4 Obscure Canal Destinations to Escape the Venice Crowd This Summer

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4 Canal Cities to Visit Instead of Venice

Venice is undoubtedly one of the most iconic destinations in Europe. It is known for its centuries-old canals that are lined with pastel-colored buildings and beautiful ornate churches. However, there are some downsides to visiting Venice, such as overcrowding, overtourism, and drying canals. Fortunately, there are other canal cities in Europe worth exploring this summer. Here are four great alternative destinations to visit instead of Venice:

Aveiro, Portugal

Aveiro is a historic city in northern Portugal, located only one hour’s drive south of Porto. It is affectionately nicknamed ‘the Portuguese Venice’ due to the picturesque canals that run through the center of the city. The city is small enough to explore on foot and has several interesting sights such as the Aveiro Museum, the Cathedral of Aveiro, and the Art Nouveau-style buildings. You can take a boat tour on the canals or taste the famous ‘ovos moles,’ a local delicacy made with egg yolks and sugar.

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges is a charming medieval city in northern Belgium, known for its picturesque canals, cobblestone streets, and stunning architecture. The city’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it features several landmarks such as the Belfry tower, the Basilica of the Holy Blood, and the Church of Our Lady. You can take a boat tour on the canals or try some of Belgium’s famous chocolate and waffles.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is a vibrant city in the Netherlands, famous for its canals, museums, and nightlife. The city is home to several world-renowned museums such as the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Anne Frank House. You can take a boat tour on the canals or rent a bike to explore the city like a local. Amsterdam is also famous for its coffee shops, where you can sample some of the finest cannabis strains in the world.

Annecy, France

Annecy is a charming town in southeastern France, located on the shores of Lake Annecy. The town is known as the ‘Venice of the Alps’ due to its medieval canals, charming pedestrian streets, and flower-filled balconies. Annecy has a well-preserved old town with several notable landmarks such as the Palais de l’Isle, the Château d’Annecy, and the Cathedral of Saint-Pierre. You can take a boat tour on the canals or hike in the nearby mountains to enjoy the stunning scenery.


1. Why is Venice overcrowded?

Venice is overcrowded because it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. The city receives millions of visitors every year, especially during the summer months. The overtourism has caused several problems such as traffic congestion, pollution, and damage to the historic buildings.

2. Is Venice implementing any measures to reduce overtourism?

Yes, the local authorities are implementing several measures to reduce overtourism in Venice. These measures include a cruise ship ban, a ticketing system for visitors, and stricter policies governing vacation rentals and street vendors. However, these measures are not enough to solve the problem entirely.

3. Are there any alternatives to visiting Venice?

Yes, there are several canal cities in Europe worth exploring instead of Venice. These cities include Aveiro in Portugal, Bruges in Belgium, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and Annecy in France.

4. What can you do in these canal cities?

In these canal cities, you can take a boat tour on the canals, explore the historic landmarks, try the local cuisine, and enjoy the scenery. Each city has its own unique attractions and experiences that are worth discovering.