Summer is right on our heels and with it comes refreshing vacation time we’re all dying to cash in on. If you’re like us, you’re probably interested in heading to Europe, but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg. We’ve talked previously about booking Europe Summer vacations and how to get the best deal, but now we’d like to break down where to visit.
Without further adieu, here are our top 7 best European cities to visit in Summer!
Now, you probably weren’t expecting us to say Prague – maybe Paris or Venice, but never Prague. At least once in your life, you’ve heard its name, but don’t know exactly where it is. Well, that’s a shame, because the Czech Republic’s capital is a gem of Eastern Europe a growing travel destination. Price wise, it’s one of the most affordable European destinations without sacrificing comfort or culture.
During summer, this historic and highly cultured city is extremely comfortable, ranging in the low 70°/21°C during the day, from June to August. There’s a low chance of rain, making it the perfect place for a scenic Prague walking tour through the country’s history. The nights may get a little chillier, but don’t let it stop you from enjoying a stroll to see the sunset over Prague Castle. And make sure to try the cuisine, which is diverse and top quality.
Lucerne is a growing alternative to Zurich, Switzerland’s crowned jewel (which may cost you a few to visit), and as it’s perfectly situated in the Alps for nature lovers looking to get to the heart of Switzerland.
Perfectly situated on Lake Lucerne, Lucerne offers a cool, trendy summer of 65°F/18°C. Stroll down Chapel Bridge and visit the historic fortifications of the Old Town, take a cruise on Lake Lucerne for captivating views, and choose from a wealth of museums and galleries. Those looking to conquer a mighty Swiss mountain will have plenty to choose from on a day trip from Lucerne, including Mt Titlis, Jungfrau, Stanserhorn, Grindelwald, and Mt Pilatus.
Classical music aficionados should definitely visit fro August 11 to September 10, during which you can enjoy stunning concerts during Lucerne’s Festival.
Historic, sunny, and world famous for her role as King’s Landing in the hit HBO show Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik is beloved around the world. Beach lovers looking for a bit of culture with their leisurely summer vacation can’t miss the opportunity to visit Croatia’s capital. Plus, you’ll never be bored, as there are dozens of day trips and things to do in Dubrovnik for foodies, adventurers, and sightseers.
Wander the rich, ancient lanes of the Old Town, dip your toes in Sveti Jakov (favored by locals and those who want a more secluded day at the beach), sample a cuisine that mixes delectable Dalmatian seafood with Italian flavors, and maybe find a few filming locations from Star Wars VIIIor Game of Thrones.
Previously overlooked for it’s Spanish cousins to the east, Portugal is quickly becoming one of the top coastal destinations in Europe, and with good reason, as its lovely beaches and enchanting cities are not to be ignored.
Like Prague, Lisbon offers affordable rates on hotels and activities, especially compared to more popular European cities, while maintaining it’s style and prestige. You’ll want to avoid June, however, as it is the most expensive time to visit, but if you wait till August you’ll have plenty of cash to explore the city.
Weather-wise, enjoy warm breezes from the Sahara with clear blue skies and soothing beaches. You’ll want to get to the beaches of Cascais and Estoril early to beat the crowds, and then spend the day exploring the city when the beach gets too packed. Hop on a tram to easily navigate the city’s seven hills and any colourful neighbourhoods. Make sure to head to the top to get a panoramic photo of the city, especially in the evening light.
And now for Spain! Now it may be pricier than Lisbon, but not by much, so if you’re in the area you might as well travel cross the Iberian to Barcelona and treat yourself to the art deco lined streets, top-notch cultural institutions, and sunny beaches. August is pristine time price wise to visit, with crowds beginning to head home, and even if you travel in June or July it’s only a smidgen more.
Perfect for families, Barcelona blends together captivating architecture and art with a warm city by the coast. Like Dubrovnik or Lisbon, you can spend the morning at the beach, the afternoon wandering the scenic lanes, and evening dining on delectable food (definitely try the tapas). Or, if you’re looking for a day trip, you can actually explore Three Countries in One Day (France, Andora, and Spain in case you were wondering), or head to Costa Brava for a scenic drive through coastal cities. And for sure don’t forget to grab tickets to Sagrada Familia and Park Guell, the city’s most famous attractions.
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, give expensive Paris the boot and head up to Amsterdam. Offering more canals than Venice and a street famed for its tempestuous nature, Amsterdam is a growing destination for couples looking to spice things up.
Hop in a relaxing Amsterdam canal cruise, bike down city lanes, dare to walk under the glow of the Red Light District (don’t be afraid; the locals don’t bike, unless you’re into that), and pay your respect to one of the most beloved artists of all time, Van Goth.
Comfortable and charming, Dublin is one of the liveliest cities to explore in Europe, especially in summer, as daylight extends for 18 hours and festivals fill up the streets every weekend. Like Amsterdam and Prague, it won’t fulfil your beach tan goals, but it will offer a host of activities and things to do for everyone.
Beer lovers, of course, have to head to the Guinness Storehouse and drink deeply of a fresh pint. Literary nuts will want to visit from June 11 to 16 for Bloomsday Festival, a celebration of Jame’s Joyce’s Ulysses, with events throughout the city at key locations from the book and daily walking tours. In turn, history buffs have the mighty Dublin Castle to explore. And those with little ones should definitely head to Phoenix Park to see the local deer.
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