Worst Places in the World to be a Tourist

The world is filled with countless breathtaking locations. As any experienced traveler will tell you, there are endless sights to see, people to meet, diverse cultures to encounter, and adventures to be had. And in this modern world of planes, trains, and cheap long-distance buses, most of it is a lot closer and more easily accessible than you might imagine.

But, in the midst of all of these amazing places, there are also many spots on the map that are decidedly unpleasant; some are simply dull, others oppressive or obscenely intemperate, and a handful are just downright dangerous. Here are some destinations you should only visit if your idea of a perfect vacation brings to mind words like ‘adversity’ and ‘masochism’.

Dasht-e Lut, Iran

Dasht-e Lut, Libya

Backpacking Dasht-e Lut, Iran

Looking for the hottest Spring Break destination on the globe? Look no further than Dasht-e Lut, where temperatures have been known to soar above the 70 degree Celsius mark, and where there are exactly zero native plant and animal species. In fact, not even bacteria are capable of surviving in much of the region, which is famously known as the most arid landscape on Earth. Don’t forget to pack sunblock.

Cairo, Egypt

Backpacking Cairo, Egypt

Backpacking Cairo, Egypt

Who doesn’t want to see Egypt, cradle of ancient civilizations, home to spectacular sites like the pyramids and the sphinx? Well, one reason you might at least want to steer clear of Cairo is that the air quality here is the worst in the world according to a recent World Health Organization study, which concluded that just by breathing the air you consume as many carcinogens as you would by smoking a whole pack of cigarettes.

Irvine, USA

Backpacking Irvine, California, USA

Backpacking Irvine, California, USA

Irvine is a model of sterility, order, homogeneity, and careful corporate city planning. Here you won’t find gum on the sidewalk, or homeless people, or any crime beyond the occasional teenage-angst-induced mailbox bashing. If a visit to stereotypical suburbia is what you want out of your next trip, come here to see upper-middle class neighbors squabble via their attorneys and the homeowners association about the height of the hedge dividing their well-groomed front lawns.

Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

Backpacking Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

Backpacking Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

If excitement is what you are looking for, what could be more exciting than the constant fear of being kidnapped and held for ransom? There were almost 1500 murders in Ciudad Juarez in 2008, and thousands of drug-related deaths plague the city every year. The area has grown increasingly dangerous in recent years as police attempts to crack down on the drug cartels have led to violent retribution against law enforcement officials and innocent citizens alike.

Tokyo, Japan

Backpacking Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Backpacking Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

The most expensive city in the world. Of course, if you can afford it Tokyo it an amazing place to visit. For the rest of us, it’s just a bit out of reach. Now if that doesn’t make you want to load up your backpack, sublet your tiny apartment, and hop on the next long-haul flight, I don’t know what will. Few things make a vacation more enjoyable than having to pay three times what you are accustomed to for a sandwich and watching huge sums of your hard-earned savings vanish with every ‘cheap’ hotel booking.

Unfortunately, there are far too many places in the world that offer opportunities for a self-flagellating holiday than there is time or space to thoroughly list. And, of course, one must always keep in mind the fact that everything is relative when it comes to traveling. For someone from Saudi Arabia, for example, Dasht-e Lut may not be quite hot enough for their taste. Or for the person who grew up in a tiny Amish town in Connecticut, Irvine may seem a bit too over-stimulating. The key is to find the location that best fits you personally. Hopefully this article will have given you a few ideas. Good luck!

Whatever your taste in travel, check out cheap car hire in Liverpool and around the UK from

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  • Molly Griego Says

    In other words, these are the best places for jaded backpackers to go :)

  • Stella Sotelo Says

    I believe so, they handle from terrorism to street crime. They patrol the worst, impoverished, harmful and many infamous hoods in the usa such as the South Bronx and also the relaxation from the Bronx, Harlem, Washington Levels, areas of Brooklyn/Queens… They are doing possess a tough job even though killings and violence are up this season in New york city, they’ve been doing a fantastic job on getting it lower since the era of the 70s,80s and 90s. Still a lengthy approach to take but Manhattan may be the finest place on the planet to go to, only place that’s really not allowed towards the many vacationers may be the Bronx.

  • Beavis Says

    I’ve resided for couple of years & visited all of the casinos around the strip & simply have went from entertaining things you can do..

    Is that this place only a sham to obtain tourist dollars?

  • Death Knight Says

    Many ask what’s the best place in Italy. But where’s the worst place?

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