Summer and Europe! Nothing goes better together than perhaps pizza and cheese…?
Europe is filled with gorgeous outdoor eateries, amazing ice cream shops, stunning beaches, more islands than you could ever dream and is the perfect place to visit for summer.
Some of the best summer destinations in Europe include, Italy, Greece, France, Montenegro and …. well you’ll have to keep reading to find out more!
I have teamed up with some amazing travel bloggers to bring you an incredible list of the best summer destinations in Europe.
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- 1 Check out the best summer destinations in Europe
- 2 Paris, France
- 3 Strasbourg, France
- 4 Herceg Novi, Montenegro
- 5 Sardinia, Italy
- 6 Ibiza, Spain
- 7 Porto, Portugal
- 8 Croatia
- 9 Copenhagen, Denmark
- 10 Malta
- 11 Durmitor National Park, Montenegro
- 12 Sicily, Italy
- 13 Gaeta, Italy
- 14 Hallstatt, Austria
- 15 Prague, Czech Republic
- 16 GDAŃSK, Poland
- 17 Belgrade, Serbia
- 18 London, England
- 19 The Netherlands
- 20 My BEST Travel Resources
Check out the best summer destinations in Europe
Elisa, World in Paris
Paris is a great destination to visit in summer. After a long and cold winter, the city wakes up, the parks and gardens are in full bloom, and you can have great sunny days with blue sky perfect for sightseeing.
If you are lucky with the weather, explore the city on foot. Stroll through the Champs Elysées and the Tuileries Gardens, walk along the Seine River banks, and get lost in the Marais or Montmartre, perhaps with a coffee break in a quintessential Parisian café.
From Europe, it is possible to reach Paris by train or car while visitors from overseas will fly to Paris Orly or Paris Charles de Gaulle.
We like the hotel Handsome Hotel by Elegancia in Paris 1. Located just 800 meters from the Louvre, this hotel offers its guests great facilities and always gets the best reviews.
Mark, Wyld Family Travel
Strasbourg is one of the best summer destinations in Europe. It is a little bit of German and a lot of French. Over the years Strasbourg has belonged to both Germany and France and the influence of both countries runs deep in the capital of the Alsace Region of France.
Strasbourg makes a great destination for summer for its own attractions and its located close to both Germany and Switzerland. Strasbourg is a green city with plenty of parks and miles of bike paths.
Summer wine festivals amazing foods and old-world charm. Don’t forget to try the local Alsacian specialties such as knuckle of pork with sauerkraut, Flamkussen and wash it down with a glass of the regional Gewurztraminer wine.
The Strasbourg Cathedral was once the tallest building in the world. A walk to the La Petite France district is a must with its old-world timber houses shining in there bright colours.
A cruise on the canals of Strasbourg brings this charming city into view from a whole another angle. Day trips from Strasbourg can easily visit the Alsace Wine Route, Europa Park, Colmar, Freiburg, the Black Forest and Basel.
Strasbourg is easily reached from Paris by the TGV in under 2 hours. Strasbourg has its own international airport for visitors. You will find plenty of boutique hotels in the old town city centre,
Find more about Mark’s adventures on Facebook
Herceg Novi, Montenegro
Samantha, Sam Sees World
Traveling around Europe in the summer is one of the best things you can do. Europe is filled with so much diversity and amazing towns and villages to explore and discover.
However, during the summer months, Europe gets increasingly busy, which is why finding a summer hidden gem destination is important.
The undiscovered nature along with the breathtaking beauty of Herceg Novi, Montenegro is what makes it an amazing summer travel destination.
Herceg Novi is a small coastal town located along the coast of the Bay of Kotor. It can be reached by flying to Dubrovnik, Croatia, or to Tivat or Podgorica in Montenegro and driving to Herceg Novi from there.
Once there you will be welcomed by an authentic Montenegrin town that is relatively untouched by tourism.
The summer months are when Herceg Novi thrives! The whole coast is packed with beaches that are always full of people, the water is a vivid blue, the weather is always sunny and hot, and the town is waiting to be explored.
