Escape the crowds: 10 cities to visit in Europe in summer

brooke saward
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Everyone’s favourite continent in the mid-year summer rush…… beaches, tans, cocktails, crowds… summer in Europe is many things but there’s one thing for sure — it’s busy. If you’re looking to escape the crowds head to one of these 10 cities to visit in Europe in summer.

A'jia Hotel Istanbul

1. Istanbul, Turkey

 Far away from the mainstream summer crowds over in the West, lies one of Europe’s most intriguing cities that is part of both Europe and Asia – Istanbul. The Bosphorus separates the two sides of Istanbul, each side having a unique character and charm, so be sure to explore both. While Istanbul is still a very popular choice for summer travelers to Europe, you will at least find less crowds here than you will anywhere in the West of Europe.


2. Moscow, Russia

Way over in the East is one of Europe’s most interesting but underrated countries to visit as a traveler – Russia. Whilst you will need a visa and they aren’t the easiest documents to obtain, it is well worth the effort if you want to skip the summer crowds and head off the beaten track to Eastern Europe’s historical gem – the Russian capital, Moscow.

kulm hotel st moritz

3. St Moritz, Switzerland

 While it is a winter playground bustling with the international elite in the colder months, during the summer St Moritz is a ghost town. This is the perfect time to visit sunny Switzerland and enjoy the nature and scenery all to yourself.

budapest night

4. Budapest, Hungary

 Still one of the most underrated cities in all of Europe, Budapest is a delight to visit during the warmer months. It is also one of the cheapest capital cities to visit in Europe, making it the perfect city to spend a few days to give your budget a rest. Just be sure to pack your walking shoes – this is a big city to explore!

blagaj bosnia and herzegovina

5. Blagaj, Bosnia & Herzegovina

 While it’s neighboring city Mostar is quickly becoming one of the biggest newcomer destinations in Europe, Blagaj is still a relative secret from the big summer crowds. Exploring Bosnia & Herzegovina in summer is a sure way to experience less crowds, as it is still one of Europe’s best kept tourism secrets. Here’s a further 10 reasons why you should visit Bosnia & Herzegovina (one of my highlights this year).


6. Munich, Germany

 Everyone comes to Munich for one thing – beer. And when does the beer flow most freely? Oktoberfest, of course. If you want to visit Munich and avoid the crowds, consider a summer visit. There’s still plenty of beer flowing freely from the beerhaus, so don’t expect to go thirsty.

Marrakech Morocco

7. Marrkech, Morocco

 It’s quickly becoming one of the ‘must visit’ destinations and sure, it is not in Europe (located in North Africa, just a couple hours flight from Europe). But Marrakech is one of the best cities you can visit period. If you want something different, cultural, and authentic…. this is where you will find all three and so so much more.


8. Lisbon, Portugal

 Hurry! Lisbon is on many hotlists in 2014 as a ‘must visit before the crowds pour in’. One day here and you will soon see shy Lisbon is becoming one of the most popular cities to travel to this year (and sure to be for 2015).

beaune france

9. Beaune, France

 Sure, nothing beats Paris… but you’ll have to share it with hundreds of thousands of visitors year round, let alone peak season in summer! Head out of the capital to one of the many provinces that similarly have a lot to offer. If you like wine, head to wine country. Beaune is one of my favourites.

isle of skye scotland

10. Isle of Skye, Scotland

Nowhere does scenery quite like Scotland. The Isle of Skye is still one of the most naturally stunning areas you can explore in Europe and the UK, so be sure to have this on your list.

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    Sharmistha | That Girl's Life Stories
    April 27, 2016 at 12:53 am

    Wow! Glad I stumbled upon this list!

    April 18, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    St. Moritz is a great idea for the summer. So far, I’ve only known it as a winter destination and that’s, I suppose, what most people think.

  • When to Go to Europe (A Guide to High, Low & Shoulder Seasons) | WORLD OF WANDERLUSTWORLD OF WANDERLUST
    February 8, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    […] Read more: Escape the crowds: 10 cities in Europe to escape the crowds in summer […]

    May 24, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Those are all good places to go but only six of those are actually cities in Europe. Two are towns, one is a village and one is in Africa. All are great places to visit, regardless.

    mapa europa
    May 10, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Wonderful photos – eyecatching, colourful, meaningful ! And, as always, great article … Thanks for sharing !

