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These Are The 6 European Cities That Will Be The Most Overcrowded With Tourists This Summer 

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As you have probably already heard, this summer will be a massive year for travel, especially travel to Europe.

While many places are taking certain precautions to prepare for the influx of post-pandemic tourists they expect to receive these coming summer months, it’s likely that travelers will still feel the squeeze of overcrowding on their trips to popular destinations

Banje Beach, the Adriatic Sea and Old Town in Dubrovnik during the day in the summer. Large amounts of people can be seen copy

Over-tourism in itself is becoming a problem, and many places around the globe are starting to see the effects that too many visitors can have on an environment.

While regulations and laws are being set in place to help mitigate over-tourism, the data suggests that with a record number of travelers hitting the ground running this year, this is an issue that will impact everyone's holiday plans. 

Some cities feel the effects of summer crowds more than others due to a low residential population, or small and compact old town streets, and when people pile in, the result is a much more crowded effect than in other larger cities with wide open spaces. 

Vacation home rental agency Holidu has recently published their list of the most “over-touristed” European cities, giving travelers an indication of where the crowds will be the biggest in Europe this summer. The cities on this list have the highest count of tourists per inhabitant, meaning they are the ones where you will feel the squeeze of crowds and over-tourism the most this year. 

Piazzale degli Uffizi in Florence a sunny day of summer with a crowd of tourists

It’s important to remember that these locations are not the ones with the highest number of visitors but rather the highest concentration of visitors when compared to the number of residents. 

Using this data can help gauge the effects of overcrowding on each place and can help travelers make a plan to best avoid the pitfalls that massive crowds can bring to your holiday. The study takes tourism numbers from 2019 (as it's the last normal year of travel before the pandemic) and compares them to the number of residents. 

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crowds of people in Amsterdams famous shopping street

Here Are 6 European Cities That Will Be The Most Overcrowded 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 stunning old town, walk the ancient walls, and look among the orange-tiled roofs out into the Adriatic Sea. This Dalmatian coast hotspot has seen a massive rise in visitors in recent years, mostly thanks to a little show called Game Of Thrones.

Dubrovnik feels the squeeze of overcrowding the most on this list thanks in part to its tiny winding old town streets, where diners, drinkers, and day trippers mingle amongst each other vying for the best views. 

Tip: Shoulder season is the key to enjoying Dubrovnik’s charms without elbowing your way down the alleys. October is a great time as you can still enjoy the beach and nearby islands but will not deal with the cruise ship crowds as much as you would in the summer. 

Old town of Dubrovnik (Stari grad) with sightseeing tourists on the limestone paved Stradun street

2. Venice, Italy

If you have been following the travel news lately, then seeing Venice rank so high on this list should come as no surprise. Photos of overcrowded narrow streets and canals jam-packed with gondolas have been circulating online recently, and this summer will be no exception.

While Venice has been one hotspot that’s been doing the most to help combat over-tourism, its popularity means it will continue to see record numbers. 

Tip: Venice is always popular, no matter the season. The best bet to enjoy this unique city is to visit in November before the holiday visitors come, but you can enjoy the cool foggy mornings with fewer crowds.   

crowds of people in venice

3. Bruges, Belgium

  • 21 Tourists per Inhabitant 

As one of the safest cities in Europe, Bruges is gaining popularity with the international crowd recently. What was once a popular holiday spot for Europeans has now exploded with popularity amongst Americans and other vacationers from abroad.

Known as the Venice of the North, Bruges sees massive crowds in the summer, traffic jams, rising prices across the board, and accommodations booked up quickly.

Tip: Bruges is beautiful in the summer, but if you are trying to avoid the crowds, a visit in the late spring is a good idea. When the city is blossoming and warming up but not yet jammed with tourists. 

roup of tourists in a motorboat being taken around the city's canal system

4. Rhodes, Greece

  • 21 Tourists per Inhabitant 

The largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands, Rhodes is popular for its historic towns and beautiful beaches. Luckily for anyone planning on checking out some of Greece’s amazing islands, there are many to choose from that could end up being much less crowded than others. 

Tip: Avoid the summer crowds but still enjoy the warm weather and swimming conditions if you visit Rhodes in September or October. A visit in the spring is nice too if you are not hoping to swim!

Tourists exploring the medieval streets of Rhodes Old Town

5. Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland’s quirky and colorful capital sees a lot of visitors, most of whom use the charming and small city as their base for exploring the island's natural wonders. Crowds can get bothersome here as the city is not very large, 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 it’s filled with camper vans and tourist buses in the summer months as well. 

Tip: Most come to Iceland in the summer, and those who visit in the shoulder months of May or September will still have good (if not very Icelandic) weather, and long (nearly 24 hours) of daylight, without the summer rush of people.

Many people tourists walking on street sidewalk in downtown center by stores shops reykjavik

6. Florence, Italy

  • 13 Tourists per Inhabitant 

As Italy’s second entry on this list of the most overcrowded cities in Europe, Florence is also feeling the effects of over-tourism in recent years. Many come here for the historic art, stunning architecture, and the lure of Italian food and wine. Remember that you could always save Italy for another year when the crowds of post-pandemic tourists thin out a bit, and check out some similar places instead.

Or, perhaps a visit to one of Italy’s up-and-coming cities might be more enjoyable this summer, with fewer crowds and more secrets to uncover. 

Tip: A visit to Florence can be cheaper and less crowded in the slower winter season, with November and February being good options. 

Crowd of tourists visits Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence, Italy

To round out the top 10 list of the most overcrowded cities in Europe we have:

  • 7. Heraklion, Greece
  • 8. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 9. Dublin, Ireland 
  • 10. Tallinn, Estonia

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