Places to Visit in Europe in Summer
School is over and “out of the office” messages are so common – what better time to quench your thirst for adventure? Visiting Europe in the summer means travelers don’t have to get together while visiting the country’s top tourist attractions. It’s the best time of year to explore charming streets filled with history, savor mouthwatering food, and immerse yourself in such a fun and diverse culture that you’ll want to keep country-hopping.
For many travelers, exploring European destinations is not just a checklist item, but a lifelong pursuit. With so many regions and cities to live in, it may take years to see them all. Write the best time of year to advance your Europe tour. While many of Europe’s best attractions experience all four seasons, the best summer weather allows you to move easily, shake off some layers and soak up the glorious sun on ancient terraces and soft sands.
For jet enthusiasts looking for bright sunlight and azure skies, you’ll have plenty of options. From the beaches and ambiance of the city in Barcelona to the fascinating display of Istanbul’s diverse traditions, a trip to the Atlantic will stir your senses while creating memories and maybe some freckles.
Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Europe in Summer and make your trip enjoyable.
Top 15 Best Places to Visit in Europe in Summer
Here are the top 15 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Europe in Summer:
1. Lisbon, Portugal
No European trip would be complete without a visit to Lisbon. The Portuguese are generous and warm by nature and will greet you with a warm smile and a hearty meal. Thanks to the increase in direct flights in recent years, visiting Spain’s neighboring countries has never been easier and more economical.
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, up and down, and repeat. Don’t worry, hop on and off buses and cars – just like in San Francisco – give your legs a rest.
There are many historic buildings here to admire, from the São Jorge Castle to the Santa Justa Cable Car and the 25 April Bridge. Parque Eduardo VII is the city’s largest park and arguably offers the best views of Pombal Marquis Square, Liberty Avenue and the sparkling Targus River.
Be sure to make time for a quick beach trip at the beach 20 minutes away and indulge in pastel de nata in the country’s delicious desert. Renovated in 2018, the charming Doca de Santo restaurant offers delicious cuisine that is almost as impressive as the river view.
2. Dubrovnik, Croatia
It’s easy to understand why Dubrovnik is known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”. Surrounded by ancient stone walls and dotted with orange-tiled roofs, this jewel of southeastern Croatia is one of the most charming cities on the Dalmatian coast and one of the best places to visit in Europe in summer. No wonder the TV series “Game of Thrones” chose this place as one of the filming locations.
Dubrovnik’s old-world beauty, fascinating sights (the view from the top of Srd is unmatched) and popular day trips to the Elafiti Islands make it a popular destination for summer tourists. And don’t forget the food – bad restaurant choices are nearly impossible. To avoid crowds, try to plan your trip at the beginning or end of the peak season (May to September) to reduce side-to-side movements.
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, many 16th-century buildings have been preserved in this easy-to-navigate city, in addition to the many buildings you’ll recognize, including the Gothic Rector’s Palace. The built-in restaurants, boutiques and tours of the old town are surrounded by impressive stone walls with many circles carved into the sides.
When you’re tired of sightseeing (well, pretend you’re Jon Snow or Daenerys) – jump off a cliff (literally) or dive into the sparkling blue Adriatic, or take a 360-degree cable car ride over the city and get a water-grade view.
A fast 10-minute ferry ride takes you to the picturesque island of Lokrum, where visitors can admire the scenery, wander through nature reserves, swim in the Dead Sea and visit ancient monasteries.
3. Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of traveling to Europe, but it should definitely be on your list. While many people fly to Iceland hoping to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, some travelers choose summer to enjoy the endless sunshine. When we say infinite, we are actually talking about infinity: From mid-April to mid-August, there is no darkness in Reykjavik due to its location.
If you don’t mind using blackout curtains to take a break, there are the most beautiful hiking trails and viewing platforms of this season. Picture this: colorful fields of green and flowers, blue skies juxtaposed with the healing waters of the blue lagoon, and almost perfect 60-70 degree weather.
Besides nature’s artworks, Reykjavik is the country’s largest city and also it’s capital. Here you’ll find charming shops and restaurants, questionable food including sharks, and a stunning concrete church called Hallgrimskirkja. Most visitors also like to spin around Perlan’s Dome, which offers views of the city, ocean, and countryside.
4. Azores, Portugal
Despite the size of the area, the nine islands that make up the Azores are some hidden gems of Portugal’s main coast. Magical and peaceful, these lush islands boast UNESCO World Heritage sites, hot springs, gushing geysers, bubbling mud, dark caves and romantic grottoes. Visit during the summer months for the best weather conditions to explore the wonders of the outdoors.
Sao Miguel Island is the largest of the Azores and its capital, Ponta Delgada has a real beauty full of adventure and countless attractions. Get ready to have fun on this and other sweet islands. From biking to paragliding, hiking and caving, there is a lot of fun to be had in the Azores, especially in the summer.
