When people are planning vacations, European destinations are always on the list. Every year, travelers flock to a variety of locations for trips ranging from beach getaways to mountain retreats. Many European cities thrive on the influx of tourists that fill their streets, hotels, and restaurants during the peak seasons. But, this rise in visitors has led to some cities that are considered highly overrated for vacations. Problems such as overcrowding, high prices, and long lines are just a few of the reasons that some places are just losing their appeal. These cities aren't bad to visit, but due to their popularity, may require some extra effort to see without feeling overwhelmed or rushed. You may want to visit them during an off-season, plan a trip that will occur over weekdays and non-holidays, or find smaller cities around them to stay in. With a little work, you can still enjoy them.
We're going to take a look at some of the most overrated (and underrated) cities in Europe. See where your dream destinations fall.
20 Overrated - Paris, France
Paris is a dream destination for a lot of people and holds an amazing amount of class, culture, and fun for just about anyone. But it could also be considered overrated by some. The city itself gets very crowded during peak seasons and the most well-known attractions can have extreme lines to get in. You may find that you're spending more time waiting than you are enjoying your trip. Summer temperatures can leave you feeling wilted. If you're considering visiting Paris, take the time to investigate the off seasons and things to do that aren't as "touristy" (so you can take what could be an overrated tourist trap into a dream vacation).
19 Overrated - Venice, Italy
The name Venice inspires romantic images of gondola rides down gorgeous canals as grand historic architecture goes by. But, Venice is quickly becoming an overrated vacation spot. Too many people are trying to spend holidays in this amazing city, causing it to become overcrowded. The city cannot handle the huge crowds that overwhelm it daily. If you are wanting to take in the true Venice, take some time to learn about it and visit it during an off-season. Spend time wandering the streets, take a moment to really appreciate the history and culture that Venice offers and you'll have a vacation instead of a trip to an overcrowded, overrated city.
18 Overrated - Oia, Santorini
The picturesque city of Oia is known throughout the world as the face of Santorini. People recognize the colorful buildings overlooking the crystal clear water. The city itself is very welcoming but has earned a reputation for being overrated. During the height of the tourist season, it becomes highly overcrowded and overwhelming for people who are just looking to relax. If you are looking to spend time in this gorgeous city and you're okay with missing the ideal beach days, check it out during its off season. Many of the businesses may be closed, but you'll get to see the true personality of it. Or check out some of the lesser known cities and visit Oia during the day.
17 Overrated - Rome, Italy
Although Rome is an incredible vacation destination for many people, this leads to a problem as well. The city has become overrated as a vacation destination for some. With the huge tourist crowds that descend on the city every day, it becomes horribly crowded and hard to move around. Some tourists and locals have commented on the city getting dirty and trashed up by the huge influx. Long lines can build up for the tourist attractions and the sidewalks can get crowded. Take time to enjoy Rome as a local would instead of as a tourist and you can keep it from becoming another overrated vacation spot.
16 Overrated - Copenhagen, Denmark
This gorgeous Danish city has gotten a reputation as being one of the best cities in Europe, but this has been leading it to become a very overrated destination. Many tourists come to the city to see the colorful architecture and the museums, but some have noted that other than the museums and tourist attractions, there wasn't much to do. Like any other European destination, it can be overcrowded during peak seasons. To truly let this city shine, know its limitations and what it offers before you go and be willing to just let the city be itself. This will let you enjoy it without it feeling like just another stop.
15 Overrated - Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a beautiful city that has history and culture to offer its visitors. It has become one of the most popular destinations in Europe, drawing thousands of people yearly. But this has caused the city to become overcrowded and difficult to navigate at times. And more tourists mean higher prices. If you're willing to consider visiting during off seasons, you can definitely save money and enjoy your visit more. Be willing to consider a trip during a different season and watch Prague transform itself from an overrated tourist trap to a fantastic European destination that you can definitely enjoy.
