The countdown until your trip starts often feels like forever. That’s why – when you finally arrive – long queues can really kill the mood. You’re ready to unleash your inner explorer! But herds of tourists stop you in your tracks.
Sound familiar? That’s right. When it comes to visiting the world’s iconic attractions, everyone has the same idea. Lucky for you, in this blog we reveal secrets, tips and tricks to beat the crowds so you can make the most of every minute your dream destinations.
France attracts more visitors than any other country. It’s easy to see why: romantic cities, picturesque coastal villages, sweeping vineyards, awesome art and exquisite food are all on the menu. Time in queues here is time wasted. So hop on one of our France tours to get exclusive access to the attractions you care about. Two bucket-list worthy ones can be found in Paris.
The Louvre Museum
Who wouldn’t want to roam around the world’s biggest museum? At 72,735 square meters, the Louvre houses 380,000 art works in total (35,000 of which are currently on show). Rumour has it you could return 100 times, and still admire paintings you’ve never seen before. The Musée du Louvre is overflowing with masterpieces – and understandably – visitors. Avoid visiting from June to August and instead aim for April and May, September and October. And remember to pick up a ticket in advance to reduce your wait time.
The Eiffel Tour
Oh, the City of Love. The City of Lights! A peruse of Paris is incomplete without gazing at its premier 304-metre-tall landmark. But with approximately 7 million visitors a year after a glimpse of the Eiffel tour, you need a secret approach to avoid the masses. Instead, why not join us on a cruise of the Seine where we brush shoulders with the Eiffel tour on route? Our tour is called Treasures of France for a reason.
The world’s 5th most visited country, Italy has something for everyone. Feel the significance of Roman history. Admire art and architecture. Stroll through stunning scenery. Taste outrageously good espresso. Squeeze the brilliance out of it all with these Italian crowd-beating tours and tips.
The art in the Vatican is 9 miles long. And so is the queue to get in! Good thing you can grab VIP admission on our Wonders of Italy and Italy Bellissimo tours and gaze at masterpieces to your heart’s content. Including Michael Angelo’s stunning frescoes In the Sistine chapel and Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica. All brought to life by a Local Specialist’s inside knowledge.
Venice is a picturesque paradise, flooded with tourists. Nicknamed the ‘The Floating City’, Venice is best absorbed by water. So hop on a private cruise with us along Venice’s Grand Canal on either our Best of Italy or Contrasts of Italy tours. Watch stunning sights appear by the second – including Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge, St. Mark’s Square and more. Later on, you’ll glide on a gondola along Venice’s narrow waterways to get to know Venice’s intimate side.
United Kingdom & Ireland
The London Eye
A space in one of the London Eye’s 32 capsules is priceless. Expect a jaw-dropping 360-degree view of the capital that makes your Instagram followers jealous. With 3 million visitors annually, don’t wait until the day. Book a fast-track ticket online in advance to glide past those queues in style.
Perched on top of a dormant volcano, Edinburgh Castle offers a breath-taking view of magnificent Edinburgh. Unsurprisingly, locals and tourists alike ascend here on weekends for some peace of mind.
And it can get busy. But relax – on our Scotland tour, your Travel Director will hand you your pre-booked ticket meaning there’s minimal fuss. Scottish Highlands, Islands and Cities tour Travel Director Kate Allens says: ‘It saves at least an hour-long queue for anyone arriving without pre-booked tickets.’
The Cliffs of Moher (Ireland)
Standing 200m tall and 14km wide over the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland’s UNESCO-listed Cliffs of Moher is mother nature in full force. With almost 1 million visitors a year – this is Ireland’s most visited natural attraction. If you’re looking to cut your waiting time: get up close and personal with exclusive access through either our Amazing Ireland or Irish Experience tour. You’ll also get to see the ‘Atlantic Edge’ exhibition: offering a bird’s eye view of the nooks and crannies where colonies of Atlantic Puffin find sanctuary and go beneath the surface to explore the ancient rocks.
There’s more to Spain than sangria, sun and siestas. World-famous architecture, stunning beaches, vineyards, mountains, coastlines, and historic villages appear at every turn. 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites scatter the country (including the Sagrada Familia) – attracting explorers from everywhere.
The Sagrada Familia
Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished Cathedral attracts over 3 million visitors a year and is undoubtably first pick for things to see in Barcelona. April to September is particularly busy. So instead of getting fried in the sun for 2 hours or more, grab a fast-track pass beforehand to skip the queue and take in this architectural marvel fresh.
The Prado Museum
Based in Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art, over 850,000 art-lovers flocked to the Prado Museum in 2020 to see the amazing European art and Greco-Roman sculptures. Suspense for something this good can be cruel. So skip the line with a guided tour to see what the excitement is about.
The United States
The United States is a gigantic adventure park of fun. Perfect for nature, art, history and food-lovers alike. One thing’s for sure, it’s best appreciated away from the crowds.
Washington DC – Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill – home to the White House, US Capitol Building, Smithsonian Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and more – gets nearly 3 million visitors a year. Say yes to fast-track access to bypass the boredom of waiting in line. Even better… our tour covering the East Coast USA tour immerses you in it all.
Acadia National Park
2.67 million visited Acadia National Park in 2020. Can you see why? This 47,000-acre Atlantic coast paradise is jam-packed with granite peaks, rocky beaches, woodlands and wildlife that drop the jaw of any traveller. Avoid peak season (June to August) and aim for Fall (September to November) instead, with early morning or late afternoon being optimal visiting times. Alternatively, jump on our August Colours tour for exclusive access: we’ll take you up Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and first spot in the US where you’ll see sunrise views you can’t find anywhere else.
Remember that the best travellers make the most of every moment. Question is: will you?
What experiences have you had at these destinations? And where are you planning to visit 2022? Tell us in the comments below.