Revealed: these are officially the worst-value attractions in the world

Researchers looked at ticket prices and negative reviews to rank tourist traps from worst to best

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham
News Editor, Time Out UK and Time Out London
Buckingham Palace
Photograph: Shutterstock

At some point or other, everyone’s been let down by a supposedly legendary tourist attraction, whether because of its long queues, extortionate pricing or just generally because it’s been a bit shit. But which iconic tourist attractions are, in general, the absolute worst?

Well, airport parking firm ParkSleepFly has done a bit of research and come up with a ranking of the world’s worst-value attractions. By analysing each sight’s ticket price and the number of ‘poor’ and ‘terrible’ reviews, ParkSleepFly then provided the attraction with a ‘value score’ out of ten. Overall, the study looked at 30 different places.

Coming dead last is the Empire State Building in New York. With its renown for lengthy queues, exhausting stairways and extortionate pricing, it’s no wonder that the icon is considered such poor value. Next was Buckingham Palace in London, let down by its sky-high £30 ($39) entry-fee, followed by Stonehenge in the UK and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, both of which had staggeringly high rates of negative reviews.

Notably, no less than four of the top ten are in the UK. Guess we’ve just got a penchant for overrated tourist traps, huh? 

But the study wasn’t all negative. The research also revealed the best-value tourist attractions around the world. The Great Wall of China in Beijing was both the cheapest attraction in the study and had the fewest negative reviews, which is pretty bloomin’ impressive. It was followed by the Taj Mahal and the Forbidden City – both of which boasted exceptionally low ticket prices and very few negative reviews.

You can read ParkSleepFly’s results in full here, but in the meantime below are the top ten worst- and best-value attractions in the world, with their respective scores.

The worst-value attractions in the world

1. Empire State Building, New York, 1.03

2. Buckingham Palace, London, 1.90

= Stonehenge, Wiltshire, 1.90

= Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1.90

5. London Eye, London, 2.07

6. Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2.59

7. Palace of Versailles, Versailles, 2.76

8. Petra, Ma'an, 2.93

9. Vatican Museums, Vatican City, 3.28

10. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, 3.97

The best-value attractions in the world

1. Great Wall of China, Beijing, 10.00

2. Taj Mahal, Agra, 8.28

3. Forbidden City, Beijing, 7.76

4. Prague Castle, Prague, 7.59

= Eiffel Tower, Paris, 7.59

6. Grand Canyon, Arizona, 7.42

7. Victoria Peak, Hong Kong, 7.07

= Colosseum, Rome, 7.07

9. Acropolis, Athens, 6.21

10. Louvre, Paris, 5.86

Got five minutes to spare? Want to tell us what life is like in your city? Take the Time Out Index survey here.

You may also like
You may also like