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Visitors take photo of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum

These European attractions are the most overcrowded with tourists right now

Castles, ruins and museums rake in throngs of tourists to Europe every year. But which should you maybe avoid?

Charmaine Wong

Europe : a continent steeped in rich tradition, culture, stunning landscapes… and tourists. From the royal palaces of  London to the temple ruins of  Athens , attractions across the continent have seen visitor number surge this summer, finally bouncing back to pre-2020 levels.

But overtourism  can mean inflated prices, increased pollution and damage, and just an overall unpleasant experience for travellers and locals alike. So if you’re looking to beat the crowds in Europe this summer, check out this list of places you might want to avoid.

The study, conducted by luxury travel company, The Thinking Traveller , dug through TripAdvisor reviews of popular tourist attractions across Europe. It zeroed in on the locations with the most and fewest mentions of ‘busy’ and ‘crowded’ in reviews.

Unsurprisingly, the top ten most overcrowded tourist attractions in Europe include iconic castles, historic sites and world-class museums. Edinburgh Castle in Scotland was named the single most overcrowded destination on the continent.  Other overcrowded locations on the list were Buckingham Palace , Venice’s Grand Canal, the Louvre in Paris and the Acropolis in Athens. Amidst all that heritage, Siam Park, the spectacular Tenerife water park, also made the list.

Below is the full list of the top ten overcrowded tourist attractions according to TripAdvisor reviews:

  • Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
  • Buckingham Palace, London
  • Siam Park, Tenerife
  • Canal Grande, Venice
  • Roman Baths, Bath
  • Tower of London , London
  • Louvre Museum, Paris
  • Acropolis, Athens
  • The British Museum , London
  • Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Looking for somewhere a little less busy? Here are Europe’s most underrated travel destinations  for a break this summer.

Did you see? These European cities are the most overcrowded with tourists right now.

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  • Charmaine Wong Contributor, Time Out Travel

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most overcrowded tourist spot in europe

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most overcrowded tourist spot in europe

12 European Cities Will Be Overcrowded This Summer. Go to These Instead

Georgie Darling

  • Travel News
  • Travel Tips

All of the highlights with slightly fewer people around.

Travel has opened back up worldwide, and experts predict that 2023 could see a 30% increase in tourism numbers compared to 2022. That’s great news if you’re a hotel, airline, or otherwise tourism-focused business that’s struggled over the last few years. But, it’s not so great news if you’re hoping to tick that bucket list destination off your list without crossing too many strangers’ paths.

According to Google Flights data , 2022’s most popular European destinations included London, Paris, Rome, and Lisbon. And, sure, these magical spots are well worth a visit. But if you’re hoping for some European adventures this summer but would prefer to go somewhere a less tourist-heavy, these alternatives offer a similar experience without the crowds.

Swap London for Brighton

London took the top spot on Google Flight’s ten trending destinations for 2022 list, and it’s easy to understand why. Cobbled streets and historic architecture sit alongside vibrant street art, global food markets, unique art galleries, and plenty of those quintessential red telephone boxes.  

Looking for London vibes without the London crowds? Take a train down to Brighton , London’s cooler, colorful sibling with the added bonus of a seafront. Brighton is well-loved for its quirky shopping streets, incredible food scene, and diverse cultural landscape. It’s known as the unofficial LGBTQ+ capital of Britain and is one of the most forward-thinking and friendly places to visit.

Still got London on the brain? Brighton is only around an hour on the train to central London, so it’s definitely possible to squeeze in both cities during your trip.

Swap Paris for Riga, Latvia

Not only is Riga , Latvia, a more underrated version of Paris, but it’s also significantly cheaper. This means you can spend evenings strolling its historic streets and sipping in wine bars without checking your bank balance often. Paris is known as the city of romance, but Riga definitely offers similar vibes.

Swap the tourist-heavy Seine River for the far calmer Daugava and the Eiffel Tower for Riga’s Radio and TV Tower. Its impressive observation deck is open to the public and offers wonderful views of terracotta rooftops, market squares, and the river with its endless bridges. If you’re searching for Paris’ gothic architecture, head to Riga’s Old Town for a similar experience without the crowds.

Recommended Fodor’s Video

Swap rome for pula, croatia.

You don’t need to brave the tourists in Rome to see a Roman colosseum . Instead of battling it out for a glimpse of this historic masterpiece, head to Pula , Croatia, for Roman ruins that are actually in better condition than the Colosseum in Italy. Pula is sometimes known as “The Little Rome of Croatia,” and its wider peninsula, Istria, was actually under Italian rule for many years.

The result? A gorgeous port-side city that’ll have you second-guessing exactly where you are. Pula is not only architecturally stunning but is also a gem for all kinds of travelers. Dig into fresh seafood on a terrace in the center or wander up to the castle for an unbeatable viewpoint. During the year, you’ll also find gladiator fights and cultural events at Pula’s Colosseum.

Swap Lisbon for Coimbra, Portugal

Lisbon’s pastel-colored buildings, iconic historical landmarks, and Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge ensure its perpetual popularity no matter the time of year. And that’s before we even mention the endless flow of Pasteis de Nata, sweet Port wine, and rich Bacalhau.

You’ll find all of the above and more in nearby Coimbra , located halfway between Lisbon and Porto. Accommodation in Coimbra is around half the price of Lisbon, with just as many gorgeous views. Set on the banks of the river Mondego, Coimbra is famed for having one of the world’s oldest universities (allegedly the inspiration for the Harry Potter series) with a slightly more laid-back pace of life than neighboring Lisbon. As the country’s former capital, it has a finger-on-the-pulse restaurant scene and plenty of centuries-old history.

Swap Santorini for Milos, Greece

It’s easy to ferry-hop between Santorini and Milos, but if you’re hoping for a Greek wine tasting, fresh lemon-doused olives, waves crashing against unique rock formations, and more without finding yourself squeezed up against a handful of other travelers, Milos is the place to go.

Milos is staggeringly beautiful and, with its 75+ beaches, has plenty of space for everyone to discover their own patch of beauty. Check into a boutique hotel and spend your days soaking up the sunshine overlooking the ocean or discover pastel-toned fishing villages and those quintessential white villages. Watch the sunset from Plaka Castle or explore the island’s endless caves and rock formations on a boat trip.

Swap Barcelona for Valencia, Spain

Tapas, wine, beaches, and art: it’s easy to understand why Barcelona is such a popular destination. But if you’re looking for all of the above with a little more breathing room, head to Valencia . With its historical old town, penchant for paella (its birthplace, in fact), and quiet beaches a short drive away, Valencia offers plenty of the same perks as Barcelona without the same tourist numbers.  

Valencia is best loved for being the City of Arts and Sciences, which means plenty of innovative museums and galleries to wander around. Valencia also scores a few extra bonus points for having more annual days of sunshine and being a little warmer during the peak summer months.

Swap Amsterdam for Utrecht, the Netherlands

If you’re a fan of the traditional wobbly Dutch houses, canal-side bars, and cobbled walkways, you’ll love Utrecht . This university town is only a 30-minute train away from Amsterdam and is reminiscent of what the capital used to be like before becoming quite so tourist-heavy.

Check out the iconic 14th-century Domtoren Tower or wander around the city’s museums or cultural landmarks. While it’s the fourth largest city in the country, Utrecht’s rustic restaurants, historical monuments, and intimate cafes still retain a cozy vibe. This beautiful city packs a lot into a small area, with shopping malls, green spaces, lively bars, and more tucked down its side streets.

Swap Copenhagen for Aarhus, Denmark

Charming side streets, chic harbor-side restaurants, and many beautiful parks: Aarhus is an underrated city for many reasons. Although smaller in size than Copenhagen, Aarhus is home to a number of cultural hotspots like The Old Town Museum and the ARoS Art Museum .

Foodies, in particular, will fall for this beautiful spot: with one of Scandinavia’s top culinary scenes located inside its borders, this is a city that goes above and beyond the standard Smørrebrød. Dig into flødeboller (chocolate-covered marshmallow treats) and wienerbrød (Danish pastries) while wandering this city’s stately cathedrals and buzzing marketplaces. Its breathtaking views of the bay and surrounding countryside offer the same laidback lifestyle as Denmark’s capital without its price tag or crowds.

Swap Munich for Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg goes above and beyond with its dedication to tradition and, if you’re looking to experience German culture without the crowds, is one of the best for providing all the highlights. This city’s storybook-like beauty provides the perfect backdrop for all kinds of travelers, with plenty of winding backstreets offering a haven for lovers of history, architecture, or food.

A feast for all of the senses, take a trip to Nuremberg to discover its local gastronomic delicacies like bratwurst and gingerbread, its traditional bars where you can sample locally brewed craft beers, and its endless array of grandiose churches dating back centuries. While many of Munich’s restaurants have tiptoed away from local origins in recent years, Nuremberg is still filled to the brim with traditional Franconian cuisine.

Swap Prague for Warsaw

If you head to Poland instead of the Czech Republic, you’ll be swapping Prague for Praga . This street-art-filled district is one of the city’s coolest, located close to Warsaw’s famous Old Town with its restored colorful buildings. The obvious swap here may have been Prague for Krakow, but Poland’s coolest second city is an intriguing and vibrant one, filled with culture, history, and impressively grand architecture.

The city was almost completely destroyed during World War II but was rebuilt in almost exactly the same way. And now? You can fill your iPhone camera roll with as much traditional architecture as you can, in a much better state than you’d expect from such historical-looking buildings. While both Eastern European cities have plenty to offer, Warsaw’s diverse music scene, mouthwatering cuisine, and rich history make this a great swap.

Swap Corfu, Greece, for Himarë, Albania

Spoiler alert: on a clear day, you can actually see Albania from Corfu. And, if you’re looking for idyllic Mediterranean beauty with all the trimmings and less of the crowds, Albania’s town of Himarë is a perfect choice. Located on the Albanian Riviera, Himarë has serene beaches backed by verdant mountains with stunning views over the Ionian Sea.  

While travelers flock to Corfu for its lively coastal towns and upmarket hotels, Himarë offers a more peaceful experience by preserving its age-old shoreline traditions and fishing villages. It also ticks all the boxes for different types of travelers: during the summer months, you’ll find a few international music festivals dotted along this stretch of the sea. Its small hamlets, picturesque harbors, and ancient ruins ensure a similar experience to Corfu in a far quieter environment.

Swap Lake Como for Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled is regularly touted as the “Lake Como of Slovenia.” Both lakes come with towering mountain backdrops, picture-perfect towns, and an endless array of nature-filled activities. But, if you’ve fallen in love with the Italian lakes but would prefer a slightly less Instagrammed backdrop, head to Slovenia instead.

Set in the gorgeous Slovenian Alps, Lake Bled is home to snow-capped mountains, clear blue skies, and crystal-clear waters just waiting to be explored. Visit the historical castles, and awe-inspiring churches tucked away around its shoreline, or take a day trip to Škofja Loka for hot springs, lush greenery, and medieval buildings. And don’t skimp on Slovenian food, either. Try Tolminc cheese, made with cream and sheep’s milk, or dig into traditional rolling cakes made of puff pastry and filled with jam.

Whoever wrote this has never been to Brighton in the summer. It gets packed with tourists.

Completely agree. If anything, go to Bath.

swapping Paris for Riga or London for Brighton? A bit farfetched...

100%. I don't know if anyone is going to be going to Riga and calling it Paris.

Not likely.

Swap it with Bucharest, which really is the little Paris

I totally agree with Lake Bled, Nurenberg, Valencia, Utrecht but how in the name of God could you swap ROME for Pula? I've been to Pula and its nice. The anfitheater is very pretty and thats about it. Nothing much to see there. 

