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Top ten cities for the best ice cream in Europe

Mar 05, 2024

Whether you’re in a southern European city that’s currently caught up in a heatwave or impatiently waiting for the rain to clear and the British summer to start again, who doesn’t love indulging in delicious ice cream during the summer months? But have you ever wondered which cities offer the best ice cream to be found? From sun-drenched coastlines to the heart of historic cities, these culinary paradises have mastered the art of all things ice cream, gelato and sorbet.

After analysing Google Maps data, Holidu, the holiday rental booking portal, together with Spain-Holiday, reveals the top European cities to enjoy the best-rated and most varied choice of ice cream this summer.

Key highlights of the study:

It’s official! The best and most varied ice cream options may be found in Milan, the European centre of fashion. Milan enchants ice cream enthusiasts with its rich and creamy creations, with gelaterias dotted along every street. Milan’s ice cream scene honours the craft of frozen delight with everything from traditional flavours like silky pistachio and rich dark chocolate to creative concoctions like saffron and ricotta. Milan guarantees an ice cream experience that will tantalise your taste senses and represents the city’s flare for culinary perfection, whether you’re wandering through its stylish streets or enjoying a scoop in one of the city’s famed piazzas.

🍦Most iconic flavour: Stracciatella

💡Best parlour: SBAM Gelati Ozanam

Parlour rating: 5*

The picturesque Italian city of Turin, located in the Piedmont region, proudly wears the crown as the second-best city in Europe for ice cream. Turin’s gelaterias are renowned for their extensive chocolate and hazelnut traditions and their unrivalled array of creamy treats. Enjoy classic tastes like gianduja and stracciatella or try something new like lavender and honey. Turin’s magnificent squares and alluring architecture serve as the perfect backdrop for enjoying ice cream, making it a decadent experience that perfectly captures Italy’s passion for gourmet frozen desserts.

🍦Most iconic flavour: Hazelnut

💡Best parlour: Gelato & Macaron

Parlour rating: 5*

Remaining in Italy, the third place goes to the port city of Genoa. Visitors will find a lovely variety of gelaterias serving frozen treats to tempt taste buds as they explore its historic alleyways and soak up the Mediterranean charm. Genoa’s ice cream scene celebrates a peaceful fusion of tradition and innovation, with flavours ranging from artisanal creations like basil and balsamic vinegar to traditional favourites like creamy hazelnut and zesty lemon.

🍦Most iconic flavour: Chocolate

💡Best parlour: U gelato du Caruggiu

Parlour rating: 4.8*

The Eternal City and Paradise of Food, Rome, claims its spot as the fourth-best city in Europe for ice cream. Rome’s gelaterias provide a fascinating variety of frozen treats among its historic sites and ancient ruins. An unforgettable element of Rome’s cultural experience is enjoying a scoop of handcrafted gelato amidst the city’s eternal allure. Some of the best places for gelato in Rome are Giolitti, Sweety Gelato, Gelateria dei Gracchi, Otaleg and Punto Gelato.

🍦Most iconic flavour: Pistachio

💡Best parlour: Gelateria Sweet Life

Parlour rating: 4.9*

Malaga, the sun-kissed jewel of the Costa del Sol, proudly represents Spain and takes its place as the fifth-best ice cream city. With its inviting Mediterranean ambience and historic charm, Málaga boasts a delightful selection of ice cream stores that tempt tourists and locals alike. From classic Spanish flavours like creamy churros and dulce de leche to tropical fruit blends like mango and passion fruit, Málaga’s ice cream scene celebrates a fusion of tradition and creativity. Savouring a scoop while strolling along the palm-lined promenades or relaxing by the azure waters adds a touch of frozen bliss to the enchanting Málaga experience.

🍦Most iconic flavour: Turrón

💡Best parlour: Nitte Gelato Soho

Parlour rating: 5*

Holidu, the holiday rental booking portalKey highlights of the study:MilanItalySpain, Portugal, Poland and GermanyScotlandPositionCitiesCountryNo. Ice cream shops per 10,000 inhabitants12345678910Milan, Italy | Ice cream shops per person: 1.87 Most iconic flavour:Best parlour: Parlour rating: Turin, Italy | Ice cream shops per person: 1.84Most iconic flavour: Best parlour:Parlour rating:Genoa, Italy | Ice cream shops per person: 1.59 Most iconic flavour:Best parlour:Parlour rating:Rome, Italy | Ice cream shops per person: 1.57 Most iconic flavour:Best parlour:Parlour rating: Malaga, Spain | Ice cream shops per person: 1.53 Most iconic flavour:Best parlour:Parlour rating: