26 Amazing Summer Weekend Getaways in Europe (in 2023)


Last Updated on August 18, 2023 by Nicole

There are many incredible summer destinations in Europe if you are looking for a short vacation away from your busy life. Whether you prefer somewhere in Western or Eastern Europe, or somewhere in the north or the south, there is a fantastic mid week break or weekend escape within easy reach. City breaks, beach vacations, or being immersed in nature are easily available in Europe for a quick summer trip. The months of June, July, August and September offer some of the best weather of the year. Beyond enjoying sun and warmth, that also means you won’t have to worry about the weather preventing you from reaching your ultimate holiday destination quickly and easily whether you hop on a plane, or decide to take a road trip. Here are 26 of the best summer weekend getaways in Europe.

Table of Contents

This post may contain affiliate links. That means that I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you buy something through my site. This helps me run my website and produce the articles that I hope you find helpful.

Other Options

There are many amazing destinations In Europe. If after reading this article, you are curious about other options, you are in luck! Here are some more fantastic spots in Europe.

If you are solely looking for a summer beach destination in Europe, most of which would be amazing for a weekend away, please review:

Most of us would prefer not to blow the annual travel budget with a short summer trip. For those looking for affordable options in Europe, please see 28 Best Cheap Places In Europe For A Summer Vacation.

For those looking for fantastic destinations with cooler summer temperatures, please see 24 Best Places To Visit In Europe For Mild Summer Weather.

If you love to find the best spots for the most beautiful sunsets, check out 28 Best Places In Europe For Most Beautiful Sunsets.

If you are curious about the best European destinations during specific summer months, the following articles would be helpful:

The United Kingdom has many wonderful getaway destinations:

Best European Weekend Trips In Summer

Here are 26 of the best quick vacation getaways in summer in Europe. They are all within a 2 hours drive of a significant airport, although most are much much closer. For each destination, the best things to do are highlighted as well as what kind of summer weather you can expect in June, July, August and September. Lastly, if a remarkable hotel is available, that is included and described as well.

best weekend getaway in summer in western Europe
San Sebastian, Spain (Photo courtesy of Milijana from World Travel Connector)

San Sebastien, Spain

By Milijana from World Travel Connector

San Sebastian in northern Spain is one of the most glamorous cities in Europe. It is the perfect spot for a city and beach getaway in summer in Western Europe.

Impressive San Sebastian was a favorite vacation destination of Spanish and French aristocracy in the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. In addition, Queen Maria Christina and Coco Chanel, among many other royals and celebrities, enjoyed spending their summers in San Sebastian. 

This beautiful Basque city is famous for its Belle Époque architecture, white sand beaches, upscale summer houses, delicious food, and Michelin-star restaurants. It is among the best cities in Spain for beach lovers, gourmands, and music fans.

The prettiest urban beach in Europe is in San Sebastian. Famous La Concha has been awarded the most beautiful European urban beach several times. Swimming and sunbathing on La Concha beach are among the most popular things in San Sebastian in summer.

In addition to the best urban beach in Europe, the highest number of Michelin-star restaurants per square meter in a city in Europe is in San Sebastian.

The renowned Veuve Clicquot called Elena Arzak (the chef of the iconic Michelin-star Arzak restaurant) one of the best chefs in the world. If you want to try traditional Basque cuisine and creative and avant-garde meals, book a table at Aryak restaurant in San Sebastian.

For lovers of music, San Sebastian hosts the Jazzaldia festival (a top jazz festival in the world) in July and the Classical Music Fortnight festival (a top classical music festival in the world) in August. 


The city of San Sebastian is in the Biscay bay in the Basque Country in northern Spain. It has an oceanic climate with warm summers and cold and wet winters.

The best time to visit San Sebastian is in summer when the rain falls the least. The average high temperatures range from 71 °F to 76 °F with average evening lows around 62 °F.

Expect very little rain and only a few days of humidity in July and August.

Best Way To Reach Destination

San Sebastian international airport is 13 mi from the city. Direct bus lines connect the airport and the city center. 

Hotel Recommendation

Milijana says, “Book a room in the 4-star Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, which overlooks La Concha beach, and you will have one of the best summer city breaks in your life!”

best summer weekend trip in northern Europe
Berlin, Germany (Photo courtesy of Ali from Berlin Travel Tips)

Berlin, Germany

By Ali from Berlin Travel Tips

Summer is one of the most popular times to visit Berlin in Northern Europe, and with good reason. The weather is gorgeous, the days are long, and the city is alive with activity. With only a few days away, there are plenty of things to do in Berlin in the summertime.

Explore the many sights in the Mitte district. Museum Island is a collection of five world class museums filled with culture, art, and history. The Berlin Cathedral is also located here, and it’s one of the most famous sights in the city. Farther down Unter den Linden, you’ll reach Brandenburg Gate, one of the former city gates that makes for some great photos.

Don’t miss the East Side Gallery, the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall. It is also covered in amazing art. Enjoy the warm weather and take your time admiring the display.

To learn more about the Berlin Wall, visit the Bernauer Strasse Berlin Wall Memorial. This is a mostly outdoor memorial detailing how this street was transformed when the Wall went up, and how people tried to escape from the Soviet controlled East Berlin to West. Don’t miss the two short films in the Visitors Center that explains this history.

Summer is also a great time in Berlin to enjoy lots of festivals. The Carnival of Cultures celebrates diversity and cultures from around the world, and takes place in late May or early June.

Several concert halls hold open air performances in summer, such as the Konzerthaus at Gendarmenmarkt and the Berlin State Opera House on Unter den Linden. 

Berlin’s Pride celebration takes place in July, with the biggest event being Christopher Street Day (CSD). 

Berlin Fashion Week and the Long Night of Museums (80+ museums stay open until midnight) also take place in summer.


The average high temperatures in Berlin are in the low to mid 70s in the summer months (although September’s average is 66 °F). However, this is just an average. There are always a few weeks when the high is in the 80s or 90s, so make sure your hotel has air conditioning before you book.

Expect a few days of light rain and there shouldn’t be any humidity.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The Berlin Brandenburg Airport is located south of the city. Take the FEX (airport express) train from the airport. It will only take 30 minutes to reach Berlin Hauptbahnhof.

Hotel Recommendation

Ali says, “The 25Hours Hotel has fantastic views, a great cocktail bar, and air conditioning.”

Best summer weekend vacation in Western Europe
Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland (Photo courtesy of Martha from

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

By Martha from

Lauterbrunnen is an impossibly picture-perfect village at the foot of the Bernese Alps in southwestern Switzerland. It’s a great place for a summer weekend getaway because it is stunningly beautiful and while it feels very far from maddening crowds, it’s actually only a short journey from the Swiss capital, Bern.  

There are plenty of things to do in Lauterbrunnen in summer over a long weekend – and they all involve nature, spectacular landscapes and bucolic, Swiss beauty.

Top of the list should be enjoying the scenic viewpoints in and around the village, including a view of Lauterbrunnen church framed by epic mountains and Staubbach Falls, the highest free-falling waterfall in Switzerland.

If you’re feeling active, there are plenty of hiking and cycling routes around the valley. And it’s a real treat to take one of the mountain trains or cable cars up to one of the mountain villages, such as Mürren or Wengen.

Finally, from Lauterbrunnen, you can make the scenic train journey all the way to Jungfraujoch. At 3463 meters above sea level, it’s the highest railway station in Europe. The altitude might take your breath away, as well as the snowy mountains and the view towards the Aletsch Glacier. In summer, it will be chilly in the mountains but not freezing cold and you will have a good chance of clear views.


Summer high temperatures in Lauterbrunnen average between 71 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit, although it dips down to around 66 °F in September.

Rain is a strong possibility with about 3.5″ expected each month. There is no humidity.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To get to Lauterbrunnen, fly into Bern or Zurich international airports. A car journey would take one hour from Bern or 2 hours from Zurich.

If you go by train (which is an even better option if you want to relax and enjoy the views), it’s an hour and 20 from Bern and 2 hours 20 from Zurich.

Hotel Recommendation

Martha says, “If you’re looking for a place to stay, the Hotel Oberland offers affordable rooms, many with mountain views.”

best quick beach getaway in summer in Eastern Europe
Pula, Croatia (Photo courtesy of Natali from She’s abroad again)

Pula, Croatia

By Natali from She’s abroad again

Located in the northwestern Croatian coastal region of Istria, Pula is one of the best hidden gems for a beach vacation during a European summer weekend holiday.

It is the biggest town in this Central European region, with plenty of things to do such as swimming and soaking up the sun, enjoying delicious fresh food and discovering the Roman history of the city.

Pula is not as well known as Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia’s biggest tourist hot spots, but is equally as amazing and beautiful. With fewer crowds, your quick summer trip will feel much longer.

The first thing on your itinerary should be to swim at one of the incredible beaches in Pula. If you like pebbled beaches, go to Ambrela beach. If you prefer untouched landscapes, beaches in Kamenjak nature park will leave you mesmerized. 

Pula has a Roman past and is home to one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in Europe. Discover all traces of Pula’s past when you visit the Temple of Augustus, Arch of Sergii and Fortress Castello. 

On another day, take a day trip to Brijuni National Park. This beautiful island is a great place to walk around, see the animals around the island, enjoy nature and swim.

If you ever wanted to watch a movie inside a Roman amphitheatre, plan your visit in mid-July for the Pula Film Festival. It is a week-long event with nightly movie screenings.


The average daily high temperatures in summer are around 83°F in July and August, and 76 °F in June and September.

Expect rain every few days and some humidity in July and August.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Pula has an international airport, so it is easy to visit from all over Europe. The airport is located less than 6 miles (10km) from the city.

Hotel Recommendation

Natali says, “Most people visiting Croatia choose to stay in private accommodation, and there is plenty of options available. If you don’t have a car, choose a place close to the city centre, as most bus lines pass through the city on their way to the beach.”

best city break in Western Europe in summer
Brussels, Belgium (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Brussels, Belgium

By Tamar from World by Weekend

A weekend in Brussels is the perfect European summer weekend getaway. Brussels is not only the capital of Belgium, but since it’s home to the European Parliament, it’s also touted as the “capital of Europe.”  However, for being such an important city, Brussels is actually compact and easy to explore during a mid-week escape in Western Europe.

Brussels also has some exciting summer festivities. Every two years, the city hosts a flower festival in which the entirety of the Grand Place is decorated with a carpet of flowers.

For music lovers, the annual Summer Brussels Festival, held every August, consists of 10 days of concerts and cultural events in the city center.

For a small city, Brussels has a lot to offer. At the center of the city is the famous Grand Place, considered the most beautiful square in Europe. It is populated with many restaurants and is the perfect place to sit out during the summer months and enjoy a fine Belgian beer.

A short walk away, you’ll find Manneken Pis, the little peeing boy that has become the unofficial symbol of Brussels. He is regularly dressed in quirky outfits, and you can see examples of his many outfits by visiting the small Garde Robe Manneken Pis museum.

For a more highbrow experience, head to Brussels’ premier art museum, The Royal Museums of Fine Arts. A complex of museums that houses over 20,000 works, they showcase some of the finest examples of Flemish art in the world. There is also a museum dedicated to the art of René Magritte, a Belgian surrealist painter and contemporary of Salvador Dalí.

Finally, no visit to Brussels is complete without a trip to the European Parliament. While you can’t visit the Parliament building on Saturdays or Sundays, the adjacent Parliamentarium Museum gives the history of the EU and its role in shaping a modern, united Europe.


A summer visit in Brussels is an especially good idea as the daytime temperatures rarely creep above 75°F. Expect average highs in the high 60s in June and September and some rainfall in all summer months.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Getting to Brussels is easy, making it the perfect destination for your weekend jaunt. You can fly directly to Brussels airport from any major European city. From there, a short 25-minute train ride takes you directly to the Grand Place, the heart of the city.

Hotel Recommendation

Tamara says, “For the best experience, stay in a hotel close to Grand Place, such as the Ibis Hotel Grand Place.”

best European summer weekend holiday
Sorrento, Italy (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Sorrento, Italy

By Sanika from Trailing Pages

On the beautiful cliffs dominating the crystal-clear waters of the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy, you will find Sorrento, Italy. It is the perfect destination for anyone dreaming of cobblestone streets and dining in lemon groves. It is here where life slows down and everyone embraces “la dolce vita” (the good life) lifestyle. 

Still, the coastal city is a vibrant one that draws lots of tourists over the summer.

Wandering the picture-perfect Old Town, experiencing a horse-drawn carriage ride in Piazza Tasso, taking in the sea breeze from a sun bed and watching a sunset are the main attractions of Sorrento when you’re not indulging in delicious cuisine and limoncello.

When it comes to historical attractions, the 15th-century Sorrento Cathedral of San Filippo and San Giacomo with its mix of architectural styles, are lovely landmarks to admire.

