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The most popular natural attractions in Europe

The most popular natural attractions in Europe

Discover Europe’s most popular urban parks, gardens and nature spots.

With the arrival of summer, outdoor attractions become the ideal place to enjoy those long light-filled days, especially if you’re surrounded by lush nature. Parks, gardens and nature spots suddenly are coveted destinations, both in the city where you live and the places you go on vacation.

But with so much choice, where do you begin? Europe in particular seems to have an endless number of natural wonders. Which is why we wanted to find out which are Europe’s most popular. Musement analyzed the number of Google reviews of more than 3,800 outdoor attractions in all European countries to discover the 30 most popular natural attractions in the Old Continent.*

Take a look at the table to see the full ranking.

 ATTRACTIONCOUNTRYREVIEWSRATING
1El Retiro ParkSpain1534454.8
2Park GüellSpain1458194.4
3Hyde ParkUnited Kingdom1072594.7
4Luxembourg GardensFrance874464.7
5Tuileries GardenFrance849684.6
6PraterAustria842344.5
7Plitvice Lakes National ParkCroatia796444.7
8Łazienki ParkPoland683064.8
9Villa BorgheseItaly636094.6
10Sempione ParkItaly627664.6
11City ParkHungary583774.6
12Ciutadella ParkSpain569344.6
13La VilletteFrance532704.4
14King Mihai I Park (Herăstrău)Romania515644.6
15Rhine FallsSwitzerland511594.7
16English GardenGermany505924.7
17St James's ParkUnited Kingdom484634.7
18Parc de la Tête d'OrFrance484444.6
19Krka National ParkCroatia454674.6
20VondelparkNetherlands432804.7
21Cinque Terre National ParkItaly407864.7
22Cabo da RocaPortugal407514.7
23Jardin des PlantesFrance378674.6
24The Regent's ParkUnited Kingdom377204.7
25Royal Botanic Gardens, KewUnited Kingdom370104.7
26KeukenhofNetherlands365684.7
27Sintra-Cascais Natural ParkPortugal352284.7
28Parque Eduardo VIIPortugal326754.6
29Tineretului ParkRomania320674.5
30Teide National ParkSpain320244.8

Top 10

1. Retiro Park, Spain

With more than 153 thousand reviews, Retiro Park leads the ranking. This huge green space of 350 acres in the heart of Madrid is not only one of the city’s main lungs, since 2021 it’s also been on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Originally the property of Spanish royalty, it was only at the end of the 19th century did it become a public space. Since then it’s become one of the most visited places in the city. Among its most popular attractions are the Estanque Grande, where you can rent rowing boats, and the aptly named Palacio de Cristal, which is made almost entirely glass and also an exhibition site for the Reina Sofía Museum. Sculptures such as the monument of Alfonso XII or the statue of El Ángel Caído are also well worth a look. And let’s not forget the meticulously manicured gardens. The Parterre and the Rosaleda (rose garden) are not to be missed.

 

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2. Park Güell, Spain

One of Barcelona‘s most iconic attractions, Park Güell has the signature style of the city’s most famous architect, Antoni Gaudí. Conceived as a luxury residential development, of the 60 villas designed for the park only two were ever built. It was officially opened as a public park in 1926. Here architectural elements blend harmoniously with nature to create a truly unusual space. The main staircase, where you can find the famous dragon (or salamander, depending on who you ask), leads to the Hypostyle Room, made up of 86 Doric columns and a roof of small domes. Above is the Plaza de la Naturaleza, the central part of the park, where undulating benches decorated with mosaics offer visitors a chance to sit and enjoy the view.

 

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3. Hyde Park, UK

Initially used as a hunting ground by Henry VIII, Hyde Park was only opened to the public in 1637. It’s considered one of the eight Royal Parks in London. One of the most famous places in the park is Speaker’s Corner, created for the sole purpose of allowing anyone to give a public speech criticizing any person or topic (with the exception of the Royal family and the English government, of course). With an area of 350 acres, it has several areas for activities, such as boat-pedaling on Serpentine Lake, equestrianism, tennis, or netball. An oval-shaped granite fountain was built as a memorial to Princess Diana in 2004 within the park. It’s also been the venue for several concerts by bands such as the Rolling Stones and Madonna.