In addition to enjoying the water and pastel-colored old town, one of the best things to do in Herceg Novi is to take a boat tour. Boat tours around the Bay of Kotor will bring you to some of Montenegro’s best places like Kotor, Our Lady of the Rocks and more!
Plus the scenery of the mountains is unreal.
Lotte, Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog
Located in the Mediterranean Sea and the second-largest Italian island, Sardinia a wonderful place to visit and of the best summer destinations in Europe.
This beautiful island packs a whole lot of things to do and, as with the whole of Italy, is a foodie’s heaven (think pasta, pizza, coffee, gelato, and more).
As Sardinia is an island, you either have to fly there (Alghero and Cagliari have international airports) or take a ferry from the mainland of Italy (or from neighbor island Corsica which belongs to France).
Things you can’t miss on your Sardinia itinerary are the cities Alghero, Oristano, Cagliari, and the beautiful village of Bosa.
Natural highlights are the Grotto di Nettuno, Tiscali Mountain and the stunning Maddalena archipelago. Are you looking for a beautiful beach? Sardinia has plenty of those but I can highly recommend spending a day at Spiaggia La Pelosa (near Stintino) and Spiaggia di Is Arutas (near Oristano).
There is plenty of interesting history on Sardinia as well, such as the impressive Nuraghi Losa, an ancient fortification built from large boulders, the mysterious Nuragic village of Tiscali, and the Ruins of Tharros.
Altogether you won’t run out of things to see on Sardinia so be sure to spend at least a week there!
James, Team J Travels
It is a decades long summer tradition for the world’s most high profile DJs to flock to the Spanish island every year to take up residencies in some of the biggest and best super clubs on the planet.
There is a suite of world-class talent on offer every night of the week, with the most popular parties taking place from Monday to Thursday – while the rest of Europe go about their work week.
The majority of party goers will stay in the following towns in Ibiza:
- Playa D’en Bossa – Best beaches on offer and home to the most big name clubs like Hi, Ushuaia Hotel, and the Bora Bora Beach bar.
- Ibiza Town – Good mix of nice hotels, restaurants and shopping areas. Light on clubs though with Pacha being the only big name in town.
- San Antonio – Most popular with the Brits, and famous for the sunsets on the western side of the island, followed by more public drunkenness than you will encounter elsewhere.
My best advice is to stay somewhere quiet on the fringe of these areas. The Taxi situation is far better than it was ten years ago and the peace and quiet during the day will make your trip far more enjoyable.
The Hotel Cenit is also by far the best hotel I have stayed in. The water views are amazing, there is a good atmosphere, and it is within walking distance to Ibiza Town and nearby beaches.
If looking for more wholesome activities here are some highlights to check out:
- Walk the streets of the old Spanish town of Dalt Vila. A two thousand year old city that has a unique mix of traditional buildings mixed with modern, high-end commercial stores. If you are up for it you can walk up to Ibiza Castle. It is a challenging walk but offers unrivaled views of Ibiza Town and the harbor.
- Cala Tarida and Cala Llonga are both worth a day trip, and if you headed further south you could catch a glimpse of the beautiful rock formation of Es Vedra.
- You can also just hire a car and explore some of the hidden corners of the island. There are plenty of quiet beaches that are equally stunning, but more laid back.
Vanda, The Yogi Wanderer
Portugal’s second-largest city is one of the best summer destinations in Europe for history buffs and beach bums alike, not to mention a food and wine lovers’ paradise.
From a vibrant art and cultural scene to uncrowded surf spots, from beautiful architecture to the stunning Douro River, the birthplace of Port Wine really has it all.
Located in the north of the country, Porto has an international airport and is easily reached by plane, train, or bus.
I recommend staying at least a couple of days, more if possible, to enjoy everything the city has to offer. And it’s a lot!
Start by exploring Porto’s downtown, where you’ll find many of the city’s most famous landmarks, like Lello Bookstore, Clérigos Tower, São Bento Train Station, and Porto’s Cathedral.
Then head to the picturesque Ribeira district and soak in its unique charm and beauty. Make sure to climb to the upper deck of the iconic Dom Luis Bridge, for some spectacular panoramic views of the city.
