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Escape The Crowds: 10 Best Places To Visit In Europe In Summer


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Birgitta Barksdale



Europe is a continent blessed with an abundance of stunning destinations, each offering its own unique charm and allure. When summer arrives, it’s the perfect time to explore the wonders that Europe has to offer. From breathtaking coastlines and historical landmarks to vibrant cities and picturesque countryside, there are countless places to visit that will leave you in awe.


While popular tourist destinations can often be crowded during the summer months, there are still some hidden gems where you can escape the masses and enjoy a more tranquil experience. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, Europe has it all.


In this article, we’ll take you on a journey to the 10 best places to visit in Europe in summer, where you can soak up the sun, indulge in mouthwatering cuisine, and create unforgettable memories. From the idyllic Greek islands to the charming streets of Prague, these destinations are sure to capture your heart.


Santorini, Greece

Nestled in the Aegean Sea, the picturesque island of Santorini is a dream destination for many. Known for its white-washed buildings, blue-domed churches, and breathtaking sunsets, Santorini offers a truly enchanting experience.


During the summer months, the island comes alive with vibrant energy. Explore the charming villages of Oia and Fira, where narrow cobblestone streets are lined with boutique shops and traditional tavernas. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the ancient ruins of Akrotiri, an archaeological site that preserves the remnants of a prehistoric settlement.


Santorini is also famous for its iconic volcanic beaches. Perissa and Kamari offer black sand beaches, where you can relax and soak up the sun. For a more secluded experience, head to the lesser-known Red Beach or the tranquil Vlychada Beach.


One of the highlights of a trip to Santorini is witnessing the sunset from Oia. As the sky transforms into a spectacular blend of fiery colors, find a spot along the cliffs and watch as the sun dips below the horizon, creating a truly magical atmosphere.


To fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Santorini, consider staying in one of the island’s luxurious resorts or traditional cave houses. These accommodations offer stunning views of the caldera and provide the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway or a peaceful retreat.


Santorini is more than just a visually stunning island; it’s also a culinary paradise. Indulge in the flavors of Greece with traditional dishes like moussaka, souvlaki, and baklava. Be sure to sample the local specialty, Assyrtiko wine, which is produced from grapes grown in the unique volcanic soil.


Whether you’re exploring the charming villages, lounging on the beautiful beaches, or savoring the delectable cuisine, Santorini is a place that will captivate your senses and leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


Dubrovnik, Croatia

Situated on the stunning Adriatic coast, Dubrovnik is a city that seamlessly blends historic charm with natural beauty. With its well-preserved medieval walls and picturesque Old Town, it’s no wonder that Dubrovnik has become a top destination in Europe.


During the summer, Dubrovnik comes alive with vibrant energy. Stroll along the iconic city walls, which offer panoramic views of the terracotta roofs and the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. Explore the charming narrow streets of the Old Town, filled with historic buildings, museums, and quaint shops.


Dubrovnik is also surrounded by breathtaking beaches. Banje Beach, located just outside the city walls, is a great spot to soak up the sun or take a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters. For a more secluded beach experience, head to Lokrum Island, which is just a short boat ride away from the city.


One of the must-visit attractions in Dubrovnik is the cable car ride to the top of Mount Srd. From the summit, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the city, the Adriatic Sea, and the nearby islands. It’s a perfect spot for capturing breathtaking sunset photos.


For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Dubrovnik City Walls and the UNESCO-listed Fort Lovrijenac is a must. These ancient fortifications offer a glimpse into the city’s rich past, and you can even walk along the walls that have protected Dubrovnik for centuries.


When it comes to dining, Dubrovnik offers a diverse culinary scene. From fresh seafood and Mediterranean dishes to traditional Croatian delicacies, there is something to suit every palate. Don’t miss the opportunity to try local specialties like black risotto, grilled octopus, and famous Dalmatian wines.


With its captivating beauty and rich history, Dubrovnik is truly a gem in the Adriatic. Whether you’re exploring the ancient city walls, relaxing on the beautiful beaches, or indulging in the local cuisine, Dubrovnik will leave you spellbound.