 

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4. The Luxembourg Garden, France

Located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, the Jardin du Luxembourg was created in 1612 at the request of Maria de Medici to complement the Luxembourg Palace. The garden and palace owe their name to the former private mansion in which they were built: the Hôtel de Luxembourg. Extending over 56 acres (52 of which are open to the public), the garden includes two fountains, 106 statues and an apple orchard with old and rare varieties. You can also try your hand at numerous sporting activities here, from tennis to basketball. Considered one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe, it’s not surprising to find it comes in fourth position.

 

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5. The Tuileries Garden, France

Created in the 16th century, the Tuileries Garden is one of the most popular green spaces in Paris. It owes its name to the old tile factories that formerly existed on the site. Conveniently located in the center of the City of Light, in the 1st arrondissement, it connects the Louvre Museum, the Orsay Museum, the Jeu de Paume Museum and the Place de la Concorde. It also provides access to the Berges de Seine. The Tuileries Palace that once accompanied it, built by Catherine de Medici in 1564, was destroyed in 1883. Despite everything, the garden remains. It makes for a charming stroll where you can soak up both nature, history and culture at the same time. Don’t forget to admire the statues of Maillol and Rodin and relax on the edge of the two basins. To the southwest of the Tuileries, you’ll find the famous Musée de l’Orangerie, where you can admire works by Monet.

6. Prater, Austria

Located in the Leopoldstadt neighborhood of Vienna, Prater Park covers an area of around 3200 acres. Divided into two parts, a green area and another dedicated to an amusement park, the green area as you might expect is known as the Green Prater. Its main attraction is the Hauptallee, a 2.8 mile avenue where the annual Vienna Marathon takes place, perfect for walking, running, cycling or skating. Within the green area you can also go horse riding or take a boat ride down the Danube River. In the amusement park you’ll find the Ferris Wheel Wiener Riesenrad built in 1897, an iconic attraction that today graces many of the city’s postcards.

 

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7. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

It comes as no surprise that this ever-popular national park in Europe ranks within the top ten. Plitvice Lakes National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the late 1970s and has long attracted tourists around the globe. Stroll the wooden walkways soaking up the natural beauty of the park, which includes no less than sixteen lakes connected by waterfalls. The twelve upper lakes and four lower lakes are spread over an area of 73,350 acres. From the capital Zagreb and the coast it’s about two hours by car. This makes it the ideal short trip from the beach or city.

 

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8. Łazienki Park, Poland

At 187.8 acres Łazienki Park is the largest park in Warsaw. Located in the embassy district, it runs along the former Aleje Ujazdowskie Royal Road, which connects the Royal Castle and Wilanów Palace. Its Baroque-style gardens were designed in the 17th century by Tylman van Gameren at the request of nobleman Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski. Within the estate there are several architectural gems that are worth a look, such as the Roman Theatre, the White House, Myślewicki Palace and the Old Orangery. Don’t miss the botanical garden, where you can discover an arboretum, a rose garden and various medicinal plants.

 

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9. Villa Borghese, Italy

In the heart of Rome lies one of the most beautiful urban parks in Italy. A former “Villa delle Delizie” (Villa of Delights), Villa Borghese is known both for its natural beauty and for housing the Galleria Borghese and its collection of works by Bernini, Caravaggio, Titian and many other Italian masters. At approximately 197.7 acres it’s a sprawling green escape for both visitors and those living in the Eternal City. If you book your visit to the gallery in advance, admission to the park is free. We recommend renting a bicycle to explore this park in the best possible way.

 

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10. Parco Sempione, Italy

This historic Milanese park brings the top-10 ranking to a close. Parco Sempione sits behind the imposing Sforzesco Castle and is a 95-acre urban oasis beloved by locals and tourists alike. The park has no shortage of attractions, which include the neoclassical Civic Arena with the Appiani Palace, Gio Ponti’s steel tower and the Triennale Museum, a must for anyone interested in Italian design. And for those who enjoy nightlife, it’s worth checking out the events and parties that happen frequently in this lush natural setting.

 

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*Methodology: To carry out the study more than 3,800 outdoor places of interest in all European countries were taken into consideration. Finally natural attractions were selected and the number of reviews received on Google for each of them were analyzed. The attractions with the highest number of reviews were considered the most popular.

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