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This Buzzy City Is Europe’s Least Crowded Destination Per New Ranking

by Staff

Post-pandemic travel has been plagued with problems of overtourism leading to a plethora of new entry fees, taxes and visitor number caps. In 2024, travellers are seeking Europe’s lesser trod attractions using tricks like destination dupes—quieter alternatives to well-known places.

If you’re someone who likes to avoid the masses, this new ranking by Wizz Air could help you pick this year’s vacation spot. Travel experts at the Hungarian airline have analysed data to highlight the least crowded destinations in Europe.

What Is Europe’s Least Crowded Vacation Destination?

To avoid the crowds, skip cities like Venice—which now has more tourist beds than residents—and Dubrovnik, which often sees 30 times more visitors than inhabitants. Instead, head to Warsaw, which Wizz Air’s ranking has crowned one of the least crowded city in Europe for visitors. The Polish capital features less on itineraries than Krakow in the south, but it holds its own as a tourist destination. Following in the least crowded ranking are Berlin, Stockholm, Brussels and Copenhagen.

What Are The Best Things To Do In Warsaw?

The Polish capital city is nicknamed the ‘Phoenix City’ due to the number of times it has been destroyed and rebuilt. You’ll find grand neo-classical churches, the pink turreted Royal Castle and narrow, ochre-painted merchants’ houses—all of which are replicas following post-Second World War reconstruction. Warsaw is constantly evolving, and now you’ll find trendy speakeasy bars, vegan restaurants aplenty and craft breweries inside reclaimed Soviet industrial buildings.

Spend time in the old town’s Plac Zamkowy admiring the delicately frescoed houses and imposing St John’s Cathedral to soak up ‘traditional’ Warsaw. Then head across the River Vistula to Praga, a gentrified working-class neighborhood that gained fame after featuring in the movie The Pianist. There’s a Neon Museum dedicated to Soviet-era illuminated signage, a Vodka Museum with tasting experiences and stylish eateries on tap.

What Is Europe’s Most Crowded Vacation Destination?

The Wizz Air ranking wanted to find out which European cities have the highest and lowest amount of visitors per 100 locals. Numbers of visitors in 2022 represent the number of international or overseas visitors to the city and were collated from a variety of sources, including official tourist statistics of a given country or city, local news media, Statista, CEIC data, and similar sources.

Using this system, the airline found that the most crowded city in Europe is, unsurprisingly Venice. Hot on its heels was Heraklion. The Greek city is located on the island of Crete and saw 6,800,000 people visiting the city in 2022, making it the 12th most visited city that year. The number of tourists in Heraklion has increased by a whopping 28.6% since 2019’s figures and continues to be a go-to option for travellers, particularly throughout summer. Porto in Portugal came in third place followed by Nice in France and Antalya in Turkey.

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