Notice the majestic blue lagoons, craters and towering mountains, so stunning you have to stop and catch your breath.
5. Crete, Greece
It’s easy to understand why Crete is considered one of the best places to visit in the summer in Europe. This Greek beauty is a paradise for travelers who love fresh food, historical stories, archaeological sites and breathtaking views of the bright blue waves crashing against the volcanic coast.
If you want to avoid the summer crowds, travel in late June. Perfect weather in July and August means you’ll struggle to get space on the tourist-packed streets and queue up at Crete’s top tourist attractions.
The soft sands of Crete are not to be missed, especially if you are looking for a way to soak up the hot summer sun. If you only have time to visit one (which would be a shame), put Elafonissi beach at the top of your list of must-see beaches in Crete. It is one of the best pink sand beaches in the world and is just two hours from the popular city of Chania.
Popular tourist towns in Crete include Chania, Agios Nikolaos and Rethymnon. Many people fly into the city of Heraklion and it’s worth a visit, even just to see the palace of Knossos, one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece.
6. Rome, Italy
Rome is a romantic place to travel in Europe in any season, but sticky, sweet summers are one of the best times to visit Italy’s capital. Aside from mouth-watering cuisine, Rome is a unique city that seamlessly combines historical architecture, tourist attractions and modern culture.
Whenever you visit, take time to visit the Colosseum, the capital’s most famous and recognizable attraction. Note that queues can get long in the summer, so bring sunscreen, a hat, and water while you wait for your turn to hang out at this charming place.
After enjoying pasta on the open-air terrace, sample ice cream watching the Trevi Fountain and near Piazza Navona, go to some of the city’s best museums and palaces and feel the history (and some air conditioning) seep through the ancient city walls.
7. Paris, France
Paris has so much to love! Although it can be hot and humid at times (especially in August), this popular destination is one of Europe’s top travel destinations during the summer months.
Yes, you will see higher prices on things like hotels, flights, and attractions, but being able to leave the sweater air behind when you look at these sites makes the additional cost well worth it. In fact, the weather between June and August is almost perfect (perfect) with elevations in the 70s.
The summer climate brings a number of enjoyable activities to Paris, such as lounging on the beach, watching a movie outdoors, dancing at an open-air concert, or people-watching, in addition to outdoor dining (aka al fresco dining). Descend into the city during the Tour de France.
Avoid the sun (or rain in July) by visiting some of the best museums in Paris or exploring Notre Dame Cathedral.
There are so many fun things to do in Paris that you really have to say “Mais oui, Paris” for a summer trip.
8. London, England
We recommend visiting The Smoke in June or July, as London starts to cool down in late August. You will reduce the crowds if you visit before then, as schools do not close until mid-June. It’s no secret that sweating is common this time of year (in the 20s or even 30s) and air conditioning is rare, so dress accordingly.
The capital city of England and the United Kingdom, London is the perfect blend of modern convenience and tradition, making it one of the most influential hubs on the planet. You’ll want to spend a few days here as there are many sights to see, including Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, The Shard, Buckingham Palace, Borough Market, the Tower of London and more.
On a particularly fine day, the city’s green spaces, including the famous Hyde Park, were packed with tanning Londoners. Take advantage of the nice weather by enjoying food from local restaurants and dining at parks such as Kensington Gardens, Kew Gardens or St James’s Park.
Even if you roll your eyes at the idea, hop-on-hop-off buses are ideal for getting around quickly and without fuss. Navigating the subway and bus system is also easy for city buffs with street cred. Who knows, if he’s in town (but probably not on the subway), you might even get lucky and get a glimpse of the queen!
Grab a 99 from the ice cream truck to cool off. This traditional English dessert is made with soft vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate chips.
9. Tenerife, Spain
Tenerife is one of the best places in the world to get married. When you see its gorgeous beaches, dazzling azure waves and lush nature reserves, you’ll understand why: it’s totally romantic.
Tenerife is a hotspot for traveling to Europe in the summer and one of the best places to visit in the Canary Islands. Most tourists spend most of the summer digging their toes in the soft sand, but if you haven’t visited the remarkable Teide National Park, you’d be wrong. Bring comfortable walking shoes and plenty of water if you plan to tour the third tallest volcano in the world.
In Tenerife, in the summer, you can expect dry, clear skies, with temperatures sometimes pushing the thermometer above 28 degrees Celsius. You will be sharing the streets with many tourists from all over the world and since this is one of the best places to visit in Europe during the summer months, it is best to book your hotel and dinner in advance.
10. Edinburgh, Scotland
Summer in Edinburgh is a magical time. While you’re unlikely to sweat (the maximum temperature is around 19 degrees Celsius), these ideal temperatures make it easy to spend a full day exploring the city’s best attractions in comfort.
