Old Town Square in Prague—crowded, but also fun with a busker making bubbles
Dubrovnik, around Big Onofrio Fountain, just inside Pile Gate
People crowd around the Astronomical Clock on Old Town Square in Prague–note there’s even a wedding party there
Most Crowded Place(s) on our Trip
We traveled through Eastern Europe in June and July, the peak tourist season, as that was the time we were able to be away from life and jobs at home. So, of course pretty much everywhere was rather crowded, which we expected. But, some places were definitely more crowded than others, at least when we were there. Crowds, in and of themselves, are not a bad thing, and after all, we as tourists too are also part of that crowd! But, we also try to be travelers rather than just tourists, and try to learn more about the culture and life of a place, try to stay a bit and just be there, and that can be harder to do when there are thousands of others crowding around.
Hence this award! We didn’t take any pictures deliberately of crowds; in fact, quite the opposite, as we tried to find spots that had the fewest people, but these give a small idea I think.
Entering Old Town Dubrovnik through Pile Gate
Lining up for a spot at Karmenice Restaurant in Dubrovnik
We thought the worst crowding was in Dubrovnik, something that really struck us when we first entered the Old City through the Pile Gate. There were people literally swarming in and it was a hustling jostling feeling, being swept into the Old City. Part of the problem is that all visitors want to spend some time (most of their time) in and around the Old City, which is a rather small area so there’s not much space for people to spread out. It seemed this was so marked in Dubrovnik because it is a major cruise-ship port-of-call and during the day throngs of people flock off the docked ships. But, luckily they mostly throng back in the late afternoon, and evenings are relatively quieter.
Viv and Sonya on Charles Bridge, Prague
Old Town Square, Prague. Note the gorgeous buildings—and the bubbles
Prague was also pretty crowded, but not everywhere. Charles Bridge and the areas around it, and Old Town Square were the worst. Luckily, the city of Prague is quite spread out so other areas, like the Castle Quarter and the Little Quarter below the Castle Hill, didn’t seem quite so full (even though there were actually a lot of people).
Vienna, another really popular destination, also had a lot of visitors, most notably in the Hofburg Palace area and around St. Stephen’s Cathedral. But elsewhere it didn’t seem too bad.
This whole idea of too many tourists and of tourists actually being a bad thing for many
Selfie in Vienna, with Stephansdom (St Stephen’s Cathedral)
of the world’s top destinations is a topic that seems to come up more and more often nowadays, and many places are trying to think of ways to curb and control the number of visitors. I read that Amsterdam is badly affected, as are some special historic sites, like Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, for example.
So, let’s hope these lovely places we visited on our trip can escape the worst of these negative effects.