Written by Kate Leaver


Life Critic: TripAdvisor’s comment section

In the first in a new series, Kate Leaver reviews life’s banalities. She kicks things off by casting her critical eye over the comment section of TripAdvisor, specifically the ‘terrible’ category.

gurning alpacaMy new favourite hobby is loitering in the comments section of TripAdvisor. Specifically, the corner of the internet where hope goes to die: The ‘Terrible’ rating category on exquisite historical landmarks. It’s sensational for cyber people-watching; can’t recommend highly enough.

TripAdvisor reviews graphBut back it up for a second: TripAdvisor is this great whopping travel site where anyone can upload pictures, thoughts, and reviews of places around the world. You give a tourist attraction a rating from Excellent to Terrible, and scrawl your thoughts below to help other people decide where to visit.

Sure, if you legitimately need helpful information, look at the positive reviews and get on with your adventures. But if, like me, you delight in the peculiarities of human nature at its weirdest, HAVE I GOT A TREAT FOR YOU!

Forget reading the Excellent reviews, skip the Very Good, bypass the Average, don’t even bother with the Poor. Go straight to the ‘Terrible’ category. It’s where fabulously miserable adventurers go to throw shade at sites of wonder and loveliness: palaces, castles, beaches, churches, villas, exhibitions. These sweet, semi-internet-literate voyagers basically unbuckle their opinion pants and wee all over the most sacred and objectively beautiful places in the world. It’s fantastic.

See for yourself.

This is the Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Austria. It’s one of several exquisite palaces on rolling green grass, with rollicking great chandeliers and stunning Baroque interiors. It’s fucking majestic, that’s what.

Belvedere PalaceBut not for young ‘Dimitris P’:


Similarly, this is the Schönbrunn Palace. Pretty swish, right?

Schonbrunn PalaceNot everyone thinks so.

Here’s Bedlington’s ‘Roger N’ with his thoughts:


Then you’ve got Casual Palace Racism: Part 1.


If my Italian’s not mistaken, this young man sums up the entire Museum Quarter of Vienna as “a punch in the eye!!!”


And this Welsh traveller appears to suggest some sort of underground gargoyle employment program.


But this is possibly the greatest slam-dunk ‘terrible’ review to date: A detailed takedown of the Vienna Philharmonic, which is generally regarded as the finest orchestra in the world. #EdwardSForGuardianCritic


To be fair, Edward S is quite poetic in his total disdain for Austria’s greatest musical pride: Imagine, for a moment, the “cha cha cha of cameras” and the “sneaky talks from people”.

Signpost pointing to 'failure' and 'success'It goes on. And on. And on. Just reams of ordinary people with WiFi and a predilection for misery, slamming one sublime historic monument at a time. You could lose days in this particular vortex, stuck, in awe, as people compare castle interiors to various bodily functions.

For the unintended hilarity and total absence of irony, I give the ‘terrible’ reviews on TripAdvisor 4 STARS. Would recommend.

In the next Life Critic, Kate reviews HIIT workouts.


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Written by Kate Leaver

Wandering Australian journalist, professional-level Harry Potter fan, occasional funny person, gelato enthusiast. Still worried about the state of Britney Spears' mental health.