Best places to visit in Europe during summer 

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If there's one thing that summer in Europe 2023 taught us – most tourist destinations are becoming too hot. Perhaps that's why many are opting for a more laid-back and cooler (pun intended) holiday. Now if reading this bummed you out, don't worry! We are here to save the day (read: save your summer holidays in Europe) and give you the best options.
However, if you want suggestions on going to the popular (hot) destinations, we have you covered too. After all, Europe is a treasure trove of hidden gems and classic favorites perfect for a summer escape, striking the perfect balance between outdoor adventure and cultural immersion.

1. Dreznica

🗺️ Country: Slovenia

Dreznica in Solvenia

If you want to live the postcard life this summer, head to Drenznica, about 560 meters in the Soča Valley of Slovenia. Surrounded by picturesque hills, meadows, streams and waterfalls, it'll be a summer adventure you never imagined. The village holds scars of World War I, as Soča Valley was a battleground. You will find trenches, tunnels and other remnants of the war to explore. There's also a private museum collection to learn from. The population here is very small, so it's an escape you have been dreaming about. The churches here are quaint and spectacular. In fact, no matter where you are in town, you can always hear or see the church. The church bells ring every hour and you will know what time it is.

However, if you want to head over to Slovenia, you can do that too. From the Julian Alps with its emerald lakes and breathtaking peaks to charming coastal towns, Slovenia’s beauty is awe-inspiring. Hike through Slovenia’s only national park, Triglav National Park, or check out Škocjan Caves, one of the largest underground cave systems in the world. Fun fact: This natural wonder was formed over 1,000 years ago by the Reka River, which still flows through the caves and is home to many endangered species, including the olm, the largest troglomorphic amphibian in the world! If you’re visiting in June, don’t forget to visit Lake Blend to witness the island church in full bloom, surrounded by the Julian Alps.


  • What makes it special: Hiking, private WWI museum, beautiful churches
  • Other cities to visit around: Ljubljana, Maribor
  • Summer festivals in Slovenia: Ljubljana Festival, Beer and Flowers Festival

2. Dolomites

🗺️ Country: Italy

Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Dolomite Alps, Italy

Say hello to northern Italy, where The Dolomites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Escape the scorching temperatures this summer and head to a world of soaring peaks, lush valleys and crystal-clear lakes. Here, you can hike or bike through the beautiful landscapes of Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Cortina d'Ampezzo or Val Gardena, get a panoramic view via cable cars, or even explore the place through rock climbing. The Ladin culture, specific to the region here, is deeply connected to the land, with a strong tradition of agriculture and craftsmanship. The cuisine of the Dolomite Mountains has roots dating back to the Roman Empire, and is a delicate blend of Tyrolean and Italian tastes. So, prepare to taste some rich, creamy hand-made butter, cheese, seasoned meats, and dumplings.


  • What makes it special: Cable cars, Ladin culture, and delicious food
  • Other cities to visit around: Venice, Bolzano
  • Summer festivals in the Dolomites: Val Gardena folclore festival, Sellaronda Bike Day

3. Milos

🗺️ Country: Greece

Milos in Greece

Often overshadowed by its more famous cousin, Mykonos, Milos is a beautiful volcanic island that offers a unique and cooler alternative for your summer holidays. The dramatic coastlines with colorful rock formations, hidden coves with pristine beaches, and adorable fishing villages are some of the highlights Milos offers. It’s a paradise for water enthusiasts – you can snorkel, dive or kayak. And if you want to dive into the historical part of it, visit the Ancient Theater of Milos, a well-preserved Roman theatre, and the Catacombs of Milos, an ancient burial site that offers a glimpse into the island's religious past. Don’t forget to sail to Kleftiko, a secluded island with a hidden cove accessible only by boat.


  • What makes it special: Colorful rock formations, snorkeling, Catacombs of Milos
  • Other cities to visit around: Chania, Heraklion
  • Summer festivals in Milos: Milos festival

4. Copenhagen

🗺️ Country: Denmark

Copenhagen in Summer

When you want a break from the city but you also want the city vibes, Copenhagen is the ideal vacation spot for you. Denmark's capital is known for its innovative design, vibrant harbor scene, and pedestrian streets (Strøget is a tourist attraction for Europe's longest pedestrian street!). Explore Tivoli Gardens, the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world, or take a walk down the iconic Nyhavn district for its colorful houses – don’t miss clicking some good shots for your Instagram!


