30+ Best European Destinations in Summer

30+ Best European Destinations in Summer

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Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. – Jenny Han

I don’t know who Jenny Han really is. But it doesn’t matter. I like this quote and I totally agree with what she says about the months between June and August. Or perhaps, I am biased since I was born in July. And Kerstin in August. For us, July and August are the happiest months and the most magical time of the year. We celebrate our birthdays, the day we started dating, and also our wedding anniversary.

 

Due to our jobs, July and August also happen to be the only months of the year when we can vacate for more than two weeks. Usually we try to travel to faraway destinations. We’ve spent July and August exploring Peru, roadtripping through the USA, traveling along the Ancient Silk Road, experiencing unforgettable adventures in Bolivia, and discovering the Tea-Horse Road in China. But as much as we like summer in Asia or the Americas, Europe still is our favourite continent to travel during July and August. Why? Because Europe has the best weather during that time of the year. Nowhere in the world, do we get these long sunny days that we get in the Northern hemisphere during July and August.

 

So, to choose our next summer destination in Europe, we’ve decided to ask our fellow travelers about their favorite European destination in July and August. And we’ve also included our own favourite (so far) to inspire you.

 

CRETE, GREECE

By Mei from Travel with Mei and Kerstin

 

 

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Crete is my favourite European destination in summer. Being the largest Greek island, Crete has beautiful beaches, rich archaeological sites, a plethora of hiking trails, Venetian and Byzantine castles and fortresses, as well as exquisite cuisine. What more could I ask?

 

Every time we visit Crete, we start our trip in the western part of the island, around Chania, Rethymno and the picture-perfect beaches of Elafonissos. We then drive to Central Crete, where we stop to explore the museums in Heraklion and the Minoan palaces in Knossos, Malia and Phaistos. To experience the real Cretan lifestyle in the mountains, we spend a few days in the Lassithi Plateau and its surrounding caves. And then, to escape the crowds, even during the high summer season, there’s no better place to go than Eastern Crete, which has wilder and less touristy beaches, such as the Vai Palm Beach, Zakros or Xerokampos. The little (uninhabited) island of Spinalonga is another hidden gem in Eastern Crete, which we explored during our last visit.

 

Another reason why we keep visiting Crete is that this island is also home to the Mediterranean diet. On our last trip, we were eating our way through Crete, tasting the island’s fresh organic food, delicious grilled local fishes, mouth-watering shrimps and other seafood. But also savoury cheese and olives in local tavernas, while enjoying the most romantic sunsets in the Aegean Sea. One thing is sure: Crete is a real paradise, and when you think you’ve seen it all, you still stumble upon hidden gems.

 

If you have time, you can also catch a ferry from Heraklion or Chania to spend a day or two in the marvelous island of Santorini.

 

KOTOR, MONTENEGRO

By Anita from Travelling Balkans

 

 

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If you’re looking for a perfect summer European getaway, then Kotor in the small country of Montenegro should be high on your list. Montenegro is one of the best Balkan countries to visit due to many nature sites and quaint towns like the town of Kotor.

 

Kotor is the top destination visited in the country and for good reason. Walking through the old city of Kotor is like stepping back hundreds of years. With cobbled lined streets and an ancient castle looking over the city, it’s notably one of the most beautiful places you may have ever visited. The city is best seen during the summertime as Kotor sits right on the water and with mountains behind the city. You can easily cool off after a day of exploring the town.

 

Be sure while you visit that you climb the 1350 steps to the Castle of San Giovanni which is a watchtower for Kotor below. Climb the stairs up and then take the longer zig-zag path down for an even more scenic view of the city. You can even stop at one of the cafes to enjoy a cold drink or even a raki, which is a distilled alcohol commonly found throughout the Balkans. During the summer months, I recommend starting to do this hike early in the day before it gets too hot, and so you have the the afternoon to relax and enjoy people watching and taking in the Montenegrin culture. There are many cute restaurants and cafes within the centre of the old town where you can sit and enjoy some food or have an afternoon coffee.

 

KSAMIL, ALBANIA

By Rick from The Road is Life

 

 

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When you think about summer in Europe, most people picture the beautiful rivieras of France or Croatia. But there’s another stunning area of the Mediterranean coastline that still flies under the radar of most travellers and is perfect for a summer holiday. The Albanian Riviera is a stunning, sun-drenched stretch of crystal-clear Mediterranean water that runs along the majority of Albania’s west coast. There are a number of beautiful beach towns, but the jewel in the crown is Ksamil beach.

 

Nestled right near the southernmost point of the riviera, Ksamil beach sits in a stunning bay with amazing turquoise waters. Three picture perfect little islands and comfy beach chairs over the water. Ksamil feels like your own undiscovered little slice of paradise. The prices are much lower than equivalent destinations around the Mediterranean and there are nowhere near the same crowds! There is plenty to do to keep you occupied. Kayaks, snorkelling gear and jet-skis are all available at super affordable prices. Day-trips to the nearby UNESCO listed roman ruins of Butrint and the ancient town of Gjirokaster are easy to organise and very accessible if you need a little break from the ever-present glorious sunshine!

 

Getting to Ksamil is easier than you think, just fly into Corfu airport in Greece then jump on a quick ferry ride over to Saranda port in Albania. From here you can either get a cheap local bus to Ksamil or hire a car to more thoroughly explore what Albania has to offer. If you take a chance and visit this off-the-beaten-path destination, you might just find the perfect European holiday for your summer adventures. The only question will be whether you share it with your friends or keep it secret for yourself!

 

SARDINIA, ITALY

By Claudia from My Adventures Across The World

 

 

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There is little doubt that Sardinia is the ultimate place to visit in Europe during the summer months. Located at the heart of the Mediterranean, this large island is blessed with gorgeous beaches and transparent waters. There’s just about any kind of beach you may like: long, sandy and easily accessible; small rocky coves with tiny white pebbles; and beaches that can only be reached on a hike.

