It’s very hard for me to complain about any destination in Europe. Each has something to offer, whether or not it is worth devoting an entire afternoon to. I understand how difficult it can be to narrow down all of the places you want to see on your European vacation. You want to make the most out of every day and only waste time at the beach.

To help you with your potential itinerary, I have included five cities in Europe that tend to be overrated in my eyes. I didn’t have a bad time in any of these cities, I just believe there are others that deserve more of your precious time.

Here are 5 Overrated Cities in Europe {and where to go instead!}:

Zurich, Switzerland

Switzerland, you ridiculously expensive country, you. Although Switzerland is 100% worth visiting, make sure you choose wisely when it comes to your destinations within the country. It is expensive AF. As in, most expensive country I have ever travelled to. I stayed in Interlaken for the majority of my time in Switzerland and it was beautiful. One of those places where photographs will never do it justice. On my way to Munich, Germany, I thought I would break the journey up by stopping in Zurich. Let me just say now, don’t bother.  Overpriced, underwhelming, and not worth the hype. If you choose to go shopping in the city center, you will be spending double the price you would anywhere else in the world. If you want to try fondue in true Swiss fashion, you can apologize to your wallet now. I couldn’t even afford to stay anywhere relatively close to town. There are many, many phenomenal places to visit in Switzerland that are truly worth the awful conversion rate. Zurich just isn’t one of them.

Try instead: Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Budapest, Hungary

I have a feeling I am going to get some slack for this particular choice. Budapest has been on everyone’s ‘Underrated Cities’ lists in 2016. So how did it fall under my ‘Overrated Cities’ category? I did not, not like Budapest. I had a great time exploring Fisherman’s Bastion, bathing in the thermal baths, and witnessing a firework display over the parliament building. However, it felt very similar to other European cities around the world. Budapest would be great for a first time traveler as an introduction to what Europe has to offer. But after traveling to some remarkable locations before arriving in Budapest, it was a bit of a disappointment. The best thing about Budapest was the affordability factor! As a budget traveler with limited resources, Budapest would still be a great choice.

Try instead: Prague, Czech Republic

Pisa, Italy

We all think of the clever pose we would stage when someone mentions the leaning tower of Pisa. I, myself, have always imagined what I would do. And I did get to follow through with my plans of this when I visited the tower last year. However, my stop in Pisa was just that. A stop. On a day long tour of the Tuscany region, which included wine tasting and large helpings of pasta {duh}, it was our final stop. We drove for quite some time. And then we arrived in Pisa. And I saw the tower. Snap, snap. No, a little to the left. No, back up. No, move your left hand up juuuuust a smidge. Got it! No, wait. Try it again. And… that was about it. There really isn’t much going on other than the tourist ridden tower. Pisa is in the middle of nowhere. So, before you make it your mission to take a picture kissing, hugging, holding, or dabbing on the tower, do some research and see if you can somehow include it with another activity in the area. Or, just skip it all together. Good luck getting your shot perfect. A picture is worth a thousand arguments with this one folks.

Try instead: Siena, Italy

Athens, Greece

I seriously hate myself for adding Athens to this list. Greece is my number one travel destination in the world {London is my favorite city in the world, Greece my favorite overall destination}. I had an excellent time in Athens, don’t get me wrong. I ate delicious kebabs, explored the ancient ruins, and found some charming side streets to poke around in.  But that was about it. I thought about writing a ‘Things to do in Athens’ post at one point, but only got far as to start listing the Acropolis, Parthenon, and Temple of Zeus.  All worth seeing! All worth visiting Athens for! These are pieces of history that don’t compare to anything else in the world. My advice to you is to take advantage of Athens before or after traveling to the Greek Islands. Maybe next time I visit Athens, I will be more proactive about finding things to do in the countries capital. Any suggestions?

Try instead: Santorini, Greece

Zadar, Croatia

Never heard of Zadar? Yeah, neither had I before visiting Croatia last August.  But according to Europeans Best Destination’s website, Zadar received the award for Best European Travel Destination in 2016. Say what?! The best? I couldn’t believe it myself. There are two highlights in Zadar, but even they aren’t really worth the visit. Firstly, there is the sea organ, also known as Morske Orgulje. The term sea organ is being generous here, people. The sounds that this thing produce are far from pleasant. Then there is the Il Saluto al Sole, which is a solar powered circle of lights. They come to life at sunset where the light is released from the glass layers. I missed this completely because I didn’t realize the lights were only present for such a short amount of time once the sun sets. Other than these two “activities”, there isn’t really much to do in Zadar. I couldn’t find a decent beach to swim out to. And the selection of restaurants were average. I just felt a bit bored. There are plenty of other destinations to visit in Croatia before adding Zadar to your list.

Try instead: Split, Croatia

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