15 Best Europe Summer Destinations For Every Budget

Planning a trip to Europe this summer? You are in the right place because I have gathered a list of the most beautiful European summer destinations.

European summer is a bucket list item for many travelers and for all the right reasons. It has something for everyone – no matter if you are looking for a cultural city break, a leisurely beach destination, or a fun road trip itinerary.

In this travel guide, you will find luxury, mid-range, and affordable Europe summer destinations. We will cover iconic places together with some hidden gems and places that haven’t been on the radar before.

For every destination you will find detailed travel guides and itineraries that will help you plan your trip. So without further ado, let’s dive in and discover the 15 best places to travel in Europe in summer 2024.

Luxury summer destinations in Europe

French Riviera

most beautiful European summer destinations
most beautiful European summer destinations
most beautiful European summer destinations

French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur, has been one of the best luxury destinations in Europe for decades. And it still offers a wealth of experiences that serve to the most demanding customers.

Located along the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean Sea in Southern France, this glamorous stretch of coastline is known for its beautiful beaches, iconic 5-star hotels, glittering cities, and lavish lifestyle. 

Nice is the heart of the French Riviera and a great base to explore the rest of the French Riviera. Just a short distance from Nice lies the glamorous city of Cannes, world-famous for its annual film festival and prestigious yachting scene. 

Further along the coast lies the legendary playground of the rich and famous: Saint-Tropez. And no visit to the French Riviera would be complete without a stop in the tiny principality of Monaco, the epitome of luxury and extravagance. Menton is worth a mention as well!

But my favorite part about the French Riviera is small towns tucked away from tourist crowds. Visiting Eze Village, Saint-Paul-de-Vence and Villefranche-sur-Mer feels like stepping into an old French movie and enjoying the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle.

When it comes to prices, it doesn’t serve much to budget travelers. There are some mid-range options but overall it is a place to enjoy the glamorous side of life without worrying about your budget.

Sounds like a place that you would enjoy? Don’t miss the best places to visit in the French Riviera or these amazing day trips from Nice.

Greek Islands

most beautiful European summer destinations
most beautiful European summer destinations
most beautiful European summer destinations

Summer vacation in Europe wouldn’t be complete without island hopping and Greece is a perfect destination for that. The Greek Islands are a paradise for luxury travelers seeking sun, sea, and sophistication. 

Whether you are drawn to the cosmopolitan vibe of Mykonos, the romantic atmosphere of Santorini, or the unspoiled beauty of Crete, these islands stand as the quintessential luxury European summer getaway.

If you want to escape the busy towns and tourist crowds, you will love Milos, Paros, Kefalonia. These hidden gems may lack the glitz and glamour, but they make up for it with their unspoiled beauty, rich culture, and authentic experiences.

The options are endless and you can easily visit 3-4 different islands during your summer holiday in Europe. Unlike the previous destination, you can definitely find some budget-friendly options to even out more expensive destinations.

I am sure you can picture yourself watching the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea, eating seafood in one of the beachfront restaurants, skinny dipping from a private yacht, or simply sipping a cocktail with a wonderful view from your Mykonos hotel with a private pool.

It is one of the most beautiful European summer destinations and I am sure that after Greek Island hopping you will be longing to return again and again.


best Europe summer destinations
best Europe summer destinations
best Europe summer destinations

Liguria is an Italian region nestled along the picturesque coastline of northwest Italy. With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and delicious culinary scene, Liguria offers travelers a taste of la dolce vita in an idyllic Mediterranean setting.

From the colorful villages of Cinque Terre to the glamor of Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure, the Italian Riviera serves sophistication and elegance that attracts luxury travelers from around the world.

In Genoa, the region’s capital, you can admire the grandeur of the Palazzo Ducale, explore the narrow alleyways of the historic Old Town, spend an afternoon in Boccadasse and sample Ligurian specialties such as pesto and focaccia.

When you get tired of busy places, you can escape the crowds and discover hidden gems like Camogli or soak up the sun in the remote San Fruttuoso. You can even pick one of the many hiking trails and enjoy natural beauty along the way.

