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Top 10 Places to visit Europe in Summer

As in previous years, hundreds of thousands of you from more than 190 countries voted for your European Best Destinations.

Where do you want to go on vacation in Europe as soon as it is safe to do so? Discover your top European travel wishlist of the best city breaks in Europe, some of the best sustainable destinations in Europe, top beach destinations or best cultural & gastronomical escapades, and destinations for families or lovers.

Exploring European destinations is not only a must-do on most travelers’ bucket lists but a lifelong journey with many regions and cities to experience. While many of Europe’s best places to visit experience all four seasons, summer’s ideal weather makes it easy to get around, shed some layers, and bask in glorious sunlight on ancient terraces and soft, sandy beaches.

So, you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and embark on an amazing European adventure this summer, haven’t you? You’re about to make some incredible discoveries. If you haven’t decided on an itinerary or which European destinations, you’d like to visit this summer, we’re here to help.

Europe is one of the most historically rich and culturally diverse continents on the planet, so narrowing down a few summer destinations is a challenge in and of itself. What exactly do you include? What are the things you don’t include? It’s been a challenge for us as well, but we’ve narrowed it down to ten spectacular destinations you must visit.

Table of Contents

LISBON, PORTUGAL

No trip to Europe is complete without a stop in Lisbon. The Portuguese, who are naturally generous and enthusiastic, will greet you with warm smiles and hearty meals. Accessing Spain’s neighbor has never been easier – or more affordable – thanks to an increase in direct flights in recent years.

Lisbon is well-known for its sunny weather, vibrant nightlife, colorful architecture, Fado music, and friendly locals. It is also home to well-known landmarks such as the Belem Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery. In terms of cuisine, Lisbon is well-known for its seafood and Pastéis de Belém, a type of custard tart.

Get ready for a workout when you fly into this Portuguese capital: known as the city of seven hills, you can expect to go up and down, down and up – and repeat. Don’t worry, hop-on-hop-off buses and trolleys, such as those found in San Francisco, make it simple to rest your legs.

There are numerous historical structures to admire in this city, including Sao Jorge’s Castle, the Santa Justa Lift, and the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge. The city’s largest park, Parque Eduardo VII, provides arguably the best view of Praça Marquês do Pombal, Avenida da Liberdade, and the sparkling Targus River.

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND

Reykjavik is well-known for its vibrant nightlife scene and for hosting some of Northern Europe’s best music festivals, such as Iceland Airwaves. The downtown area is ideal for bar crawls due to its size.

Reykjavik may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about places to visit in Europe, but it should be. While many people visit Iceland in the winter to see the Northern Lights, some prefer to visit in the summer to enjoy the endless sunshine. And by endless, we mean never-ending: due to its geographical location, Reykjavik has no darkness from mid-April to mid-August.

If you don’t mind using blackout curtains to get some shut-eye, this season has some of the most beautiful hiking trails and overlooks. Consider this: vibrant fields of greens and flowers, blue skies set against the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon, and near-perfect 60- to 70-degree weather.

In addition to Mother Nature’s works of art, Reykjavik is the largest city in Iceland and serves as the country’s capital. There are charming shops and restaurants serving questionable fare – including shark – as well as a stunning concrete church called Hallgrimskirkja. The Perlan dome, which rotates to provide views of the town, the ocean, and the countryside, is also popular with tourists.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

Budapest is one of the best European cities to visit if you’re on a budget and interested in history. It’s simple to fly into or take the train to, and walking through the Gothic, cobblestone streets will transport you back in time.

Budapest is best known for its historical sites, such as the Chain Bridge, which has become the city’s symbol. It is also well-known for its hospitality, spas, and the party district in District 7, not to mention its low cost.

Since many fusion restaurants marrying western and eastern cuisine have attracted critics, the city’s foodie scene has begun to stir, so you won’t go hungry.

When touring the city, it’s a good idea to visit both districts, Buda and Pest (get it? ), which are separated by the famous Chain Bridge.

If you want to see the view from the top, you can take a cable car or the Budapest Eye, a Ferris wheel-like tourist attraction. If you want to learn more about the city’s history, don’t miss the Jewish or Budapest History Museums.

DUBROVNIK, CROATIA

Dubrovnik is known for its stunning coastline, and what better way to see it than from the seat of a sea kayak? You can rent a kayak and explore the shores at your leisure, but a guided tour is a great way to discover all of the best-hidden spots along the coast.

