Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
April 20, 2024 ·  17 min read

25+ Cities That Might Make You Think Twice About Visiting

Selecting where to go on your next trip might be challenging. It can be difficult to decide where to go with so many stunning monuments and beaches around. Even if you may be sick of the same old routine, we wouldn’t recommend visiting any of the destinations on this list for a holiday. These are cities you shouldn’t visit. At all. A few of these locations are practically unreachable, while others are said to be haunted. There are some places on this list that are completely empty of people. That said, if you don’t think caution is preferable to adventure, we’ll tell you about these anti-vacation spots and provide you with an approximate (hence, the asterisk) weekly budget for each location based on lodging, food, and transportation for two people.

1. Ordos Kangbashi, China

Ordos Kangbashi, China
Image Credits: Getty Images

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: It’s a ghost town
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,000*
Ordos Kangbashi is a stunning city with enormous skyscrapers and sophisticated design. Though it is a ghost town in actuality, it should be a beautiful spot to live or visit. However, there won’t be any traffic issues when you visit it, albeit you could feel a little alone. Originally planned to house 300,000 people, this metropolis barely ever saw 70,000 residents, and as time went on, those few started to emigrate. A few of the reasons this once-huge project turned into a ghost town were the dearth of amenities and the high cost of purchasing real estate in the city.

2. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

ASHGABAT, TURKMENISTAN - APRIL 17, 2018: Independence monument with Saparmurat Niyazov statue and Turkmen leaders statues in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Credit: Shutterstock

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Extremely expensive ghost town
Est. Cost Of Visit: $1,200*
Ashgabat, which some people believe to be the most costly city in the world, is a very different kind of ghost town. In contrast to what we typically imagine when we think of ghost cities, these are not dilapidated, run-down structures. Most of Ashgabat’s amazing structures are constructed from high-end materials. This is the world’s largest metropolis for the number of marble-built buildings. President Saparmurat Niyazov had declared that the building of Ashgabat would usher in a “golden era of Turkmenistan.” Regrettably, however, the opulent metropolis of Ashgabat became nearly deserted as a result of the nation’s isolation and high cost of living.

Read More: 35 Maps That Show Us Lesser Known Facts About America

3. Wittenoom, Australia

Wittenoom Gorge, Australia - May 14, 2012: The town was abandoned when the government ordered it closed. High levels of deadly asbestos dust in the atmosphere from the blue asbestos mine killed many.
Credit: Shutterstock

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Asbestos in the air
Est. Cost Of Visit: $1,700*
It’s hazardous to breathe the air in this abandoned town. The Australian town of Wittenoom was once a bustling area, but it has been completely removed from all official maps and is now a ghost town because of the asbestos contamination in the air. There are additional restrictions on the town’s access by the Australian government. Just two residents of the community still live there despite the dangers of doing so. In Wittenoom, the level of asbestos in the air is so high that breathing it in would put your health at serious risk. Wittenoom is by no means a tourist destination, even though the town does receive its fair share of adventure-seeking visitors.

4. Ruby, Arizona

Ruby, Arizona
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: No human inhabitants, only bats
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,500*
The Arizonan town of Ruby has seen both prosperous and neglected periods in its history. The town’s mine, which produced copper, zinc, gold, and silver, was the reason for its heyday. Additionally, it was the site of crimes like the well-known “Ruby Murders,” which sparked one of the longest manhunts in the history of the Old West. Although there are now no living people living in this ghost town, the mine is home to a sizable colony of Mexican free-tailed bats. In the summer, one can observe the massive black cloud of bats soaring above the mine entrance at night.

5. Oradour-sur-Glane, France

Oradour-sur-Glane, France
Image Credits: Getty Images

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: One of WWII’s largest massacres
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,500*
The French town of Oradour-sur-Glane, which had 2,000 residents at most, was the scene of one of the worst massacres in history during World War II. An SS squad destroyed every life in the little town when it invaded it in the summer of 1944. June 10, 1944, the day of the Battle of Normandy, saw this horrific atrocity take place. The village has been held together, and not a single stone moved so that no one would forget what had transpired. You can still visit the site today, but all tours are conducted in complete silence out of respect for the victims’ remaining spirits.

