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27 DIFFERENT & BEST Places to Visit in Europe in July & August!

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Looking for the best places to visit in Europe in July & August? Places with nice weather but perhaps are quieter than the well-known Greek Islands and a bit different to the Spanish Islands where many people holiday in the summer?

You’re in the right place because in this post I’m going to give you 27 of the best places to visit in Europe in July & best places to visit in Europe in August, perfect for a family summer holiday, friends getaway or solo trip!

Where to visit in July & August in Europe can be tricky because a lot of Europe gets very hot, busy and expensive in these months but there are plenty of beach towns, mountain towns, lake towns and cities to visit in summer in Europe where the temperature is cooler, crowds are fewer and accommodation isn’t as expensive!

Best Places to Visit in Europe in July & August

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Keep reading for the best places to visit in Europe in July and August!

July & August are prime months to get away with the kids on school holidays and getting time off work is often easier during these months (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) but looking for the best places to go on holiday in Summer can be tricky because of the weather and how crowded they get so I have been on a mission to find the best places to visit in July & August around the world!

This is my post for the best places to visit in Europe in summer, but if you’re interested in Asia, Africa or the Caribbean too, have a look at these posts:

Places to visit in Europe in Summer

I spoke to my travel blogger friends who recommended their favourite areas of Europe to visit in July & August based on their experience. Below are brilliant cities to visit in Europe in July and August, beach destinations, islands and lots of unique places!

Best Country to Visit in Europe in July and August

From the suggestions I got, Italy is a clear winner as the best country to visit in Summer because it offers so much from islands like Sardinia with clear blue water to mountain towns in the Dolomites perfect for hiking and exploring!

1. Sardinia, Italy

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Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea

Sardinia is a wonderful destination year-round, but it’s in the summer that its beauty reaches its peak. This is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and as such it’s home to an endless number of beautiful long, sandy beaches and gorgeous small coves with the clearest waters.

While July and August are definitely the busiest months to visit Sardinia, these are also the best months for a beach holiday as the sea is warm and the days long (so that you can spend the entire day at the beach, relaxing). And if you look carefully you will still be able to find some beaches that aren’t as crowded.

Lesser crowded beaches are typically found where there is no immediate road access and no village or resort nearby, and where there are no services such as kiosks and lidos.

For example, Costa Rei – a famous summer holiday destination – swells to over 30,000 people in the summer and the beaches can be crowded.

But a mere 30 minutes drive north you can find Is Murtas beach that is beautifully empty even on Ferragosto (a national holiday that is the peak of the peak season).

The summer months are perfect to enjoy boat tours around the island. The best are the boat tours along the Gulf of Orosei, home of coves that can be reached only by boat or after strenuous hikes departing from the Golgo Plateau; or the boat tours in Maddalena Archipelago, where you can see a myriad of small islands of the National Park.

Elsewhere in Sardinia, you will find beautiful small towns and villages (Alghero and Bosa are particularly pretty, as well as Castelsardo), archaeological sites (the most famous is Su Nuraxi, in south Sardinia) and the breathtaking capital, Cagliari.

Suggested by: Claudia Tavani from Strictly Sardinia

Fill your holiday in Sardinia well with tours like these!

2. Lake Garda, Italy

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cool places to visit in europe pretty places to visit in europe top best places to visit in europe

Lake Garda, nestled in Northern Italy, is one of the best places to visit in Europe in July and August. Picture this: azure waters combined with the most beautiful mountains. That’s the allure of Italy’s largest lake, a destination for both relaxation and adventure.

Let’s start with a couple of the northern towns, Riva del Garda and Limone. Riva del Garda, located at the lake’s northern tip, is a popular spot for windsurfers and sailors, thanks to its reliable winds. The town is framed by towering cliffs and lush greenery, offering stunning scenery. The promenade has charming cafes and shops perfect for a stroll.

Limone, renowned for its lemon groves, offers a quaint, picturesque setting. It looks like a postcard here! The view of the sunset over the lake from here is particularly spectacular.

Moving to the southern part of the lake is Sirmione, a town rich in history and culture. It’s known for its thermal springs and the impressive Scaliger Castle.

Apart from these towns, Lake Garda is a hub of diverse activities in the summer. Whether it’s hiking, biking, lake cruises, or wine tasting in the nearby vineyards, there’s an abundance of options. The climate is ideal – warm, but comfortable because of the gentle lake breeze.

Suggested by: Kim Swanson from Traveling Swansons

3. Trento, Italy

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One of the best places to base yourselves for a summer trip to Europe is the quaint town of Trento

Although July and August might not be ideal for visiting Italian cities like Rome, Florence or Venice, the same cannot be said for the countryside that adorns Italy’s North.

One of the best places to base yourselves for a summer trip to Europe is the quaint town of Trento. Tucked away in the valley surrounded by the mighty Italian Alps, Trento might just be the perfect destination for a summer escape to remember.

The capital of the lesser-known Trentino-Alto Adige region in Italy, Trento appeals to all types of travellers. Nature lovers are in for a very big treat as Trento is within easy driving distance from natural wonders, such as the Dolomites and Lake Garda.

