top of page
  • Writer's pictureTravel Guide

Top European Destinations for Hay Fever Sufferers: Best and Worst Places to Visit

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, can damper your travel plans, especially when visiting destinations known for high pollen counts. Choosing the right travel destination can make all the difference for individuals dealing with this condition. Whether you're looking to avoid allergens or seeking relief in nature, here are some insights on finding the best and worst places to visit in Europe for hay fever sufferers.


1. What to pay attention to when traveling with Hay Fever

As summer approaches, hay fever symptoms can become more severe, making travel to new places challenging due to unfamiliar allergens. If you know your specific triggers, it's crucial to research the best and worst times to visit certain destinations to avoid unexpected allergic reactions. Before planning your trip, keep the following tips in mind:


If you have tree pollen allergies, it's best to avoid traveling during the spring months. Instead, plan your holidays from July to January. If you're particularly sensitive to grass pollen, early summer is the time to skip. Lastly, if ragweed is your primary trigger, avoid traveling in early autumn.

Grass pollen in Europe

Hellotickets compiled a guide to the most popular destinations this year, based on Google searches by US citizens, to help you determine where and when to travel to avoid hay fever. Utilizing data from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, Hellotickets has analyzed plant species, pollen counts, and seasonal variations to determine the optimal travel times and destinations for hay fever sufferers to avoid troublesome allergy symptoms. This has led to the following table consisting of the optimal and suboptimal months to visit several cities in Europe.

Optimal and suboptimal months for hay fever sufferers traveling in Europe

This information is based on the research that Hellotickets has done. Visit their website for a more detailed explanation: https://www.hellotickets.com/portugal/lisbon/european-travel-destinations-hay-fever-sufferers/sc-138-5281


Based on the research, Reykjavík, Iceland, stands out as one of the top destinations for hay fever sufferers, boasting low pollen counts and minimal allergens year-round. Similarly, Lisbon, Portugal, is highly rated for its consistently low tree pollen levels throughout the year. On the other hand, Milan and Copenhagen are among the worst cities for pollen allergies, experiencing high pollen counts during several months of the year.


2. The 5 best cities to visit for those who suffer from Hay Fever


2.1. Reykjavik, Iceland

Looking for a summer destination with cool temperatures, volcano sightseeing, and plenty of hiking activities? Consider Reykjavik. For adventure enthusiasts and those seeking unique experiences, Iceland in the summer is an excellent choice. In June, the phenomenon known as the Midnight Sun occurs, where the sun never sets and the night is an endless sunset.

Aurora Borealis above Hallgrimskirkja church in central of Reykjavik City in Iceland

For those with tree pollen allergies, the best time to travel is from August to March, while July should be avoided. If you're allergic to grass pollen, plan your trip between September and April, avoiding July. For weed allergy sufferers, the optimal travel period is from November to June, with August being the month to avoid.


2.2. Lisbon, Portugal

If you prefer big cities and sightseeing, Lisbon is an excellent choice. With its coastline climate and nearby beaches, it offers a bit of everything for travelers. Beyond that, Lisbon hosts great music events and festivals.

Lisbon yellow trams

For travelers with tree pollen allergies, the best times to visit are from August to October and from January to February, while April should be avoided. If you're allergic to grass pollen, plan your trip between September and February, avoiding May. Weed allergy sufferers will find the optimal travel period to be from November to May, with August being the month to avoid.

2.3. London, England

London is a vibrant city that combines rich history with modern attractions, making it a must-visit destination. Explore iconic landmarks like the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, enjoy world-class museums and galleries, and experience the lively West End theatre scene. With diverse culinary options and excellent public transportation, London offers an unforgettable travel experience for every visitor.

From the City to Tower- and London Bridge during sunset time

For travelers with tree pollen allergies, the best times to visit are from August to October and from January to February, while April should be avoided. If you're allergic to grass pollen, plan your trip between September and February, avoiding June. Weed allergy sufferers will find the optimal travel period to be from November to May, with September being the month to avoid.


2.4. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a captivating city known for its stunning architecture, including Gaudí's Sagrada Família and Park Güell. Wander through the lively streets of the Gothic Quarter, relax on beautiful beaches, and savor delicious Catalan cuisine. With its vibrant culture and rich history, Barcelona offers an unforgettable travel experience.

Barcelona skyline

For travelers with tree pollen allergies, the best times to visit are from August to October and from January to February, while April should be avoided. If you're allergic to grass pollen, plan your trip between September and February, avoiding May. Weed allergy sufferers will find the optimal travel period to be from November to May, with August being the month to avoid.


2.5. Paris, France

Paris, the City of Light, is renowned for its iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Stroll along the charming streets of Montmartre, indulge in exquisite French cuisine, and experience the romantic ambiance that makes Paris an unforgettable destination.

Montmartre in Paris, France

For travelers with tree pollen allergies, the best times to visit are from August to October and from January to February, while April should be avoided. If you're allergic to grass pollen, plan your trip between September and February, avoiding June. Weed allergy sufferers will find the optimal travel period to be from November to May, with September being the month to avoid.


3. The Impact of Pollution, Weather, and Location

While coastal cities generally have lower pollen counts due to humidity, various factors can counteract this benefit, including inland winds, pollution, and other weather conditions.


Opting for a rainy destination to alleviate symptoms might backfire. While humidity and light to moderate rain can reduce symptoms, heavy rainfall can increase pollen concentration.

Rainy Day

Pollution, particularly ozone, also exacerbates allergies. Air pollutants can alter pollen composition, heightening its allergenic potency and triggering more severe reactions. Research indicates that plants in polluted areas release more pollen over longer periods.


In theory, Barcelona should be a low-pollen city. However, its proximity to a mountain range, and high inland winds during spring that bring more pollen, dryness, and significant pollution levels make it challenging for tree pollen sufferers during the spring.


Weather and wind conditions are unpredictable when planning holidays, but avoiding highly polluted cities during peak pollen seasons can greatly mitigate allergy symptoms.


4. Research

For this campaign, Hellotickets collected data on the most popular European travel destinations using Google Travel Insights, focusing on searches by U.S. travelers. To determine pollen counts in these cities, they utilized data from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service for Europe, spanning May 2023 to April 2024, with a 48-hour surface-level deviation. This data has been simplified by calculating the monthly median pollen counts and categorizing them by pollen type (trees, grass, or weeds). Based on this, Hellotickets identified the best and worst cities to visit, considering the median monthly pollen count in grains per cubic meter of air that we have covered in this post.


Conclusion

Traveling with hay fever can be challenging, but with the right planning and destination choices, you can still enjoy a memorable and comfortable trip. By considering factors such as pollen counts, weather conditions, and pollution levels, you can significantly reduce the impact of hay fever on your travel experience. Cities like Reykjavík and Lisbon offer low pollen levels and a range of attractions, making them ideal for hay fever sufferers. Conversely, destinations like Milan and Copenhagen, with their high pollen counts, might be better avoided during peak allergy seasons. Ultimately, understanding your specific allergies and staying informed about your travel destinations will help ensure that your holiday is both enjoyable and symptom-free. Happy travels!

76 views0 comments

Commenti


bottom of page