Top Tourist Mob Scenes in Europe

Old May 1st, 2016, 02:42 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,900
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've never been in a place that was a mob scene or so bad you couldn't enjoy the reason you were there (except once--the Louvre on a day when it was free, I left). Big cities can't be IMO, as they aren't tourist sites, but cities. For example, I had read horror stories about Prague and how bad it's been, wall to wall tourists, etc. I hadn't been there in at least five years (it's one of my favorite cities so I've been there several times) and went last summer wondering how awful it would be -- it didn't seem that different to me at all. Yes, of course there were tourists around as it's popular but it didn't prevent me from going to the few popular tourist sites I wanted, and it wasn't bad at all if you got off the main square, even a bit (and not even that far, actually).

Now for places like Lourdes that are a peculiar attraction, it's different. And probably Cesky Krumlov, I haven't been there in at least 10 years. Of course there were lots of tourists there, but it wasn't a horror.

I wasn't crazy about Isle sur la Sorgue in Provence on market day, actually. Some of those were tourists and some just French people shopping, I imagine, but I don't think I'll ever be back. Lots of other towns with markets to go to. I have been to Arles and Avignon in peak season and they weren't horrors. Just busy. I don't like St Remy, but not because of the crowds, exactly, I just don't like what it is, its ambience, and the kinds of shops it has, etc.

I've been to lots of tourist attractions within cities, of course--particular museums, cathedrals, etc. I've been to Sagrada Familia, also, and being popular didn't ruin it for me, the only problem was you had to wait in line a long time if you didn't prebuy a ticket. In some museums, I go for what I want to see, not just to see some touted particular artwork when I don't typically go to a museum. For example, there are too many crowds around the Mona Lisa in the Louvre--I don't care that much, I've seen it numerous times and don't go for that. Lots of the rooms don't have many crowds in them, even in summer.

I think anyone with half a brain can figure out some heavily touristed place might be better when it isn't peak season, certainly in terms of crowds, and don't need a special warning to know that.
Christina is offline  
Old May 1st, 2016, 02:43 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,126
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am in Rome right now for probably the fifteenth time. I have never seen it so crowded. You would have to use a shoe horn to get into the Pantheon!
I was in a mob scene at St Peters today. Of course, it was May Day today and I expected it to be crowded.
However, I knew plenty of lovely quiet spots to go and restaurants on quiet streets so I enjoyed myself. I did not need to go to the major tourist spots since I have seen them many times.
Saraho is offline  
Old May 1st, 2016, 02:43 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17,471
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Hey Pal; We have had quite a history of disagreement.

Anyways, this is not a competition, but the real world.

For us, we have only been to Europe 34 times and I must say it's been spread out.

We usually travel during the summer months and have not encountered the situations you suggest.

Also been to many of the places mentioned.

We do not allow crowds to interfere with our enjoyment.

Everyone's thoughts are different, but we love people, crowds and nothing defers us from taking in the wonderful ambiance of each city or town we visit.

To each his own and not a problem for us.
iris1745 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2016, 03:29 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Simply count the place names here on this forum:

Cinque Terre
Positano
Bellagio
Santorini
Mont Saint Michel
Cesky Krumlov
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Cochem/Mosel
Cotswolds
St. Remy
...

These places get a reputation by authors of guidebooks, TV, trip reports, rumor, advertising, whatever.

The fascinating thing is that often you find better destinations which are somehow ignored by the tourist masses. For years, I am trying to recommend these hidden gems, but often I have the impression that no one believes me.

Let them waste their time with standing in queues! And those how know better just enjoy.
traveller1959 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2016, 03:31 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,584
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Shout out to all my Gucci Girls here!

You go, Miss Gucci!

My euphemism for Piazza San Marco in Venice is The Burning of Atlanta!

The Lista di Spagna & Strada Nova thoroughfare is The Tsunami Highway!

Both are not to be endured, sweetie darling, without a Klonopin and Campari spritz chaser.


