5 European Countries You Can Go To Instead Of Their Popular Counterparts

With the idea of a European Summer slowly taking root in the masses, the continent is plagued with overtourism. Here are 5 countries you can visit instead for a quiet and peaceful holiday
European cities/ Trawell

Experiencing a European summer is a dream for many travellers and each year, with an increase in the spending power of the world’s population, a large number of people choose to throng to European countries to fulfill their bucket list travel plans. What does not help is the fact that the continent is home to some of the most famous landmarks of the world, be it the Eiffel Tower or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum or the Vatican. These factors have come together to cause massive overcrowding in major European cities.

Here is a list of major overcrowded countries and a guide to their alternatives if you want to experience the same beauty but at a cheaper cost and more peacefully.


Italy witnessed a footfall of 65 million tourists in 2023 revenge tourism post the pandemic has ensured that the numbers are only rising with each passing year, as compared to pre-Covid. The country itself is struggling to deal with these numbers, and a result a number of restrictions have been imposed.

A lot of it is also due to bad management by the government, with tourists crammed into the months of July and August, visiting mostly the northern parts of the country and thronging to Venice.

The Montenegro landscape/ Shutterstock

Alternative: Montenegro

Give the Mediterranean Sea a ditch and visit its cousin, the Balkan Sea. Montenegro, considered to be Italy’s doppelganger, is immersed in history, has Venetian style churches and city squares.

It is home to the Budva Riviera, the best beach destination with a medieval town at its shore. The buildings in the city of Kotor are majestic, and having seen the reign of the Yugoslavian dynasty, Montenegro is home to art and culture. Many of the water bodies will remind you of the Italian riverine.


With the world famous Eiffel Tower, the bustling wine regions, and the biggest sporting events taking place in 2024, it is no wonder that France is such an overcrowded destination. It is also the country that receives the greatest number of tourists as well, giving rise to an urgent need to control the overtourism and find a country to visit that will not diminish your European holiday experience due to summer crowds.

Castle in Slovenia/ The Guardian

Alternative: Slovenia

Slovenia lies nestled between Croatia and Italy, closer to the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the most breathtaking countries of the European continent, packing the charm of Austria’s mountainous villages, Italy’s wine regions and the Renaissance like architecture of the major European cities. The Alpine Juliana peaks can be your alternative to the French Alps and Lake Bled, with its fairytale castle and island should be on top of your list. The vibrant culture of the Capital Ljubljana, with a stream flowing through the city, only adds to the charm of the place.


Spain received 85.3 million tourists in 2023, second only to France. This has led to a lot of accommodations and houses in Spain being converted into flat for tourists and Canary Islands in danger of being destroyed by tourists, an industry that has traditionally contributed to 13 per cent of the GDP.

Home to La Sagrada and popular football stadiums like Santiago Bernabeu and Nou Camp, Spain is high on the list of dream destinations for travellers but it is time to chuck this over flowing country and visit Portugal, a perfect alternative.


Alternative: Portugal

These Western European nations have the same peninsula; hence their climates and landscapes are quite similar. The capital city of Lisbon is home to the 16th century Belem Tower, the Sao Jorge Castle and the Jeronimos Monastery. The Benagil Sea Cave is one of the most breathtaking natural wonders, with skylight coming in from the ceiling and a secluded beach. The Castle of the Moors is another architectural marvel that cannot be missed.


From its tulip fields to the canal centred city, to its windmills and reputation as one of the party capitals of the world, Netherlands is struggling under the burden of overtourism. The government has announced curb measures to overcome this, with a ban on constructions of any new hotels and a cap on the number of tourists allowed to stay each night in the city in the coming years.

Alternative: Belgium

The picturesque medieval town of Brugges can any day give Amsterdam a run for its money. The network of canals, marvellous palaces and chapels reflect the history of this small town. Brugges has also been termed as the Venice of the North. In Brussels, the capital city, indulge in visiting world class restaurant, pubs and shopping arcades and in Ghent, satiate the art afficionado in you with its high-quality museums. Most importantly, don’t forget to indulge in Belgian waffles and chocolates.

Belgium/Getty Images


With its beautiful medieval castles and architectures and its status as an automotive hub, Germany is slowly being caught in the clutches of overtourism. The country has a perfect blend of modernity and tradition, with its palaces and museums, bars and restaurants and one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world- Munich. The Rhine Valley and the Baltic coast offer stunning natural vistas, ranking Germany high on the list of tourists choosing to visit the country.

Luxembourg/ Britannica

Alternative: Luxembourg

Combining the old and the new, Luxembourg is one of the world’s smallest countries, in addition to being landlocked. However, it is an extremely multicultural city. It boasts of over 60 art and history museums the city’s Old Town is a World Heritage Site. The Victor Hugo Museum is the perfect spot for book lovers and for those who love hiking and adventure, the country has the Mullerthal waterfall. The Vianden castle is the embodiment of graceful architecture. For a quieter alternative to Germany, pack your bags for Luxembourg.

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