Home Funny Stuff Expectation vs. Reality Can Be Jarring When Visiting Famous Places

Expectation vs. Reality Can Be Jarring When Visiting Famous Places

by SharonKurheg

Some people don’t think a vacation is complete unless they see some famous landmarks in their travels (I’m one of them, but I don’t want to just go see them; I have a specific goal in mind). When they’re planning their visit, they may have some idealized thoughts of what it will be like. Unfortunately, the difference between their expectations and reality are usually as apart as they can be. For example…

The Great Wall of China


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Max Pixel


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The Taj Mahal


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Joel Godwin/Wikipedia


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Big Ben

Expectation (left) // Reality (August 2017 through sometime in 2021)

The Mona Lisa


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Glen Scarborough/flickr


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Giza Pyramids


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Reality (as seen from the nearby dumping grounds)

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More reality (as seen from the nearby Pizza Hut)

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Drew Hess/wikimedia

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Expectation (left) // Reality (right)

Reality Due To COVID-19 (I keed! I keed!)

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PC: No idea. It was a meme on Facebook

The Little Mermaid


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Meeting The Grinch at Universal Studios


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PC: Universal


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Photo courtesy of Robyn Pedretti Kelly

OK, your turn. Where have you gone where the reality was nothing like what you expected?

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Jinxed_K July 31, 2020 - 4:05 pm

Visiting the Fushimi Inari shrine or the Kinkakuji temple in Kyoto Japan was similar
So many people in reality compared to the advertisement photos.

Christian July 31, 2020 - 4:31 pm

Wonderful post. I got a great laugh from the fallen Leaning Tower of Pisa.

brteacher July 31, 2020 - 5:07 pm

Stonehenge is way overrated. On the other hand, Machu Picchu and Petra more than live up to the hype.

SharonKurheg July 31, 2020 - 5:26 pm

Overrated or just not what you expected? I mean, we’ve been to Stonehenge and it was exactly what I thought it would be…a bunch of rocks on a field, and I don’t even remember it being crowded (it was the mid-90s). I also didn’t think it was that wonderful, but it was pretty much what I expected.

StAugustine August 1, 2020 - 11:00 am

The “southernmost point in the US” marker in Key West.”

SharonKurheg August 1, 2020 - 11:02 am


Dr. V August 5, 2020 - 1:43 am

Having been to all except the Grinch, Pisa and Taj Mahal the reality and hype are real. Though I was still very much in awe of the Pyramids and the Great Wall (went in late September so very few tourists). I stumbled upon the Mermaid biking through Copenhagen and was like what is everyone taking pictures of. Even other Instagram shots of these places with all the editing and filters can make even the reality look like the expectation. But still glad I visited these places.

christinelouisesharp June 23, 2022 - 4:35 pm

Juliet’s Balcony in Verona, Italy. A lot of teenagers aimlessly hanging around.


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