As the summer brings hotter weather, swimmers and sunbathers will flock to some of the to cool off. Unfortunately, thousands of other beach-goers will have the same idea, making it difficult to enjoy the sun-drenched stretches of sand or the refreshing, turquoise waters.
Many of the beaches featured in the slideshow above are located in or near big and populous cities so it won’t be surprising that these summer getaways will be congested during weekends or hot-weather days. And there are others, like Haad Rin beach in Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand, that are especially congested during specific times of the month—such as on all-night parties.
But just because they are crowded during peak season doesn’t mean these beaches are not worth a visit (they’re popular for a reason). But if you don’t like crowds, it might be wise to go earlier in the day or during the week.
1. Dameisha Bathing Beach, Shenzhen, China
In the summer, China’s numerous bathing beaches become major attractions. Dameisha Beach, a free-to-the-public beach located in Shenzhen, is the city’s most popular, and draws thousands of sun-seekers each season. “Overcrowded would be an understatement,” said Greg R., a . “Bumper-to-bumper traffic with no parking, absolutely no space on the beach.” Dameisha, however, could be a totally different experience off-season, or during the week. “Go mid-week to avoid the crowds,” said William D., another TripAdvisor member. “It’s like going to a different place.”
2. Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Made world-famous by a bossa nova song, “The Girl from Ipanema,” is perhaps, next to Copacabana, Brazil’s most popular beach. Expect to see more than just sun bathers on the beach, which is bustling with activity. There are volleyball and soccer games, and windsurfing and wakeboarding in the water, while vendors stroll the stretch of sand to sell everything from beach towels and swimsuits to drinks and coconuts. If you want to relax, Ipanema Beach may not be for you, but if you’re up for some people-watching, this beach will not bore.
3. Plage Publique de Beau Rivage, Nice, France
Tourists flock to Nice, France to enjoy the Mediterranean weather (an average of 300 sunny days a year), sophisticated resorts and crystal-clear waters all-year round. But in the summer, the best stretches of pebbly sand on the public beaches are crowded with families, tourists and locals. Beau Rivage Public Beach is one of the most popular public beaches, evident from the crowds who , according to Nice-Tourism.com.
4. Plage de Rabat, Morocco
The capital of Morocco, Rabat is home to the country’s most important museum, the Royal Palace and a popular, crescent-shaped beach. And with an urban population of over 1.2 million, it’s not surprising that the beach is bustling, busy and packed on summer days. “It is incredibly crowded,” one said. “Half the beach is usually taken up by soccer games.” However, some visitors still appreciate the beautiful views of the Atlantic. “Walk up to the lighthouse and you have a breathtaking view of the ocean, yet you’re just a few steps from the medina,” said one TripAdvisor reviewer.
5. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
One of Australia’s most famous beaches, Bondi Beach is an iconic Sydney attraction. “Bondi Beach is a buzzing ,” according to Sydney.com. With its golden sands, turquoise waters and famous surfer-luring waves, there’s no denying that Bondi Beach is a must-see when visiting Sydney, but many say it is too crowded. “There are so many people,” said a . “If you go during summertime it is literally hard to even see any sand between all the people.”
6. Brighton Beach, England
on the south coast of England, almost immediately due south of London. So it’s not surprising that when the sunny days of summer finally arrive, many Londoners head straight to Brighton Beach, making it one of the busiest beaches in the country. There’s a lot to do (and see) in Brighton—there are stylish bars, cafes, shops, sculptures and buskers—in case visitors want to escape the summer crowds.
7. Haeundae Beach, Busan, South Korea
Located in Busan, Haeundae Beach is perhaps , according to the Korea Tourism Organization. Known for the various cultural festivals and events it holds every year, as well as its Folk Square, the beach welcomes thousands of visitors every year, especially during the peak months of June to August. So while tourists rave about the beautiful views, many think Haeundae Beach is too crowded. “Hyper-crowded,” said one . “It was hard finding a spot to swim, because the lifeguards would gather everyone to swim in an area that is overcrowded, and a lot of people were in the water with floats.”
8. Beach of Durres, Albania
The Beach of Durrës is the biggest and most visited public beach in Albania, serving as the main summer and weekend destination for the residents of the cities of Tirana and Durrës. While it can get terribly crowded in peak season, there are interesting sights to see nearby, such as the , which was built on the hillside inside the city walls in the early 2nd century AD, according to Lonely Planet.
9. Haad Rin Nok, Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand during Full Moon Parties
A peninsular beach area and town on the southern tip of the island of Ko Pha Ngan in Thailand, Haad Rin is known for its idyllic views, white sands, nd azure waters. But every month, during the area’s world-famous, all-night , Haad Rin becomes littered with littered with trash, beer bottles and drunk tourists. “Worst place on Koh Phangan,” said one . “[This is] not the place to go if you want to have a relaxing holiday away from the crowds.”
10. La Perla Beach, Mar del Plata, Argentina
According to USA Today, the best-known beaches in Argentina primarily are , which generally becomes very crowded during the summer months. La Perla Beach, in particular, can get jam-packed because it is a family-friendly beach with playgrounds and volleyball courts. “Too many people,” said one . “During [peak] season, people are literally stuck to each other.”