14 Overrated - London, England
London is an amazing destination if you know how to visit it. The crowds, the overdone tourist attractions, and the prices during peak seasons can cause the city to become overwhelming and overrated. London residents have advice on how to actually enjoy their city. Take the bus and check out some of the local pubs and cafes. Avoid the tourist traps and just enjoy the city. Take in some of the museums and other venues and just immerse yourself in all that London has to offer. Treat London like a home away from home and it will lose the overrated feeling that has people avoiding it.
13 Overrated - Athens, Greece
Athens is a city of historical splendor that is truly an iconic destination. It draws crowds from all over the world. During the biggest tourist season, it can get very crowded. During the summers, it can get very warm and crowded. Some areas of the city become so overwhelmed that tourists feel pushed away and end up feeling like a visit to the city is highly overrated. But, the city has plenty of charm to offer if you are willing to go off the beaten path. Avoid the high seasons and the traditional tourist traps, and find the local favorites. You'll be able to enjoy what has become, to many, a destination to avoid.
12 Overrated - Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a vibrant cultural city that is known for its relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. With a combination of history and modern activities, there is literally something for everyone. This very atmosphere is what has led to the problems that are making even locals feel that Barcelona is extremely overrated. With an ever increasing tourist population, the small city can't handle the influx. Prices are driven up and streets become so overcrowded that locals can't even get anywhere and the city has been taken over by tourist traps. If you can find your way past these obvious tourist locations, you have the chance to see Barcelona for what it really is.
11 Overrated - Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is an incredible city that is full of life, culture, and fun. It has become a standard for travel when it comes to Ireland. The city itself is home to an amazing array of hotels, pubs, and restaurants that will let you enjoy the spirit of the Emerald Isle. But, like many large cities, it has quickly become overloaded with tourists. This makes it a bit overrated, as people from all over the world crowd the small island. It has lost a bit of its cultural feel as it caters to the influx of foreigners. For your best bet, find somewhere outside the city to stay and enjoy what the hidden gems the locals know.
10 Underrated - Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh brings history and cultural pride forward everywhere. This city is just now earning its reputation as a great destination. From stunning architecture and awe-inspiring scenery to fantastic food and activities, you'll be able to take in the Scottish heritage that this city will share with you everywhere. You'll be swept up in the pride as you tour the castles, historic buildings, and ancient streets. Take some time to be inspired by the museums that will immerse you in the art, music, and history of this amazing country. You'll also enjoy the nightlife and vibrant ambiance that will surround you.
9 Underrated - Oslo, Norway
Norway attracts visitors from all over the world that have come to take in the Northern lights over the majestic fjords. With the stunning geography and the spectacular culture, it's not surprising that it's considered a world-class destination. One city, in particular, is very underrated for what it offers. Oslo is a great city to take in with an unbelievable amount of restaurants, bars, cruises, and many other activities. You'll never be bored in Oslo. Perfectly situated between some gorgeous wooded hills and the beaches of Oslofjord, the scenery will keep you entranced. When you plan your next vacation, definitely consider Oslo.
8 Underrated - Ferrara, Italy
Most people think of Rome, Venice, and Milano when they think of Italy, and all these cities are wonderful. But, if you are truly looking for a glimpse of authentic Italian life, check out Ferrara. This stunning gem is a feast for the eyes. It is still surrounded by completely intact medieval walls and is a true testament to the Italian Renaissance era. It's often overlooked since it is situated between Bologna and Venice. Ferrara still retains its authentic and untouched personality and will truly welcome you as you stroll its palazzi and ancient streets. Bike your way through the city, enjoy some great food surrounded by historic buildings and get to know Italy.
