European Cities With the Driest Weather

Athens clearly leads the pack as Europe's least rainy major city. Over a year, Athens averages the lowest amount of precipitation at 365 millimetres (14.4 inches) and the fewest wet days at 43. By any measure, that puts Athens well out in front of the next driest cities. Volgograd typically has 43 more millimetres (1.7 inches) precipitation and Marseille has 10 more rainy days annually.

Here you'll find lists of Europe's major cities with the driest climates overall, including rankings for the least rainy and snowy five cities in Western, Northern, Eastern and Southern Europe. The ratings are based on the total precipitation, both rain and snow, a city receives during an average year.

Overall, Europe's ten driest cities usually get less than 530 mm (21 inches) of precipitation a year. Cities with dry weather can be found scattered across Europe, from Spain to Russia and Denmark to Greece.

The rankings are for 70 major European cities which include national capitals plus cities with a metropolitan population of over one million people. You can also see the full list of European cities and their precipitation totals that these rankings are based on.

Annual precipitation a year on average for Europe's ten driest major cities
City Inches Milli­metres
Athens, Greece 14.4 365
Volgograd, Russia 15.9 403
Madrid, Spain 17.2 436
Odessa, Ukraine 18.3 464
Skopje, Macedonia 18.7 474
Warsaw, Poland 20.3 515
Marseille, France 20.3 515
Copenhagen, Denmark 20.6 523
Kharkiv, Ukraine 20.7 525
Prague, Czech Republic 20.7 526

Wettest Cities by European Region

Among Europe's regions, the driest cities get similar amounts of precipitation. But how often it rains or snows, as measured by the number of days with at least one millimetre (0.04 inches) of precipitation, differs remarkably.

Dry climates near the Mediterranean tend to have their rain come down in concentrated storms. Whereas cities in northern Europe which average the same amount of precipitation see it land gently over many more days. For instance, Copenhagen's 523 mm is spread out over 102 days, whereas Marseille gets it's 515 mm in just 53 days.

Nyhavn harbourfront at Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen gets less rain and snow than any other major city in northern Europe.

Western Europe

Annual precipitation a year on average for Western Europe's five driest major cities
City Inches Milli­metres
Marseille, France 20.3 515
London, United Kingdom 21.9 557
Berlin, Germany 22.5 571
Paris, France 25.1 637
Vienna, Austria 25.6 651

Northern Europe

Annual precipitation a year on average for Northern Europe's five driest major cities
City Inches Milli­metres
Copenhagen, Denmark 20.6 523
Stockholm, Sweden 21.2 539
Riga, Latvia 25.0 636
Helsinki, Finland 26.9 682
Vilnius, Lithuania 26.9 683

Eastern Europe

Annual precipitation a year on average for Eastern Europe's five driest major cities
City Inches Milli­metres
Volgograd, Russia 15.9 403
Odessa, Ukraine 18.3 464
Warsaw, Poland 20.3 515
Kharkiv, Ukraine 20.7 525
Prague, Czech Republic 20.7 526

Southern Europe

Annual precipitation a year on average for Southern Europe's five driest major cities
City Inches Milli­metres
Athens, Greece 14.4 365
Madrid, Spain 17.2 436
Skopje, Macedonia 18.7 474
Valletta, Malta 21.8 553
Pristina, Kosovo 23.5 598
Reference

The data are provided by national meteorological agencies.

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