As you can see, luxury destinations in Liguria blend with small fishermen villages and as much as you will love dining at Michelin-starred restaurants, you can join a wine tasting at family-run vineyards, or sample traditional dishes at rustic trattorias overlooking the sea.

Liguria has been my home base for many years and I know the region inside out. Despite all the time I spend abroad, I truly think this is one of the best European summer destinations and it has something to offer for everyone.

This is why I have gathered a list of the most beautiful places in Liguria and take you beyond Cinque Terre or Portofino.

Mid-range summer destinations in Europe


top cities in Europe to visit in summer
top cities in Europe to visit in summer
top cities in Europe to visit in summer

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and one of the most popular European summer destinations. Not only it is a perfect city break, but it also offers amazing beaches less than an hour drive away.

The historic neighborhood of Alfama will charm you with its maze-like streets and traditional Fado music, while the picturesque Belém district boasts architectural wonders like the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Lisbon is also known for its vibrant neighborhoods, like Bairro Alto and Chiado. These places host art galleries, local boutiques, Portuguese tavernas, and fun bars for the night owls. I am sure you will see the iconic yellow trams and spot Bica on the way as well.

The culinary scene in Lisbon is another reason to add it to your European summer bucket list. Authentic Portuguese cuisine offers a wide choice of freshly caught seafood, traditional pastries like pastéis de nata, amazing local wine and so much more.

And once you decide to explore beyond Lisbon, the options are endless. You can visit Sintra which is known for its fairytale palaces or spend a relaxing afternoon in Cascais. Cabo da Roca and Arrábida Natural Park are great alternatives for nature lovers.

I am sure you have heard about Lisbon as an affordable destination, however, in the past years the situation has changed a lot. While it offers a lot of cheap activities and affordable restaurants, hotel prices can quickly bring up your spending limit.

Lisbon was my home for more than 3 years and it was the main reason why I started this travel blog, so make sure you check these Lisbon travel guides where I share plenty of local knowledge and useful travel tips.


top summer destinations in Europe
top summer destinations in Europe
top summer destinations in Europe

Malta is a beautiful archipelago in the central Mediterranean Sea, comprising three main islands—Malta, Gozo, and Comino—and several smaller islets. And without a doubt, it is one of the top summer destinations in Europe.

You can explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed capital city of Valletta, with its grand fortifications, Baroque palaces, and charming narrow streets. The highlight of Valetta is the majestic St. John’s Co-Cathedral, home to Caravaggio’s masterpiece, “The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist.”

Don’t get fooled by its compact size, because Malta has a lot to offer to its visitors. Beyond Valletta, Malta is dotted with historic sites and cultural attractions that offer insight into its fascinating past.

The ancient city of Mdina, often called the “Silent City,” is a must-visit during your time in Malta. The fortified city of Victoria, located on the island of Gozo, is home to the imposing Citadel, a fortified hilltop complex with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

In addition, Malta is blessed with stunning natural landscapes and amazing beaches. From the sandy shores of Golden Bay and Mellieħa Bay to the secluded coves of Comino and Gozo, there’s no shortage of idyllic spots to soak up the sun and swim in the crystal-clear waters.

Outdoor enthusiasts can also explore Malta’s rugged coastline and scenic countryside through hiking trails, boat tours, and water sports activities. Malta is truly the perfect summer adventure in Europe.

If you want to know more about this island, make sure you don’t miss the best things to do in Malta and check these photos to inspire you to visit Malta.


top summer destinations in Europe
top summer destinations in Europe
top summer destinations in Europe

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, known for its rich history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant culture, offers a perfect blend of affordability and luxury, making it an ideal choice for those seeking an unforgettable summer escape in Europe.

Extraordinary history, evident in ancient ruins, medieval towns, and Baroque architecture is just one of the reasons to visit Sicily. You can explore iconic landmarks such as the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento and visit the historic city of Syracuse.

Beyond its historical treasures, Sicily is blessed with stunning natural beauty, including dramatic coastlines, rolling hills, and towering volcanoes. You can relax on the sandy beaches of Taormina or explore the rugged landscapes of the Madonie and Nebrodi mountain ranges.