If you are searching for a little more adventure, Sorrento is an ideal base for a day trip boating along the Amalfi Coast and exploring nearby villages like the incredibly stunning Positano. A boat trip also usually involves jumping into the Mediterranean Sea for snorkelling, visiting hidden beaches, and providing views of the iconic Mount Vesuvius in the Gulf of Naples!


If you are looking for hot and even tropical weather in Europe, then Sorrento is a good option. Average highs in summer are around 87 °F, with lots of humidity in July and August.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The easiest way to reach Sorrento is by flying into Naples International Airport and then hopping onto a 1.5-hour train ride from Naples Central Station. Alternatively, you could rent a car and take a scenic drive which takes just under an hour. Both options are straightforward routes.

Hotel Recommendation

Sanika says, “Sorrento has great accommodation options, and beachfront hotels are always sought after. Some of the best include Hotel Bellevue Syrene, Hilton Sorrento Palace, and Villa La Terrazza Suites.”

best city break in Western Europe in summer
Strasbourg, France (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Strasbourg, France

By Jen from Dabbling in Jet Lag

Nestled in the Alsace region of eastern France lies Strasbourg, one of the best weekend getaways in Western Europe. This stunning city is brimming with culture, history, picturesque neighborhoods, and lush gardens. 

Meander down the cobbled streets of La Petite France and admire the magnificent half-timbered buildings. Then, stop in a brasserie for some savory Alsatian food.

Of course, Strasbourg’s Notre Dame Cathedral is a must-see. Towering at a whopping 465 feet, this Gothic church took more than 300 years to build. You can tour the inside, and, if you’re looking to test the limits of your vertigo, you can climb to the top. It’s a heroic feat, but your efforts will be rewarded with the best views over the city.

You’ll even be able to see the courtyard of the Rohan Palace, which is your next stop. This Baroque palace is home to three outstanding museums, the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Decorative Arts. They each offer a unique insight into the history and culture of Strasbourg.

After you’ve toured the historic part of the city, head to Parc de l’Orangerie. It’s the largest park in town and the perfect addition to any short Strasbourg itinerary. Here you’ll find gorgeous gardens, pristine walking paths, and endless green space for picnicking.


While Strasbourg is a year-round destination, summer is one of the best times to visit. The weather is beautiful with temperatures hovering around the upper-70s, the gardens are in full bloom, and there’s around 2″ of rain each month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Strasbourg is also easy to reach. The closest international airport is EuroAirport. Trains run regularly and take less than two hours.

Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris is another convenient option. Trains leave from the airport hourly and also take two hours.

Hotel Recommendation

Jen says, “Once you arrive, you’ll have your choice of hotels. City Residence Access Strasbourg is a good option. It’s central and doesn’t cost a fortune.”

Best midweek break in Europe in summer
Yorkshire Dales, England (Photo courtesy of Hannah from Get Lost Travel Blog)

Yorkshire Dales, England

By Hannah from Get Lost Travel Blog

The Yorkshire Dales is a stunning region in the north of England, known for its rolling hills, lush green valleys, and breath-taking views.

It’s an ideal location for a long summer weekend in Europe for those looking to immerse themselves in nature. There is plenty to do, from outdoor activities such as walking, cycling and horse riding to more leisurely pursuits like exploring quaint villages or sampling local delicacies.

If you’re just visiting for a quick summer vacation, start your trip with a day hike in Malham.

Malham is a picturesque village located in the south of the Yorkshire Dales and the area around Malham is home to some truly beautiful natural attractions.

Visitors can explore the limestone pavements and gorges, see the famous Malham Cove or take the popular circular walking trail through the stunning countryside to visit Malham Cove, Janet’s Foss, Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn.

After a day of hiking, enjoy the Yorkshire Dales at a slower pace with a relaxing day in the village of Hawes.

This charming village is home to many independent shops and cafes that are well worth exploring. It is the ideal place to pick up a souvenir or gift.

Plus, Hawes is the home of Wensleydale cheese. You can learn more about the cheese making process on a visit to the Creamery in the village as well as sampling and purchasing some of the many delicious cheeses in the cheese shop!

For one final stop, the spectacular Aysgarth Falls is just a short drive from Hawes. This beautiful waterfall is the ideal spot for a peaceful riverside stroll or a picnic beside the waterfall.

With so much on offer it’s no wonder why so many people choose this beautiful part of England as their perfect short summer getaway.


With average temperatures of 62-68 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer, the Yorkshire Dales has comfortable temperatures for outdoor activities and hiking.

There is no humidity but come prepared for a little rain as there is around 2″-3″ of rainfall each summer month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The Yorkshire Dales is easily accessible by car or train from major cities. Leeds Bradford airport is just 25 minutes away by car and Manchester Airport is 80 minutes away.

Hotel Recommendation

Hannah says, “Mason’s Campsite is a lovely place to stay in the Yorkshire Dales. They have camping and glamping packages available so you can fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region. Plus, they have wonderful modern facilities onsite so you have easy access to your home comforts!”

best European city break in summer
Budapest, Hungary (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Budapest, Hungary

By Destiny from Guided By Destiny

Budapest, Hungary is one of the best places in Eastern Europe for a short summer city break. Located along the Danube River in Central Europe, Budapest is known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and unique thermal baths. There won’t be a dull moment during a 2 days stay in Budapest.

One must-do activity on a short trip to Budapest is to one of the many thermal baths in town. The Szechenyi Thermal Bath is one of the most popular and an amazing spot to spend a few hours.

Afterwards, head to one of the “ruin bars”, a collection of bars in abandoned buildings and courtyards with graffiti & plants. These fun yet eccentric bar complexes have grown popular due to their cool bohemian vibes and original interiors. These bars are great places to relax, unwind, and enjoy a drink or two.

If you visit in July, Budapest hosts its annual month-long festival called Sziget Festival. This event brings people from all over the world for music concerts, art shows, cultural performances, and more.

With so much to do and see in this great European city during a quick summer trip, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t add it to your list of places to visit this summer!


Average high temperatures in summer is the mid to upper 70s (°F) in June and September, and low 80s in July and August. Expect around 2″ of rain each month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

International travelers should fly into Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD), which is just 25 minutes outside of the city.