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6. Lalibela, Ethiopia

Ethiopia, Lalibela. Monolithic church of Saint George (Bet Giyorgis in Amharic) in the shape of a cross. The churches of Lalibela is on UNESCO World Heritage List
Credit: Shutterstock

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Almost impossible to get to
Est. Cost Of Visit: $1,700*
Situated in the heart of the Ethiopian Highlands in Amhara, this city is made up of several monolithic churches that have been etched straight into the stone. Underground construction took place during its construction in the twelfth century. The only way to observe the metropolis from a distance is from above. As a significant site of pilgrimage and a World Heritage Site since 1978, this monastery city is not deserted. Nevertheless, getting there has never been an easy feat. Prior to the construction of car-passable roads a few years ago, the only way to get to Lalibela was by mule.

7. City 404, China

City 404, China
Image Credits: Wired

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Ghost town, forbidden entry
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,000*
The United States and the Soviet Union started to build and accumulate armaments during the Cold War. Nuclear bombs and missiles were two of the weapons that were most significant. When Mao Zedong saw this, China did not want to fall behind, so he gave the order to build City404, which was officially recognized as nonexistent and did not appear on any map. Building an atomic bomb was the city’s main objective. There resided the nation’s top scientists and experts, along with their families. China conducted its first nuclear test in 1964, demonstrating the viability of ideas like City 404. This city is completely off-limits to entry, and it is still not shown on any map or program.

8. Kolmanskop, Namibia

Abandoned building and the door being taken over by encroaching sand, Kolmanskop ghost town, Namib Desert
Credit: Shutterstock

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Abandoned mining town
Est. Cost Of Visit: $1,900*
Located in the heart of Namibia’s desert is the ghost town of Kolmanskop. The diamond mine in the area led to its founding. It also had the first X-ray machine in an African city, but this medical innovation was not for treating patients; rather, it was meant to deter miners from taking gems out of the mine. The mine produced more than 2,200 pounds of diamonds in the years it was in operation. Kolmanskop’s life came to an end and the village was abandoned when the mine was eventually depleted. The sands of the desert have now fully engulfed the remaining buildings.

9. Famagusta, Cyprus

The abandoned city Varosha in Famagusta, North Cyprus. The local name is "Kapali Maras" in Cyprus
Credit: Shutterstock

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Abandoned ghost town with buried mines
Est. Cost Of Visit: $1,500*
The city of Famagusta would have been on a list of locations to visit a few years ago. Movie stars of the previous century loved it, and it used to be a place that everyone wanted to know about. However, because of Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974, everything is now different. Varosha Beach was evacuated as a result of the Cyprus island dispute between Greece and Turkey. Famagusta turned into a ghost town after that. This is undoubtedly not the place to relax and soak up the sun because it is rumored that there are mines hidden in the beach’s sand.

10. Sanzhi City, Taiwan

Sanzhi City
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Abandoned futuristic paradise
Est. Cost Of Visit: $1,800*
Constructed in 1978 for American servicemen and affluent Taiwanese, Sanzhi City is located on the country’s north coast. Although this city’s unusual architecture makes us think of unidentified flying objects (UFOs), it is not empty because of alien invasion. In 1980, the project came to an end due to financial difficulties, leaving this future utopia unfinished. Many myths were sparked by the project’s termination, ranging from stories that the city was built over a graveyard to mishaps resulting from the removal of a statue. However, it appears that the ghosts left the area because a shopping center and a water park replaced the settlement that had been demolished in 2008.

