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Your Top Tourist Mob Scenes in Europe?

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Oct 13th, 2014, 01:21 PM
  #1
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Your Top Tourist Mob Scenes in Europe?

Have you ever been in one of Europe's tourist meccas where the overwhelming crowds negated all of the extraordinary loveliness that brought the swarms there?

Off season these places can be real gems but in the peak season I think many would be better off avoiding them - rather than being disappointed with the mob scene and inevitably resulting tourist schlock that pops up to sell all kind of souvenirs, etc. These are places that are small - too small to nicely absorb the hoards descending on them during their busiest seasons.

MY TOP TOURIST SCENES TO AVOID IN PEAK SEASON (but often to revel in outside peak season!)

ITALY seems to have some of the very worst mob scenes:

PORTOFINO
BELLAGIO (on Lake Como)
SIRMIONE (on Lake Garda)
THE CINQUE TERRE - all five towns
SAN MARINO
MERANO (VENICE)
VENICE (the relatively compact area most tourists never wander off - the beaten track between train station/car parks/bus depot and Saint Mark's Square.+

MARKEN AND VOLENDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

GIVERNY, FRANCE
MONT-SAINT MICHEL, FRANCE
VEZELAY, FRANCE
AMBOISE, FRANCE
NICE AND THE WHOLE COTE D'AZUR

CLOVELLY, ENGLAND
STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, ENGLAND
BLACKPOOL, ENGLAND

BRUGES, BELGIUM

ROTHENBURG, GERMANY
DINKELSBUHL, GERMANY
RUDESHEIM, GERMANY

BENIDORM, ENGLAND BUT IN SPAIN

All of these places, save Benidorm and Blackpool - can be very very lovely outside of just a few months of the year - planning a trip there outside of the hectic peak season will often be a much much nicer experience!

WHAT PLACES HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE TOO FULL OF TOURISTS TO REALLY ENJOY?
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Oct 13th, 2014, 01:34 PM
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Too many unknowns.
Too many conditions.
I'm stomping my feet and shaking my head NO!!
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Oct 13th, 2014, 01:35 PM
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Montmartre in Paris. I loved it many years ago but the two times I have been more recently have been unpleasant due to the crowds. Away from the church and main square area, it was fine.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 01:44 PM
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I usually travel off peak and often to places that are not top on tour bus routes so I can't think of many towns/cities where I've encountered an over abundance of tourists. There are some museums or other sights that have long waiting lines or too many tourists so I visit during the first or last part of the day.

I agree with Giverny. Even decades ago the gardens were packed.

I've been to Bruges twice but did not find it packed with tourists.

The entire Cote d'Azur is not overly crowded, only the most popular towns/areas. There are plenty of places that are quiet and interesting.

BTW - Merano is in the southern Tyrol, not in Venice. I'd never heard of it so I looked it up. It looks charming.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 01:49 PM
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BTW - Merano is in the southern Tyrol, not in Venice. I'd never heard of it so I looked it up. It looks charming>

Wrong spelling and I don't know about Merano - time I was there is was fine.

I guess it's spelt Murano, the island just off Venice proper known for its glass-blowers - seems like kind of a sham place all around.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 01:50 PM
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Florence when we were there:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pug_gi...57634601210812

You can see the crowd on the bridge

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pug_gi...57634601210812
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Oct 13th, 2014, 01:55 PM
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Well yes I would in retrospect added Florence to my list - much tinier central city than Rome where crowds can spread out aomngst many nice places but in Florence it's the area around the Duomo and the bridges that can be way way too crowded for my tastes!
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Oct 13th, 2014, 01:57 PM
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Daughter just got back from Rome. Said the Vatican and Sistine chapel were AWFUL. She can't imagine what they'd be like in peak season.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 02:06 PM
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good thread. I'll keep some of these places in mind. In your opinion what are the best times of year to go to these places? I would love to know for future planning. I would have to add the Louvre to this list. In my opinion it's not worth going when it mobbed. I'm looking forward to going to some of the evening hours next year.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 02:07 PM
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Just did sunset in Oia, Santorini a couple days ago. It was packed like a rock festival.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 02:08 PM
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Dubrovnik when there are 3 ships or more in port. Sad. Just sad.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 02:21 PM
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Capri at daytime.