  • Travel, Tourism & Hospitality ›
  • Leisure Travel

Overtourism in European destinations - Statistics & Facts

Many destinations in Europe are experiencing a tourism boom and although economically the industry is making a positive contribution , there have been rising concerns surrounding the impact mass tourism has on the environment and the need to curb so called ‘overtourism’. Cities such as Barcelona, Amsterdam and Venice are among the worst destinations for overtourism , with local authorities forced to deal with pressure from residents unhappy with the disruption from the influx of visitors. In Barcelona protests have been held by locals frustrated with the increasing number of tourists . In Amsterdam an increase in tourist taxes is already being implemented, along with marketing campaigns for outer city destinations, in an effort to reduce the number of stopover travelers and prevent overcrowding in popular areas. Locals in smaller destinations in particular have felt the effect of increasing tourism. Almost half of residents in the picturesque Belgian town of Bruges for instance, believed that tourism has caused it to become overcrowded . In Venice, the situation has become more critical, prompting the city to actively implement strategies to combat increasing tourist numbers that are said to be pushing the local population out of the city. With less than one million inhabitants, Venice still received 3.9 million foreign visitors in 2015 and recorded 1.6 million cruise passengers in 2016. These large-scale tourist numbers have led to calls for a ban on giant cruise ships, which aside from dwarfing the city have been known to damage Venice’s lagoon. Similar concerns have been raised around the number of cruise ships in other Mediterranean destinations such as Dubrovnik, where local authorities plan to limit visitor numbers inside the city walls. Many natural destinations also recognize the potential damage overtourism can have on the natural environment. According to a survey in 2016, 79 percent of Icelanders believed tourist pressure on Icelandic nature was too high. A large proportion also felt that the most popular natural attractions, such as the geysers, had too many visitors in the summer. However despite their concerns, only 18 percent of Icelanders agreed that there should be a cap on tourist numbers . Similarly in Bruges, despite the displeasure of overcrowding, most residents still recognize tourism’s contribution to the income and standard of living in the city. Sustainable practices appear to be key in managing the balance between the advantages and disadvantages of tourism; 2017 was announced as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, developed by the United Nations to help combat issues of overtourism and promote sustainable methods within the industry. In regards to the responsible parties for sustainable tourism practices , a survey of UK holidaymakers suggested it was up to the local government of the destination to ensure environmental standards and acceptable working conditions were met. It also showed that only 17 percent of travelers in 2017 planned to research the impact of tourism on their next destination. This text provides general information. Statista assumes no liability for the information given being complete or correct. Due to varying update cycles, statistics can display more up-to-date data than referenced in the text. Show more - Description Published by Statista Research Department , Mar 1, 2024

Key insights

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Most overcrowded European city destinations 2019

European countries with the highest number of inbound tourist arrivals 2019-2023

Contribution to growth in tourist arrivals in Europe 2016-2020, by market

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Number of international tourist arrivals in Venice 2011-2023

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This City Was Just Named the Most Overcrowded Tourist Spot in Europe

Hbo hit show "game of thrones" is partially to blame..


When we think about sustainable travel , we usually dwell on the most popular topics and conversations that spark around it. We wonder, for example, what we do to limit our CO2 emissions on a trip , or we pick our hotels and accommodations based on their efforts towards a greener impact on our planet. But especially in the last few years, there has been another sustainability-related issue lurking in the background, and it's called overtourism.

Lately, cities and countries alike have taken action towards the problem—including building literal fences —as overtourism can bring about complications both for residents and our planet in general. According to experts , the presence of too many tourists can lead to the damage of fragile environments or landmarks, scare wildlife, increase in local rents, and a general overcrowding of narrow roads.

Some cities, though, are more targeted than others, and at times pop culture has to do with it, too. Holidu, the vacation home rental agency, recently published a report on the most "over-touristed" cities in Europe and Croatia's Dubrovnik—which in the last few years gained a lot of tourism traction thanks to it being one of the main filming sets for the HBO hit show Game of Thrones —came out on top, surpassing the infamously over-touristed Venice by a good bit.

To come up with the results, Holidu considered annual tourism data from 2019 (the last pre-pandemic year) and calculated an estimation of the number of tourists to local residents. According to the report, Dubrovnik counts 36 tourists for every local resident. That is a lot, if we take into account that Dubrovnik is a relatively small city with a population of just over 41,000. In 2019, it welcomed almost 1.5 million tourists.

According to Croatia Week , overtourism has caused multiple issues in the Croatian city, from traffic jams to damages to infrastructure and a steep increase in prices as well as lower quality of life for residents. Dubrovnik, however, has been trying to curb the issue with different rules and regulations. Back in 2017, for example, following a recommendation from UNESCO, the city put in effort to enforce daily tourist limits and installed 116 cameras to count the number of tourists entering the Old Town.

This week, Dubrovnik also launched a new animated YouTube video aimed at spreading awareness of how to be a less disruptive visitor. Honestly, it's a pretty cute watch.

click to play video

Italy's Venetian gem followed Dubrovnik in the ranking, and came in second tied with Bruges in Belgium and Rhodes in Greece, each of them counting 21 tourists per resident. To take a look at the complete list, you can visit this website .

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My 13 Favorite European Cities To Avoid The Crowds

most overcrowded tourist spot in europe

  • Destinations

Before I get to list my favorite European cities with fewer crowds, my top tip is to avoid traveling to Europe during summer, especially in August. Instead, travel in the shoulder seasons (April-June and September-October) or even off-season (November-March, though remember that Christmas and the New Year are always busy). But I do understand that traveling out of season isn’t always possible. So if you are looking for some alternative European destinations, cities that fly under the radar but are just as special, then read on…

beautiful view on Symi island in Greece.

1. Symi, Greece

Greece is a perfect holiday destination. There are beaches galore, and you’ll find plenty to explore from history to boat trips and snorkeling. Fortunately, there are so many Greek islands that it’s relatively easy to find one free from crowds. Tucked between Rhodes and Kos, Symi is a world away from those tourist hotspots. Accessible only by ferry, you’ll arrive at one of the prettiest harbors in the world, with stunning pastel houses sprawling up the hillside. You can visit the island’s monastery, or take a bus up the hill to the little town. Little water “busses” cruise around the island, stopping at tiny coves which are only accessible from the water, and which have incredibly clear turquoise water. Many of these tiny beaches have a small tavern with delicious fresh fish. I can’t think of a better way to relax.

Saint Paul Church, Agios Pavlos, aerial view, Thessaloniki, Greece.

2. Thessaloniki, Greece

This is one of Greece’s best destinations for foodies, a melting pot of influences ranging from Arabia to Armenia. Restaurants here serve glorious gyros (meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie), flaky bougatsa (breakfast pastry), and inventive mezedes (appetizers). The market district is a labyrinth of tavernas and market stalls. There’s a promenade along the Aegean Sea and the upper town, called Ano Poli, which is full of crumbling Byzantine, Ottoman, and Roman buildings, many of which are World Heritage Sites. You could start your day on one of the local sandy beaches, and finish it watching the sunset over the harbor from the upper town. 

Channel river in Bologna Italy.

3. Bologna, Italy 

Bologna , Italy’s top gastronomic destination, has a charming red-brick old town of colonnaded squares. Piazza Maggiore is the heart of the old town, with a lively university district to the south, food-filled alleys to the east, and interesting churches and medieval towers. The university, home to 80,000 students, has a magnificent anatomical theatre dating back to 1637. Pinacoteca Nazionale (National Art Gallery) has a magnificent collection of artwork, which unlike elsewhere in Italy, is not so crowded that you are left peering over a sea of heads to see. 

Pro Tip: Go in shoulder-season March or April for warm, sunny weather; December has fine Christmas markets.

Pitigliano City on the cliff in summer, Italy.

4. Pitigliano, Italy

If you really want to find one of the best places in Tuscany without being shoulder-to-shoulder with the tourists of Florence or San Gimignano, then head a little further south and explore the town of Pitigliano. Located between the western coast and the town of Orvieto, Pitigliano is the place to go to explore small artisan shops or eat pizza under a shady tree; this is a town where you can explore the streets without worrying about getting lost in the crowds. 

Pro Tip: Stay in a local Agriturismo (farm stay) like Le Sorgenti Agriturismo for a relaxing escape from the city.   

Lyon. Cityscape image of Lyon, France during sunset.

5. Lyon, France

Lyon is a beautiful city of riverfronts, medieval streets, and café-filled squares. Less hurried and more laidback than Paris, this is the gastronomic capital of France. Beyond food, the city has a World Heritage-listed old town full of French Gothic and Renaissance buildings, plus a hilltop Roman amphitheater. There are no queues at the Musee des Beaux-Arts Lyon, which houses the biggest collection of Impressionist art outside of Paris. Lyon is also the birthplace of modern cinema, and the Musée Lumière celebrates the Lumière brothers, inventors of cinematography. 

Pro Tip: I’d suggest staying between the Saône and Rhône rivers, in one of the 15 rooms at the Hotel Vaubecour .  

Chateau and vineyard in Margaux, Bordeaux, France.

6. Bordeaux, France

Arriving in Bordeaux , it is immediately apparent that you’ve arrived in the wine capital of the world. Before you hit the wineries, explore La Cite du Vin, an interactive museum dedicated to the history of wine production. The self-guided tour winds up on the 8th floor, where you can enjoy a glass of wine with some breath-taking views. Bordeaux is more than just grapes and fine wine though. There’s stunning gothic-style architecture, like the 15th-century Tour Pey Berland (the bell tower of the Bordeaux Cathedral). There’s also the city’s fabulous food and drink scene. Head to the west side of the river and café hop between Place de la Bourse and the Museum of Fine Arts, and then head to the Marché des Capucins (food market) to sample local cheese and wine – I’d recommend the oysters. 

Beachside tourist hotel resort on Koločep Island (Elaphiti Islands) with swimming pool at sunset.

7. Elaphiti Islands, Croatia 

Croatia has become popular in recent years, thanks in a large part to the series Game of Thrones . But while Dubrovnik is packed with tourists in the summer months, just a 40-minute ferry ride away are the quiet Elaphiti Islands. Kolocep and Lopud Islands are car-free, which makes for a pretty and peaceful paradise (you can get around by golf cart, but everything is within walking distance). Sunj Beach on Lopud Island has a shallow, sandy beach, where you can go snorkeling and see some pretty fish. For the more adventurous, you can go kayaking around the Elaphiti Islands, a great way to discover hidden bays and secluded beaches. 

Pro Tip: There’s an underwater cave near Sipan Island, which can only be reached by kayak. Don’t miss it if you have the chance!

Korčula in Croatia next to the Adriatic sea.

8. Lumbarda, Croatia

A little further from Dubrovnik is Korcula Island with its picturesque village Lumbarda. Lumbarda is 5 miles from historic Korcula Town and is a pretty, hilly village situated around a small harbor overlooking the Skoji Archipelago. There are several welcoming and friendly restaurants and bars which offer fabulous views of the Adriatic. You can rent bikes, paddle boards, and kayaks. The water is pristine, visibility for snorkeling is fantastic, and the sea is luxuriously warm for swimming. There’s also an easy coastal path where you can walk and enjoy beautiful views over the sea, especially at sunset.

Pro Tip: On a Friday evening, the village square hosts a Fisherman’s Market, where local people set up stalls selling wine, dinners (mostly fresh-caught fish), and delicious, local desserts.

Canal Oudegracht in the night colorful illuminations in the blue hour, Utrecht, Netherlands.

9. Utrecht, Netherlands 

How is it possible that the Netherland’s fourth-largest city is so relatively unknown? Only an hour’s train ride from Schiphol Airport and just half an hour from central Amsterdam, Utrecht is a relaxed alternative to Amsterdam, with similar architecture and canals, but none of the tourist tat or crowds. Compact and mostly pedestrian (though cyclists are everywhere), Utrecht is easily walked, with architectural treats and antiques dealers on every corner, and several splendid castles in the surrounding countryside. The town has a number of notable music festivals in the summer, and the Netherlands Film Festival is held here annually in autumn.  

Pro Tip: Don’t miss climbing to the top of the 700-year-old Dom Tower for fabulous views over the gabled merchants’ houses and narrow canals of this quaint but buzzing city. 

Cathedral of Valencia on the Square of the Blessed Virgin.

10. Valencia, Spain 

Valencia , Spain’s third-largest city, is a 4-hour train trip from Barcelona, yet has much fewer visitors. Great for shopping and home to a fascinating science museum, aquarium, and opera house, Valencia also has fantastic, inventive restaurants, and streets filled with locals rather than just tourists. Walk through the city to see medieval buildings, art deco apartments, and the Turia Gardens which meander through the center of town. Valencia Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece opened in 1262, Museo de Bellas Artes houses 2,000 artworks dating from the 14th through 17th centuries, and Mercado Central is one of the country’s best food markets.

Picturesque town of Frigiliana located in mountainous region of Malaga, Costa del Sol, Andalusia, Spain.

