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When the days start to lengthen and the air feels warmer, Europe begins to wake up for the summer. Sidewalk cafés come to life, while colorful sun umbrellas appear on the beaches.

Cities prepare for the long, festive nights of June and July, where further north, daylight lasts until late in the evening. Wherever you visit, though, summer is a wonderful time to explore Europe, with glorious sunny days and a sense of celebration in the air.

From romantic Greek islands to buzzing central European capitals and the Scandi-chic cities of the north, here are some of the best places to visit in Europe in summer.

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, one of the best summer destinations in Europe

Oia in Santorini, Greece

Santorini is surely the jewel in the Greek islands’ crown. Clustered around the sunken caldera of an active volcano, pretty white-washed villages sit on towering cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean blue of the sea below, while iconic vistas look over to two smoldering volcanic islands in the bay below.

Black sands of Perissa Beach in Santorini, Greece

Perissa Beach in Santorini, Greece

As one of the best beach destinations in Europe, there’s plenty to see here. Highlights include the volcanic black sands of Perissa Beach, the winding streets in the iconic villages of Imerovigli and Fira where infinity pools seem to spill into the Aegean below, and a number of fantastic boutique wineries to boot.

View from a restaurant in Oia, Greece

Oia in Santorini, Greece

The quintessential Santorini experience, though, is sitting in a café in the village of Oia and watching the fiery skies of one of the best sunsets in the world accompanied by a soundtrack of appreciative “oohs” and “aahs” from the hundreds of people who take in this magnificent daily spectacle.

Read: 7 Days in Greece: The Ultimate Itinerary

Istanbul, Turkey

Scenic waterfront of Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Arriving in Istanbul can feel like being taken back in time. Now a thoroughly modern metropolis, the city retains a feel of a time gone by, spanning as it does the two great continents of Europe and Asia, and feeling like the perfect melting pot of both cultures.

Some of the most iconic places in Istanbul include the Byzantine Hagia Sophia and the Ottoman-era Blue Mosque—both of which can be seen from almost any vantage point in the city.

Also make time to take in the Basilica Cistern, a large underground reservoir built by Emperor Justinian I (527-565), and the magnificent Topkapi Palace of the Ottoman emperors.

Read: Best Beaches In & Around Istanbul

Turkish goods at the Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey

All will fight for your attention, but Istanbul is the kind of city that cries out to be lived at street level among the visitors and the locals. Barter for Turkish souvenirs at the Grand Bazaar, pick up pungent spices at the Spice Market, wander around pretty Gülhane Park or stroll through ornate Victorian arcades such as Çiçek Pasajı.

You could spend a month exploring Istanbul markets and streets and still feel as though you’ve only scratched the surface.

Mykonos, Greece

Cobbled street of Mykonos Town, Greece

Mykonos Town, Greece

If Santorini is the romantic destination of choice in Greece, nearby Mykonos is its oh-so-sophisticated party island sister, adored by many as one of the best summer destinations in Europe.

Famed back in the 1950s as a hippy hangout, the transformation of this European island over the years into the place to be seen in summer has been quite spectacular.

A long-time favorite of Europe’s LGBTQ+ community, the main town, Hora, is a perfect example of stylish, stark white Cycladic architecture, its charming port hiding a warren of tiny alleys lined with chic boutiques, bustling bars and high-end eateries.

View of Mykonos Town, Greece with beach

Mykonos Town, Greece

Slightly out of Hora, the island’s iconic 16th-century windmills stand guard, while the sea laps at the feet of the cafés of Little Venice, a small community built by Venetian merchants to resemble their homeland and is now a hip hotspot.

Read: Gorgeous Beaches in Mykonos

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Waterfront view of Dubrovnik, Croatia with glittering Adriatic sea

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The walled city of Dubrovnik, with its views over the Adriatic, is, without doubt, Croatia’s most upmarket destination, with a glamorous summer scene that attracts A-listers on their megayachts.

