Summer is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to start planning your vacation! If you’re looking for a place to go that has everything – scenery, history, culture, and plenty of activities – then Europe is the perfect destination. In this blog post, we will outline 11 places in Europe that are worth visiting during the summertime. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure!
1. Azores, Portugal
Located off of Portugal’s main coast, these nine islands offer a wealth of pristine natural beauty. Each island has something new to offer, from UNESCO World Heritage sites to lagoons, volcanos, geysers, and mountains, all surrounded by the stunning blue of the Atlantic.
The central islands are ideal for dolphin and whale-watching tours, exploring historic towns, touring vineyards, and seeing lava fields! But if you have to pick just one, Sao Miguel is the largest island, with plenty to see and do. Spend your days hiking, spelunking, and exploring the capital of Ponta Delgada. But we recommend leaving time for day trips to the other islands!
2. London, England
Summer is the perfect time to visit the famous city of London! The temperatures stay consistently comfortable through the summer months, with average highs in the mid-70s. Plus, school doesn’t get out until mid-June, so you’ll have these gorgeous streets primarily to yourself if you visit early.
Spend your days touring Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and The Tower of London. Enjoy the fresh air in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, then grab a ride on the London Eye. These are all classic stops for a reason!
But be sure to leave the tourist trail and wander down the lesser-known streets to grab some delicious local food and enjoy the beautiful architecture of old London.
3. Amsterdam, Netherlands
There’s no better time to visit the capital of the Netherlands than during the warm summer days. This stunning city is one of the most scenic in Europe, with colorful buildings, peaceful canals, and riots of flowers lining the streets.
Bike your way around the city or take a canal cruise to enjoy the beauty and architecture. Then, hit a few of the city’s highlights like the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, and Rijksmuseum. For more fresh air, hit up one of the city’s annual festivals and wander through the iconic Vondelpark for many fun activities and food choices.
4. Sicily, Italy
Beaches, a volcano, and authentic Italian food? Count us in! You’ll have no trouble filling your warm summer days with a trip to Sicily.
Start with plenty of time lounging on the beaches at Cefalu and Avola. Then it’s time to hit the streets. Tour the capital of Palermo to see the ancient architecture and history. The 12th-century Palermo Cathedral is a must, as are trips to one of the city’s markets and the stunning Porta Nuova.
For incredible views, spend a day in Taormina, Sicily, situated right beneath the famous volcano. You can enjoy the Greek theater and see the Ionian Sea from the Public Gardens at Villa Comunale.
If you have extra time, add on trips to the Valley of Temples and the Aeolian Islands!
Adventure and nature lovers will have a blast exploring the dramatic landscapes of Slovenia this summer.
Start by hiking the many trails in Triglav National Park and visiting some of the country’s stunning lakes. You’ll get your fill of sweeping valleys, blue waters, and vibrant greenery in destinations like Lake Bled, Lake Jasna, and Lake Trboje (great for stand-up paddling).
But Slovenia also has some incredible underground adventures, with 20 scenic caverns to explore. They all have their own beauty, but we recommend visiting the famous Postojna Cave because it’s home to the world’s only living dragons!
6. Dubrovnik, Croatia
This UNESCO World Heritage site is delightful during the summer, with temps perfect for swimming in the Adriatic Sea or taking a sea kayaking tour.
Inside the city, you’ll find stunning architecture and culture everywhere. Take a stroll along the city walls for epic views of Lokrum Island, the West Harbour, and Fort Lovrijenac. Then, visit the 15-century Rector’s palace for an incredible look at the city’s history. Visit between July and August to catch the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, complete with concerts, theater shows, film screenings, and more!
Other great activities include visiting Minčeta Fortress and taking a Game of Thrones filming tour.
7. Athens, Greece
Athens is the ideal place to experience architecture, food, nightlife, and history!
Spend sunny summer days visiting iconic locations like the Parthenon, Acropolis, Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Ancient Agora, and so much more.
After taking in the sights, visit the Acropolis Museum to see artifacts found near the Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum, which contains a wealth of artifacts from across Greece. You’ll also want to take a trip to the charming Plaka neighborhood for shopping and the Monastiraki Square for a little of everything.
Finally, if you’re ready to party, hit up the Pysrri neighborhood for great food, nightlife, shopping, and entertainment!
8. Barcelona, Spain
This vibrant Spanish city is hard to beat for incredible architecture, thanks to the heavy influence of Antoni Gaudi.
It’s practically mandatory to visit at least a few of Gaudi’s jaw-dropping creations, so we recommend the famed La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and Caso Battlo. But if you have the time, take a bike tour of the city in search of all his remarkable designs.
But there’s so much more to see than just the architecture. Set aside time to see a flamenco show, visit Barcelona’s beaches and extensive boardwalk, and visit the medieval Boqueria Market!
9. Prague, Czech Republic
Just the name of this iconic city conjures up images of arching bridges, tall spires, and sweeping river views. Prague is literally one of the most beautiful cities you could possibly visit in summer, and we guarantee you won’t want to leave!
Visits to the Prague Castle, Astronomical Clock, and Charles Bridge are absolute musts. But we also highly recommend strolling through Old Town Square, touring the St. Vitus Cathedral, and checking out the epic graffiti on the John Lennon Wall. If you have more time, hike to the top of the Petrin Lookout Tower, and be sure to grab some authentic local cuisine in a medieval setting!
10. Dublin, Ireland
Would you rather spend your days exploring castles on emerald green hills than hitting the beach? Dublin is for you! While the weather can be a bit chilly even in the summer, Ireland is at its most beautiful this time of year.
Beer lovers will find no shortage of pubs, distilleries, and beer-related attractions in town. But the Guinness Storehouse should be at the top of your list. If you’d rather see architecture and history, head over to the stunning St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin Castle, and Trinity Library.
For nature-oriented experiences, take a day trip to the Wicklow Mountains or the famous Cliffs of Moher, stroll through the National Botanical Gardens, or spend an afternoon in St. Stephens Green.
11. Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Montenegro is quickly rising in popularity, thanks to its beauty and similarity to Croatia, minus the crowds and heavy expenses.
Bay of Kotor is particularly popular because its stunning waterway looks like an Icelandic fjord, and the medieval city is absolutely delightful.
In Old Town, you’ll find cobblestone streets, bright orange-tile roofs, and ancient white-stone walls that make you feel like you’ve stepped right into the past. If you’re up for a challenge, hike the 1300 steps up to the Kotor Fortress for a view of the city that’s worth every ounce of effort.
You also won’t want to miss touring the city’s gorgeous historic churches, shopping at the farmer’s market, strolling along the pebbly beach, or boating on the jaw-dropping waters of the bay.
There’s no question that Europe is a summertime paradise, and we hope our list of the best places to visit in Europe 2022 has inspired you to start planning your next vacation! Whether you’re looking for stunning architecture, breathtaking natural beauty, or simply a lively city to explore, you’ll find it all here. So what are you waiting for? Start packing your bags and get ready for the trip of a lifetime!