Travel is back in full swing - but not all places are embracing the return of tourists.
Overtourism has become a major issue everywhere from Europe’s beaches to popular capital cities.
To combat overcrowding, some destinations have introduced restrictions ranging from visitor caps in Marseille, France to a cruise ship ban in Venice, Italy.
No one wants to arrive at their holiday destination to find themselves in the latter part of an ‘Instagram vs reality’ post. So how can you avoid this?
We’ve crunched the numbers to find out which European cities are the most - and least - crowded with tourists.
Using data from holiday rental search engine Holidu, which compared local population sizes with 2019 tourist numbers, here are the European capital cities with the most tourists per resident.
Amsterdam has the highest number of tourists per resident. The Dutch capital has 12 tourists for every one of its inhabitants.
Known as the ‘Venice of the North’, Amsterdam has more than 160 canals and 1,200 bridges criss-crossing them. While the city has been a destination for cannabis, alcohol and prostitution for some, Amsterdam now aims to change its reputation.
The city is home to countless elegant houses, bars and coffee shops. A visit to the Van Gogh Museum is also a must.
Which other European capitals are packed with tourists?
Dublin comes in second place with 11 tourists per resident in the Holidu listing.
Ireland’s fun-loving capital is the home of Guinness, and the beer’s brewery tours have welcomed close to 23 million people since first opening in 2000.
Tourists also flock to the iconic Temple Bar, a cobbled street lined with bars hosting live folk bands - including the much-photographed Temple Bar Pub.
Estonia’s capital snags third place with 10 tourists per inhabitant. The Eastern European country has plenty to explore beyond Tallinn. With the Baltic Sea to both the north and west, it is home to thousands of islands brimming with nature and history.
France’s capital, Paris, comes in fourth with nine tourists per resident. The City of Love draws visitors scrambling to see the famed Eiffel Tower. The Louvre, meanwhile, is the most visited museum in the world.
Athens, Greece’s capital, is another of the most popular capitals with eight tourists per inhabitant.
Are you looking for a city break that’s a little less crowded? According to Holidu, Germany’s Berlin, Spain’s Madrid, Belgium’s Brussels and Hungary’s Budapest are the ‘least-touristed’ capitals with only two tourists per resident.
Among the other European capital cities, Prague in the Czech Republic has eight tourists per inhabitant; Edinburgh in Scotland has seven; Copenhagen in Denmark and Lisbon in Portugal have six. Stockholm in Sweden, Vienna in Austria and Rome in Italy have four. The UK's London has three.
Are you more interested in visiting cities beyond the capitals? In many cases, they face worse overcrowding due their smaller sizes and seasonal popularity.
Dubrovnik in Croatia, according to Holidu, welcomed an average of 36 tourists per inhabitant in 2019. As these visitors primarily come for summer holidays, the coastal city is most overcrowded in this season.
Italy’s Venice, Belgium’s Bruges and the Greek island of Rhodes, each with 21 tourists per resident, come next.
Like Dubrovnik, Rhodes is mostly visited for summer holidays, when the crowds of tourists dramatically increase.
Turkey’s Antalya and Muğla, which are very popular among European tourists, had five and three visitors per inhabitant, respectively.