Dubrovnik’s Old Town is one of Europe’s most evocative destinations, its winding, pedestrian-only streets lined with elegant palazzi, monasteries and Baroque churches. The ancient walls are dotted with stone forts, once used to ward off marauding pirates but now often the setting for summer concerts.

Beautiful Banje Beach with view of Old Town Dubrovnik

Banje Beach in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Spend a day here simply wandering. Each corner reveals another delightful scene of one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Europe. Or take the 15-minute ferry ride from the harbor to the pine-shaded island of Lokrum and bask on the rocks, taking dips into the clear Adriatic to cool off.

Read: Best Beaches in Dubrovnik

Florence, Italy

Florence city landscape including Duomo

Florence, Italy

Walking around magnificent Firenze, the birthplace of the Renaissance and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a little like walking around a living, breathing museum.

The narrow, cobbled streets of Florence, lined with medieval palaces, ornate churches, and incredible art museums could be straight from a movie.

Popular bridge of Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy

See Michaelangelo’s famed David at the Accademia Museum, climb up to the incredible Duomo of Florence Cathedral for stupendous views, and stroll across the Ponte Vecchio that spans the Arno River—surely the only bridge in the world that houses jewelers and art dealers.

Fashionista? No problem; the Gucci and Ferragamo museums will keep you occupied for hours. And if you want an alternative viewpoint during your two days in Florence, why not tour the city’s markets with a local chef, or jump on an electric cart for an hour to cover more ground and get to pack in more of this fascinating city?

Read: The Ultimate Guide to Art in Florence

Barcelona, Spain

Historic Sagrada Familia reflecting on water

La Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a magnificent melting pot of a city where every step brings another delight. Lying by the glittering Mediterranean, it is home to world-class architecture, culture and food, as well as some of the best nightlife in Europe, and one of the world’s greatest club soccer teams, FC Barcelona.

People walking along the Gothic Quarter with small shops

Barri Gòtic in Barcelona, Spain

Architecturally, Barcelona’s buildings span more than 2,000 years. Highlights include the ancient walls of Roman-era Barcino, Antoni Gaudí’s still unfinished iconic La Sagrada Família church and the Montjuic Communications Tower by modern master Santiago Calatrava, and the medieval streets of the Barri Gòtic—one of the best neighborhoods in Barcelona.

Art lovers can visit museums dedicated to Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró, while foodies can sample every popular Barcelona dish, from Basque-style tapas bars to a host of Michelin-star restaurants.

Different spices and other food at the Boqueria market

La Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain

As this is one of the best shopping cities in Europe, shopaholics can browse everything from Europes’ oldest food market, La Boqueria, to high-end boutiques. The most difficult decision to make is what to see first—which is why a guided tour is the best way to get an overview before you delve deeper into the mix.

Read: Best Beaches in Barcelona

Marseille, France

Marseille, one of the best summer destinations in Europe

Marseille, France

Marseille has been one of Europe’s most significant ports for both trade and immigration between Europe and Africa ever since it was founded by the Greeks in 600BC. Today, that status remains, but the city also unlocks the wider Provence region to visitors.

In the heart of the city itself, there is much to enjoy: the Vieux (Old) Port, the Byzantine Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, the Bohemian Le Panier quarter and the magnificent murals of Cours Julien are just a handful of the many things to do in Marseille.

People strolling Aix-en-Provence in Marseille, France

Aix-en-Provence in Marseille, France

Away from the heat of the city, this charming rural part of Provence, France unfolds: see the Côte Blue (Blue Coast) from a kayak, take a gourmet tour of arty Aix-en-Provence or visit the charming village of Cassis with its vibrantly colored houses reflecting in the shimmering waters of the harbor.

Read: Best Beaches in & Around Marseille

Reykjavik, Iceland

Couple relaxing in Blue Lagoon Iceland

Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik, Iceland

Compact and quirky, with a frontier feel, Iceland’s capital is certainly one of the best summer destinations in Europe if you’re looking for something different.

The city center of Reykjavik, its streets lined with hip coffee shops, bars and boutiques, can be walked around in no time at all, and all the main sights are easily accessible.