11. Frigiliana, Spain

When thinking of visiting Spain in summer, you might be picturing beaches filled with sun beds and umbrellas, all-inclusive hotels, and streets lined with Irish bars. But look further afield and you can find some really special places off the beaten path, like the picturesque area of Frigiliana. Described as the “prettiest village in Andalusia” by the Spanish tourism authority, this quaint area is only a few minutes’ drive from the hustle and bustle of Marbella, yet it seems a world away. It has a traditional Spanish vibe, with no big hotels and no tourist crowds. There are many nearby tourist attractions, like hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains (the impressive hanging bridges are fun), visiting the nearby Caves of Nerja (caverns that stretch underground for almost 3.5 miles), or going to see how the “other half” live in Puerto Banus (the Costa del Sol ’s playground for the rich and famous, and the most expensive leisure port in Europe).

Stuttgart, Germany, Schlossplatz.

12. Stuttgart, Germany 

Stuttgart is a city that packs a punch without the swarms of tourists you’ll find in the nearby cities of Munich and Frankfurt. The Schlossplatz (Palace Square) is the vibrant heart of the city, with the baroque palace standing regally in the background. Killesberg Hill Park is the green oasis in the middle of the city where you can enjoy the Biergardens or climb to the top of the Killesberg tower for views of the city below. For the car aficionados, there are two car museums (Porsche and Mercedes Benz) to keep you busy. Stuttgart is also the perfect jumping-off point for visiting other small towns in the area, such as the famous Triberg with its waterfall, black forest clocks, and cake.

Pro Tip: A good place to stay is the centrally located Maritim Hotel . 

Street view of Sporgasse in Graz in Austria in January.

13. Graz, Austria 

Graz is Austria ‘s second-largest city but is little-known to many. Only a 2 and a half hour scenic train ride from Vienna, this city, with a population of 270,000, has none of Vienna’s pretensions, yet still has enough history and culture to be interesting. The Renaissance old town is lived in with shopping streets such as Herrengasse and Sporgasse winding their way through the town. Above, walking paths and battlements on Schlossberg rock provide some impressive views, and the Styrian Armory (the world’s largest collection of arms and armor) is surprisingly interesting. 

And there you have it, my suggestions for some alternative European destinations that you can head for when you want to escape the crowds but don’t want to miss out on a fantastic European vacation.

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Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, before moving to Africa at the age of 21, Sarah Kingdom is a mountain climber and guide, traveler, yoga teacher, trail runner, and mother of two. When she is not climbing or traveling she lives on a cattle ranch in central Zambia. She guides and runs trips regularly in India, Nepal, Tibet, Russia, and Ethiopia, taking climbers up Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro numerous times a year.

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Unexpected UK tourist attraction named the most overcrowded hotspot in Europe

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View from Calton Hill at sunrise, Edinburgh

Heading on holiday to Europe this summer?

Well, once you’ve worked out how to stay cool during the stifling heatwave , the next order of business is avoiding the crowds.

Of course, it’s great that some of the world’s most impressive sites have bounced back post-pandemic in terms of visitor numbers, but too many tourists often equals steep prices and accidental damage or pollution.

And let’s face it, no one wants to spend their precious annual leave in a queue, or shuffling amongst other tourists.

Thankfully, new research, conducted by luxury travel company,  The Thinking Traveller , has ranked the most overcrowded tourist attractions in Europe that you might want to avoid.

Analysing TripAdvisor reviews, the list was compiled by finding locations with the most mentions of ‘crowded’ and ‘busy’.

And, it’s bad news for those heading to Scotland. Edinburgh Castle was named the most overcrowded destination on the continent.

Buckingham Palace

Next up was Buckingham Palace , followed by Siam Park, the waterpark in Tenerife .

Other iconic sites such as the Grand Canal in Venice, and the Louvre in Paris also made the list.

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Top 10 overcrowded tourist attractions in Europe

  • Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
  • Buckingham Palace, London
  • Siam Park, Tenerife
  • Canal Grande, Venice
  • Roman Baths, Bath
  • Tower of London, London
  • Louvre Museum, Paris
  • Acropolis, Athens
  • The British Museum, London
  • Musée d’Orsay, Paris

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Beat the crowds: Here’s which European capitals officially have the most - and least - tourists

Amsterdam welcomes the most tourists per resident.

These are the European capital cities with the most tourists per resident.

Travel is back in full swing - but not all places are embracing the return of tourists.

Overtourism has become a major issue everywhere from Europe’s beaches to popular capital cities.

To combat overcrowding, some destinations have introduced restrictions ranging from visitor caps in Marseille, France to a cruise ship ban in Venice, Italy.

No one wants to arrive at their holiday destination to find themselves in the latter part of an ‘Instagram vs reality’ post. So how can you avoid this?

We’ve crunched the numbers to find out which European cities are the most - and least - crowded with tourists .

Using data from holiday rental search engine Holidu, which compared local population sizes with 2019 tourist numbers, here are the European capital cities with the most tourists per resident.

What is the most overtouristed capital city in Europe?

Amsterdam has the highest number of tourists per resident. The Dutch capital has 12 tourists for every one of its inhabitants.

Known as the ‘Venice of the North’, Amsterdam has more than 160 canals and 1,200 bridges criss-crossing them. While the city has been a destination for cannabis, alcohol and prostitution for some, Amsterdam now aims to change its reputation .

The city is home to countless elegant houses, bars and coffee shops. A visit to the Van Gogh Museum is also a must.

Which other European capitals are packed with tourists?

Dublin comes in second place with 11 tourists per resident in the Holidu listing.

Ireland’s fun-loving capital is the home of Guinness, and the beer’s brewery tours have welcomed close to 23 million people since first opening in 2000.

Tourists also flock to the iconic Temple Bar, a cobbled street lined with bars hosting live folk bands - including the much-photographed Temple Bar Pub.

Estonia ’s capital snags third place with 10 tourists per inhabitant. The Eastern European country has plenty to explore beyond Tallinn. With the Baltic Sea to both the north and west, it is home to thousands of islands brimming with nature and history.

France’s capital, Paris , comes in fourth with nine tourists per resident. The City of Love draws visitors scrambling to see the famed Eiffel Tower. The Louvre, meanwhile, is the most visited museum in the world.

Athens , Greece’s capital, is another of the most popular capitals with eight tourists per inhabitant.

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Where are the least crowded capitals in Europe?

Are you looking for a city break that’s a little less crowded? According to Holidu, Germany’s Berlin , Spain’s Madrid, Belgium’s Brussels and Hungary’s Budapest are the ‘least-touristed’ capitals with only two tourists per resident.

Among the other European capital cities, Prague in the Czech Republic has eight tourists per inhabitant; Edinburgh in Scotland has seven; Copenhagen in Denmark and Lisbon in Portugal have six. Stockholm in Sweden, Vienna in Austria and Rome in Italy have four. The UK's London has three.

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What about Europe’s non-capital cities?

Are you more interested in visiting cities beyond the capitals? In many cases, they face worse overcrowding due their smaller sizes and seasonal popularity.

Dubrovnik in Croatia , according to Holidu, welcomed an average of 36 tourists per inhabitant in 2019. As these visitors primarily come for summer holidays, the coastal city is most overcrowded in this season.

Italy’s Venice , Belgium’s Bruges and the Greek island of Rhodes, each with 21 tourists per resident, come next.

Like Dubrovnik, Rhodes is mostly visited for summer holidays, when the crowds of tourists dramatically increase.

Turkey’s Antalya and Muğla, which are very popular among European tourists, had five and three visitors per inhabitant, respectively.

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France Hotel Guide's Blog

These 2 Paris Attractions Are Among the 10 Most Overcrowded in Europe Right Now

Paris is a dream destination for many tourists, with its iconic landmarks and rich history. However, some attractions are drawing overwhelming crowds, which can lead to higher prices, more pollution, and a less enjoyable experience.

If you’re planning a trip to Paris, here’s what you need to know about its busiest spots.

Louvre Museum #7

visitors at the louvre

The Louvre is not just the most visited museum in the world; it’s also one of the most crowded.

Home to the Mona Lisa and countless other masterpieces, it attracts millions of visitors annually.

This summer, the surge in tourists has made navigating its vast halls a challenge. If you still want to visit, consider going early in the morning or on a weekday to avoid the heaviest crowds.

Musée d’Orsay #10

overcrowded orsay

Another Parisian gem, the Musée d’Orsay, is housed in a stunning former railway station.

It boasts an incredible collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces.

Like the Louvre, it has seen a significant increase in visitors. The crowds can make it difficult to fully appreciate the art, so plan your visit strategically, perhaps late in the afternoon.

Strategies for Visiting

To make the most of your Parisian adventure while avoiding the worst of the crowds, consider these tips:

  • Early Visits : Arrive as soon as the museums open.
  • Weekday Trips : Avoid weekends when local and international tourists flood the attractions.
  • Pre-book Tickets : Secure your entry times in advance to skip long lines.

Other Overcrowded Spots in Europe

While Paris has its hotspots, the issue of overcrowding is a Europe-wide phenomenon. According to a study by The Thinking Traveller , other heavily crowded attractions include Edinburgh Castle, Buckingham Palace, and Venice’s Grand Canal. These sites, along with Paris’s top museums, are best visited with careful planning to ensure a more pleasant experience.

As you dream about your next Paris trip, remember that some of the most popular attractions might require extra patience and planning. Stay informed and consider exploring some of Paris’s lesser-known treasures to enjoy the city without the stress of large crowds.

Below is the full list of the top ten overcrowded tourist attractions according to TripAdvisor reviews:

  • Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
  • Buckingham Palace, London
  • Siam Park, Tenerife
  • Canal Grande, Venice
  • Roman Baths, Bath
  • Tower of London, London
  • Louvre Museum, Paris
  • Acropolis, Athens
  • The British Museum, London
  • Musée d’Orsay, Paris


I aim to share my tips and recommendations for the beautiful country of France. My goal is to help you plan your next adventure, whether it’s a weekend getaway or a once-in-a-lifetime trip. From finding the best hotels and restaurants, to discovering unique activities and sights, I’ve got you covered!

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Summer travelers are flocking to northern and central European cities like Brussels and Munich to avoid Mediterranean heat and crowds

The rising sun shines through a gap in the old buildings in the central square in Brussels

Travelers are increasingly opting to skip Europe’s most-visited cities and beachside locales in favor of less-frequented destinations for summer vacations this year. Fresh data shared with Bloomberg by Chase Travel shows that cities with the biggest year-on-year tourism increases this summer include such off-the-beaten-track destinations as Brussels, Munich, Zurich and Warsaw. (The data, based on cardmember spending, shows that the most-booked cities are still London, Paris and Rome.)

The shifting emphasis toward secondary cities largely reflects surging prices in Mediterranean hotspots like the Amalfi Coast as well as record heat on the continent, say industry experts. Soaring inflation put average luxury room rates in Europe above $1,700 in 2023, according to data from Virtuoso, a luxury travel adviser group—almost double 2019’s $900 figure. These record rates are set to climb by an additional 9% this summer, says Misty Belles, Virtuoso’s vice president for global public relations. This is affecting where people choose to book, she says. 

“We’re seeing a desire to go to locations or destinations where the rates aren’t so exorbitant,” Belles explains, confirming Chase’s findings. “If you can’t afford Italy, or France or some of the traditional destinations, Belgium is going to be better value.” A search on Google Hotels shows rooms at five-star hotels in Brussels available for less than $500 during the first week of June; in Paris, the price is closer to $900.

Belles also says that travelers are willing to try alternate destinations in the face of Europe’s heat waves. Last year was the continent’s second-warmest on record, and each month of 2024 has brought further records. With the mercury having risen to 118F in places like Sardinia last summer, 75F average highs in Zurich look awfully appealing. 

And that’s without considering the crowds.

“Last summer, Europe was so very crowded, on top of being unbelievably hot,” says Belles. The combination has made more people seek destinations further north in Europe, she explains, with bookings at Virtuoso to the Netherlands up 33%, bookings to Austria up 31% and those to Germany 26%.

“Don’t worry about Italy, it’s going to be fine,” Belles says. “But other parts of Europe are starting to attract significant numbers.”