 

But there’s more! Sardinia is packed with beautiful cities. It’s capital, Cagliari, is the main hub for history, archeology, food and nightlife. Alghero, a Catalan enclave on the western coast, is a smaller city with plenty of things to see and do. The Bastions offer incredible sunset views. But for a real treat, go for a walk in Capo Caccia park. Bosa is another little gem, with its narrow alleys and colorful buildings along the river. Sardinia is home to beautifully kept archeological sites. Not only Roman ones such as those of Nora and Tharros (which, to be fair, is layered with several historical periods). But also the nuraghi, unique to the island. The biggest one is Su Nuraxi of Barumini, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Festival lovers will be pleased to know that Sardinian summer nights offer many entertainment options. Berchidda Time in Jazz is a week of concerts in the open air. There are also wine and food festivals for the foodies. One important recommendation for beach lovers: do not take any sand from Sardinian beaches. In fact, never take any sand from any beach. It’s irresponsible towards the environment, and quite importantly it is illegal and punished with heavy fines!

 

POSITANO, ITALY

By Samantha from Sam Sees World

 

 

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Summer in Europe is a dream. The weather is warm, the atmosphere is buzzing, and all the businesses and attractions are in full swing. Of all the cities in Europe, the best European destination to visit in July and August is without a doubt, Positano, Italy. During these months, Positano is alive with beauty and life.

 

All year long, Positano is beautiful with its pastel-colored houses, towering mountains, and blue waters. However, in the summer months, the vibrant flowers are in full bloom, the beach is full of colorful sunbeds, the grass on the mountains is lush and green, and the Tyrrhenian Sea glistens along the shore. There are few places on Earth as compelling as Positano.

 

Although there is plenty of things to do and see in Positano, one of the main features of the quaint village is the plethora of beaches that line it. The shores are rocky but some of the most beautiful in the world. From the water, you can look back and view the stunning houses built vertically into the mountainside as well as the towering mountains beyond it. Plus, the seawater is the perfect temperature to cool you after a hot day in the sun.

 

The months of July and August are when the beaches are in full force, which is why visiting during these months is imperative to get the whole Positano experience. More so, during these months, all the restaurants and gelato shops are open as well as all the tour boats to bring you to neighboring islands and cities along the coast.

 

Positano can be crowded in summer. Make sure to explore your hotel options in advance!

CINQUE TERRE, ITALY

By Theresa from Fueled by Wanderlust

 

 

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Cinque Terre is a magical place to visit in the months of July and August.  While the rest of Italy becomes unbearably hot, these five seaside villages stay a bit cooler.  For this reason, many Italians actually flee to the coast for their summer holiday.

 

Even though temperatures in Cinque Terre will still heat up compared to other times of the year, there are very enjoyable ways to cool down.  For example, a few of the five villages, including Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare, have their own beach where you can go swimming.  In Monterosso, you can even pay to rent a beach chair and towel for the afternoon, and lounge along the sparkling Ligurian Sea. Besides actually going into the water, you can enjoy the view with a glass of rosé or aperol spritz in hand.  All five Cinque Terre villages have tiny seaside bars with amazing views looking out into the water.  This is especially pleasant during sunset, when a romantic orange glow overtakes the horizon.

 

Finally, one of the best perks of visiting Cinque Terre in July and August is the length of the days.  In summer, you will enjoy about fourteen to fifteen hours of daylight, compared to only about nine in the winter months. This is especially useful to hikers, who rely on daylight to make their way through rugged hilly trails.  Whether you are hiking, or just trying to maximize your time exploring the villages, extra daylight can never be a bad thing.

 

PUGLIA, ITALY

By Jeff and Kristen from Our Passion For Travel

 

 

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With the sun beating down in Europe during July and August, locals and tourists alike seek respite at the beach. Italy is home to some spectacular stretches of coastline where you can soak up some sun whilst playing in the warm ocean.

 

On the heel of Italy’s boot, you’ll find the beaches of Puglia. Favoured heavily by southern Italians, this destination is a little further afield than the more well known Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre. That doesn’t make it any less spectacular however. Here, you’ll find pristine, aquamarine beaches and small coastal towns to enjoy whiling away the summer. Polignano A Mare is perhaps the most well known town in these parts. Its Lama Monachile beach is famed for being wedged between clifftops, adorned with buildings. It’s a breathtaking beach, although beware the rocks at this beach. They’re as sharp as the views are stunning.

 

Further south you’ll find the ‘white town’ of Ostuni. Less rocky, and with a wide stretch of beach, it’s a beautiful spot to sink an aperol spritz or 3, whilst watching the sun glisten over the turquoise waters. It doesn’t really matter which town you end up in Puglia, there is a wonderful summer vibe where the beaches are enjoyed alongside a laid back lifestyle. Seafood lovers will be bereft with choice each night, with plenty of fresh fish and octopus to choose from. If summer is your thing, look no further than Puglia.

 

MALTA

By Or from My Path in the World

 

 

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Malta is an amazing summer destination for those who want to enjoy dreamy bays and natural pools. As well as visit beautiful historic cities, charming fishing villages, and archeological sites. With an intriguing mix of Arab, Italian, and British cultures reflected in aspects like language, food, and views, it’s also an intriguing European country. If that’s not enough, Malta is also a paradise for snorkeling and diving lovers and a filming location of the ‘Game of Thrones.’ Ideally, you’ll want to have an entire week on this gorgeous island (if not more), but you can have a great time even if you only have 3-4 days in Malta.

 

For utter relaxation, head to one of Malta’s stunning beaches like Riviera Bay and Għadira Bay or go swimming in a natural pool like St. Peter’s Pool. To discover the island’s history, visit the capital Valletta, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Being a city that was built by knights, it’s pretty easy to understand why it has such a big historical significance. But beyond all the landmarks, its beautiful streets also make it a city where you can stroll for hours.

 

Other visit-worthy spots in Malta include the city of Mdina, where it feels like stepping back in time. But also the quiet village of Marsaxlokk and its colorful fishing boats, and the Blue Grotto, a cave complex with the most mesmerizing turquoise water. Malta also has two smaller islands called Gozo and Comino, which are very popular. While the uninhabited Comino is mostly known for its heavenly Blue Lagoon, Gozo is a lot more diverse. And you can spend 1-2 days exploring it.

