Overtourism is a monumental concern for preservationists and locals within a number of cities, countries, and regions around the world. From impacts on the environment to the destruction of landmarks, it’s no wonder many travelers are taking steps to protect these places by finding alternative destinations to spend their vacations. Luckily, there are many low tourist destinations that offer similar experiences. Here are just a few of places you might consider visiting to avoid contributing to overtourism in these particular cities around the world:
An alternative destination for: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Christiania is a colorful and dynamic car-less community within the city of Copenhagen that offers similar attractions and characteristics found in Amsterdam. It’s buildings are adorned in bright artwork and the area is loved for the many outdoor spaces available such as parks, markets, and more. There are also a plethora of local art galleries, shops, restaurants, and cafes for visitors to explore. As a more non-commercial area of the city, Christiania is one of the best places to escape the hustle and bustle but also remain close to popular attractions of Denmark’s capital including landmarks, live entertainment, and nightclubs.
An alternative destination for: Santorini, Greece
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and Chania is a must-see city for all of those who choose to visit this Mediterranean country. Located on the northwest coast, you’ll find stunning beaches, historical sites and museums, plenty of shopping opportunities, and more than enough outdoor excursions just as you would find in Santorini. The biggest difference is, there’s more room to move around and, typically, less crowds. You’ll also want to try out the restaurants, cafes, bars, and markets on the island for a true Crete experience.
An alternative destination for: Honolulu, Hawaii
Take a puddle jumper from the Big Island to explore one of the lesser visited islands of Hawaii. Princeville is located on the north shore of Kauai and is praised for its spectacular beaches, snorkeling opportunities, mountain views, outdoor activities, and incredible resorts. Queen’s Bath is one of the area’s biggest attractions, which is a sinkhole that is filled with aquatic life for visitors to experience first-hand. You’ll find that Princeville offers the same, authentic Hawaiian experience than Honolulu as you get to know the areas that so many locals and travelers love.
An alternative destination for: Barcelona, Spain
Valencia is a city located on the southeastern coast of Spain and is beloved for its unique architecture, museums, beaches, and outdoor spaces. Visitors come to explore the many buildings, both new and old, that are filled with the rich history of the area and provide a like experience to larger Spanish cities. Similar to Barcelona’s Las Ramblas, Valencia has a number of central squares and the Central Market where you can find restaurants, live entertainment, bars, shops, and more. There nearly equal historical sites in both destinations, beaches, seasonal festivals, and parks.
An alternative destination for: Venice, Italy
Though not located near the coast, Colmar is a town that gives much of the same old-world charm that can be found in Venice. Cobblestone streets and early Renaissance architecture will take you back in time, and the Ill river provides a canal that is reminiscent of Venice’s most popular feature. Visitors will be able to experience museums, historical sites, shops, and so many other attractions that are like those found in Venice. Colmar is often referred to as “Little Venice” because of its buildings, atmosphere, and offerings.
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