15 European Destinations That Travel Experts Say To Avoid in 2024

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Too crowded, too costly, or simply too hot — travel experts are advising against visiting these 15 European destinations this summer.
Updated April 9, 2024
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If you're ready to plan your next summer vacation, there are several tourist hot spots that travel experts are suggesting vacationers skip. 

Many of the destinations on this list are stunning, world-famous cities that most travelers hope to visit at some point in their lives. But 2024 may simply not be the year.

So, if you're stepping up your travel game this summer, here are 15 hot travel destinations across Europe that experts suggest you avoid this year — and why.

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Paris, France

scaliger/Adobe eiffel tower during summer

Paris is like no other city in the world, but if you’re not planning to go to the 2024 Summer Olympics, which the city is hosting, you should probably avoid it.

Price hikes on everything from food to accommodations are likely as the city prepares for the Games. If the City of Lights is on your travel bucket list, consider trying next year.

Venice, Italy

James Ser/Adobe Venice streets

Each year, tourism company Fodor’s releases a list of cities to avoid traveling to — and Venice topped this year’s list.

The stunning city, made up of more than 100 small islands, has been dealing with over-tourism for years, and a summer trip is guaranteed to be packed — even as the city attempts to curb overcrowding by charging vacationers a small entry fee.

Athens, Greece

neirfy/Adobe Athenth with Moanstiraki square and Acropolis hill

Athens also made Fodor’s “No List” as the ancient city doesn’t appear to have a good plan for handling the high volume of tourists who seek out its top attractions, like the Parthenon and the Erechtheion.

The historic site is sure to be packed again all summer, so those looking to avoid crowds should consider visiting another time.

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Amsterdam, Netherlands

gnoparus/Adobe amsterdam canal with buildings lit by golden lights.

Amsterdam, with its quaint canals and beautiful bikeable roads, is another city plagued by overtourism. The city has taken several measures to try to limit crowds, including capping the number of accommodations allowed in each district.

Still, if you want to experience Amsterdam, consider the off-season.

Positano, Italy

zigres/Adobe tourist girl exploring amazing Amalfi Coast Italy

As beautiful as it may be, Italy’s Amalfi Coast, including tourist hotspot Positano, may not be worth its price this summer.

This picturesque coastal town has garnered a reputation for being oh-so-Instagrammable, and with that fame has come price hikes and massive crowds. There are many beautiful Mediterranean destinations to consider instead.

Mykonos, Greece

zgphotography/Adobe Mykonos streetview

Mykonos is beautiful — there’s no doubt about that — but it’s also pretty much packed to the brim from June through August.

Would-be vacationers may have better luck booking slightly off-season, like May or September, to enjoy warm temperatures and far fewer crowds.

Prague, Czech Republic

ecstk22/Adobe prague czech republic christmas market

Last year, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) listed Prague as one of the cities where locals were suffering the most due to over-tourism.

The stunning city, which experiences pleasantly mild summer temperatures, attracts about 8 million tourists annually (and only has about 1.3 million residents). This is another destination where off-season may be the answer.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

9mot/Adobe Croatia coastline

Stunning sea views, ancient architecture, and a starring role in Game of Thrones have made Dubrovnik a hot tourist destination.

Yet hopeful travelers may want to wait until the allure of visiting King’s Landing dies down a bit — the city was another one that made DW’s over-tourism list in 2023.

Barcelona, Spain

Valerie2000/Adobe sagrada familia cathedral in barcelona

Barcelona is the most visited city in Spain, with DW estimating that the city of just 1.6 million residents gets about 12 million tourists a year.

The reasons are obvious: Barcelona is beautiful and sunny most of the year, but it also gets extremely hot in the summer. A visit in May or perhaps late September would mean milder temps (and milder crowds).

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Lisbon, Portugal

mlehmann78/Adobe gloria funicular in lisbon

With just about 1 million residents, Lisbon sees a whopping 4 to 5 million tourists every year, according to DW. The summer months are quite hot (with averages above 80 degrees through July and August), and visitors can expect densely crowded shores.

Dublin, Ireland

borisb17/Adobe temple bar street dublin ireland

Dublin also tends to be packed with travelers (11 tourists per resident, according to Forbes). While there’s plenty to do and see (and drink) in Ireland’s capital, summer may not be the best time to do it.

Heavy tourist traffic means big crowds and hiked prices. Since Dublin’s weather tends to be mild year-round, an off-season visit may be the smart move.

Bruges, Belgium

ecstk22/Adobe bruges belgium

Bruges is another city that has far more tourists than residents. With breathtaking architecture and cobblestone streets, Bruges tends to attract the largest crowds between June and August.

While spring temperatures tend to be mild (around the mid-50s), it may be a better time to vacation to avoid crowds.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Javen/Adobe northern light from reykjavik city center

Iceland is becoming more and more popular with tourists who want to experience its natural wonders. Its capital, Reykjavik, is another city that’s gotten the Instagram/influencer treatment.

If you visit during summer, you’ll get to experience “midnight sun” (or up to 21 hours of daily sunlight), but you’ll also get the summer crowds and prices.

Marseille, France

Sergii Figurnyi/Adobe notre dame de la garde

France’s second-largest city is one travel experts recommend you check out in the fall, between September and November.

After the peak summer season, between May and August, the ancient city tends to clear out, allowing easier access to beaches, art, and accommodations (often for much cheaper).

London, England

Sergii Figurnyi/Adobe red double decker bus

London tends to be packed with tourists year-round, especially in the summer — when travelers can expect higher prices for flights and hotels.

Plus, since the summer weather is often mild in England’s capital, many hotels don’t have air conditioning — which will be quite the predicament if there’s a surprise 90-degree day.

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Bottom line

day2505/Adobe romantic couple traveler

Every city listed here is worth a visit for a myriad of reasons — but this summer may not be the time. If you’re still longing for a European getaway in 2024, there are often nearby options to hot tourist destinations that are far less crowded and costly.

As always, make sure to do your research ahead of time so you don’t throw money away on a disappointing travel experience.

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Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.

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