Hotel Recommendation

Destiny says, “Hotel Oktogon Haggenmacher is a great hotel option as it is spacey, offers airport transportation, and has a bike rental service.”

best summer weekend break in Western Europe
Malaga, Spain (Photo courtesy of Cristina from My Little World of Travelling)

Malaga, Spain

By Cristina from My Little World of Travelling

If you are looking for a short summer beach holiday in Southern Europe, Malaga, in the south of Spain, is an excellent option. Its’ beautiful beaches, cultural activities and events make it a favourite among travelers.

There are many things you can do in Malaga in a couple of days. However, one of the things you can’t miss doing is visiting Alcazaba, one of the most beautiful castles in Malaga. This fortress palace has unique Moorish architecture and breathtaking views of the city. You can visit it for free on Sunday afternoons.

Another thing you should do is go to the beach. The temperature in Malaga during the summer months is high so you will definitely want to hit the beach. On top of this, you don’t need to go very far as La Malagueta Beach is just next to the city centre.

If you are looking for a break from the beach, a fantastic activity is to visit a museum. Picasso Museum Malaga is one of the most popular museums, but there are over 30 museums in the city from which to choose.

If you happen to be in Malaga in the middle of August, you can also experience Feria de Malaga (Malaga’s fair). Attractions, traditional dances, live concerts and wine are a few of activities that you will find at this popular event.

In the afternoon, go to Larios Street, where locals eat out, dance and drink Cartojal wine. In the evening, head to the fairground next to the Malaga Trade Fair and Congress Centre, where you can go on rides, attend live concerts and much more.


The temperature in the summer months is high, with an average high between 82 °F and 86 °F. There is barely and rain, and only in August will you find lots of humidity.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Fly directly into Malaga International airport. It is only a few minutes to the center of town.

Hotel Recommendation

Cristina says, “For a central stay, book a room at Room Mate Valeria. They have comfortable and modern rooms and a lively rooftop terrace bar with a swimming pool.”

best long weekend destination in Western Europe in summer
Hallstatt, Austria (Photo courtesy of Jessica from the Uprooted Traveler)

Hallstatt, Austria

By Jessica from the Uprooted Traveler

Hallstatt, Austria, is a fairytale town, which sits on the shores of a turquoise alpine lake and in the shadows of the snow-capped Alps.

There’s so many things to do in Hallstatt to keep you busy for a quick holiday weekend in this beautiful mountain town offering wonderful outdoor activities. 

For example, stroll around the streets of its Old Town, which are full of colorful gingerbread houses. Be sure to pop into Seecafé Hallstatt for some delicious pastries and views of Lake Hallstatt.

To get a closer look at the lake, consider renting a canoe and paddling around its’ crystal clear waters to get an ever changing perspective of the surrounding Austrian Alps. For a real treat, pack yourself a picnic and enjoy your meal in the middle of the lake, as swans glide across the water around you. 

While you’re in town, you’d be remiss not to stop at Salzwelten Hallstatt, which holds the impressive title of the oldest salt mine in the world. While you may not count yourself as a salt mine enthusiast, Salzwelten is surprisingly interesting and has some quirky attractions, like a salt mummy that was discovered in the 18th century and Europe’s longest wooden slide (that also just so happens to be in an underground salt mine!).


Summer is one of the best times to visit Hallstatt. The temperature is pleasant (with daily highs in the upper 60s to mid 70s), the skies are clear, and if you want to explore the surrounding mountains, they’re usually snow-free. 

Best Way To Reach Destination

To reach Hallstatt, you’ll fly into Salzburg’s W.A. Mozart Airport in Salzburg and then make the one and half hour drive southeast to the town. Alternatively, there’s a few options with public transit, including a bus ride or via train and then a very picturesque ferry ride across Lake Hallstatt. 

Hotel Recommendation

Jessica says, “Once you reach the town, snag a hotel in the Old Town, like Seehotel Gruener Baum. Not only will you have excellent views of the surrounding Old Town and the lake, but you’ll also be in a prime location to explore its charming streets bright and early and beat the tour buses that pour in by the late morning!”

best weekend escape in Eastern Europe in summer
Dubrovnik, Croatia (Photo courtesy of Taylor from Brown Eyed Flower Child)

Dubrovnik, Croatia

By Taylor from Brown Eyed Flower Child

Dubrovnik, Croatia is one of Central Europe’s best cities to visit for a quick summer vacation. If you’re wondering what to do in Dubrovnik during summer, plenty will keep you and your travel buddies busy!

Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dubrovnik, Croatia boasts a fortified Old Town located on the Dalmatian coast that will bring you back in time.

During a short summer escape to Dubrovnik, you must wander through the Old Town and admire all the Baroque architecture.

Next, you should walk along the ancient city walls that overlook the entire city and coastline. The best time to do so is during sunset.

Additionally, Dubrovnik and Croatia are famed for being the Game of Thrones’ filming locations. If you’re a fan, consider booking a tour.

Another memorable thing to do in Dubrovnik during summer is to visit one of the many beach clubs. Banje Beach is only a 10-minute walk from the heart of Old Town. It’s a picturesque beach renowned for hosting some of the best DJs in the world!

For more breathtaking views of the Adriatic, you must also visit Buza Bar, a cliffside hotspot to enjoy a drink.

Lastly, check out Dubrovnik’s best restaurants. You can find everything from traditional cuisine to Italian eateries, Bosnian food, and Michelin restaurants. Restaurant 360 is a Michelin Star restaurant located along the city walls of Dubrovnik. It is a romantic spot with incredible views and fantastic food!

Taj Mahal is also an excellent spot to add to your summer mid-week break in Europe. Situated in the heart of Old Town Dubrovnik, Taj Mahal has some of the best Bosnian food in Croatia.

Dubrovnik is also in a great location for day trips if you can add a couple of extra days to your stay! Some of the best places to visit from Dubrovnik are Kotor, Montenegro, and Ston and Mljet National Park in Croatia.


Dubrovnik is mainly dry, sunny, and warm from June through September. Temperatures usually range from the high 60s° Fahrenheit in the evenings to the upper 80s° Fahrenheit during the day. So don’t forget your sundresses, shorts, swimsuits, and hats.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The best way to travel to Dubrovnik is to its International airport. It’s around a half hour from the Old Town. You can also get to the walled city by taking a ferry from other Croatian islands and, of course, by car from nearby countries like Montenegro.

Hotel Recommendation

Taylor says, “The best place to stay in Dubrovnik is The Pucic Palace, located in the heart of the walled city. It’s a luxury boutique hotel situated on Gundulić Square, which boasts a bustling farmer’s market, restaurants and cafés, galleries, and more.”

best quick nature retreat in summer in Western Europe
Wicklow, Ireland (Photo courtesy of Amber from Amber Everywhere)

Wicklow, Ireland

By Amber from Amber Everywhere

Located about an hour south of Dublin is County Wicklow, the perfect destination for a summertime nature escape in Europe.