 

When we visited Malta, we stayed in the luxurious hotel Palazzo Consiglia. You might also love it!

 

BARCELONA, SPAIN

By Mar from Once in a Lifetime Journey

 

 

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Summertime is peak season in Barcelona. And while this means crowds and heat, you’ll be happy to know that in July, unlike August, locals are still working. So the city is not filled with local holidaymakers too. This allows for some space to explore the most beautiful sites that the city has to offer, like all of Gaudí’s designs including Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Milà and Casa Batlló.

 

While it is hot, it’s not like other parts of the world that get scorching. If you do overheat, you can always escape to one of the beaches like Barceloneta, Noba Icaria or Bogatell. And good weather means that everything is open and the opening hours are longest. So you can attempt to visit all the major and Michelin-starred restaurants at your leisure.

 

Start your day Catalan-style with a cortado and pastry or a bocadillo (sandwich) made with baguette. My top breakfast picks are in Carrer Comtal. Fine-dining restaurants, Disrutar and ABaC, are not to be missed. While Access and Lab Restaurant will also excite your senses. My advice would be to visit in the beginning of July rather than the end to enjoy less crowds. While there is so much to do in Barcelona in the summertime, there are also fantastic day trips to go on. Wine lovers can visit one of the top wineries in the country like Albet i Noya, Torres, Freixenet and Codorniu. So you can drink some refreshing cava from the Penedes region and go on amazing tours of the old properties.

 

If you like Barcelona for its cuisine and architecture, you might also want to spend your summer in Mallorca.

 

ALGARVE, PORTUGAL

By Diana from The Elusive Family

 

 

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The southern coast of Portugal along the Atlantic is known as Algarve. It is one of the most popular and well known tourist destinations for the summer holidays. The entire coast is known for its rugged shoreline, beautiful beaches, famous caves such as Benagil, boat tours and beach cities. July and August are popular times to go. But it is also the best time for the Algarve. As the ocean heats up near the end of the summer, the warm air tempertures paired with the warm waters along the coast ensure one of the best beach experiences in Europe.

 

Also, some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches are found in the Algarve. Praia da Marinha and Praia do Camilo are some of the most popular and well known beaches. From Praia da Marinha you can rent a variety of water equipment such as a paddleboard and make your way over to the famous Benagil Caves. The vast majority of boat tours to Benagil start out of Portimao, another wonderful port city on the Atlantic.

 

Albufeira is a city located in the center of the Algarve and a great seaside city to stay at. It has a strip filled with restaurants, resorts and tourist shops. It is also home to some of the longest stretches of beach on the Algarve. The surrounding also hosts several waterparks, which are a great to spend a day away from the beach. Day trips to Lagos, Faro and Sagres are well worth the visit from any city you stay in.

 

Lisbon is not very far from the Algarve. If you visit Portugal’s capital, make sure to stop at the Convento do Carmo!

DORDOGNE, FRANCE

By Gillian from Bucket List France

 

 

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The Dordogne, located in South Westers France, is the perfect summer destination for those that long to immerse themselves in nature, history and fabulous gastronomy. This area has a temperate climate, resulting in plenty of sun and an average temperature of around 30 degrees Celsius in the summer months. It’s also very lush and green thanks to the rivers that meander through the stunning natural landscape.

 

The area is a hive of activity during July and August with marchés gourmands, jazz events, open air cinema, outdoor theatre, candlelit evenings and more. You may find it hard to choose what to do! Almost every village and town in the Dordogne sets up a weekly night gourmet market known as a marché gourmand or tablée nocturne. Locals and tourists alike gather around long tables and enjoy food and wine from the numerous popup style restaurants.

 

We also recommend the magical candlelit evenings that take place every Thursday evening during July and August at the Hanging Gardens of Marqueyssac. Or the white picnic evenings at the Jardins d’Eyrignac.

 

And of course, those in search of outdoor pursuits will be spoilt for choice too. From kayaking to canoeing, stand up paddle, mountain biking, trekking, hiking, wild swimming, tree top zipwiring, the Dordogne is a fantastic summer destination. To experience the river at its best, rent a canoe and paddle downstream, stop for a swim and a picnic on a river beach. Relax, as you pass by beautiful medieval villages, surround yourself with nature, wildlife and historic castles.

 

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

By Meredith from The Longest Weekend

 

 

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While many European holiday-goers flock to the beach in July and August, consider instead a city break in Amsterdam. Amsterdam experiences a cool climate the rest of the year. But the late summer boasts pleasantly warm, sunny days that are prime conditions for exploring this incredible city. In July and August, you’ll also find that the daylight extends well into the evening, thanks to Amsterdam’s northern position in Europe.

 

Amsterdam truly comes alive in the summertime, and you’ll find residents and visitors alike spending as much time as possible outside. Spend your days getting lost in the shops, markets and cafes in the de Pijp or Jordaan neighborhoods, both of which are home to some of Amsterdam’s best restaurants and architecture. Soak in the beautiful summer weather and enjoy a picnic in Oosterpark or Saraphati Park, or sip on a cold beverage at one of the biergartens located throughout the city.

 

July and August are also ideal months to take a cruise through Amsterdam’s famous network of canals. The best way to immerse yourself in life in Amsterdam is by renting a bike and cycling around town. The city is quite spread out, but thanks to its well-established bike lanes, it’s an easy way to get around. There are so many things to do in Amsterdam in the summer, making it an ideal European destination in July and August.

 

If you’re a cheese lover, make sure to taste some Dutch cheese in Amsterdam!

 

CORNWALL, UK

By Nabiha from Verses by a Voyager

 

 

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Cornwall in the south west of the UK is one of the most incredible places in the country to visit during the summer season. Mainly because it has some of the best beaches in the country. The county hosts an incredible coastline and the beaches around are very pretty, especially the St Ives beach near the town of Penzance.