Unique architecture of Hallgrimskirkja

Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik, Iceland

Good places to start are two vantage points, one from the bell tower of the striking Hallgrimskirkja church, designed to look like a Viking longboat, and the other from Perlan, a rotating restaurant in a giant glass dome that sits on four water towers. Both offer incredible views of one of the best capital cities in Europe and the surrounding volcanic landscapes.

Iceland’s unique geology and its history go hand-in-hand and the National and Saga museums offer insights into Iceland’s Viking past. Leaving the city opens up a different world—one that’s more like a lunar landscape.

Majestic view of Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss Waterfall, near Reykjavik, Iceland

Discover charred fields of solidified lava, roaring waterfalls, explosive geysers, and frozen glaciers, or simply sit back with an ice-cold drink in an Icelandic hot spring like the famed Blue Lagoon and take in this otherworldly scene.

Read: Iceland in the Summer: 9 Incredible Experiences

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

View of Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Dutch capital Amsterdam is quite simply an art lover’s dream, so much so it’s said you can’t walk for more than a mile without coming across a masterpiece.

Two of the city’s most celebrated sons have their own dedicated spaces: the Van Gogh Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of works by the famously tortured artist, while the Rembrandt House Museum recreates the home of the famed Dutch Master.

Both of their works can also be found alongside those of other Masters in the incredible Rijksmuseum, one of the best museums in Europe. The Stedelijk Museum, meanwhile, plays host to Matisses and Mondrians.

Colorful buildings in Amsterdam reflecting on water

Downtown Amsterdam, The Netherlands

While this may all feel very high-brow, the city has a lovely laid-back feel. It’s compact, easy to get around and impossibly pretty thanks to its canal-lined streets, in turn lined with pretty 17th-century gabled houses in Downtown Amsterdam.

Windmills of Zaanse Schans, The Netherlands

Zaanse Schans, near Amsterdam, The Netherlands

If you have at least three days in Amsterdam, make like a local and cycle around to discover superb restaurants and relaxed cafés, or take a trip out to the surrounding countryside for typically picture-postcard windmills and magnificent gardens.

Naples, Italy

Naples, one of the best summer destinations in Europe

Naples, Italy

Founded by the Greeks in the 7th century BC, Italy’s third-largest metropolis, the bustling port of Naples, is thought to be one of the oldest settled cities in the world, as well one of Europe’s most important ports, thanks to the access it gives to the wider Mediterranean.

The strategic location of this port city has long made it a magnet for visitors, many of whom enjoy its somewhat chaotic feel: big, brash and with its own way of doing things that can come across as more hot-headed than the supposedly cooler cities of the north.

Highlights of a visit include dining on the famed pizza, discovering its mix of old and new architecture, and sights such as the Piazza Municipio, Naples’ City Hall and the medieval castle Maschio Angioino.

Coastline of quaint Amalfi Coast, Italy

Amalfi Coast, Italy

A trip here also offers the chance to see some of Italy’s most incredible landscapes on the isle of Capri and the beautiful Amalfi Coast, as well as the doomed city of Pompeii, covered in and preserved by volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD79.

Read: Italy in the Summer: 10 Unforgettable Experiences 

Berlin, Germany

Popular square of Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin, Germany

Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin, Germany

Dating from the High Middle Ages, Germany’s capital, artsy Berlin, lived through a checkered 20th century and remnants of that past are abundant in the form of the Berlin Wall Memorial, the Holocaust Memorial and the remains of Checkpoint Charlie, one of the gates between the then-divided east and west parts of the city.

Picturesque Museum Island in Berlin, Germany

Museum Island in Berlin, Germany

Another gate, the nearby Greek Revival Brandenburg Gate, is one of Berlin’s most alluring—and most photographed—landmarks and serves as a symbol of reunification.

More than 30 years later, Berlin is more culturally diverse and inspiring than ever, from the five world-famous museums on Museum Island to the graffitied East Side Gallery on the last remaining section of the Wall.

Couple hanging out at a cafe in Berlin, Germany

Restaurant in Berlin, Germany

Alongside the famous sights, there’s café culture, shopping and top-class restaurants too, all of which make for a visit that stays long in the memory.

