Traveling to Europe is a bucket list dream for many: a land of culture, a rite of passage, and the opportunity to walk in their ancestor’s footsteps.
Europe boasts some of the world’s most significant cultural attractions, and 6 of the ten most visited countries in the world for 2022 are located in Europe.
Everyone should visit Europe at least once in their lifetime. But despite its many attractions, summer 2023 is not the best time to visit Europe.
Here are 5 reasons why you should not visit Europe this summer:
Europe has seen a real post-covid travel boom.
Trips that were postponed because of the pandemic have been rearranged, and the result is that Europe is busy and crowded.
A new report from CNN has found that the number of Americans traveling to Europe this summer is expected to be 55% higher than last summer.
As a result, the crowds, particularly at the most popular tourist attractions, can feel overwhelming.
Many of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations are putting measures in place to control crowds, often to the detriment of the tourist experience.
Tourists in Portofino, Italy, have been banned from taking selfies, for example, and face a $300 fine if they linger to do so. This is to stop pedestrian traffic jams.
Anecdotal evidence from local residents in the most popular cities of Italy, Spain, and France has suggested that crowd levels are already so high that it’s difficult to walk through the streets.
From floods in Italy to droughts in much of Spain, Europe is expecting another summer of extreme weather.
The European Parliament has announced that Europe will face ‘a war for water’ as a result of droughts this summer.
There is no avoiding that Europe in the summer is hot every year, but the number of 90-degree Fahrenheit (32 degree Celsius) days experienced this year is expected to beat all historical records.
Even without these extremes, it is very difficult to explore Europe during the heat of the summer, particularly if you are interested in cultural attractions rather than beaches.
The ruins of Pompeii, for example, are hugely exposed, and the heat can be prohibitive to exploration. The same is true of Gaudi Park in Barcelona and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
You can both avoid the crowds and enjoy more clement temperatures if you travel to Europe in the spring or fall instead.
When demand is high, so are prices.
The average price of a roundtrip plane ticket from the U.S. to Western Europe is currently $1,200. That is $300 more than the average price of the same ticket this time last year.
Accommodation prices are also higher in Europe this year than they have ever been before.
The average price of a five-star hotel in Spain in May 2023 was 14% higher than the price of the same-level hotel in May 2022, for example. This is a trend that has been spotted across Europe.
What’s more, the rampant inflation across Europe, much of which can be attributed to the conflict in Ukraine, means that the price of food and drink in European restaurants is also significantly higher than in previous years.
If you’re traveling on a budget, then there are more affordable destinations to choose from this summer.
Much of Europe will simply close during the hottest month of the summer, meaning that visitors don’t see the bustling and vibrant cities at their best.
In many of the biggest cities in Spain, France, and Italy, shops and businesses will close during the month of August so that their employees, together with their families, can escape the oppressive heat of summer in the city and head to the mountain or coastal regions instead.
While these closures don’t impact tourist attractions such as museums and galleries, they will impact some shops and restaurants.
They also influence the overall atmosphere of a city.
If you want to experience the authentic heart of a European city, then you should visit a time when it is populated by its local people, not by throngs of tourists.
The Rest of the World
We live in a wide world, and while Europe may be one of the most popular vacation destinations, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best, particularly during the summer months.
There are plenty of other places you could explore this summer that are likely to be less crowded and more affordable than a trip to Europe.
For beaches, why not try African countries such as South Africa and Kenya? Adventurers should head to the South American countries of Argentina and Chile.
And if you’re looking for unique cultural experiences, then Sri Lanka and Northern India offer great weather and an abundance of temples and other attractions.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com