Why I Don’t Recommend Visiting Most Of Europe In August

Filed Under: Advice, Travel

I love traveling and have so far managed to visit almost every country in Europe, and I think I’ve travelled through Europe at one time or another every single month of the year. So I’ve travelled when it has been so hot I thought I might faint, and trudged through freezing snow as well.

Being Australian, but living in London, means I have plenty of friends and family visit throughout the year. Almost all visitors choose to visit as part of a larger Europe trip (usually for a month or so), and most visit in July and August.

Where possible I do encourage them to visit during the warmer months, but always warn against traveling through most of mainland Europe during the month of August.


It can be REALLY hot

Southern Europe is known for its hot summers, consistently clear blue skies, and Mediterranean climate. But believe me, even coming from Australia where it reaches 44C/111F degrees every single summer, there is definitely such a thing as ‘too hot.’

This is especially apparent when you are visiting a big landlocked city like Rome or Madrid where it is stiflingly hot, and your accommodation may or may not have air conditioning.

I’ve just finished up a few days in Lisbon, Portugal, and even in late September it was still 36C/97F. I did venture out for a few hours before the sun became too hot, but the energy just drained out of me trying to navigate a big city in this heat. Come 3pm I retreated back to my accommodation, turned on the air conditioning, and spent a few relaxing and comfortable hours writing.

I ventured out again later once the sun went down, but I cannot imagine what this city must have been like in August.

While plenty of accomodations in Southern Europe will have air conditioning, August may be the only time some cities hit really hot temperatures, so may have no air conditioning because it’s only needed a few weeks a year. They may also be so well insulated for the cold winters that they lock in the heat during summer.

Sleeping in that heat can be difficult!

Northern Europe usually has much more manageable weather as I’ll discuss below.

Summer protests

So, perhaps you’re thinking, ‘I’ll just got to a beach destination to cool off?’


August is when most Europeans take their annual vacation

As well as tourists from outside Europe visiting, the month of August coincides with summer school holidays, and this is when many Europeans themselves choose to take their yearly summer vacations within Europe.

Many British travellers especially will book their summer trip in August a year in advance, and head south to warmer weather for a week or two. Even those Europeans who prefer to vacation in their own country will head down to a beach or lake location to relax and cool down.

And this had multiple knock on effects for other tourists…

It will be REALLY busy in many places

I was in Dubrovnik, Croatia at the end of August last year, and you could hardly see the ground in the old town because of the crowds. Expect to be herded like cattle, find it difficult to find a car park or a spot on the beach, and the restaurant you had found online may be completely full.

That beach destination you’ve seen beautiful photos of online may actually be absolutely rammed with other tourists in August when you visit.

Ben visited Santorini, Greece in June this year and noted:

Santorini is incredibly touristy, and we haven’t even reached the peak summer season of July and August

It will be more expensive than usual

For highly seasonal destinations (such as the beaches of Southern Europe), they only receive decent tourism during the summer months, and for some places this can be as short as just four or five months. This means the local operators need to make 12 months income in less than half the time.

Naturally, where the demand is there during August, when everyone wants to visit, they can charge as much as they want and people will still pay it.

This is true for flights, accommodation and activities.

Looking at accommodation in a famous luxury property in Southern Europe, the Park Hyatt Mallorca, rates during August are priced as follows:

However if you visit in May, the rates are quite a bit cheaper:

Northern Europe will be much more manageable than Southern Europe

Im not swearing off every country in Europe in August though.

Last year I spent most of August in Northern Europe, with an extended visit to Norway, then working my way through the Baltics to St. Petersburg.

It was busy, but not uncomfortably packed in these places during August. And the temperatures were very pleasant although it rained most days in Norway so I’m not sure if there any ideal month to visit Norway.

I have been in Italy in August before, and places like Rome are so packed you can hardly move. It was not so enjoyable.

So if you do need to visit Europe in August, I would strongly consider Northern Europe over Southern Europe. The further north you get the better it can actually be in peak summer.

So what’s the solution?

I would avoid Southern Europe and inland cities in Western and Eastern Europe in August. I’ve been in both Paris and Belgrade in August and the heat and crowds have been quite overwhelming.

I cannot recommend visiting Europe in shoulder season months of May, September and October enough. Depending on where in Europe you are visiting, you are still likely to have excellent weather and everything is just easier in these months. Cheaper flights, far more available, affordable accommodation and far less crowds.

Greece, Albania and Cyprus in late September and early October last year were fabulous for me.

Of course you cannot guarantee perfect weather in these months, but in general I would much rather visit a city when the weather is a little cooler than go on a three hour historical walking tour in blazing heat like I have the option of doing tomorrow.

If you have to visit Europe in August, I.e. because of school holidays or compulsory leave, stick to the Northern European countries.

Bottom line

Europe is a fantastic place to visit — it’s why I live here and explore it every few weeks. There are so many differing cultures in a relatively compact area compared with somewhere like Australia, which is larger than Europe but not nearly as interesting in comparison.

I love friends and family planning a big Europe trip but every time I hear them say ‘we’re coming to visit in August’ I think of the above issues which can really impact the ability to truly relax and enjoy a holiday.

They have a picture perfect image of what Europe in summer will be like — the only problem is millions of other people have the same plans, especially in Southern Europe.

This year because of a number of things going on in London I made the decision not to leave the UK during August (except for two very brief weekend visits to Northern Europe for specific events), and have already decided to stay in the UK for all of August next year, and travel during the shoulder periods instead.

Have you visited Europe in August?

  1. I have always visited Europe outside of the summer months due to concerns of to many tourists. I had no idea it could get that hot. April in Barcelona and October in London were both fine. However, Berlin in March was absolutely frigid. I packed warm clothes and the snow was pretty, but the cold and wind was not fun.

  2. My wife and I were married in Cyprus in October. The weather was great. It was warm during the day and then cooler at night. There was a few days of clouds, but other than that, it was clear weather the whole time.

  3. I had no problem in the Netherlands in late August a few years ago. Those of us who are bound by school vacations can’t travel during the shoulder seasons.

  4. “Why I Don’t Recommend Visiting Europe In August!”

    So you encompass an entire continent to be avoided? So the variety of culture, geography and multitude of countries from e.g. Finland to Portugal – yeah avoid the lot! Clearly, this is article is aimed at North American readers (particularly USA) since outside of their borders “Here be dragons”, and they more often than not classify non-USA just by continents: Vacation in Europe or Africa or Asia. Would you ever write similar articles titled “Why I Don’t Recommend Visiting North America In …!” or “Why I Don’t Recommend Visiting the USA In …!”. I doubt it very much.

  5. Visiting Turkey (sort of Europe) in August was an excellent holiday for me. JW Marriot in Ankara was amazing and just 12.5K points a night. Great business class fares on Turkish Airlines for around 65 euro oneway throughout Turkey (and they operate the Boeing 777 everyday between Istanbul and Ankara/Izmir/Antalya). TK really has an amazing domestic soft + hard product for these short flights.

    Visiting Cappadocia in the middle of Turkey is definitely an unforgettable place to visit!

    Combine all this with the low Turkish Lira, you can buy designer clothes for half the price and an iPad could be bought for 250 euro because of this.

    Why visit Europe with an incredible amount of tourists and expensive hotels and ugly intra Europa business class, if you can have shorthaul lie-flat flights with great food, awesome hotels for low prices/points and an even more amazing sightseeing experience.

  6. @ PointsPls – when readers are looking at which dates to use their points to book luxury travel, I’m here to suggest which month(s) are the best to travel in.

  7. “Why I Don’t Recommend Dousing Yourself with Gasoline and Setting Yourself on Fire”

    No, seriously, a lot of Americans have to travel when school is out in the summer, but they have no idea how much better their European vacation will be if they go in June instead of August. This is an important article, even if this is blindingly obvious to some of us.

  8. Europe is really an overrated destination. Not a whole lot to see and do, except for some history stuff.

  9. As an American living in Italy, this is good advice. I would also add the motorways are packed as well, and outside of tourist zones, many places are closed as the proprietors are on holiday too. Brteacher is absolutely correct regarding June for those with kids. In any event, as Lucky always suggests, set expectations accordingly.

  10. I agree with James on this one but of course different countries have different shoulder seasons. My favourite time to go to Italy is late February – March. As others mentioned, Cyprus and Malta are great in Early spring and autumn.

  11. More accurate to maybe title this “Why I Don’t Recommend Visiting Southern Europe In August”.

  12. If you do want to go I would recommend a “business” city in northern europe rather than a touristy one.
    So Amsterdam, Dublin or Copenhagen rather than Paris or London. I feel like in those cities the balance between people leaving for holidays and increase in tourists should roughly cancel out while Paris and London might still be a net positive for tourists.

  13. I once visited Rome in August, never again. It was 37 degrees and air con is minimal. I was a university student at the time and only had August off.

    I last visited Venice in February and it was great. Beyond San Marco was pretty quiet and there weren’t queues for anything.

  14. @brteacher
    Completely Agree. My kids get out of school the Friday before Memorial day. We are always on a plane that Friday night or Saturday day leaving the country. Most other countries schools are still in so perfect timing to beat their holidays. Then the first week of august we usually rent a beach or lakehouse in the US when some schools start going back and its not as crowded as it was in July.

  15. October is definitely the best time to be in Paris. Ive been here the last week snd the weather has been 15-25 pretty regularly. But there’s no good time to visit London. Its not even Europe, more like America with less burgers, but food just as shitty.

  16. Agree with many comments here. Classifying Europe as one destination maybe fine for the unseasoned traveller, but your readers are mostly fairly travel savvy and we’re looking for more than this article gives us.
    Northern Europe is not guaranteed to be hot in August.
    For families with children who can only take holidays in peak season school holidays, an article on how to get the best value in August in Europe would have been more meaningful.

  17. My wife and I went to Greece this past June/July for our honeymoon specifically Athens, Paros, Santorini and Crete. The first two places were decent with in the mid to high 80s while the last two especially Crete were in the high 80s low 90s. We were told that mid July to August was the busiest months for Greece and that we came at the right time. So i feel it all depends on where you go in Europe during busy season if you hit the hit the huge crowds.

  18. I disagree with you, e.g Germany is great to visit in August, because many Germans are on holiday it may be less crowded than in other months.

  19. @Catriona, I also visited Venice in February and loved it! It was Carnivale so it was a little bit more crowded than usual for winter but the atmosphere was unlike anywhere I’ve ever been with all the 17th-18th century style costumes and masks! My friends and I are history buffs and have gone to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnival in Rio but to us, Venice during Carnivale just felt like we travelled back in time. So cool!

  20. Just to echo some other commenters…

    You should be more specific with where you are talking about, as Europe is a large continent with many different areas.

    Northern Europe can be just fine in August, although in no way will you be guaranteed good weather (you should know this living in London).

    Also, Lisbon is hardly a “big city”. It is, however, heaving with tourists these days and it is also it has been far hotter than normal this year (at this time of year).

    Please listen to @rob and take on board the criticism in the comments…
    People take issue when you make broad brush statements with no further explanation, and sometimes you post inaccurate information as well. A lot of is live and travel in Europe and sometimes your articles come across very “fresh-off-the-boat Australian/Canadian/American who just moved to Europe for a working holiday”.

  21. Best time for Europe is about Jan 10 – Mar 15, when it is cold and there aren’t major holidays. I hate crowds.

  22. Just to add, I do appreciate your contributions (from a quasi European viewpoint) here at OMAAT, however, sometimes the content of your articles could be more accurate/thorough.

  23. “Europe” isn’t swelteringly hot in August…. Large parts of Southern Europe may be, but Oslo certainly will not be in the high 30s.

  24. I couldn’t imagine visiting in the summer months. Late April and late September has been the closest I’ve ever been to visiting Europe in the summer. Usually I prefer winters and do the Christmas markets, although you also have to be careful when you visit them.

    I wouldn’t want to have a hotel room w/o A/C. I’m familiar with hot weather having lived in Scottsdale, AZ where the summer months are hot (especially July/August) although hotels do have AC and the rates (hotels and golf courses) are dirt cheap.

    I realize some with families are more limited in their options but going on vacation and dealing with excessive heat and crowds aren’t my thing.

  25. I disagree I was in Rome once in August and it was great, the place was like a ghost town and it was nice having attractions to yourself!

  26. If you plan your vacation right, you can avoid the crowds and find ways to cool down even in southern Europe.

    For instance, last year my family vacationed in Tuscany in August. Yes, Florence and Siena (and Rome) were jam-packed. But we spent most of the time in a villa in the Tuscan countryside, and visited several smaller towns rich in history. None of these were particularly busy, and we stumbled across some VERY charming little towns with hardly a single tourist. And although our villa had no a/c, it had a pool and hammocks for sleeping outdoors, so we never really missed the a/c. We had a fantastic time – and we abhor crowds.

    Of course, if you can’t see beyond the major attractions and absolutely have to see every last thing the guidebook tells you to see in Florence and similar cities, you will be doing what everyone else is doing and you will always be in the middle of a crowd. But dig a little deeper, and plan your vacation thoughtfully, and southern Europe in August can be amazing.

  27. @James

    since you’re from Australia, I’m curious as to what months you would recommend visiting? its has been on the top of my bucket list for a long time now and I think I’m going to commit to finally visiting next year using my 7 nights marriott certificate, thanks!

  28. I was just in Europe from Aug. 28-Sept. 11. Barcelona, San Sebastian, Bordeaux, Rome and Frankfurt. While it was hot, it was also hot in NYC lol. Crowded? Yes, but super manageable. And hotel/airbnb prices were great. Can’t say I fully agree with this article.

  29. August is however a good time to house-sit for your friends in Paris and Brussels because they are 94% likely to be away on holiday in Europe.

    So there is that to consider.

  30. I agree with this generally but Max is right that Germany is great in August. I’ve visited several times. Nice weather (generally), no real crowds, and I don’t recall anything I wanted to do/visit being closed because of summer holidays. I pity the people sweating in Rome in August!

  31. Generally wise just to avoid places that’ll be spectacularly touristy and choked with tour buses full of selfie-stick toting visitors – e.g. Santorini – any time of year.

  32. @James.

    Scotland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Demark, Finland, … are just some of the amazing countries in Europeto visit in August.

    Would you avoid Asia in December? It’s the rainy session in Indonesia then, so you should rule out visiting anywhere from Japan to India for instance.

    Had wanted a more global understanding from your posts. How about a little more knowledge is needed on your global geography considerations. Would have expected this from a post by Lucky though.

  33. I totally agree..I tend to escape Europe and head to Asia even if the weather is risky..at least you are not one top of each other on the beach and at prime prices..
    all Italians are on vacation in August..way to crowded

  34. My favorite time is May but June is perfectly fine. Italy was amazing in June. Last August I spent time in Istanbul, Belgrade, Montenegro,germany and Italy and none of the places were absurdly hot. Found the heat to be much worse in NYC and Asia. I would avoid the most touristy areas during the august holiday due to crowds but there are plenty of alternatives.

  35. I’ll echo other comments, check locales before visiting as summer holidays vary by country/region. Sweden is dead in July, which can be nice to visit but will also mean you might hit business/attraction closures during that time.

  36. The article has too broad a title and the single stroke of brush approach apparently does not work for the savvy readers of this blog.

    Peak summer months are to be avoided if your plan is to visit the Must See cities in that continent.

    Long before internet, Rick Steves on his famous Europe thru the Back Doors guides already told the Americans that.

    The problem for a lot of American families is, they are bound by school holidays and the American school systems in general is ultra inflexible, i.e. would count the attendance days to the exact number – probably because the state / local laws requirements. So they have no choice but travel at the peak of Summer if they want to let their kids to see Europe at all when they are still able to travel as families.

    Southern Europe definitely can be too hot to roam around. Northern Europe while does not have much of the weather issue, that part of the region these days are also full of tourists, Chinese (from group tours to independents) to be exact.
    What is happening and no turning back is, the world has become a lot more mobile. Many many more people can afford to travel, especially with a country like China that has a huge population, even 5% of her people take on their travels the impact can be felt.
    Santorini basically has “fallen” to the Chinese tourists for example. These days when on a Med cruise with the port of calls to Santorini / Mykonos, we opt to stay on the ship instead of going on shore, even our ship may be the only ship in port. (the very beginning of the Med cruise season, between late April to first week of May the latest). Crete is still OK, but it can get quite hot in some years. Ditto Rhode.
    The growth of the travel public is simply too big too rapid. Not much you can do about it.

    The writer needs to improve his writing skills from refining the focus to better express himself. From what have been so far since James came on board – there are a lot to be improved. Unfortunately, we the readers also seem to see some attitudes from him. That is unfortunate.

  37. For the life of me, I don’t understand why people feel they are qualified to give James advice on anything, least of all how to title his post or how to write it even. If you don’t like the title or tenor of a post, let it go, for god’s sake! If there’s something factually wrong or blatantly incorrect/unacceptable, then by all means speak up, otherwise leave it be! I don’t see anything wrong with this particular post, I’m not from Europe, and I realize that it is a diverse continent, but I would appreciate tips about the best time of the year to visit. Which is what James was trying to do. Instead, people attack his writing, his attitude even…sheesh!

  38. I’m visiting Dubrovnik in May, so hopefully it won’t be too bad….although I’ve heard it’s crazy compared to my previous visit there (1990).

  39. You know, you guys could publish a lot more often if you only published titles and not the actual articles.

    From the comments it’s obvious no one is reading them.

  40. “Scotland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Demark, Finland, … are just some of the amazing countries in Europeto visit in August.”

    Tom, Iceland is packed like a sardine can in August. Telling people to go there in August is terrible advice.

  41. I love that this blog is Clickbait and Credit Card noise.

    Remember when it used to be about premium airline travel/reviews?

    All good things come to an end.

  42. If you’re visiting a big European city, for me it would be Paris, there’s another reason that you don’t want to go from mid-July to late August. Mandated vacation means that many small businesses, including those charming restaurants that you have dreamed about, will be closed. This affects cities of all sizes including Paris.

    I also like the performing arts, like opera, ballet, orchestras, etc. That’s also not happening at that time unless you trek to the places with seasonal festivals.

  43. @Fonzi – I believe that JDHogg may be debit or Endre trying out a different personna or maybe the next debit or Endre. Either way, their comments should be read with humor in mind. I recommend hunting down some episodes of ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ to get an idea of the character.

  44. @Mr. Wise
    How ridiculous. This is a blog, people are allowed to and should offer constructive criticism on topics. If people are too thin-skinned to deal with that, then maybe they should just remove the comments section entirely.

  45. @ Mr Wise

    Ah but there’s the problem – the articles from James do contain factual errors.

    Other times they have been so trivial as to annoy a lot of folk.

    When the obvious is pointed out in a number of comments the arrogant and know-all attitude is evident by his smarty pants retorts (rather than a thanks of the feedback and a willingness to adapt and learn and improve).

    This article is good to make people think about the likely weather where you are thinking of travelling, but hardly useful in any practical sense.

    Where’s the insightful travel advice?

    For example, if you are travelling to a likely hot destination:

    – it might make sense to make sure that you book a hotel that actually has air conditioning
    – that you consider adapting your daily schedule and do what the locals do, divide up your day and have a siesta in the hotter hours of the afternoon

    Yes, I have been to Rome when its been around 40C, but the solution was to go for early morning walks to the sights with the benefit of avoiding all crowds (I have pictures of St Peters and the Colosseum with nobody in the shot), have a sleep after lunch and then find a rooftop bar at 6pm for the most amazing summer evening experience. The locals eat late and the shops are then open very late enabling a night time exploration of the famous upmarket shopping areas.

    Similarly, just came back from Venice in August. It was around 35C. The upside was that I scored my bucket list hotel (the Belmond Cipriani) at about 70% discount, ducked down the side alleys away from the the main tourist routes (100 metres makes all the difference) and chose to spend time in the more local areas such as Giudecca, eating al fresco canal-side on deliciously warm summer evenings. Whereas most don’t, a few hotels have pools (e.g. Hilton Molina Stuckey, Cipriani, etc.,) and that can be good to know for travel in the warmer months).

    If James has the travel knowledge of Europe he should be able to share detailed insights for the benefit of all readers.

  46. @ Andy

    There is no easy answer.

    Australia is the size of the USA (or Europe). There are Marriott / Starwood properties widely distributed (Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane Gold Coast, Port Douglas an Hobart to come).

