There are world-famous attractions that people dream of seeing their whole lives, but many of them don't (or can't) live up to that amount of hype. In fact, there's a whole phenomenon (Paris Syndrome) that occurs in extreme cases when the reality just doesn't match up with the fantasy.
Here are our top five most disappointing attractions in Europe:
Manneken Pis (Belgium) - Can you spot the world-famous attraction in the picture above? A little difficult, isn't it? Unfortunately the Manneken Pis, a cheeky fountain of a naked little boy peeing from atop a pedestal, is a quirky attraction that has been completely overwhelmed by the hordes that come to photograph it. To top it off, the city of Brussels often insists on dressing the poor lad in outlandish seasonal costumes that completely obscure it.
Photo by Henry Sivonen
Eiffel Tower (Paris) - Now before you get upset with me, I'm not saying you shouldn't see the Eiffel Tower... you most definitely should. What I'm suggesting is that the rather nice view from the top is not worth spending three hours of your Paris holiday in a queue. There are other lovely places to get panoramic views of Paris from, like La Tour Montparnasse or La Sacre Coeur in Montmarte.
Photo by Andrew Crump
Loch Ness (Scotland) - See that pretty, tranquil, and rather mundane lake pictured above? That's Loch Ness. Yup, that's it. Looks like most lakes you've seen right? Now you can stop kidding yourself that you'll be the person to finally spot the fabled Loch Ness Monster and admit that the only thing waiting for you there is overpriced plush seamonsters. Granted, there are some nice castles nearby, but whether that's worth taking the trip out is another matter.
Photo by Dave Conner
Mona Lisa (Paris) - Of all the thousands of priceless works of art in the Louvre Museum, the Mona Lisa is the one everyone makes a beeline for. One of the most well-known paintings in the world, the subtle beauty and timeless mystery of the masterpiece are best enjoyed at home with a detailed picture, as this is likely to be the best view you get (unless you're exceptionally pushy).
Photo by Leandro Neumann Ciuffo
Gondola Rides (Venice) - It's a romantic image: two people sitting cosily in a gondola while their gondolier serenades them with Verdi operettas as he glides them through the Grand Canals of Venice . Unfortunately the smooth ride resembles Friday afternoon gridlock, with boatloads of tourists snapping pictures of each other as they squeeze past each other. The rides are also prohibitively expensive, starting at €80 for 40 minutes and getting even pricier after dark.
Photo by NH53