities listed, I’d say Dubai, Miami, and Las Vegas are definitely overrated. I have transited in DXB numerous times though I have only visited the city twice. Nowadays I just opt to stay in the lounge and do some work. As for Miami, I prefer to go outside the city like Fort Lauderdale, Key West, etc. rather than stay in Miami.

    1. I look forward to hearing about your trip to Bora Bora, Joey.

      I agree with you on the Florida cities. I never particularly cared for Miami; but I have also gotten to like the West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale areas less and less over the years as well…

  3. Very subjective question to ask. If you ask my 9 year old he will say Miami and Honolulu are amazing since he’s been to both and loves beach and hot weather. If you ask a party person that just turned 21 Las Vegas will be the best place on Earth. Ask someone that loves to walk without a plan and discover new things in every corner, Paris and Rome are unbeatable. Thus, there is no way to comment on this survey without knowing the criteria, questions asked and profile of people that responded to the questions.

    If you ask me, Rome and Paris are places for people that like culture and history. There is no way those places are overrated unless you cultural level is very low. Miami, Honolulu and Bora Bora (never been there) are beach places and again it depends on what you like or not. I was in Honolulu last year and I was positively surprised by the place. You have the “Miami/Los Angeles in an island” feeling if you just stay in Waikiki but if you drive 30 minutes in any direction the place is simply stunning. New York and London are in a very similar category. Both are financial centers, amazingly multi cultural and are places you can find anything you need or imagine from shopping, food, entertainment, etc… Are those places I would spend my summer vacation? Probably not but they are not overrated in my opinion. Then it comes to Las Vegas and Dubai (never been). Both are artificial places in my opinion. They have zero history and were artificially created with a specific purpose in mind: develop that part of the country. Las Vegas for me is overrated. I’ve been there couple times in business Conventions but would not spend my vacation and money there. It looks fake. Dubai is a place I have in my list to visit. Although it is very similar to Las Vegas, it has a totally different culture and I want to explore and get to know that part of the world. I never been to Sydney so I cannot comment on it but also have in my list to visit.

    1. I think you hit it on the head for me, Santastico. With some exceptions — such as observation decks, for example — “artificial” places tend to be overrated with me as well.

      I like culture and history; but I can only take so much of them at one time…

  4. I KNEW there was a reason why I like this blog!

    I, too, love NYC! (and actually the entire state)
    There’s so many “theme” vacations one could take to NYC, and never experience it all: the museum tour, the sports tour, the food tour, the night tour, the parks tour, etc.

    Do I need to mention my love for Paris?

    We all have our own “yea or nay” lists. On Mine: yea to New Zealand but nay to Las Vegas. And yup, one of the reasons I want to go to NZ is due to LOTR- want to hike one of those mountains! And the weird thing is that for all the reasons I don’t want to go to LV are the same reasons why I love Disney.

    Seriously, I really want a NYC Deli sandwich right now. So thanks for that. LOL!

    1. I always want a pastrami sandwich from an authentic delicatessen in New York, icicle — and I just might get my wish within the next couple of months.

      I have no interest in Lord of the Rings; but I thoroughly enjoyed both the North and South islands of New Zealand during the week I was there years ago.

      I might post a retroactive trip report pertaining to my trip to Australia and New Zealand, which included riding in business class on the upper deck of a Boeing 747-400 aircraft operated by Qantas; two weeks in Australia; and one week in New Zealand.

      How many years ago was that? Let us just say that I used 90,000 Continental Airlines OnePass frequent flier loyalty program miles to redeem for that Qantas business class experience round-trip…

  5. I think Los Angeles is the most overrated city, not sure why it didn’t make the list.Definetly Not my cup of tea. Dubai on the other hand, I had low expectations but had a great time sand boarding, dune bashing, skiing, etc

    1. Dubai is the city to which I was alluding in the article, Nic. I have never been there; but I plan on being there next month.

      I thought about dune bashing when I was in Oman earlier this year; but I decided to hold off on it. I hope to do it next month — along with the other activities which surpassed your expectations…

  6. Judging by the comments, you should’ve titled this “New Yorkers love New York. Everyone else thinks it’s overrated.”

    New York, like Paris, is the epitome of “great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” Sure, it’s fun for a couple of days, but a couple of days is all the stinky cabs and stinky attitudes I’m gonna enjoy. Considering the sky high price of a New York City trip, I’m actually surprised it didn’t take first place.

    As someone above ^^^ mentioned, Las Vegas is for the young. It is not for everyone. If you don’t like it, check the year on your ID, you’re old. 🙂 O.k., seriously, I don’t drink or gamble either, but there is still a ton of shows to see in Las Vegas if that is your thing.

    Best of all, the prices are wickedly cheap. Do you ever read the annual “cost of a vacation” surveys? Las Vegas and Orlando are always cheapest. New York is always most expensive. If you’re traveling on you own dime, not the bonuses from the latest app-orama, then prices matter.

    1. My first visit to Las Vegas was when I was 12 years old, Joseph N. — and I did not like it then; nor did I enjoy being there when I was in my 20s.

      Then again, I have never cared for Orlando either: expensive theme parks; toll roads almost everywhere; and the international airport itself as three reasons for me.

      I can understand your sentiment for New York being overrated when based upon how expensive it can be to visit; but as far as attitudes, you would be surprised.

      That is something about which I might write in a future article, as one story I would like to tell you would be too long to post here…

    1. Because I am from New York, Karolina Klesta, I am likely biased — but I would disagree with that.

      Paris — well, that depends.

      Dubai — I completely agree with you, in my opinion.

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