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Unveiling The 5 Most Popular Cool-Weathered Destinations This Summer

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You know how there’s a point in mid-August when all the excitement of summer turns into exhaustion from the scorching heat?

Well, with reports of dangerous heatwaves coming from all over the world it seems like that time has come before summer has even had a chance to start properly – that’s why more people than ever are trading the typical beach getaway for cooler, far more enjoyable city breaks.

And if you feel like that’d be the perfect holiday for you this season, I’ve got some places you’ll absolutely love.

Woman overlooking Salzburg, Austria

The European Travel Commission just released its Summer Long-Haul Barometer, and among the many sunny countries you’d expect on the “Most Popular” list (think Greece, Portugal, Italy, and Spain), there were plenty of more cool-weathered destinations that made it there, too, proving once again that a good refreshing city break will never go out of style.

But where are people going this summer and why should you, too, add these European hubs to your itinerary?

The United Kingdom

London at night

If you’ve been following the latest travel news, you know just how massively popular the UK has gotten, so much so, that at a time when everyone would expect visitor traffic to slow down, the country is welcoming more tourists than ever.

Average temperatures here during the summer months range between 9 – 18 °C (48 – 64 °F), so make sure to bring a light jacket along as you explore some of Europe’s most jaw-dropping sights.

Though London and its iconic attractions are always a must-see, this time of year, I'd recommend exploring the country’s incredible outdoors, especially the Scottish Highlands, the Cotswolds, and the rugged Welsh Coastline.


Vienna, Austria

Famous for its awe-worthy cities and movie-like alpine scenery, those looking for a cool escape this summer will find everything they want and more in Austria, and, bonus point – it’s probably the most budget-friendly destination on today’s list.

There’s a little something here from everyone.

History lovers will fall in love with Vienna and its stunning palaces (Schönbrunn and Hofburg, in particular, are must-sees), artsy souls probably can’t wait to visit Salzburg and attend its annual classical music festival this late July and early August, while those who want to get in touch with the country’s natural allure will have a blast in Tyrol, Sturia, or even the UNESCO-protected city of Hallstatt.


Panorama of the Kronborg castle at Helsingor, Denmark

I’ve always believed that Denmark is one of Europe’s most underrated gems, and what better time to see if that’s true than this summer?

It won’t take much time to see that I’m right, though – just take a look at Copenhagen, its bike-filled streets, Rosenborg Castle, and Tivoli Gardens, and tell me you don’t feel like you’ve been missing out on something great.

Even beyond the capital, the country manages to leave every traveler wanting more – Aarhus, Bronholm, Skagen, and Odense are all unmissable.


Boats on a canal in Amsterdam

Who needs Venice when you can explore Amsterdam’s winding canals? Especially when the weather promises to be that much more pleasant here.

The Netherlands has long been overlooked in favor of its more famous neighbors, but it’s about time we took the time to appreciate the cultural and historical wonders of Amsterdam, the incredible entertainment scene of Rotterdam, and the fairytale-like charm of Haarlem.

I also want to quickly mention that when I made that Venice comparison, I wasn’t kidding.

Even if we set aside the capital altogether, you still have places like Utrecht and Giethoorn that provide that Venice-like feel with none of the crowds or overpriced tourist traps.


Woman in Brussels, Belgium

This list wouldn’t be complete without Belgium, a country that promises cool, comfortable temperatures while still giving you a chance to enjoy that typical beachy experience

One tip I can give you when it comes to making the most out of your Belgium trip is to come with time to spare – between Brussels, Ghent, Burges, and Antwerp, your itinerary will be filled to the brim.

And don’t forget to try a cone of fries covered in spicy mayo, or better yet, a plate of the famous Belgian waffles; they’re really worth the hype.

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