Of course there are some very calm spaces in Rome--the bar at the Hassler, for example. You only have to worry about being accosted by Simon Callow.

But, I was absolutely shocked to see Clovelly on the list! That is just beyond daft. That is beyond the beyond!

I guess there is a very large market for caravan clubs. Although why anyone would want to empty their own WC whilst on holiday is baffling.

Veuve Clicquot for everyone!


Thin
Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Old May 1st, 2016, 03:32 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17,471
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
We have been to some twice and loved them and would go again if father time was not working against us.

Just go!!
iris1745 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2016, 03:49 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Our own town of Le Bugue...and St Cyprien and Sarlat and Les Eyzies between beginning of June and end of August. We just stay home and visit market towns like Le Buisson and Lalinde and farther afield. We do get pissy about the traffic and the number of campervans, it's true - we like our untrammeled territory, and when the tourist buses and campervans come barreling in, it seems like a sort of assault - sorry, but that's what it is.

I think it's wonderful that visitors love our market and do a lot of business with our local vendors, but do I willinglly share the marketplace with them on Tuesdays in summer? Absolutely not. I'm not going to go shoulder-to-shoulder for a head of lettuce. Plus, the stuff that's out for the tourists in summer is always second-tier, though the tourists don't knowo
StCirq is offline  
Old May 1st, 2016, 04:17 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17,471
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Bottom line is how many tourists in France each year??

70-80 million?

Do they support the economy?

Whatever you think is fine.

I do wish you the best in your new home and living out your dream.
iris1745 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2016, 05:46 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,986
Received 83 Likes on 5 Posts
I don't do mobs. I intentionally travel off season. Which is why I was very surprised at the pre-ski season mob scene we encountered in Lauterbrunnen in early December a few years ago - all of Asia seemed to be headed to the Jungfrau.

Nothing like summer mobs, but a mob by my standards just the same.

Prior to that, my last mob scene was in Zermatt in September. Never again.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2016, 05:53 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,986
Received 83 Likes on 5 Posts
Forgot Munich at Christmas...that's a mob. For me anyway.

Hard to avoid the mob when you travel at Christmas for the Christmas Markets.

Loved, loved, loved Rothenburg ob der Tauber at Christmas though...incredibly quiet after the buses left.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2016, 06:14 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,521
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I must say that last year I was at the Vatican in September and that will be my final visit there as we were packed in like sardines down the wide hallway. Very uncomfortable. Fortunately my recent prior visits have been less crowded but still not very pleasant. Felt the same way in Florence and Venice. Glad I've had the opportunity to visit several times over the years when places were more enjoyable. Still, if I had never been to the busy tourist sites I would go now rather than forego a visit.
catcrazyaf is offline  
Old May 1st, 2016, 10:33 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>> Hard to avoid the mob when you travel at Christmas for the Christmas Markets. <<

Most of the mob are locals having a good time and buying Christmas gifts.
traveller1959 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2016, 11:15 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 3,769
Received 19 Likes on 4 Posts
I was discouraged from visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber both on travel forums and by my family in Germany, but luckily I'm fairly stubborn; so I've been twice now, on gorgeous summer day trips in July (2013 and 2014) - peak season.
Yes, the main street was busy. And yes, the tour groups were being herded through for their photo ops. But it was totally gorgeous. We did have cake in the busy street and took some photos, it was fine. Wandered off the main street to explore and had a delightful lunch by the wall in a courtyard garden, very quiet, and walked the walls barely bumping into anyone. I don't love crowds, but in this case, they did not detract from my enjoyment and they were easy to escape. I do get to visit non touristy places as I have family there, but am really glad I insisted on including Rothenburg.
Adelaidean is online now  
Old May 1st, 2016, 11:20 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 3,769
Received 19 Likes on 4 Posts
In fact, I went back over my photos and there aren't many people in them (see page 2 for Rothenburg)

https://flic.kr/s/aHskfL3qzw
Adelaidean is online now  
Old May 1st, 2016, 11:23 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a good example. The nearby towns Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen are as equally scenic but are far less crowded because the guidebooks mention Rothenburg only and the tour buses all go to Rothenburg.
traveller1959 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2016, 11:57 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<<Bottom line is how many tourists in France each year??