County Wicklow is known as the Garden of Ireland, a place where everything seems to grow in shades of deep, vibrant green. There are plenty of activities for those who love the mountains and the beach, as you’ll find both in the Wicklow Mountains and on a stretch of coastline along the Irish Sea.

The mountains of Ireland are much smaller than the Alps of continental Europe, but you can still get plenty of wonderful views from their peaks. If you only plan one hike for your visit to Wicklow, make it Glendalough.

This is a moderately strenuous hike (easy if you only hike the flat portion through the forest) that circles an alpine lake, offering stunning views of mountaintops and the valley below. Near the lake is a set of monastic ruins, including a stone tower. 

About an hour from Glendalough are the seaside towns of Bray and Greystones. These two towns are connected by a cliff walk, and you can walk from one to the other and then take a train back to your car.

You can swim in Brittas Bay, a beach to the south of Wicklow Town – if you go, be sure to check out the beach just south of the main area. 


Dress warmly for a summertime visit to Wicklow, as the highs are typically around 16°C/60°F, with lows around 7°C/44°F. Though the temperatures are cool for swimming, you can still dip your feet into the ocean (and you’ll see plenty of locals diving in!). The cooler temperatures are rather nice for hiking, as you won’t risk overheating. 

Best Way To Reach Destination

You can reach Wicklow by flying into the Dublin International Airport and renting a car. The Glendalough car park is about an hour’s drive from the airport through Ireland’s trademark rolling green hills. 

Hotel Recommendation

Amber says, “You can camp in the Glenmalure Valley or wild camp wherever you find a spot. The easiest way to find a wild campsite is to ask a local farmer, as they’ll sometimes allow you to camp on their land for free.

Be sure to bring warm clothing and plenty of protection from bugs if you’ll be camping in Wicklow in the summer. There are lots of local B&Bs or hotels in the area, too, if you’d prefer not to camp.”

best short summer trip in Western Europe
Porto, Portugal (Photo courtesy of Allison from Renovating Life)

Porto, Portugal

By Allison from Renovating Life

Summer is the perfect time for a short visit to the Western European city of Porto, Portugal. The weather is warm but not stifling like in more southern areas of Portugal, and the rain that is typical in this region eases up for a few months of days filled with sunshine.

Start by sipping local Vinho Verde and feast on seafood at a riverfront restaurant, eat a famous Francesinha sandwich, or head across the river to Vila Nova da Gaia to explore the Port wine caves (many offer tours and tastings).

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, don’t miss the famous Lello Bookstore. It’s thought that this library inspired J.K. Rowling to write the Harry Potter book series during her stay in Porto.

A day trip to the Douro Valley to visit the wineries is a must see for those who love investing in wine or simply love wine tasting. The most popular way to enjoy this excursion from Porto is a Douro River cruise. Snag a tour that includes several winery visits along with lunch and tastings as you take in the beautiful hillside vineyards. 

Whether you simply relax and wander the cobblestone streets and alleyways, or go full speed ahead taking in all the sights and experiences Porto has to offer, you won’t regret spending a summer weekend in this magical and romantic city.


Average temperatures in June, July, August and September range from 60°F in the evening to 80°F in the daytime.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Arrive in Porto by flying directly into Porto’s Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO). Alternatively, if you have the extra time, take an easy drive or train ride from Lisbon (around 3 hours).

Hotel Recommendation

Allison says, “Book a hotel like the Pestana Vintage overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Douro Riverfront. The slightly higher prices than elsewhere in the city are worth it for the sunrise and sunset views alone.”

best short summer vacation in Central Europe
Perast, Montenegro (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Perast Montenegro

By Caroline from Veggie Wayfarer

The little fishing village of Perast is one of the very few hidden gems in the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. Often frequented by day trippers from Kotor, as dusk sets, the village returns to a peaceful oasis.

There are a surprising amount of things to do in Perast. Start by a boat trip to the nearby Lady of the Rocks islet, visit the eponymous church and little museum.

Next climb the stairs of the Saint Nicholas church where on top, you are rewarded with the very best views over the town.

Finally, take in some culture at the local Perast Museum which is housed in one of the many beautiful 17th century Baroque palaces.

If you are wondering whether you should stay in Kotor instead of Perast, please take a look at Kotor Old Town, Montenegro: Best And Worst Location.

For those considering a road trip to explore other parts of Montenegro, please see Exploring Montenegro: A Breathtaking Road Trip.

For an amazing day in nature just a short drive from Perast and Kotor, please see Lake Skadar, Montenegro: The Perfect Day Trip.


The summer is nice and toasty with average temperatures of 85°F, though the evenings do tend to cool off to a 66°F. It is best to bring a light jacket with you when you dine at one of the many romantic waterfront Konoba.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Getting to Perast can be done either from Tivat Airport (an easy 26-minute drive) or from nearby Dubrovnik Airport (1h15 minute drive). Both airports have regular shuttles that connect the airport with the various towns along the Bay of Kotor.

Hotel Recommendation

Caroline says, “The very best place to stay in Perast is, without a doubt, the 5-star Heritage Grand Hotel Perast, the only hotel in the village with its own private beach.”

best short summer holiday in Western Europe
Venice, Italy (Photo courtesy of Kim from Traveling Swansons)

Venice, Italy

By Kim from Traveling Swansons

Venice also referred to as the City of Canals and the City of Bridges is one of the most picturesque cities in the entire world.  

This Italian city makes for the perfect short summer trip in Europe because it’s easily accessible by plane or train. In addition, it’s just the right size that you can explore most of its major sites in just a couple of days.

No matter how many days you are in Venice, you must take a gondola ride down the iconic Grand Canal.

You must also stroll along the gorgeous Venetian waterfront, Riva degli Schiavoni. Here you’ll find many vendors selling souvenirs, food, drinks, and paintings. You’ll also find the iconic Bridge of Sighs here.

No trip to Venice is complete without a visit to St Mark’s Square, one of the most famous and well-known squares in the entire world.

When in St. Mark’s Square, visit the incredible St. Mark’s Basicilia and Doge’s Palace. St Mark’s Basicilia is not only gorgeous from the exterior but also in the interior. It is filled with gold mosaics and stunning marble flooring.  

