Sleepy People

The Most Boring Places I’ve Traveled

I try to look for the best in every destination I visit, which generally keeps this blog a positive place. But all cities and countries are not created equal. In fact, some of the places I’ve traveled have been downright boring!

I don’t consider (all of) the destinations on this list to be “bad” – many of them are absolutely beautiful! But just as beautiful people can be un-interesting, even the prettiest of the places I’ve listed here left me feeling uninspired.

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1. Knysna, South Africa

 

Knysna was listed as a “must-visit” destination just about everywhere I did my preliminary South Africa research, so I was surprised at what I found when I arrived. A sleepy town that seems more befitting of Shady Pines than South Africa’s Garden Route, Knysna’s retirement-community vibe is made even worse by its 10-kilometer distance from an actual beach.

2. Vientiane, Laos

 

Although Vientiane straddles the border between Laos and Thailand, it is lacking in the charms of either country. Situated on a flat plain, it’s devoid of the mountains, tropical landscapes that characterize rural Lao towns like Vangvieng; small in size and with limited tourist attractions, it’s less chaotic, colorful and exciting than Bangkok or other Thai cities.

3. Aswan, Egypt

 

Aswan is relatively well-known as non-pyramid places in Egypt go, owing to a dam of the same name that sits near the city. Unfortunately, there is basically nothing to do in Aswan – the dam itself isn’t even that spectacular! Aswan is a useful place to visit if you want to see Abu Simbel temple or take a felucca boat up the Nile, but don’t expect to have any awesome experiences in the city itself.

4. Agra, India

 

Like Aswan, Agra is located in close proximity to one of its country’s most popular tourist attractions, The Taj Mahal. But unlike Aswan, which is just boring, Agra is actually horrible. It’s dusty, congested and filled with shops that sell “marble” that is actually soapstone milled purely for the purpose of scamming tourists. Don’t waste your time here!

5. Whitsunday Islands, Australia

 

The Whitsunday Islands have become one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, and not without reason: They’re fucking beautiful! But they’re beautiful in the way Anne Hathaway is beautiful, the way floral wallpaper is beautiful. If you’re looking for a beautiful – not to mention cheaper – beach, Southeast Asia (Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago, for instance?) is a better bet.

6. Arequipa, Perú

 

Arequipa is known locally as the “White City,” and it’s about as interesting as the color white, i.e. not at all. Like Agra and Aswan, Arequipa is useful mainly as a base for visiting a ubiquitous tourist attraction that sits nearby, the Colca Canyon. Do yourself a favor and head to Cusco if you want to visit an interesting, charming city in Perú.

7. Oslo, Norway

 

I recently wrote an article which concluded that Oslo is not, in fact, a boring place to travel, so it might seem surprising that I’m including it on this list. And on its own, Oslo is not boring! But compared to some of the other incredible places I’ve visited before and since, Oslo just doesn’t hold a candle.

About The Author

is the author of 758 posts on Leave Your Daily Hell. Robert founded Leave Your Daily Hell in 2010 so that other travelers would have an entertaining, reliable source of information, advice and inspiration at their fingertips. Want to travel more often? Subscribe to email updates today!

 

informs, inspires, entertains and empowers travelers like you. My name is Robert and I'm happy you're here!

 
 
 

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Girlmeetsadventure March 13, 2013 at 8:32 am

This is such a refreshing post. I’ve visited the Whitsunday Islands and too was underwhelmed. I’ve written something similar with the sense that when you visit somewhere that everyone raves about, you wonder what they see. Where’s the magic? What’s so special about this place? It kind of takes something away from the experience sometimes.
I’ve found more wonderment from the smallest of things that probably wouldn’t matter to most. I guess everybody takes something different away from their travels but being forced into a box where everyone has to like a particular place leads others to go off in the opposite direction!

Whitney Woolstenhulme March 13, 2013 at 9:49 am

Brilliant. I’ve never really read a post about where NOT to go. Although I was half expecting Salt Lake City (my hometown) to be somewhere on this list… *Snooze*

Robert Schrader March 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I have not been to SLC yet, so I can’t add it! Should I avoid it?

Robert Schrader March 13, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Thanks for the compliment on the post! And I’m glad someone else agrees RE: the Whitsundays – many people have told me I’m rude or even dumb for having that opinion!

Charli & Ben March 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm

I completely agree with your evaluation of the Whitsunday Islands. Airlie Beach is an over priced dive and the tours on offer are shocking. If you do want to visit the islands the only way to do it is by hiring your own boat. We chartered a motor cat with some family friends for a week – which was too long – hired scuba gear and explored ourselves. While it was lovely, albeit expensive, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the experience to anyone. Like you say, there are so many other places that provide the same experience for less.

