This year is your year. You’ve been saving up, and planning your ultimate European vacation. If you’re looking for a few cities to add to your list, we have some suggestions that’ll expand your adventure. From the most remote area of Iceland to the Italian multicultural hub, these cities are perfect for experiencing the natural beauty and culture of Europe.
Iceland feels so over-covered and cliche, but it’s on our list because it’s an incredible country — even if it’s overrun with tourists. And, most tourists don’t venture outside of the southwest corner of the island nation. If you don’t have time to travel around the ring road, the best way to see the epic landscapes of the country is to drive due north of Reykjavik to the Westfjords. Very few tourists venture to this remote area, and you’ll see some of the best of Iceland.
TAP Airlines offers stellar deals from the U.S. to Lisbon. And it’s a great European vacation spot without the high costs of Paris, London or Rome. Bring your walking shoes, as the city’s hills feel like you’re hiking San Francisco. If you’re big into breakfast, you’ll love restaurants like Dear Breakfast or Flora Y Fauna, which offer up indulgent spreads to counteract all the calories you’ll burn climbing hills.
Nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz with the Alps flanking its sides, Interlaken is a beautiful, all-year destination. However, if you’re not into the ski scene, summer’s the next best time to visit this city. Interlaken is for lovers — nature lovers, that is.
Skip London during the summer and head to Scotland. You’ll still be fighting the rainy, cloudy British Isle weather, but you won’t have to deal with as many tourists. This medieval city boasts a beautiful castle (rightly named the Edinburgh Castle) and other period attractions like the royal palace or the Scottish National Gallery.
When people think Croatia, they think the islands and Yacht Week. But, don’t miss the capital city, Zagreb. The town features Vienna-like architecture with abundant green space (a series of parks known as the ‘Green Horseshoe’). Plus, spending time here means avoiding the crowds and craziness of the coast. No, you won’t be able to swim in the sea, but you will be able to enjoy your morning coffee at one of the city’s niche cafes without being overrun by crowds.
Rome is one of the summer’s hottest destinations, and we mean that literally. The stone city’s temperatures can climb past 85 degrees in July. Instead, we suggest heading to the Sicilian coast. Specifically, Palermo. While it is one of the warmest cities in Europe, it won’t feel as stuffy as Rome as Palermo is built along sea. It’s a beautiful mix of cultures with a stunning array of architecture. Don’t miss the Piazza Vigliena, with its symmetrical, ornate, Baroque design.