A decade as an American living in Italy has turned me into a go-to source for friends planning trips to Europe. One of the things people ask most often is whether it’s worth visiting the most popular Europe tourist attractions or if they’re too overhyped to live up to their reputations. The truth is that while some simply aren’t worth the hassle, many Europe tourist attractions are, especially if you visit strategically.

It’s all about timing

Crowds, lines and heat are, in my book, enjoyment killers. But timing a visit to the top Europe tourist attractions for early or late in the day can address all three challenges in one fell swoop. The light is always more spectacular in early morning and at dusk and scheduling a visit during these windows not only maximizes beauty but minimizes crowds. 

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