Therefore, for anyone dreaming of an active vacation, Trento is ideal to visit in the summer thanks to the countless hiking opportunities it offers.

However, not-so-active travellers won’t be disappointed either. With its quintessentially Italian vibes, sleepy ambience and several amazing museums, Trento is perfect for bon viveurs, culture and art lovers as well.

What’s more important, Trento epitomises everything the world has loved about Italy throughout the decades – without the crowds. Think picturesque piazzas, elegant fountains and sweet-scented summer evenings. Trento has it all.

Suggested by: Maria & Katerina from It’s All Trip To Me

4. Bolzano, Italy

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In the culturally rich city of Bolzano, located in Italy’s South Tyrol region, the blend of Italian zest and Austrian Alpine tradition meets to create an organized, but tasty travel adventure.

The city’s charm is evident as you wander through the vibrant Piazza delle Erbe or delve into history at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, where the prehistoric Ice Man, Ötzi, is a must-see. He was unearthed in 1991 with receding glaciers perfectly preserved.

Bolzano is known to be the hottest city in Italy and can experience hot July temperatures, making it a perfect excuse to escape to the cooler mountains just a 30 minute bus ride from the Old town.

One of the best escapes is the Rosengarten-Catinaccio hike, famed for its breathtaking alpine scenery and the mythical stone rose garden.

To stay connected amidst the rugged terrain of spires and pinnacles (and no cell-phone service), carrying the best walkie talkies is advisable for safety and coordination among hiking companions.

A cable car ride to the cooler heights of Renon offers a reprieve from the city’s warmth and presents a panoramic view of the Dolomites.

Finish your day back in Bolzano with a delicious meal at a local tavern, where the flavors of Italian and Austrian cuisine meet and sip on a local Lagrein wine grown on the steep mountains surrounding Bolzano.

Suggested by: Dr. Morgan Fielder DPT from Crave the Planet

Here are some tours to explore more of South Tyrol!

5. Puglia, Italy

hitewashed towns and rich local culture makes for a perfect European summer getaway.
hitewashed towns and rich local culture makes for a perfect European summer getaway.

Nestled in the sun-drenched heel of Italy’s boot, Puglia with its beautiful beaches, whitewashed towns and rich local culture makes for a perfect European summer getaway.

The region boasts a diverse landscape, featuring picturesque coastlines, olive groves, and charming historic towns.

The Adriatic and Ionian Seas hug its shores, offering visitors pristine beaches and azure waters that are simply irresistible during the warm summer months.

With an abundance of sunshine, Puglia becomes a haven for sunseekers, encouraging leisurely beach strolls, water activities, and indulging in the region’s famed seafood delicacies.

Visit the historic town of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an iconic destination in Puglia, renowned for its unique trulli houses with conical roofs. Exploring these charming structures is like stepping into a fairytale village frozen in time.

Additionally, the city of Lecce, often referred to as the “Florence of the South,” captivates visitors with its Baroque architecture and vibrant street life.

Foodies will also love devouring the flavors offered by this Italian region. Visitors can savor local olive oils, wines, and fresh produce in traditional dishes like orecchiette pasta and burrata cheese.

The warm summer evenings offer the perfect backdrop for enjoying alfresco dining in one of the many quaint piazzas, where the atmosphere is lively and infused with the spirit of Italian hospitality.

In July and August, Puglia hosts numerous festivals and events, showcasing the region’s rich cultural heritage. From the vibrant Tarantella music and dance festivals to local food and wine celebrations, there’s always something happening to immerse visitors in the authentic Puglian experience.

Suggested by: Merryl from Merryls Travel and Tricks

6. Korcula Island, Croatia

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this island gem stands out as one of the quieter places in Croatia, remaining an insider tip for a relaxed vacation

The island of Korčula in Croatia is definitely a recommended destination for the summer. Especially in July and August, this island gem stands out as one of the quieter places in Croatia, remaining an insider tip for a relaxed vacation away from mass tourism.

Situated in the Dalmatia region, the island is easily accessible by ferry from Split on the mainland, where the international airport Zračna luka Split-Kaštela is also located.

A must-visit and the absolute highlight of any trip is exploring the town of Korčula with its UNESCO-listed Old Town.

Visitors adore the medieval charm, and even in the summer, this coastal town maintains a pleasant atmosphere. Due to its city walls and towers, it is often referred to as the “little Dubrovnik.”

The numerous beautiful beaches and natural coves are another highlight and the reason why this destination is so exceptional.

With temperatures around 30°C in the summer, you can spend delightful days along the Adriatic! From sandy beaches to pebbly coves and rocky shores, there is a variety of places for swimming. A week is the perfect timeframe to explore the island and truly relax.

An insider tip for a relaxed summer vacation on Korčula is undoubtedly the village of Lumbarda, a charming resort where wine enthusiasts will also find satisfaction. On the sandy hills above the sea, some of the best wines of Korčula are produced.

Suggested by: Places of Juma

See more of this Croatian gem with tours like this:

7. Istria, Croatia

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The northern Croatian coastal region of Istria is still kind of a hidden gem.

If you’re seeking a European summer holiday destination that won’t break the bank this year, consider Istria in Croatia!

