Wiltshire’s Stonehenge ranked second ‘worst value’ tourist spot in the world

Stonehenge has been ranked as the joint second ‘worst value’ tourist attraction in the world, according to research by a holiday firm.

The Wiltshire landmark may be internationally known and one of the UK’s busiest tourism hotspots but it does have its critics. After all, can’t you just see it all from the nearby A303?

The website Park Sleep Fly sells hotel and parking packages to holidaymakers. It decided to look at the globe’s 30 best known tourist attractions and compare which were the best value for money.

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While the definition of ‘value for money’ may vary, Park Sleep Fly opted to look at both the price of a single day’s admission for an adult – taking the cheapest available ticket into account – and compared this to TripAdvisor reviews. It looked at the number of ‘poor’ and ‘terrible’ reviews as a percentage of the total number of reviews for each attraction.

Then the researchers gave each attraction a score out of ten for price and reviews. They then took an average of these two scores to create the rankings.

Unfortunately for Stonehenge, by this measure only one tourist attraction in the world’s top 30 fared worse. However, on the plus side, Stonehenge is in esteemed company on this list.

And in fairness to English Heritage, the website makes it clear you can save money by booking in advance. Since a multi-million pound visitor center was built, visiting the stones is also about a lot more than a field with an old circle in it.

The world’s ‘worst value for money’ tourist attractions

1. Empire State Building, New York City

Ticket price: $44.00/£32.57/€38.82
% of bad reviews: 4.2%
Value score: 1.03 out of 10

Taking the unfortunate title of being the worst value attraction is New York’s Empire State Building, the 102-storey Art Deco skyscraper that dominates the Big Apple’s skyline.

While it’s undoubtedly an iconic NYC landmark, to head up the tower costs a very steep $44 (and that’s just to the main deck, not the very top). When combined with 4.2% of the building’s reviews being negative, the Empire State Building is named the worst value attraction on the list.

= 2. Buckingham Palace, London

Ticket price: $40.53/£30.00/€35.76
% of bad reviews: 3.3%
Value score: 1.9 out of 10

Three attractions were tied with a value score of 1.90 out of 10 in second place when it comes to the worst value attractions, two of them in the UK and one in the States.

To visit the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace will cost you $40.53, or £30, with 3.3% of visitors not being impressed with their visit to the home of the Queen.

= 2. Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Ticket price: $26.35/£19.50/€23.25
% of bad reviews: 8.0%
Value score: 1.9 out of 10

Stonehenge is a famous UK landmark, although it appears that a number of its visitors aren’t too impressed, with 8% of reviews being negative.

Visitors to the ancient monument have to pay around £19 to visit, according to Park Sleep Fly, but criticisms found on TripAdvisor include the fact that you aren’t allowed to touch the stones, which one disgruntled reviewer described as “just a bunch of rocks”.

= 2. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City

Ticket price: $25.00/£18.50/€22.06
% of bad reviews: 18.1%
Value score: 1.9 out of 10

The final attraction tied in second place is the Guggenheim Museum in New York, an art museum featuring Impressionist, Early Modern, and contemporary art collections.

The main reason it scores so poorly here is due to the high number of people who left the museum unsatisfied, with almost one in five reviews being either ‘poor’ or ‘terrible’.



A list of the world's 'worst value' tourist attractions, when price for a day's admission and negative TripAdvisor reviews were compared by a holiday firm
A list of the world’s ‘worst value’ tourist attractions, when price for a day’s admission and negative TripAdvisor reviews were compared by a holiday firm

The world’s ‘best value for money tourist attractions’

1. Great Wall of China, Mutianyu

Ticket price: $6.31/£4.67/€5.57
% of bad reviews: 0.5%
Value score: 10 out of 10

Not only is the Great Wall of China the cheapest of the attractions that we looked at, with an entry price of just $6.31 for the Mutianyu section, it’s also the one with the fewest negative reviews.

That’s incredible value for money, especially for one of the modern Wonders of the World, with some of the fortifications dating back as far as the 7th century BC.

2. Taj Mahal, Agra

Ticket price: $14.61/£10.81/€12.89
% of bad reviews: 1.0%
Value score: 8.28 out of 10

The Taj Mahal is another iconic landmark in Asia, known for its majestic ivory-white marble and admired for being one of the most beautiful examples of architecture in the world.

It’s also very affordable, with an entry ticket costing just under $15, while just 1% of people who have visited the Taj Mahal have left a bad review, representing excellent value.



The Taj Mahal as the sun sets in India
The Taj Mahal as the sun sets in India

3. Forbidden City, Beijing

Ticket price: $6.31/£4.67/€5.57
% of bad reviews: 2.5%
Value score: 7.76 out of 10

Another Asian attraction completes the top three best value attractions, with the Forbidden City in Beijing costing the same as the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall at $6.31. The Forbidden City also only has marginally worse reviews, with just 2.5% being negative.

The Forbidden City is a huge palace complex in China’s capital, at the heart of the Imperial City, surrounded by opulent gardens and temples.

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