It’s easy to understand why Dubrovnik is known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” This southeastern Croatian gem is one of the most beautiful cities on the Dalmatian Coast, surrounded by ancient stone walls and peppered with orange-tiled roofs. It’s no surprise that the television show Game of Thrones chose this location for one of its filming locations.

Dubrovnik’s old-world beauty, enthralling tourist attractions (the view from atop Mount Srd is unrivaled), and popular day cruises to the Elafiti Islands make it a popular summer destination. And don’t forget about the food – it’s nearly impossible to choose a bad restaurant. To avoid crowds, plan your trip for the beginning or end of the high season, which runs from May to September, for less shoulder-to-shoulder action.

In addition to the many structures, you’ll recognize if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, such as the Gothic Rector’s Palace, this easy-to-navigate city has many buildings from the 16th century that have been preserved. The Old Town is teeming with restaurants, boutiques, and tours, all surrounded by the impressive stone wall, into which many apartments have been carved.

When you’ve had your fill of sightseeing (and, okay, pretending to be Jon Snow or Daenerys) – jump off a cliff (literally), take a dip in the sparkling blue Adriatic Sea, or ride the cable car with 360-degree views of the city and the water.

A quick 10-minute ferry ride will take you to the picturesque island of Lokrum, where visitors can enjoy the scenic views, explore the nature reserve, float in the Dead Sea, and visit the ancient Monastery.

LONDON, ENGLAND

London is one of the most captivating cities in the world. Modern architectural marvels such as the Shard line ancient laneways dotted with historic monuments, upscale shops, and award-winning theaters. The picturesque streets wind their way around well-known attractions such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, causing visitors to gape in awe and exhaust their phone’s photo storage.

Because it can get chilly in London as early as late August, we recommend taking a redeye to The Smoke in June or July. Because schools don’t let out until early to mid-June, you’ll have to contend with fewer crowds if you visit before then. It’s been known to get quite hot this time of year (into the high 20s and even 30s), and air conditioning is scarce, so dress accordingly.

London, the capital of both England and the United Kingdom, is a healthy mix of modern conveniences and tradition, and it serves as one of the world’s most influential hubs. You’ll want to spend at least a few days here because there’s so much to see: Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, The Shard, Buckingham Palace, Borough Market, The Tower of London, and so on.

On a particularly sunny day, Londoners perfecting their tans flock to the city’s green spaces (including the infamous Hyde Park). To make the most of the nice weather, get some food from a local restaurant and eat it in a park (such as Kensington Gardens, Kew Gardens, or St. James’ Park).

Even if you scoff at the idea, a hop-on, hop-off bus is a great way to get around quickly and without getting lost. Navigating the tube and bus system is also simple for city slickers with street cred. Who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of the queen if she happens to be in town!

To cool off, grab a 99 from an ice cream truck. This traditional English dessert is made with soft serve vanilla ice cream and a chocolate Flake bar on top.

FLORENCE, ITALY

The city is well-known for its culture, Renaissance art, architecture, and monuments. The city also has numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, and it continues to have an impact on art, culture, and politics.

Maybe you’re on your honeymoon or anniversary, or maybe you’re in a serious relationship with pasta. Whatever your reason for visiting Italy, our best advice is to include Florence on your list of summer destinations in Europe.

It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and certainly one of the best European destinations. Florence had a global impact and continues to attract art lovers and lovers. The Florentine Renaissance fundamentally altered our understanding of man and his surroundings. Florence is the birthplace of humanism. Florence produced Dante, Machiavelli, Galileo, as well as Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo.

During your visit, you must not miss the “Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore,” one of the most recognizable symbols of the Florentine landscape. You will see “The Birth of Venus” at the Uffizi Gallery, as well as the Galleria dell’Accademia and Michelangelo’s most famous statue, “David.”

The Ponte Vecchio Bridge is one of Europe’s most romantic and picturesque locations. This iconic bridge, arguably Florence’s most recognized and photographed attraction, is graced by colorful shops adorned with shutters, selling touristy kitsch to the millions of visitors who cross it each year.

Florence is also a foodie haven. Visit the Mercato Centrale to sample fresh pasta or a delectable pizza, and then indulge in some authentic Italian ice cream. Take a romantic stroll through the “Giardino Bardini” gardens. It is even more romantic in early spring (April to June) when the wisterias are in bloom.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

Amsterdam isn’t the type of city where you’d need traditional summer attire, as temperatures can get a little cool even in August, and there may be a few raindrops here and there.

