Do you think that city break is not such a good idea during the summertime? Well, think again! There are some cities that look their best in summer – it could be because of their great beaches, amazing places where you can just chill in the sun, or some summer festivals that bring them to life. This time we bring you the 5 best summer city breaks where you’ll have a great few days if you’re seeking for a city adventure in these hot summer days.
Before we start, be sure to check out our Cultural Places Platform and discover the amazing tours that will help you explore your destinations at your own pace.
Let’s find some great summer city breaks…
Yes, we know – Barcelona is on so many of our lists, but we just can’t help it. Barcelona is perfect and we love it, especially during the summertime! There’s a lot of historical and cultural places to see and if we could recommend only one thing that you must see, it’s the magnificent architecture that is the legacy of genius architect Antonio Gaudi.
His work kind of blends with nature and that is what makes it so special. You must explore Sagrada Familia – the Church of the Holy Family, Gaudi’s main work, the magnificent but unfinished cathedral. There are a few houses that he designed, one of them is Casa Batlló who’s outside resembles the skeleton. Also, another thing that you have to see is Park Güell – a complex with extraordinary architectonic elements that are following the shape of nature. The Park also gives you an amazing view of Barcelona, you will simply love it.
If you’re looking for a cool-down, hit the Barceloneta beach, or any other nearby beach if you think popular Barceloneta is too crowded. Sandy beaches in Barcelona are a dream come true, they stretch for kilometers and are a perfect place for cooling down or for a siesta – afternoon rest or nap.
© amelia soo / CC BY-SA 2.0
Rome, the capital and one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, is a great summer city break and the first stop for most first-time visitors in Italy. There are so many attractions to see, some of them being the Colosseum that once housed the gladiator and wild animals’ fights, the Roman Forum – the focal point of Republican Rome, the Pantheon – once a pagan temple and later church. There are thousands of more landmarks – different Baroque churches and buildings and so much more, but those that we mentioned are some of the most iconic for sure.
If you’re worried that Rome might be too hot for exploring in the summertime, there are some tips that will help you overcome the heat. The best way to get around the city is by bike – you’ll enjoy it much more than walking. Rome is full of little restaurants and cafes that are air-conditioned, so you can always take a break and hide in one of those places. Or you can explore the museums by the day, and that way get away from the sun and explore its gorgeous streets when the sun goes down. Anyhow, you will enjoy exploring the Eternal City.
Budapest, also known as the Paris of the East, is a pretty affordable and popular city break with a lot of famous landmarks. Budapest is set along the Danube river and has a lot of amazing and unique bridges that you must see and cross, so prepare yourself for lots of walking. You have to explore the Castle District and all the museums and galleries that are housed in the Buda Castle. Also, the Parliament building is a must-see, it’s one gorgeous building and it looks especially magical in the sunset. If you already downloaded our app, find our tour through the city of Budapest – it will guide you to all these amazing places.
Besides the sights to see, Budapest is known for its summer festivals that attract many party-people. There is the Balaton Sound Festival, happening on the Balaton Lake, not far from the city of Budapest, that offers great DJ sets every year. Also, there is the Sziget Festival, set on an island in the middle of the Danube, right in the heart of Budapest, ideal for fans of pop, rock, heavy metal, jazz, and folk music. So, you’ll definitely find something for yourself in Budapest this summer.
Any city on the Croatian coast is a win if you’re seeking for a perfect city break, but this time we want to mention Šibenik, the oldest Croatian coastal city that was actually built by Croats. The city is full of imposing landmarks, and the best one of them is the Cathedral of St. James – a 16th-century cathedral that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This cathedral is unique in the world because it was built completely out of perfectly carved stone and is geometrically perfect. Also, you must climb to the top of the St. Michael’s Fortress and enjoy the views over the city. Take a walk around the city’s narrow medieval streets and explore the architecture a bit more – it will leave you breathless. If you need help exploring, find the tour through Šibenik in our Cultural Places App.
Besides exploring the amazing Old Town, there is a lot of other things to do. Šibenik has some great pebble beaches, where you can relax and enjoy the sun and the sea. But there are also many summer festivals that you can visit in Šibenik – there are various music festivals (electronic or traditional), dance festivals, a film festival, and a medieval festival that is especially interesting.
In case you’re not a big fan of the heat, we bet you’d love to visit Stockholm with pleasant temperatures in the low 20s. Set on 14 islands and with many bridges, it is often referred to as Venice of the North, but it has a completely different vibe for sure. We’ve been totally impressed with its charming medieval streets, colorful old buildings, and waterfront different from any other that we’ve ever seen. You must explore its Old Town called Gamla Stan, it is spread on three islands and one of the best-preserved medieval city centers in Europe. It’s so much different than any other old town that we’ve visited, and so picturesque too.
Are you seeking a great cultural experience? Visit some of the city’s amazing museums, such as the Nordic Museum, where you’ll learn about the Swedish history, or the Vasa Museum dedicated to Vasa – the old wooden warship built in the 17th century that sunk on her maiden voyage (a first sail).
If you’d still like to enjoy the water (but without swimming and sunbathing), visit Strandvägen – a gorgeous boulevard set right by the water or go for a canal trip – it’s a unique way to explore the city.
If these 5 summer city breaks aren’t enough for you, check out our blog post about perfect weekend getaways, as well. Find your perfect destination, pack light, and enjoy your trip!