For the modern and cultural side of Porto, have a peek at the incredible architecture of Casa da Música, visit the impressive Serralves contemporary art museum, and stroll along the Foz do Douro waterfront.
If you have the time, I highly recommend doing a cruise along the Douro River. The classic route from Porto to Régua, takes you through the amazing scenery of the Alto Douro wine region, one of the oldest wine regions in the world and a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Check out my Porto itinerary for more things to do and local travel tips.
Jamie, Travel Addict
Croatia is swiftly rising in popularity as a summer destination spot – with it’s charming cities, rich history, and pristine beaches it’s easy to see why.
The most popular destinations to visit in Croatia revolve around the ocean, and range from Zadar in the north, to Split in the center, and Dubrovnik in the south. Each city has it’s own unique draw – the ancient walls of Dubrovnik that served as a backdrop for many episodes of Game of Thrones (and you can walk along them for amazing views), the ancient Roman palace beneath the charming streets of Split, or the gorgeous Venetian influences on the amazing Zadar. Each city has something tremendous to offer, and plenty of great food.
The easiest ways to get to any of those cities is to fly, each one has their own sizable airport with daily flights to a variety of destinations throughout Europe.
The best way to get from city to city is by boat – sailboat or the junkers are a fantastic way to travel the coast of Croatia in summer. There are various companies that offer group tours of the islands, or will provide boat and skipper to travel at your leisure, but it is one of the most fun ways to get around. There’s the added bonus of having your mode of transport also as your accommodation, which floats with you to each gorgeous island along the way.
It also gives you easier access to some of Croatia’s true Adriatic gems. For the adventurous and nature lovers you can’t miss the island of Mjlet with it’s amazing National Park. For incredible food and culture the charming island of Hvar is a popular destination. But the most beautiful of all is Korcula, with it’s winding streets, charming town and fantastic atmosphere.
Linn, Brainy Backpackers
Copenhagen is a great summer destination in Europe. The city is full of things to do and is best seen by foot or by bike. You can rent bikes by the train station or you can go on a guided bike tour around the city. Make sure you go to Nyhavn and soak in the iconic, colorful buildings at the famous port. While you’re there, it’s perfect to go for a boat trip too.
Make sure you see the Little Mermaid and take a stroll along Langelinie. The quay there is an extension of Copenhagen harbor and deep enough for large ships. There are beautiful fountains and a green park to explore and maybe even have a little picnic on a warm summer day.
If shopping is your thing, make sure you get time for some shopping at Stroget, one of Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping streets with it’s 1,1 kilometers.
Finally, whether you have one day in Copenhagen or one week, you should not miss out on a visit to Freetown Christiania. Though it used to have a bad reputation, this neighborhood has become a safe place to go. You should keep in mind that even though cannabis is sold in Freetown Christiania, the locals don’t want any drugs or drug tourism there. And cannabis is illegal in Denmark just like other drugs. So be respectful and just enjoy the little markets, natural smoothies, street art, and chilled vibe.
Copenhagen airport is well connected to the rest of Europe and a fair bit of destinations in the rest of the world. There is both metro and train that goes straight into the city center.
Generator Copenhagen is a budget friendly and great hostel with shared and private rooms. If you are looking for a hotel, Citizenm Copenhagen Radhuspladsen is a good alternative.
Malta is not your usual European summer destination. Beyond its dreamy bays and natural pools, it’s home to cities that were built by knights, historical landmarks and archeological sites, enchanting villages, and an intriguing culture that was influenced by the Arabs, Italians, and Brits.
Your Malta itinerary can certainly be all about relaxation and soaking up some sun, and places like Għadira Bay, Riviera Bay, and St. Peter’s Pool are perfect for doing exactly that. But if you feel like seeing more of this fascinating destination, you have to visit places like the cave complex of the Blue Grotto, the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, cities like Valletta and Mdina that will make you feel like stepping back in time, and even a film set turned into an attraction park called Popeye Village.
You should also head to Malta’s two other islands – Gozo and Comino (which is uninhabited). You can either visit them independently by taking a ferry, book a full-day cruise, or take a guided day tour.
As for accommodation, I recommend staying at the Slimiza Suites hotel in the city of Sliema, which is a fantastic base for exploring the island. You can also look for hotels in the capital city of Valletta, which is also very well connected to other parts of the island.