70-80 million?

Do they support the economy?

Whatever you think is fine.

I do wish you the best in your new home and living out your dream.>>



Iris, I specifically said that I appreciate the fact that visitors support our local vendors. Of course they are supporting the economy. I get that - I'm not a dunce, and I'm all for it, but there's a very large gap between that and my normal life being totally disrupted by hordes of people showing up just to gape at what is normal life around here. They have every right to be there. And I have every right to be pissed off that they are impeding my usual off-season ability to hop out of my car and buy a tomato or enjoy a quiet moment at the Café de la Mairie with a panaché. It's not all that different from when we lived in DC and had to deal with the swarms of tourists on spring vacation whan all we wanted was to have a nice walk on the Mall.
StCirq is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2016, 01:25 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18,211
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Of course everyone has a right to visit wherever they want, but sometimes the sheer numbers of visitors destroy what it is they have come to see, and seriously affect those who live in those places. Barcelona is a case in point. Amsterdam is increasingly becoming a less pleasant place to live due to numbers of tourists and airbnb type lettings of apartments destroying residential areas due to the sheer number of people passing through. No chance of a community when you have different neighbours every few days, who neither know nor care about you and your comfort and privacy. No chance of nipping down to the shop, or your local cafe if you have to fight your way through crowds of tourists.

Yes I am as guilty as the next, I too want to see these places, but at what cost? You cannot enjoy a place when you are swept along by the crowd, can't sit and enjoy a coffee, or stop and admire a building or a view without being surrounded by others, either jostling to do the same or annoyed you are holding up the stream of humanity sweeping through.
I disliked Yosemite because of the sheer number of people and the difficulty in finding somewhere quiet away from crowds of chattering, selfie taking fellow tourists, many of whom did not seem to be actually taking in the place at all, but just wandering around aimlessly. And that was in October, so I can only imagine what it is like in July.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2016, 01:47 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18,211
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Interestingly there is an article on a Dutch news site today about the problems the numbers of tourists are causing Volendam. http://nos.nl/artikel/2102689-volend...toeristen.html (use Google translate or similar to read it).

Basically 1.4 million tourists visited the village last year. Busloads are dumped for a few hours and a treat the village as an open air museum, rather than a community where people live and work. Some have even had tourists walk into their houses to take photographs. Volendam acknowledges the income provided by the tourists, but wants them to understand it is not a museum, and to get tour operators to educate the people they bring to the village, to help reduce problems.
A classic case of the volume of tourists destroying the very thing they have some to see.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2016, 02:13 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, tourism transforms historic places into open-air museum. Some of these places have been corrupted totally. Take Dubrovnik. It is full of souvenir stores and American-style restaurants. I also dislike what had been made from Sevilla, although most of the fellow Fodorites appear to like this sterile Disneyland of gift shops and tacky restaurants. Large cruise ships probably do the most harm, especially since cruise ship passengers do not spend much money in ports.

Yes, tourism is tempting for small communities because in brings money. But it is dancing with the devil.

Isn't Clovelly a privately owned tourist trap which even charges an entrance fee?

And imagine how much tourism will increase in the next years when more and more wealthy Chinese and Indians will swarm across Europe!
traveller1959 is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2016, 02:48 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 468
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
San Gimignano is already mentioned. But, as with all these popular places, walk along for five minutes and you've got the place almost for yourself.
No mob scenes, at least not yet, but the queues waiting to enter the Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam are incredible. The Jewish Historical Museum, showing the culture and the community which was wiped away, is almost empty.
tonfromleiden is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -