I recently sat down to lunch near a major European attraction and was surprised to see a group of visitors nearby speaking Chinese. They were the first I’d seen since the pandemic began, when much of Asia — China in particular — instituted severe travel restrictions. Like everyone else, the people of these countries are eager to start exploring the world again. Tourism is back.
The return to travel normalcy is most welcome, but it also means that major sites have started to draw crowds once again. To have a rewarding experience in such circumstances, it helps to adjust your mindset and touring strategies. I find crowds less frustrating, for example, if I’m not worried about taking photos. But it’s best to avoid the hordes altogether.
My editors and I always have this goal in mind when we visit popular destinations, and you can find a trove of advice on AndrewHarper.com about escaping the masses in New York, Rome, Prague, Marrakech, Kyoto and numerous other hot spots. As part of this issue, I wrote about my behind-the-scenes peek at Vienna’s Spanish Riding School and an unforgettable after-hours experience in Schönbrunn Palace. When making plans with one of our travel advisors, be sure to ask for recommendations on how to beat the crowds. It can make all the difference.