Palermo and Catania are must-visit cities in Sicily and a good starting point for your Sicilian adventure, while small towns like Taormina, Cefalu, and Ragusa will steal your heart.

Sicily’s culinary scene is another highlight, with mouthwatering dishes influenced by its rich cultural heritage and abundant local produce. Street markets and family-run trattorias provide the perfect opportunity to savor the flavors of Sicily and experience its warm hospitality.

Sicilian specialties include arancini (rice balls), caponata (eggplant stew), cannoli (sweet pastry filled with ricotta), and a refreshing granita (flavored ice dessert). 

The best way to discover Sicily is by planning a road trip around the island. However, if you want a relaxing holiday, you will want to focus on Mondello, Taormina, Cefalu, or Trapani and check out these amazing Sicily resorts.

While Taormina is one of the most luxurious destinations in Italy, other towns offer affordable alternatives and mid-range hotels to balance out your budget. Keep in mind, that August is the most popular time to visit Sicily which means increased prices for tourist activities.

Is Sicily your European summer destination this year? Don’t miss these authentic experiences in Sicily and Sicily’s most beautiful places that will help you discover the best of this Italian island.


top cities in Europe to visit in summer
top cities in Europe to visit in summer
top cities in Europe to visit in summer

Dubrovnik is the pearl of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast and its Venetian heritage makes it stand out as an exceptional mid-range summer destination in Europe. 

One of Dubrovnik’s most beautiful features is its well-preserved medieval Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its ancient and recently renewed city walls, marble-paved streets, and historic landmarks. 

Visitors can stroll the alleys of the old town, admiring the elegant palaces and ancient churches, and enjoy the atmosphere of this magical city, which was chosen as a set for the hit TV series Game of Thrones.

The city is blessed with spectacular natural beauty, with crystal-clear waters, breathtaking beaches, and greenery surrounding the city. One of the best things to do in Dubrovnik is to take a stroll along the picturesque waterfront promenade or explore the nearby Lokrum Island.

Dubrovnik also offers a range of outdoor activities to enjoy, from kayaking and snorkeling along the rocky coastline to hiking in the surrounding mountains. 

Once you are done exploring this Croatian city, you can take a day trip to the nearby Elaphiti Islands, a perfect spot to swim, sunbathe, and explore charming fishing villages far from the tourist crowds.

The culinary scene is another reason that makes Dubrovnik one of the top summer destinations in Europe. Seafood definitely dominated the scene, but make sure you try cured ham and burek. Desserts like rozata, a traditional custard pudding, are also worth mentioning.

The city keeps its culture alive and hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the summer months, including music concerts, art exhibitions, and theater performances.

Are you a photographer? Don’t miss these picturesque locations in Dubrovnik.


best European summer destinations
best European summer destinations
best European summer destinations

Andalusia is my favorite area of Spain and it simply had to be on the list of the best Europe summer destinations. Some might argue that it is unbearably hot, while others enjoy summer heat and endless sunshine.

If that sounds like you, I am sure you will love Andalusia as much as I did. But renting a car and planning a road trip is an absolute must to make the most of this region. Make sure you read this 14-day road trip itinerary for Andalusia.

This itinerary covers some bigger cities like Sevilla, Granada, and Cordoba, iconic attractions like Ronda, the best beaches of Andalucia together with multiple charming towns like Cadiz, scenic landscapes, and cultural attractions.

You can easily adjust your Andalucia itinerary depending on your starting point and length of trip, but spending 14 days on the road in Southern Spain will be your ultimate summer adventure in Europe.


best European summer destinations
best European summer destinations
best European summer destinations

Puglia is another iconic Italian region that should be on your list of top summer destinations in Europe. Its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and delectable cuisine make it a perfect spot for travelers seeking a blend of relaxation and cultural exploration.

Firstly, Puglia boasts stunning coastal views along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. You can indulge in sunbathing and swimming at beautiful beaches like Polignano a Mare and Porto Cesareo. 