Doge’s Palace, a Gothic architecture styled building is also simply stunning.

When in Venice also take some time to browse the many clothing, jewelry stores, and Murano glass shops. 

If you happen to be in Venice on the third Sunday in July, there’s a big celebration called Festa del Redentore. This night ends with a magnificent fireworks show.


Weather in Venice during the summer can be very hot and sunny. Average highs range from 78-83 degrees Fahrenheit. Average lows are from 62-68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Expect 2″ of rain each month, and lots of humidity in July and August.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Fly into Venice Marco Polo Airport and then, transfer by water taxi or bus for 20 minutes.

Hotel Recommendation

Kim says, “Hilton Molino Stucky Venice is the perfect hotel to stay for your short summer vacation to Venice. You can enjoy a swim on the rooftop pool overlooking the Venetian skyline.”

best quick summer trip in Western Europe
Mallorca, Spain (Photo courtesy of Samantha Tatro of Undiscovered Path Home)

Mallorca, Spain

By Samantha Tatro of Undiscovered Path Home

Looking for a quick, sunny beach getaway in Europe this summer? Then, fly to Mallorca for a short but sweet beach escape. Palma de Mallorca, Spain, remains one of the best summer weekend or mid week getaways in Europe thanks to its tasty eats, beautiful beaches and laid-back vibes.

Over the summer, Mallorca hums with life. While you’re visiting the island, make sure to check out its’ key attraction – the most jaw-droppingly beautiful beaches in Mallorca.

Many of Mallorca’s most beautiful beaches can be reached by public transit (or rental car) and lie within two hours of the airport. You simply can’t beat the views, the crystalline water and beautiful coves.

Otherwise, plan on going for a hike on the island or spend a couple hours munching on Spain’s delicious tapas. Palma de Mallorca has some amazing Spanish restaurants and they serve tasty eats late into the night.


Over the summer months, pack lightly. Temperatures often exceed 25 – 30 degrees Celsius (81°F – 88°F) and it rarely rains. Mallorca is known for its endless sunshine and gentle waves, perfect for travelers seeking a short trip to dip their feet in the ocean.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To reach Mallorca, look into flights to Palma de Mallorca Airport. Once you land, you can take a taxi or bus 15 minutes to Palma de Mallorca.

best short summer vacation in western Europe
Lugano, Switzerland (Photo courtesy of Linda from Hiking The Alps)

Lugano, Switzerland

By Linda from Hiking The Alps

The beautiful city of Lugano, in the south of Switzerland, is the perfect outdoor nature retreat in Western Europe for a quick summer holiday. 

The city in the canton of Ticino is nestled between wooded Alpine foothills, on the north of the picturesque Lake Lugano. The historic old town with its narrow streets and colorful mansions, as well as the long and wide lake promenade, exude Italian flair and dolce vita.   

Especially inviting are the early evenings, when people flock to the streets and into the bars and cafés to enjoy the typical Apéro when the sun goes down.  

In the south and east of Lugano’s center, the local mountains, San Salvatore and Monte Brè, offer fantastic views of the city and the lake. The viewpoints on the tops of the respective hills can be reached by beautiful and easy hikes or by funiculars from downtown Lugano.   

The city can also be wonderfully enjoyed from the water. By boat, you can visit various charming fishing villages along the shore. Especially worth mentioning are Morcoto and Grandia.  

A must-do during a short summer vacation is to take a swim in the inviting blue lake. The area offers various Lidos with all kinds of amenities. Alternatively, you can basically jump in and refresh yourself wherever you want along the shoreline. 


In summer, it hardly ever rains in Lugano. Temperatures range from 64 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, so be sure to bring sunscreen for the day and a light jacket for night.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The nearest international airport is Milan Malpensa in Italy. Only 50 miles (80km) away, it will take only 1-hour to drive or 1 hour 45 minutes by train.

The train ride is the recommended option as it will save you the cost of expensive parking within Lugano. Tickets are quite cheap and the views from the train are spectacular. 

best short summer holiday in Eastern Europe
Ljubljana, Slovenia (Photo courtesy of Nicole from Go Far Grow Close)

Ljubljana, Slovenia

By Anja from Anja On Adventure

Whoever said “beauty comes in small packages”, was right! Slovenia is a small European gem of a country. It is the only country with the word LOVE in its name and its capital city, Ljubljana, means “to be loved”.

Ljubljana is just the right size to not feel overwhelming but still big enough to keep you busy for a weekend break in summer.

At the heart of the Old Town in Ljubljana, you will not see any skyscrapers but will be able to wander around the charming streets, explore unique architecture, walk across the Dragon bridge, and take a photo with the dragon and a castle behind it. You can take another stunning photo at the Tripple bridge and pair it with a Slovenia Instagram caption.

When you are done taking photos, stop by one of the cafes near Ljubljanica or take a boat ride on the Ljubljanica River.

In the afternoon, walk up to the Castle, and admire the breathtaking views over the city and out to the Julian Alps from Castle Hill.

Ljubljana also comes alive in the evening so grab a cocktail from one of the river bars.

On another day, take a day trip. Because Slovenia is so small, you can visit the stunning Lake Bled and Postojna Cave in a day. The most comfortable way to do this is by renting a car, but if you want to be more carefree, sign up for one of the tours.


Summer in Ljubljana is hot. Average highs are usually around 80 °F, but can climb up all the way to 95 °F. At night and after summer storms, temperatures can drop to 72 °F. Expect around 3″ of rain for each month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

It is only a short 20 minutes ride from Ljubljana airport (LJU). You can get a taxi or a shuttle.

There are bigger airports nearby, such as Venice Marco Polo (VCE) and Franjo Tuđman Airport Zagreb (ZAG). They are only two hours from Ljubljana. Check GoOpti and EasyDrive rides and (and even Flixbus) for the fastest transfers.

Hotel Recommendation

Anya says, “The most stunning spot in Ljubljana is the Old Town in the city center which is reserved for pedestrians only. That is where the best accommodation options are found like the Cubo hotel.

best small towns in Europe for a few days away in summer
Champagne Region, France

Champagne Region, France

By Nausheen from Globe Gazers

One of the most incredible summer destinations in Western Europe for a short retreat is a visit to Champagne country in France.

One of the best ways to experience the Champagne region is through a local-led Champagne tour. What could be better on a hot day than sampling chilled bubbly in the French countryside?

There’s plenty more to do in addition to taking a tour to visit the various Champagne houses in the region. In Reims, you can visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, admire the Art Deco architecture, take a leisurely stroll along Vesle Canal and more. Foodies should be sure to try Reims Ham from one of the local butcher shops while visiting. 

