101 Things to Do in Europe This Summer

Estimated reading time 6 min

Even when it’s not summer, we’ve got sun on the brain. Those long, languid, evenings and cloudless skies are perfect for exploring Europe at its fun-loving best. If you’re anything like us, you’re already well at work on your summer-in-Europe checklist. Here’s ours. (It’s okay if you want to steal a few…or 101.)

Summer Activities in Europe


  1. Take a picnic (and your swim suit!) to Vienna’s Strandbad Alte Donau—a bathing beach on a secluded offshoot of the Danube.
  2. Sip a mélange (espresso with steamed milk and a dollop of milk froth) at an outdoor café in Vienna.
  3. Enjoy a performance (jazz, classical, opera, and more) at the annual Salzburg Festival.
  4. Hike around the turquoise lakes of Austria’s Altausseer See, Grundlsee, or Hintersee regions.


  1. Discover why the Belgian beer culture is part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list with a visit to the Halve Maan brewery in Bruges.
  2. Rent a cuistax on the coast and pedal along the boardwalk.
  3. Visit the preserved 12th-century Gravensteen Castle in Ghent.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

  1. Plunge into the Trebižat River on a rope swing at the base of Kravica Falls.
  2. Hike through Vrelo Bosne, a 1,500-acre public park in the foothills of Sarajevo’s Mt. Igman.
  3. Admire the handmade crafts in Baščaršija, an oriental bazaar and the beating heart of old Sarajevo.
  4. Visit the Stari Most Bridge in Mostar.


  1. Marvel at the waterfalls in Krka or Plitvice Lakes National Parks.
  2. Tour the enormous 4th-century Diocletian’s Palace in Split.
  3. For spectacular views, take a cable car from downtown Dubrovnik to the top of Mt. Srd.
  4. Kayak through the inlets of the island of Korčula.

Czech Republic

  1. Raft down the Vltava River and camp along the banks.
  2. Enjoy a spa day in UNESCO-listed Karlovy Vary.
  3. Tour the picturesque vineyards in the Morava region.
  4. Catch a puppet show at the National Marionette Theatre in Prague.


  1. Search for the Six Forgotten Giants (gigantic wooden troll sculptures) hidden in the Danish forests.
  2. Enjoy a day at Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens, the second-oldest amusement park in the world and the model for Disneyland.
  3. Lounge on Hornbaek Beach on the Danish Riviera.
  4. Hunt for fossils along the sheer white cliffs at Møns Klint.


  1. Picnic in London’s Hyde Park.
  2. Relax on a riverboat on the River Thames.
  3. Tour the quaint Cotswolds, then set out on the 100 miles of hiking trails that wind through the area.
  4. Walk the grounds of Windsor Castle.


  1. Venture into Pyhä-Luosto National Park, and explore its pine forests, scenic gorges, and the Lampivaara Amethyst Mine.
  2. Take a ferry from Helsinki to the Suomenlinna Fortress.
  3. Visit the 52-acre Helsinki Zoo.


  1. Indulge in a sensational sandwich at the Comptoir de la Gastronomie in Paris.
  2. Attend the Royal Serenade at the Palace of Versailles.
  3. Bike along the vineyards of Bordeaux.
  4. Peruse the colorful open-air markets in Aix-en-Provence.


  1. Gape at the splendor of Cologne’s Kölner Dom, a 13th-century cathedral whose steeple was the tallest structure in Europe until the construction of the Eiffel Tower.
  2. Nurse a liter of foaming brew at Englischer Garten in Munich.
  3. Spend an afternoon strolling through the gardens of Sanssouci Palace.


  1. Go for a dip in Lake Voliagmeni, whose high concentration of salts and minerals make for a therapeutic swim.
  2. Check out the Minoan ruins of Knossos on the north side of Crete.
  3. Support the Athens & Epidaurus Festival with a play or musical performance at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
  4. Climb Mount Olympus near Thessaloniki.