One place where growth has triggered concern is Amsterdam. The city ranks fifth among Chase’s fastest-growing destination cities, despite tourism figures that led the government to launch a “stay away”campaign to discourage mass tourism. 

Rebecca Masri, founder of luxury travel app Little Emperors, has a solution for those dead set on returning to old favorites despite prices, weather and crowds: Go after Labor Day. After all, she says, the traditional European summer season no longer feels as if it ends in August. 

As she puts it, “Our high season for places like Italy and Greece is now September.” 

Here is a list of the fastest-growing summer destinations among Europe’s cities, should you wish to take Masri’s advice.

Europe’s Fastest-Growing Urban Destinations 

  • Brussels (73% year-on-year growth)
  • Munich (63%)
  • Zurich (59%)
  • Warsaw (55%)
  • Amsterdam (54%)
  • Vienna (53%)
  • Shannon, Ireland (53%)
  • Zagreb, Croatia (51%)
  • Prague (49%)
  • Budapest (48%)

Source: Chase Travel

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Brussels and Berlin Are Two of This Summer’s Travel Hot Spots—Here’s Why

They're among the top 10 most-booked cities in europe thanks to skyrocketing costs and heat waves, according to new data., abby montanez, abby montanez's most recent stories.

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The data, which was based on Chase cardmember spending, found that London , Rome, and Paris were still the most-booked cities among vacationers. However, rising prices due to inflation continue to hinder plans. Last year, Virtuoso revealed that average rates for luxury hotels across Europe had surpassed $1,700 a night—a 69 percent leap from the average $979 per night people were shelling out in 2019.  


At the same time, severe weather also shifted travel patterns, and this year is no different. In 2023, the continent was hit by flooding, wildfires, droughts, and the warmest year on record. “Last summer, Europe was so very crowded, on top of being unbelievably hot,” added Belles. Travelers are now seeking out cooler locations, even if that means heading further north. Data from Virtuoso recorded a 33 percent uptick in Netherlands bookings, a 31 percent increase in trips to Austria, and a 26 percent spike in bookings to Germany .  

“Don’t worry about Italy, it’s going to be fine,” Belles explained. “But other parts of Europe are starting to attract significant numbers.”  

Abigail Montanez is a staff writer at Robb Report. She has worked in both print and digital publishing for over half a decade, covering everything from real estate, entertainment, dining, travel to…

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Ranking of the most crowded tourist cities in Europe


For anyone dreaming of a getaway to one of Europe's most popular cities, you might want to think twice before travelling to these locations: they could be super crowded with tourists! The Holidu portal has ranked the most crowded cities in Europe , inviting tourists to choose other times to visit them without missing out on their beauty.

Dubrovnik, Croatia - 36 tourists per inhabitant

Venice, italy - 21 tourists per inhabitant, bruges, belgium - 21 tourists per inhabitant, rhodes, greece - 21 tourists per inhabitant, reykjavik, iceland - 16 tourists per inhabitant, the other cities in the top 10 most crowded with tourists, top 5 most popular european cities for tourists.

It was to be expected: Dubrovnik is the most crowded city with tourists in Europe! In addition to having been a city of the Venetian Republic, whose architectural style it preserves (there is also an Italian name for the city, Ragusa), it is also known for its beautiful orange roofs and for its presence in the acclaimed Game of Thrones; Dubrovnik has as many as 36 tourists for every one of its inhabitants! Having a relatively small population, Dubrovnik sees an influx of tourists during the summer months, especially in July and August. The best advice is to visit in early May or from mid-September to mid-October to avoid the crowds. In September, although there are far fewer tourists, there are still some events that attract visitors from all over the world, such as the International Late Summer Music Festival.


On the other side of the Adriatic, in second place is Venice with its narrow streets and bridges, it is quite understandable that it is very crowded! Venice has a complicated history with excessive tourism. The infrastructure has often been strained by tourists, especially day tourists, who usually disembark from cruise ships that stop for a few hours and offer no real economic benefit to the city. The city has even banned cruise ships from sailing in the historic centre of Venice in August 2021, and there is talk of the possibility of introducing an entrance fee to the city. The best time to visit is from September to November and the advice is to stay for at least two or three nights.


In third place is Bruges and its wonderful medieval architecture. Bruges is a small city with a big reputation: it has 21 tourists per inhabitant and attracts crowds, especially from the end of May until most of the summer. Tourists flock to admire the beautiful architecture and picturesque canals. Moreover, being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a city that must be visited. However, with 21 tourists per inhabitant, we recommend going there in spring and autumn to avoid the crowds, as it is still quite warm but you will not have to queue long (early May or September).


Next on our list is Rhodes, Greece, the largest of the Dodecanese islands! Rhodes is known for its ancient ruins and beautiful seaside resorts, so it is easy to understand why it has as many as 21 tourists per inhabitant. With its medieval streets and palaces, Rhodes offers history and wonderful beaches in the same place. We strongly recommend visiting between April and May to avoid the high tourist season, crowds and high prices.

With 16 tourists per inhabitant, Reykjavik ranks 5th in the ranking. Known for its picturesque nature and rugged landscapes, Iceland boasts breathtaking waterfalls, blue lagoons, extraordinary glaciers and active volcanoes. Reykjavik is known for its vibrant nightlife and music festivals. The high season for Iceland is during the summer months between June and August. This is the period when the climate is milder and there is more daylight. May and September are the ideal months for those seeking a quieter holiday as it is much less crowded during these periods.

6. Florence, Italy - 13 tourists per inhabitant

7. Heraklion, Greece - 13 tourists per inhabitant

8. Amsterdam, Netherlands - 12 tourists per inhabitant

9. Dublin, Ireland - 11 tourists per inhabitant

10. Tallinn, Estonia - 10 tourists per inhabitant

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The Lake Como Greenway, also known as the Greenway of Lario, is a pedestrian route that stretches along the western shore of the lake for about 10 kilometres. In addition to the marvellous views, the path allows you to discover ancient villages, historic villas with their gardens, and churches that tell centuries of art history. Here is everything you need to know about hiking along the Lake Como Greenway.

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Living in Cefalù: the wonderful seaside village 70 km from Palermo

Cefalù, a beautiful town in the province of Palermo, offers a unique combination of history, culture, and natural beauty. A beloved seaside destination, it is also a place where you can consider living year-round. If you are thinking about moving to this charming location or simply want to know more about what it's like to live in Cefalù, here is some information that might be useful to you.


Italy off the beaten path: less touristy places in Italy to visit

Italy's renowned cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice captivate millions, but the country's allure extends far beyond these iconic destinations. Nestled amidst its picturesque landscapes lie countless charming towns and cities, waiting to be discovered. These hidden gems and less touristy places in Italy offer a window into authentic Italian culture and history, away from the hustle and bustle of tourist crowds.

narrowest street in Italy

Italy's skinny secret: Unveiling the charm of the country's narrowest street

Streets in cities serve for the passage of people, but this isn't always the case, especially in this village in Abruzzo which is home to the narrowest street in Italy. Let's find out more.

curiosities about Verona

6 interesting facts about Verona that you might not know

Verona is not only the city of Romeo and Juliet, but a place where history, culture and legends are intertwined in a fascinating and perhaps unique way. Besides the best-known places and stories, however, there are also many curiosities and interesting facts to discover and unusual places to visit. Before planning an excursion or a trip, here are 6 interesting facts about Verona that you should know.

The best hidden gems to visit in summer tourist hot spots, from someone who's been to every European country

  • Lee Abbamonte is a banker turned travel blogger who has visited every country in Europe.  
  • He calls Spain, Italy, France, and Greece Europe's "Big Four" because of how popular they are.
  • If you're visiting one of the "Big Four," here are Abbamonte's off-the-beaten-path tips. 

Insider Today

Traveling to Europe this summer? If so, we'll take a wild guess that you're visiting either Spain, Italy, France, or Greece.

These countries, nearly all of which are in the southern or Mediterranean regions, are what travel blogger Lee Abbamonte dubs Europe's "Big Four" because of their popularity among American tourists .

Abbamonte, 45, knows a thing or two about travel. He's not only visited every state in the US but every country in the world, as well as the North and South Poles.

Across the pond, Abbamonte prefers exploring underrated European countries , but he gets why people gravitate to the "Big Four."

"If you don't like it, you're the problem," he said. "They're all good."

Still, he's a fan of venturing off the beaten path.

Here, Abbamonte shares a few alternatives to popular tourist hot spots that anyone visiting Spain, Italy, France, and Greece should check out.

In Spain, forget Barcelona or Madrid and explore the cliffside city of Ronda

"Everyone knows Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Ibiza, Majorca," Abbamonte said. But not many Americans are familiar with the historic city of Ronda, perched atop a deep rocky gorge covered in lush greenery in the Andalucia region.

"If you're in Marbella, or if you're in Sevilla or Gibraltar, you can go out there and check out this awesome little town," Abbamonte said.

He also can't speak highly enough of northern Spain. One highlight is the seaside town of A Coruña, which is close to the Camino de Santiago, a network of pilgrimage routes leading to a holy site in the city of Santiago de Compostela.

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"I've done a lot of road trips around the north of Spain," Abbamonte said. "It's just an awesome little slice of Europe that nobody ever goes to."

If you're planning to island-hop in Greece, Abbamonte has recommendations that aren't Mykonos or Santorini

Mykonos and Santorini are two of the most well-known islands in Greece. Naturally, they're also two of the most overcrowded.

People familiar with Greece, like Abbamonte, often advise against visiting Mykonos and Santorini in favor of smaller islands that are quieter but just as beautiful, such as Aegina, Poros, and Hydra.

Abbamonte said Hydra, in particular, is worth seeing.

"There are no cars, and it's just goats and donkeys and walking. It's a very cool place to go."

On the mainland, he'd also advise stopping by Meteora in Thessaly, known for its "otherworldly" monasteries built atop towering rock formations.

In Italy, there are places just as beautiful as Lake Como and Florence that are far less crowded

According to Abbamonte, "With Italy, you can just throw a dart at a map, and you're in the coolest place you've ever been to."

Even so, some of Abbamonte's favorite spots in Italy don't get the love he believes they deserve. In the region of Tuscany for example, he says people tend to prioritize Florence, Pisa, or Siena.

All three are definitely worth seeing at least once, Abbamonte said, but he'd also recommend exploring smaller villages nestled between Tuscany's rolling hills, such as San Gimignano, Montalcino, and Montepulciano — all known for their endless vineyards and wines.

"Those are actually really awesome little villages and well worth checking out," he said.

Up in the north, Abbamonte said he'd skip Lake Como for any of the other Italian lakes close to the Dolomite mountains.

"It's my favorite place to road trip, probably, in all of Europe," he said.

Vacation like a local in France and visit Biarritz instead of Paris or Nice

Abbamonte cited Paris and Nice as examples of some of France's best-known vacation spots.

However, he said they are mostly hot spots for tourists rather than French locals, who tend to vacation in places "completely overlooked" by outsiders.

One of his favorites is Biarritz, a seaside hub known for its surfing culture in the Basque region of France. It's north of San Sebastian, a coastal Spanish city popular with tourists that is about a half-hour drive from the French border.

"Everyone knows San Sebastian now. Not a lot of people know Biarritz except for French people," he said. "But that's why I like it because it has a real, local kind of old money, Grace Kelly feel."

Other spots in France that he recommends checking out are the medieval town of Saint Paul De Vence on the French Riviera , beloved by generations of artists and poets, and the riverside city of Avignon in the southeast, one of his "favorite towns in all of Europe."

Correction: June 4, 2024 — An earlier version of this story misstated the location of A Coruña. It's in northwestern Spain, not in Spain's Basque region. The story also misstated the location of Monte Carlo, which is in Monaco, not France.

Watch: Was Italy's $1 home scheme worth it?

most overcrowded tourist spot in europe

  • Main content

County Clare location among most Instagrammable spots in Europe

Known for its dramatic heights and breathtaking views of the atlantic ocean, this stunning spot was hashtagged in 750k instagram posts and googled 1.1 million times..

The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland.

The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare was named one of the "most Instagrammable spots in Europe" in a new study.

With its rugged coastlines, ancient castles, and wild beauty, Ireland is a dream destination for any photographer.  

To find the most Insta-worthy tourist spots, DrückGlück analyzed destinations across Europe, examining the frequency with which each location was hashtagged on Instagram as well as its popularity on Google. The aim of the study was to highlight lesser-known yet highly Instagrammable locations that have gained popularity on social media.

