Are you tired of visiting those "must-see" monuments, only to find yourself underwhelmed and disappointed? Well, your traveling life is about to change because here at iVisa we've got the scoop on the most complained about monuments across the globe.
We’ve compiled a list of the most controversial landmarks out there using reviews and ratings from renowned travel sites to calculate the percentage of excellent, very good, average, poor, and terrible reviews for each monument. And well, while our findings might shock you… let’s just say the results speak for themselves, or more so the visitors speak for the monuments!
Coming out on top is The Palace of Versailles in France. Having been described as the epitome of French grandeur in the past, this landmark still couldn't escape the wrath of disappointed travelers. Yep, that's right, it's the most complained about monument in the world with almost 10% of reviews analyzed ranking it as bad or terrible.
But don't worry, there are plenty of other head-scratching monuments out there that might leave you wondering why they're even considered tourist attractions.
In this blog post, we've compiled a list of the most controversial landmarks around the world so that you can plan accordingly this summer and avoid the frustration of asking yourself why you bothered to visit in the first place. So, sit back and relax as we take you on a tour of some of the most complained-about monuments out there.
1. Palace of Versailles, France - 9.8%
The Palace of Versailles, a symbol of French Baroque architecture and the former royal residence of Louis XIV, is known for its grandeur and opulence. What many don't know is that it was also home to a menagerie of exotic animals, including elephants, tigers, and even kangaroos. Despite its undeniable beauty and historical significance, some have found the palace to be overcrowded and underwhelming with complaints such as the palace's long wait times, poor customer service, and expensive ticket prices. But for those who are willing to brave the crowds and overlook the drawbacks, the Palace of Versailles remains a majestic and awe-inspiring destination that transports you back in time to the height of French royalty.
2. Blackpool Tower - Blackpool, UK - 9.4%
Next, we have the Blackpool Tower, a true icon of British seaside culture. Standing at a lofty 518 feet tall, this towering structure has been delighting visitors since its construction way back in 1894. But what could people possibly have to complain about? Well, according to some reviewers, the Tower is just a bit too "touristy" for their liking. Apparently, the hordes of visitors and cheesy attractions are enough to make some folks turn up their noses. Sorry, Blackpool Tower, you can’t please everyone.
3. Stonehenge - Wiltshire, UK - 8.1%
Next on our list is Stonehenge, that mysterious prehistoric stone circle located in Wiltshire, England. Dating back to around 3000 BC, this monument has been the subject of endless debate and speculation over the years. But despite its enigmatic allure, it seems that some people just can't appreciate it for what it is. Complaints include the lack of information available at the site to the fact that you can't actually “get up close and personal” with the stones themselves. The split opinions this landmark seems to cause really have its visitors stuck between a rock and a hard place… whoops!
4. Big Ben - London, UK - 5%
Moving on, we have Big Ben, that iconic bell housed within the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster in London. Completed way back in 1858, this clock tower has become synonymous with the city itself. But even this beloved landmark is not immune to criticism. Some reviewers complain about the crowds and the long lines to get inside, while others bemoan the fact that the clock tower is currently undergoing renovation work and has been covered in scaffolding since 2017. It seems even Big Ben can't escape the grumblings of the travelling masses.
5. Angel of the North - Gateshead, UK - 4.7%
Next up, we have the Angel of the North, that imposing steel statue located near Gateshead, England. Designed by the renowned Antony Gormley and installed in 1998, this modern masterpiece has become an iconic symbol of the North East of England. But despite its striking appearance, some Travel reviewers just can't get on board. Complaints range from the fact that it's "just a giant metal stick" to the fact that it's located in a "gritty industrial area". A harsh take when Gromley chose the rustic appearance to represent the earth the miners worked in!
6. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias - Valencia, Spain - 4.7%
Moving on, we have the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, a futuristic complex of museums and cultural venues located in Valencia, Spain. Designed by the celebrated architect Santiago Calatrava and opened in 1998, this complex is a true feast for the eyes. But even this stunning monument is not immune to complaints. Some reviewers take issue with the high entrance fees, while others find the exhibits to be a bit lacking in substance, with some reviewers even going so far as to say that it “needs a good clean”. Come on, people, show a little love for this impressive feat of modern architecture!
7. York Minster - York, UK - 4.4%
Moving along to York Minster, the grand Gothic cathedral situated in the centre of York, England. This massive structure is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe and an incredible example of medieval architecture. However, even this awe-inspiring monument has its share of haters. From the high entrance fee to the cathedral's tendency to become packed with touristsvisitors have found a few drawbacks to this otherwise remarkable site. For those who do make the trek and are willing to brave the crowds and the cost, the York Minster offers a truly breathtaking experience. Visitors can explore the intricate stonework and intricate stained-glass windows, and even climb the central tower for stunning views of the surrounding city.
8. The Giant’s Causeway - County Antrim, Northern Ireland - 3.8%
The Giant's Causeway, a natural wonder in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is a geological masterpiece that looks like it was crafted by giants. Its hexagonal basalt columns are a marvel of nature and a testament to the power of volcanic activity. It's no surprise that this area has inspired myths and legends for centuries. However, for some reviewers, the only thing more giant than the columns are the crowds. Some have complained that the place is more packed than a leprechaun's pot of gold, and “not worth the hassle” and that the crowds can make it difficult to get good photos or to take in the full beauty of the site. Despite these complaints, many visitors still consider the Giant's Causeway a must-see attraction and find the beauty of the natural wonder worth the effort to get there.
9. Pyramids of Giza - Cairo, Egypt - 3.7%
Coming in at number 9 on our list of the most complained about monuments are the Pyramids of Giza, located on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. These ancient wonders of the world are the last surviving of the original Seven Wonders and were constructed over 4,500 years ago as tombs for pharaohs and queens. Despite their impressive age and historical significance, some visitors have griped about the pesky touts and persistent sellers in the area, with comments like "harassed by vendors" and "felt like a walking wallet". But let's be honest, when you're visiting one of the most iconic sites in the world, you should expect a little bit of salesmanship. It's all part of the experience!
10. Pompeii Archaeological Park - Pompeii, Italy - 3.4%
At number 10, nestled in Italy we have Pompeii Archaeological Park. A vast site that contains the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, buried under ash and pumice after Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. The park offers a fascinating glimpse into daily life during the Roman era, with its remarkably preserved ruins of homes, baths, and even a brothel. Despite its historical significance, some visitors have complained about the park's size, lack of facilities, and crowds. However, for those who can handle the hustle and bustle, Pompeii Archaeological Park remains an incredible destination that transports you back in time.
So, while there are countless iconic monuments across the world that leave visitors in awe, some simply do not live up to their reputation. iVisa's research using specialist travel websites ratings and reviews revealed that even with its undeniable beauty, the Palace of Versailles in France is the most complained about monument in the world.
Other landmarks we’ve mentioned, such as the Blackpool Tower, Stonehenge, Big Ben and the Angel of the North, also seem to have their detractors. While these monuments may not be everyone's cup of tea, they still possess their unique beauty and historical significance that makes them worth a visit. However, it's probably best to do some research beforehand to manage expectations and avoid disappointment.
Visit iVisa for more information on where to go this summer and find the answers to all your visa needs!
Ultimately, whether you love them or loathe them, the most controversial landmarks in the world will always be a source of fascination and debate for travelers around the globe.
We gathered the initial data on the most famous landmarks in the world from the Boutique Adventurer and Aquate Travel.
Next, we looked at travel reviews for each monument and calculated the % of excellent, very good, average, poor, and terrible reviews overall.
The overall ranking was based on a combination of poor and terrible reviews.