Read: Most Modern Cities in the World

Copenhagen, Denmark

Colorful buildings lined up in Copenhagen

Nyhavn in Copenhagen, Denmark

Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, could easily be dubbed the “Milan of the north”, such is its effortless Scandi-chic feel. Hip locals dressed in designer clothes from the city’s boutiques sip coffees and cocktails in stylish cafés and bars, and there are more Michelin stars in the city than in any other Scandinavian capital.

Beautiful Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen with guards

Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark

Yet despite this youthful feel, old-style “Wonderful Copenhagen” is still there to be discovered: Europe’s oldest theme park, the ornate Tivoli Gardens, the waterside Little Mermaid sculpture, the opulence of the royal Amalienborg Palace and the Old Stock Exchange.

Spending one day in Copenhagen is enough for a brief taste, as the city is compact and easy to navigate. Yet Copenhagen, one of the best summer destinations in Europe, is worth exploring in detail.

And with time to spare, you can even add a second country to your visit by whizzing across the magnificent Oresund Bridge to the Swedish city of Malmö, across the water.

Read: Packing List for a European Summer Vacation

Stockholm, Sweden

Majestic waterfront of Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

Set in an archipelago of 14 islands, Stockholm’s maritime history is long and rich, with the heart of the city the tiny island of Gamla Stan, home to some of Europe’s best-preserved medieval buildings.

The city’s maritime (and ergo Viking) history can be explored in the fabulous Vasa Museum, one of the best museums in Stockholm. It is home to a famed restoration of a warship that was sunk on her maiden voyage in 1628.

The Royal Palace, the Stadshuset City Hall and the “Great Square” Stortorget, in the heart of Gamla Stan, should also feature highly on a list of must-sees.

Couple strolling the Gamla Stan in Stockholm, Sweden

Gamla Stan in Stockholm, Sweden

Despite this deep history, Stockholm is a thoroughly modern capital with cool bars and high-end boutiques lining many of its streets and relatively new sights, such as Gamla Stan’s Ice Bar and the interactive ABBA The Museum, spring up all the time.

The Scandinavian city can be discovered on foot and by boat, while a quirky alternative is to  jump on a rooftop tour of Gamla Stan that offers a unique bird’s-eye view of the city below.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal, one of the best summer destinations in Europe

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, one of the best places to visit in Europe in the summer, enjoys radiant sunlight. This means that wandering along the streets, where buildings are adorned with hand-cut “calçada Portuguesa” stone cubes and mosaic patterns, is a pure joy.

Wander the small alleys of Lisbon’s neighborhood, the hilly Alfama district, a combination of vibrant street art and ancient buildings, including the fortress-like cathedral, which dates back to 1147. Later on, climb up to São Jorge Castle for some far-reaching views over the terracotta rooftops.

Lisbon, Portugal, one of the best summer destinations in Europe

Lisbon, Portugal

In Belém, closer to the Atlantic along the Tejo River, you can take in the incredible architecture of Jerónimos Monastery, full of maritime themes and rope carvings. Jerónimos is also where the tomb of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama is located. Don’t forget to indulge in a few pastéis de nata custard tarts at the Pastéis de Belem café.

For a small side trip, venture to LX Factory, an industrial-chic enclave near the 25 de Abril Bridge, for eclectic shops and innovative eateries.

Read: How to Spend 3 Days in Lisbon

Nice, France

Nice, France, one of the best summer destinations in Europe

Nice, France

Nice basks on the sun-soaked French Riviera, where the azure waters of the Mediterranean meet the effervescent energy of this seaside city.

One of the best things to do in Nice is to walk the sunny Promenade des Anglais, a boulevard built by the English aristocracy in the early 19th century. Now, it is graced by palm trees and iconic architecture like the Hôtel Negresco, a historic building featuring a distinctive pink dome.

Street view of Old Town Nice, France

Old Town Nice, France

You can roam around the Old Town, or “Vieux Nice” too, where colorful facades and bustling markets beckon. Vieux Nice’s Cours Saleya Market features fresh produce, flowers, and local specialties. On Mondays, the market transforms into a treasure-packed antique bazaar.

