Travel Notes blog
The busiest tourist destinations in Europe
by Clare Evans
11 min read

The busiest tourist destinations in Europe

The busiest tourist destinations in Europe
Discover the busiest tourist attractions in Europe and the charm of quieter holiday destinations. Our villas are perfect for quiet holidays and family getaways.
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Europe, a continent steeped in history, culture and breathtaking landscapes, has long been a magnet for travellers from across the globe. However, for those seeking a more tranquil and intimate vacation experience away from the crowds, Europe also offers a treasure trove of special locations that promise solitude, serenity and an opportunity to truly immerse oneself in the beauty of the continent.

In this blog post, we will look at some of the busiest tourist attractions in Europe and invite you to discover the quieter alternatives, unveiling a world of off-the-beaten-path destinations that are steeped in soul.

Busiest tourist attractions in Europe

PositionTourist attractionCountry/CityCombined references of being too busy1Edinburgh CastleEdinburgh, Scotland1,1842Buckingham PalaceLondon, England1,1123Siam ParkTenerife, Spain1,0964Canal GrandeVenice, Italy9925The Roman BathsBath, England9906Tower of LondonLondon, England9657Louvre MuseumParis, France9248AcropolisAthens. Greece9059The British MuseumLondon, England90010Musee d’OrsayParis, France899

Europe is home to some of the most iconic attractions in the world, drawing millions of visitors each year. These popular destinations have rightfully earned their reputation, thanks to their historical significance, architectural wonders and cultural richness. From the romantic charm of the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the majestic Colosseum in Rome, these attractions have become must-see landmarks that embody the world renowned essence of Europe's allure.

The reasons behind their popularity are evident: these attractions offer unparalleled experiences, fascinating stories and the chance to witness world-famous landmarks firsthand. However, for those seeking a quieter and more intimate holiday experience, Europe also boasts a myriad of lesser-known destinations that we are proud to hold the keys to. These destinations give you the opportunity to escape the crowds and discover the unexplored corners of this diverse continent, where guests are sure to be inspired by little-known discoveries of their own.

Busiest beaches in Europe

PositionBeachCountry/CityCombined references of being too busy1Elafonissi BeachCrete, Greece9402Bournemouth BeachBournemouth, England7643Fig Tree BayProtaros, Cyprus6964Playa de la BarcelonetaBarcelona, Spain6675Navagio Beach (shipwreck beach)Zakynthos, Greece6406Playa de LevanteAlicante, Spain5767Fistral BeachCornwall, England4038Woolacombe BeachDevon, England3869Red BeachSantorini, Italy38510Lulworth Cove and DoorDorset, England379

Some of the most sought-after beach destinations in Europe attract sun-seeking travellers from around the world. The sun-drenched coasts of Spain, such as the vibrant beaches of Barcelona and the pristine sands of Costa del Sol, offer a blend of relaxation, water sports and a vibrant social scene. Greece's picturesque islands, like Mykonos and Santorini, allure visitors with their turquoise waters, whitewashed buildings and legendary nightlife. Along the French Riviera, the glamorous beaches of Nice and Saint-Tropez beckon with their chic ambiance and luxurious amenities.

The popularity of these beaches stems from their idyllic settings, crystal-clear waters and a plethora of activities that cater to diverse interests. However, for those seeking a more unique beach getaway, we offer lesser-known coastal paradises that keyholders will be delighted to find have a deeply rooted connection with the local community. Discover soulful places where you can unwind amidst unspoiled nature, pristine beaches and a more intimate atmosphere, offering an escape from the crowds while still delivering an unforgettable seaside experience.