  • What makes it special: Colorful rock formations, snorkeling, Catacombs of Milos
  • Other cities to visit around: Chania, Heraklion
  • Summer festivals in Milos: Milos festival
Best places to visit in each continent

5. Stockholm

🗺️ Country: Sweden


Another city to spend your summer in Europe can be Stockholm. If you're here towards mid-June, participate in the Swedish Midsummer festival. Celebrate the longest day of the year with flower crowns, dancing, and of course, food! Being a haven for nature lovers, you have over 30 national parks and nature reserves to check out. The hiking and biking trails here are well-marked and will take you from sandy beaches in the south to mountain regions in the north. History buffs will love visiting the Royal Palace, where you can check out the Royal apartments, museums steeped in regal history, and the Royal Chapel. You can also learn about Viking history at the Vasa Museum.


  • What makes it special: Swedish Midsummer festival, foodie paradise, national parks
  • Other cities to visit around: Gothenburg, Sundsvall
  • Summer festivals in Stockholm: Stockholm Early Music Festival, Midsummer

6. Helgeland coast

🗺️ Country: Norway

Traena islands - Helgeland coast, Norway

Pack your bags and head to the Helgeland coast if you want your Windows 98 wallpaper to come to life this summer. It’s a nature lover’s paradise with one of the best fjords, dramatic coastlines, and snow-capped mountains. Beat the heat and explore the beauty of the Helgeland coast, a region known for its unique archipelago (an extensive group of islands). You can go whale watching in the Arctic waters, soak in the stunning landscape hiking or kayak. Unfortunately, if you want to see the Northern Lights, you have to be here between late September and early April.


  • What makes it special: Fjords, archipelago, hiking
  • Other cities to visit around: Mosjøen, Lovund
  • Summer festivals in Norway: Gladmat Festival, Grieg in Bergen

7. Athens

🗺️ Country: Greece

Athens, Greece

If you thought all Athens has to offer for a holiday are open-air museums and remnants of ancient Greece’s glory like the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the the Agora, you’re missing out on a piece of valuable information. Head to the National Garden to picnic in the heart of the city, go on a four-hour food walk or experience the magic of open-air cinema nights. Athens Riviera is a perfect escape from the city heat where you can enjoy the sun, sea and sand. For a natural thermal spa, check out Lake Vouliagmeni. To shop for local crafts and souvenirs, Plaka and Monastiraki can be your go-to. However, Plaka is more expensive as it's the Old Town.


  • What makes it special: National Garden, open-air movie nights, Lake Vouliagmeni
  • Other cities to visit around: Nafplion, Aegina
  • Summer festivals in Athens: The Athens & Epidaurus Festival, Athens Open-Air Film Festival

8. Rome

🗺️ Country: Italy

Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Yes, it's going to be quite hot in Rome this summer, but no trip here is complete without seeing the famous landmarks – the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Vatican Museums. We highly recommend purchasing skip-the-line tickets to avoid long queues if you visit the popular attractions this summer. For more museum exploration for your summer in Europe, but in a cooler set-up, make a trip to Villa Borghese and Doria Pamphili Park.

What makes it special? Vatican Museums, Villa Borghese, Doria Pamphili Park
Other cities: Florence, Naples
Summer festivals in the Dolomites: Lungo il Tevere, Festa dei Noantri


  • What makes it special: Vatican Museums, Villa Borghese, Doria Pamphili Park
  • Other cities to visit around: Florence and Naples
  • Summer festivals in Rome: Lungo il Tevere, Festa dei Noantri

9. Tuscany

🗺️ Country: Italy

Winery in Tuscany

For that quintessential Italian summer experience with a touch of cool, add Tuscany to your vacation list. Other than hiking and biking through painting-like landscapes, go truffle hunting with trained dogs, and indulge in wine tastings at local vineyards. Add a fun element to this trip by learning the art of pasta-making or cheesemaking in a cooking class!


  • What makes it special: Landscapes, truffle hunting, vineyards
  • Other cities to visit around: Bologna, Milan
  • Summer festivals in Tuscany: Medieval Festival, Lucca Summer Festival

10. Sardinia

🗺️ Country: Italy

Sardinia, Italy

Now that we've reached the end of the list, if you really want to embrace the summer with all its heat and glory, make your way to Sardinia, Italy's second-largest island. For shallow waters and pink sand, Cala Brandinchi on the East Coast can be your go-to. However, a boat is one of the best ways to explore the coastline. You will probably not want to leave this place if you're a foodie, thanks to the abundant seafood and pasta dishes. It's also home to excellent wineries, so make sure you taste some and pack a bottle or two home!


  • What makes it special: Shallow water and pink sand, seafood dishes, wines
  • Other cities to visit around: Palermo, Catania
  • Summer festivals in Sardinia: O Faradda, Citrus Festival

So, whether you want to keep it cool or hot this summer in Europe, you will still have a great time. Just make sure you carry plenty of sunscreen and wear your best outfits to capture some Instagram-worthy shots!