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Top five crowd-free European cities

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Top five crowd-free European cities

Amble around these five European cities, chosen by us from those that rated the highest for lack of crowds by Which? members 


Given that Spain’s most-famous dish, paella, hails from this city, it would be almost unthinkable not to find time to seek out a pavement restaurant on a peaceful side street at which to indulge. It’s easy to while away an evening savouring the dish, accompanied by a bottle of Valencian wine.

Marvel and meander around the strikingly-modern City of Arts and Sciences, which includes a science museum, cinema, aquarium and opera house, or pause on a hot day in a tree-lined square, such as the lovely Plaza se la Reina. 


Poland’s second-biggest city may draw almost 10 million visitors a year but wander away from the impressive Central Square and you start to have things to yourself.

Which? members agree. It was their favourite European city in our recent survey with a city score of 91%, scoring highly for lack of crowds and shopping, and getting five out of five stars for value for money, ease of getting around, cultural sights, food & drink and accommodation. 

Our destination features are based on real insight from readers, who tell us their favourite places to visit before we go undercover to investigate. Find out more about Which? Travel 


This port city may not be as big a name as Berlin or Munich, but you won’t have to share it with their crowds and there’s plenty to keep visitors here amused, not least the imposing Waterside Elbphilharmonie concert hall.

It’s an eminently walkable city: stop at the Kunsthalle, for example, to browse its treasure trove of art, from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Tired of walking? Take a boat for a tour of the harbour.


There are plenty of lanes, squares and cafes in Madeira’s capital in which to lose yourself and things tend to get quieter as you move away from the harbour. (Although we highly recommend an evening stroll along the sea front.)

For a moment of solitude, pause under the carved-wooden ceiling of Funchal cathedral, which mixes Gothic and Romanesque styles.

If you really want to escape, head out of town into the hills that surround it, to go hiking along the dense network of levadas, or irrigation channels, that were first developed from the 16th century.   


Visit the Danish capital once it has shaken off its winter mantle and you’ll find cafes moving outside and a sun that doesn’t set till 9.30pm. All that means you can maximise your time discovering the museums, shops and ‘New Nordic’ restaurants that highlight this city’s Scandi design.

If you really want to blend in with the Danes, hop into the saddle and pedal around one of Europe’s most bike-friendly cities.

Want more inspiration about the best European cities to visit? Take a look at our most recent survey, with cities nominated by Which? members.