    Specifically Marriott hotels are found in Brisbane, Surfers Paradise, Melbourne, Sydney.

    The weather varies by location as well as time of year.

    The temperature may be less in northern Australia than southern at times, but the typical humidity can be oppressive (Adelaide may be very hot, but a dry, Cairns cooler but pushing 75-95% humidity).

    Southerly changes in Melbourne can see summer temperatures drop from 38C to 17C in the space of an hour or two.

    In winter (June-August) the southern cities can be cold (there are ski resorts halfway between Sydney and Melbourne), whereas the norther typical locations of Cairns and Darwin enjoy stunning 29C sunny days.

    Where do you want to go and what to do you want to see and do and experience when you get there?!

    If you want the culture, foodie and art scene of Melbourne, for example, it could be cold and wet in their Winter, but that’s a perfect time to visit the tropical north, dive the barrier reef, etc.

  47. I don’t understand the fascination with Mykonos and Santorini, is it the ease of accessibility with flights? or the alure? Both are horrendously expensive and jam packed full of tourists, I went to ios in the off season and barely had anyone to share the beach with, had the same amazing sunsets, and significantly cheaper

  48. Julia, the key is constructive criticism, as you pointed out, but I don’t see any of that. All I see are attacks on James…Sure, this is a blog and you have to be thick skinned, but it is also a BLOG, not a newspaper or magazine. Maybe go easy on the attacks?

  49. Funny, I see a a lot on constructive critcism on here. Not every comments is required to be fawning praise.

  50. Americans tend to forget or ignore that Yurrup has excellent public transport which means if you have to travel in August you can stay in a relatively unspoilt but equally interesting spot, for example Coimbra rather than Lisbon, and just take a one-day rail trip into the capital to brave the crowds and see the sights but spend the remainder of your vacation in comparatively relaxed fashion.

    Same applies to, say, Le Mans/Paris, Valencia/Barcelona, Segovia/Madrid, Tuscany/Rome&Milan, Nurnberg/Munich, Honefoss/Oslo or Cambridge/London

  51. I was in Lisbon in August and it was certainly not super hot. I was there for four days, days were warm to hot (you would be comfortable in jeans or shorts) and nights were very cool, you’d definitely want a jacket.

  52. James, I generally think the commenters give you too hard of a time, but this article is just too broad (and frankly fairly useless). There are those who are bound by school vacations and can’t travel during the shoulder seasons — they are going to want to go to Rome, Paris, Barcelona during the summer and will ignore your article.

    There are those who aren’t similarly bound, and when they look at prices, they will figure it out on their own (without the need of an article).

    If the point of an article is obvious, it probably doesn’t need to be an article.

  53. I like this article as it creates debate and constructive dialogue. (Although the tone of some comments is a bit off putting)
    I for one am happy for James’ posts, even when I have quibbles with content

    I just returned from Budapest Prague and Vienna on Saturday

    It was chilly in all three, (50s and occasional low 60s) but absolutely freezing in Prague. (Miserable and drizzling). Wish I would have went in August!

    Still loved it but October can be a transitional month for many places

    My favorite months for many destinations are end May, June, and September

    Reason:school is in session and weather can be nice

    But I always look up temperature and precipitation averages for my chosen location. (This year had no choice so early October was chosen)

    As others noted… London and Nice have very different climates!

  54. Was in Athens, Santorini, London, Berlin, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem(OK last 2 not technically Europe) this August. I didn’t have a choice on dates unfortunately.

    Athens was quite busy but not so packed as to make it unbearable. It was very hot but against just about bearable. I would probably recommend September or June over August but I did not feel August was a completely terrible time to visit.

    Santorini was both too hot and too crowded. I am glad I saw the island but I would not recommend anyone go there in August. It was too hot to do anything outside during the day and almost unbearably crowded in the late afternoon/evening.

    Berlin was moderately hot and not too crowded. TBH Berlin is a city that never feels crowded as it is quite spread out.

    London was somewhat hot and crowded but having lived in London for 10 years before, I would not say August is a terrible time to visit – the summer crowds do give it a nice vibe – although I do think June or July are better options.

    Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were not too crowded at all but definitely too hot.