Ireland's Cliffs of Moher took fourth place on the top 10 list, being hashtagged in 750K Instagram posts.  With 1.1 million Google searches, this location also was looked up on the internet more than it was hashtagged.

Sign up to IrishCentral's newsletter to stay up-to-date with everything Irish!

Known for its dramatic heights and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, this stunning spot is definitely photo worthy. It's no wonder this County Clare location frequently ranks as the top tourist attraction on the Emerald Isle.

Santorini, Greece, with its beautiful sunsets and iconic blue-domed churches, earned the top spot on the list. It was hashtagged 7.8M times on Instagram with almost as many searches for it online.

Following in second was Cinque Terre in Italy, with 2.5M Instagram hashtags. Having over 4.4 million Google searches, interest in its colorful towns and panoramic views exceeded the number of hashtags.

Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic, claimed the third spot, with 800K Instagram hashtags. It was Googled over 250K times for its Gothic architecture and views of the Vltava River.

Rounding out the top five was the Faroe Islands in Denmark, with 700K Instagram hashtags. Loved for its rugged landscapes and unique beauty, the island was googled over 6 times more than it was hashtagged on Instagram.

You can check out the complete top 10 list below.

Most Instagrammable Places in Europe:

  • Santorini, Greece
  • Cinque Terre, Italy
  • Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
  • Faroe Islands, Denmark
  • Mont Saint-Michel, France
  • Lavender Fields, Provence, France
  • Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
  • Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy
  • Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

most overcrowded tourist spot in europe

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Related: Cliffs of Moher

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most overcrowded tourist spot in europe

What you need to know about European travel this summer

With headlines warning of everything from flight delays to wildfires, summer travel is changing. Here’s how to make sure your trip this summer goes smoothly.

Record numbers of tourists are expected to visit Europe this summer. In the first three months of 2024, the number of international arrivals has already risen by 7.2% compared to 2019’s pre-pandemic figures, according to the European Travel Commission , with 120 million international tourists visiting the region in that time. Yet while this is welcome news for the tourism industry, some challenges remain for visitors, especially during the summer’s busy peak season, when potential flight delays, high temperatures, new laws and major events could all impact travel. Here’s what you need to know to make sure your European trip this summer goes smoothly.

1. What you need to know about flight disruptions

Increased passenger numbers, staff shortages and strikes meant there were 106.7 million delayed air passengers in Europe during peak summer months last year. More than 700,000 passengers were affected over the August bank holiday in the UK alone following a technical meltdown at air traffic control. This year, EasyJet has had to cancel over 100 flights from Paris due to a no-fly zone during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Ryanair has also cut flights from its summer schedule after the delivery of several of its new Boeing aircraft was delayed. If you’re due to fly, visit the airport’s website for the latest information, and check social media for real-time updates from other travellers. Remember that you may be owed compensation if you face disruption, but rules vary, so take out a travel insurance policy as soon as you book flights.

( What should you do if your flight is delayed or cancelled? )

2. Why you should consider travelling by train

Keep your carbon footprint low, avoid airport hassle and see even more of Europe this summer by taking advantage of a whole host of new and expanded routes across the continent. New services include a high-speed route connecting Barcelona to Madrid and Seville , a sleeper train from Brussels to Prague , a daily train between Vilnius and Riga , a relaunched night train between Paris and Nice and a sleeper train from Rome to the Dolomites . Following the success of Germany’s €49 unlimited monthly travel pass last year, France has also introduced its own nationwide rail pass for the same price. However, this is only valid for those under 27 and excludes high-speed TGV trains and travel in the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France.

( 6 of the world’s best coastal rail journeys .)

most overcrowded tourist spot in europe

3. What to do you if you’re affected by wildfires

Following unprecedented high temperatures, wildfires swept through some of Europe’s most popular tourist spots last summer, scorching parts of Tenerife, mainland Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy. This year, protective measures have already been put in place that aim to prevent a repeat of the disaster, with Greece banning all outdoor fires from April and increasing investment in fire detection and water tankers. To ensure you’re protected if the worst happens, arrange travel insurance at the time of booking, then keep an eye on official travel advisories for up-to-date information. If you’re affected by wildfires or any other natural disasters when you’re away, follow the advice of the emergency services and evacuate when instructed, then contact your tour operator or airline for help getting home.

( What to do if you’re caught in a disaster while travelling. )

4. How big events could disrupt your travel  

From Taylor Swift’s tour across Europe to the UEFA European Championship in Germany, Europe is limbering up for a summer of major cultural and sporting events. The Olympic Games in Paris are expected to attract three million more visitors than usual . This is likely to mean a greater demand for accommodation, higher prices, crowded public transport, unexpected road closures and even increased security checks in response to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks. If your holiday does coincide with an event, try to explore beyond the city itself, visit nearby tourist attractions that could be quieter than normal, or just enjoy the inevitable citywide buzz surrounding the main event.

( How to explore Paris this summer beyond the Olympics. )

5. Why you should think about overcrowding

While many destinations welcome a return to pre-pandemic levels of tourism, others are actively trying to deter visitors. In Barcelona , tour groups have been capped at 20 people, while entrance to Athens’ Acropolis is now limited to 20,000 tourists each day. Dubrovnik has already cut the number of souvenir stands by 80%, while thousands attended an anti-tourism protest in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in April. All are concerned that overcrowding leads to skyrocketing prices for locals and causes environmental damage, with increased plastic pollution, erosion of heritage sites and traffic congestion. Consider less-visited destinations instead, swapping Santorini for Folegandros an hour’s ferry ride away, Dubrovnik for Šibenik with its medieval centre and fortress, or Barcelona for the Spanish seaside city of Valencia.

( What’s the problem with overtourism? )

most overcrowded tourist spot in europe

6. How to deal with heatwaves

2023 was the hottest year on record globally, with temperatures in Europe above average for 11 months of the year. The Mediterranean was the worst area affected, with temperatures soaring above 40°C across Italy, Spain, Turkey, Cyprus and Greece. Consider travelling outside the hottest months, between July and September, or visiting destinations further north such as Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Lithuania or Ireland which should escape the most intense heat. If temperatures do climb, wear high-factor SPF, avoid being outside in the middle of the day and wear light-coloured clothes made from breathable materials. Avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water, and keep a close eye on vulnerable people, including young children and the elderly.

7. How to avoid being caught out by local laws and taxes

Do your research before travelling to make sure you don’t fall foul of new laws. A €5 tax for day-trippers was introduced in Venice in April, for example, and will be enforced on selected dates until July. It can be paid online in advance, and those staying overnight are exempt but do still need to register. A second tourist tax of €1 to €5 per night is already applicable to overnight stays and should be paid at your hotel. Be aware that some Airbnbs ask that this is paid in cash. Other new rules in parts of Mallorca and Ibiza ban drinking on the street and prevent shops selling alcohol at night, though you will still be able to buy drinks in bars and restaurants.

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Nomadic Matt: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Better

Europe Travel Guide

Last Updated: April 18, 2024

The historic city of Prague with its classic stunning architecture

From beautiful Paris to smoke-filled coffeeshops in Amsterdam, Oktoberfest to La Tomatina, Europe is a massive, diverse continent with an unlimited assortment of things to see and do. You won’t have any problem filling your time, whether you’re backpacking Europe for a few months on a budget or just spending a few weeks there on a well-earned vacation.

The continent boasts wonderful beaches, historical architecture, amazing wine, and tons of world-class festivals. Every country is incredibly different from the next too, providing limitless variety in what you do during your trip.

I first backpacked Europe in 2006 and was hooked immediately. I’ve been visiting every year since, have run tours around the continent, and even wrote a book on traveling in Europe . It’s a destination I love and never get tired of exploring.

This guide will give you an overview of Europe and the tips and tricks you need to start planning your trip. I’ve also written extensive travel guides to each country on the continent (linked below in this post) so you can get more in-depth information for your specific itinerary too!

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Europe

Click Here for Country Guides

Top 5 things to see and do in europe.

Aerial view of Greek town along the Mediterranean ocean, with mountains in the background

1. Tour the Greek Islands

These islands are the mecca of summer beach fun and each is unique in its own great way. There’s Ios (beach party central with archeological ruins and awesome boat tours); Kos (ancient ruins and nature); Crete (Bronze Age ruins of Knossos, hiking, beaches, and wine), Santorini (iconic blue water, white buildings, and local wineries); Mykonos , (the upscale party island with beautiful beaches, villages, and sunsets), Naxos (best island in the Cyclades). Plus, Milos, Corfu, Lemnos, Zakynthos, and so many more! With hundreds of islands in the country, you can always find what you are looking for!

2. Ride the rails

Europe is famous for its international rail system. Rail passes like the Eurail Pass have been around forever and still make it very easy to get from country to country on a relatively small budget (and with lots of flexibility). Europe has some of the fastest trains in the world that travel up to an incredible 217 mph (350 kph). The whole continent is connected by trains and there’s a growing push for even more connections and long-distance, high-speed trains in order to reduce flying and help combat climate change. There’s nothing more quintessential than riding the trains in Europe and I encourage you to take as many trains as possible. It’s one of the best ways to see the continent.

3. Get lost in Paris

The “City of Lights” is everything people say it is. I fell in love with it the first time I stepped foot in Paris . The city is just magical. You have a ton of museums, cafes, jazz clubs, famous art, and beautiful architecture. I love just strolling around the streets of the Quartier Latin (Latin Quarter) or Montmartre neighborhood as it makes for a breathtaking day. Another one of my favorite things to do here is just sit in the Jardin des Champs-Élysées park and picnic like the Parisians. For something a bit different, check out the famous Catacombs and Paris Sewer Museum. With so much to offer in the way of culture, history, and gastronomy, it would take years to see everything here but you can still get a good feel of the city in a few days.

4. Go city hopping

There are so many amazing cities in Europe that we’d need a top 100 to list them all. Here are some of my personal favorites and must-see cities: London is rich in history, culture, and the famous Big Ben clock; Edinburgh is a vibrant medieval city with cozy pubs and a famous castle with a huge New Year’s Eve Party; Amsterdam has cozy coffee shops and canopied tree-covered canals; Berlin has a wild party scene, street art, and the Berlin Wall; Barcelona has tapas, beach, and unique Gaudi architecture; coastal Lisbon has colorful tiles, old tramcars, cobblestone streets and plenty of fresh seafood; Prague has a beautiful intact Old Town, incredible architecture and eclectic bars; Tallinn Estonia has beautiful medieval buildings with colorful roofs. Florence  is a mecca for Italian Renaissance architecture, art history, and gelato; Stockholm mixes medieval architecture and modern art and design. Crisscross the continent, take in the culture, and enjoy all the historic cities!

5. Hit the Alps

Whether you go skiing in the winter or hiking in the summer, the Alps hold some of the most breathtaking views in all the world. You don’t even need to be an expert hiker because there are mountain trails for all levels and crystal-clear Alpine lakes. Check out the spectacular Eibsee trail loop in Bavaria at the foot of Die Zugspitze, Germany’s tallest mountain, for the clearest, multi-colored, sparkling lake you’ve ever seen. Or the Männlichen Kleine Scheidegg Panorama trail in Switzerland’s stunning green and snow-capped Alps. Or visit Italy’s Dolomites in South Tyrol for the scenic Seceda trail. The Alps have trails for every fitness level and in every season.

Other Things to See and Do in Europe

1. tour amsterdam.

I love Amsterdam so much that I lived here for a short period of time in 2006. Here cobblestone and brick streets weave around lovely canals as people ride their bikes to and fro. My favorite things to enjoy here are Amsterdam’s vibrant art and music scene and there are also a ton of interesting museums here like the Anne Frank House, FOAM, the history museum, and the hemp museum. Be sure you get out of the center into Jordaan and Oost with their wonderful outdoor cafes and fewer tourists. Also, a visit to Amsterdam wouldn’t be complete without a canal cruise to visit the many islands and there are many to choose from that include snacks and drinks, sunset cruises, live guided tours, and more.