While most people flock to Croatian islands and Dalmatia, the northern Croatian coastal region of Istria is still kind of a hidden gem.

Croatia is not a budget summer holiday destination anymore, but it is still more affordable than Greece or Spain. Also, it is significantly less crowded if you know where to go!

The easiest way to reach Istria is to fly into Pula Airport, but you can also fly to Venice and drive down to Istria.

Whether you want to spend the summer swimming in the crystal clear sea in quaint seaside towns or you prefer picturesque hilltop villages, there’s something for you in Istria.

The biggest town in the region is Pula. This historic city is known for its well-preserved Roman ruins, including the Roman amphitheater that is still used as an events venue! An event you shouldn’t miss in July is the Pula Film Festival, where you can watch a movie under the stars.

However, if you’re looking for quaint coastal town vibes, Rovinj, Fažana, or Umag could be a better option! Nature lovers will be spoilt with nature escapes in Istria. From the unique Nature Park Kamenjak to National Park Brijuni or hiking the Korita trail.

Suggested by: Natali from She’s Abroad Again

8. Lofoten Islands, Norway

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This scenic archipelago boasts astonishing natural beauty – from chalk-white beaches with turquoise water

One of the most underrated places to visit in Europe in July and August is the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway. Located in the Arctic Circle, this scenic archipelago boasts astonishing natural beauty – from chalk-white beaches with turquoise water to dramatic mountains and picturesque fjords.

Whether you prefer to take a road trip through the islands, hike its numerous trails, enjoy the tropical-looking beaches or learn about its Viking history, Lofoten has something to offer for every type of traveler.

Some of the most beautiful hikes to include in your Lofoten Islands itinerary are Reinebringen, Håen and Mannen. Although these trails are quite short, they are rather steep so be ready to get your heart rate up.

At the end, however, you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of some of the most spectacular landscapes in Lofoten.

Be sure to also set aside some time to explore the pristine beaches of Lofoten, which are often listed among the best beaches in Europe. Take a walk along the powdery white sands, go for an invigorating dip in the crystal clear sea, take a kayaking tour or try Arctic surfing.

Another fascinating experience to have on the Lofoten Islands during summer is to see the Midnight Sun, also known as the Polar Day. It’s a natural phenomenon taking place from late May to mid-July during which there’s 24 hours of daylight as the sun never sets.

Suggested by: Marjut from The Smooth Escape

Check out these tours to see Lofoten in even more depth:

9. Oslo, Norway

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Oslo’s fantastic architecture, culinary scene, and trendy neighbourhoods, Norway’s capital city has a lot to offer

Oslo is one of the best places to visit in Europe during the summer, specifically in July and August. Known for its fantastic architecture, culinary scene, and trendy neighbourhoods, Norway’s capital city has a lot to offer.

To really make the most of your time here, you’ll want to spend at least 3 days in Oslo. This gives you enough time to visit the popular attractions, traverse some of the lesser-known areas, and head out to explore the Oslofjord.

The Oslofjord is a large inlet dotted with charming islands. Exploring these islands during the summer is a real highlight, as you can walk through forests, explore traditional Norwegian villages, and even head out for a swim if the weather is nice.

To reach the Oslofjord, you can head out on a sightseeing cruise or take the local ferries. The latter allows you to visit specific islands, while a cruise will typically just take you around the fjord.

Oslo also has a fantastic sauna culture and you’ll find many sauna establishments dotted along the harbour. Some of these are even floating saunas, making it easy for you to head out for a swim when you get too warm.

Another great reason to visit Oslo is its food scene. Although restaurant meals can be pricey, the city has some great street food establishments. Many of these (such as Oslo Street Food) have outdoor seating so you can sit outside in the sun.

When it comes to rainy days, there are some fantastic museums. Popular options include Munch, the Fram Museum, and the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.

Suggested by: Abbie & Jack from A Couples Calling

10. Albanian Riviera

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The southwestern coast of the Balkan country Albania, also known as the Albanian Riviera.

If you’re looking for a perfect European summer destination that is slightly off the beaten track and extremely budget-friendly, consider the southwestern coast of the Balkan country Albania, also known as the Albanian Riviera.

The Albanian Riviera stretches from Vlore all the way south until Ksamil and makes for a great summer road trip. Luckily, renting a car in Albania is very affordable, and driving is fairly straightforward.

After landing at Tirana Airport, pick up your rental car and head south to explore the gorgeous coast of the Ionian Sea. Your first stop should be Dhermi, boasting a wide stretch of beach lined with vibrant beach clubs and a lively nightlife scene.

For panoramic views of the coats, head to the historic part of Dhermi, dotted with quaint churches and winding alleys.

Continuing along the coast, you’ll reach Sarande, set in a picturesque bay. This lively town is famous for its fresh seafood restaurants and easy boat trips to the Greek island of Corfu, which take only half an hour.

Finally, visit Ksamil, often referred to as the ‘Maldives of Albania‘. Here, you’ll find stunning turquoise waters and white sand beaches, a true paradise for all beach lovers! Close to Ksamil is the historical site of Butrint, a must-visit for history enthusiasts and a famous water spring, the Blue Eye, which has a depth of more than fifty meters.