    Was also in Hong Kong on way back to US, and would say that Hong Kong in August is way too hot and humid, even though it rained most of my time there. It was crowded but then it is always crowded in Hong Kong.

  55. Mr. Wise – Because I AM from Europe, so have spent the majority of my August’s somewhere on the continent my whole life.

    This advice is utter rubbish, which is a shame because James began here by writing some brilliant articles which have seriously gone downhill since the quantity went up. There’s incorrect or misleading information in the majority of articles I read from him now.

    Everyone else has already said it, but to summarise:

    1) Vast swathes of Europe aren’t unbearably hot during August.

    2) Loads of places aren’t unbearably busy.

    3) Major European cities are always busy – the addition of many tourists in August doesn’t really change that much unless you’re focused on getting into the Louvre or somewhere.

    4) Many people like the heat (which tends to be a relatively dry heat) – hence why Southern European beach resorts are packed all Summer.

  56. Though it looks like the article has been majorly altered since I first read it?

    If I’m just being an idiot and it’s always been there – sorry James! If you’ve corrected it then you really should say so. Ben always does – it seems dishonest otherwise.

  57. @Callum – Agree 100%. I’ve lived in Switzerland, Germany and Italy for over 15 years and never felt unbearable heat (and I lived in Rome for five of those years). And I spent much of this past August in Southern France and Italy and didn’t pay any higher room rates at the hotels I normally use during the other months of high season (April – October). And I’ve never stayed at a hotel in Europe in the past decade that didn’t have AC (and I’m not staying in five star places). Most major tourist sites are crowded nine months out of the year. If you want small crowds, go in the winter.

  58. Even early May in Italy’s major cities is already “too late” as I learned this past May. Massively crowded in Florence with cruise ship day-trippers hitting town at about 10am every morning. I would now consider April the shoulder month.

    Southern Bavaria (Garmisch and area), in contrast, was perfect.

  59. lol who knew Europeans were so sensitive? Is that continental nationalism I’m reading? Do you all really care about each other?
    Strange critters with your midday naps and entitled attitude of half the year off for vaca. You’re welcome though

  60. James you are doing a great job. Don’t listen to these self important old facts. If they had anything to contribute they would write a guest article instead of taking potshots in the comment section.

    August is the best time to watch topless European women.

  61. Ive heard this exact same advice from travel bloggers & youre absolutely right. Europe is to be avoided in August at all costs. I even have it written down as a footnote in my bucketlist. Hopefully this article enlightens some tourists who are not familiar with this.

  62. @Mattt – I think the confusion may be that Europeans haven’t yet succumb to the American style of not caring about whether things are factually accurate or not…

  63. I like it that James write with a different angle from Ben at al. Together it makes OMAAT more rounded. There will always be snide remarks, people splitting hairs. Looking forward to your next article.

  64. @ Debit

    James specifically asked for responses on people’s experiences traveling in Europe in August. And he got just that – people making a contribution (ironically the very thing you are accusing people of not doing) – the problem is that most with direct experience disagreed with him.

    Other bloggers correct factual errors when these are pointed out in comments and acknowledge the feedback. This is because most writers have some interest in accuracy. James has other published articles where factual errors have been highlighted, but not amended.

    It seems James may have tempered /clarified his article on this occasion (?). Good for him. Only it would be nice if that was clarified so comments and feedback are not out of sync with the article.

    Basic respect for the reader.

    IME other travel bloggers don’t seem to suffer from these basic issues.

  65. I should also add (as I’ve been moaning a lot recently!) that I still think James is a good writer. The drastic fall in quality exactly mirrored the increase in quantity, so I feel it would be better if he was able to write fewer but higher quality pieces.

  66. I just spent mid-June thru mid September in northern Europe this summer 2018 – mostly in Berlin and parts of southern Germany – and it was stiflingly hot. The daily heat and humidity pretty much ruined my vacation, as I couldn’t escape it.

    As an Australian, I was perplexed as to why I felt so hot, but of course, the answer is – no air-conditioning! The U and S-Bahn in Berlin, and most other German cities – are suffocatingly hot – no AC and few windows that open. And in the crowds on board, you feel almost like you can’t breathe. Regional trains are air-conditioned, as are the high-speed trains, but on the regional trains at least, I experienced frequent AC breakdowns (the dreaded ‘Klima defekt’ red stickers on the doors!), over-overcrowding and frayed tempers due to the heat.

