In July 2018 German newspaper ZEIT published an article listing 40 Alternative Travel Destinations. Topic of the issue was over-tourism and how many very popular places are being overrun by hordes of tourists. On the other hand there’s still hidden gems all over the world which very well can compete with these iconic places. Problem with their article: There was no map!
The article featured a curated listed of these hidden gems under the headline 40 Alternative Travel Destinations. Prior to stumbling across this article I had already visited some of the alternatives both by chance and on purpose. I figured a map for those 40 destinations might come handy, so whilst you plan your next travel, you can see which of the alternatives are on your way.
The park and hill facing the Acropolis is a beautiful way to see the Parthenon in all its glory. If you have a better camera (or know how to work it better 😉 ) the place is also great for getting some long exposure / night shots of the Acropolis and brightly lit Athens around it.
Now not to make you have to scroll much longer – here’s the map of all 40 alternative travel destinations. Click through them one by one or browse through the continents and countries:
I’ve also seen Statue de la Liberté (Paris) instead of Lady Liberty (New York), but the pictures have been disappointing. So for once no good candidate for my 500px Profile.
Unfortunately I can’t deny my fair share in overtourism in some of the “original” travel destinations:
Sagrada Familia — Yes, multiple times I’ve visited Barcelona, the city that like few others suffers a lot from overtourism. They actually have about 32 million tourists a year, which is 20 times it’s population of 1.6 million (according to the Telegraph).
Berlin — Well yes, I live here, but I’m also taking visitors to all the touristy places. Hell, I’m even sending them around all those places in this post. Berlin is a bit better off in terms of overtourism: 31 million hotel stays are only about 9 times the number of Berlins ~3.4 million inhabitants (source).
Neuschwanstein — Been there, done that. Twice actually, contributing to the overtourism here. But woah, it’s so freakin’ beautiful. I gotta try Lichtenstein now. Neuschwanstein really is crowded with 1.5+ million visitors every year. Unlike some other destinations on this list, this is not a city, but just one castle. At this rate an average of 4100 people see it every day. Do the math: Even if this were evenly distributed over the year, even if they’d be open from 8:00 to 20:00, it’d be around 350 people every hour!
Stonehenge — Pretty much similar 1.5 million figures for this Southern English jewel. The list instead recommends Dún Aonghasa in Ireland. It might indeed be really cool, but the difference in accessibility is just tremendous: Stonehenge basically has it’s own motorway exit, whilst Dún Aonghasa is on the Iron Islands, pardon me, Arran Islands close off the Irish west coast.