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As you’ve probably heard by now, this summer is going to be a massive year for travel, especially traveling to Europe.
While many places are taking certain precautions to prepare for the influx of post-pandemic tourists they expect to receive in the coming summer months, travelers are likely still feeling the pressure of overcrowding on their trips to popular destinations.
Overtourism itself is becoming a problem, and many places around the world are beginning to see the effects that over-tourism can have on the environment.
While regulations and laws are being put in place to help mitigate overtourism, data suggests that with record numbers of travelers setting out this year, this is an issue that will affect everyone’s vacation plans.
Some cities feel the effects of summer crowds more than others due to low residential populations, or the small, compact streets of the old town, and when people do crowd together, the result is a much more crowded effect than in other, older cities. large with wide open spaces.
Holiday home rental agency Holidu has recently published its list of the most “too touristy” European cities, giving travelers an indication of where the crowds will be biggest in Europe this summer. The cities on this list have the highest number of tourists per inhabitant, which means they are the ones where you will feel the most pressure from crowds and overtourism this year.
It is important to remember that these places are not the ones with the highest number of visitors, but rather the ones with the highest concentration of visitors compared to the number of residents.
Using this data can help gauge the effects of crowding in each location and can help travelers make a plan to avoid the pitfalls that massive crowds can bring to their vacation. The study takes tourism numbers from 2019 (since it’s the last normal year for travel before the pandemic) and compares them to the number of residents.
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Here are 6 European cities that will be the most populated with tourists this summer:
1. Dubrovnik, Croatia
- 36 Tourists per Inhabitant
Croatia’s beloved Dubrovnik has always been popular with tourists who come to enjoy its impressive Old Town, walk along the ancient walls, and gaze between the orange-tiled roofs out to the Adriatic Sea. This Dalmatian Coast hotspot has seen a massive increase in visitors in recent years, mainly thanks to a little show called Game Of Thrones.
Dubrovnik is feeling the pressure of overcrowding on this list thanks in part to its small, winding streets in the Old Town, where diners, drinkers, and day-trippers mingle with one another vying for the best views.
Advice: The shoulder season is the key to enjoying the charms of Dubrovnik without having to elbow your way through the alleyways. October is a great time, as you can still enjoy the beach and nearby islands, but you won’t be dealing with the cruise ship crowds as much as you would in the summer.
2. Venice, Italy
- 21 Tourists per Inhabitant
If you’ve been following the travel news lately, seeing Venice rank so high on this list shouldn’t surprise you. Photos of narrow streets and canals packed with gondolas have been circulating online recently, and this summer will be no exception.
While Venice has been one of the hotspots that has been doing the most to help combat overtourism, its popularity means it will continue to post record numbers.
Advice: Venice is always popular, no matter the season. Your best bet for enjoying this unique city is to visit in November before holiday visitors arrive, but you can enjoy cool, foggy mornings with fewer crowds.
3. Bruges, Belgium
- 21 Tourists per Inhabitant
As one of the safest cities in Europe, Bruges is gaining popularity among the international crowd recently. What was once a popular vacation spot for Europeans has now exploded in popularity with Americans and other tourists from abroad.
Known as the Venice of the North, Bruges sees massive crowds in the summer, traffic jams, rising prices across the board, and accommodation that fills up quickly.
Advice: Bruges is beautiful in the summer, but if you’re trying to avoid the crowds, a late spring visit is a good idea. When the city is blooming and warming up, but not yet packed with tourists.
4. Rhodes, Greece
- 21 Tourists per Inhabitant
Rhodes, the largest of the Greek Dodecanese islands, is popular for its historic towns and beautiful beaches. Fortunately for anyone planning to visit some of the amazing islands in Greece, there are plenty to choose from that might end up being much less crowded than others.
Advice: Avoid the summer crowds, but enjoy the warm weather and swimming conditions if you visit Rhodes in September or October. A visit in the spring is also nice if you don’t expect to swim!
5. Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland’s quirky and colorful capital sees many visitors, most of whom use the charming little town as a base to explore the island’s natural wonders. The crowds can be annoying here as the city is not very big and the streets tend to fill up quickly with people.
Another factor is that the main ring road around the island tends to move slowly when full of motorhomes and tour buses also in the summer months.
Advice: Most come to Iceland in the summer, and those who visit the middle months of May or September will still have great (if not very Icelandic) weather and plenty of daylight (nearly 24 hours), without the rush of the summer crowd.
6. Florence, Italy
- 13 Tourists per Inhabitant
As Italy’s second entry on this list of Europe’s most overcrowded cities, Florence is also feeling the effects of overtourism in recent years. Many come here for the historic art, stunning architecture, and the lure of Italian food and wine. Remember that you can always save Italy for another year when the post-pandemic tourist crowds dwindle a bit, and visit a few similar places instead.
Or perhaps a visit to one of Italy’s up-and-coming cities could be more enjoyable this summer, with fewer crowds and more secrets to discover.
Advice: A visit to Florence can be cheaper and less crowded in the slower winter season, with November and February being good options.
To complete the top 10 of the most overcrowded cities in Europe we have:
- 7. Heraklion, Greece
- 8. Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 9. Dublin, Ireland
- 10. Tallinn, Estonia
traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com