 

During summer season, there are many water sports organized on the beaches of Cornwall to keep the people entertained. One such location to be visited in Cornwall is the Eden Project, which is the largest indoor rainforest in the world. During the summer season, the flora in Eden project is at its best.

 

One of the hidden gems of Cornwall to be explored during the summer season is the Minack Theatre which is an open air theatre overlooking the turquoise green water of the Celtic Sea. There are plenty of shows running at the Minack Theatre and the outdoor temperature is perfect to enjoy these. Visiting Cornwall during the summer season is definitely worth it, and it wouldn’t disappoint anyone.

 

ISLES OF SCILLY, UK

By Annabel from Smudged Postcard

 

 

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For holiday makers longing for a summer beach holiday off the beaten track, the Isles of Scilly take some beating. Family holidays to the Scilly Isles are particularly enjoyable as the islands are safe for children. Located some 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall in south west England, the Isles of Scilly are packed with pristine, empty sandy beaches. There are five inhabited islands and scores of uninhabited ones with fishing boats plying visitors between them.

 

The islands are reached via ferry from Penzance in Cornwall or via plane or helicopter from one of the local mainland airports. Cars are not permitted. So this makes the islands a really peaceful destination, only the main island of St Mary’s has vehicles used by residents. Most of the islands are small enough to explore on foot. And even in the height of summer you’ll likely find you have a beach to yourself. There’s an island for every type of holiday: St Mary’s has the most shops, restaurants and facilities. Tresco is the island to choose for a luxury holiday. St Martin’s has the best beaches. While the isles of Bryher and St Agnes, which have just a handful of places to stay, are perfect for a proper escapism holiday.

 

There are plenty of water sports on offer: stand up paddle boarding, sailing and kayaking as well as trips to snorkel with local seals. The islands have a good range of places to stay from simple campsites to luxurious hotels and plenty of self catering properties.

 

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

By Maggie from Pink Caddy Travelogue

 

 

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Edinburgh is a city that charms year-round. It has everything from medieval stone streets with narrow alleyways to elegant New Town with its Georgian townhomes. But also centuries-worth of history, famous film locations, soul-warming food and whiskey. As well as friendly locals, and a castle overlooking it all.

 

It’s Scotland’s capital, but Edinburgh is so compact that it feels more like your hometown than a European city. It has beautiful green parks, iconic landmarks, and easy-to-use public transport. And if everything above ground isn’t alluring enough, you can even explore Edinburgh’s old underground city.

 

While Edinburgh is an amazing place to visit any time of the year, the most popular time is the summer, particularly late July through August. But it’s not because kids are on vacation or that the usual moody Scottish weather is at its least moody. It’s because of the Fringe Festival.

 

The Fringe Festival is the world’s largest arts festival. It lasts for about a month and basically takes over the entire city of Edinburgh. There’s no selection committee, so anyone who wants to can participate. There’s comedy, theater, music, spoken word, children’s events, and exhibitions. It’s also the only time of year when you can see the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Many big-name performers got their start at the Fringe Festival, including Rowan Atkinson and Stephen Fry. If you love festivals and discovering new artists and shows, Edinburgh is the place you need to be in August.

 

DUBLIN, IRELAND

By Catrina from 24 Hours Layover

 

 

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The capital of The Emerald Isle – Dublin, is best visited during the summer months. Temperatures are warm (for Ireland). Skies are blue and the streets are buzzing with a fantastic atmosphere. With the sun setting at around 10pm in the summer months, the days are long and you can pack much more into your day!

 

One of the best places to visit on a sunny day is the lovely coastal village of Howth, just 10 miles from Dublin City Centre. Howth is known not only for its incredible fish and chips, but also for the scenic Howth Coastal Walk. The 6km walk offers absolutely incredible views over Dublin Bay and the Irish Sea. The cliffs are so stunning and there are even some secluded little beaches you can walk down to. You’ll feel like you’re in the Algarve, not in Ireland!

 

Dublin also has many green spaces that are perfect for a sunny day. This includes St Stephen’s Green in the centre of town and Phoenix Park where you can meet many friendly wild deer! Don’t worry if it starts raining whilst you’re in Dublin though. There is plenty to do indoors to keep you occupied! From visiting Kilmainham Gaol, or Trinity College and the famous Book of Kells, to visiting the Guinness Storehouse. Make sure to head down to Temple Bar in the evening to experience a night in Dublin style! With the warm weather, lots of people are out on the streets and it’s a lovely atmosphere!

 

When visiting the Irish capital, you might also want to check out these 20 Things to do in Dublin other than drinking!

 

RING OF KERRY, IRELAND

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If you are travelling in Europe during summertime, then August is a perfect time of the year to visit the Ring of Kerry in Ireland! The peninsula located on the west coast of Ireland is one of the most beautiful Irish tourist routes. Being part of the Atlantic Road (Wild West Way) and leading through beautiful fishing villages, mountains and stormy ocean coast, Ring of Kerry provides stunning views for everybody who loves pure nature.

 

There are two ways to explore the Ring of Kerry. The first one is independent sightseeing with a rented car. This is a bit more expensive option, because you must spend money on car rental and fuel. But it is also a more convenient one as you decide what to see and when. We really recommend renting a car to drive thought this amazing peninsula. The Ring of Kerry route is not very difficult, so even less experienced drivers will be able to cope – as long you are happy to drive on the left side.

 

The second option is an organized tour. In cities such as Killarney or Cork you can book a full-day trip of the Ring of Kerry. A day trip costs around 30-40 euros. It is a cheaper option than renting a car but the downside is the fact that you don’t decide about the places you visit. On the other hand, you travel with a professional guide who will tell you everything about the places you visit. Both options have their pros and cons but… go for the car! You will not regret a summertime trip to the Ring of Kerry!

 

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

By Albina from Ginger Around the Globe

 

 

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The capital of Denmark is well known for its architecture. In Copenhagen, you have a great chance to explore both historical and modern buildings that is mixed together and make extraordinary Mozaic of the city.