In Epernay, you can walk along the Avenue de Champagne, take a hot air balloon ride and visit the nearby village of Hautvillers to pay homage to Dom Perignon. 

Epernay and Reims are only half an hour apart from each other so you will have plenty of time to visit both on your short European summer holiday.


Average highs in summer are in the high 70s F with lows in the high 50s F. Expect very little rain and no humidity.

Best Way To Reach Destination

You can easily visit the Champagne region by car or train from Paris as it is only an hour away. If you’re booking a train, you’ll want to travel to either Reims or Epernay station. 

best places in Western Europe for a mid-week break
Varenna, Italy (Photo courtesy of Sarah from Life Part 2 And Beyond)

Varenna, Italy (Lake Como)

By Sarah from Life Part 2 And Beyond

The gorgeous Italian lakeside town of Varenna, on Lake Como’s eastern shore, is a beautiful, picturesque village with cobbled streets, pretty churches, stunning villas, and an ancient hilltop castle, making it the perfect place in summer for a few days away.

Spend a day exploring Varenna. Be sure to visit the beautiful Villa Monastero and wander around the botanical gardens with their incredible lake views.

Take a hike up to the Castello di Vezio for more stunning vistas and a chance to meet its ghostly residents. From here, there’s a lovely hike down to the nearby village of Fiumelatte.

The next day, buy a one-day pass, board the Lake Como ferry and explore the other lakeside towns. Visit glitzy Bellagio, with its fancy shops and restaurants, which is just across the lake.

Alternatively, explore sleepy Lenno and pay a visit to the stunning Villa Balbianello, the most famous villa on Lake Como. You may even recognize it from the movies, such as Casino Royale.

Or take a stroll along the lakeside promenade in Maneggio, and relax with a drink in the Piazza Garibaldi.

If you enjoy festivals, visit Lake Como in July and enjoy the annual LacMus Festival, an international classical music festival with concert performances at many lakeside villas.


It can get hot in July and August, with average highs reaching 80°F. However, there’s always a cool breeze coming off the water. Expect around 4″ of rain each month so make sure you also bring an umbrella or light rain jacket. It is rarely humid.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Getting to Lake Como is straightforward. The nearest international airport is Milan. From there, the best way to reach the lake is by train. It only takes an hour to Varenna from Milan Centrale Station.

Renting a car in summer to visit the lake is not advisable, as parking is challenging, and it’s far easier to explore the other towns on Lake Como by boat.

Hotel Recommendation

Sarah says, “Stay at Divina Vita Apartments. It is conveniently close to everything and has great views of the lake.”

best place for a summer weekend escape in Eastern Europe
Sibiu, Romania (Photo courtesy of Joanna from The World In My Pocket)

Sibiu, Romania

By Joanna from The World In My Pocket

Sibiu in Eastern Europe makes a wonderful quick summer getaway. The city is located in the beautiful Transylvania region in Romania, and it is surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains. The city itself is quite small and it can be explored in one weekend.

There are plenty of things to do in Sibiu, starting with touring the historical centre of the city. Here you will find the old walls, which are now a museum that you can visit. The walls are next to the most beautiful street in the city, which has pretty coloured houses and plenty of flowers.

Another great thing to do in Sibiu is go to the Bridge of Liars. Legend says that if you say a lie when you stand on the bridge, it will collapse.

The bridge got its name because soldiers who would meet their loved ones before going to war, promising to marry them when they returned. Many never returned, and promises were broken.

For a bird’s eye view of the city, make sure to climb the Council Tower. This is one of the most iconic buildings in town, connecting the Big Square with the Small Square. In the latter, you will find plenty of restaurants serving traditional Romanian food, as well as an artisan market from where you can buy souvenirs.

There are plenty of events taking place in summer in Sibiu, from different fairs to open air concerts in the main square of the city.


The temperature in Sibiu in summer is around 77 degrees, with around 2.2″ of rain each month. There is practically no humidity.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Sibiu has its own airport, so it’s easy to get there from many cities in Europe.

Hotel Recommendation

Joanna says, “If you want to stay in the centre of the city, check out Imparatul Romanilor luxury hotel.”

best city escape in summer in Western Europe for a short break
Barcelona, Spain (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Barcelona, Spain

By Izzy from the Gap Decaders

Barcelona has to be one of the best summer weekend getaways in Western Europe. It is located on the pretty Mediterranean coast of northeastern Spain, and blessed with fabulous sandy beaches, diverse architecture, and a thriving culinary scene. Whether you like to party, chill by the pool or immerse yourself in culture, you’ll find plenty to do in this cosmopolitan and lively city.

One of the must-dos in Barcelona is to visit the stunning and slightly surreal Gaudi architecture. From the famous Sagrada Familia to the lesser known Casa Batlló, Casa Mila and Casa Vicens and Park Güell, Gaudi has left his vision and imprint on the city.

A wander down Las Rambla is fairly obligatory. Even if you find the street full of tourists and tacky souvenirs, there are lots of great spots just off this main road from the city to the sea.

Check out the fantastic Boqueria Market, a vibrant public market filled with colorful fresh produce and a central part of daily life in Barcelona. In addition, visit the elegant Barcelona Opera Theatre, one of the most popular opera houses in Europe.

Next up is the historic Gothic quarter, also known as the Barri Gotic. Walking through the medieval Gothic quarter with its labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets and historic buildings brings a new perspective to this modern city. Discover the Catalan Gothic Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, the beautiful 14th century Barcelona Cathedral and the grand squares of Placa Reial. 

You’ll need at least half a day to fully enjoy Montjuïc, an area high on a hill to the south of the city center. Walk up from Placa d’Espanya through the fantastic Placa de les Cascades, a huge series of waterfalls, to the grand and ornate Palacio Nacional, site of the 1929 International Exhibition. From here you can easily walk to all the main attractions of Montjuic.

Visit the attractions of Montjuic Castle, the botanical gardens, the Joan Miro Foundation, the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Pavilion and the beautiful magic fountain with its nightly light and music displays, before grabbing the Port Cable Car from Miramar on Montjuic down to the old port and beaches. The views on the ride are spectacular!

Visit in August for balmy weather and the Festa Major de Gracia, the best known of Barcelona’s district festivals. The streets are full of statues and lanterns and every street corner becomes a concert venue as the fiesta gets going.


