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Were you in Europe in August? How crowded WAS it?

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Were you in Europe in August? How crowded WAS it?

Old Aug 31st, 2016, 05:08 PM
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Were you in Europe in August? How crowded WAS it?

So all of you who were in Europe in August - how crowded was it where you were?

I travel to Europe every July and, with a few exceptions, find the crowds not as bad as a lot of people would have you believe. But I have heard August is when it gets really bad. I've heard this from locals in numerous different places, and I've also noticed if I check hotel prices in July versus August that they generally are higher in August - leading to the same conclusion. I kind of think the 'really bad' crowds are in the coastal areas. Next year I'm considering August instead of July for my trip, but if there really is a significant difference in crowds I'll stick to July.

So ... if you were in Europe this past month did you find the crowds terrible? Have you also traveled in July or other months so you can compare.
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Old Aug 31st, 2016, 05:23 PM
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Europe is kind of big. Can you narrow it down a little? Do you mean France, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Norway?
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Old Aug 31st, 2016, 06:22 PM
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I remember seeing you FOUR different times during my own July trip so next year I'm going in August so please stick to July, OK?
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Old Aug 31st, 2016, 10:21 PM
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I was there the whole month of August. It wasn't crowded at all in my neighbourhood. Most people were on holiday.
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Old Aug 31st, 2016, 10:36 PM
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I was in Europe during August. At our summer house, I saw one or two cars pass the house a day, I didn't see any humans except the farmer and his cows. At home, it was also quiet.
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Old Aug 31st, 2016, 10:38 PM
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I've been in Europe all August.

Tourist-driven cities like Verona were jam packed. Real cities like London were a good bit emptier than in May or October as always: summer tourists always amount to fewer people than the full-time residents or business visitors who jam the city's tubes, theatres and decent restaurants most of the year, but are off sunning themselves in August. My own microtown's been a tad busier than usual because of the staycation mini-boom.

No doubt it's the same in the poster's continent. Or does she live on a planet where it's possible to make meaningful generalisations about entire continents?
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Old Aug 31st, 2016, 10:55 PM
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Obviously, it depends on where you are. Oxford was ridiculously crowded, Worcester, not so much. Even in Oxford, the crowds were concentrated in the center. (Read my TR for more.)
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Old Aug 31st, 2016, 11:20 PM
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I've spent most of my holidays in France in july and now august. I changed from july to august when I started working in France.

On the french beach areas, the situation is :
July up to 14th : nobody
july 15 to july 31 : more and more people
August 1st to august 15th : jampacked
August 15th to august 22d : overjampacked
Last week of august : packed

In Paris :
july : less crowded, no more white collars
august : empty of French
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 12:08 AM
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I had a long weekend in Belgium, staying in Gent with daytrips to Brugge and Antwerpen. Brugge became unbearable after 10 am, with one coach party after another, meekly following their tour guide. Antwerpen had its normal shopping crowds. Gent was busy in its usual lively way.
And back home, it was quiet with half the city away for their holidays.
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 01:13 AM
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I was at home in France all summer with the exception of a couple of weekend trips to other parts of France. July was busy. August was jammed. We went to St-Emilion one day in mid-August and it was almost impossible to move round, it was so busy. The tourist buses pervaded Les Eyzies in August. Next year we will rent our house out in August and take off for another continent. Even though tourism is down by a fair bit here in the Dordogne and our village is normally very quiet, I don't care to be around here for the August crush.
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 01:30 AM
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I have been in Nice for over three months. July is usually less busy compared to August; however, because of the Euro football competition, July this year seemed very busy and August was very, very busy, despite the tragedy that occurred here.

Things on the beaches are getting better re crowding.

I had a couple of trips from Nice in August: one to the Lot region near Gourdon, to visit friends, and one to some small villages in the Var. Tourists were around; however, not unbearable.
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 03:29 AM
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We were in Europe and UK for several months and August was the busiest for us. Euro 16 brought crowds to the parts of France we visited but it would be noticeable mostly on game days and didn't impact us negatively. Arriving in London at the first of August however, I was very surprised at the amount of very large tour groups there and also in Oxford. We had not traveled to UK for 10 years so perhaps this has been steadily building, but I found London to be the most crowded city I have visited in the past several years. Oxford was also, at times, uncomfortably crowded but our trip coincided with both degree ceremonies and the large number of foreign students who come for "summer at Oxford" programs. Once we were out of that area it was much better and we were also pleasantly surprised at how well Edinburgh handles their Fringe crowds - you can tell they've done this for a while!
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 03:53 AM
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I was in Rhodes for August - I didn't find it too busy, certainly nothing like the hype. We did book early and found that even in January, some of our first choices for accommodation for August were already booked out. But when we got there, it was fine - while there were undoubtedly many holidaymakers, we didn't experience any overcrowding at beaches / restaurants, or queues for excursions / attractions.
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 04:06 AM
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AtlTravelr - that's exactly why I asked actually. I was in London at the beginning of my trip this year for several days (mid week) at the end of June, and then again the last weekend in July. I saw a huge difference in the crowds especially at places like the southbank embankments. I wondered if the difference was due to an event (it was the bike race weekend, although I don't mean places where the actual bike race was), the fact that it was a weekend, or the fact that it was now almost August.