 

Copenhagen is a great weekend destination, where you can visit the typical view of this city – Nyhavn – with a lot of colorful buildings. You can also see several castles and museums. And one of the main things in Copenhagen – the little mermaid statue. Besides that, here are a lot of great places nearby so there is a plenty of opportunities for day trips, for example to Swedish Malmö.

 

Perhaps the best thing about visiting Copenhagen in the summer is the fact that you will get enough light and even a nice temperature. Denmark is one of the Nordic countries and it can be very cold during the winter, which is very long. In the summer, the temperature is nice, you can even bathe in the sea or rent a kayak and explore Copenhagen from a very different point of view. Except for nice weather and bathing options, Copenhagen is also very cultural during the summer. You can see various concerts from local bands in Christiania neighborhood or some more street theatre.

 

If you’re in Copenhagen during winter, make sure to spend a day in the fairytale Tivoli Gardens!

 

BERGEN, NORWAY

By Stella from Around the World in 24 hours

 

 

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Bergen, on Norway’s west coast, is a lovely destination any time of year. Many say that it is Norway’s most beautiful city. But it is especially beautiful in July and August. The weather is at its finest, so it will be the perfect time to take a day trip by boat from Bergen along Norway’s fjords. The Hardanger fjord near Bergen is one of Norway’s most impressive fjords.

 

After the fjord cruise, you can visit the Baroniet Rosenthal manor home, located along the Hardanger fjord. During the summer, the roses in its Renaissance style garden will be full of gorgeous blooms. Then you can feast on the fresh summer produce in the vegetable garden in the manor home’s restaurant.

 

The most famous person who ever lived in Bergen was the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. During the summer, his charming house is open to tours. This may be the only chance you ever get to see Grieg’s priceless oyster plates and his lucky frog. You can also attend lunchtime concerts of Grieg’s music at his home. They might not play his most famous piece, “In the Hall of the Mountain King”, but there’s sure to be something you’ll enjoy.

 

Summertime is also the best time to eat in Bergen. Don’t miss the chance to shop for food at the Fish Market. Despite the name, the Fish Market sells all kinds of foods, including fresh local produce. Be sure to taste some of the amazing Norwegian wild strawberries, which are only in season during the summer.

 

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

By Dhara from It’s Not About the Miles

 

 

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If you are looking for a European city to visit during the summer months of July and August, consider Stockholm! The Swedish capital makes for a perfect summer destination. Because daytime temperatures are pleasant and there are tons of things to do in Stockholm when the weather is warm and bright!

 

Stockholm’s Old Town, known as Gamla Stan, is great for wandering. Here you will see the Stockholm Cathedral, the Nobel Museum, and the historic Stortorget square with its beautiful facades. If you visit around noon, you can view the Changing of the Guard in the courtyard of the Royal Palace next door.

 

Summer is the perfect time to go for a cruise in and around Stockholm. There are more than 30,000 islands, islets, and rocks in the archipelago! It’s also a great time to visit the Drottningholm Palace, which makes for a great day trip. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and well worth a few hours! You can eat outside in the summer, which is a real treat in the vibrant neighborhoods of Stockholm. Strolling the green parks is fun as well. And on clear days, you can go up in the Stockholm Globe Skyview capsule for a fabulous view over the city, or climb to the top of the City Hall tower for equally magnificent views.

 

With insanely long daylight hours and nice warm sunny days, summer is the perfect time to visit Stockholm. Whatever you choose to do in Stockholm in the summer, you will have loads of fun!

 

ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA

By Ivan from Mind the Travel

 

 

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The winters in St. Petersburg are pretty miserable. So this is definitely one of Russia’s biggest cities that is best to visit in the summer, if possible. Sure, you should expect crowds in tourist hotspots. But this is a huge city with plenty of open spaces. So it never feels too crazy. A cruise on the Neva River is a fine way to get oriented to St. Petersburg since so much of the city was founded along the river.

 

With summer in full swing, July to August is an ideal time to visit St. Petersburg, which is a mecca for culture, history, and architecture buffs. The city boasts a plethora of world-class museums and art galleries. There are over 80 theaters, including Mariinsky Theatre, Mikhailovsky Opera and Ballet Theater, and the Alexandrinsky Theater. On the other side, trendy hip coffee shops, thriving and vibrant nightlife, and cool hostels with minimalist Scandinavian interiors show off the city’s innovative side.

 

Summer offers plenty of opportunities for exploration. The days are longer and pretty much all tourist attractions will be open on all days. In northern Russian cities like St. Petersburg, the sun does not set completely at the time of the “White Nights”. This curious phenomenon normally lasts from early June to mid-July, making it the most popular time to travel.

 

While June is a great time to go, July and August are good alternatives for your visit, as St. Petersburg still offers many outdoor activities and events during those months. The average temperature during summers hovers around 21°C (64 F). However, infrequently the mercury might hit 30°C (86 F). So one can never be 100% sure about the weather.

 

MINSK, BELARUS

By Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

 

 

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Minsk, the capital city of Belarus, is a fascinating but often overlooked summer destination. Whereas so many cities in Europe are completely overrun with tourists in July and August, Minsk is still pretty undiscovered. This means you won’t have to elbow your way through any crowds to see the sights.

 

Another advantage Minsk has over more southerly destinations is that it’s not swelteringly hot. High temperatures in July and August generally stay in the low-to-mid-twenties Celsius. In fact, summer is the perfect time to enjoy the city. Because this is when the locals come out of hibernation and celebrate the good weather with lots of fun events, like open-air cinema, music festivals and outdoor dance parties. In winter, high temperatures stay below zero, so it’s much too cold for outdoor fun.

 

Minsk has a great restaurant and dining scene, with many types of cuisine on offer. Vegans and vegetarians are surprisingly well-catered for here too. Some of the most interesting sights in the city are the relics of the Soviet era that are still proudly maintained. There’s for example the giant statue of Lenin in Independence Square and the Communist Party propaganda art in the metro stations. But Minsk is not completely stuck in the past. And the city is a lot less drab and dreary that you might expect. To see how its young artists are breathing new life into the city, head to Vulica Kastryčnickaja, a popular hipster area full of bars and some beautiful street art murals.

