Not every tourist attraction delivers what it promises from the point of view of travelers. This also applies to some sights in Germany, as foreign holidaymakers find.
You make the long journey to see some of the most popular or well-known sights in the world and then this: In reality, the attraction is only half as exciting as in the photos on the Internet or the travel catalogs. A prime example of this is the Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, which, according to Google reviews, is one of the worst sights of all – and yet it attracts numerous tourists from all over the world every year. However, this phenomenon does not only occur in other countries: Users of the discussion platform Reddit have recently asked themselves which attractions in Germany the same applies to.
Disappointed expectations: the worst tourist attractions in Germany
Whether it's big cities like Hamburg, Berlin or Munich, or impressive landscapes like the Black Forest, Saxon Switzerland or the Mecklenburg Lake District – there is a lot on offer for visitors in Germany. However, this does not mean that they are also perceived as worth seeing. In a discussion on Reddit, which was started by the user @notnotwolverine, some foreign users bring examples of disappointing tourist attractions in the Federal Republic.
First and foremost, there are apparently sights where it is declared that something significant once happened there – but nowadays there is not much to look at: "I once visited a tree where Napoleon allegedly rested with his army on his march to Russia," reports one user, for example. "There was a bronze sign that said, 'The original tree no longer exists, but this one was planted in its original location in 1970.'" This is probably not how he had imagined the visit – and numerous signs in Weimar, which indicate that the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had once lived or spent the night there, probably caused more irritation.
Oktoberfest or Neuschwanstein: Well-known German tourist attractions that are not so well received
"If you don't reserve a table, you probably won't even get into a tent for five minutes and there are more tourists than other people (I'm a tourist myself, so it's a bit strange to complain)," writes one user. Instead, he advises travelers to visit the Munich Spring Festival because it is smaller.
And even one of Germany's best-known attractions doesn't go down well with tourists: Neuschwanstein Castle near Füssen, which even served as inspiration for Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle due to its fairytale appearance: "Don't get me wrong: it's beautiful on the outside, but don't waste your time visiting the inside. It was never completed and there are only about six rooms to see. You wait for hours to be admitted, pay a hefty fee and are passed through within 30 minutes. There's no way it's worth it," warns one user. Much better is Hohenschwangau Castle, which is very close by.
The fairytale castle Neuschwanstein cannot convince all tourists. © Viewing angles/Imago
No love for the capital Berlin
Berlin is often said to be one of the dirtiest German cities in Germany – and some tourists also find the capital not worth seeing. One user even reports a humiliating stay: "The first time I set foot in the city, it didn't take more than three minutes for someone to spit on me and my luggage. And for some reason, I met the same person twice more in the days that followed, and was spat on a total of three times when I left town." The tourist attractions would also be only half as exciting as expected. Among them was the former border crossing between East and West Berlin: "Checkpoint Charlie just felt weird... I don't know either. I felt like it wasn't worth going there because there were swarms of tourists that I had to pass through to see it, and it's just a gate," they say. Potsdamer Platz or Alexanderplatz do not trigger any storms of enthusiasm among visitors either.
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Better to stay away: German attractions that are punished by tourists
More than 1,000 comments were left by users on the topic – some visitor magnets such as Berlin, Neuschwanstein or the Oktoberfest are described as disappointing several times. But there is also criticism for many other sights and cities. The following are also among the "most popular" among the worst attractions:
- Stuttgart: "A lot of people have it on their to-do list, but it's really an ugly, not even remotely interesting city. It was destroyed during the Second World War and stupidly rebuilt."
- Bielefeld: "This city doesn't even exist."
- Sylt: "The island of Sylt is quite unspectacular. I never understood the hype about it."
- Rüdesheim: "Especially Drosselgasse. This is just a huge, money-hungry tourist trap. There are many places in the area that are just as beautiful and much friendlier."
- Dortmund: "Literally one of the ugliest cities I've ever seen in my life, with little to no memorable city attraction apart from the BVB football stadium."
- Titisee: "It's a tourist trap where you'll only find souvenir shops and shops that want to sell you authentic traditional clothes and other things."