Read More: 25 Destinations Being Ruined By Excessive Tourism 

11. Bodie, California, USA

Bodie Ghost Town California Sierra Nevada
Credit: Shutterstock

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Abandoned mining town
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,500*
Millions of individuals fled their homes in search of wealth during the mid-1800s gold rush. This was the case in the history of Bodie, California, which dates back to 1859 when William S. Bodey found a valuable vein in the Sierra Nevada. In honor of its discoverer, Bodie, the newly established town was named after him after numerous others joined him shortly after. The town was home to almost 20,000 people at its height, and there were numerous saloons, brothels, and even an opera house. However, good things come to an end. Bodie’s luck ran out when the mine did. The town gradually faded into obscurity, becoming a historic area in 1960 and subsequently a museum.

12. Spinalonga, Greece

Spinalonga, Greece
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Former home of a leper colony 
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,800*
Isolated from the coast to better protect itself, Spinalonga, an island in the Mirabello Gulf, was once a part of the island of Crete. It’s 2,600 feet offshore from the coast of Crete. The main reason for this island’s notoriety, nevertheless, is that it was a leper colony until 1958; the ruins of the abandoned homes, the hospital, and the cemetery are still visible. However, the most fascinating aspect of the location is the tales of the individuals who lived there, as told in Victoria Hislop’s book The Island.

13. Hashima Island, Japan

Hashima Island in Nagasaki, Japan. Also called Battleship Island. A symbol of the rapid industrialization of Japan. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Credit: Shutterstock

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Japan’s Ghost Island
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,500*
Gunkanjima, which means battleship, is another name for Hashima Island, which was formerly the wealthiest metropolis in all of Japan. Thousands of laborers from the coal mine on the island lived there between 1887 and 1974. Because of its extreme affluence, Hashima had the world’s greatest population density in 1960. Everything on Hashima was good except for the frequent typhoons that caused the small island to need reinforcement. That is until oil started to replace coal as a fuel source. Coal mining came to an end on January 15, 1974, as announced. After only three months, there was no one on the island.

14. Epecuen, Argentina

ruined city. City abandoned by a flood. Desolate landscape. epecuen
Credit: Shutterstock

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Corroded and abandoned
Est. Cost Of Visit: $1,700*
Formerly a picturesque vacation resort, Epecuén, Argentina, was well-known for its mineral-rich hot springs and lagoon, where swimmers might experience the sensation of swimming in the Dead Sea. Nonetheless, because the lagoon was unstable, maintenance was necessary to allow for the continuation of tourism. In 1985, a disaster occurred that resulted in the displacement of 1,300 residents due to neglect of the location during Argentina’s military dictatorship in 1976. Epecuén was underwater for 20 years, starting in 1993. The village had an ambiance akin to a hellscape because the buildings had rusted by the time it saw daylight again in 2015.

15. Pulacayo, Bolivia

Pulacayo, Bolivia
Image Credits:

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Abandoned mining town
Est. Cost Of Visit: $800*
The most significant silver mine in Bolivia in the 1800s was Pulacayo. Beyond that, the wealth that resulted from this mine’s production altered the nation. Pulacayo, which had 20,000 residents at one point, is now a ghost town. Pulacayo was the first mining town to have a train connection because of its wealth. However, the town’s bountiful harvest was not fairly dispersed, and the mine laborers lived in extreme poverty. The village eventually filled up as the mine eventually ran out. These days, its railroads are the subject of a museum and a small number of individuals.

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16. Ghaziabad, India

Ghaziabad, India
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Severe pollution
Est. Cost Of Visit: $600*
If you felt that the Taj Mahal had changed since your last trip to India, then Ghaziabad might be the best place for you to spend your next holiday. That is if you enjoy pollution and crowding. Situated twelve miles from New Delhi, this city was named the world’s most polluted city in 2019 by the World Air Quality Report of that year. India is a stunning country with a wealth of sights and experiences, though perhaps not in Ghaziabad.

