Paris tops the list of the most overrated major cities, a new study by luggage experts Radical Storage has found. Stockholm was the city most positively reviewed by travelers. Cape Town was found to be the most “beautiful” city, and London’s attractions were called “outstanding.”

Radical Storage analyzed more than 140,000 reviews to identify the cities that travelers feel most dissatisfied and the cities that exceed expectations. The study was conducted to find out if there is a “Paris syndrome.”

What is the Paris syndrome?

Paris syndrome is a psychological condition sometimes experienced by first-time tourists to Paris, whose expectations of the city are so romanticized that they experience great disappointment when confronted with reality.

The fanciful and fabulous image of Paris created in movies and books does not always match the reality of this vibrant city, and the realization of this sometimes leaves tourists in a state of complete shock. Symptoms can vary, but the most common are hallucinations, anxiety, dizziness, severe delirium, and sweating.

So does Paris syndrome really exist? Actually, yes! Of the 20 major tourist cities analyzed by Radical Storage, Paris was indeed the city where most people felt that reality did not match their expectations.

Cities where expectations don’t match reality

We analyzed the ratio of positive to negative descriptions of a city to determine how many times travelers’ reviews said that expectations of a destination did not match reality.

The analysis showed that many travelers experience “Paris syndrome,” with the City of Light at the top of the list of cities where expectations don’t match reality.

Hong Kong is second on the list of cities whose image does not match reality, followed by Seoul, Bangkok and Singapore.

  1. Paris
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Seoul
  4. Bangkok
  5. Singapore

Cities that exceed travelers’ expectations

Of all the cities analyzed, travelers are most positive about Stockholm. Perhaps the Swedish capital is not as romanticized in the media as Paris, so travelers’ expectations are not as high when they visit this Scandinavian city.

  1. Stockholm
  2. Dubai
  3. Cape Town
  4. Amsterdam
  5. Kuala Lumpur

Negative words and phrases used to describe cities

We looked at 29 words and phrases to determine how many times the word was used to describe a particular tourist city.

London and Paris each accounted for 11% of reviews that mentioned the word “overrated,” while 18% of reviews that mentioned “below expectations” or “overwhelming” were for London.

Paris accounted for 15% of reviews mentioning the word “awful” and 10% of reviews mentioning the word “bad.”

Prague was the rudest city with 15% mention of the word in reviews, Tokyo was mentioned by 10% of reviewers mentioning “not worth it,” and Sydney was the biggest “rip-off” with 15% mention of the phrase.

Positive words and phrases used to describe cities

Los Angeles was called “great” in 9% of the reviews that mentioned the word, while “really liked” was said about the City of Angels in 16% of the reviews containing the phrase. Cape Town was described as “beautiful” in 8% of the reviews in which the word was mentioned.

The sights of Dubai were considered “the best” in 8% of the reviews that mentioned the word. London was ranked “outstanding” (13%), “stunning” (14%) and impressive (11%). Barcelona’s tourist spots are considered “must-see” in 12% of reviews mentioning the phrase.

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