A note to scuba fanatics the diving was shocking in comparison to the Great Barrier Reef, Osprey Reef and Shark Reef.

Bethaney March 14, 2013 at 1:11 am

There are some places I visit and just don’t “get”. Often they’re cities that others have raved about but if you’re not in the right frame of mind or not feeling the vibe then they are indeed boring. I disliked Aswan too. Vientiene is a bore. I got as far as Vientiene in Laos and pegged the whole country a snore-fest and headed back to Thailand… should have persevered!

Theodora March 17, 2013 at 6:02 am

Have to disagree with you on both Aswan and Vientiane, though I’d agree neither are nightlife meccas unless you look hard, which I didn’t, what with having a nipper in tow and all.

Aswan scores for deserted ruins (we had the Tombs of the Nobles to ourselves, and the Temple of Philae was pretty darn empty too), Nubian food, river swims from a Nile beach (that was such a highlight for me, swimming in the Nile from a sand beach), cruising through bulrushes, taking a boat up the cataracts, Elephantine Island, doing your own felucca trip (Aswan is where we started from) and being remarkably low-hassle for Egypt. There’s also the whole Nubian music thing if that’s your bag, though Abu Simbel’s arguably better for that. I’d agree the dam is underwhelming, but I’m still glad we saw it.

When we’re in Vientiane, we tend to just eat cakes and French food: there’s some truly excellent and very well done French food at La Cave des Chateaux, and the owner’s an interesting guy. I like the laidbackness of it, which I find authentically Lao, and I rather enjoy just wandering around the river, though many of the temples and monasteries are very charming. It’s a small city in a small, poor country, though.

Robert Schrader March 18, 2013 at 8:22 am

Theodora:

I can’t/won’t commend a lot on Vientiane since another part of why I “hated” the city as much as I do is that I got crippled with near-death food poisoning there.

As far as Aswan, I agree with you RE: it being a great gateway to awesome shit around it. The city itself? I dunno. Maybe it was better before “the revolution,” and I wasn’t the only tourist there.

boredtodeathinamman June 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm

try visiting Amman. that’l bore you to death

Katie Aune June 19, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Agree with Theodora about Aswan. Visiting the Tombs of the Nobles there was a highlight of my time in Egypt. And I enjoyed its atmosphere much more than Luxor.

Arequipa was quiet compared to Cusco but I still enjoyed it and there were some interesting things to see.

I loved Oslo – so much I wanted to see and do, I found myself wishing I had more time.

But to each their own. 🙂

Robert Schrader June 20, 2013 at 6:23 am

I definitely appreciate hearing your perspective anyway! I wonder how many of my favorite places others would see as cliché or even boring!

Nodar January 1, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Qatar ( Doha ) – most boring places ever know 🙁

Robert Schrader January 1, 2014 at 2:01 pm

I guess I won’t go there!

Shibbyal March 17, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Totally agree with some of these Robert. Agra, Knysna and Aswan especially. Agra was disgusting, people were trying to scam me all the time and when I politely declined I was insulted in return. Can I add Eilat, Israel to the list and Funchal, Madeira.

Robert Schrader March 20, 2014 at 11:35 am

Yeah, Eilat was horrible too! Never been to Funchal, though…

Marcelo October 1, 2014 at 11:03 am

Muscat, Oman, a very boring place

Robert Schrader October 6, 2014 at 6:08 am

Really?

A neegah November 17, 2014 at 3:35 pm

neegar

WhiteAnemone June 25, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Oslo is indeed boring as hell. I live quite close to it, and there really isn’t much to do there, apart from visiting some art galleries that are hardly remarkable compared to what can be seen elsewhere in Europe and other less-than-bombastic tourist attractions.

Baagad Billa September 14, 2015 at 7:06 am

IMHO, out of London (and maybe Edinburgh), UK is a very boring place. London is exciting.
Agra is boring (Nothing else to do other than see the Taj Mahal. I have been there once).
In India, Goa and Mumbai are better places to be to enjoy some local night life and also visit historical buildings.

Robert Schrader September 16, 2015 at 8:04 am

Poor UK 🙁

Dusty Chaps October 4, 2015 at 5:44 pm

Boring travels? How can that be? Even the discovery that a place is without delights is interesting. Lingering is not. There are so many undistinguished locales
filled with undistinguished people any list is necessarily limited. Best advice: stay home and take care of business.

mawdesleytractor December 16, 2015 at 9:00 am

The most boring place in the UK, if not Europe, if not the world, is a tiny, snobbish, obscure commuter enclave in Lancashire called Mawdesley.

The “scenery” around Mawdesley is not like the rest of Lancashire – it is a flat, dreary, desolate, monotonous, expanse industrially farmed land. It’s more like parts of East Anglia, only unlike East Anglia there are no lakes or rivers – that would be far too interesting for Mawdesley.

