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These Are The 5 Most Overcrowded Tourist Destinations To Avoid In 2024

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Global tourism is back with a bang, but that bang has come at a cost for some destinations.

Even though we have not quite reached 2019 levels when it comes to global tourism, we are very close, and some popular places have suffered major problems when it comes to overtourism.

You’ve probably seen the stories about locals turning against tourists, new taxes being implemented to try and curb numbers, and even ‘stay away’ campaigns launched by certain cities.

la rambla street in barcelona spain with a huge crowd

Naturally, as travelers, we want to continue to see the world, but there are definitely some destinations that should be removed from your bucket list, at least temporarily, due to overcrowding, high prices, and other associated problems.

It may be disappointing to strike some of these cities off your list for the coming year, but according to a new report, they have been some of the worst affected.

crowd of tourists viewed from abovecrowd of tourists viewed from above

Venice

This Italian city has probably grabbed the most headlines when it comes to problems with too many tourists.

Locals have really turned against the high volumes of visitors entering their city over the course of 2023 and the local government as well as UNESCO have voiced concerns about the possible damage that might be being done.

Some measures have already been implemented such as a trial of a €5 fee ($5.40) for daily visitors, but most recently the local government has announced it will ban tourist groups of larger than 25 people.

huge crowd of tourists in venice italyhuge crowd of tourists in venice italy

An Alternative: The coastal city of Genoa, close to Italy’s border with France. This port town is hugely historic and famous for its focaccia bread.

Athens

Greece smashed its own tourism record in 2023, but that is not necessarily the good news you might think it is.

The capital city of Athens found itself overrun at times this summer, especially at some of its major attractions.

Things have gotten so bad that a visitor cap is being trialed for the Acropolis, with the plan being to have pre-bookable online tickets as the only way to see this famous landmark.

And that might just be the beginning, with other sights set to be subject to similar rules if this trial is successful.

huge crowd of tourists waiting to enter acropolis in athens greecehuge crowd of tourists waiting to enter acropolis in athens greece

An Alternative: Istanbul is another hugely important historical city in a similar region of Europe and is much cheaper and less crowded than Athens, at least for now!

Amsterdam

Amsterdam has described itself as a city at breaking point when it comes to overtourism.

Huge numbers of badly behaved tourists have caused countless problems for residents, which has led to the government creating ‘stay away’ campaigns because it simply cannot cope.

The city is cracking down on holiday rental accommodations meaning that there will be fewer places to stay, and it is even planning to restrict licenses for souvenir shops.

an overhead photo of massive crowds of tourists along the canals in Amsterdam. Boats can bee seen in the canalsan overhead photo of massive crowds of tourists along the canals in Amsterdam. Boats can bee seen in the canals

An Alternative: With similar waterside architecture, a great culture for digital nomads, and smaller crowds, Copenhagen in Denmark is a good option.

Paris

The ‘City of Light’ may be one of the most romantic in the world, but that comes at a price.

Huge numbers of tourists have pushed prices very high even for an already expensive city, while the large crowds have also caused an increase in scams.

The summer of 2024 looks set to be one of the most expensive times ever to visit Paris due to the city hosting the Olympic Games.

Trust me on this one; I have tickets to attend a couple of events, and I’m considering not going because the travel and accommodation costs, even from the nearby United Kingdom, are just crazy.

large crowd of tourists next to the eiffel tower in parislarge crowd of tourists next to the eiffel tower in paris

An Alternative: Bordeaux, in the heart of one of France’s most famous wine-growing regions, is packed with historic museums, impressive architecture, and riverside parks.

Barcelona

La Rambla in Barcelona can be a horrible place when it’s jampacked with tourists on a hot day.

There is petty crime, there are people hassling you, and there are huge tour groups everywhere you look.

And this nasty reality is starting to bite for the residents of the city, with the government discussing the idea of visitor number caps.

It’s also a very expensive and increasingly polluted city, so while it does most certainly have its charm, it may be best to avoid it for a little while.

very crowded beach in the summer in barcelona spainvery crowded beach in the summer in barcelona spain

An Alternative: Head north to the city of Bilbao, which is surrounded by lush mountains and home to the iconic Guggenheim Museum.

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