 

LVIV, UKRAINE

By Kami from My Wanderlust

 

 

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Lviv, Ukraine is a perfect place to visit all year long. But it’s especially amazing in the summertime when days are long and warm. This is one of the most beautiful yet overlooked cities in Central Europe, full of history, beautiful houses, charming corners and … cafes.

 

Lviv has the biggest number of cafes per capita in the world and you can find them all over the city, serving delicious coffee that always comes with cakes. There are so many things to do in Lviv that will keep you occupied all day long. Be sure to climb up to the High Castle and the Town Hall tower for the best views of the city. Visit beautiful Lychakiv Cemetery where the time has stopped. Fall in love with beautiful interiors of the Opera House, House of Scientists or numerous churches. And get lost in the winding lanes of the old town.

 

In the evening head to the Old Town and enjoy the fantastic nightlife Lviv is known for. If you are lucky you might score the table outside. Then, you will be able to listen to the outdoor concerts (local musicians are super talented and usually gather a big crowd around their performances) while enjoying your drink. Some of the best places to enjoy the long and warm summer nights are the Market Square, Armenian or Jewish district. If you decide to visit Lviv in the summer you are in for a treat!

 

KRAKOW, POLAND

By Ania from The Travelling Twins

 

 

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The capital and seat of Poland’s monarchy for over 400 years, Kraków today is Poland’s most tourist-oriented city. It is packed full of history, beautiful architecture and great activities. The hub of the old town is the biggest medieval market square in Europe. And during the summer, this is the place to be. It’s full of restaurants, and public performances from music to bubble-blowing. Kraków is heaving with life and colour, but still affordable compared with other European cities.

 

What has Kraków to offer? Wander through lively picturesque and historic streets or take a horse carriage from the square to the peak of the old town. Here the magnificent Wawel castle overlooks the Vistula river and is home to its own legendary dragon. The fire-breathing sculpture of Smok Wawelski is a popular attraction when you visit Kraków with kids.

 

Take a day out and visit the unique old Salt Mine in Wieliczka to explore its underground ballroom, chapels and sculptures, all hewn out from the solid subterranean salt walls. If you want a more serious history lesson, then visit Aushwitz. Though this visit is not for young children or those wishing for a lighthearted day.

 

But back in Kraków, my favourite retreat from the summer heat is the Planty with an iced coffee. This shady park almost encircles the old town, replacing its historic moat. Or try the botanical gardens or even the beach. Yes 1,000km from the sea, Kraków has a beach on the Vistula. In the evening, take a stroll through Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter and party till 3am. But when I want to see Kraków at its most beautiful without people I go for a run or a stroll around 6am. That is the time to see this beautiful city in the company of only pigeons and bin men.

 

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

By Hannah & Adam from Getting Stamped

 

 

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Prague is one of our favorite European cities. End every time we go back, we are constantly amazed! It’s a city that you can visit any time of the year. But in our opinion, summer is one of the best times to explore the city. The average temperature sits in the upper 70s Fahrenheit, which is perfect for us because we love the heat and sunshine!

 

There is so much to do in Prague that’s it’s impossible for us to pick our favorites. As far as places that you must visit, make sure to visit the Prague Castle, the largest ancient castle in the world. Make sure to also stop by the famous John Lennon Wall, filled with graffiti and lyrics from Beatles’ songs. It’s a great photo opp! Walk across one of the most iconic bridges in Europe – the Charles Bridge for a scenic view. And one of our favorite ways to see the city is by boat by taking a Prague river cruise.

 

Get a taste of the culture too! We did a Bohemian dinner tour with a local Czech family where we got to try some local Prague dishes, and also learn about the local history and their life in the Czech Republic. If you’re into beer, we highly recommend exploring the Prague beer scene on a beer tour. Get a local guide to show you all the microbreweries and famous Prague nightlife bars. We promise you’ll have an awesome time.

 

BERLIN, GERMANY

By Derek and Mike from Robe Trotting

 

 

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There is never a bad time to visit Berlin. But summer stands out for visiting this historic and fun city. In the months of July and August, Berlin sees more tourists than the rest of the year. This is true of just about every European destination. However, Berlin is still manageable in peak tourist season. This is because of two advantages in Berlin, it’s not a beach destination and the city is large and spread out.

 

There are so many things to do in Berlin and there are tourist zones all over the city. Part of that is because of Berlin’s recent history as two separate cities on each side of the Berlin Wall. The areas of the Berlin Wall that are still standing make for a somber and interesting attraction to visit. Travelers always enjoy visiting Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall crossing point between Cold War-era East and West Berlin. There is also a museum near the famous landmark.

 

Berlin has other world-class museums like the Topography of Terror and the museum at the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe. These museums are heavy, somber, and cover the difficult period of The Holocaust. The Reichstag Building is another must-see Berlin attraction that’s very close to The Brandenburg Gate.

 

Save time to enjoy some German cuisine and a cold beer. There are plenty of places to refresh in the summer months. One of my favorite to visit on a warm summer day is Golgatha Biergarten on the edge of Viktoriapark.

 

If you’re looking for a well-located hotel in Berlin, then go to Motel One in Alexanderplatz. It’s our favorite in the German capital.

RHINE VALLEY, GERMANY

By James from Travel Collecting

 

 

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The Upper Middle Rhine Valley in Germany is not only a UNESCO World Heritage listed site. It is also one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe. The best way to see the valley is to take a cruise along the Rhine River. Cruises run from late spring to early fall. So summer is definitely the best time to visit. Cruises typically go in both directions between Koblenz and Rudesheim or Bingen. This forty-mile/ 65-kilometer stretch of the river is home to over forty castles that perch on the hills above the river.

