Where should I go in Europe in the Summer?

summer in europe

Most places in Europe shine brightest during the summer months. With a mostly temperate climate, many countries experience their best weather during the summer season, though temperatures in Southern Europe may reach highs that some people don’t enjoy.

When planning a trip to Europe in the summer, taking the local weather into account is a must, as is considering the kind of trip you want to have. If you want to explore the culture and history of a place, you will likely end up in a different place to people traveling for sun and beaches.

In this article, we have summarized some of our tips for traveling in Europe in the summer, including information on travel documents, as well as a few recommendations for Europe holiday packages and places to visit this summer. Check it all out below.

Traveling to Europe in summer: What you need to know

When it comes to traveling in Europe, there are a few things you need to know before you go. Below we have given as much information as possible on the required travel authorization for travel to Europe as well as a few extra tips we’ve picked up along the way.

Travel authorization

Travel authorization has had a bit of a shake-up in Europe in recent months due to the introduction of the ETIAS program. The ETIAS program is a new method of travel authorization brought in for visitors to the Schengen Zone from visa-waiver countries. The kind of travel authorization you will need on a trip to Europe is dependent upon where you’re coming from, where you’re going, how long you’re planning on staying, and your purposes for visiting.

If you are traveling to any of the Schengen Zone countries from a visa-waiver country, you will need to apply for an ETIAS. The ETIAS application is a quick online application and requires only an email address, a biometric passport, and a credit or debit card for a small fee.

An ETIAS is an electronic form of travel authorization that is linked to your passport and is valid for up to three years or until your passport runs out. It covers you for travel into the Schengen Zone for 90 days in a 180 day period and is for tourism, business, medical treatment, or transit purposes.

If traveling to a country outside of the Schengen Zone from a visa-waiver country, you will not need any travel authorization as usual. If you are traveling for purposes outside of the ETIAS criteria, or you plan on staying longer than 90 days, you will also need a visa, even if you’re from a visa-waiver country.

For travelers from non-visa-waiver countries, a visa will be needed for travel into the Schengen Zone as well as to countries outside of the area. For Schengen Zone countries, it may be possible to get one visa, whereas an individual visa will be needed for each country you travel to outside the Schengen Zone.

Travel tips

Along with the correct travel documents, there are also a few other things you should know about traveling to Europe this summer:

  • Always check your phone plan to make sure you can use it while in Europe and to ensure you don’t come home to hefty bills
  • Pack for the weather, but carry warmer clothes too, just in case
  • Use public transport when you can as its usually pretty good in Europe
  • Carry local currency but also check your bank and find out if any fees apply for using it abroad

The best places to visit in Europe in the summer

summer in europe

Summer in Europe is full of adventure and below we have listed a few of our favorite places to visit on the continent during the warmer months. Check them out now.

  • Barcelona – Though you definitely won’t be the only tourists in the city in the summer, you will get to experience the beauty of this city. With impressive architecture, famous artworks, and delicious food, a trip to Barcelona this summer is great if you want to soak up some culture. 
  • Dublin – For a slightly cooler trip, why not travel to Ireland and soak up the culture of its capital city. With museums, galleries, and a very famous brewery, you can cover all the basis of vacation here.
  • Dubrovnik – Famously the site of filming for the acclaimed Game of Thrones series, this Croatian city is filled with history and some pretty stunning architecture. It’s also close to plenty of Croatia’s most beautiful beaches so you can balance your trip between sightseeing and relaxing.
  • Santorini – With its famous white-washed houses and picturesque views over the Mediterranean, relaxing for a few weeks on this Greek island is probably one of the best ways you could spend your vacation days this summer.

Final thoughts

Europe comes alive in the summer and so picking a place to visit might be quite difficult! We’ve suggested a few of our favorites here to give you some inspiration as you plan a trip to Europe this summer! 

For some ideas for winter breaks in Europe, check out our guide here.