Wish you could swap the cold winter drizzle for some warm summer sizzle? Then pack your bags, leave cold SA behind and head to sunny Europe, where summer is in full swing! Whether you’re cruising along the coastline or adventuring on land, there are so many awesome cities to choose from this season. We’ve put together a few of the best to get you inspired.
While Amsterdam is a hive of activity throughout the year, it really does come alive in summertime. Especially if you love festivals! This fun-filled city hosts over 300 colourful festivals every year, most of which take place in the summer months. Bust out your best moves at massive dance parties. Pig out at foodie festivals. And get crazy at cultural carnivals. Take a break from all the festivities and just enjoy a chilled out BBQ in gorgeous Westerpark or Oosterpark. Kick back with sundowners at one of the many trendy rooftop bars and restaurants or float down the canal for a waterside view of the city’s stunning architecture, historic centre and scenic landscapes.
Located on the Cote d'Azur in southern France, Nice is so much more than just nice. Think sun-kissed beaches strewn with bikini-clad (or not) bodies. Sailing, snorkelling, kayaking and swimming in the warm Mediterranean waters are a great way to get in some action-packed activity. Sip on chilled glasses of Nicoise rosé and sample the freshest sea food in al fresco cafes on the promenade. Want a break from the beach? The medieval Old Town offers plenty of opportunities to explore the history of the city with its medieval streets and statuesque churches. Discover the lush vineyards on a wine tasting tour. Visit the many museums dotted throughout the city. And hike to the top of the dramatic Colline du Chateaux.
With its warm Mediterranean climate, Barcelona is always a winner in the summertime. By far the best way to experience the city is on your own two feet. Swing by the incredible Parc de la Ciutadella, the city’s biggest park with a sparkling lake and waterfall. Or check out the fairy tale beauty of Park Güell. Fancy some music? The San Miguel Mas i Mas Festival takes place from late July to early September at seven locations across the city featuring performances from jazz and classical to pop and rock. Barcelona is also famous for its amazing art galleries, museums and architectural wonders. Don’t miss a trip to Gaudi’s impressive Basílica de la Sagrada Família. Then tuck into some tasty tapas and a smooth vermouth aperitif.
While summer in Berlin can be a bit elusive, it’s well worth a visit come rain or shine. Hop on a boat and take a tour of the city or rent a canoe and navigate the canals of Neu Venedig yourself. Head to Prater, Berlin’s oldest biergarten for a pint or three. Watch the sun set from a trendy rooftop bar. Party the night away under the stars at a pumping open-air club. If you’re feeling lucky, you can even try to talk your way into Berghain, voted the best club in the world! Berlin is well-known for its tumultuous history, so a trip to the infamous Berlin Wall is essential. For a taste of the city’s gritty graffiti scene, head to the East Side Gallery is a must-see along the bank of the river Spree.
While Venice is most famous for its enchanting canals, it’s also home to a wonderland of secluded spots, beautiful Gothic palazzos and tucked-away wine bars. Cruise down the Grand Canal beneath the 16th century Rialto Bridge. Hunt for ghosts in the supposedly haunted Ca’ Dario. Stroll the gorgeous St. Mark’s Square. See the sparkling marble walls of Ca’ Pesaro Palace housing the Modern Art Museum of Venice. Get a tase of real Venetian life at the Rialto food market. And stroll along Venice’s most famous promenade, the Riva degli Schiavoni. Then savour some tapas and a glass or two of chianti at a flower-filled restaurant balcony.
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