10 European Cities That Will Elevate Your Summer Travel Experience

Photo of 10 European Cities That Will Elevate Your Summer Travel Experience by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

Craving for a European holiday this summer, but wondering where to travel?

Well, as someone with an insatiable wanderlust, I've been fortunate enough to venture into some of Europe's most captivating cities. Let me tell you, narrowing down my favorite destinations was no easy task.

But finally, here are 10 European gems that guarantee to enhance your summer travel experience, each offering its own distinct charm and beauty.

1. Athens, Greece - Ancient Meets Modern Magic

Photo of Athens, Central Athens Regional Unit by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

When it comes to picturesque cities, Athens is the perfect blend of old-world charm and modern surprises. Of course, the must-see landmarks like the Parthenon and the Acropolis will leave you in awe. But don't miss the lesser-known neighborhoods like Anafiotika, with its whitewashed houses, and Plaka, a haven of tiny shops and locally run galleries. And let's not forget Monastiraki, with its fascinating flea markets that offer intricately woven carpets and handmade jewelry – the perfect souvenirs!

In case you're planning a trip to Greece, here's a complete travel guide for you!

2. Istanbul, Turkey - A Tapestry of History

Photo of İstanbul, Türkiye by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

Istanbul, the bicontinental city, is like stepping into a living history book. From the awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia to the majestic Blue Mosque, the city's architectural wonders will leave you spellbound. For a breathtaking view of the city, head up to Galata Tower, where restored religious monuments blend harmoniously with modern city blocks under the glorious sun.

I've shared a detailed break-down of my travel expenses to Istanbul, here.

3. Barcelona, Spain - Beyond Beaches and Sunshine

Photo of Barcelona, Catalonia by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

Barcelona, a city with a beach, is an absolute delight for travelers. Beyond the sandy shores and waterfront restaurants, you'll find Gaudi's mesmerizing creations like the Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló. But there's more – visit the unique Modernista Palace of Catalan Music or the Moorish details of the CaixaForum Barcelona art gallery. And when the sun sets, hit one of Barcelona's beautiful rooftop bars to elevate your spirits even further!

4. Dubrovnik, Croatia - A Cinematic Beauty

Photo of Dubrovnik, Grad Dubrovnik by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

Prepare to be enchanted by the cinematic beauty of Dubrovnik's shiny limestone streets and exquisite architecture. Walk along the UNESCO-protected Old Town's ramparts for stunning views of pine-studded beaches and bobbing boats in the harbor. Don't forget to explore the nearby Elafiti Islands and Lokrum for a slice of sea and tranquility away from the cruise ship crowds.

Packing your bags for Croatia? We've got a detailed itinerary for you, here!

5. Bergen, Norway - A Nordic Wonder

Photo of Bergen, Vestland by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

Bergen, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and glassy fjords, is a Nordic fairytale come to life. Its toy-town charm, with colorful gabled houses, historic wharfs, and narrow streets, will steal your heart. Get your hiking boots on and head up Fløyen for panoramic views of the city, or explore the city's art galleries and museums if you seek shelter from the frequent rains – after all, it is one of Europe's wettest cities!

6. Bath, UK - Timeless Elegance

Photo of Bath, Bath and North East Somerset by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

History-rich Bath is a city that exudes timeless elegance. Marvel at the stunning Georgian architecture built with buttery Bath stone and stroll around the magnificent Abbey and Pulteney Bridge. For a taste of nature, escape to Royal Victoria Park or venture into the picturesque Cotswolds nearby. I remember how this city completely swept me off my feet when I first stepped foot here. This was around 10 years ago, and yet the quintessential charms calls out to me.

7. Bruges, Belgium - A Gothic Water Wonderland

Photo of Bruges, West Flanders by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

Bruges, with its olde-worlde charm and romantic canals, is a gothic water wonderland best explored by boat. Meander past medieval façades and enchanting stone bridges. Explore the narrow cobbled streets, ancient churches, and climb the belfry for breathtaking views. If you're in the mood for adventure, hop on a bicycle and visit the medieval village of Damme nearby. We were here less than a week ago, and both my husband and I were in complete awe of the beautiful setting and perfectly coordinated Dutch weather.

Here's how Manikanta had a completely breathtaking experience in Bruges.

8. Paris, France - The City of Love and Lights

Photo of Paris, Île-de-France by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

Ah, Paris, the epitome of beauty and elegance! Grand boulevards, secret cobbled passageways, and iconic monuments like the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum await. Embrace the charm of each neighborhood, from artsy Saint-Germain to hipster Belleville and bohemian Montmartre. And let's not forget the timeless joy of savoring the Parisian atmosphere from a sidewalk café. The endless gelatos and pizzas that I have had here 2 weeks ago, hits me with nostalgia.

9. Valletta, Malta - A Mediterranean Gem

Photo of Valletta, Malta by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

Valletta, the underrated gem of the Mediterranean, is a sepia-tinged city with ancient streets and 16th-century bastion walls. After being named a European Capital of Culture, the city has a fresh, vibrant energy with new restaurants and boutique hotels. Explore the historic charm around the sparkling Grand Harbour before retreating to the nearby blue lagoons and golden beaches.

10. Edinburgh, UK - A Skyline of Dreams

Photo of Edinburgh, Scotland by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

Last but not least, Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, is a city that captivates with its hills and epic skyline views. Climb up for stunning sunsets and marvel at iconic landmarks like the Scott Monument. Wander through cobblestone streets, discover historic churches, and pop into cozy pubs for a pint and a pie. For a change of pace, head to Stockbridge for local shopping and a stroll along the Water of Leith trail. My trip to Edinburgh was around 10 years ago, and yet I find myself reminiscing the tiny cobbled streets time and again.

There you have it – 10 European cities that will elevate your summer travel experience. Whether you seek ancient history, breathtaking views, or charming streets, these cities have it all. So, pack your bags, embrace the wanderlust, and embark on your own European adventure – the continent of beauty and wonder awaits!

Are you heading to Europe anytime soon? Share your travel plans and inspire other likeminded people. If you liked the article, share the love.

Be a part of the largest online community of travelers and share you expereinces and stories on Tripoto’s Facebook page!

If you liked the article, share the love and follow me on Instagram - Whereizmyboardingpass