Places We Visited That Made Us Say 'We Made A Huge Mistake'

List Rules
Vote up the destinations that make you say, "No thank you."

Vacations are a special time when we get to escape our responsibilities at work, put the household duties on hold, and visit a place we've wanted to go with the people in our life we enjoy. So, it's extremely disappointing when we arrive someplace where we know we'll be spending our precious vacation days, and something makes us say, "I've made a huge mistake."

Whether it's the excessive souvenirs, the "vibe," or just generally being out of our comfort zones, we know when a spot is not for us. These are the places some Redditors visited that they really wish they hadn't.


  • 1
    777 VOTES

    From a former Redditor:

    Cairo, during the Arab Spring.

    Saw some nasty sh*t and felt like I was witnessing the apocalypse.

    Was lucky to get out after waiting three days in the airport for my flight to leave.

    I was in Alexandria (three hours away by the coast) when it started. Was having lunch by the water and then heard explosions on the main road. The police had set up barricades to stop the huge crowd from marching through the streets. They were using tear gas to try and disperse everyone but it was not working. Saw several people being beaten bloody with sticks by the cops. Because this was on the main road, which is by the water, I had to push through the crowd to get to the middle of the city where it was quiet (according to a kind stranger) and got teargassed which was awful! Found a cafe in a safe area and waited there for 5 hours until it was prayer time so I could go back to my hotel.

    Had a very fitful sleep and the next morning I found a guy who was driving to Cairo so I paid him a few hundred dollars to take me to the airport. On the way there there were tanks lined up along the highway and it was clear that the military was not messing around.

    If I thought Alexandria was bad, Cairo was so much worse. It looked like the whole city was on fire and there were burnt out armored police cars and buses in the streets. We got stuck in an area the driver thought would be OK, but clearly wasn't. Saw more people clashing with the police, sporting bloody faces and ripped clothing. A few were limping and helping each other get away. It was insane. I wasn't too terrified because of the adrenaline, but that sure came afterwards.

    Finally got through to the airport and managed to check in. Flight was delayed two hours, then again, then cancelled until the next morning. Same thing the next day. The airport ran out of food and bottled water and the ATMs ran out of money so people couldn't buy snacks. Somehow they managed to get more food in and people were given vouchers. More planes kept landing (god knows why?) and the place was packed to the brim! I was lucky to have checked in because they shut check-in down shortly after that. Some people had to wait in the entrance area. Because of the lack of bottled water, people were drinking tap water and became sick. The bathrooms were nightmarishly filthy and some people preferred to sh*t in the corners of the waiting lounges.

    Finally the military let the pilots and crew through into the airport on the third day and my flight to Morocco departed. I did not smell too fresh when I landed...

    • Located In: Greater Cairo, Egypt
    • Area (km sq.): 453.0
    777 votes
  • 2
    650 VOTES
    Qatar
    Photo: Planet Labs, Inc / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0

    From Redditor u/ConneryFTW:

    Qatar. I had a 24 hour or so layover in the ad-hoc Doha airport on my way to Tanzania. If you're in Qatar for over 12 hours or so you get a free tour of the country. At the beginning of the tour I wasn't super aware of the class disparity, what is essentially slavery of foreign workers, and altogether trying-too-hard nature of Doha. It's a very cool looking city, but it reminds me of something someone would build in Minecraft when they're playing on creative with no stakes.

    About halfway through the tour as our Bengali guide was telling us that every Qatari citizen gets a beach house and a regular house for free by the government, built by foreign workers who may or may not die from heat stroke (and either way who cares) while he lived in a tenement apartment with a lot of other people.

    The tour guide by the way was doing his best to talk about the grandeur of the city and the people, it was just pretty easy to read between the lines.

    • Located In: Asia
    • Area (km sq.): 11571.0
    650 votes
  • From a former Redditor:

    I've been to the Philippines about 5 times and must say the people are lovely and I've always had a good time... but f*ck me! The first time I landed in Manila I wanted to go back to the airport and leave ASAP...

    Our taxi driver stopped at a convenience store about 10 minutes from the airport. We were swarmed by 10 Filipinos who begged us for money and tried to pickpocket us at the same time. When we got back in the car, they surrounded the car holding babies up to the window, crying and begging for money.

    Somewhere in Manila, the driver took a wrong turn and went down a street where he said "this is a bad area"... there was a guy walking down the street towards the car with a handgun. Taxi driver reversed up the street and got us the f*ck out of there.

    We got caught up in a terrible traffic jam and at one point were stopped on this small bridge that looked into a waterway. The driver started pointing into the water where a dead body was floating there.

    I love the Philippines, but I hate Manila and get out of there immediately.

    • Located In: Metro Manila, Philippines
    • Area (km sq.): 38.55
    799 votes
  • São Paulo, Brazil
    Photo: Donnie28 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0

    From a former Redditor:

    São Paulo (Brazil) is only worth visiting as a layover hub or if you know people who live there. Admittedly I never went to Rio, and some issues may be amplified there, but at least there are beaches and vistas to temper the drabness. São Paulo is quite the sh*thole and I can't think of another non-third world city I'd consider worse. Anthony Bourdain described it perfectly: "It's like LA vomited on NYC."

    The traffic is apocalyptic and public transport is surprisingly lacklustre for such a large city, doing nothing to make up for it. People spend most of their time hustling and in traffic, just to lock themselves away in their gated apartment complexes as a reward at the end of the day. Why gated? The crime, of course. Almost everyone has a story of being mugged. And it's f*cking expensive. I live in Switzerland and I found prices for most things to be surprisingly high even by my standards, I don't know how the locals afford it.

    The saddest part is that you have such an amazing mix of people there from every background you can imagine. White, Black, Japanese, Lebanese, etc. I just wish they didn't spend most of their lives stuck in traffic in such a depressing place.

    • Located In: São Paulo, Brazil
    • Area (km sq.): 1522.99
    471 votes
  • 5
    500 VOTES

    Guatemala City, Guatemala

    From Redditor u/PlaysForTheKing:

    In terms of first impressions then Guatemala City. Airport taxi was taking me to the hostel when the driver suddenly stopped in the middle of the street and leaned on the horn in one of those annoyingly LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG honks that seems to say, "Come on, fight me." I sat up in the back to get a better look and, just over the edge of the hood, saw a woman lying on the street, on her back and in labor. A guy was standing over her helping her, but I couldn't tell if he actually knew her. He looked at driver, who waited a few more seconds before furiously yanking the wheel and whipping us around her and through the rest of the city.

    Driver comes to a sudden stop at a huge metal wall with concertina wire on the top. Saw a gate at the corner and realized we'd reached my hostel.

    • Located In: Guatemala Department, Guatemala
    • Area (km sq.): 692.0
    500 votes
  • 6
    477 VOTES

    From Redditor u/swangisme:

    When we landed in Beijing, the first thing I saw was the airport public toilet with sh*t all over the toilet itself (someone had obviously squatted over it and sh*t all down the tank). It was disgusting. Beijing has some amazing cultural landmarks but beyond that the city was filthy and filled with rude people. The men would blatantly stare down my top, people would shove into you and cut in lines.

    • Located In: China
    • Area (km sq.): 16801.25
    477 votes