Durmitor National Park, Montenegro
Erin, Curiously Erin
The absolute highlight during my European summer trip was Montenegro and particularly Durmitor National Park. Durmitor NP is located in the northwest corner of the small country and is the perfect destination for adventure lovers and thrill-seekers.
Not only is it one of the most picturesque locations but compared with other European parks it’s relatively undiscovered. The highest tourism season is winter which means you’ll have almost 80,000 acres to yourself and travel buddies.
A few must do’s include:
– Visiting the Tara Canyon bridge. This bridge is what I believe to be the most iconic symbol of Durmitor and connects the two sides of the Tara Canyon by a 172m high arched wonder. A great activity to do here is zipline across the canyon. You’ll find a few operators all charging around €10.
– Take a self-guided audio tour. A lot of the national park surrounds a great panoramic ring road. Download the free izi.travel app and the Durmitor audio guide to make available offline. The tour starts and concludes in Zabljak and is your companion for the 76km loop. You’ll hear lots of interesting facts, interviews with locals, and ideas for photo stops and short walks.
– Go hiking. The Durmitor National Park hiking trails range from short loops around the Black Lake to full-day and overnight adventures. Whatever your hiking style summer is the best time to get out and hopefully catch a glimpse of a chamois or mountain goat.
Nothing says summer in Europe like an ice cream cone on the beach. Where better to soak up the season than the birthplace of gelato, sunny Sicily.
The largest of Italy’s islands, Sicily on of the best summer destinations in Europe. Summer is definitely high season so you may have to contend with crowds when exploring the island’s historic old towns, but you can find relative solitude in the smaller villages and outlying islands.
Summer is the best time for hiking in Sicily, including the Mount Etna summit. Hire a boat and get out on the water to explore the beaches, coastal rock formations and volcanic islands, or join a walking tour in any of the bigger cities to learn about Sicily’s unique history and culture.
Aside from gelato and Aperol Spritzes, you can taste Sicily’s fresh, varied cuisine at traditional trattorias across the island.Spend a few days in Sicily’s biggest city, Palermo, staying at a boutique hotel such as Palazzo Natoli (which is conveniently located near the cathedral) before exploring the island’s interior and 1,400-plus kilometres of coastline.
If possible, hire a car so you can travel at your own pace. Seven to 10 days is the ideal amount of time to spend in Sicily.
You can see more of Emily’s travels on Instagram
Lisa, Planning Away
Have you ever heard of Gaeta, Italy? If you are an international traveler probably not. It is not listed in any guidebooks and there are no train stations nearby. It is a local treasure!
Gaeta is a great summer destination in Europe. It is one of the most southern cities in the Lazio region of Italy. Located about two hours from Rome or Naples. Renting a car is the only way to get there
There are seven beaches in Gaeta. These beaches are very popular amongst the locals.(especially in August) There are beautiful cliffs and grottoes to explore. It is also a great place to snorkel and scuba dive. One of the beaches is only accessible by row boat. Be sure to rent a boat, a bike, or hit the hiking trails in this area.
There are many stunning accommodation options in Gaeta. Beautiful resorts are located along the coast which make for amazing views of the ocean. We stayed at the Grand Hotel Le Rocce. The grounds are absolutely beautiful. The private beach and pool were incredible. This may be one of the most romantic places in Italy!
Gaeta is worth checking out on your next trip to Italy!
Jürgen & Martina, PlacesofJuma
Hallstatt, the picturesque little village in the Salzkammergut, is certainly one of the best summer destinations in Europe. Situated in a breathtaking setting on the shores of the black Lake Hallstatt and with the imposing mountains in the background, this small village of 800 inhabitants is a real visitor magnet.
In summer, a picture-book atmosphere awaits you here – no wonder that this place is probably the most photographed in Austria.
Although the Austrian village Hallstatt is relatively small, there are many sights worth seeing, such as the historic marketplace with the beautiful Trinity Column. Especially beautiful are the many colorful houses with the many blooming flowers.