Average highs in summer are around 82 °F. There is practically no rain, but you will get humidity about 50% of the days in July and August.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Fly into Barcelona International Airport, just 9 miles (13km) from the city. Catch the train to Barcelona Sants (the main train station) which takes around 20 minutes. 

Hotel Recommendation

Izzy says, “Stay at the H10 Metropolitan Hotel with its 10 out of 10 location overlooking Placa Catalunya in the heart of Barcelona, and rooftop bar with pool.”

best Western European places in summer for a short summer escape
Durbuy, Belgium (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Durbuy, Belgium

By Babs from Next Stop Belgium

Known as “the smallest city in the world”, the City of Durbuy in Belgium is an excellent destination for your summer nature break in Western Europe. It is a picturesque medieval town in the middle of a vast forest. Its cobbled streets, quaint shops, and historic buildings offer a charming experience for all visitors.

Aside from its charming center, Durbuy is mostly known as the adventure capital of the Belgian Ardennes. The ultimate place to be is Adventure Valley Durbuy where you can experience a wide range of activities such as mountain biking, wall climbing, kayaking, and zip lining.

If you’re looking for something that is more suitable for a family trip with young children or grandparents, head towards Le Labyrinthe de Barvaux. Just a 10-minute drive from the town of Durbuy, this giant corn labyrinth offers a unique maze park experience every year. It covers a vast 27 acres (11 hectares) and there are no less than 7 miles (10km) of hiking paths to be found!

Another fun way to wrap up your weekend in Durbuy is to experience the vibrant Belgian Color Festival, celebrated every mid-summer (end of July). The Radhadesh Summer Holi Festival is a festival that celebrates love and colors in Belgium and is held in a castle. Beyond the entertainment, this festival signifies growth and new beginnings that reminds us to be grateful and see life from a new perspective.


The average daily temperature in Durbuy during summer (from June to September) is above 66°F. While the hottest month of the year is in July, hitting 71°F as the highest and 57°F as the lowest.

Expect around 2″ of rain each summer month and no humidity.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The closest airport to Durbuy is Liège Airport (LGG) in Belgium. With an approximate distance of 29 miles (47 kilometers), you can reach Durbuy from Liege in around 50 minutes by rental car.

Another option is Brussels Airport, Belgium’s main international airport, which is located 1h20 away by car.

Hotel Recommendation

Babs says, “There is no doubt that there are a lot of things and attractions to visit in Durbuy. To make the most out of it, it’s best to spend a night or two in this medieval town.

Book your stay at Hotel Des Comtes Durbuy for a unique experience at the banks of the river Ourthe.”

best summer beach destination in Eastern Europe for a quick weekend break
Opatija, Croatia (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Opatija, Croatia

By Martina from Places of Juma

One of the most charming places for a summer weekend trip is the picturesque Opatija in Croatia. During the time of the Habsburgs, the coastal resort in Central Europe was already known as a health resort and nobility spent their vacations here.

Even today Opatija is wonderful and exudes a unique charm of times gone by. The whole ambience of the old magnificent buildings, villas and the coast is absolutely enchanting.

There is a lot to experience in Opatija. There are wonderful Mediterranean gardens to relax in, a beautiful beach promenade for long walks along the Adriatic Sea and also an amazing culinary scene!

Another highlight are the many good wellness hotels that have settled directly in the town and offer a wide range of health treatments.

You should also visit the Walk of Fame, a street on which famous Croatian personalities have been honored.

Imperial Town” is a special event held in July, when the imperial and royal history comes to life. Opatija is transformed into an open-air stage celebrating this historical period.


Opatija is particularly suitable for a short vacation in summer. Summer temperatures average around 80.6 °F. Expect around 2.5″ of rain each month and no humidity.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To reach Opatija, fly into Pula, Rijeka or Zadar. The best option is Rijeka airport, which is only 25 minutes away.

Hotel Recommendation

Martina says, “Be sure to choose one of the great hotels in Opatija. You will be hard pressed to find a more splendid selection of gorgeous 4-5 star hotels in Croatia than in Opatija.”

best places in Western Europe for a weekend getaway in summer
Groningen, Netherlands (Photo courtesy of Kayla from Writing From Nowhere)

Groningen, Netherlands

By Kayla from Writing From Nowhere

Groningen, Netherlands is a Dutch city in Western Europe bursting with bicycles, beer and bags of character. It is the perfect destination for a short summer weekend getaway.

Come celebrate freedom in Dutch style at the annual May 5th Bevrijdingsfestival (“Liberation Festival”). It’s a national holiday that celebrates freedom with an incredible free one-day music festival.

In June, the biggest park in the city rocks out for Stadspark Live, a popular multi-day music festival. The festival has an entry fee but the park itself is open to the public, so feel free to bring a blanket and some snacks and enjoy the music from a distance. 

An even bigger outdoor summer celebration is the Noorderzon in August, an 11-day cultural event that takes place in the city center. Live music, theater performances and good food are found throughout the tiny cobblestone streets of Groningen. 

Translation? The Dutch like to have fun in the sun. After a dark, wet winter, a cold beer and some vitamin D are practically government-endorsed health recommendations. Having a beer on a terrace on the Grote Markt or a bottle of wine in the Noorderplantsoen are some of the beloved moments of summer in Groningen. 

Take it one step further with a self-guided walking tour and you’ll be in for a real treat (and you may see the entire city in the process). A part of Groningen’s charm is its small size. You can walk or cycle easily from end to end.

While it’s easily overshadowed by Amsterdam, you can find all of the Dutch charm in Groningen but with fewer tourists, cheaper prices and more free seats available on sun-soaked terraces (a real currency in summer). 


The average daily high temperature in the summer months is above 65°F, with rain on about a third of the days of the month. Don’t worry though, the rain doesn’t slow down the fun.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To reach Groningen, catch a flight into Amsterdam airport and then take the train or drive 2 hours.

Hotel Recommendation

Kayla says, “Hotel Schimmelpenninck Huys is a fantastic local accommodation that’s right in the city center with easy access to everything. Have lunch at the vismarkt, only a few blocks away, then end your night with a drink or a walk around the city. Groningen is small, safe, and the perfect alternative to a big bustling Dutch city. In addition, Groningen is the perfect place to spend a few days or an entire remote workation.”

Last Word

Europe offers many amazing vacation destinations for a quick summer weekend getaway. Whether you want to lounge on beaches, explore nature, visit charming small towns, or experience an exciting European city, there is something for everyone in these fantastic summer weekend trips.

the authorNicole
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.