    Buses and some trams in Berlin have AC, but they are rarely cool in the really hot weather. Shops and restaurants rarely have AC and even department stores are frustratingly ‘warm’, as their primitive AC can’t cope on really hot days. About the only places where you can find reliably cold AC is in galleries, which are forced to keep their art temperature controlled.

    I was staying in an AirBNB – with no AC of course – and sleeping was difficult, so I bought a fan. By mid-August, It was so hot in Berlin I had to check into a hotel that I knew had good AC for three nights, when I saw the forecast heading north of 35C (ca.100F) for several days. And that after several weeks of days above 30C (ca. 90F) and nights rarely dropping below the low 20s (ca.75

    So I can honestly say – make sure you’re prepared for hot weather if you are going to travel to Northern Europe anytime from June through September, as the heat this year barely let up during these months. While I was there, I saw on the TV that even in Finland some supermarkets were opening at night to allow their customers to bring their own bedding to spend the night – it was so hot. The climate everywhere is changing – despite what certain politicians think! And MAKE SURE you book hotels with air conditioning, as your room is likely to be your only respite from the high heat. And the high humidity just makes everything twice as uncomfortable, as everyone is sweating and walking around great wet patches on the backs of their shirts…nice…!

  67. Haha had 30* + in Stockholm in augustus once. Its waaay worse then 30* in spain because you dont expect that.

  68. +1 for not doing Southern Europe in August (and specifically NOT on August 1st) – if anything goes bad with your flight, everything else will be booked to the gills, so you will have zero options. (as experienced on Friday August 1 not so long ago with 5 hour delay in incoming Paris flight, and NO train tickets left to anywhere on Azure coast).

    Also, being that August vacation in France is a thing, and knowing that Italians even have Ferraugusta as a name, going to northern France or northern Italy is a good choice for August. Milan is completely deserted in August, to the point that is eerie.

  69. I appreciate the many viewpoints, observation, ideas, and comments in the article and I understand the challenges of high season travel in Southern Europe. BTDT. We are a binational couple with one from the UK and one from the US and are both well-travelled and not Kettles (you may know this term if you read air travel blogs :). However, I’d like to ask James and readers for any more constructive ideas about high season around the sea in Southern Europe.
    We are currently used to hot Texas summer weather (100F+ on a daily basis in the summer), but are not accustomed to high humidity, which I know from living in other hot-weather locations is a completely different experience than drier heat.
    We’re looking for an ex-UK (BHX or MAN, LON as a last resort) ~7 day holiday where, among other things, we can enjoy the warm climate and sea in late August/early September. We do not have flexibility with our dates and so regrettably are going to hit that last summer bank holiday. Our interests run from bustling cities to bucolic countryside, and are particularly geared toward visiting places of historical significance as well as natural and man-made beauty.
    We have spent time in Northern Europe (Finland, Sweden, etc.) in the summer and it was fabulously pleasant, affordable (love those half price top tier business hotels), and lack of huge frantic crowds. However, on this trip we’d prefer Southern Europe with warmer weather and a warm sea without dealing with overrun places every single day. Would love to include Dubrovnik (not for GOT reasons, we don’t watch the show, but to visit the incredible medieval town for at least a full day). However, that could be a day trip from somewhere else in the region using any practical type of public transport. We could skip the day in Dubrovnik this trip if there’s no way to combine it with a more relaxing holiday location but would really like to make at least a day there Part of the trip.
    Do any readers have constructive ideas of where in Southern Europe to find a warm climate and sea, easy public transport links to an interesting city or two for day trips, plenty of history and historic sites, and yet avoiding the worst of overwhelming mass tourism crowds? Ar hire is possible but definitely last preference.
    Maybe this is asking too much, but any suggestions are welcome.
    We are not averse to some type of package holiday as long as it’s not a huge group and a total cattle call. We rarely do organized group travel but I know there are some companies that can handle the details and save some hassle.
    I won’t say cost is not an issue at all, but we are able to afford a bit better than your average Benidorm experience – LOL.
    Thanks for any suggestions.

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