    April 28, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Awesome list and some lesser known places that can certainly be looked at before they become crowded! Thumbs up!

    Sanjana @ Green Global Travel
    March 18, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Great list and wonderful pictures!

    Miles of Happiness - Marie
    March 17, 2015 at 2:31 am

    So many stunning places to visit in Europe… I actually went in Beaune few years ago. It’s beautiful. Budapest sounds wonderful too!

    March 16, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Here is my recommendation for a place to visit. I love this city, Subotica in Serbia, great monuments, small but so romantic city.

    March 16, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Slurping up all these hints and tips! My partner and I are driving Slovenia- Croatia- Bosnia- Montenegro this summer and couldnt be more buzzzzzzing 🙂

  • My (Massive) European Destination Bucket List | Global Wanderlust
    March 16, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    […] Courtesy of World of Wanderlust […]

    March 16, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    My husband and I did Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Croatia a couple of summers ago. The most amazing, life-changing trip! Sarajevo is just stunning!

    Ariana Kajic
    March 16, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Happy to see Bosnia there again! Blagaj is truly an amazing place, just 20 minute bus or taxi ride from Mostar, its a great place to escape the summer crowds. Cant wait to go back and also visit other places on this list!

    Ariana Kajic
    March 16, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Happy to see Bosnia there again! Blagaj is truly an amazing place, just 20 minute bus or taxi ride from Mostar, its a great place to escape the summer crowds.

    Nomad Revelations
    March 3, 2015 at 2:51 am

    Great post about top cities to visit, I specially like Lisbon 😉 where I was born. Thank you for sharing such nice places. big hug all the way from Ouarzazate, south Morocco.

    Ana Paula
    July 15, 2014 at 8:26 am

    I love your post! I’m from Lisbon and I’m always a turist inmy city! When did you visit Portugal? Are in your plans passing by? Would be a pleasure met you!!! 😀

    Big kisses and thanks for all your work 🙂

    Boris Krustev
    July 14, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Sorri-bad Moroco ist not im Europe! Africa!
    Mia cara, dove e nel mia bela Bulgaria? Io te invito qui in Bulgaria! Invitation!!!

    July 14, 2014 at 1:23 am

    I totally agree about Bosnia & Herzegovina. I was there some time ago, great place. Next in the plans.

    July 13, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    You should definitely come to Strasbourg, France!! While it is the Christmas capital with the Christmas market, I think, since I live near there, it is sooo beautiful every day of the year! You should definitely come here!!

    July 13, 2014 at 4:13 am

    I’m from Lisbon! It’s a beautiful city! In fact Portugal it’s one of the most countries in the world with a natural landscape. I suggest Algarve and Porto as well.

    Brittany Foley
    July 11, 2014 at 1:08 am

    Great post! Gaeta, Italy and Lucca, Italy are two others you should definitely check out and consider adding to the list–two of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen and minimal tourists!

    Gaeta, Italy reminded me of Monte Carlo, Monaco, while Lucca, Italy is a walled city in the hills of Tuscany with some of the greatest food, people, and views you will ever encounter.



    July 11, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Did you feel safe in Bosnia? I’m very interested in going but that’s one concern of mine.

    July 10, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    You really inspire me. I have been very interested in starting a local blog visiting restaurants and places in the country I live in, and this work gives me the inspiration to start.

    Dominican Republic, please add it to your bucket list. I really hope to see your experience in this country one day and share. I hope you continue to be successful in what you do.

    July 9, 2014 at 10:34 am

    I just came across your blog and I love it–so informative and inspiring! Thank you so much for your amazing content and beautiful photos 🙂

    xo Katie

    July 9, 2014 at 3:37 am

    I was literally sitting in Beaune, on that bench, looking at that carousel just 5 days ago! It is truly a beautiful city (with plenty of incredible wine!) and totally worthwhile to get out of Paris and truly see France.

    I’ll be sharing some of my recent travels around France, including Beaune travel tips, in my blog in the coming weeks! Thanks for highlighting these cities, which I’ll be adding to my must-see list for the next trip!