 

There are also many adorable villages with half-timbered houses and steepled churches to stop off at and explore. This is a prime wine country and many of the steep hills of the Rhine gorge are covered in vineyards. These are at their most picturesque in summer, when the hills are green, the sun is shining and the weather is warm. Among the villages that are worth visiting, there is Boppard, dominated by the twelfth century Saint Severus Church with twin steeples. Take a chairlift up the hills behind the village to see the famous “Four lake View”. What looks like for lakes is actually four different sections of the Rhine River cut off by the surrounding hills. Bacharach is also interesting to explore, especially the Wernerkapelle, a clover-leaf shaped Gothic ruin.

 

Top castles to see along the way include Burg Reichenstein and the nearby Burg Rheinstein, Pfalzgrafenstein Castle (on an island in the river) and Maus Castle (Mouse). As well as the nearby Burg Katz (Cats Castle). Cruising through the valley and stopping off along the way is a highlight of any summer trip to Europe.

 

MUNICH, GERMANY

By Soumya from Stories by Soumya

 

 

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Munich is one of my favorite Bavarian destinations to visit during summers. The months of July and August are extremely pleasant in Bavaria. Highs in Munich hover around 25°C with lows touching 13°C. And that makes traveling in Munich a wonderful experience.

 

You can do so much in Munich during the summers. Visiting a beer garden is often the number one item on everyone’s list. You can also indulge in outdoor experiences such as biking around the city, taking a river tour, or going to one of Munich’s public open-air swimming pools. And if you wish to spend some quality time in nature, visit the Rose Garden and the New Botanical Garden.

 

Moreover, the Marienplatz (Munich’s public square) is busiest during summers. Shops and restaurants are fully operational. There are several historical sites to explore including the Glockenspiel and the column of St. Mary. Quite close by there is the Viktualienmarkt, Munich’s oldest open-air market. Here, you can buy fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and cheese. Viktualienmarkt in summer is a sight for sore eyes.

 

You can also take part in some exciting cultural festivals such as Kocherlball and Summer Tollwood. And you can shop for household stuff at Auer Dult, a traditional German market that takes place in Munich every August.

 

INTERLAKEN, SWITZERLAND

By Trijit from BudgetTravelBuff

 

 

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Interlaken is a little but picturesque Swiss town in Europe. Your Switzerland travel is incomplete if you don’t keep Interlaken in your trip itinerary. It is located at the heart of the Alps and surrounded by the turquoise Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in Switzerland. You have to take a train journey of two hours to reach Interlaken from Zurich International Airport. This small Swiss village is well connected with other European cities like Paris, Rome, or Munich.

 

The best time to visit Interlaken is during the pleasant summer from June to August when the temperature lingers around 17 degree to 20 degree Celsius. It is the perfect time for aimless stroll, mountaineering, trekking and adventure activities. While visiting Interlaken in summer you will get a bonus to enjoy the famous William Tell festival that is held in July-August.

 

Most of the travelers like to visit Jungfraujoch and it is a must-see on your 2 days Interlaken trip. It is perhaps the most popular and spectacular attraction in Interlaken. However, the place is expensive too. The 7 km scenic train journey will take you to the top of Jungfraujoch which is the highest train station in Europe at an elevation of 11,000 feet. Travelers can enjoy a stunning view of mountain Jungfrau and mountain Eiger from the top of Jungfraujoch.

 

Grindelwald is another hot tourist destination in Interlaken. Although the place is famous for skiing, Grindellwalld has a lot to offer in summer. Take a gondola ride to reach the top of the Grindelwald-First. It offers a stunning view of the rocky slopes, snow-capped peaks, lakes and a beautiful waterfall. I will highly recommend staying in Interlaken at least for 2 nights. You can stay at the Alpenrose Hotel and Gardens, a family-friendly accommodation with a large garden and mesmerizing view of the Jungfrau mountain range.

 

GRAZ AND SOUTH STYRIA, AUSTRIA

By Lori from Travlinmad

 

 

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There are many places to choose in Europe for a late summer visit. But for me, one of the best is the culinary city of Graz, Austria and the adjacent countryside of South Styria. July and August are a great time to visit with good weather and temperatures averaging between 68°F (20°C) and 77°F (25°C). Getting here is easy with connecting flights from most major airports. Or via the excellent highway system if driving from elsewhere in Europe.

 

Graz is easily walkable with cafes, gourmet shops, historic sites, open markets, good shopping, and really great restaurants throughout the city. The convenient train system is easy to navigate if you want to venture outside of the city. Graz is bustling during the day but it’s easy to get around and never feels overwhelming.

 

To truly enjoy the region, take a day trip to the country. South Styria in late summer is reminiscent of Tuscany with a palate of green fields and lush vineyards covering the rolling hills. It’s a great time to visit wineries and enjoy the crisp white wines for which the area is famous. Catch dinner and stay overnight in the small inns and wineries known as ‘buschenschanks’ that feature their own wines and delicious local food items. The South Styrian Wine Road winds through the heart of the scenic wine country. A few days spent between Graz and South Styria in late summer is as pleasant and enjoyable as it gets in Europe.

 

BELA KRAJINA, SLOVENIA

By Roshni from The Wanderlust Within

 

 

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Close to the border of Croatia lies the off the beaten track destination of Bela Krajina in Slovenia. A hidden gem full of vineyards, lush green countryside and turquoise rivers, making summertime the best time of visit. Bela Krajina can be reached in only an hours drive from the capital, Ljubljana, and can also be reached by train if you prefer to slow travel.

 

The region is perfect for experiencing traditional and local Slovenian culture away from the crowds of Lake Bled, whilst still enjoying the summer weather. Staying at BIG BERRY for just three days, we managed to fit in plenty of activities, including oil tasting at Oljarna Pečarič. We sampled over 20 different cold pressed oils and learnt about the health benefits as well as how the oils were produced. We also spent an evening touring a winery and tasting several of the regions favourites at Malnarič winery.