Barcelona, Spain

Nestled on the northeastern coast of Spain, Barcelona is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that offers a perfect mix of stunning architecture, rich history, and a lively atmosphere. Known for its unique blend of Catalan culture and Mediterranean charm, Barcelona is a captivating destination to visit during the summer months.


One of the iconic landmarks of Barcelona is the architectural masterpiece, Sagrada Familia. Designed by Antoni Gaudí, this basilica showcases a fusion of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles and is a must-visit attraction. Take a stroll down the vibrant Las Ramblas, a bustling street filled with street performers, shops, and cafes.


The city is also home to several beautiful beaches, where you can relax and soak up the sun. Barceloneta Beach is the most popular and accessible beach, offering a wide range of amenities, water sports activities, and beachside bars and restaurants. For a quieter beach experience, head to Nova Icaria or Bogatell Beach.


Barcelona is famous for its culinary scene, featuring a mouthwatering array of Spanish and Catalan dishes. From enjoying tapas in traditional bars to indulging in paella and seafood by the sea, the city offers a food lover’s paradise. Don’t forget to try the local specialty, “pan con tomate” (bread with tomato), a simple yet delicious Catalan classic.


Art enthusiasts will find plenty to admire in Barcelona, with world-class museums and art galleries. Explore the works of famed artists like Picasso and Miró at the Picasso Museum and the Joan Miró Foundation. Visit Park Güell, another masterpiece by Gaudí, featuring whimsical architecture and stunning city views.


As the sun sets, the city comes alive with its vibrant nightlife. Barcelona boasts numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Experience the lively atmosphere of El Raval, explore the trendy neighborhood of El Born, or dance the night away in the beachfront clubs of Port Olímpic.


Barcelona’s charm lies in its unique blend of history, culture, and modernity. Whether you’re exploring the architectural wonders, lounging on the sandy beaches, or immersing yourself in the vibrant nightlife, Barcelona is a city that will leave you captivated and longing to return.


Amalfi Coast, Italy

The Amalfi Coast, located in southern Italy, is undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking destinations in Europe. With its dramatic cliffs, vibrant colors, and picturesque coastal towns, it’s no wonder that the Amalfi Coast has become a popular summer retreat.


The highlight of the region is the charming town of Amalfi itself. Stroll through the narrow streets lined with pastel-colored houses, and visit the magnificent Amalfi Cathedral, an architectural gem that dominates the main square. Explore the hidden pathways and staircases that wind through lemon groves and lead to fantastic coastal viewpoints.


Another must-visit town along the coast is Positano. Famous for its steep streets lined with colorful buildings, Positano is a sight to behold. Relax on the pristine beaches, browse the stylish boutiques, and indulge in delicious local cuisine at the seaside restaurants.


Ravello, perched high above the coast, offers stunning panoramic views of the azure sea below. Visit Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo, both known for their magnificent gardens and breathtaking vistas. Attend a performance at the world-famous Ravello Festival, featuring a lineup of classical concerts and cultural events.


The Amalfi Coast is also renowned for its culinary delights. Sample fresh seafood dishes, including the region’s famous spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams) or indulge in a traditional Neapolitan pizza. Be sure to try limoncello, a tangy liqueur made from locally grown lemons, which is a specialty of the coast.


For the adventurous, embark on a hike along the famous “Path of the Gods” (Sentiero degli Dei), a breathtaking trail that offers spectacular views of the coastline. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area, with its lush vegetation, rugged cliffs, and crystal-clear waters.


Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the stunning beaches, exploring the charming coastal towns, or savoring the delectable cuisine, the Amalfi Coast is a true paradise that will enchant you with its beauty and leave you with unforgettable memories.


Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is a place of rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture. With its ancient castles, cobblestone streets, and stunning views, Edinburgh is a perfect destination to explore during the summer months.


One of the city’s most iconic attractions is the Edinburgh Castle, perched high on a volcanic rock. Explore the historic fortress, visit the Crown Jewels, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the castle walls. Don’t miss the chance to witness the firing of the iconic One O’clock Gun.