2. Hang out in Barcelona

Barcelona is a city that goes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It truly could give NYC a run for the “city that never sleeps” title. Be prepared for late-night dinners and parties until dawn. Besides a great food and nightlife scene, there is a wonderful beach, tons of Gaudi architecture (including the fairytale-like Parc Güell, as well as the iconic Sagrada Familia , which has been under construction for over 100 years!), incredible food tours, one of the best history museums in the country, and lots of outdoor spaces. What I love about Barcelona is that when you’re ready to chill, you can wander around Parc de la Ciutadella and marvel at the majestic fountains, plant life, and buildings created from an ornate military fortress.

3. Visit Berlin

Hip and trendy Berlin is an energetic destination. It is one of Europe’s most affordable capital cities, with a vibrant music and art scene and a growing foodie movement. Be sure to spend some time learning about the city’s darker history via the many excellent museums, memorials, and landmarks. The East Side Gallery, a section of the Berlin Wall that’s now painted with murals, and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe are two especially powerful reminders of Germany’s past. For all periods of German history, don’t miss the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) – it’s one of the best history museums in the world. Once you’ve had your fill of history, relax in Berlin’s many green spaces, from Tempelhof Field, the site of a former airfield and popular local hangout spot, to Tiergarten, a tree-covered former hunting ground for 17th-century aristocrats.

4. Drink beer at Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is a must for anyone going to Germany at the end of September. While not a budget option since beers now cost 15 € a maß, I love the energy and friendly camaraderie this event inspires. For two weeks, millions of people from all over the world gather for lots of beer, excitement, music, and wild fun. Watching thousands of people sing together, raising quart-sized beer mugs for endless toasts, and enjoying the general party atmosphere makes you feel good about the world. (Or maybe that’s just the beer?) Just be sure to book your accommodation well in advance and be prepared to pay top prices for them. If you don’t have an outfit, don’t worry, there are plenty of shops even at the main train station where you can buy a Bavarian dirndl dress and men’s lederhosen.

5. Experience London

Get a taste of English culture in diverse London . The museums here are some of the best in the world (most are free) and include the Tate, the British Museum, the City Museum, the National Gallery, the Historical Museum. There’s no shortage of iconic sights here as well, with Big Ben, the House of Parliament, the London Eye, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and of course, Buckingham Palace. I love London’s diversity because of the countless international eateries with great food and wonderful pub culture, perfect for after a long day seeing the sights. Head to Brick Lane on the weekends for some amazing food and craft markets. I prefer Paris to London, but there is something sophisticated and fun about London. Just watch those pints — London is not a cheap destination!

6. Get outdoors in Scandinavia

My favorite region in Europe is Scandinavia. The quality of life here is high, the people are beautiful and friendly, and the cities are clean and historic. Cycling the cities, taking canal tours, hiking the vast forested areas, archipelago hopping, enjoying fika (a Swedish coffee break), and warming up in saunas are just a few of the popular activities that await you here. True, this area of Europe is not cheap, but there are plenty of ways to reduce your expenses. Don’t let the high prices scare you away. Highlights for me include Copenhagen , Stockholm , Gotland, Norway’s fjords, and Lapland in Finland .

7. Get enchanted in Prague

Prague has an amazing history and is one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities I’ve ever seen. Highlights include the 9th-century Prague Castle, the magnificent Charles Bridge (built in the 14th century and one of the oldest standing bridges in the world), the 10th-century old square with its iconic astronomical clock, and the winding Jewish Quarter. Even if you only have a few days there don’t miss the free walking tour which is one of my favorites in Europe and the best way to learn about the Old Town and the tragic history of the city that went from thriving Bohemian capital of art, music, and literature to part of the Iron Curtain after WWII. Some of my favorite gems here include the fantastic black light theater shows in 4D and the one-of-a-kind medieval dinner show in an old tavern complete with musicians and jugglers not to mention hearty food and drinks. During the weekends it heaves with people enjoying the bars, cheap beer, and delicious food so try to visit during the week (and in the spring or fall) to beat the crowds.

8. Relax on the French Riviera

Here, you can pretend to live the high life for a little bit. Have fun in the sun, relax on the beach, swim in azure blue water, hobnob with the rich and famous, and sail on (or gaze at) gigantic yachts. As for cities, Nice is nice with its palm-tree-lined promenade, old town, and many art museums. If you want to go see how the rich and famous live, spend an afternoon checking out Cannes to soak up some glamorous vibes on La Croisette where they hold the famous Cannes Film Festival. The kingdom of Monaco with its tiny streets, beautiful buildings, and world-famous casino is just a skip away too.

9. Enjoy the great outdoors in Interlaken

Located in the beautiful mountains of Switzerland, Interlaken is a gorgeous place to unwind with fantastic hiking, delicious hot chocolate, and plenty of outdoor sports. The area is full of natural attractions to explore, including the St. Beatus Caves (complete with a legendary dragon), the cascading 500-meter-high (1,640 feet) Giessbach Waterfalls, the Jungfraujoch mountain railway (which leads to the highest train station on the continent), and a plethora of lakes (hence the town’s name). It’s a good alternative to all the cities and museums. Interlaken is also a popular party destination for backpackers and other young travelers. By far, my favorite scenic and visually stunning trail was the Oberberghorn panoramic hike, where you can wander the green mountain ridge ogling the amazing views and the turquoise-blue Brienzersee.

10. Experience history in Rome

In this thriving historical city, you can’t walk two feet without stumbling over a ruin, making Rome a history buff’s dream. Its tiny streets are perfect for wandering as you explore the Colosseum, see the Forum and Palatine Hill, visit the Pantheon, spend time in Vatican City, admire the Spanish Steps, and toss coins into the famous Trevi Fountain. The skip-the-line tickets can definitely be worth it so you don’t waste time waiting outside attractions. Rome also has amazing food (it’s Italy, after all) and nightlife. Visit the Trastevere area for a taste of “local” Rome and chill bars. It’s my favorite area in the city because you feel like you’re in a small village in the middle of a big city.

11. Hike around the Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is my favorite part of Italy. These five beautiful cliffside towns are perched near warm waters and beautiful olive and grape groves. There are wondrous and strenuous hikes in these hills; for a real challenge, take trail #8. Or just walk the coastline for something less difficult. Many activities here revolve around the coastline: kayaking, swimming, having a beach picnic or visiting the Technical Naval Museum. If you happen to be here in December or January, don’t miss the Nativity Manarola, the world’s biggest lighted nativity scene.

12. Tour Krakow

Krakow looks like it stepped out of a medieval postcard. It’s a hip, trendy, and youthful city that’s the center of education in Poland, meaning there are a lot of university students here. Most travelers come to party here (the vodka is cheap) but try to enjoy the city’s history and food besides just the bars. Walk the Royal Road through the Old Town to the 13th-century Wawel Castle, tour Schindler’s Factory (where Schindler saved over 1,200 Jews during World War II), and visit the sobering Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. You can also take a fascinating day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Wieliczka Salt Mine, a 13th-century mine with cavernous chambers, statues, chapels, chandeliers, and cathedrals all carved out of salt.

13. Visit the ruin bars in Budapest

The coolest nightlife in all of Europe is found in Budapest . Built in abandoned buildings, ruin bars feature funky art installations, repurposed furniture, and quirky decor. They are amazing, fun, and great places to meet locals, as people of all ages flock here. Open since 2001, Szimpla Kert is the original ruin bar and one of my favorites, along with Instant-Fogas Complex, which takes up an entire building and is actually many different bars in one. Don’t skip the ruin bars — they’re one of the most unique things about the city!

14. Explore Cornwall

The best part of England is outside London, yet unfortunately, not a lot of travelers leave London. Head west to the area of Cornwall for cheaper prices, welcoming locals, natural beauty, great hiking, rolling hills, plenty of medieval castles, and picturesque small towns. If you like biking, the Camel Trail from Bodmin to Padstow is worth the trip and you even pass by a local vineyard. It’s an easy way to spend a day (and it’s pretty flat so it’s not too hard to do.) Plus, I had the best fish and chips in Cornwall! Overall, it’s what you think of as “traditional England.”

15. Walk the Camino

El Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James) is an ancient pilgrimage route that stretches from France all the way across northern Spain. It is a 500 mile (800 km) trail that winds through incredible terrain, ending in Santiago de Compostela at the cathedral where St. James is supposedly buried. As a pilgrim, you get a “pilgrim’s passport” which allows you to stay in affordable pilgrim-only hostels, making this a surprisingly budget-friendly adventure. While it usually takes over a month to complete, you can just walk a section if you don’t have the time. To receive a “Compostela” (certificate of completion), you just need to walk the last 62 miles (100 km), which generally takes 4-5 days.

16. Throw tomatoes during La Tomatina

By far my favorite festival, the largest food fight in the world happens during the last Wednesday of August in Bunol, Spain. What started in 1945 as a local brawl has turned into a massive event drawing tens of thousands of people from all over the world. For about an hour, everyone throws tomatoes at each other, leaving streets ankle-deep in tomato juice. Afterward, everyone walks down to the river, cleans off, and then heads to the town square for sangria and music.

17. Find Dracula in Romania

Not a lot of people visit Romania but this underrated country in Eastern Europe has undiscovered yet picturesque medieval towns like Brasov (home to “Dracula’s castle”), Sighisoara, and Sibiu; gorgeous beaches on the Black Sea; and incredible hiking in the Fagaras Mountains — all at dirt-cheap prices. Other major sights include frescoed Byzantine monasteries, the steepled wooden churches of Transylvania, the hip university town Cluj-Napoca, the post-communist capital of Bucharest, and the Danube Delta, a huge nature reserve.

18. Drink whisky in Islay

Whisky has a long history on Islay , an island off Scotland’s west coast. It’s been made there since the 16th-century — first in backyards and then, starting in the 19th-century, in large distilleries. Over the years, whisky from the island came to be considered a specialty and was used to flavor a lot of other blends on the mainland. There are currently nine working distilleries on the island, all located along the island’s shores, with Laphroaig, Ardbeg, and Lagavulin being the most famous. Most distilleries here make single-malt Scotch, meaning that only one type of grain (barley) is used. My visit here was amazing and, even if you don’t like whisky, there are tons of good hikes and walks throughout this magnificent island.

19. Explore Iceland

Iceland is a magical country with majestic waterfalls, hidden hot springs around every corner, and sweeping vistas unlike anywhere else in the world. After my first visit, the country quickly became one of my favorite countries. With whale watching in the summer, the northern lights in the winter, and geothermal baths for soaking in year-round, there really is no bad time to visit! While Iceland’s main draw is the epic natural landscapes, it’s worth spending a couple of days in Reykjavik with its café culture, artsy feel, and brightly colored wooden row houses.

20. Sail the Croatian coast

With calm winds, short distances, a coastline littered with over 1,000 islands, and countless historical sites, Croatia is one of the world’s best sailing destinations. If you can, go during the shoulder season when you can find some great deals. Plan to stay at least a couple of days on one of the islands, with the most popular being Brac, Hvar, Krk, Cres, and Lošinj. However, don’t be afraid to get off the beaten path and explore some of the lesser-known islands such as Silba, Vis, and Lastovo. If you want to splash out and spend a week partying on a yacht, check out The Yacht Week, which hosts week-long parties, complete with DJs, from May-September. You can book a full boat to share with friends or just a cabin if you’re traveling solo. Prices start at 5,250 HRK per person and go up to 9,300 HRK.

21. Explore the Balkans

While the Balkans have become more popular with backpackers in recent years, it’s still largely overlooked by most budget travelers, despite being an extremely budget-friendly region. The Balkan peninsula is home to great (and again, overlooked) wine, beautiful medieval towns like Kotor and Mostar, stunning mountainous landscapes, beautiful pebble beaches, coffee culture, fresh, hearty yet inexpensive food, and museums covering the area’s history, including the most recent turbulent events of the early 1990s. I especially loved my time in Albania . Don’t miss the beautiful beaches in Ksamil, nicknamed the “Maldives of Europe’ as well as the mountain village of Gjirokastër, which was occupied by Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. The Balkans have so much to offer for every budget and every country has its unique cultural flavor.

22. Take a wine tour in the Loire Valley

Located in central France, the picturesque Loire Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site and stretches 280 kilometers (174 miles) along the Loire River. One of the major wine-producing regions of France, the area is home to some of the best wines in the world, with over 1,000 vineyards open to the public. Even those who don’t drink wine will enjoy the beautiful small towns, great food, and the region’s over 300 impressive chateaux. I loved the medieval Chenonceau Castle and Chateau Villandry and the small villages like Saint-Florent-le-Vieil. Spring and Autumn are my favorite times to visit because you can go biking and do outdoor activities when it’s not too hot and there are fewer people. It’s an area not to be missed.