 

However our favourite local experience was taking part in a traditional bread making class at Domačija Šrajf, where we learnt how to bake from a master in the region. We also spent plenty of time outdoors, enjoying paddle boarding on the warmest river in Slovenia, the Kolpa river and exploring the untouched nature of the Krupa river spring. Summer is also a great time to hike to one of the viewpoints in the area such as Mina Gora Hill or Krasnji Vrh Hill.

 

So where in Europe will you spend your next summer vacations?

If you prefer to explore Europe during late Spring, you might want to go to one these 30 European destinations in April, May or early June.

 

Disclosure: if you click on the hotel links in this post, we may receive a small compensation at NO extra cost to you.

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Summer in Europe: where to go in July and August © Travelwithmk.com

 

Best European Destinations in Summer © Travelwithmk.com

 

30+ Top Summer Destinations in Europe © Travelwithmk.com

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Mei is a 30-something Archaeologist, born and raised in Luxembourg. Besides traveling, she loves eating sushi and stinky cheese (although not at the same time), as well as listening to Kerstin's funny stories while driving on long road trips. She's afraid of heights, but adores panoramic views. Her favorite places are those she chose to live in: Paris, Greece, San Francisco.

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24 Responses

  1. Roger Fox
    | Reply

    All directions are beautiful in their own way. Although, perhaps everyone has their own favorite. I look forward to the time when we can again travel freely!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes, but I’m afraid we have to wait a few more years until we can travel freely again. And of course this will only be possible if we all do our best right now…

  2. Guy
    | Reply

    Wow, such detail and so helpful. We love Europe!

  3. Ketki Gadre
    | Reply

    This is such a fantastic list! I have never been to Europe in summer (once in spring and once in winter) and this post is giving me major goals to plan.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Spring and winter are also great times to explore Europe, especially the touristy destinations. So when you come in summer, make sure to visit the less touristy places to avoid the crowds. 😉

  4. Fabulous list! I would go back to Kotor in a heartbeat. I was only there for a few hours on a Windstar Cruise. Not enough. I was in Cinque Terre in August this year but way to crowded for me personally.

  5. Snazzytrips
    | Reply

    I’ve only been to a couple of these places in Europe, Barcelona & Cinqueterre, but hope to visit a few more in the near future. Your list has so many fabulous ideas. Summer in Interlaken, Switzerland sounds very pleasant indeed, as does St Petersburg in Russia to experience the white nights.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Thank you! We also hope you’ll get to visit more of Europe in the near future!

  6. Kevin | Caffeinated Excursions
    | Reply

    Coming from Seattle, I totally agree about the amazing weather found at these latitudes in the later months of summer. The long days are truly amazing (and just the thought of it is making me ready for summer ASAP). While the southern parts of Europe look stunning with crystal-clear waters, I think I would want to use the warmer weather to see a country in the north without having to bundle up. I have tentative plans for a Rhine Valley cruise in the summer of 2021, so I’ll be sure to check out James’s post!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      You’re absolutely right! Northern Europe is so cold during winter season, so it’d definitely be good to visit these places in summer!

  7. Candy
    | Reply

    This is such an extensive list! There are so many places on there that I”d love to visit. I have been wanting to visit Sweden, but after living in Norway for a few months I am scared that it’s going to be expensive. I definitely need to save up for a trip there. I love Bergen, Norway and was delighted to see it on your list. Visiting the northern countries of Europe during the summer is the best as the weather is perfect and you get super long days 🙂

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Oh we had no idea that you lived in Norway for a few months! How come you didn’t visit Sweden during that time? We’ve only been to Malmö when we were in Copenhagen.

  8. diapersinparadise
    | Reply

    Such a wonderful list of places! I pretty much only travel to Europe in summer because of my work schedule (I’m a teacher), and I’ve really don’t find the crowds that bad. Maybe I just don’t know any better. 😉 I’ve been to most of the “mainstream” places on this list, but I love all the offbeat and up-and-coming contributions here, too. I need to get to more of those!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      We also travel more often in summer than anytime of the year because Kerstin’s a teacher. But like you, we don’t find the crowds to be that bad. To avoid the crowds, we go to less-touristy destinations, or just don’t follow the main itineraries. 🙂

  9. Alison
    | Reply

    Summer is my favourite time of the year too ( maybe because I used to be a teacher!). I find July and August very crowded in Europe but that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying some of these spectacular places and getting on a mission to get off the beaten path. That being said, summer festivals and dinners outside and the longer hours of daylight are all delightful. I managed Provence in the summer last year and despite the crowds loved it! I ,for one, am dying to go to Greece. So I think i’ll start with Crete!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Oh you HAVE to go to Greece! There are so many wonderful islands and even mainland Greece has lots of awesome spots. We love Crete a lot, because outside of the big hotel areas it’s really not that crowded in summer.

  10. uoprincess
    | Reply

    St. Petersberg is on my short list for this summer. My husband and I are planning our 20th wedding anniversary.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      That’s great! We hope you’ll have a wonderful wedding anniversary in St Petersburg!

  11. Michael Hodgson
    | Reply

    We spend SOOO much time in Europe that we tend to avoid many of the places listed here simply because, well, much of Europe is on holiday along with throngs of tourists. Cinque Terre in July or August???? Not on your life, though it is such a beautiful place. Graz in Austria … more like it. At least quiets down at night. Berlin in the summer is, well, we agree, magical and alive!!! Bergen is stunningly beautiful in the winter, I would imagine so in the summer. And Edinburgh … it can be very very crowded in the summer, especially in August during the Fringe, but it’s still so very fun. Peaceful, not so much.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Haha.. well we’re Europeans and live in Europe, but still keep visiting Europe all the time. 😄Yes, many destinations in Europe (or elsewhere in the world) are crowded during summer, but if you avoid the suggested itineraries you’ll see less tourists. 😉

  12. pinkcaddytraveloguegmailcom
    | Reply

    I’ve actually only been to Europe in the summer once, and it was to Edinburgh (which I contributed haha). But, I’ll be going to Switzerland and Interlaken this August, and I’d love to check out more of these places!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Switzerland seems to be a top destination for 2020! We’ve both been there quite often when we were kids… it’s quite beautiful.

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