Busiest tourist attractions in Greece

PositionTourist attractionDestinationCombined references of being too busy1AcropolisAthens9052Village of LondosRhodes6533ParthenonAthens4294PlakaAthens3845The Palace of KnossosCrete3536Acropolis MuseumAthens3267Little VeniceMykonos2978Balos LagoonCrete2899Mount LycabettusAthens10410MeteoraThessaly59

Greece, a land of ancient wonders and breathtaking beauty, encompasses a collection of popular tourist attractions that captivate travellers from across the globe. The historic Acropolis in Athens stands tall as a testament to Greece's rich heritage, offering visitors a glimpse into the country's ancient past. Santorini, with its iconic blue-domed churches and stunning sunsets, has become synonymous with romantic getaways and postcard-perfect views. Delphi, known as the centre of the world in ancient times, continues to intrigue with its archaeological treasures and scenic mountain setting. These attractions have gained their popularity for good reason, as they provide a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.


Quiet holidays in Greece

Travellers seeking to explore lesser-known treasures are spoiled for choice with our family of luxury villas in Greece that offer a more intimate and authentic experience. Our travel experts will guide you on a journey to off-the-beaten-path islands, picturesque villages and quiet holiday destinations, where you can immerse yourself in Greece's well-kept secrets, away from the bustling crowds and discover a different side of this enchanting country.



Syros, a beloved island in the Cyclades, is a captivating location that offers a delightful mix of cultural richness and natural beauty. Travellers can't miss a visit to the imposing Syros Town Hall and the impressive Apollo Theater, both architectural marvels that reflect the island's historical significance. Syros offers a range of beautiful sandy shores that are sure to please beach-enthusiasts, such as Galissas Beach and Agathopes Beach, where crystal-clear waters invite relaxation and water activities. Among quiet family holiday destinations, our luxury villas in Syros are only a stone’s throw from some of the most popular destinations on the island, allowing guests the perfect balance between exploration and restoration.

Busiest beaches in Greece

Travellers from all over the world know Greece for its crystal-clear waters and breathtaking coastline. Home to a selection of the busiest beaches in Europe, many Greek holidays are had on the shores of Myrtos Beach in Kefalonia. Dramatic cliffs and the azure Ionian sea welcome beach-goers, while the golden sands and vibrant beach bars of Paradise Beach in Mykonos draw a lively crowd seeking a vibrant seaside atmosphere.

While taking a dip off these sandy shores will keep visitors occupied with activity, those seeking a more secluded and serene coastal experience among quiet Greek islands, we can offer a handpicked selection of lesser-known beaches in Greece. 

Busiest tourist attractions in Italy

PositionTourist attractionDestinationCombined references of being too busy1Canal GrandeVenice9922Vatican MuseumsRome8483ColosseumRome8374Trevi FountainRome8125PantheonRome7626Piazza  NavonaRome7577Gallerie Degli UffiziFlorence7338Piazzale MichelangeloFlorence6469Duomo di MilanoMilan42710St Peter’s BasilicaRome104

Italy is home to some of the busiest tourist attractions in the world. The Colosseum in Rome, with its ancient grandeur and historical significance, draws visitors who are captivated by its architectural marvel and the opportunity to step back in time. The romantic city of Venice, with its picturesque canals and iconic gondolas, entices travellers with its unique charm and the allure of exploring a city built on water. Finally, the magnificent beauty of the Florence Cathedral, or Duomo, with its stunning Renaissance architecture, attracts art enthusiasts and architecture aficionados from around the globe, offering a glimpse into Italy's rich cultural heritage.


Quiet holidays in Italy

It’s no wonder crowds are constantly clamouring to visit Italy’s most significant landmarks, but for travellers seeking a slice of peace and quiet, we have a noteworthy selection of luxury villas in Italy that are within reach of unforgettable excursions and secluded coastline.



Noto is home to must-see sights, such as the Noto Cathedral, a magnificent Baroque masterpiece that showcases the town's architectural splendour. Taking a leisurely stroll along Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the town's main street, allows visitors to admire the stunning Baroque palaces and charming shops. The town hosts the Infiorata di Noto, a vibrant flower festival held in May, where the streets come alive with intricate floral designs. Our charming curation of luxury villas in Noto make it easy to completely immerse yourself in the heart and soul of Noto, and discover why this Sicilian gem has captured the spirits of travellers seeking a mix of history, culture and natural wonders.