Suggested by: Mal from Raw Mal Roams

11. Theth, Albania

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mountainous area that is not yet taken over by mass tourism. The natural scenery is absolutely stunning.

Theth is a cute little village in the Albanian Alps. It is the perfect summer destination, especially in July and August, because most of the winter, spring, and fall, the area is inaccessible due to heavy snowfall.

Traveling to Theth in Albania will please you if you are out for an adventure in a mountainous area that is not yet taken over by mass tourism. The natural scenery is absolutely stunning.

The village is surrounded by majestic peaks and the area is full of hiking trails leading to waterfalls and other nearby villages. One of the most popular hikes in the summer is the hike from Theth to Valbona.

Another popular route is the hike to the Blue Eye of Theth, an enchanting natural water pool with crystal-clear, azure waters.

This hike not only offers a refreshing reward at the end point but also provides incredible panoramic views of the Albanian Alps on the way.

The community in Theth is known for its warm hospitality, offering travelers a chance to experience authentic Albanian culture through homestays and traditional cuisine. Guesthouse Gjin Thana is a great choice.

It offers a marvelous location in between the Thethi mountains and serves up the most delicious dinners at great prices.

A great idea is to visit Theth on a round-trip from Skhoder by a minibus and boat combination. This will take you on a marvelous boat trip on Lake Komani and you will hike from Theth to Valbona before taking a minibus back to Skhoder.

Suggested by: Annelies from Travelers & Dreamers

12. Isle off the West Coast of Scotland, UK

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The Small Isles off the West Coast of Scotland offer a haven away from the more touristy areas.

The Small Isles off the West Coast of Scotland offer a haven away from the more touristy areas. Just a boat ride from the Isle of Skye, they offer their own dramatic scenery but a much quieter version.

The archipelago of four isles, and part of the Inner Hebrides, are Eigg, Rum, Muck and Canna. One of the secrets to their tranquillity is that no cars are allowed without a permit, which is only issued to residents and workers.

While Rum is large by comparison, the other three are perfect for walking around and on Eigg, you can hire an e-bike or a regular bike. Eigg also offers excellent sea kayaking, a walk to the singing sands, or a hike up the Sgurr, all of which will reward you with wonderful views.

If you visit the Isle of Canna in the early summer months, head out to see the puffins nesting on the sea stacks, then walk back across the island to stop off at the three churches, an old Celtic Cross and the Punishment Stone. Finally, head back to the harbour for some freshly caught lobster at the award-winning Cafe Canna.

The Isle of Muck is the smallest of the four and offers visitors white beaches, large rock pools and the chance to spot porpoises, seals, otters, dolphins, puffins and more.

The largest, the Isle of Rum, is home to Kinloch Castle, a nature reserve and great fishing and birdwatching opportunities.

The islands function almost entirely on sustainable energy produced by wind, rain and sun and produce a range of organic food.

A trip to one or all of the Small Isles is a perfect escape from the humdrum of life. With no traffic, noise or air pollution, rolling hills, dramatic cliffs and gorgeous beaches, any stress just melts away!

Suggested by: Alison of Everything Arisaig

13. Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

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This beautiful remote corner of the Emerald Isle should be a serious contender for your summer travels

The West Coast of Ireland is overlooked on many Ireland itineraries, but this beautiful remote corner of the Emerald Isle should be a serious contender for your summer travels. Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is a 1500-mile driving route created by Tourism Ireland.

If you drive the entire route, you’ll basically travel the entire length of Ireland’s West Coast: from Donegal in the north all the way to Kerry at the island’s southwest tip.

Highlights along the Wild Atlantic Way include some of Ireland’s most iconic sites such as the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Dingle Peninsula, Croagh Patrick, and Slieve League.

You’ll also find no shortage of hiking, stunning views, and small villages. It’s the perfect place to rent a holiday cottage for a week and merge into everyday Irish life.

If you’re looking to escape the summer crowds, consider concentrating your time on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way in County Mayo’s Clew Bay.

With the exception of Croagh Patrick, this part of Ireland often gets little mention in guidebooks, which means you’ll have miles of pristine sand beaches, abandoned pirate queen castles, and even world class surfing to yourself.

Head inland into the Sheeffry Mountains for beautiful loughs, excellent fishing, or a spa day at Delphi Lodge. Picturesque Westport on the tip of Clew Bay makes a perfect base.

Suggested by: Ada from Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

14. Iceland

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Iceland is known for having stunning waterfalls—the country actually boasts over ten thousand of them!

If you love outdoor adventures, consider booking a summer getaway to Iceland, the Land of Fire and Ice.

July and August are the perfect time to visit this beautiful country, with warmer and more consistently clear weather (it’s still Iceland, though!), plenty of daylight hours to explore, and spectacularly long and beautiful sunsets and sunrises.

If you’re short on time, many visitors focus on exploring Reykjavik, the country’s capital city (where 60% of the country’s entire population live!) and the nearby southern coastline.

And it’s no wonder why—you could spend weeks exploring the landmarks here and still not see it all.

