Beat the crowds in Venice with the best canal cities in Europe

Such is the vice-like grip that Venice holds over the public’s imagination, when considering canal cities you could be forgiven for thinking that any others even exist.

An iconic corner of Italy, Venice is built on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. With the vast Grand Canal snaking its way through the city, Venice’s famous water scenes have been painted throughout history by the likes of Tintoretto, Guardi and Canaletto.

While that extraordinary medieval waterworld of the Adriatic does indeed set the bar high, Europe is full of cities pierced by charming canal networks which often add a delightful flourish to their

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