Take a stroll along the historic Royal Mile, a bustling street that connects the castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Explore the charming Old Town, with its narrow closes and picturesque shops, and be sure to visit St. Giles’ Cathedral, a magnificent medieval church.


For a taste of natural beauty, climb Arthur’s Seat, an ancient volcano located in Holyrood Park. From the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscape. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic or a peaceful nature walk.


Edinburgh is also renowned for its world-famous festivals. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, considered the largest arts festival in the world, takes place during the summer months. With thousands of performances ranging from comedy and theatre to music and dance, the city comes alive with creativity and entertainment.


Indulge in the rich Scottish cuisine by sampling traditional dishes such as haggis, neeps and tatties, or Scotch whisky. Explore the lively food and drink scene in the city, with numerous restaurants, pubs, and cafes serving up delicious treats.


History enthusiasts will find plenty to explore in the city’s museums and galleries. Visit the National Museum of Scotland, which showcases a diverse range of exhibits, including ancient artifacts and scientific discoveries. The Scottish National Gallery is also a must-visit for art lovers, housing an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.


Whether you’re immersing yourself in the city’s rich history, exploring its stunning landscapes, or enjoying its vibrant cultural scene, Edinburgh is a city that offers a truly unforgettable experience.


Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, is a unique and captivating destination that offers a combination of natural wonders and vibrant urban life. Located on the edge of the North Atlantic Ocean, Reykjavik is known for its stunning landscapes, geothermal hot springs, and vibrant arts and music scene.


During the summer months, Reykjavik experiences long daylight hours, known as the midnight sun, providing ample time to explore the city and its surrounding natural wonders. Take a stroll through the vibrant streets of the city center, lined with colorful buildings, trendy cafes, and boutique shops.


For panoramic views of the city, head to the top of Hallgrímskirkja, a striking church with a unique stepped design. From its observation deck, you’ll be able to see the cityscape and the surrounding mountains and ocean.


One of the must-visit attractions near Reykjavik is the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa surrounded by lava fields. Relax in the warm mineral-rich waters, rejuvenate your skin with a silica mud mask, and take in the otherworldly scenery.


Reykjavik also offers a thriving arts and culture scene. Explore the city’s museums and galleries, showcasing Icelandic contemporary art and history. Don’t miss the Harpa Concert Hall, a stunning architectural masterpiece that hosts concerts, exhibitions, and cultural events.


For those seeking adventure, Reykjavik serves as a gateway to Iceland’s natural wonders. Take a guided tour to explore the Golden Circle, which includes the stunning Gullfoss waterfall, the geothermal area of Geysir, and the UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park.


Indulge in the unique flavors of Icelandic cuisine, with its emphasis on fresh seafood, lamb, and traditional dishes like Icelandic meat soup and skyr (a traditional Icelandic yogurt). Explore the city’s thriving food scene, with numerous restaurants and cafes offering innovative and delicious fare.


From the quirky street art to the delightful coffee culture, Reykjavik is a city that offers a blend of natural beauty, rich culture, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re exploring its unique landscapes, soaking in warm geothermal pools, or embracing the vibrant arts scene, Reykjavik is a destination that will leave you awe-inspired.


Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, the vibrant capital city of Portugal, is a charming blend of historical grandeur, colorful neighborhoods, and a laid-back coastal atmosphere. With its sunny climate and picturesque setting on the Tagus River, Lisbon is a perfect destination to explore during the summer months.


Start your journey in the historic district of Alfama, with its narrow winding streets and traditional Fado music. Explore the striking São Jorge Castle, which offers panoramic views of the city. Wander through the lively streets of Baixa and Chiado, filled with shops, cafes, and iconic landmarks like Rossio Square and the Elevador de Santa Justa.


A visit to Lisbon wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the renowned neighborhood of Belém. Marvel at the stunning Belém Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and pay a visit to the breathtaking Jerónimos Monastery. Don’t forget to indulge in the famous pastéis de nata, a delicious Portuguese custard tart, at the iconic Pastéis de Belém bakery.