Also interesting in Hallstatt is the Bone-House, where a collection of 600 colorfully painted skull bones has been kept. Those who love to take amazing pictures should in any case also visit the Hallstatt-Aussichtspunkt – the viewpoint of Hallstatt where the best pictures are taken.
But also in the surroundings of Hallstatt, especially nature lovers, sports and outdoor enthusiasts will have their fun. The summer highlights to do are a hike on the Dachstein-Krippenstein Mountain towards the 5-Fingers Skywalk and also a visit to the beautiful Gosau with its magnificent Lake is absolutely recommended.
Prague, Czech Republic
Veronika, Travel Geekery
Prague as a destination is amazing any time of year and on of the best summer in Europe. For the best Prague summer experience, don’t dedicate too much time to the touristy sights in the historical city center, and instead enjoy Prague like locals do.
Hang out at Prague’s parks, stroll by the river or sit down with a bottle of wine, hop on a bike and ride as far as you can.. Join locals at outdoor swimming pools, hike the forests surrounding Prague – the list goes on and on! Prague cultural life is alive and kicking in summer too. Opt for a summer cinema or just chat with locals at any beer garden, since the city is full of them anyway.
There are many tours specializing in getting you out of the busy city center on a bike or e.g. a boat. Guided tours also include hikes to nature on Prague’s outskirts.
Prague is easy to reach from anywhere in the world – you can fly to the Vaclav Havel Airport or use the dense train and bus network, which covers Central Europe.
When choosing a place to stay in Prague, I can highly recommend the Mosaic Hotel – it offers various types of accommodation from basic dorms to luxury rooms and is conveniently located in the New Town area, from where you can walk easily to the city center or hop on a tram to the outer neighborhoods.
Agnes, The Van Escape
Situated by the Bay of Gdańsk and the Baltic Sea, Gdańsk is an ideal place for summer holidays. The proximity of the sea ensures perfect relaxation on the sandy beach outside. But the attractions of the city will not let you get bored when you get off the deckchair. Gdańsk is a city where over 1000 years of history intertwined with modernity. It was here on September 1, 1939, on the Westerplatte Peninsula, where the Second World War started. Moreover, it was in Gdańsk in 1980 that Solidarity was born.
How to get to Gdańsk?
Gdańsk has excellent flight connections all over Europe. Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport is close to the city; there are public transport and private transport to the center. Furthermore, the railway network provides quick connections with other cities in Poland. You can quickly get to Gdańsk from Warsaw or Kraków. Finally, if you like to travel by ferry, you can go to Denmark or Sweden from the port of Gdańsk.
Where to stay?
Depending on your budget and needs, you can find cheap but cozy hostels or exclusive and modern apartments and hotels in Gdańsk. In the heart of the city there are excellent hotels such as Hilton Gdańsk, Radisson Hotel & Suites, IBB Hotel Długi Targ, or Radisson Blu Hotel. If you are looking for beachfront accommodation, a great beach view offers Novotel Gdańsk Marina.
Things to do in Gdańsk?
Gdańsk is the city of freedom and solidarity. In the European Solidarity Center can learn the history of the “Solidarity” movement. Lech Wałęsa, the first chairman of NSZZ “Solidarity,” former president of Poland and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has his office here.
From the European Solidarity Center is close to the Museum of the Second World War, which tells about the most significant armed conflict with a broad international context.
One of the most representative places in the city is Długa Street, with many Renaissance tenement houses. Long Embankment is a water promenade and an ideal place for walks to observe the passing ships and the city’s architecture. You will also find great restaurants and bars. There is also the Crane, the largest and the oldest of the surviving port cranes of medieval Europe. Through the St. Mary’s Gate, you enter the most delightful St. Mary’s Street with shops with amber jewelry.
Finally, if you want to take a break from the city, it is worth going to the beaches in Jelitkowo, Stogi, or Brzeźno.
It’s worth considering a guided city tour to learn about its stories. An Interesting option is a boat trip on the Bay of Gdańsk. It’s also great to visit Sopot and Gdynia from Gdańsk.
Ellis, Backpack Adventures
Belgrade in Serbia is one of the best summer destinations in Europe and for good reasons. It is cheap, does not have the tourist crowds yet that other European capitals have and has lots to offer to its visitors. You can even go to the beach in Belgrade.