Sample some local culinary specialties that France is known for, including Niçoise salad, and the very tasty socca, a savory pancake made with chickpea flour.

Last, but not least, climb Castle Hill for vistas across the city and the coastlines, as well as Parc de la Colline du Château, a verdant oasis offering a slice of serenity amid the city’s animated summer atmosphere.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Waterfront of Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast happens to be one of the best summer destinations in Europe for a variety of reasons. Big among those is the Titanic Belfast exhibit, devoted to the history of the RMS Titanic, with a design resembling the ill-fated ship’s prow.

From the ship’s construction in Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard to its tragic sinking in 1912, Titanic Belfast offers an impressive experience with interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations, making it a must for fans of maritime history.

Exterior of Belfast Castle, Northern Ireland

Belfast Castle, Northern Ireland

Visiting Belfast Castle is one of the best things to do in Belfast. It’s characterized by its Scottish baronial-style architecture and charming gardens. Situated on Cavehill, the castle is enveloped by verdant surroundings, providing splendid views of the city.

For a blend of culture and entertainment, head for the bustling Cathedral Quarter, with thought-provoking street art and plenty of shops to check out.

View of the Peace Wall in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Peace Wall in Belfast, Northern Ireland

You can also visit the Peace Wall, adorned with striking murals symbolizing the city’s journey to peace, for a more sobering look at Belfast’s turbulent past.

Finally, recharge with some traditional Irish stew and buttery soda bread, washed down with a pint of Guinness in a friendly pub.

Seville, Spain

Alcazar in Seville, Spain

Alcazar in Seville, Spain

Appreciate the sultry allure of Seville during the hotter summer months when the city’s passionate spirit comes alive.

Discover the Alcazar, a Moorish palace-fortress complex with intricate tilework and lush gardens, built in the 10th century. Then familiarize yourself with the entrancing streets of Barrio Santa Cruz, a historic neighborhood exuding Andalucian charm.

Exterior of Seville Cathedral, Spain

Seville Cathedral, Spain

Seville’s UNESCO World Heritage Cathedral, the planet’s largest Gothic cathedral, is a stunning masterwork of architecture. The cathedral is home to the Giralda Tower, a former minaret, one of the defining characteristics of the beautiful Spanish city.

Savor local culinary flair in Seville with salmorejo, a cold tomato soup; flamenquín, a filling, deep-fried, ham-wrapped dish; and the decadent churros (strips of fried donut) dipped in thick chocolate, perfect for an early meal or enjoyable snack in the city’s cafés.

End your trip with a visit to the Casa de Pilatos, a 16th-century historic mansion that blends Renaissance Italian and Mudéjar Spanish styles. You can immerse yourself in the Casa de Pilatos’ intricately designed courtyards, lush gardens, and opulent interiors.

Bergen, Norway

Bergen, Norway, one of the best summer destinations in Europe

Bergen, Norway

Bergen ranks as one of the best places to visit in Europe in the summer in no small part due to its UNESCO-listed Bryggen Wharf.

Bryggen Wharf, brimming with historical charm, showcases colorful wooden structures that reflect the glory days of the Hanseatic League, framed by a scenic panorama of Norwegian fjords and mountains, offering you a glimpse into the city’s seafaring past.

Couple hiking the Floyen Mountain in Bergen, Norway

Fløyen Mountain in Bergen, Norway

For hikers, one of the best things to do in Bergen is to tackle Fløyen Mountain, or else take the funicular up for sweeping vistas of the surrounding region. Another vertical trek, Stoltzekleiven, will see you conquering a steep stairway, depositing you at the top of Sandviksfjellet Hill for some magnificent views.

Returning to town, wander through the scenic Fish Market, bustling with locals dining outside in sunny weather, where the daily catch entices.

If you’re feeling peckish, try some of the local delicacies, such as a dish made with klippfisk (dried salted cod), or some freshly baked skillingsboller (cinnamon rolls).