    July 8, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Great suggestions, will definitely put them on my to do list 🙂

    Diva In Me
    July 8, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Budapest is definitely one of the best place I’ve been recently. Thought I didn’t visited it in winter but I had a great time visiting places with lesser crowd.
    I would love to visit Russia and Turkey some day =)

    July 8, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Such an awesome post. I would also suggest visiting Tallinn, which is quite underrated just like Budapest, but it is a city with such a peaceful vibe and worth seeing.

  • 10 european cities to visit in summer | Lovely Muse
    July 8, 2014 at 2:20 am

    […] Here is the article from World of Wanderlust and I wish you a lot of fun in planning your next summer city break. […]

    July 7, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    I suppose that Morocco is in Africa…

    July 7, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Great list and beautiful pictures!

    July 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I never considered Turkey as a holiday destination before my friend went over there and posted some stunning photos! It’s absolutely gorgeous and is now a must-visit on my bucket list!

    Departures With Aimee
    July 7, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Wow, these places are wonderful! Most of them are actually on my latest bucket list I posted yesterday. The rest are certainly going on it too! Thank you for this insightful post. xoxo

    Excursions By Kate
    July 7, 2014 at 7:22 am

    I saw Blagaj a few months ago and it truly was spectacular! So happy you added that to your list 🙂

    July 7, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Moscow doesn’t lie in Europe as well…

    Nummer Neun
    July 7, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Great list 🙂 I totaly agree with you for Budapest – very nice city – and Lisbon is one of the best cities in the world!

    Tiziana Rusch
    July 7, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Hi, great list. Good things to remember. Like to add something. Sevilla an Cordoba Spain. Really underraited cities. There is so much more to see than the highlight to been found on te internet. Every corner you turn you see somthing great. Also very great for going out to dinner and drinks.

    July 6, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Love these city’s! I’m going to prague this summer, heard that is an amazing city as well!

    July 6, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Ehh, didnt know that Morocco was in Europe ?

    • worldofwanderlust
      July 6, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Obviously you didn’t read the text underneath the heading…

    July 6, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Now I really need, want and love to get on the road 😉 Great article!

    Clipping Path Outsource
    July 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Superb list of visiting EUROPE in this summer!
    I think all of the above option 5.Blagaj, Bosnia & Herzegovina is the good place may be……….

    Glory Wanderlust
    July 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Interesting list, i’ve only been in Budapest and Marrakech.

    Unfortunately i visited Budapest just a few hours and in a dark winter day but i can recall the beauty of the city and the sightseens to the bridge, i think also, that is an underrated city, one of my favs in Europe tho. Im actually working on my Hungary and Marrakech posts 🙂

    Marrakech was magical too, i really find your blog inspiring and i discovered it from googling wanderlust haha, as my blog has that word too and i just stared for good, hope you can stop by.

    Greetings from México!

    Virginie @ Writer In Progress
    July 6, 2014 at 6:25 am

    I actually decided to visit Lisbon this summer! Maybe I’ll even go to Beaune while I’m in France! Glad to see I’m going to at least one of these places in the list 🙂
    Thanks for this!

    July 5, 2014 at 8:36 am

    I loved Budapest, i think it is my favorite! i really want to go back there..

    Betty J. Ogburn
    July 5, 2014 at 12:43 am

    …It’s weird–I would have thought Buda and Istanbul to be more swamped during the summer…

    Thank you for this list!!…

    July 4, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Munich is a lovely city to visit in summer. You’ll find yourself in a culturally rich environment which is just a few hours from the lovely mountain region of South Bavaria. Swimming in a blue alpine lake sounds way more appealing than the dark North Sea waters at least.

    July 4, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    great choice,
    but is Morocco in Europe? I´m pretty sure it´s not!

    • worldofwanderlust
      July 4, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      You obviously didn’t read the text below the title haha! 🙂

    Sara @ SimplySaraTravel
    July 4, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Great list! Budapest, Morocco, and Istanbul are on the top of my travel wish-list to visit! Copenhagen is another great city to visit in summertime 🙂

    July 4, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I’ve been to Budapest and Marrakech and enjoyed them both – would definitely recommend Budapest!

    July 4, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Great list!