Lisbon is a city that effortlessly combines history and modernity. Take a ride on one of the city’s vintage trams, such as Tram 28, which winds through the narrow streets and takes you to popular landmarks. Explore the vibrant LX Factory, a creative hub located in a former industrial complex, with trendy shops, art galleries, and unique cafes.


For a taste of the local food scene, visit the Mercado da Ribeira, also known as Time Out Market Lisbon. Here, you can sample a wide range of Portuguese and international cuisines all in one place. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the delicious bacalhau (salted codfish) dishes, as well as fresh seafood and traditional Portuguese wines.


Lisbon is also known for its stunning viewpoints, or “miradouros,” that offer panoramic views of the city. From the famous Miradouro da Senhora do Monte to the lesser-known Miradouro da Graça, be sure to soak in the breathtaking vistas and capture memorable photos.


With its rich history, vibrant atmosphere, and stunning coastal location, Lisbon is a city that captures the hearts of visitors. Whether you’re exploring its historic neighborhoods, indulging in its delectable cuisine, or simply enjoying the warm sunshine by the river, Lisbon offers a truly unforgettable experience.


Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, is a fairy-tale destination that effortlessly combines Gothic architecture, rich history, and a vibrant atmosphere. With its cobblestone streets, medieval castles, and charming riverfront, Prague is a city that beckons to be explored, especially during the summer months.


Start your journey in the heart of the city at the historic Old Town Square. Be mesmerized by the stunning Astronomical Clock, a medieval marvel that displays the time, astronomical information, and various figurines. Explore the intricate details of the Gothic-style Týn Church and enjoy a leisurely stroll across the famous Charles Bridge, adorned with statues and offering panoramic views of the city.


Discover the grandeur of Prague Castle, the largest ancient castle complex in the world. Marvel at the stunning St. Vitus Cathedral, explore the picturesque Golden Lane, and catch the changing of the guard ceremony that takes place daily.


For a moment of tranquility, escape to the beautiful gardens within the castle complex. Enjoy a peaceful walk through the Royal Garden, or opt for a visit to the charming Vrtba Garden, known for its terraces, fountains, and stunning views of Prague’s skyline.


Prague is also famous for its beer culture, and no visit to the city is complete without enjoying a pint of world-renowned Czech beer. Visit traditional beer halls, sample different beer varieties, and soak up the lively atmosphere of beer gardens such as Letná Park, which offers stunning views of the Vltava River.


Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the historic district of Josefov, also known as the Jewish Quarter. Visit the synagogues, the Jewish Cemetery, and the Jewish Museum, all of which provide insights into the rich Jewish heritage of Prague.


For an alternative view of the city, head to Petřín Hill. Climb to the top of the hill or take the funicular railway to enjoy panoramic views of Prague from the Petřín Lookout Tower. In the summer, the hillside gardens are in full bloom, offering a perfect spot to relax and enjoy a picnic.


With its architectural beauty, rich history, and vibrant atmosphere, Prague is a city that captivates visitors from around the world. Whether you’re exploring its historic landmarks, savoring Czech cuisine and beer, or simply wandering through its enchanting streets, Prague offers an unforgettable experience.


Lake Bled, Slovenia

Nestled in the Julian Alps, Lake Bled is a picture-perfect destination that embodies natural beauty, tranquility, and charm. With its crystal-clear emerald waters, a medieval castle perched on a hill, and a picturesque island with a church, Lake Bled is like a fairy-tale come to life.


The centerpiece of Lake Bled is the island, known as Bled Island. Take a traditional Pletna boat ride to the island and explore the Assumption of Mary Church, with its striking medieval architecture and famous bell that visitors are encouraged to ring for good luck. Climb up the 99 stone steps to reach the highest point of the island and admire the panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains.


No visit to Lake Bled is complete without a visit to Bled Castle, perched on a hilltop overlooking the lake. Wander through the castle grounds, visit the museum housed within the castle walls, and enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Bled from the castle terrace.


