Europe’s most overrated attractions?

When it comes to famous European travel destinations, does the reality always match the hype? RONAN O’CONNELL finds out

Europe is cloaked in phenomenal sites, places that amaze and inspire visitors. It’s also home to some of the world’s most overrated tourist attractions. From London to Dublin, Athens to Milan and France, these are five European attractions that do not justify the hype.

Temple Bar (Dublin, Ireland)

Most Irish people hate Temple Bar. That should be all you need to know about the most famous nightlife precinct in a country famous for nightlife. Many years ago, when I travelled to Ireland for a holiday, I asked my Irish cousin to meet me at Temple Bar. He scoffed, saying that he wasn’t interested in getting robbed or beaten up. “Leave Temple Bar for the tourists,” he told me.

That’s just what Dublin people do – they steer clear of this cluster of pubs and nightclubs, which is very popular with foreigners, especially buck’s and hen’s groups from other parts of Europe. Temple Bar’s prices are wildly inflated, its streets are filled with drunk and drugged-up people, and the atmosphere is just not very Irish. Give it a miss.

London Eye (London, England)

To be fair, this was my own fault. What else could I have expected? It is not as though the marketing for the London Eye is misleading: it’s a ferris wheel, a big contraption that slowly rotates giving its passengers lofty views from the comfort of their carriage. So why was I disappointed when it gave me the precise experience that it advertises? Well, because for my wife and I, it cost a whopping $120 for our 30-minute “full rotation” ride.

The views were great, but nothing else was included in that lofty price – no food or drinks – just two seats in a carriage. For not a great deal more than $120 we could have had a dinner for two at one of London’s many rooftops bars and spent two or three hours enjoying a sweeping vista while sating our hunger. The London Eye is a rip off.

This is an edited version of the original, full-length story, which you can read here.

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