Santa Margherita, Italy

Colorful waterfront of Santa Margherita, Italy

Santa Margherita, Italy

Santa Margherita, carved out of green, low-lying hills of the Italian Riviera in the Liguria region, is drenched in history. This town once flourished as a fishing village before being transformed into the charismatic Mediterranean resort destination it is today.

Go for a relaxing stroll along the palm-lined promenade, then wander over to the 14th-century Basilica of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia and marvel at its Baroque elegance.

Another spot you ought to visit is the Castle of Rapallo, a small, sturdy fortress by the water used as a coastal defense against pirates back when brigands were a problem.

Bowl of trofie al pesto

Trofie al pesto

After roaming around, stop to sample regional fare and Ligurian seafood, including trofie al pesto (made with trofie, a short, twisted pasta), acciughe al verde (marinated anchovies), and the zesty zuppa di pesce fisherman’s soup.

Opt for a boat excursion or a scenic hike to reach the somewhat hidden San Fruttuoso for a tranquil beach retreat. Nestled in a pristine bay near Santa Margherita, this secluded abbey and gorgeous beach will offer you a peaceful getaway.

Ibiza, Spain

Couple strolling Dalt Vila in Ibiza, Spain

Dalt Vila in Ibiza, Spain

Discover Ibiza, a Balearic Island in the Mediterranean, boasting an unmatched blend of captivating coastal landscapes and a rich history exemplified by Dalt Vila’s UNESCO-listed stronghold.

Dating back to the Phoenician era, the architecture of Dalt Vila reflects a congruous mix of Roman, Moorish, and Catalan influences, featuring a hilltop fortress with Renaissance and Gothic styles. Its stone walls, fortified gates, and narrow medieval streets evoke a bygone age.

Scenic landscape of Es Vedrà in Ibiza, Spain

Es Vedrà in Ibiza, Spain

If you’re seeking tranquility, one of the best things to do in Ibiza is to visit Es Vedrà, a captivating rocky islet off Ibiza’s coast, said to radiate a hypnotic energy.

For a more intimate sea encounter, venture to Atlantis, discreetly nestled near Sa Pedrera’s coastal areas, where you can explore rugged natural formations, crystalline pools, and mysterious caves.

Tallinn, Estonia

Colorful buildings of Town Hall Square in Tallinn, Estonia

Old Town Tallinn, Estonia

Relish the bewitching summer ambiance of Tallinn, one of the best summer destinations in Europe for food and architecture.

The European capital city harmonizes medieval charm with modern vitality. Ramble around the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, with its cobbled streets, iconic spires, including St. Olaf’s and St. Nicholas’ churches, and the medieval Town Hall.

Scramble up Toompea Hill for wonderful views from Toompea Castle, which houses Estonia’s parliament, then venture into the artsy haven of the Kalamaja district, featuring colorful wooden homes, chic cafés, and a retro, boho vibe.

Kringle on a plate


You should sample a few local flavors too, including robust dishes like verivorst (blood sausage), or the kringle braided pastry, filled with cinnamon and almonds, the dream for anybody with a sweet tooth.

Read: Things to Do in Tallinn

Corsica, France

Waterfront of Ajaccio in Corsica, France

Ajaccio in Corsica, France

Corsica’s rugged landscapes meld with the Mediterranean, revealing lovely beaches, quaint hilltop villages, and the fragrance of wild herbs on the breeze.

Revered for its pristine allure, Corsica, part of France but with its own culture and language, will captivate you with its rugged beauty.

Pretty landscape of Isles Sanguinaires in Corsica, France

Isles Sanguinaires in Corsica, France

Close to Ajaccio, the uninhabited Isles Sanguinaires take their name from the blood-red rock from which they’re formed. Further north, the Calanques de Piana coves are where crimson cliffs plunge into the turquoise Mediterranean.

In Ajaccio itself, you can visit the birthplace of Napoleon, admire priceless Italian art in the Musée Fesch, and bask on sandy Corsican beaches.

