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Worst and best-value tourist attractions in the world

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New research revealing the world’s worst (& best) value for money tourist attractions, from the Empire State Building to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum was published today.

The study analyzed the cost of an adult’s single-day admission ticket to 30 of the world’s top tourist attractions, as well as the number of ‘poor’ and ‘terrible’ reviews received by each attraction.

The attractions were then given a normalized ‘value score’ out of ten to reveal the world’s worst (& best) value for money tourist attractions. 

Top 10 Worst Value for Money Tourist Attractions 

Rank Attraction Location Ticket Price  % of Bad Reviews Value Score /10
1 Empire State Building New York City $44.00 4.2% 1.03
2 Buckingham Palace London $40.53 3.3% 1.90
2 Stonehenge Wiltshire $26.35 8.0% 1.90
2 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York City $25.00 18.1% 1.90
5 London Eye London $36.48 4.2% 2.07
6 Museum of Modern Art New York City $25.00 4.7% 2.59
7 Palace of Versailles Versailles $22.67 9.5% 2.76
8 Petra Ma’an $70.52 2.5% 2.93
9 Vatican Museums Vatican City $19.27 8.2% 3.28
10 Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh $23.64 2.9% 3.97

Taking the unfortunate title of being the worst value attraction is New York’s Empire State Building. While it’s undoubtedly an iconic NYC landmark, to head up the tower costs a steep $44.00 (and that’s just to the main deck, not the very top). When combined with a 4.2% negative review rate, the Empire State Building scores just 1.03/10 for value. 

The USA’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum ranks in second place, an art museum featuring Impressionist, Early Modern, and contemporary art collections. The museum sees a high number of visitors feeling unsatisfied, with almost one in five reviews being either ‘poor’ or ‘terrible.’

The UK’s Buckingham Palace and Stonehenge also rank in joint second place. A visit to the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace will cost you $40.53, however, 3.3% of visitors have not been impressed with their visit to the home of the Queen. 

Stonehenge on the other hand costs $26.35, but criticisms found on Tripadvisor include the fact that you aren’t allowed to touch the stones, and one disgruntled reviewer described the attraction as “just a bunch of rocks”.

Top 10 Best Value for Money Tourist Attractions 

Rank Attraction Location Ticket Price  % of Bad Reviews Value Score /10
1 Great Wall of China (Mutianyu) Beijing $6.31 0.5% 10.00
2 Taj Mahal Agra $14.61 1.0% 8.28
3 Forbidden City Beijing $6.31 2.5% 7.76
4 Prague Castle Prague $11.66 2.4% 7.59
4 Eiffel Tower Paris $12.13 2.2% 7.59
6 Grand Canyon Arizona $20.00 0.7% 7.42
7 Victoria Peak Hong Kong $9.61 2.5% 7.07
7 Colosseum Rome $18.14 1.3% 7.07
9 Acropolis of Athens Athens $22.67 1.6% 6.21
10 Louvre Paris $17.00 2.5% 5.86

The Great Wall of China ranks as the best value for money tourist attraction. Not only is the Great Wall of China the cheapest of the attractions looked at, with an entry price of just $6.31 for the Mutianyu section, it’s also the one with the fewest negative reviews.

Ranking in second place is The Taj Mahal. Known for being one of the most beautiful examples of architecture in the world, the landmark is also relatively affordable, with an entry ticket costing $14.61. Just 1% of visitors to the Taj Mahal leave a bad review, representing the excellent value.

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