Crowds and cities are often inseparable, but have some holiday destinations become just too crowded?
When you finally arrive at the destination you’ve long dreamed of, there’s nothing worse than finding everyone else is already there.
Budget flights and budget Airbnbs have made it cheaper than ever to see the most popular places in the world – but some cities now seem overwhelmed with visitors.
Just look at the crowded streets and squares of Venice and Florence in the high season, and it’s clear that some destinations have reached peak tourist capacity.
And it’s a trend that’s showed in our recent best world cities survey of our readers – not one city that received one star for crowds appeared in the top 10 of our list.
Popular destinations, such as Hong Kong, Beijing and Las Vegas, all received a damning one star rating for their crowds.
Instead, our readers are heading to quieter places that attract fewer visitors, such as Boston, Perth and Vancouver.
🇺🇸 Boston, Massachusetts.
A city of museums, art and culture.
Our tip: head down the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail, past the 17th-century wood-beamed homes of America's heroes of the revolution. pic.twitter.com/ir8nVsXTrZ
— Which? Travel (@WhichTravel) May 9, 2018
We don’t blame them, either: huge crowds mean longer queues, higher prices and ultimately a worse time on holiday.
So where should you head for all the benefits of a city break while beating the crowds? Five cities in our top 10 – Boston, Chicago, Vancouver, Perth and Melbourne – all received four stars for lack of crowds.
While Kyoto, Cape Town, Washington and Sydney (also in the top ten) received a respectable three stars.
Of course there are very good reasons why you would want to ride the Star Ferry in Hong Kong, see the Forbidden City in Beijing or stroll the casinos along the Strip in Las Vegas.
But if you are planning a trip to some of the world’s most visited destinations, consider going out of high season when it might be quieter.
Have you been put off a destination by crowds? Or can’t you get enough of the hustle and bustle of the street? Should restrictions be put in control the number of tourists in already crowded cities – like those in place to restrict cruise ships in Venice?
Let us and the rest of the Which? Travel team know your thoughts.