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Dubrovnik rooftops
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These European cities are the most overcrowded with tourists right now

A new study compares cities’ number of yearly visitors with their local populations

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Travellers and tourists are – usually – a good thing for local economies. People come and explore places, spending money and helping to sustain local livelihoods. 

However, in certain destinations, the level of tourism has become a bit much – to the point where several places around the world are actively taking measures to clamp down on their visitor numbers. Overtourism not only leads to overcrowding and inflated cost of living for locals, but it can have a seriously negative impact on travellers themselves. After all, if locals are pushed out of a destination, all the character of that place gets pushed out, too.

So which destinations around the world are the most crowded with tourists right now? To find out, home rental agency Holidu totted up the number of yearly tourists to European cities and compared it to those cities' local populations.

According to Holidu, the European city most overloaded with tourists is Dubrovnik. The walled Croatian city apparently has 36 yearly visitors per permanent inhabitant, in part due to its small size and popularity as a summer day trip and festival destination. 

Next up on the list was a tie between Venice, Bruges and Rhodes, which all have 21 tourists per inhabitant.

Here are the cities in Europe with the most tourists per inhabitant, according to Holidu’s study.

1. Dubrovnik, Croatia

2. Venice, Italy

= Bruges, Belgium

= Rhodes, Greece

5. Reykjavik, Iceland

6. Florence, Italy

= Heraklion, Greece

8. Amsterdam, Netherlands

9. Dublin, Ireland

10. Tallinn, Estonia

None of which should come as too big a surprise, tbh! After all, most of the above destinations are either exceptionally popular tourist spots or rather small (or both). You can read Holidu’s full study here – then check out our guide to the best European city breaks for 2023, plenty of which are currently far from overcrowded with visitors.

Did you see that this country is officially the best in the world for wine (and no, it’s not France)?

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