Two famous New York landmarks have been named the biggest tourist traps in the entire world.

What's Overrated?

A new study by USA Today looked at the world's top tourist attractions and destinations to rate which are not worth the hype and also the most overpriced.

Franco Origlia/Antoine Antoniol/Guang Niu/Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
Franco Origlia/Antoine Antoniol/Guang Niu/Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Said the survey:

When you’re planning the perfect vacation, you don’t want to spend your time or money on a tourist trap that disappoints. To help you avoid a case of destination letdown, we turned to the treasure trove of data found in online reviews that can help savvy travelers make the most of their vacation planning.

The study reviewed roughly 24 million independent Google reviews of the 500 biggest tourist attractions in the world. The search crossed over six continents and 65 different countries.

In the end, two New York landmarks wound up taking the walk of shame.

The Most Overpriced Attraction Is...

According to USA Today, checking out the incredible skyline atop the One World Observatory in New York is not worth the hype or the money. It ranked the 38th most overblown tourist trap in the world and the 21st most overpriced.

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According to their website, a single "standard" ticket is $54 at the gate ($49 if purchased ahead), while a VIP tour will put you out $84 per person at the door.

What does the VIP ticket get you? Apparently priority entry, flexible arrival, escorted entry into the observatory, a 60 minute guided tour... and money off the attraction's cafe, gift shop, or restaurant.

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Taking a peek at recent reviews, people complained that the glass made the view blurry and a lackluster experience. Others warned potential visitors not to visit during foggy or rainy weather because there is nothing to see and the attraction won't issue refunds.

Others also warned against eating the food, with a person named DJ writing:

Nice view. Not too busy. But don’t waste your money on the awful food. $15 for a dry vile sandwich $6.50 for a drink. Then for all that price and they don’t clean any of the tables for you to eat at.

Despite all that, the observatory has sustained a review average of 4.7 stars.

One NY Attraction Is Even More Overrated

While the observatory earned significant blowback from angry visitors, there is one other attraction within the Empire State that is reportedly even worse.

Making the top 20 most overrated tourist traps in the world, again out of a list of 500, was none other than Times Square in New York City. The location was voted the 17th worst overall, just behind Dublin's Guinness Storehouse and above Toronto's Distillery District.

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I will say I have been to all 3 and... yeah. Worth visiting once and great photo ops, but I don't think I'll be rushing back to any of these locations ever again.

Well, maybe the distillery district because it is a nice walk. But this list isn't about me, it is about the millions of angry reviews that claim these locations should be avoided at all costs.

When it comes to the Google Reviews of Times Square, which also boasts a 4.7 out of 5 stars, the plaza has been reviewed roughly 210,000 times.

Those who panned the plaza are warning visitors to not waste their money because it's become over commercialized and super congested.

Warned a reviewer named Paul Kelly:

You can't really avoid this place when traversing Manhattan, so see it as you pass through, but don't make a special trip unless you're fond of wasting time or enjoy standing amidst large crowds of dumb people.

However, Karen M's review takes the cake:

Dirty, crowded, touristy, expensive. Stank like urine, I saw 2 dead rats on the sidewalk, full of homeless and cops. Didn’t feel very safe either despite the visible police protection. Stayed in a nearby hotel to get the NYC experience and I’d never stay here again.

If this is supposed to be emblematic of the US then stay away.

You can read more about USA Today's survey HERE.

Where to Go Instead

New York State offers plenty of hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered.

The Crazy Tourist, which is an online database and resource, compiled a list of 26 amazing hidden gems in the Empire State, with several Central New York destinations making the cut.

Coming in first was Hyde Hall Covered Bridge in Cooperstown while Old Forge Lake Cruises earned fourth place honors. Cayuga Lake landed in sixth place.

You can read more about these must-see destinations HERE.

Where is your favorite place to go in New York? Let us know in the comments below!

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