There are a few ways to beat the lines and get a few iconic places to yourself. If you’re Europe bound, then here’s my advice for managing crowds this summer.
Top Tips For Managing Europe’s Summer Crowds
Wake up early.
This is my number one tip — tried and true. So often you’ll see the top visited places packed in the middle of the day. If you show up earlier, there is often no one there. Some of my favorite moments are those early mornings in Paris, having the streets to myself. I would recommend getting an early start to the day whenever you can.
Buy train tickets in advance.
For those main routes in Europe, tickets can often sell out the week of. What I’ll do is pre-purchase my train tickets before arrival. It guarantees a seat so there’s no need to worry about getting a reservation. Often times the prices are significantly lower as well, providing a ton of savings. *Rail Europe is my preferred vendor.
Prebook tickets for sights.
I did this once in Barcelona and thought I could grab tickets to La Sagrada a few nights before, but they were already sold out. I would prebook all tickets for museums and sights at least 1-2 weeks in advance before arrival to ensure entry.
Dine off hours.
This was my favorite in Spain to beat the dinner rush. No local is eating dinner at 6:30 or 7 pm, so often we would show up to a restaurant and have it to ourselves. If you’re on another dining time zone then this can play to your advantage for getting a seat especially in destinations that dine later in the evening.
Buy the fast track or skip-the-line tickets.
Trust me, it’s worth it. So many of the sights will offer these options at an additional cost, providing a smoother experience. I would consider this for the major sights.