For example, consider heading to a hot spring, whether you want to experience Instagrammable commercial ones, like the Sky Lagoon, or more natural ones, like Hvammsvik Hot Springs.

Alternatively, Iceland is known for having stunning waterfalls—the country actually boasts over ten thousand of them! If you don’t quite have time for all of them, check out Skógafoss, a stunning 200 foot waterfall or Seljalandsfoss, a unique waterfall that you can actually walk behind!

If you happen to have more time in this incredible country, consider doing an epic road trip around the Ring Road, a road that, true to its name, circumnavigates the entire country.

While you’ll still get to stop and explore the popular sites near Reykjavik and along the country’s southern coastline, you’ll also get to explore lesser known gems, like Húsavík, a charming fishing village that’s renowned as one of the best whale watching spots in the country, or Stokksnes, a dramatic black sand beach, surrounded by mountains.

While June and July are Iceland’s summer, you’ll still want to include several warm and waterproof layers on your Iceland packing list. The weather here is fickle, no matter the time of the year!

Suggested by: Jess from Uprooted Traveler

15. Gozo, Malta

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Gozo is the ideal destination. It is a beautiful mixture of nature, historical monuments and culture.

If you need a quiet European summer vacation, Gozo is the ideal destination. It is a beautiful mixture of nature, historical monuments and culture.

This humble gem is great for you if you want to get away from the crowds of tourists in July and August. It has peaceful conditions, rich history, and stunning natural beauty.

You can also head to Ġgantija Temples which is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Gozo. These prehistoric structures, which predate even the legendary pyramids of Egypt, offer a profound glimpse into the island’s distant era.

The mystical atmosphere surrounding these temples during the balmy summer season promises a one-of-a-kind and culturally enriching adventure.

You must visit Ramla Bay if you are a water baby. It has beautiful red sands and sparkling waters. People say it’s the best beach in Malta mainly because it’s peaceful. It is the perfect addition to your 10 day Europe itinerary.

You will be able to witness a famous cave called Calypso’s Cave. It is mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey.

Victoria is Gozo’s capital and you must explore it. The Citadella is a fortified city with very old roots. It is the main attraction in Victoria and provides exceptional panoramic views. You can also explore the various museums present inside the Citadella.

Ta’Pinu Basilica is another must-visit destination. This is a great piece of architecture. Around it are hills, and in the background, you can see the sea.

The esplanade, with its mosaic and statues, paired with the surrounding environment, makes for an excellent souvenir photo! It is also a significant pilgrimage site for the Maltese people.

You cannot miss out on the island’s delicious food. Indulge in fresh seafood dishes and local wines, best enjoyed in the quaint, family-run restaurants.

Suggested by: Lavina D’Souza of Continent Hop

See more of Malta with tours like this:

16. Sarajevo, Bosnia

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Sarajevo is not all about history, today it’s a great example of different cultures meeting and mixing

If you want to travel somewhere in Europe in July and August without getting overwhelmed by the crowds, it’s time to think outside the box. The capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, is a true hidden gem in Europe.

In Sarajevo, you can learn a lot about European history, especially about the Bosnian war which only ended in the 1990s.

But Sarajevo is not all about history, today it’s a great example of different cultures meeting and mixing. Within a short walk of each other, you can visit the largest historical mosque, the biggest church, and the oldest synagogue.

When you’ve had enough of city life, you can take the cable car (or hike) up to a small mountain right next to the city. This mountain used to be home to the Winter Olympics of 1984. Today it’s a popular recreational area where people go for walks or a picnic in this green space.

A hidden gem on this mountain is the abandoned bobsled track from the Olympic Games, which is sprayed with graffiti and overgrown by plants.

There are so many things to do in Sarajevo, but the best way to truly experience the essence of the city is to sit down in a tea house, drink some strong Bosnian coffee, and watch the life go past around you.

Suggested by: Tina from Veganderlust

17. Hallstatt, Austria

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The panoramic views are only one of the reasons to visit this fairytale setting.

Hallstatt, Austria is an ancient, breathtaking village nestled between the Dachstein mountains and the pristine Hallstätter See (Lake Hallstatt). The panoramic views are only one of the reasons to visit this fairytale setting.

This UNESCO World Heritage site is so rich in history, dating back to the Iron Age, that you’ll find an endless number of things to do and places to explore.

Summer is the perfect time to visit Hallstatt to really take advantage of its natural beauty and enjoy activities like hiking, biking, and boat rides on the lake.

The village is really walkable and lends itself to relaxed strolls through the narrow, cobblestone streets that wind up into the mountainside. The village is filled with 16th century Alpine cottages, with a waterfall cascading down, and lakeside cafes and shops.

The famous Evangelical Church with its iconic steeple is a prominent part of the town and offers cultural events throughout the summer, such as the local choir performing in traditional costumes.

Some favourite activities are to rent boats on the lake and cruise across the water for views of a castle and the mountains that surround the lake.

You can also explore the world’s oldest salt mine with a tour through caves and tunnels. You’ll learn about the prehistoric remains that were found on the site.