7 Underrated - Naples, Italy
While you're in Italy, check out Naples as well. Naples has had a reputation for not being a great location for years due to crime and refuse, but it has more to offer than most people know. The city itself has retained a much more local and authentic feel where you're more likely to run into locals than tourists. With Mount Vesuvius towering over the city and places like Pompeii and Herculaneum to visit as well as the island of Capri, you'll be treated to an awe-inspiring amount of modern life that is enveloped by history. Take in some of the local shops as well and you'll find yourself immersed in the raw and real Italian life of Naples.
6 Underrated - Colmar, France
France has many beautiful cities that draw tourists in, but this is a lesser-known but astonishingly gorgeous city has a lot to offer. Colmar is a tribute to the Alsace region and has maintained its historic identity for centuries. With its location being close to Germany and Switzerland, as well as being in the capital of Alsace wines, it has an incredible ambiance and environment. Its beautiful canals and floral town center will entrance you, and the museums will pull you into the history of this place. Take in the vineyards and other great locations around the city. This gorgeous destination should be on anyone's French list.
5 Underrated - Hvar Island, Croatia
This Croatian island popped up on the list of most underrated cities and definitely deserves to be. Hvar Island has something to offer practically any type of visitor from the stunning beaches on its coast to the smaller interior towns. The lavender fields bring in visitors as well. Croatia welcomes people from all over the world, and Hvar Island is a gem to see. With the incredible clear water of the Adriatic Sea and the ancient hamlets that can be seen all over the island, you'll never forget your first trip to this slice of paradise and you'll want to go back again.
4 Underrated - Dinant, Belgium
While researching hidden destinations, Dinant popped up in the list. This stunning little gem of a city will show you a side of Belgium that will stay with you forever. Dinant isn't your standard destination. This small city has maintained its Belgian heritage in its food, activities, and architecture. You'll be able to enjoy the unbelievable citadels and other historic buildings as well as the gorgeous scenery. And you can also learn more about the area in the museums. Enjoy a wide array of cuisine and music at the restaurants, bars, and clubs. With Dinant, you'll get a chance to really enjoy an unspoiled view of Belgium when you visit.
3 Underrated - Coimbra, Portugal
Portugal is a gorgeous country full of history and culture, and Coimbra is no different. This lovely riverfront city still shows its medieval splendor while embracing the modern. Coimbra is home to one of the oldest universities in the world. The large student population allows the city to have a vibrant and modern feel that mixes well with its old-world charm. It has gone mostly unnoticed by tourists but could very easily become a favorite. With great food, an amazing history, and a vibrant nightlife, you'll never forget a visit to Coimbra. When you consider a trip to Portugal, look into a visit to Coimbra for a great Portuguese vacation.
2 Underrated - Sveti Stefan Island, Montenegro
Montenegro is a fabulous destination for people that are looking for something different. This gorgeous state that lies on the Adriatic coast is a destination into culture and history. And Sveti Stefan Island is one of the leading locations there. The island itself is a walled village that has been purchased by a hotel group. You have to be a guest to be on the island, but it's well worth doing. You'll be able to enjoy the amazing food, cultural events, and scenery that it offers. The island itself has become one of Montenegro's most photographed locations and it's easy to see why. If you get an opportunity, consider staying at Sveti Stefan Island.
1 Underrated - The Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an independent archipelago that are technically part of Denmark. This unspoiled set of islands holds its culture and independence very dear, so you'll truly become immersed in the local atmosphere. You'll be able to enjoy the spectacular scenery and peaceful vibe in many of the small villages or you can go to Tórshavn, the capital of the islands for a more lively nightlife. You'll see the influences that have built this great place. With great restaurants and hotels dotted all over the islands, you'll never lack for places to stay and enjoy the awe-inspiring sights and sounds of this great Scandinavian destination.
When it comes to vacationing, you'll always have to deal with sharing your destinations with the crowds. You'll find yourself dealing with them in the streets, restaurants, tourist sites, and everywhere else. But, if you plan carefully, you may be able to find some of the cities that have flown under the tourism radar. By thinking outside the box, you might end up with a vacation to remember.