Thursdays - your trip report mentioned crowded roads in the English southwest coastal area. That's a place we are considering for next summer and one reason I'm asking this question is that I'd heard the roads there were 'jammed in August'. The things I've read did not say 'jammed in July' so I wondered if that meant there was actually a difference.

I purposely didn't 'narrow it down' because, while I have been for years, and plan to continue, to travel in Europe in summer I don't restrict myself to one or two countries, or even to specific areas (big cities vs country vs coast). So I'm interested in (and thought others might be as well) in seeing if the month of August was significantly different than the month of July, and if so where. A few years ago I was in Pugia in July and things were very quiet, several people told me the 'tourist season' was really just in August there. These are the kinds of things I'm looking for.

I'm from the US and I could tell you that for example the western National Parks are most crowded from mid-June through mid-August but then it slows down till September when it picks back up. So in that case last half of August is a good time to go.

Thanks to those of you who gave serious answers to the question.
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 04:55 AM
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isabel - one more comment/observation - we had several people in France tell us that some of the places we should visit would be packed in August. They were often referring to vacation spots that they would go to themselves, not necessarily Paris. And several of our English connections referred to August as "our summer" and how everyone was trying to get one last trip in before the end of the month. We did return to the states on the 25th but were in Europe last year for the last full week of August (Germany & Italy) and didn't find it badly crowded. I wouldn't rule out the latter part of the month.
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 05:04 AM
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I would expect the SW UK to be crowded any time UK schools are out. This varies by district, but is roughly the last third of July plus all of August and maybe the beginning of September. Traffic will be worse around the weekend.
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 05:50 AM
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We were in Budapest, Rotterdam, Krakow and Warsaw for 18 days spanning the end of July into August. There were crowds everywhere, but timing is the critical element. For instance, in Rotterdam there was a giant Caribbean festival/parade on a Saturday during our stay and on that day the city was "overjampacked" to steal a useful phrase. On the other days, it would just be the usual summer visitors. We arrived in Krakow at the conclusion of the International Day of Youth (?) and it was likewise very crowded.
Most tourist places were well attended as you might expect, so a little planning (obviously we don't always do enough of that - see Rotterdam above) goes a long way. Buy your Budapest Parliament tour tickets in advance for one good example. Having said that, there are simply times the places you want to visit and the time you are available to travel conspire against you and make you part of the teeming horde. Still better than being home. This thread, however, does a good job of helping folks use their personal travel flexibility to their best end.
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 08:55 AM
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I was only there in July and it seemed the same as usual, as I often travel then.

However, I wanted to remark on your comment that you find hotel prices higher in August than July. I have never seen such a thing in Europe, prices in AUgust are usually cheaper, if anything. I have no idea where you are seeing this phenomenon, but perhaps it is some resort or beach area, that's the only place I can imagine that happening. It doesn't happen in cities as there is less business traffic, not a lot going on otherwise (like performing arts), and so hotels oftenlower their prices. I've often gotten cheaper rates in late July or August in big cities in all of Europe (Paris, London, Prague, etc.).
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 08:57 AM
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In many parts of Italy, September and October are the busiest months.

In Rome, for example, the number of person-nights in hotels and other lodging is highest in October, followed by September, July, May, April, June, March, and August, in that order. August is in 8th place. It may not feel that way when you're packed in ten-deep at the Trevi Fountain on a sweaty afternoon in August, but it's been that way for some time. In fact, many hotels offer low-season or shoulder-season prices in August.

After August, come November, December, February, and January.

Here are the official statistics from the tourist office. You'll find the numbers I used in the last column of the table on page 9.

https://www.comune.roma.it/PCR/resou..._2015_01_X.pdf
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 09:34 AM
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Last time I saw anything there were queues to get into Europe. Forming in Greece,Serbia etc
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