There’s something about summer… As soon as the sun comes out, we all start itching to grab our passports and explore somewhere new. But, with so many amazing places across the globe to visit, how exactly do you choose your favourite destination?
Well, when it comes to Europe, the cities below are the coolest you’ll find. From trendy markets to Instagram-worthy hotspots, these cities are a must for anyone with the travel bug; in fact, you might want to visit them all:
London is one of Europe’s most stylish cities. With its metropolitan vibe, you’ll find plenty of fashionable bars that add glamour to cocktail hour. You’ll also find trendy markets dotted around the city – the two most famous, Camden and Brick Lane, hosting flea markets, galleries and the best local street food.
However, London can be one of the most expensive places to stay. Instead, make use of the incredible rail network and stay in a city close to London. Home to Europe’s most famous universities, Cambridge is just an hours train ride from the capital. The accommodation is far more affordable, and you can even stay in the university halls during the summer months. Cambridge itself is a beautiful city with stunning architecture and plenty of museums to explore.
Berlin is definitely one of the most popular cities in Germany and with a good reason. Split into 12 districts, each one with its own vibe with different things to discover, means Berlin has a little something for everyone. Steeped in culture and history, you can’t go anywhere in Berlin without being in awe of the stunning architecture, art and history that surrounds you.
Berlin has a particularly good nightlife, which is famed for being eclectic and never-ending – all with an “anything goes” feel to it. Start your night off in somewhere like Prater, home to the city’s oldest beer garden. Opened in 1837, the bar serves great beer at cheap prices and is perfect for a day in the sun. There are a lot of hip hostels and hotels available for reasonable prices too, just be sure to book in advance as these can become very popular.
Lisbon is an up-and-coming trendy hotspot, and is particularly appealing given that accommodation and costs of living are still relatively cheap compared to other European cities. Lisbon itself is full of stunning street art, experimental cuisine and a nightlife so good, it will be rivalling the likes of Ibiza in just a few years. Indeed, Bairro Alto has over 250 bars to choose from, all of which are set in a wonderful maze of graffiti and art.
Be sure to escape the city for a day or two to visit the Algarve – famed for its picturesque beaches. There are plenty of villas and apartments available just minutes from the beach, so you can spend your days surfing, diving, or just chilling out. Or, if you’re really interested in learning to surf, sign up for one of the local surf boot camps where you’ll become an expert in the sport while meeting a host of new, likeminded people.
Prague, Czech Republic
Known for its gothic architecture, Prague is fast becoming the top spot on people’s “to visit” lists. Where else can you visit a beer museum with over 30 different beers on tap? Of course, it’s worth noting that beer is actually cheaper than water in Prague, so if you’re a beer lover, there really is no better destination.
Bars here vary from the traditional to the more unique. If you like the unusual, Cross Club is a steam-punk-treehouse-esque venue that aims to showcase the most unconventional in music genres. Expect to see plenty of live bands as well as live readings.
Accommodation-wise, there is plenty to suit all budgets, including hotels, hostels and dorms. You can also look at ‘flat-sharing’ type rentals too, which can be fun and save you some money – also on offer are private rooms and apartments.
The summer months are heaving with various festivals, and with its close proximity to the beach, Barcelona is a top destination for a holiday/weekend away. One minute you’re in the city admiring the stunning Gaudi buildings, the next you’re on the golden sands of a beautiful beach. This close proximity means that Barcelona’s nightlife tends to orbit around parties that are held right on the sands.
Being close to the beach also means that camping and motorhomes are popular accommodation options in Barcelona. What could be better than sleeping by the beach? Some campsites also offer a free shuttle bus service to various destinations, as well as Barcelona city centre.