We’ve long been on the lookout for some of the travel industry’s bests and worsts. Take this business class layout with “coffin seats” or this first-class meal choice as prime examples. This week, however, we’ve uncovered the contenders for the world’s most underrated travel destinations… but how are we defining “most underrated”?

Well, you can always count on Reddit to provide a wide array of travel tales told with unashamed honesty, and that’s exactly what we got when someone took to the famous r/AskReddit page to ask: ‘What country has a bad reputation, but in reality, it’s an amazing place?’ The answers are unpredictable, contentious, and surprising in equal measure. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

What country has a bad reputation, but in reality, it’s an amazing place?
byu/YoungTex inAskReddit

By a country mile, the destination with the most upvotes was a South American hotspot that has only gathered controversy in recent decades and got a renewed dose of healthy scepticism thanks to Netflix’s smash-hit series Narcos. But are we misunderstanding it?

“Colombia. They have come a long way since the Pablo Escobar days. Medellín is a beautiful city, and Colombians in general are very warm and friendly people. I like to say I’ve never met a Colombian in a bad mood (just don’t spell it “Columbia”).”


Next on the list is an Eastern European beauty spot that gets a really hard time from many of its EU fellows (and one recently departed EU nation, in particular):

“Romania. Bad reputation in the Western EU especially, but a beautiful country with generous and down-to-earth people (who generally have an amazing sense of humor. The country itself is absolutely beautiful, especially Transylvania/Ardelean and the Danube Delta. The excellent wine is also a bit of a secret.”


Then came an Asian entrant that, given its increasing political power in the world and the terse tone taken towards it by the media and Western politicians alike, doesn’t really get a fair chance, at least so far as its potential as a tourist hub is concerned:

“China has some of the most unreal and underrated landscapes in the world, not very well known to the world. It has obviously a ton of history and culture as well”


For those who like the island vibe, this will come as a pleasant addition. Still enduring the bad press from the USA that it apparently earned during the Cold War, this destination loses marks for culinary exploits but otherwise comes strongly recommended, especially to rum fanatics:

“Cuba: The people are wonderful, the beaches are beautiful… just don’t expect much out of the food. It is fine. Bring condiments… But the people, the culture, the music..the rum. All amazing.”


Rounding out the top five, we return to Eastern Europe. Another nation that used to get a hard time for its EU allies — though less so nowadays — is a much-overlooked hotspot for history, the arts, natural beauty, and culture writ large…

“Poland. Krakow is my favourite city in Europe”


There you have it: five of the world’s most unduly criticised, ignored, and under-visited nations. Next time you’re planning a trip, consider giving these a look. Not only do they promise cultural exploits far beyond their ill-perceived reputations, but this writer has a sneaking suspicion that you’ll be able to exploit their overlooked nature for some travel bargains.

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