New research by Accor has highlighted the crème de la crème of European destinations, based on a unique ‘Worth the wait’ score. This has been calculated by looking at the balance between an attraction’s busyness and visitor enjoyment levels at each attraction.  Drawing a comparison between the crowd data (busyness) and experience data (enjoyment) reveals the “worth the wait” score.

Top 10 attractions that are worth the wait 

Rank Venue Country Experience rating Max Crowd Avg. Weekday crowds Avg. Weekend crowds Avg. Crowd size Crowd rating Worth the wait score
1 Puy du Fou France 72.68 2,152 1,047 419 1,206 67.67 98.77
2 Musée d’Orsay France 75.11 2,496 869 745 1,370 70.20 98.66
3 Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias Spain 71.22 2,113 879 521 1,171 67.12 97.65
4 Astérix Park France 67.98 1,965 856 496 1,106 66.12 94.91
5 Southbank Centre United Kingdom 68.72 2,425 918 562 1,302 69.14 92.10
6 The Centre Pompidou France 71.43 2,726 1,106 687 1,506 72.30 91.55
7 Natural History Museum United Kingdom 76.92 3,630 1,212 982 1,941 79.01 90.06
8 La Sagrada Familia Spain 72.52 2,820 1,240 1,120 1,727 75.70 88.72
9 The British Museum United Kingdom 70.38 3,091 950 912 1,651 74.53 87.53
10 East Side Gallery Germany 57.57 1,849 941 683 1,158 66.92 81.15

Puy du Fou ranked the attraction most worth the wait 

Topping the list is France’s magnificent Puy Du Fou, a historical theme park that sees 2.3 million visitors each year. With immersive shows and curated gardens, the park scores an experience rating of 72.68. Coupled with a crowd rating of 67.67 and an average crowd size of 1,206 across its 500-acres, this spacious historical amusement park takes the top spot.

Following closely in second is the iconic Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Famed for its impressionist paintings and housing the likes of Monet and Van Gogh, it’s no wonder the museum scored 98.66 for its “worth the wait” score. Valencia’s architectural marvel, Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias ranked third. Encompassing museums, theatres, and an opera house, it has something for everyone – reflected in its 97.65 “worth the wait” score.

In fourth is the family fun comic themed Astérix Park in France scoring 94.91. Rounding up the top five is London’s cultural epicenter, the Southbank Centre, achieving a 92.10.

The Palace of Versailles is ranked as Europe’s busiest attraction 

Rank  Venue Country Peak crowd Avg. Weekend crowd Avg. Weekday crowd Avg. Crowd size Crowd rating
1 Palace of Versailles France 5,942 2,355 1,609 3,302 100.00
2 Louvre Museum France 5,821 2,206 1,852 3,293 99.86
3 Park Güell Spain 5,230 2,112 2,064 3,135 97.43
4 Cité des Sciences et de L’industrie France 5,047 1,769 1,114 2,644 89.84
5 Europa – Park Germany 4,434 1,882 1,434 2,583 88.91

*Crowd sizes are estimated averages during peak season.

Tourists from all over the world flock to Europe for its historical sites and world-renowned art, meaning many of these destinations see huge queues and bustling crowds.

France leads in Europe’s busiest attractions, with The Palace of Versailles being the most crowded, receiving around 15 million visitors annually. Topping the charts with a crowd rating of 100, halls that were once lined with European royalty are now packed with an average of 3,302 tourists a day.

Parisian attractions such as the Louvre Museum and Cité des Sciences et de L’Industrie also rank in the top five, with average crowd sizes of over 2,500. Barcelona’s Park Güell ranks third with a 97.43 crowd rating and an average crowd size of 3,135, with Germany’s Europa-Park in fifth with an 88.91 crowd score.

Longleat Safari Park rated top for experience

Rank Venue City Positive sentiment Neutral sentiment Negative sentiment Experience rating
1 Longleat Warminster 25% 72% 3% 82.48
2 National Museum of Scotland Edinburgh 27% 72% 1% 81.50
3 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew London 26% 72% 2% 81.39
4 RHS Garden Wisley Woking 27% 71% 2% 80.55
5 Victoria and Albert Museum London 26% 72% 1% 79.74

To determine which attractions visitors were having the best experience at, Google reviews for each attraction were analysed to gauge the overall mood of each review – positive, negative or neutral.  This score was then scaled to create the final Experience Rating, where a higher score indicates a more positive experience.

The UK, Ireland, and Germany offer some of the best tourist experiences. Longleat Safari Park and Stately Home leads the way with a rating of 82.48 for visitor experience, followed by the National Museum of Scotland at 81.50 and Kew Gardens in third.

RHS Garden Wisley scores 80.55, while the Victoria and Albert Museum achieves a 79.74 rating. Europa Park in Germany ranks sixth with over 100 attractions. Ireland’s highlights include Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, and Fota Wildlife Park in the top ten.

For more information about this campaign and the full list of top attractions, visit the Accor site here.

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