Places Where Locals Hate Tourists — With Good Reason
Tourism has the power to boost local economies, foster tolerance and change people's perceptions of the world — when it's done right. After all, tourism can also be a destructive force that drives locals from their homes, makes places overcrowded and kills the spirit of a city.
We wish we could say that everyone who spends time and money visiting another city is respectful and aware, but the reality is that mass tourism tends to suck big time. And locals are getting sick and tired of having their daily lives disrupted by rude travelers.
These 10 cities hate tourists the most.
Barcelona has become a poster child for the anti-tourist movement, with many parts of the city being covered with stickers, banners and graffiti that calls for tourists to go home.
And we can't really blame the locals. The city is literally overtaken by hoards of tourists, especially in the summer, when beaches and popular streets like Las Ramblas could easily pass for a zombie apocalypse movie. Plus, rowdy apartment rentals have priced people out of the nicest neighborhoods, and disruptive drunk tourists treat the city like a giant nightclub. We'd be done with tourists, too.
Ah, poor Amsterdam. Known for its liberal laws around substance consumption and sex work, Amsterdam has reached its breaking point after years of dealing with idiotic groups of tourists who only come here to get high. The city has gone so far as to launch campaigns explicitly telling party tourists to stay away and to prohibit smoking weed in public, which was one of the main reasons many people planned a trip here.
Listen, we're sure the people of Amsterdam wouldn't mind sharing a joint with respectful tourists, but imagine if your daily life were on par with babysitting the annoying drunk person at a party.
No one can deny that Bali is heaven on Earth. One of Indonesia's most beautiful islands, it has become a hub not just for tourism, but for digital nomads and remote workers who enjoy the destination's beauty and cheap prices.
Well, prices are cheap for first-world travelers but not so much for locals. This problem has been aggravated by the influx of dollars and euros into the island, making everyday essentials unaffordable. Many of the expats coming here also have little regard for local rules and customs. Foreigners have brought overconsumption of limited resources and overcrowding. They're such a nuisance that the local government banned foreigners from renting out motorcycles and scooters since they were causing traffic and accidents.
Once one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Medellin welcomed tourism with open arms ... at first. But thanks to television series like "Narcos," a lot of the people traveling here are looking for a drug-fueled trip. This type of tourism has actually boosted crime in the city, especially since the same tourists often engage with the illegal sex work industry, which often employs trafficked or underaged people. Yes, it's absolutely gross.
And that's just part of the problem. The country's Digital Nomad visa has brought in digital nomads that, as in Bali, have driven prices up to the stratosphere. Popular areas like El Poblado are now spaces where English is the main language, and the cost of everything from rent to food is unachievable to all but the wealthiest of locals.
Having thousands of people disembark on a small island at the exact same time is simply a horrible idea. Cozumel, an island just off the coast of Cancun, has to deal with this hellish scenario every single day.
The cruisers come for a couple of hours and then leave ... until the next cruise arrives. Some people argue that day trippers bring money into the economy, but the benefits aren't as strong as the ones from overnight visitors. Plus, large cruise ships are damaging the barrier reef that makes this island a worthy destination.
New York, New York
No self-respecting New Yorker goes to Times Square unless they have a specific reason to. The street is always crowded, and everything is ridiculously expensive. But what really pisses New Yorkers off is that people from other places aren't used to their unhealthy obsession with being on go-go-go.
Stop to take a picture or walk at a normal pace, and you're sure to have a local shout something unpleasant at you. To be fair, though, we think New Yorkers need to chill.
Venice is, without a doubt, one of the most gorgeous cities in the entire world. But we're not sure it's worth visiting, at least not during high season. Like Cozumel, the city gets invaded by thousands of cruisers, who swarm its tiny streets and leave a wake of trash and destruction behind.
Locals have protested the impossible prices and the crowds. The situation is so bad that tourism is contributing to wave pollution, which is causing Venice to sink faster. For years, the government has tried to curve overtourism with initiatives like charging daytrippers a fee and not allowing large cruise ships in its main port.
To be fair, all of Hawaii has a complex relationship with tourism. More of a colony than a state, Hawaii was incorporated into the U.S. after its monarchy was overthrown. Until the late 20th century, locals suffered an overt attempt to squash out native Hawaiian culture, with the language banned until 1986.
At the same time, the state was sold to mainlanders as an easy-to-get-to paradise. Today, tourism consumes most of the limited resources of the archipelago and has made the state extremely expensive while mostly limiting job opportunities to low-paying service positions.
We're highlighting Maui because 2023's devastating fire brought the issue to the forefront, with some locals claiming that tourists got priority during the crisis. There are also many native Hawaiians who have taken to social media to ask people not to come to Hawaii at all. Of course, the issue is contentious since the state's economy relies heavily on tourism.
Parisians are known for their rudeness, but we're going to side with them on this one. Paris completely changes during the high season. One day, you wake up and suddenly can't find a spot to eat or a free bench on which to sit. Forget about going to a museum or enjoying any of the landmarks that make the city famous — the lines are impossible.
Plus, let's be honest: People come to Paris with an entitled attitude and cartoonish idea of the city. We blame "Emily in Paris" for making things even worse. No, you're not going to show up with a beret and have a French chef immediately fall in love with you. And, yes, the city has trash and ugly parts because, well, it's a city and not Disneyland.
Also, pro tip: If you make a tiny effort to at least say "bonjour" and be polite, it'll get you far.
Puerto Ricans are incredibly proud of their enchanting island and love it when people appreciate and praise it. What they don't love is when the island is treated as an amusement park. They also face the same issue as almost every other place on this list: being forced to leave their homes because wealthy foreigners make life too expensive.
This, plus the island's complicated history as a territory of the U.S. can translate into some not-so-friendly views of foreigners, particularly Americans. But, rest assured, if you're coming in with curiosity about the culture and respect for locals, you'll find some of the most fun and welcoming people on Earth.