17. Norilsk, Russia

Northern industrial city. Sunset. Smoke from the chimney is visible above the houses. Bogdan Khmelnitsky Street. Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk region, Siberia, Russia.
Credit: Shutterstock

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: One of the world’s most polluted places
Est. Cost Of Visit: $1,200*
Nothing screams “magical vacation” quite like a location that requires a unique permit to enter. This is the situation in Norilsk, Russia, which is among the most polluted cities in the world due to its metallurgical sector. Every year, this metropolis releases two million tons of sulfur dioxide and at least 500 tons of oxides of copper and nickel. If being able to breathe clean air bothers you, join the 200 courageous visitors to the city each year and take pleasure in the -30 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures, acid rain, and snowfall. How are we supposed to forget those two months of complete darkness? What a beautiful location!

18. Forbidden History, China

The Forbidden City in Beijing, China. ancient royal palace. world famous historical building in Beijing.
Credit: Shutterstock

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Haunted, Bloody History
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,000*
Although the old imperial house of China is a stunning location rich in history, ghosts and apparitions seem to frequent the area as well. Since the emperor ordered a killing during the site’s inauguration in 1421 to prevent potential scandals, it appears that this location has been cursed since its establishment. The killings in the Forbidden City persisted afterward. A fire once burned 250 structures in the city, and some emperors also perished there. People now report hearing cries and seeing bloody pools in the Forbidden City.

19. Kerguelen Islands, Indian Ocean

An aerial view of the Kerguelen Islands under a cloudy sky
Credit: Shutterstock

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Solitude Island” is its nickname
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,700*
The Indian Ocean’s Kerguelen Islands are not well-known for their tourism, presumably due to their remote location—2,000 miles from Africa—and the fact that the sole boat that can reach there is available four days a year. This territory, sometimes called “Solitude Island,” is encircled by glaciers and has 300 days of rain or sleet annually. The majority of people who come here to live or visit are French researchers, but if you enjoy rain and virtually desolate islands in the midst of the sea, this can be the perfect place for you to have a holiday.

20. Houtowan, China

Houtowan, China
Image Credits: Flickr

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Abandoned fishing village
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,000*
Nature has taken over this deserted fishing village on the eastern island of Shengshan, off the coast of Shanghai. Not even the buzzing of insects can break the serenity of the cliffs. In order to get images of this abandoned hamlet, a few daring travelers cross the marshy lanes and use up all of their bug repellants. However, the community is so empty that getting to necessities is challenging due to the site’s position. Going there carries a great deal of risk.

Read More: People Share What They Think Are the Biggest Mistakes in Human History

20. Vorkuta, Russia

Vorkuta, Russia
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Former gulag
Est. Cost Of Visit: $1,200*
Don’t hesitate to get your ticket to Vorkuta if your dream holiday involves touring abandoned ghost towns left behind after the fall of the Soviet Union and braving the Russian cold. You can explore the coal mines that the Gulag prisoners in the region worked in the far north of Russia, the Arctic. Later, miners who had previously received a decent remuneration for their work worked in these same mines. However, the residents departed when the mining ceased, leaving a ghost town in its stead.

21. Aritunga, Australia

Aritunga, Australia
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Abandoned mining town
Est. Cost Of Visit: $1,700*
The town of Aritunga originated in the 1887 gold rush. It was home to as many as 3,000 people and was notable for being Central Australia’s first formal settlement. That is, until someone abandoned Aritunga. When Aritunga’s gold gradually ran out, the star eventually dimmed. Currently, the public can relive the heyday of Aritunga by touring the ancient town, which still has remnants of the mines, the miners’ barracks, and a few partially restored houses.

22. Tyneham, England

Tyneham, England
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Village was forced to be abandoned in 1943
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,200*
There previously was a charming village here. It didn’t have running water or electricity, but the stunning Dorset countryside more than made up for it. But, because Tyneham was close to the fire ranges at Lulworth, during the start of World War II, everything changed. The British government made the decision to expropriate the community in order to use it as a training camp over Christmas 1943. 225 people were forced to flee their houses in the expectation that they would return after the war ended, but this did not materialize and the community was left permanently deserted.