Edinburgh Castle is a must-see, especially when the sun is shining. Towering above the city, this historic attraction is an unmissable landmark and one of Scotland’s top tourist attractions. Summer gives visitors the opportunity to admire the lush vegetation climbing the hill leading up to the castle and the gardens blooming against a bright blue sky.
June, July and August are the perfect months to stroll through some of Edinburgh’s best parks. Be sure to bring a picnic so you can stay longer and make the most of the fresh air and picturesque surroundings.
Don’t miss the Royal Mile, the magnificent street that connects Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace. Window shopping, people watching or having tea in one of the cozy cafes.
11. Madrid, Spain
We’re not going to lie, summer can be hot in Madrid. We’re talking sweat dripping off your back long after the sun goes down. Don’t let the 80+ degrees Fahrenheit (30+ C) scare you off, Madrid remains one of the best summer destinations to visit in Europe.
This Spanish gem offers delicious food that will make you beg for seconds, live music that encourages you to dance in the streets, and an abundance of museums and galleries to explore. Insider Tip: June and July are the best months to visit in the summer; some shopkeepers go on vacation in August.
The Mad Cool Festival takes place in early July and gives guests the chance to rock with their favorite artists in a large outdoor venue.
When you get tired of Madrid’s busy streets and crowded tourist attractions, catch a bus, train or rental car to explore the many nearby attractions and towns that are worth a day trip. Toledo and Segovia Tour offers a day trip to three cities.
12. Florence, Italy
Maybe you’re celebrating your honeymoon or anniversary – or maybe you’re developing a serious relationship with pasta. Whatever your reason for visiting Italy, our best advice is to make sure Florence is on your list of summer European travel destinations.
This romantic Italian wonderland appears to have been painted in watercolor, animated to become the capital of Tuscany.
Art fanatics will be ecstatic at these unique masterpieces. Walk these historic cobbled streets and you’ll see masterpieces, including Michelangelo’s David. The city’s famous art galleries will introduce you to Botti’s Extraordinary works such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation and Cherry’s Birth of Venus.
Ponte Vecchio bridge is one of the most charismatic and picturesque sights in Europe. This iconic bridge is arguably Florence’s most well-known and photographed attraction, with its colorful shops adorned with shutters selling tourist kitsch to the millions of tourists who pass through it each year.
Other must-see attractions include the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Piazza del Duomo, which are not to be missed. Climb the claustrophobic stairs for the best view of Florence.
13. Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Netherlands prides itself on being environmentally friendly. Given the country’s flat and scenic terrain, it’s not surprising that the preferred mode of transport in the Netherlands is by bike. There are 32,000 kilometers of cycle paths in the country, and every Dutchman is said to have two bikes. You will see thousands of people on the roads of the capital Amsterdam, especially in summer.
While it’s easy to take public transport, if you rent a bike on the go, you won’t have to bother with the train or bus. However, if you’re crossing on foot, be sure to look both ways – many cyclists cross the street directly.
Slow down as you pass the city’s impressive houses, reminiscent of the Golden Age in their canal-lined splendor. Cruise along waterways, cross inspiring bridges and check out townhouses from various vantage points.
On land, don’t miss the sprawling Rijksmuseum, the magnificent Van Gogh Museum, and the modest Anne Frank House. While summer isn’t too late for the gorgeous tulip display (the unmissable Tulip Festival at the end of March runs until the beginning of May), there’s plenty to enjoy as you wander along the canals, in and out of the shops. Enjoy your meal on the terrace.
14. Prague, Czech Republic
Light on the wallet, heavy on culture, Prague is one of those cities that attracts all types of travelers, from backpackers to nomads, honeymooners and more than 50 people. Much of Prague is still being developed and perfected because of the rich history associated with communism. The distinctive old town has centuries-old buildings and the new square features modern architecture.
When in town, consider renting a bike or using the easy-to-navigate public transport system to get around. Spend the day admiring the Gothic churches, the astronomical clock, and of course, crossing the Charles Bridge to make a wish for the future. If you’re looking for something special to take home, spend some time shopping in Prague.
If you have time and want to hike, Prague is also a great base for the Czech-Swiss National Park near the German border.
15. Barcelona, Spain
In summer, the pink city comes alive and attracts tourists and locals to its shores. Especially in June and July, you will not be able to resist sunbathing on the beach after a morning touring the city.
From the fantastic Sagrada Familia to the famous Park Güell designed by Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona is a rare combination of historical significance and modern practice. While walking or biking around the neighborhood, you can stop for a snack or take a nap like a Spaniard at your hotel or Airbnb.
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Europe in Summer. If you think there are some more best and beautiful places to visit in Europe in Summer, we should cover. Write us below in the comment box.