15 Best Places to Visit in Europe in the Summer

Little else compares to the magic of a summer in Europe. Pristine turquoise waters, colorful seaside towns, and picturesque landscapes make it the perfect destination for a dreamy summer vacation.

Since there are so many incredible countries to choose from, we’ve narrowed down the 15 best places to visit in Europe in the summer. All you have to do is pack your bags and get ready for the trip of a lifetime!

Table of Contents

Albanian Riviera

The Albanian Riviera has been quietly making waves among those in the know. And once you’ve laid your eyes on its spectacular golden beaches, you’ll be kicking yourself for not visiting sooner! For some reason, this sparkling coast is still flying under the radar, which makes it one of the best places to visit in Europe this summer if you want to escape the crowds.

The landscapes here are pretty epic, to say the least. Imagine white-pebbled bays surrounded by towering canyon walls and lush Mediterranean forests. You can spend your days lounging on the beach, snorkeling in the translucent waters, or hiking along seaside cliffs.

Not to mention, Albania is one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe, so you won’t have to break the bank to enjoy this hidden gem.

Algarve, Portugal

Lisbon and Porto usually steal the spotlight when it comes to Portugal, but the Algarve region in the south is a must-visit for any summer vacation. This coastal paradise boasts stunning cliffs, beautiful sandy beaches, hidden sea caves, and impressive rock formations.

Plus, with over 300 days of sunshine per year, you’re practically guaranteed a sunny beach day during your stay. And while this golden coast can be visited any time of the year, summer is the best time to go swimming, kayaking, and even surfing. (Just keep in mind that the water temperature here can be a few degrees cooler than some of the other destinations on this list!)

Amalfi Coast, Italy

The Amalfi Coast is known for its dramatic shoreline, colorful towns, and delicious cuisine. You’ve likely heard of Positano, the Italian village most famous for its black-sand beach and pastel-colored buildings perched on the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean.

Wander through Positano’s charming streets and winding alleys, and you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a living postcard. But to truly appreciate its charm, treat yourself to a sunset boat ride to view the town from the water, and you’ll see why it’s one of Italy‘s most beloved destinations.

Don’t spend all your time in Positano though! There are other towns on the Amalfi Coast that are equally as stunning. The town of Amalfi, with its grand cathedral and darling piazzas, is excellent for history buffs. Ravello, known for its breathtaking gardens and panoramic views, is the ideal spot for a romantic stroll. And the Path of the Gods, a clifftop trail that runs between villages, is a hiker’s dream.


Amsterdam might be best known for its tulips, but summertime is when the Dutch capital truly comes alive. The city’s bike-friendly streets, outdoor markets, and mouthwatering street food scene were made for warm-weather exploring. Plus, the parks are in full bloom this time of year, making for some stunning picnics and outdoor concerts.

Summer in Amsterdam also means it’s a great time to be on the water. Glide through the quaint canals by kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or boat and discover the city from a different perspective as you cruise along the Amstel River. And when hunger strikes, dock at one of the many waterside bars or restaurants for some favorite locals snacks like bitterballen or krokets.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is a magnificent city split in two by the Danube River, showcasing the unique blend of Eastern and Western European influences. With its stunning architecture, thermal baths, and amazing nightlife, there’s never a dull moment in this city.

Start your day with a visit to one of Budapest’s lavish thermal baths. These natural hot springs have been enjoyed for centuries and are the perfect way to relax and rejuvenate after a long day of exploring. The Széchenyi Baths are the largest and most popular in town, but for a more “local” experience, head to the smaller, lesser-known Dandár Baths just outside of the city.

Other things you shouldn’t miss in Budapest: climbing up to Buda Castle, enjoying the view from Fisherman’s Bastion, and going on a cruise along the Danube.

Capri, Italy

What used to be an island exclusive to celebrities and jet-setters has transformed into an accessible Mediterranean paradise for all. Now, even on a brief day trip, anyone can experience the magic of Capri. Just a quick ferry ride from Naples, this island dazzles with luxurious hotels, five-star Italian restaurants, and high-end designer shops.

The island’s dramatic coast is made for exploring, from its gleaming Blue Grotto to the lovable town of Anacapri. Don’t miss out on taking a chairlift up Mount Solaro for breathtaking views of the island!

Oh, and if you’re looking for a unique souvenir, be sure to snag a pair of the custom-made leather sandals that Capri is famous for.

Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

Picturesque beaches, historic seaside towns, and islands that look like they were plucked straight out of a postcard — it’s no wonder the Dalmatian Coast has become one of Europe’s top summer destinations. The warm, crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea are ideal for swimming or snorkeling, or you can just lounge on the beach with a good book.

A few destinations you won’t want to miss in Dalmatia include the islands of Hvar, Brac, and Vis, as well as Dubrovnik, one of the best honeymoon destinations in the world.

French Riviera

No list of best European summer destinations would be complete without the French Riviera. The Côte d’Azur, as it’s known in French, is the gold standard of a dreamy holiday. The entire coastline is sprinkled with cute seaside towns, each with their own unique character. From the glitz and glamour of Cannes to the picturesque village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, each is more enchanting than the last.

When you need a break from the beach, head inland to Provence and immerse yourself in endless fields of fragrant lavender and charming hilltop villages. And of course, a visit to the French Riviera wouldn’t be complete without indulging in some delicious Mediterranean cuisine and sipping on a glass (or two) of rosé.


One country that makes it to nearly everyone’s summer bucket list is Greece. Boasting 6,000 islands, it’s a paradise for sun worshipers and beach lovers. You’re probably already familiar with the iconic blue domes of Santorini or the legendary party scene on Mykonos, but there are countless other islands that are worth uncovering.

For a more relaxed and authentic experience, choose Milos or Naxos. Both offer stunning beaches, historic villages, and plenty of tasty Greek food. And if you’re feeling adventurous, rent a boat and head to one of the smaller, uninhabited islands for a truly secluded beach day.


Ireland doesn’t necessarily come to mind when you think of classic warm-weather destinations, but the Emerald Isle shines (quite literally) in the summertime! The sunniest months of the year are May and June, and July is the warmest time of the year, which makes sightseeing and activities all the more enjoyable.

From stunning coastal drives along the Wild Atlantic Way to lively music festivals and charming villages, Ireland is a perfect summer getaway if you want something more off the beaten path. A few key locations you’ll want to make sure are on your list include the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, Doolin Village, and Galway (where the Claddagh ring originated).


Malta is still somewhat of a hidden jewel for many travelers, but it is quickly gaining popularity for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and welcoming locals. The island is a melting pot of cultures, with influences from Italy, North Africa, and the Middle East, which can be seen in everything from the architecture to the cuisine to the language.

One of the must-see attractions in Malta is the Blue Lagoon on the island of Comino. The water here is a dazzling shade of electric blue. Coupled with white-sand beaches, it’s no wonder this idyllic swim spot is the number one day trip among travelers.

If you’re looking to explore more of Malta’s history, be sure to visit Valletta, the capital city known for its historic fortresses, multicolored Turkish balconies, and hilly streets that rival San Francisco.


If you love spending time in the great outdoors, don’t sleep on Slovenia! Although this country may be relatively small, it packs a punch when it comes to hiking, biking, and other outdoor adventures.

The Julian Alps offer breathtaking views and challenging trails for more experienced hikers, while Lake Bled is the ideal spot for a peaceful paddle or swim. Just a stone’s throw from there lies another fantastic hiking trail through the Vintgar Gorge, a deep, narrow valley with a river passing through it and featuring wooden pathways crisscrossing the water.

For a taste of city life, head to Ljubljana, Slovenia’s charming capital and the proud holder of the title of Europe’s Green Capital. With its colorful architecture and lively café culture, it’s easy to see why this city is quickly becoming a popular tourist destination. Be sure to check out the Triple Bridge and Ljubljana Castle for some great photo opportunities.


Spain is the epitome of a European summer destination — and for good reason too. One of those is the incredibly delicious and irresistible Spanish cuisine. Tapas, anyone? Of course, you can’t have tapas without sangría, the quintessential summer drink that captures the spirit of Spanish leisure and festivity.

If you’re spending your vacation in Spain, summer is just the right time to head south to Andalucia. This region is famous for its sun-kissed coastline, Moorish architecture, and whitewashed villages that seem to sparkle under the Mediterranean sun.

And then there’s the Costa del Sol, the aptly named Coast of the Sun, a paradise that boasts some of Europe’s best beaches, where long stretches of soft, sandy shores meet crystal-clear waters. 


Summer is a glorious time of year to visit Sweden. While the winters here are known for their frigid temperatures and dark days, summer brings long hours of sunshine and an explosion of greenery. This is the perfect time to explore Sweden’s stunning countryside, with its forests, lakes, and charming villages.

If you prefer city life, Stockholm is a must. It swept me off my feet! With its gorgeous waterfront, rainbow-colored façades, and abundance of parks and gardens, Stockholm is a picturesque dream. One spot you can’t miss is Rosendals Trädgård, a romantic garden-café on nearby Djurgården Island.

June is a particularly exciting time to visit for the Midsommar celebrations, a traditional Swedish festival that involves dancing around a maypole and feasting on delicious food. If you prefer to avoid the crowds, plan your visit for August.


Whether you wish to roam the ancient streets of Istanbul or head south to the Turquoise Coast, Turkey is a necessary destination on any summer trip to Europe. 

In Istanbul, immerse yourself in the rich history and culture as you wander through the gorgeous mosques, bazaars, and ruins. And don’t forget to treat yourself to a traditional Turkish bath experience, also known as a hammam.

If you’d prefer to head south, go straight to Antalya for a dip in the sapphire waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Flanked with blue-flag beaches (an international indication of high environmental and quality standards) and beautiful hotels, the Turquoise Coast is the perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun.

Europe is one of the best places in the world to spend summer. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation, an adventure-filled trip, or a deep dive into historic sites, the continent has it all.

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