Don’t miss the fascinating Ossuary Bone House that houses over 6000 skulls in St. Michael’s Church. Another big highlight is a trip to the Dachstein Glacier, up in the mountains, high above the lake to watch hang gliders fly!

If you are looking for a truly special spot to spend a few summer days with local traditions, cuisine, and culture, Hallstatt is an excellent choice!

Suggested by: Carrie Green-Zinn

18. Graz, Austria

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Graz, despite being the second-largest city in Austria, belongs to lesser-known destinations in the Alpine country.

Graz, despite being the second-largest city in Austria, belongs to lesser-known destinations in the Alpine country. That’s good because even in the summer, you won’t come across the typical European summer holiday crowds.

Graz has so much to offer; it’s a real hidden gem! The historical center is extremely pedestrian-friendly, and there are many picturesque sights to check out.

And right in the middle, you can’t help but notice a big hill with a clearly visible clock tower – the famous Uhrturm. Graz is just unique on all fronts.

The best thing about Graz is its vibe. The city lives for culture and likes to show off its quirks. Historical architecture blends in with extraordinary modern creations such as the Friendly Alien art museum or Murinsel.

A floating island connecting two river banks with a café in the middle, which has become a permanent fixture after Graz’ status as the European Culture Capital in 2003.

When the weather is nice, locals absolutely love hanging out! Every single restaurant, bar, and café has outdoor seating. Streets are full of locals who are enjoying their after-work drink and happily eat out nearly every night! The community vibe is truly exceptional.

Graz’s location couldn’t be more perfect – greenery awaits right on the outskirts. Locals flock each weekend to the Schöckl mountain just outside the city’s perimeter.

If you’d like to venture out even a little further, a beautiful mountainous area complete with peaks and pastures can be found near the village of Übelbach, which is accessible by a quick train ride.

Graz combines the best of both worlds – a vibrant city with fewer tourists, and a lush green escape – and is thus an ideal destination for your summer trip.

Suggested by: Veronika Primm from Travel Geekery

19. Sibiu, Romania

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Sibiu is known for its medieval architecture and the historic houses with “eyes” on the roofs.

Sibiu is one of the most beautiful cities in Romania. Located in the heart of Transylvania, Sibiu is known for its medieval architecture and the historic houses with “eyes” on the roofs.

The city is surrounded by mountains, which contribute to pleasant summers, protecting from the scorching temperatures in the south of the country.

Sibiu is a small but lovely city to visit, with a very well-maintained pedestrian only centre. The old town surrounds the Big and the Small Squares, connected to each other through a watch tower.

The Small Square is home to the Bridge of Lies, which is said to collapse under whoever tells a lie whilst standing on it.

Another great place to visit in Sibiu is the Village Museum. Located on the city’s outskirts in a forested area, this museum displays traditional houses from the 18th and 19th centuries.

It spreads on many acres of land, with a lake, a river, and a traditional inn with an outdoor terrace serving food and drinks. Don’t miss trying some delicious traditional Romanian dishes such as sarmale, mici, or papanasi.

Most weekends in summer the city hosts open air concerts with some of the most popular bands in Romania playing on the central stage. They are always free of charge, and anyone can attend. There is always a reason to celebrate, so don’t miss these ad-hoc festivals when you visit Sibiu.

Suggested by: Joanna from The Romanian Cookbook

20. Ticino, Switzerland

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Ticino can be very hot, with local lakes, waterfalls (check Sonogno waterfall), beaches and springs being most popular.

For a magical warm visit in Europe for July or August, book your next travels to Ticino in Switzerland. This is the sunniest canton in the South of Switzerland, situated just North of Italy.

To get to Ticino, the closest and easiest airport is Milan Malpensa, with a direct train taking you to Ticino afterwards. However you can also consider Milan Bergamo or Zurich airport as alternatives.

So why Ticino? We are locals here and 100% suggest the destination based on how much there is to see and do for all ages. In July and August.

Ticino can be very hot, with local lakes, waterfalls (check Sonogno waterfall), beaches and springs being most popular. A highlight worth visiting is the Verzasca valley for its beautiful crystal clear waters.

Other things within Ticino that should be on your must-do list include a local boat trip on Lake Ceresio, eating freshly made Italian ice cream on the promenade of Ascona and to feel like a King or Queen at the 3 Bellinzona UNESCO castles.

For adventure, Ticino is fantastic for long Summer hiking routes. Places like Monte Tamaro, Piora Valley and in the Vallemaggia District. You can even consider camping in the mountains in Ticino to enjoy sunrise and sunset above 2000m elevation!

For a bite to eat, many Ticino Grottos are great for trying local cuisine such as polenta, risotto, cold meats and fresh cheeses.

You will also find most restaurants with an Italian twist, with the most delicious freshly made pizzas and pastas. Our favorite restaurant in Lugano with a view is AnaCapri.

Suggested by: Zoe from Together In Switzerland

21. Visegrad, Hungary

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coolest places to visit in Hungary during July and August is a small town called Visegrad.

One of the coolest places to visit in Hungary during July and August is a small town called Visegrad. It is located very close to Budapest so it is a pretty easy day trip from the city.