When it comes to Corsican gastronomy, regional foods like charcuterie, cheese, and distinctive treats like figatellu (pork sausage) and fiadone (Corsican cheesecake with lemon zest) are guaranteed to fill your belly.

Rome, Italy

Iconic Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Rome is without doubt hot during the sizzling summer months but any exploration of the city’s famous antiquities can be interspersed with stops for gelato, or relaxing in a shaded sidewalk café.

Tour the legendary Roman landmark, the Colosseum, resonating with tales of gladiatorial combat, then stroll through the majestic ruins of the Roman Forum for a spellbinding journey into Rome’s past.

You can also uncover the Aventine Keyhole within the Priory of the Knights of Malta, offering a unique view of St. Peter’s Basilica from afar, framed by well-maintained hedges.

Couple exploring Vatican, Italy

Vatican, Italy

Draw nearer to the Vatican still to marvel at Michelangelo’s iconic dome crowning St. Peter’s Basilica. Then visit the Vatican Museums, home to an unparalleled art collection, including Michelangelo’s masterpiece on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

After delving into the heart of ancient Rome, conclude your tour with a delectable Roman meal, including cacio e pepe pasta (with Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper), rectangular-shaped pizza, or a thick slice of tiramisu.

Bruges, Belgium

Boat ride in Bruges canal

Bruges, Belgium

In pretty Bruges, laced with tranquil canals, visit the Belfry of Bruges, a towering medieval structure from the 13th century that provides far-reaching views over the city’s rooftops.

One of the best things to do in Bruges is to stroll by the tranquil Minnewater Lake, garlanded with weeping willows and elegant swans, creating a peaceful escape. Survey the delightful Beguinage, a serene courtyard and convent surrounded by charming white-washed houses, offering insight into Bruges’ religious history.

Colorful buildings in Grote Markt Square

Markt Square in Bruges, Belgium

Other city highlights include Markt Square, bordered by colorful guild houses and the imposing Belfry, and the neo-Gothic Provinciaal Hof.

You can enhance your Bruges experience further still by booking a canal cruise to see the city’s medieval buildings, bridges, and hidden corners from a different perspective.

While you’re here, don’t miss some local specialties: moules frites, or garlicky mussels with fries, and freshly made chocolate truffles, filled with cream.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Majestic view of Old Town Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland

Commence your trip in Edinburgh by savoring the expansive vistas from Arthur’s Seat, a verdant plateaued hilltop offering perspective over the many historical treasures this compact city has to offer.

Wander along the enchanting Royal Mile, a medieval cobblestone thoroughfare guiding you from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to Edinburgh Castle, to get a real feel for Scotland’s capital.

Exterior of National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh

National Museum of Scotland

You can also improve your understanding of the region by visiting the National Museum of Scotland, which houses assorted collections encompassing art, design technology, Scottish history, and more.

Visit the Royal Yacht Britannia at nearby Leith to see how the late Queen Elizabeth II loved to vacation. Shop for tartan, artisan gin, tasty fudge, and the whisky that Scotland is known for. If you’re brave enough, sample haggis, a sausage-like dish made from sheep offal, beef, oatmeal, and spices.

Aficionados of comedy and avant-garde theater can revel in the celebrated Edinburgh Festival Fringe every August, drawing global performers and connoisseurs of the arts every year and imbuing the city with a joyful carnival atmosphere.

Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro, one of the best summer destinations in Europe

Kotor, Montenegro

Lose yourself in the hypnotic allure of Kotor, numbering among the best summer destinations in Europe. Kick your journey off in the Old Town, which emanates medieval charm.

Explore serpentine alleys and sunlit squares, and check out the 12th-century St. Tryphon’s Cathedral, one of the best places to visit in Montenegro. Climb the ancient ramparts that snake up the mountainside behind the city for dazzling views down over the rooftops and the bay beyond.

Enjoy some Montenegrin cuisine by sampling Njeguški pršut (cured ham) or seafood risotto at a waterside eatery while you gaze out at the long fjord on which the city lies.

Couple exploring Old Town Kotor, Montenegro

Old Town Kotor, Montenegro

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