Traveling often comes with a set of expectations. Maybe you’ve visited a destination you didn’t know much about and it ended up being a total hidden gem. Or on the other end of the spectrum, perhaps a place was so hyped up in your mind that the reality actually fell short. So I browsed the subreddit r/travel and rounded up a list of destinations that defied traveler’s expectations…for better or for worse.
“French Basque country. San Sebastian is a nice town, which you hear a lot about, but French Basque country is also really nice. It’s a 30 minute drive from San Sebastian all along the Atlantic coast, and no passport is needed to visit. Saint Jean de Luz and Biarritz are two beautiful towns, and Bayonne is worth a visit for great basque food. The countryside is amazing with quaint villages and rolling hills. This part of the country goes to show that there is way more to visit in France than just Paris.”
“Tallinn, Estonia. I really wasn’t expecting much when I visited. In fact, I mostly just went because I was traveling from Helsinki to London and it was an off-the-beaten-path destination for a quick day trip. But wow, Tallinn was beautiful and the people were so friendly! I’d go back for a proper vacation in a heartbeat.”
“Venice. I know that sounds like blasphemy to some people, but I found it stinky, dirty, and unnecessarily expensive. I was bored within six hours, and I had three days to fill. I ended up traveling out of the city and exploring the lovely surrounding cities and countryside instead of spending my time in Venice.”
“Southern Chile. The whole southern part of Chile from Valdivia to Punta Arenas feels like an enchanted forest from a fantasy novel or video game. IMO, Chile is probably the most underrated travel destination on the planet. It’s home to every kind of landscape you could hope to visit.”
“Krakow, Poland is a stunning city that is often overlooked. Unlike Warsaw, Krakow wasn’t desolated by WWII and the soviets didn’t rebuild anything, so it still boasts its old city architecture. It’s genuinely so beautiful, and I’d highly recommend seeing the city center at night.”
“Olympic National Park in Washington. It’s definitely one of the more underrated national parks in the US. It’s a literal rainforest in the Pacific Northwest, and it boasts great hiking, lodges, lakes, and more. It’s really a one-of-a-kind environment in the US.”