One of the top things to do in Visegrad is to head to the Visegrad castle. This castle is perched at the top of a hill. From here you can have an amazing view of the Danube bend.

The castle itself has a lot of history that you can sift through and a lot of different rooms to explore. We particularly liked the wax mannequins that we used to recreate the scenes from the past.

There are other popular activities that you can enjoy here, including hiking, enjoying a leisurely drive of the surroundings or heading out to enjoy the Visegrad bobsled experience which is located just next to the Visegrad castle.

You will find that there are also a couple of museums that you can visit during your time here. In July and August, the weather is perfect. It is warm enough that you don’t need layers, the countryside is lush green and the surroundings are quiet and peaceful. It’s a pretty laid back place to visit and that in itself makes it popular.

Suggested by: Penny from Globe Trove

22. Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

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crystal-clear waters, surrounded by lush greenery and towering mountains, create a picturesque setting that easily makes it one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia

Set in the heart of the Julian Alps in Slovenia, Lake Bohinj is a great place to visit in the summer. Its crystal-clear waters, surrounded by lush greenery and towering mountains, create a picturesque setting that easily makes it one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia.

In the summer months, there are plenty of things to do at Lake Bohinj, including many outdoor activities. Take a leisurely boat ride to soak in the breathtaking scenery or head out on the water in a kayak or paddleboard.

The water warms up in the summer months, and it’s perfect to take a dip in. The lakeside trail takes you around the lake, offering a variety of views, quiet beaches and the chance to breathe in the fresh mountain air.

For the adventurous, Triglav National Park provides a variety of hiking trails, from short hikes great for anyone in the family to longer, multi-day hikes through the park.

An easy, yet rewarding hike takes you to Savica Falls, or you can take the cable car to the top of Mount Vogel for a bird’s-eye view of the landscape.

Lake Bohinj, which is just as beautiful as neighbouring Lake Bled, is quieter and not as crowded in the summer months. While it’s not known for its tourist attractions, it’s perfect for those seeking a blend of adventure, relaxation and natural beauty.

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or just looking to relax and unwind in a beautiful setting, Lake Bohinj is one of the best places to visit in Europe in the summer months.

Suggested by: Erin of Wanderlust with Kids

23. Triglav National Park, Slovenia

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The most incredible and underrated nature destinations in Europe. Located in Slovenia’s northwest corner

Triglav National Park is one of the most incredible and underrated nature destinations in Europe. Located in Slovenia’s northwest corner, Triglav National Park includes a part of the Julian Alps (and the end of the Alps mountain range) and is filled with jagged mountain peaks.

A myriad of hiking opportunities (both day hikes and multi-day treks), serene alpine lakes, gorgeous rivers, waterfalls galore, charming small towns, and fun adventure activities.

One of the crowning features of Triglav is the Soca River, a vibrant, turquoise-colored river that winds its way through the region. You can visit the Source of the Soca.

Where the river emerges from an underground cave, visit the Great Soca Gorge, do many hikes near or overlooking its shores, and even go white water rafting on the Soca (my favorite white water rafting trip to date!)

Hiking in Triglav is an exhilarating experience for anyone who loves nature. Some popular hikes include hiking Mount Triglav, the Valley of the Seven Lakes, Mount Krn (or even just up to Lake Krn), Slemenova Spica, and the Boka waterfall.

Don’t miss stopping at one of the mountain huts for a meal – you’ll get some of the best food in Slovenia here!

If you’re not a hiker but still want to get up in the mountains, definitely drive the Vrsic Pass, a series of tight switchbacks that takes you up to the top of a mountain pass. The views are insane!

Finally, Slovenia has a myriad of beautiful alpine lakes and waterfalls. Don’t miss Lake Jasna and Lake Bohinj, and the ever popular Lake Bled is just outside the borders. Waterfalls like the Kozjak, Martuljek, and Pericnik are must visits as well!

You can easily spend several days to several weeks exploring everything that Triglav National Park has to offer.

Suggested by: Stephanie of The Unknown Enthusiast

24. Costa Brava, Spain

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Costa Brava, the coastline running along the Mediterranean Sea in the northeastern corner of Spain

Costa Brava, the coastline running along the Mediterranean Sea in the northeastern corner of Spain, has many small towns worth visiting in July and August. There’s nature to be explored in Cap de Creus National Park, beautiful beaches to swim at, and charming old towns to wander through.

The town of Cadaqués looks like a painting with its white buildings set against the backdrop of the rugged green hills behind it and the blue sea beyond it, which is fitting because it is known for once being home to Salvador Dali.

There are small beaches right in town to lounge at or if you’re up for a short hike just outside of town you’ll find Cala sa Sabello, the perfect cove to swim and snorkel in.

Begur is another small town to add to your itinerary. The narrow lanes of the old town have cute bars and restaurants to indulge in, just down the hill from the medieval castle that sits at the highest point in town.

Offering panoramic views of the gorgeous coastline. Don’t miss the turquoise waters of the nearby beaches, especially Aiguablava and Aiguafreda.