Belgrade has a scenic location where the Sava and Danube rivers meet. They offer a nice respite from the summer heat. Most locals head to the island of Ada Ciganlija to relax on the beach or for activities like water skiing and beach volleyball.
You can also go walking or cycling along the boulevard that runs along the shores of the Sava and Danube rivers. However, the most beautiful way to see the rivers is from the ancient Kalemegdan fort. From here you have a beautiful view on the city.
Belgrade is a very young and dynamic city with lots of cafes and restaurants and an active nightlife. Summer is perfect to spend the day on one of the restaurant terraces in the bohemian quarter of Skadarlija or in Zemun.
Its center with the pedestrian street Knez Mihailova and the Zeleni Venac market is also a great place to explore on a nice summer day. In the rare case that the weather is not in your favor, Belgrade has lots of interesting museums too.
Follow Ellis’ adventures on Instagram
Pauline, Beeloved City
If you are visiting Europe in summer, going to London should be on your bucket list!
As you may know, England is known for its rain which is why summer is the best time to visit. You will maximise your chances of having nice weather and will get to enjoy some of the best activities in the city!
First, head to the famous landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, London Eye, Tower Bridge and Tower of London. If you want to learn more about the history of London, make sure to hop on one of the many walking tours in the city.
Once that’s done, you can stroll along the Thames banks and stop in one of the bars with a terrace overlooking the river. The Old Thameside Inn, located near London Bridge, is a great place to grab a drink if you want to discover what an authentic British pub is like.
If you are a Potterhead, you can also go on a walking tour and discover the best Harry Potter sites in London.
Alternatively, you can also opt for a Jack the Ripper tour. You will learn plenty about England’s most famous serial killer and discover East London!
The British capital is also known for its street art and markets. Head to Shoreditch or Brixton to see wonderful murals and grab some delicious street food.
With a total of 6 airports, you can fly to London from almost anywhere in the world. You can then either take a bus or a train to London Victoria. There are also 2 international train stations (King’s Cross and St Pancras) with direct trains to/from Paris and Brussels.
In terms of accommodation, you will be spoilt for choice. The best neighbourhoods to stay in are Westminster, city of London, Shoreditch, Kensington and Hammersmith.
Maartje, The Orange Backpack
The Netherlands is a great destination in Europe all year round, but nothing beats a summer trip to this small country. It’s the time the flower fields are blooming, the locals sit down at terraces with a Dutch beet and the sunny weather makes the country look at its best.
The Netherlands is a small country you could easily visit in about a week, though you might want to opt for more time to fully enjoy all highlights. Most travelers stick to the famous capital of Amsterdam, but there’s much more to see and do around the country. Public transport is an easy way to get around and explore more than just Amsterdam.
Head north of Amsterdam to see some authentic old villages and windmills like at Volendam or the Zaanse Schans. Enjoy the finest modern architecture in the bustling city of Rotterdam and unwind at the beaches of Texel island or the forests of the Veluwe National Park.
The Netherlands is home to the most beautiful European castles; Castle De Haar close to the historical city Utrecht is our absolute favorite.
Did you know Amsterdam also hides a stunning palace in the plain side at one of its main square?
Thank you once again to everyone who contributed to the best summer destinations in Europe!
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Here are my favourite travel resources for planning travel like a pro
Accommodation: I always use booking.com (I love their price match and flexible cancellation policies) or Airbnb (if I want a little more space) to book trip. If you prefer hostels, I suggest Hostelworld.
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Travel Insurance: After a few hairy moments on my travels, I ALWAYS purchase travel insurance. It may seem like a big cost now, but if the worst happens, it will save you a lot of money and heartache. I personally use World Nomads (and love them!), but I recommend that you do some research to find the insurance company that suits your needs.
Tours: While I prefer to travel independently, I do love doing some tours once I’m in a destination. It is a great way to find out history, hidden gems, taste local food and get a local insight into your destination. I always use Viator to book my tours.
Car Hire: Planning an epic road trip across the US or through Europe, or anywhere! Check out Europcar, they are my go to for car hire all over the world!
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