23. See Fado in Portugal

Fado is an important musical tradition in Portugal , originating in Lisbon and stretching back some 200 years. The word “fado” likely stems from the Latin word for fate, and it’s very haunting, poetic, and emotional music. Most of the songs follow themes of loss and mourning, and the music was popular with the working class (especially sailors). Performances normally take place in restaurants during dinner. In Lisbon, head to Clube de Fado, Tasca do Chico, Parreirinha de Alfama, or Senhor Vinho.

24. Tour green Slovenia

Slovenia is one of Europe’s least-visited destinations, which is mind-blowing to me because it’s an amazing place to visit. Slovenia offers all the beauty of Western Europe but at a fraction of the cost and with a fraction of the crowds. Perfect for outdoor adventure lovers, Slovenia offers rugged mountains, untouched landscapes, fantastic ski resorts, plentiful wine, sprawling cave systems, incredible food, and postcard-perfect lakes, such as the famous Lake Bled with its castle on an island. I loved Piran, Slovenia’s often overlooked coastal Venetian-style harbor town that was actually founded 3000 years ago. Stroll around its beautiful windy cobble-stoned streets, beautiful plazas, and take advantage of the many affordable restaurants right on the water. Make sure to also spend a few days in the country’s capital, Ljubljana, known as one of the continent’s greenest and most livable cities. Take a river cruise to see the city and enjoy the friendliness of the locals.

  For more information on specific countries in Europe, check out the guides below:

  • Albania Travel Guide
  • Austria Travel Guide
  • Belgium Travel Guide
  • Belarus Travel Guide
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina Travel Guide
  • Bulgaria Travel Guide
  • Czechia Travel Guide
  • Croatia Travel Guide
  • Denmark Travel Guide
  • England Travel Guide
  • Estonia Travel Guide
  • Finland Travel Guide
  • France Travel Guide
  • Germany Travel Guide
  • Greece Travel Guide
  • Hungary Travel Guide
  • Iceland Travel Guide
  • Ireland Travel Guide
  • Italy Travel Guide
  • Latvia Travel Guide
  • Lithuania Travel Guide
  • Malta Travel Guide
  • Moldova Travel Guide
  • Montenegro Travel Guide
  • Netherlands Travel Guide
  • Norway Travel Guide
  • Portugal Travel Guide
  • Poland Travel Guide
  • Romania Travel Guide
  • Scotland Travel Guide
  • Slovakia Travel Guide
  • Slovenia Travel Guide
  • Spain Travel Guide
  • Sweden Travel Guide
  • Switzerland Travel Guide
  • Ukraine Travel Guide

Europe Travel Costs

a traditional Austrian home overlooking the snow capped mountains and rolling hills in the Austria countryside

Accommodation – Accommodation prices vary greatly by region. In Western Europe, hostel dorm rooms cost between 25-45 EUR per night, depending on the room’s size and the popularity of the hostel. I stayed in a 6-bed dorm in Berlin for 20 EUR, while the same one would have cost me around 45 EUR in Paris. A room in Paris costs on the higher end and a room in cheaper Athens costs on the lower end.

In Eastern Europe, hostel dorm rooms cost between 10-15 EUR per night depending on the size of the dorm room and the popularity of the hostel. The further east you go, the cheaper it gets. Expect to pay around 30-60 EUR per night for a private room that sleeps two.

In Scandinavia, hostel dorm beds cost around 25-45 EUR, while private rooms are 65-80 EUR. Budget hotels start around 85 EUR.

Most accommodations offer free linens, free Wi-Fi, and a lot offer free breakfast, but it’s important to check specific websites for exact amenities.

Campsites cost between 10-15 EUR per night for a basic plot for two without electricity.

Food – Food traditions in Europe run deep, stretching back centuries to become integral parts of each country’s culture. From baguettes in France to tapas in Spain, from hearty Eastern European stews and goulash to the fresh vegetables and olive oils of the Mediterranean, European cuisine varies as much as the countries themselves. Food prices differ greatly across the continent, so check individual country guides for specifics.

But no matter where you are, even in the more expensive countries, finding places to eat within your budget is easier than you might think. Throughout Western Europe, you can find small shops, street food stalls, or food trucks where you can get sandwiches, gyros, kebabs, slices of pizza, or sausages for between 3-7 EUR. These shops are most often found in train stations, bus stations, and main pedestrian areas, and offer cheap food alternatives that can have you eating on 12-17 EUR per day. Fast food (think McDonald’s) costs around 7-10 EUR for a combo meal.

Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Vietnamese eateries abound in Germany, while Indian food is incredible and everywhere in the United Kingdom. Meals at these restaurants usually cost between 8-12 EUR.

Restaurant meals in casual, traditional eateries generally cost around 13-25 EUR for a main dish and drink. Food is much cheaper in the east than in the west, and in the west, northern regions like Scandinavia and the UK are more expensive than southern countries like Spain, Portugal, and Italy.

In Eastern Europe, even if you are eating out for all your meals, you can still get by on a food budget of as little as 15 EUR per day.

For drinks, a pint of beer is 2-5 EUR, a glass of wine is 2-7 EUR, a cappuccino is 2-5 EUR, and cocktails range from 6-14 EUR.

If you eat out, do so at lunch and get the prix-fixe menu (two-course or three-course set menu). Restaurants offer this set menu during lunch, and with prices between 10-20 EUR, it’s a way better deal than the regular dinner menu. You can also get affordable lunches at outdoor markets. So many European cities have huge fresh food markets throughout town.

You can cook your own food for around 45-65 EUR per week. This gets you basic staples like rice, pasta, seasonal produce, bread, and some meat. You can save money by shopping at discount supermarkets like Profi, Lidl, Aldi, and Penny Market.

If you want to save big money on meals, head to one of the markets, pick up some cheese, wine, bread, meats, or anything else, and go to the park for a picnic. (Or grab a sandwich for later!) You’ll find the locals doing the same thing, and it’s one of the cheaper ways to get a true taste of local food.

Backpacking Europe Suggested Budgets

Prices for travel in Europe vary greatly depending on how far north, east, south, or west you travel. If you stick to the budget accommodations, food, and tours listed here and use all my tips on saving money, you need about 65-110 EUR per day in Western Europe, 40-50 EUR in Eastern Europe, and about 85-130 EUR in Scandinavia.

Those numbers reflect a traveler who stays in hostels, cooks some meals and eats out cheaply, enjoys a few drinks, and sticks to free and cheap activities like hiking, walking tours, and enjoying nature. This is your typical backpacker budget. You aren’t going to have a fancy time, but you aren’t going to want for anything either.

However, by getting tourist cards and rail passes, avoiding flights, occasionally Couchsurfing or camping, cooking all your meals, and not drinking, you can travel a lot cheaper. On this budget, you could do Western Europe on 35-45 EUR per day, Eastern Europe on 20-25 EUR, and Scandinavia on 50-65 EUR. That would require you to take a train or a bus or hitchhike everywhere, skip most museums, and limit how often you go out.

Generally, the suggested daily budget for Europe is 80-120 EUR. You can use the chart below to get an idea of how much you need to budget daily. Keep in mind these are daily averages – some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in EUR.

Europe Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Individual country guides have more specific information on how to save money in them but here are some general tips on cutting your costs while you explore Europe:

  • Picnic – This continent has a lot of little shops where you can buy pre-made sandwiches or ingredients to make your own. Many supermarkets have delis as well where you can get food to go. Buy some food, eat outside, and watch the city and its people go by. It’s a much more enjoyable and cheaper way to eat.
  • Eat local and cheap – Not into picnicking? Eat at local sandwich shops, pizza parlors, Maoz, Wok to Walks, and outdoor street vendors. Avoiding restaurants and eating at a lot of the local “grab n’ go” places gives you a taste of the local cuisine at a much cheaper price. If you’re really on a budget, use your creative cooking skills to prepare meals at the hostel as well.
  • Stay with a local – Hostels can add up really quickly. If you don’t have any friends with whom you can stay, consider using Couchsurfing , which connects you with locals who let you stay with them for free. Plus, they tend to also have meetups to meet other locals and travelers. It’s a great way to save on accommodation and meet a local who can share their insider tips and advice.
  • Camp in a garden – A very good camping service specific to Europe is Campspace , which allows you to pitch a tent in someone’s backyard for free or for a small fee (around 10-20 EUR). All of the garden owners have profiles that tell you what services and facilities they offer. Also, many countries allow wild camping (like Sweden), which can save you a fortune if you have a tent.
  • Take the bus – Budget bus companies like Flixbus can take you across the continent for cheap. I personally feel it’s best for day travel as sitting up for an overnight bus isn’t really ideal for sleeping. It isn’t glamorous, but with tickets starting at 5 EUR, you really can’t complain!
  • Get a Rail Pass – Eurail Passes have saved me hundreds of dollars. If you are traveling far distances and through many countries, they are a great deal.
  • Take the free city tours – One of the great things about Europe is that you can find free walking tours in all the major cities. They can be a great way to see the city attractions, take in some history, and learn your bearings without spending any money. Just make sure to tip your guide at the end!
  • Plan accordingly – Plan your trip around Europe so you avoid doubling back. Transportation is a big expense so proper planning can save you a lot of money (and time). Go in a straight line or a loop. Booking your accommodation ahead helps you save as well since cheap, good places unsurprisingly get reserved first. One thing I’ve learned is that waiting until the last minute means you get stuck with expensive places or cheap places no one wants.
  • Fly cheap – If you know where you are going and a train won’t do, try to book flights early. You can often get round trip fares for as little as 5 EUR from many of the European discount airlines like Ryanair or Wizz. Many capital cities have smaller airports farther from the city with ‘inconvenient’ times but cheaper fares. Keep in mind you might need to factor in an early morning Uber or taxi if the busses aren’t running and you have an early flight!
  • Drink less – Those 5 EUR beers add up. Hit happy hours or pick and choose when you party. Hostel bars are a good place to get cheap drinks or buy your alcohol at the supermarket. Plus, in Europe, it’s legal to drink outside in parks, plazas, by the lakes or rivers. You’ll find you can save a lot of money by not going to bars and clubs. Partying your way across the continent will destroy your bank balance in no time.
  • Get a city tourist card – Many local tourism offices sell a tourism card for all their attractions, tours, and restaurants. This card gives you free entry and substantial discounts on all the attractions and tours in a city, free local public transportation (a huge plus), and discounts at a few restaurants and shopping malls. They save a ton of money. If you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing, get one of these cards.
  • Rideshare – If you’re flexible in your schedule, use the ridesharing service BlaBlaCar to catch rides with locals between cities (or countries) by paying a small fee. It’s like Airbnb but for rides. I used this service in Switzerland and, not only did I save a lot of money, but I got to meet interesting people and learn about local culture and life. Drivers are verified and it’s perfectly safe, though sometimes rides cancel at the last minute (which is why you need to be flexible). Check their ratings first and try to use rides where the person has done many trips.
  • Bring a water bottle – The tap water is safe to drink in most of Europe, so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to brand as their bottles have built-in filters to ensure your water is always clean and safe.
  • Get a HostelPass – HostelPass is a discount membership for hostels in Europe. Members get 10-20% off select hostels around Europe, as well as perks like free breakfast or free drinks. There are discounts on tours and activities too. It’s a great way to save money if you’re bouncing around Europe as they have hostels in 18 countries around the continent.

Where to Stay in Europe

Europe has a ton of budget accommodation options. The individual country and city guides have tons of recommendations but here’s a short list of some of my favorite budget hostels and hotels around Europe:

  • The Flying Pig (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Hotel 54 (Barcelona, Spain)
  • Generator Hostel (Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • Harcourt Hotel (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Castle Rock (Edinburgh, Scotland)
  • Ios Palm Pansion (Ios, Greece)
  • Greg and Tom’s Party Hostel (Krakow, Poland)
  • Largo da Sé Guest House (Lisbon, Portugal)
  • Sophie’s Hostel (Prague, Czech Republic)
  • The Yellow (Rome, Italy)
  • City Backpackers (Stockholm, Sweden)

How to Get Around Europe

The famous steam train from Harry Potter crossing an old bridge in Scotland

Public transportation – Transportation around most European cities is by tram, subway, or bus. Prices are typically around 2 EUR for a one-way ticket in Western Europe and closer to 1 EUR in Eastern Europe. Most large cities also have day passes available that offer unlimited public transportation. These passes are usually 5-12 EUR per day.