Busiest beaches in Italy

Italy is renowned for its beautiful beaches that attract beach-lovers from around the world. The Amalfi Coast with its picturesque towns, scenic cliffs and sapphire sea entices visitors with its postcard-perfect beauty. The glamorous beach resorts of the Italian Riviera, such as Portofino and Cinque Terre, grip travellers with their charming coastal ambiance, vibrant colours and a blend of luxury and natural splendour. These beaches have maintained their popular reputation for their incredible landscapes and the plentiful opportunity for swimming, sunbathing and embracing the quintessential Italian beach lifestyle.

Busiest tourist attractions in Spain

PositionTourist attractionDestinationCombined references of being too busy1Siam ParkTenerife1,0962Mercat de la BoqueriaBarcelona7483Basílica de la Sarada FamiliaBarcelona7354Casa BatlloBarcelona7055The AlhambraAndalucia5756Parque del RetiroMadrid4877Prado National MuseumMadrid4318Real Alcázar de SevillaAndalucia3659Gothic QuarterBarcelona33810Royal Palace of MadridMallorca222

Spain boasts some of the most awe-inspiring tourist attractions in Europe. The captivating architecture of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona exemplifies intricate design by Antoni Gaudí, and attracts visitors from all over the world who are taken by its unique beauty and the opportunity to witness an ongoing masterpiece in the making. The Alhambra in Granada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, enchants travellers with its exquisite Moorish architecture, intricate tilework, and stunning gardens, offering a glimpse into Spain's rich cultural history. These attractions remain popular destinations for their remarkable craftsmanship, historical significance and the ability to immerse visitors in the vibrant heritage of Spain.

Busiest beaches in Spain

The golden shores of Costa del Sol, with its warm Mediterranean waters and vibrant beachfront promenades, offer a perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment, while the lively beaches of Ibiza, renowned for their world-famous parties and stunning coastline, draw a young and energetic crowd looking for a vibrant beach experience. These beaches are popular for their inviting climate, pristine sands, and a wide range of amenities and water sports, making them ideal destinations for sun-soaked holidays.

Busiest tourist attractions in the UK

PositionTourist attractionDestinationCombined references of being too busy1Edinburgh CastleEdinburgh1,1842Buckingham PalaceLondon1,1123The Roman BathsBath9904The Tower of LondonLondon9655The British MuseumLondon9006London EyeLondon8717National GalleryLondon7768V&A MuseumLondon7539Natural History MuseumLondon74210StonehengeWiltshire739

The United Kingdom is host to some of the most popular attractions in the world. The historical Tower of London and the opportunity to see the Crown Jewels attracts visitors seeking a glimpse into the country's royal heritage. The British Museum, renowned for its vast collection of art and artefacts from across the globe, entices culture enthusiasts with its rich and diverse exhibitions, providing a fascinating journey through human history. These attractions are popular for their significant role in history, cultural treasures, and the immersive experiences they offer, making them must-visit destinations for travellers exploring the United Kingdom.

Busiest beaches in the UK

The beaches of the UK are renowned as places where travellers may retreat to unwind and explore the things about the coastline that give it life. Brighton Beach, with its vibrant atmosphere, iconic pier and a range of entertainment options, attracts visitors seeking a buoyant seaside experience. Cornwall's stunning beaches, such as Fistral Beach and St Ives Bay, intrigue beach lovers with their picturesque landscapes, seaside gates leading to golden sands and excellent surfing conditions, making them a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Europe is a continent brimming with a rich tapestry of bustling tourist attractions that have captivated travellers for centuries. From the iconic landmarks of Paris and Rome to the sun-drenched beaches of Spain and Greece, these popular destinations offer an abundance of history, culture and natural beauty. However, if a unique, soul-soaked destination is what you seek, The Thinking Traveller is proud to hold the keys to a family of villas within reach of off-the-beaten path opportunities that are sure to nurture the fondest memories. Contact our helpful team of travel experts for advice in booking your quiet European holiday today to get started in creating memories that are sure to last.