Europe is a popular summer destination with a remarkable blend of history, culture, architecture, and natural beauty.
From the sun-drenched Mediterranean coastlines to the lush greenery of the Scandinavian fjords, Europe’s charm knows no bounds.
Whether you yearn for the golden sandy beaches of the Greek islands, the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands, or the stunning vineyards of Tuscany, Europe has it all to satisfy your wanderlust.
As the summer sun casts its warm glow upon the continent, Europe bursts to life with different festivals, outdoor events, and cultural celebrations.
To help you navigate the abundance of extraordinary destinations in Europe, we have come up with the top cities to visit in Europe this summer:
- Essen, Germany
Dubbed the energy capital of Germany, Essen is known for its Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, which has been transformed into a cultural destination. The complex features museums and a heritage trail that tells the story of Essen’s coal mining and steel production history.
Essen’s journey from a medieval settlement to a thriving metropolis with global companies is remarkable. It offers a mix of modern urban districts, historic old towns, and an exciting cultural scene. It is also known as the world’s first city to offer time travel experiences through mixed reality glasses.
Visitors can explore the UNESCO World Heritage site Zollverein, Villa Hügel, and take part in a unique high-tech city tour. Nature enthusiasts can enjoy the green landscapes in the south or discover the city’s industrial heritage in the north.
- Cittadella, Italy
Located in Northern Italy’s Veneto Region, Cittadella is a historic city with well-preserved medieval walls. Its strategic position near Venice, Milan, and Florence makes it an ideal base for regional exploration.
Cittadella’s charm lies in its authentic and tranquil atmosphere, attracting visitors seeking genuine experiences. The city center features cultural landmarks like the Social Theater, Duomo Museum, Palazzo Pretorio, and the Oratory of the Savior.
The city also hosts a vibrant calendar of events catering to food, wine, and outdoor enthusiasts. Convenient day trips to Venice and Padua are within reach, making Cittadella a perfect summer destination blending history, culture, and food.
- Athens, Greece
Athens, situated along the Mediterranean coast, holds great historical significance as the heart of the powerful Ancient Greek civilization. The city is dominated by landmarks from the 5th century BC, including the iconic Acropolis with its ancient buildings like the Parthenon temple.
The Acropolis Museum displays stunning ancient Greek art, while the National Archaeological Museum has a vast collection of valuable artifacts. Plaka and Anafiotika are great places to walk around, with their narrow streets and cozy restaurants that combine old-fashioned charm with modern touches.
The ancient Agora and Roman Agora reveal what bustling marketplaces used to be like, and the Monastiraki flea market gives visitors a taste of vibrant, present-day Athens.
- Prague, Czech Republic
Located on the banks of the Vltava River, Prague is the beautiful capital of the Czech Republic, often referred to as “the City of a Hundred Spires.” Its historic Old Town Square is adorned with baroque structures, Gothic churches, and the gorgeous medieval Astronomical Clock. Standing since 1402, the iconic Charles Bridge, decorated with statues of Catholic saints, offers breathtaking views.
During the summer season, Prague comes alive with pleasant weather, perfect for outdoor exploration and sightseeing. The city’s outdoor cafés and beer gardens create a lively atmosphere, ideal for enjoying Czech beer or a cup of coffee.
The summer months also bring an array of festivals, concerts, and cultural events, while the city’s parks and gardens provide peaceful retreats.
12go is a fantastic platform to help you plan your visit to Prague and make the most of your summer experience in this timeless city.
- London, U.K.
Situated on the banks of the River Thames in southeastern England, London has been a thriving settlement for over two millennia. The capital and largest city of England is home to several iconic landmarks, including the Houses of Parliament, ‘Big Ben’ clock tower, and Westminster Abbey, where British monarchs have been crowned.
London’s summer charms lie in its mild weather, lush parks, cultural festivals, outdoor dining by the River Thames, open-air museums, summer sales, and lively evening entertainment.
One of the must-visit attractions is the iconic Buckingham Palace, where visitors can witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony, an impressive display of British pageantry. The city’s numerous parks, such as Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, are ideal for strolls, picnics, and even boating on their serene lakes. Exploring the historic Tower of London is also highly recommended, where one can admire the Crown Jewels and explore captivating tales of the past.
- Copenhagen, Denmark
Sitting on the coastal islands of Zealand and Amager, Copenhagen is a small city that connects to Malmo in southern Sweden by the impressive Öresund Bridge. The historic center, known as Indre By, features many architectural wonders.
The Christiansborg Palace and the Renaissance-era Rosenborg Castle are surrounded by beautiful gardens and house the crown jewels.
In the summer, Copenhagen has a vibrant outdoor scene and is known for its love of cycling. The colorful Tivoli Gardens is a must-visit, where well-manicured gardens, thrilling rides, and captivating live performances create a truly magical atmosphere.
The city also hosts a variety of summer events and festivals, including the Copenhagen Jazz Festival and Distortion street music festival.
- Toledo, Spain
Toledo, an ancient city in central Spain, sits atop a hill overlooking the plains of Castilla-La Mancha. Its walled old city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is renowned for its medieval Arab, Jewish, and Christian monuments. It was once home to the famous Mannerist painter El Greco.
The Moorish Bisagra Gate and the Mudéjar-style Sol Gate provide entry to the old quarter, where the bustling Plaza de Zocodover serves as a vibrant meeting place.
Built by Romans in the 2nd century BC, the city is home to a rich medieval heritage and is also recognized as one of the top Erasmus destinations in Europe.
Traditional bullfights can be experienced at Plaza de Toros de Toledo. For relaxation, Toledo’s parks, gardens, and the tranquil Tajo River provide serene settings.
- Warsaw, Poland
Warsaw, the capital of Poland, attracts visitors during the summer months with its popular landmarks and attractions, offering a combination of rich history, outdoor adventures, and cultural events.
At the core of the city lies its charming Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring cobblestone streets, colorful facades, and the impressive Royal Castle. Delving into Warsaw’s past, history enthusiasts can explore the immersive Warsaw Uprising Museum and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, shedding light on the city’s wartime struggles and Jewish heritage.
The gracefully flowing Vistula River provides opportunities for scenic walks, kayaking, and relaxation in riverside parks and popular spots like Warsaw Beach. The city’s abundance of parks includes the famous Łazienki Park, featuring exquisite gardens, and the stunning Palace on the Water.
- Vienna, Austria
Situated in the eastern part of Austria along the historic Danube River, Vienna emerges as a city that radiates charm and cultural heritage. As the birthplace of Mozart, Beethoven, and Freud, the city has been shaped by a rich artistic and intellectual legacy.
With a thriving music scene, iconic landmarks, picturesque parks, and a cherished coffeehouse culture, Vienna offers an unforgettable summer experience for travelers of all ages.
Renting a bike is a popular choice for navigating Vienna’s extensive network of well-maintained streets. Embarking on day trips beyond the city allows travelers to uncover hidden gems and charming villages.
- Maribor, Slovenia
Maribor is a city located in northeastern Slovenia, known for its rich blend of culture, cuisine, and education. Its old city center holds authentic heritage, including the world’s oldest grapevine, recognized by Guinness World Records.
As the former European Capital of Culture in 2012, Maribor hosts a variety of international cultural and sporting events throughout the year, creating a welcoming atmosphere
Maribor, together with its surrounding wine region, is celebrated for its exceptional wines and culinary expertise. The region’s renowned wines from Štajerska and unique dishes prepared by local chefs add to the culinary experience.