In large cities with international airports, there is usually a bus or train available that ferries travelers from the downtown core to the airport. Expect to pay around 5-15 EUR to get to/from the airport.

Bus – Buses are not quite as comfortable as Europe’s trains, although certain lines do have great amenities (like roomy seats and Wi-Fi). While buses are not the most efficient way to travel around the continent, they’re certainly dependable, reliable, and cheap. You can find last-minute rides for as little as 5 EUR. A route from Berlin to Munich is about 25 EUR, while Paris to Bordeaux can be as low as 10 EUR. Longer routes, like Amsterdam to Copenhagen, start at around 47 EUR.

Each country has its own national bus service, but some lines also take you long distances internationally. Megabus and Flixbus (which now owns Eurolines) are the most popular companies.

Train – Train travel is a great way to see Europe. Intercity train prices vary wildly from country to country, depending on whether you take the slow train or a high-speed train and how far in advance you book. For example, a high-speed train from Berlin to Munich costs around 38-60 EUR, Bordeaux to Paris is about 50-85 EUR, and Madrid to Barcelona ranges from 45-85 EUR. Non-high-speed trains and other intercity lines are a lot cheaper, generally costing about 40-50% of the price of high-speed trains. Eastern Europe inter-country trains usually cost between 45-100 EUR when the ticket is booked last minute. Short train rides of 2-3 hours within countries cost about 27 EUR.

To find routes and prices for trains around Europe, use Trainline .

You may also want to consider getting a Eurail Pass , which allows travelers to explore Europe by providing a set number of stops in a specific time period. These passes are continent-wide, country-specific, or regional. It can potentially save you hundreds of dollars.

Ridesharing/Car sharing – If your schedule is flexible, use a ridesharing service and catch rides with locals between cities (or countries). Drivers are verified and it’s perfectly safe. BlaBlaCar is the most popular.

If you’d rather rent a car yourself and find passengers to share a ride with, use Discover Cars to find the best car rental prices.

Flying – Budget airlines are so prolific that competition helps keep fares low. You can often find tickets where the fare is just 5 EUR round-trip! Companies like EasyJet, Ryanair, Wizz, and Vueling offer mind-blowingly cheap flights throughout Europe. Book at least a month early to scoop up great deals.

Make sure that the airport they fly into isn’t too far out of your way (transportation from the secondary airport sometimes negates the savings from using the budget airline itself).

Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay to check your baggage on these cheap flights. It costs about 25-39 EUR for one checked bag. If you wait to pay for your luggage at the gate, you end up paying almost double. Travel carry-on only to avoid this added cost.

Hitchhiking – Hitchhiking in Europe is very safe, but it’s not for everyone. Hitching is quite common around the continent and I’ve met a number of travelers who have done it (I, myself, traveled this way in Bulgaria and Iceland). Some countries are very supportive (Romania, Iceland, Germany) while others may be a bit more time-consuming (Italy, Spain). HitchWiki is the best website for hitchhiking info.

Here are my suggested articles for how to get around Europe:

  • 7 Cheap Ways to Travel Across Europe
  • Are Eurail Passes a Giant Scam or Do They Save You Money?
  • The Ultimate Guide to Finding Cheap Flights

When to Go to Europe

There’s no wrong time to visit Europe. Peak season is summer, when Europe gets crowded and August is the time most European families are at the beach so everything becomes more crowded and expensive. But the overall atmosphere and weather are great during this time, so it’s still worth visiting during peak season (just book your accommodation in advance — especially in August). Keep in mind it’s much hotter in summer so if you like AC, be sure to check that your hostel or hotel has it before you book. You can expect the most crowds in Western Europe. For this reason, I feel summer is a great time to visit the Balkans and the Baltics because many people head to the beaches in Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, and Greece.

Shoulder season is spring and fall (April-May and September-October). It’s still warm during this time but there aren’t as many crowds and prices are cheaper. This is my favorite time to visit hotspot places like Spain, Croatia and Greece, where it’s still hot enough to swim in the sea but you have way more room on the beach. It’s also a good time to go hiking in the Alps in Germany, northern Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland because it’s cooler during the day so you’re much less sweaty on the mountain without shade. The weather is good, the crowds are smaller, and the prices lower.

Winter is from November to February but in much of Central Europe, it’s wet and cold until March or April. It gets cold, even as far south as it gets (like Greece). On the other hand, the Christmas season has Christmas markets and festivals galore! Even if it’s cold, this is a cultural tradition you can’t miss and why I love Europe in December. There is hot mulled wine, sweets, and plenty of hot snacks, which vary by country. One of my favorites is Prague because the Old Town Square is lit up with a gigantic tree with aromas of crispy cinnamon pastries and mulled wine. Berlin takes their Christmas markets very seriously, so there are around 80 different markets with special themes.

Winter is fantastic in Europe for skiing and snowboarding but it doesn’t have to break the bank if you plan carefully. While Switzerland and France are probably the most famous, they are also expensive, but there are plenty of budget winter options.

How to Stay Safe in Europe

Europe is very safe for backpacking and solo traveling, even if you’re traveling solo, and even as a solo female traveler. Violent crimes against tourists are very rare. In fact, some of the safest countries in the world are in Europe. (I wrote a whole article about how Europe is safe to visit right now .)

That said, there are scams and petty crimes you should watch out for, especially around popular tourist landmarks. The most important thing to be aware of is pickpockets in crowds and on public transportation. Zip your bags and don’t put your mobile phone in a jacket pocket where someone could quickly take it. This should be obvious but don’t flash your money to let everyone know you have a huge wad of cash.

When choosing a hostel, look for ones with lockers. It’s always a good idea to carry around a padlock or combination lock. Most hostels are safe and travelers respect each other and I’ve rarely seen things happen to people’s valuables. Nevertheless, I always think that prevention is better.

As anywhere, the standard precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.). When at the bar, always keep an eye on your drink. Avoid walking home alone at night if you’re intoxicated.

For female travelers in particular, it’s always a good idea to have a bit of extra money on you just in case you need to take an Uber or taxi back by yourself so you don’t take unnecessary risks to save money. If you’re using apps to date people while traveling, please use common sense and meet in public places. Since I’m not a female traveler, please check out the numerous female bloggers who have first hand knowledge of this.

If you’re worried about scams, you can read about common travel scams to avoid here.

If you rent a vehicle, don’t leave any valuables in it overnight. Break-ins are rare, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Be aware that the UK drives on the left and that most rental cars in Europe will have manual transmissions unless you request otherwise.

When hiking, always bring water, sunscreen, and bandaids or foot plasters. There is nothing worse than being halfway up the mountain with a blister and nothing you can do about it!

Likewise, when at the coast, don’t forget not only to wear sunscreen! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people get burnt to a crisp the first day. Be sure to check the weather before you depart and dress accordingly.

If you do experience an emergency, dial 112 for assistance.

Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID. Forward your itinerary to loved ones so they know where you are.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Europe Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • HostelPass – This new card gives you up to 20% off hostels throughout Europe. It’s a great way to save money. They’re constantly adding new hostels too. I’ve always wanted something like this and glad it finallt exists.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • The Man in Seat 61 – This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
  • Rome2Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
  • FlixBus – Flixbus has routes between 20 European countries with prices starting as low 5 EUR! Their buses include WiFi, electrical outlets, a free checked bag.
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!

GO DEEPER: Nomadic Matt’s In-Depth Budget Guide to Europe!

Nomadic Matt's Guide to Europe

While I have a lot of free tips on Europe, I also wrote an entire book that goes into great detail on everything you need to plan a trip here on a budget! You’ll get suggested itineraries, budgets, even more ways to save money, my favorite restaurants, prices, practical information (i.e. phone numbers, websites, prices, safety advice, etc etc), and cultural tips.

I’ll give the insider view of Europe that I got from years of traveling and living here! The downloadable guide can be used on your Kindle, iPad, phone, or computer so you can have it with you when you go. Click here to learn more about my book on Europe!

Europe Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more tips for your trip? Check out all the articles I’ve written on Europe travel and continue planning your trip:

The 7 Best Hotels in London

The 7 Best Hotels in London

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most overcrowded tourist spot in europe

10 Most Contrarian Travel Experiences Travelers Admit To Having

W orld travelers have many varied opinions. Of course, there are general and common narratives about travel to specific places. An online travel forum discusses the opposite of these opinions. There are, in fact, numerous opinions on traveling contrary to popular beliefs.

1. Parisians Are Not Rude

Paris, France, is known for its luminous beauty earning the name "The City of Lights." But over time, Parisians have garnered the reputation of being rude. However, many say this has never been their experience. One individual claims they "haven't met any rude Parisians, but [have] met plenty of rude American tourists."

Another explains that not only are the Parisians they met friendly, but also tolerant and forgiving of their attempts at trying to speak French, appreciating the effort.

2. Tourist Spots Aren't Always Crowded

Tourist hotspots are known for being overcrowded, which can spoil the experience and appreciation of the location. While the familiar places will be teeming with people often, that does not mean they always are.

One traveler says, "I get lots of very popular tourist attractions 100% to myself with zero crowds just by going there before they open or sometimes after they close." Sometimes it's all about timing. Early mornings and late nights can prove to be very peaceful.

3. More Than Museums

A common-held belief is that when traveling, one must only visit all the typical spots, such as museums. These places have their value. But there are many other places for travelers to visit.

One European traveler asserts that there is often much more to cities than historical facts. They use Berlin as a classic example: "Berlin's city landscape is probably a more interesting history lesson than what is contained inside the museums."

4. Las Vegas is Fun

Las Vegas has the reputation of being boring unless you are a gambler, and not a great vacation spot. According to many, Las Vegas can be a fun and lively experience. I am someone who wants to visit but is not a big gambler. I watch many travel vloggers, and Las Vegas looks to have plenty of fun, from incredible-looking eateries to gorgeous hotels and a variety of live entertainment.

5. Beautiful Weather

Some cities, such as London and Vancouver, are known for perpetually gloomy and rainy weather. Some travelers explain very different experiences.

One says it was cloudless, hot, or beautiful weather three times they have been to London. A Vancouver visitor claims their trip there was "wonderfully sunny." My trip to Vancouver was rainy and sunny, which proves that these cities are not singular in their weather.

6. Europe Doesn't Appeal to Everyone

Europe is a dream travel destination for many, but others find it unappealing, especially compared to other countries. One frequent traveler to Europe finds it "monotonous," while another thinks "the never-ending cutesy fairytale vibe is so boring." This sounds incredible to me, but some can grow tired of the similarity in these places.

7. The Grand Canyon is Underwhelming

The United States has numerous National Parks, many of which are stunning. The Grand Canyon is breathtaking for many who gaze upon it, but like Shania Twain, this canyon does not impress everyone. One person says, "it was nice but my least favorite of the 20 U.S. national parks I've been to so far."

I have never visited the Grand Canyon, so I will be impressed if I ever visit. But others find places like Yosemite and the Carlsbad Caverns more impressive. If you're Andy from the series Parks and Recreation , you will wonder where the mountain with President's faces is. That's Mount Rushmore, Andy!

8. Lovely Times in Venice

Travelers to Italy often favor cities such as Rome, Naples, and Florence. But there are numerous travelers with thoughts contrary to the typical ones. One such traveler finds Venice much more unique and less crowded and calls it "magical."

9. Japan is Less Expensive Than Other Countries

Japan has a reputation for being a costly place, especially for tourists. But it depends on where you travel in Japan, what you do, and where you eat. It may not be as pricey as expected. One traveler asserts that they find Japan much more affordable "compared to North America and parts of Europe."

10. The Louvre is More Than the Mona Lisa

The Louvre is the most famous art museum in the world and welcomes countless visitors every year. But some think there is little to see besides the famous Mona Lisa painting. According to many, that is not the case. There is much artistic wonder to behold; if the rare chance to see the basement arises, one should take it.

This thread inspired this post.

10 Most Contrarian Travel Experiences Travelers Admit To Having


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