BEWARE – The busiest locations in Europe during summer!

Santorini Greek islands best view things to do

Visiting Europe over the sunny summer months is a popular choice, and for good reason. Summer offers glorious sunshine, great atmosphere, it’s beach weather, and the old towns are humming with outdoor events. However, during some of these summer months, the crowds flock in, and it can become extremely busy (sometimes almost claustrophobic). If you are like us, you will prefer slightly quieter streets, and may even look to plan your trip best to avoid the crowds.

Have a look below at some of the cities and locations that are chaotically busy during peak summer months. If you are heading to these busy cities in peak season, consider getting up early to beat the crowds (and the heat). Visit some of the smaller neighbourhoods which are more authentic and have less tourists. Head for day trips to the surrounding towns. There’s lots of ways to beat the crowds! However, if you are turned off by the crowds, and we don’t blame you, check out a few of our alternative Europe destinations at the bottom of the blog. Additionally, consider heading there in a shoulder season (e.g. May/June or September/October).


The stunning Greek Island of Santorini offers postcard views. These images have flashed up on travel advertisements and social media for years, inspiring many to visit. Sadly, during the peak months of summer, the crowds are chaotic, filling the streets. This is particularly evident during sunset, when finding a spot to watch is almost impossible, and the crowds ‘wreck the moment’. Additionally, during peak season, the cost of accommodation is excessive. Whilst we don’t want to completely ruin your Santorini dreams, however we urge you to consider visiting outside of peak season, or look into the alternative islands. See our thoughts on Santorini here!


The medieval city of Dubrovnik is seriously impressive. The old town sits proudly on the water, with everywhere you look a ‘perfect photograph’. However over the past 10 years, and even more since Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik has skyrocketed in popularity. During the peak of summer, the old town is packed with people, particularly if cruise ships are docked in the harbour. If you do visit during the heart of summer months, be prepared to busy crowds and high prices. Visiting Dubrovnik during the shoulder season offers a better way to see the sights without the madness of crowds. See our Dubrovnik Guide here!


The Italian gem of Rome is a staple in the travel diet of many tourists. This is for good reason, it’s full of amazing history, culture and great food. However, in summer, it’s also full of tourists, and very hot! We urge you to consider alternative cities or locations, otherwise, add Rome into your list as a shoulder season destination! See our visit to Rome here!


The City of Love! Paris is a bucket list place for many, and has so many amazing things to see, but also comes with the crowds, and the cost! While we enjoyed Paris, we visited in shoulder season and found it busy. We can only imagine how crazy the crowds must get in the the European summer. See our Paris Highlights!


Another Italian gem, Venice gets very busy in the peak of summer. It can also get hot, the canals can run low, and apparently it can smell. We visited on the edge of summer (Early June) and found it the perfect time to go, but have heard from people who visited in the heart of summer that it’s very busy! See our guide to visiting Venice including a 2 euro gondola travel hack!

Statistically, other big cities and regions like London, Barcelona, Amalfi Coast, and Amsterdam can get flooded with tourists at all times of the year, and summer is also no exception here.

Where should you consider instead?

Consider heading a little ‘off the tourist path’, visiting regions or towns such as the Balkans, Puglia, Budapest and Scandinavia.

See a few of our guides here of our top recommendations and alternative options to consider:

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