Summertime brings out the best in Europe, making it the ideal time to visit.¬† Cities come to life when the weather starts to warm up.¬† But deciding where to visit from the many wonderful cities and spectacular sites that Europe offers can be a daunting task.¬† I‚Äôve come up with a list of what I think are must-visit cities when the days get longer and the temperatures rise.
Naples, Italy- With its wonderfully mild climate, Naples was a favorite vacation destination of royalty during the Roman times. This lively city is located in Italy‚Äôs Campania Region near the clear blue Mediterranean between the Campi Flegrei caldera and the colossal volcano, Vesuvius.
While you‚Äôre¬†in town, you must enjoy the taste of pizza in the city of its origin¬† at one of the many pizzerias. If you are in Plebiscito Square, a recommended eatery is Pizzeria Brandi.¬† This is the place ‚ÄúPizza Margherita‚Äù was first made as a special treat for Queen Margherita during her visit to Naples in 1889.
Naples offers a variety of tourist¬†activities such as¬†visits to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius, sailing expeditions in the Mediterranean and even day trips down the Amalfi Coast to Ravello.
Bilbao, Spain- Located in Northern Spain along the banks for the River Nervi√≥n and near the Bay of Biscay, Bilbao is a major seaport.¬† The climate of Bilbao is temperate and mild, rarely reaching temperatures higher than 78¬∞.
When visiting Bilbao, make sure to stop and say hello to Puppy, a 43 ft tall ¬†flower sculpture of a terrier who stands guard in front of the Guggenheim Museum.¬† Opened in 1997, the Guggenheim has showcased various works by artists such as Henri Rousseau, Anish Kapoor, Frank Lloyd Wright and Jeff Koons (creator of Puppy).
There is a festival every August that last for 9 days called the Semana Grande; events at this huge fiesta include free music and street theatre performances, bullfighting, strongman games and bullfighting.¬† Find a cheap flight to Bilbao and join the party!
Other popular summertime activities in Bilbao include surfing, sailing and kayaking in the Bay of Biscay.
Berlin, Germany- Berlin has a variety of things for visitors to see and do year round, but with its mild, oceanic climate,¬† summer is the best time to see all this great city has to offer.
Berlin is home to many popular festivals annually. Love Parade, a celebration of all things techno, is held in the Tiergarten park each July. Every Pentecost weekend, the multi-ethnic street parade Karneval der Kulturen is held.¬† And of course, Berlin‚Äôs most famous festival: Berlin Beer Festival is held each August.¬† This festival brags the world‚Äôs longest beer garden which is over a mile long and offers more than 1800 types of brew.
To relax and enjoy a day outside, head to Strandbad Wannsee. At over 4000 feet long and 260 feet wide, this is the largest inland beach in Europe. ¬†People from all over come to enjoy the sandy beaches, parks and promenades.
Porto, Portugal- Summertime is the ideal time to travel to Porto, with its oceanic climate the days are pleasant and the nights are cool.¬† Located close to the western coast of Portugal along the Atlantic Ocean, Porto offers a great variety of outdoor activities to keep you busy during your visit.
Porto is also located right on the Douro River.¬† A river cruise on a rabelo is a great way to see the city, passing by the main sites along the way.¬† There are two hour cruises as well as full day cruises which travel all the way to the Spanish border, with return trips on a scenic train ride through wine country.
There you have it, my top four picks for travel to Europe in the summertime.¬† What are your favorite cities to visit in the summer?