The actual enclave of Mawdesley consists of a few back roads lined with ugly, tasteless nouveau richee mansions for the inbred Tory commuter snobs together with drab 1960’s bungalows for elderly retired far-right wing inbred bigots. There is quite literally nothing in Mawdesley. There is no public transport, no taxis serve this obscure area, the potholed back lanes lack pavements. A tiny shop that’s shut most of the time and a grotty pub for inbred snobs – that’s all there is in Mawdesley. It’s on the road to nowhere, no one from outside has any reason to pass through. There are no buses, trains or taxis. It couldn’t be more inbred and creepy. Mawdesley is like a really boring version of the film The Wrong Turn or the Wickerman.

Mawdesley is not only terminally boring, it’s like a sort of rural prison. In fact Mawdesley would make a great site for a prison. It is hidden and inaccessible from anywhere, and the dreary, flat, monotonous expanse of treeless industrially farmed land would make it easy for police helicopters to spot escapees. Life in Mawdesley is a punishment. The people who have chosen to live in Mawdesley are a “special breed”. You’d have to have something psychologically wrong with you to openly choose to live somewhere so grindingly depressing and lifeless.

The inhabitants of Mawdesley are all aging far-right wing anti-human snobs. They are also hideously inbred. This is no lie. Practically everyone in Mawdesley has the surname Mawdesley. Yep, that’s right, nearly everyone in a tiny, hidden snobby enclave has the same surname as the place they live. Not only that most people called Mawdesley are married to other people called Mawdesley and have children together. Due to this shocking degree of inbreeding a special facility for children with genetic abnormalities has been set up in Mawdesley. This is 100% true. A tiny featureless enclave in the middle of nowhere, with no amenities, not even pavements or a few streetlights – has a state of the art facility for children with genetic abnormalities. It’s pretty tragic.

You won’t see another human being in Mawdesley – well except for an inbred snob behind the tinted window of their Range Rover speeding to pick Henrietta and Gideon up from private school. To call Mawdesley a Ghost Village does an injustice to ghosts. Mawdesley makes mortuaries seem like fun, vibrant places. .

On every level Mawdesley is crushingly boring. There is no culture, no amenities, no scenery, no man-made features, no natural features, the people are all aging inbred white upper middle class snobs, even genetically it’s boring -as everyone is related. No one of note has ever come from Mawdesley, nor ever will. You could not find a more joyless, boring, weird and inbred little infestation of a place as Mawdesley. Even people in surrounding towns and villages refuse to acknowledge its existence. Mawdesley is an embarrassment to Lancashire and to the UK. It’s a truly miserable hellish little place that you’d have no reason to even hear of let alone visit.

Mawdesley is too boring to even win the title of “the most boring place in the UK”. To win such a title would give Mawdesley something of interest. Mawdesley is certainly the most boring place in the UK by a country mile.

John January 10, 2016 at 12:22 pm

1 Million out of 100! 🙂 UK is Rude and horrible 🙁 as well but it has good products such as education :).

John January 10, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Yes its like India with many gay people i think.

John January 10, 2016 at 12:26 pm

I went there its so boring as disgust from inside but nice and luxurious from outside they say ”QATAR QATAR RICH AND HARDWORKING!!” but unfortunately it used has many people but it canceled there visa’s ”The Indians” and the fight attendant is rude I PRESSED THE ORDER BUTTON IN THE AIRPLANE LIKE 50 TO 70 TIMES HE WAS NOT ANSWERING AT ALL BUT BUSY WITH OTHER PASSENGERS! only the nice thing about is Banana Island and that its airplane is big :).

John January 10, 2016 at 12:29 pm

They are dry,very rude,crazy and obvious people and i think its like Texas and India.

John Jones February 15, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Please Listen it from me nothing there only sand,oil,fancy roads & buildings its EXACTLY SAME LIKE TEXAS 100/100% COPY AND PASTE you work hard for the money 8 hours a day at work!

John Jones February 15, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Everything is light green,light sky blue and yellow/light brown = boring like the picture that you putting it right here
// // Blue,white and green is exciting that’s it!

David February 17, 2016 at 9:24 am

FUCK YOU, john jones!!!

John Jones February 29, 2016 at 7:53 am

COME SUCK IT!!!!!!!!!

John Jones December 3, 2016 at 10:29 pm

U FUCK U!!! CANADA IS THE BEST EIH!!! OKAY?!

John Jones December 3, 2016 at 10:29 pm

USA IN 5TH RANK AS A MOST DEPRESSING PLACE

John Jones December 3, 2016 at 10:30 pm

NO!!!

David December 19, 2016 at 9:59 pm

MASH me??? LOL Learn to cuss right, moron

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