The seaside town of L’Escala is known for its heritage as a fishing village. You’ll find a variety of delicious seafood to enjoy but it’s especially famous for its anchovies. Pop into a cozy cafe or beachside restaurant in the lively Plaça de la Sardana to give the local delicacy a try. If you’re interested in history, you must visit the Greco-Roman ruins of Empúries while in town.

Suggested by: Melissa from Mountains and Mahals

25. Lyon, France

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It is known as the gastronomic capital of France, and you’ll find a lot fewer tourists in Lyon

Lyon, France is one of the best places in Europe to visit during the summer. It is known as the gastronomic capital of France, and you’ll find a lot fewer tourists in Lyon than in Paris.

One of the must-visit places in Lyon is the Notre Dame Basilica, perched atop Fourvière Hill. The basilica is stunning (don’t miss the gilded mosaics) and the terraces are the perfect place to enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Vieux Lyon is the city’s historic heart. Enjoy strolling the cobblestone streets seeking out Lyon’s mysterious traboules (hidden passageways used by Lyon’s silk merchants). This is also where you’ll find the Saint-Jean Cathedral with its impressive astronomical clock.

A great way to explore the city’s famous cuisine is by taking a food tour in Lyon. Sample local favorite dishes from savory quenelles (fish dumplings) to Lyon’s sweet praline rose (pink sugared almonds).

Take a sightseeing river cruise to see the city from a different perspective and learn some of its history. Lyon was built at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, and the city’s architecture spans from 2000-year-old Roman ruins to extremely modern buildings, including the Musée des Confluences.

Stroll through Lyon’s Presqu’île and see the Place des Terreaux with its fabulous Bartholdi Fountain. Admire the architecture of the Hôtel de Ville and Musée des Beaux-Arts which surround the square.

As you explore the city, be sure to keep your eyes open for Lyon’s famous trompe-l’oeil murals. Fantastic murals such as the Mur des Canuts and Fresque des Lyonnais take up entire sides of buildings and are incredibly realistic.

In July and August, enjoy beautiful weather with high temperatures in the low 80s – perfect for a long day of sightseeing!

Suggested by: Lisa Garrett of Travel to Lyon

26. Evian-Les-Bains, France

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Colorful and delightful French Spa town located in a very scenic spot on the southern shores of Lake Geneva.

Evian-Les-Bains is a colorful and delightful French Spa town located in a very scenic spot on the southern shores of Lake Geneva. It lies at an altitude of 380m a.s.l close to the French Alps.

Evian is the place where the world-renowned EVIAN mineral water has its source. You should also know that… even Frankenstein monster visited this French town!

The lovely old town, cozy restaurants, thermal baths, activities on Lake Geneva, a lakeside promenade perfect for watching sunsets, and lots of hiking and cycling trails around the town makes Evian-Les-Bains a great place to visit in Europe in July and August.

What’s more, if you hate heat you’ll especially love Evian during summer months as the average temperature is a very pleasant 25°C. Also, thanks to the fact that it’s a lesser-known and quieter place you won’t experience wild crowds there. Doesn’t it sound fantastic?

What are the best things to do in Evian-les-Bains? Number one is without a doubt discovering all the nooks and crooks of its old town. Don’t hesitate a second and take a long, lazy stroll among its streets filled with well-preserved colorful buildings.

Don’t miss spots like Rue Nationale Evian’s main street, Place Charles de Gaulle – town main square, Source Cacha – EVIAN water spring, Palais Lumiere museum, and Church of Our Lady of the Assumption.

While in Evian, you can also take advantage of Thermal Spa which offers a wide range of toning, regenerating, and relaxing treatments. Holiday relax guaranteed!

Suggested by: Sonia from Happy Little Traveler

27. Istanbul, Turkey

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Explore Istanbul’s fun and hip neighbourhoods, or just relax overlooking the Bosphorus River, you’re guaranteed a great summer trip

Istanbul is an incredible city and a fantastic place to visit in Europe in July or August. Whether you want to sightsee for days on end, explore Istanbul’s fun and hip neighbourhoods, or just relax overlooking the Bosphorus River, you’re guaranteed a great summer trip in this historical and vibrant city.

In July and August, the daytime temperatures in Istanbul are generally hot (around 30 degrees) but far from overbearing, so you’ll still be able to sightsee and take in all of the treasures this city offers.

During the summer, the evenings are warm and provide endless opportunities to explore the city.

At this time of year, the energy is palpable, with travellers from all over the world filling the streets. The vibe is excellent, the city comes alive and it’s easy to see why Istanbul is ranked as a premier nightlife destination.

Istanbul has so much to offer in terms of attractions. The top sites are centrally located in the Sultanahmet neighbourhood and include the Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern and the Blue Mosque. Nearby is the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world.

Then there’s also the famous Spice Bazaar, with mounds and mounds of spices and Turkish delight. Yumm!

In summer, one of the best things to do in Istanbul is to cruise along the Bosphorus River. Be sure to also take a day trip to the Princes Islands in the Sea of Marmara. Cars are banned on the islands, so you can explore at your leisure by foot or bicycle and bask in that beautiful summer sun.

Suggested by: Dotti of Travel Oasis

See more of Istanbul in summer with tours like this:

I hope this post has helped you find the best places to visit in Europe in July and August for your summer trip!