The Netherlands takes pride in being environmentally friendly. The bicycle is the preferred mode of transport in the Netherlands, which is not surprising given the country’s flat and scenic terrain. The country has 32,000 kilometers of cycling trails, and every Dutch person is said to own two bikes. Thousands of them can be seen on the streets of its capital, Amsterdam, especially during the summer.

While taking public transportation is simple, if you rent a bike during your trip, you won’t have to worry about trains or buses. However, if you’re crossing the street as a pedestrian, make sure to look both ways because many cyclists speed through.

Slow down as you pass the city’s impressive houses, which, with their canal-hugging splendor, harken back to the Golden Age. Take a cruise along the waterways to see the inspiring bridges and townhomes from a different perspective.

When you’re on land, don’t miss the sprawling Rijksmuseum, the magnificent Van Gogh Museum, and the humble Anne Frank House. While summer is too late to enjoy the spectacular tulip displays (the unmissable Tulip Festival takes place in late March and runs until early May), there is plenty of beauty to be found wandering along the canals, popping in and out of shops, and enjoying a meal on a patio.

This Dutch capital attracts approximately 20 million visitors per year for good reason: art museums, world-famous canals, and magnificent architecture – what’s not to love?

We recommend visiting Amsterdam during the summer because the weather can be a little cold and unpredictable in the autumn and winter.

PARIS, FRANCE

Paris, well, Paris will always be Paris. The Eiffel Tower (La Tour Eiffel) is the most visited tourist attraction in the world and ranks high on the list of places to visit in France. It’s difficult to believe that when it was first unveiled, the structure was dismissed as a monstrosity. Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel designed the iconic tower for the 1889 Paris Exhibition, which commemorated the centennial of the French Revolution.

Whatever happens in the world, whatever fashions or trends emerge, Paris will always be Paris. Paris is a sparkling, generous, and cultivated city. Paris is the kind of friend we’d like to have, the kind of friend who says yes when you invite her to a prestigious exhibition and also says yes when you take her to the fairgrounds for sweet childhood delights.

Paris is a fantastic city with thousands of small villages, neighborhood life, independent shops, large avenues, and charming little alleys. Lover’s city, culture, museums, contemporary art, gastronomy, fashion… Paris is the heart’s desire for those who are curious, who wander, who like to get lost, who like to walk into a cafe, an alley, or a shop not knowing what they will find.

Paris is ideal for gourmets, the curious, the daring, the old and the young, and lovers. Paris will come to life in your imagination, sparkling and luminous, melancholy or romantic, underground or elitist, natural or urban. Paris is good for your soul, heart, eyes, and mouth.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

Prague is one of those cities that attracts every type of traveler, from backpackers and nomads to honeymooning couples and the over-50 crowd. With a rich communist history, much of Prague is still being developed and refined. The distinct Old Town is home to centuries-old structures, and a new square features modern construction.

For good reason, Prague has been dubbed the “city of a thousand spires”: as you gaze over its 1,100-year-old skyline, you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of lovely domed churches and soaring old towers that combine to make Prague one of the world’s architectural gems. Fine examples of Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and Art Nouveau styles can be found all over the city, providing a striking contrast to the sturdy old Prague Castle.

When you’re in town, consider renting a bike or taking advantage of the simple public transportation system. Spend the day admiring Gothic churches, the Astronomical Clock, and, of course, crossing the Charles Bridge and making a wish for the future.

If you have time and want to go hiking, Prague is also a good starting point for the Czech-Switzerland National Park, which is close to the German border.

RHODES, GREECE

Rhodes Town (Ródos), on the northern tip of Rhodes Island in the Dodecanese, dates back to 408 BC and is a wonderful contrast between ancient and modern, with two distinct halves. The magnificent UNESCO-listed medieval Old Town is located within the modern city but remains completely separate due to a double set of soaring walls topped with domes and minarets. Inside is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets and squares that are a joy to explore.

If you’re looking for a stunning backdrop for your summer vacation, look no further than Rhodes, Greece. Pristine beaches line the shores of this historic masterpiece, the largest of the Dodecanese Islands, while the town rises above, ablaze with vibrant colors and the aroma of food so delectable that you’ll want to snack all day.

The UNESCO-listed Old Town is a delightful maze of winding streets, hidden alleyways, and dramatic architecture dating from the Byzantine era and beyond. It is housed within a crescent-shaped fort and is the place to go for shopping and dining. This is also the location of the magnificent Palace of the Grand Masters. Be aware that the area can become quite crowded during the summer months.

Lindos is a short distance from Rhodes and is home to an archeological site as well as the iconic Lindos Acropolis.

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