Six Countries in Europe You Should Visit This Summer
There’s no question that Europe is a favourite destination among travellers. The food is incredible and diverse, gorgeous architecture and scenery are abundant and for the most part, accommodation and transportation are comfortable and easy.
With 70+ countries under my belt, I’ve managed to visit nearly every country on the European continent. In fact, it’s quicker for me to list where I haven’t been. Ukraine, Slovakia, San Marino, the British Isles, Malta and one or two others are places I’ve yet to cross off my list. In due time!
Recently, I was asked for some advice on unique places to visit in Europe instead of the usual big hitters like England, France and Italy. As summer approaches and many people are planning their adventures abroad, I figured I’d share my answer with all of you and maybe, just maybe, help multiple people.
The following is a list of six countries in Europe you should visit this summer. I’ve visited them all and have given a brief description of each. I am happy to give further insight if you take an interest in any of them.
Let’s start over in eastern Europe. Located right on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this country. My favourite stop was in the city of Kotor (as seen above). The cobbled streets and Venetian style architecture surrounded by overhanging limestone cliffs makes it postcard perfect. Further down the coast I also visited the vacation beach town called Ulcinj. Again, beautiful! A popular destination is nearby Dubrovnik, Croatia and travelling between the two is quite simple, taking only a couple hours to get to Kotor.
One of the smallest countries in the world, Luxembourg had been on my radar for a while. When I finally did get there, it was not what I expected at all. I love that the city is sort of built into a rock face and the view of the old town is truly astounding. The country is neighboured by Germany, France and Belgium and if planned properly, getting to the capital, Luxembourg City, is quite simple. By flying to Paris, or other major airports nearby, you could then take the train or a connecting flight and it be affordable.
Compared to some of the other places on this list, Portugal is a popular destination among travellers to Europe but boy oh boy, is it worth mentioning! My mother and I visited Lisbon and Sintra together a few years back and would return in a heartbeat. The food, people and culture are intoxicating and whether you like relaxing in the sun by the water, eating or visiting churches (they have a lot of them) – there’s a little bit of something for everyone. It would be a great addition to a trip to Spain if you would like to split your time between two countries.
I’ve visited Croatia a few times now. The newest addition to the European Union, Croatia has really started to figure out tourism, making travelling around the country quite easy. From the Zagreb (the capital), to Plitvice Lakes National Park to Zadar on the sea, you can easily fill a week or two driving around and find yourself in very different and unique places. Check out my ‘A Day in Zagreb’ video to get an idea of what I mean and make sure you try the Maraschino liqueur, made by distilling Marasca cherries.
The most northern country on this list, Finland is an interesting blend of it’s fellow nordic neighbours Sweden and Norway, and of nearby Russia. My time was split between the small village of Porvoo and the capital, Helsinki. My goodness, the people are so friendly and if you haven’t tried a Finish Spa, you don’t know what you’re missing. Nature lovers take note: Finland has a lot of it. Additionally, you may want to consider taking the ferry to Estonia, another epic European place that a lot of people don’t know about.
Rounding out the list is a country with two names. Found in eastern Europe alongside Montenegro and Croatia mentioned above, Bosnia & Herzegovina has seen more than it’s share of war and unrest. But today, the scene is very different. Both Mostar and Sarajevo, the cities I visited, show marks from their past but have evolved into excellent destinations with plenty of things to do and restaurants to keep most visitors happy. In my opinion Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the best kept secrets in Europe and will only get better in time.
What do you think? Have I sparked your curiosity for any of the destinations I’ve mentioned?
While there are certainly more countries I would love to add to this list, I don’t think you could go wrong with these suggestions. For the most part, you will also find they are generally pretty affordable. Some of them would also be incredible to visit in the winter. In Finland for example you could possibly see the Northern Lights!
Should you have any questions about these places (or other spots in Europe) do not hesitate to leave a comment or send me a message. I’d love help you out! And if you’ve been to any of the places listed, share your suggestions in the comments below.