Best cities to visit this summer in Europe
It’s a great time to visit Europe now. Summers are here, the weather is balmy, the beaches are at their best and the best food, culture and experiences are available now. The flip side is also that the rest of the world knows about it too, so you will have longer lines at museums and popular spots. But if you want to lose the crowds and yet experience the quintessential Europe summer, then head to places off the usual trail. Here is our pick of top places to experience the European Summer, this season 2017.
Cordoba, Spain: This pretty town in Andalucia region finds its way on tourist itineraries due to the Grand Mezquita. This imposing and ravishingly beautiful structure sits amidst Cordoba’s historical centre which is a UNESCO heritage site in itself. But Cordoba is far more than that. Beautiful buildings at the city centre, the Guadalvir river flanking it, Roman bridges, the romantic lane of Calleja de la Flores which houses buildings with potted plants hanging on the walls of white walls, the Patio Festival where courtyards are decorated with flowers and creepers. It is just all very beautiful and adds to that flamenco bars and great Tapas. What’s not to love?
Reykjavik, Iceland: The capital of this island floating in the North Atlantic Ocean which is a supernova of geographical wonders. The city provides an eclectic list of things to do. From being a Gateway to hot water springs, lava fields, northern lights spotting avenues and fjords it has plenty to keep the traveller enthralled within its geographical limits too. Electric street art, brilliant food from all over the word, a burgeoning independent music scene, an exciting museum of Punk Rock, the views from the Hallgrimskirkja and a drive to the Blue Lagoon. So much to do, so take your time when you visit Reykjavik. It will be well worth your time and will be a summer spent in wonderland!
Rovinj, Croatia: This Istrian paradise, located 3 hours from the capital of Zagreb, is a town straight out of postcards. With alleys that plunge into the Mediterranean, a fort on top a hill, cobblestoned streets, sailboats and beautiful food heavily inspired by Italy, it is a precious getaway for the slow traveller. From World famous gourmet cafes to Sunday local markets to wine cellars, its got it all for those who have a taste for the finer things in life.
Ravello, Italy: The Amalfi is famed all over for its beautiful Cliffside vistas, beaches, colourful homes and a general sense of awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds you. Towns of Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano are the more famous ones but if you are looking to get away from the crowds, try the beautiful hamlet of Ravello. Located on a cliff, its has beautiful homes set amidst orange farms, overlooking the glistening Mediterranean. Sleepy bars, quaint cafes and easy trails to walk on, it’s a great place to take it easy for a couple of days. Easily accessible from Rome, one can get here by taking a train to Naples, changing over to a local to Salerno from where you can take a bus to Ravello, or hire a car to do the winding drive overlooking the Mediterranean.
Stockholm, Sweden: The land of Abba, this city is dubbed “harbourside elegance” by Lonely Planet. The city is spread over 14 islands, with 57 bridges keeping it together, thus establishing a thick nexus of neighbourhoods, with each of them hosting a distinct character. Gamla Stan is the historical centre, one of the most distinct and beautiful ones in Europe. Stockholm is about Fika, their coffee and cake, it's about art galleries, their clubs where one can dance until dawn on weekends, their graffiti art in metro stations. A perfect summer getaway this is!
Hallstatt, Austria: A tiny hamlet located on the bank of Lake Hallstatt its visions of colourful houses reflected over still waters is what will greet you when you get there. Though this village has found its way on many traveler's map due to its natural beauty, but it would still be a top recommendation from us. A train station is its connection to the bigger cities, and one needs to take a ferry to get to the old town. Salt mines, churches and the lake are the key attractions in this town, and add to that the beautiful landscape that will envelope you, leaving you with a warm fuzzy feeling!
Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), Czech Republic: At a scenic road trip away from Prague lies the dreamy town - Karlovy Vary. Also known as Carlsbad, Vary is a wonderful spa town in the bohemian region of Czech Republic. This little, yet beautiful town features many different magical hot springs with waters that have healing properties, each at different temperatures. Sip, savor and take it all in as you stroll around the stunning colonnades and majestic fountains, that will make you want to never leave.
Bled, Slovenia: Lake Bled in Slovenia is not just another lake, it might even be one of the most stunning lakes in the world. Literally consisting of a glistening lake and a colonial, limestone castle, together forming an island of its own, it’s setting will definitely amaze you and will make you want to make it your ultimate getaway island. If or when you manage to get over this fascinating town, you can easily head to Ljubljana, which is only a short drive away.
Nice, France: We still do love Paris and it is great any time of the year. But for those looking to do a little more in France than just Paris, the Riviera is a great place to be for some sun, sand and the sea. The star of the Cote D'Azur, this town is a stone’s throw away from the glamorous Cannes. Nice is about beautiful pebble beaches, a fairy tale like old town, good food, great bistors, good coffee and better wine, it is also a gateway to Eze, Monaco or the beachside lustful St. Tropez (hello! Sailing adventures) Nice is better than nice! Its truly fabulous!
Berlin, Germany: here is a reason why Berlin is one of the most exciting, if not sexiest cities in the world. With an identity as distinct as its political situation, including its intense Cold War influence, this iconic city has risen as an artist’s haven with a legendary underworld culture. From art, history, architecture, to food, nightlife, and people, Berlin excels at all and leaves a lasting impression on anyone who visits. Very varied from the rest of Germany which is about plenty of structure and automation, Berlin is an artists’ paradise and thus if you are of an artistic bent of mind, it would be a great way to spend a summer holiday here!
Also check: 7 Reasons why Iceland is awesome in winter
Author: Sudeepta Sanyal (@moonlitekingdom)
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