  1. Smell your way through the spices in Budapest’s neo-Gothic Great Market Hall.
  2. Party in Siofok on the shore of the Balaton Lake.
  3. Step back in time in the city of Esztergom.
  4. Explore the basilica and arboretum of the 1st-century, UNESCO-listed Pannonhalma Archabbey.


  1. Head to Dynjandi Falls in the remote West Fjords.
  2. Take a hike through Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.
  3. Hop on a ferry to Videy Island in Reykjavik.
  4. Keep your eyes peeled for puffins in the Westman Islands.


  1. Visit the Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, which is now a museum and art gallery exhibiting paintings and sculptures by its prisoners.
  2. Gape at the Slieve League Cliffs in County Donegal.
  3. Explore the unique moon-like landscape of the Burren.
  4. Grab a pint and take in some traditional Irish music at a pub in Dingle.


  1. Discover the breathtaking karst formations inside the Frasassi Cave in Ancona.
  2. Take a cicchetti (bar snacks) tour of Venice.
  3. Head to Milan’s La Scala for an opera performance.
  4. Watch the Palio di Siena horse race in Siena.


  1. Experience UNESCO-listed Lake Ohrid by attending theater, music, and dance performances at the Ohrid Summer Festival.
  2. Wander around the Old Bazaar in Skopje, Macedonia.
  3. Visit the half-submerged Church of St. Nicolas in Lake Mavrovo.


  1. Explore Mdina, the old capital of Malta.
  2. Take in views of the city and Grand Harbour from the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta.
  3. Go for a horseback ride along the beach at Golden Bay in Malta.
  4. Visit the Neolithic temples and archaeological sites in Gozo.


  1. Ride a bike to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel.
  2. Explore the open-air museum of Zaanse Schans.
  3. Wander through the charming town of Marken on Ijsselmeer Lake.

Northern Ireland

  1. Play hopscotch on the hexagonal basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway.
  2. Cross the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in Ballintoy.
  3. Go for a drive along the Causeway Coastal Route between Belfast and Derry.
  4. Visit Castlewellan Forest Park, Northern Ireland’s 1,100-acre national arboretum.


  1. Head to Sunnylvsfjord for spectacular views of the country’s UNESCO-listed fjord network.
  2. Learn about the Sami culture and experience the midnight sun in Norway’s northern Finnmark County.
  3. Admire the outdoor art in Oslo’s Vigeland Sculpture Park
  4. Spend the day exploring the ancient structures of Lillehammer.


  1. Look for bison in Białowieża National Park, Europe’s largest plot of original old growth forest.
  2. Climb the sand dunes at Slowinski National Park.
  3. Hike the Tatra Mountains around Zakopane.


  1. Visit the 12th-century Convento do Cristo in Tomar.
  2. Take cruise on the Douro River through Portugal’s wine country.
  3. Relax on Matosinhos Beach near Porto.


  1. Visit the waterfalls and pools near Glenbrittle on the Isle of Skye.
  2. Have a drink at the Old Forge Pub, the most remote pub in Scotland.


  1. Trek up to Ljubljana Castle.
  2. Go kayaking in Lake Bled.


  1. Sample pintxos—Basque tapas—in San Sebastian.
  2. Catch a cable car to the top of Barcelona’s Montserrat.
  3. Attend La Tomatina in Bunol, Spain.


  1. Go for a hike along the Kungsleden, or King’s Trail.
  2. Take a ferry to the island of Gotland.
  3. Explore quaint medieval Sigtuna, the oldest town in Sweden.


  1. Try your hand at cheese making in medieval Gruyères.
  2. See the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva.
  3. Enjoy a ride on the cog railway up Mount Rigi.
  4. Go for a hike in the Bernese Oberland.


  1. Take a hot-air balloon ride over Cappadocia.
  2. Go for a dip in Pamukkale’s otherworldly thermal pools.
  3. Shop at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.


  1. Visit tiny St. Govan’s Chapel on the Pembrokeshire coast.
  2. Cross the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on a canal boat in Wrexham.
  3. Hike around Snowdonia in Gwynedd.


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