23. Warram Percy, England

Warram Percy, England
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Medieval and abandoned
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,200*
Seemingly occupied from prehistoric times, this community is probably the most well-known medieval village in all of England. Warram Percy had a church and two sizable homes in its prime. Currently, the church is the only remnant of its grandeur. Studies of the location date back to the 1950s. Though the fact that the village’s population fell sharply during the plague undoubtedly had an impact on its occupants, the Black Plague does not appear to be a contributing factor in the village’s abandonment. The most plausible explanation is that the shift in the area’s economy from sheep farming to wheat farming was driving out residents.

24. Isla de las Muñecas, Mexico

Isla de las Muñecas, Mexico
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Full of creepy dolls (and ghosts)
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,000*
According to legend, Don Julian found a girl’s body on the lake’s edge in the canals of Xochimilco, south of Mexico City, and made unsuccessful attempts to save her. Don Julian later stated that the girl’s presence was still present and that it tormented him. Don Julian started hanging dolls all around the island in an attempt to ward off the spirits. The guy maintained, up to the day of his death, that the dolls were all inhabited by spirits as the years went by. You can visit the island if you’re courageous enough, but take care not to bring any dolls home as mementos. You may bring something else home with you if you do.

Read More: The Unsolved Mysteries of Skeleton Lake in the Himalayas

25. Belchite, Spain

Belchite, Spain
Image Credits: Flickr

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Full of Civil War ghosts
Est. Cost Of Visit: $1,900*
During the Spanish Civil War, one of the bloodiest fights took place in the Spanish town of Belchite. And as we can see from the numerous testimonies, Belchite is rife with spirits. The Civil War left the settlement abandoned, but it is now open to tourists. If you’re daring enough, you can take night excursions where you can encounter some of the many apparitions, including ghosts and apparitions that occasionally appear, screaming kids, and uncovered corpses.

26. Aokigahara, Japan

Aokigahara nature forest in japan
Credit: Shutterstock

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Has a dark history
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,500*
The historical connections of Aokigahara with ghosts and demons from Japanese mythology are what have made the place famous. It’s not technically illegal to enter this woodland, but not many people take that risk. Regretfully, we cannot ignore the fact that this forest is well-known for being the location of numerous suicide suicides in Japan. The government has posted multiple signs urging individuals to get help if they approach the forest with the intention of injuring themselves because the situation has gotten so bad. This makes visiting this sea of trees exceedingly unattractive, especially in light of various rumors concerning ghosts and apparitions connected to Aokigahara.

27. Salem, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Salem, Massachusetts
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: City of Witches
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,500*
There is no need to introduce Salem. This city gained notoriety for the witch trials that resulted in the execution of accused witches. The city of Salem remembers what happened in order to pay tribute to the victims. Salem not only educates tourists but also features monuments honoring the women who were victims of these violent witch hunts. Visit The Witch House, the historic residence of Judge Jonathan Corwin, who oversaw multiple witchcraft trials, in this eerie town. Furthermore, this house is the only one that remains intact and has a direct connection to the witch hunt events.

28. Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A.

Savannah, Georgia
Image Credits: Flickr

Why You Shouldn’t Visit: Has a haunted history
Est. Cost Of Visit: $2,500*
In addition to its rich historical legacy, Savannah is home to several haunted locations. The novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, published in 1994, and the following movie are both well-known. In Savannah, ghost stories are associated with practically every building due to the high frequency of paranormal encounters. The most well-known of this city’s many haunted locations is the Hamilton-Turner Inn, credited by many as the model for Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. The Colonial Park Cemetery, where an estimated 12,000 people were interred and where numerous people have reported seeing ghostly figures wandering the grounds, is another must-see.

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