The Pantheon in Rome.

Vatican Museums but only on the "racecourse" along the main corridor - as soon as you turn right or left into one of the side rooms it's perfectly fine.

Spanish Riding School in Vienna at morning practice, packed with ignorant people who expect a circus show and utter dumb comments. If they let only those in who know a bit about dressage riding and have an idea what they are watching, it would be a sanctuary.

Neuschwanstein. No comment necessary.

Oktoberfest - and it looks as if the Cannstatter Wasen is the next to be ruined.

I experienced Passau's small old town with two cruise ships present - I do not want to know what it will be like when all 8 or 10 landings are occupied.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 02:33 PM
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We're going to Venice and Florence at the beginning of December--I'm hoping it's not too bad then. We went to Rome once in February and it was pretty crowded but bearable. We always travel off season.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 02:37 PM
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I would like to suggest to those that find the Louvre a mob scene ( because I agree it can be) that they try some of the lesser visited galleries.. in other words.. AVOID the Mona Lisa.. lol
There are quieter areas in the museum.. and every room is filled with priceless art.. so try avoiding the obvious and seek out the other areas.. so that you can breathe at least, lol

The one site is become so insanely crowded that I honestly think you are almost taking your life into your hands by going there in the summer.. Versailles. The crowd is so dense you can barely move in some areas.. hate it the way it is now.

40 years ago I have a photo of me standing in the Hall of Mirrors.. behind me.. far behind me.. appear two other people. And.. that was in the summer!
Now its literally a mob scene,, and I constantly tell folks with younger kids to do them a favor and not take them in the palace as all the little ones will see are peoples bums and elbows in their faces!! Its that crowded.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 02:38 PM
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Just returned from France, including Paris.

Many parts of Paris were so crowded that we could barely get across the street. In the Marais, from one end of Rue Rambuteau to the other side of the Place de Vosges, it looked like Times Square on New Year's Eve. Impossible to stroll or window shop or relax.

All of the vast open area to the east of the Pompidou smelled like a toilet.

It was unpleasant to be there in the first week of October.

If I ever go back, it will be from November to maybe early March.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 02:40 PM
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In your opinion what are the best times of year to go to these places?>

For Italy peak season is July and especially August - IMO May or early June would be prime times for Italy as well as mid-September and October - weather nice - part of the struggle in places like Florence in summer is that the average high temp is 90 F or so and often humid - adds to the sardine city effect.

Easter the week before and after is a big tourist season in southern Europe as many northerners have 2-week vacations and schools are out.

Pretty much the same for other places - Europeans vacation in mass in July and August - but weekends in some of these places can still be crowded.

So IME it is just avoiding huge crowds for a few months - off-season sees relatively few crowds.

For the Louvre for example since it is closed on Tuesdays they say Wednesday is busier than usual because of the pent-up demand - and on Sundays it can be mobbed if it's the first Sunday of the month when it is (or at least used to be) free - many Parisian sites have discounts on Sundays and are accordingly more crowded.

Week days are the best for museums, etc in Paris - one of the most crowded days I've seen in Paris was Christmas Day of all days - everyone seemed to be out for a stroll - many things were open, including a few museums as the French celebrate Xmas the night before with a traditional family meal after midnight mass - the next day is a rest day or a day to go for a stroll.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 02:42 PM
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We went to Rome once in February and it was pretty crowded but bearable>

Ditto for London one February when I was there recently - mobs of German and French school groups all over as schools in those countries I think have a week or two off in February and families then take the time to travel. London was about as mobbed as I've seen it anytime in mid-February - Rome perhaps for the same reasons - school vacations.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 02:42 PM
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The Louvre on Wednesday late afternoon/evening is a good time except for the Mona Lisa area. Friday evenings are free to the under 26 year olds so might be packed.

There are lots of galleries in the Louvre that have no one around.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 02:44 PM
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Paris in the summer is jampacked...awful. Were just in Florence and it was a mob scene at the major attractions. the Ponte Vecchio was a joke. However, very easy to get off the beaten track and get away from the crowds.
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