For outdoor enthusiasts, Lake Bled offers a range of activities. Embark on a leisurely hike around the lake, rent a bike to explore the surrounding area, or go horseback riding through the nearby countryside. Adventure seekers can try their hand at paddleboarding, kayaking, or even paragliding.


Indulge in the famous Bled cream cake, known as kremna rezina, a delicious local specialty that consists of layers of pastry and custard cream. Many cafes and restaurants near the lake offer this delectable treat, perfect for enjoying with a cup of coffee while soaking up the stunning views.


For a truly magical experience, visit Lake Bled in the evening. As the sun begins to set, the castle and the island are beautifully illuminated, creating a romantic and captivating atmosphere.


Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, exploring historical sites, or simply savoring the serenity of the lake, Lake Bled is a destination that will leave you enchanted and mesmerized. Its idyllic beauty and tranquil ambiance make it a must-visit spot for anyone traveling to Slovenia.


Interlaken, Switzerland

Nestled between two stunning alpine lakes and surrounded by breathtaking mountains, Interlaken is a dream destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Located in the heart of Switzerland, Interlaken offers a perfect mix of awe-inspiring landscapes, outdoor activities, and charming Swiss hospitality.


The town’s prime location makes it a gateway to countless adventures in the Swiss Alps. Outdoor enthusiasts can partake in a plethora of activities, from hiking and mountain biking to paragliding and skydiving. Thrill-seekers can try their hand at canyoning or bungee jumping, while water sports enthusiasts can indulge in kayaking or paddleboarding on the nearby lakes.


Interlaken is also known for its stunning hiking trails. The renowned Jungfrau region offers countless paths, allowing visitors to explore the pristine beauty of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and forests. Don’t miss the chance to take a scenic train journey to Jungfraujoch, known as the “Top of Europe,” offering breathtaking views from the highest railway station in Europe.


The town itself is filled with Swiss charm, with its traditional chalet-style architecture, charming squares, and quaint shops. Stroll through the main street, Höheweg, lined with boutiques, cafes, and Swiss chocolate shops. Indulge in authentic Swiss cuisine, from delicious cheese fondue to hearty mountain dishes like raclette and rösti.


For a panoramic view of the area, ride the funicular or take a cable car up to Harder Kulm. From there, you can admire the stunning vistas of Interlaken, the lakes, and the surrounding mountains. The observation deck offers the perfect spot to capture unforgettable photos.


Interlaken is also famous for its adventure sports festivals and events. The International Snow Festival in January showcases incredible snow and ice sculptures, while the Unspunnenfest, held every 12 years, celebrates traditional Swiss customs and sports.


Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures, yearning to explore the natural wonders of the Swiss Alps, or simply wanting to immerse yourself in Swiss charm, Interlaken offers an unforgettable experience. Its incredible landscapes and wide range of activities make it a destination that truly has something for everyone.



Europe is a continent with an abundance of diverse and captivating destinations to explore during the summer months. From the enchanting Santorini in Greece to the majestic castles of Prague in the Czech Republic, each place offers its own unique charm and attractions.


Whether you’re seeking relaxation on the beaches of Amalfi Coast, immersing yourself in the rich history of Edinburgh, or embarking on outdoor adventures in Interlaken, Europe has something to offer every traveler. The continent’s cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities make it an ideal destination for a summer getaway.


Escape the crowds and discover hidden gems like Dubrovnik’s ancient city walls or the tranquil beauty of Lake Bled. Indulge in the flavorful cuisine of Barcelona or Lisbon, and immerse yourself in their lively atmospheres.


As you explore these remarkable destinations, remember to embrace the local culture, try traditional dishes, and engage with the friendly locals. Whether you’re admiring architectural masterpieces, immersing yourself in stunning natural landscapes, or enjoying vibrant cultural events, your European summer adventure is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.


So, pack your bags, plan your itinerary, and get ready to embark on a journey through the wonders of Europe. Whether you’re capturing a magical sunset in Santorini or standing in awe of the majestic Swiss Alps, Europe will leave you spellbound and longing to return again and again.