Moreover, Puglia is steeped in history. The city of Lecce, known as the “Florence of the South,” showcases Baroque architecture, including the breathtaking Basilica of Santa Croce and the intricate façade of Lecce Cathedral. Bari is the capital of the region and an absolute must-visit.

Meanwhile, Alberobello attracts visitors with its unique trulli houses and traditional stone dwellings with conical roofs that date back centuries. Trust me, this is one of the most unique places to visit in summer.

On top of that, Puglia offers the best of both worlds. You can find fantastic hotels with sea views and affordable apartments further away from the coastline. The food scene is similar: affordable street food is mixed with fabulous seafront restaurants.

So it is up to you to choose where to splurge and where to save. Either way, I am sure you will have a good time while exploring the most beautiful places in Puglia.

Affordable summer destinations in Europe


unique summer destination in Europe
unique summer destination in Europe
unique summer destination in Europe

Montenegro is the best-kept secret of Europe and one of the most affordable summer destinations. Trust me, this country is not on many travel guides so it’s perfect if you are looking for a hidden gem.

Firstly, Montenegro’s natural beauty attracts visitors with its rugged mountains, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters. Durmitor and Tara River Canyon are perfect destinations for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers.

The Bay of Kotor, often referred to as Europe’s southernmost fjord, welcomes with its dramatic scenery and charming coastal villages. While Kotor is the most popular town in the area, Perast offers a more laid-back atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the ancient city of Budva offers a blend of historic charm and vibrant nightlife, with its medieval walls encircling a lively maze of shops, restaurants, and bars.

From cozy guesthouses and family-run pensions to budget-friendly hotels and hostels, travelers can find comfortable lodgings at reasonable prices. Likewise, dining out in Montenegro is a wallet-friendly affair, with restaurants serving up local Montenegrin dishes

I have to say that Montenegro is not well connected with the rest of the world, but it is totally worth an extra leg. I truly encourage you to discover Montenegro before it gets too popular and make sure you tick off these highlights of Montenegro.


summer holiday in Europe
summer holiday in Europe
summer holiday in Europe

Athens is one of the top cities in Europe to visit in summer and while it usually serves as a quick stopover to the Greek Islands, it is a perfect affordable summer destination in Europe.

Athens is steeped in ancient history, evident in its iconic landmarks and archaeological sites. The Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage site, dominates the city’s skyline with its majestic temples, including the iconic Parthenon.

The National Archaeological Museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts, while the vibrant neighborhood of Plaka invites visitors to wander through charming streets lined with tavernas, cafes, and souvenir shops and find endless Athens photo spots.

Athens offers affordable accommodations to suit every budget. You can choose from a variety of options, including budget-friendly hostels, cozy guesthouses, and affordable hotels located in the city center and surrounding neighborhoods. 

Additionally, dining out in Athens is affordable, with plenty of options for delicious and affordable Greek cuisine, from souvlaki and gyros to moussaka and spanakopita.

Or you can escape the summer heat by taking a refreshing dip in the Aegean Sea at nearby beaches like Glyfada and Vouliagmeni. Alternatively, you can hike up Mount Lycabettus for panoramic views of the city or explore the scenic trails of the National Garden.

Last year I spent more than one month in Athens and I have been thinking about going back ever since. I am sure these Athens travel guides will help you plan your next trip to the Greek capital.


summer adventure in Europe
summer adventure in Europe
summer vacation in Europe

Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal, consisting of four islands located in the Atlantic Ocean. It is known also as the Hawaii of Europe and one of the best European summer destinations.

Its culture, lush landscapes, and mild climate make it an ideal destination for any type of traveler, from adventurous young adults to romantic couples or even families.

The island’s capital, Funchal is the main cultural center of Madeira and it is a colorful town rich in traditions, lush and colorful gardens, lively markets, and picturesque churches. 

Santana, with its unique triangular houses, is another iconic place in Madeira. If you want to enjoy natural pools, Porto Moniz is the place to be. And Porto Santo island, located just in front of the main island of Madeira, is a perfect remote getaway.

Landscape lovers will find countless trekking and hiking options which are called “Levadas”. It’s incredible to think how many trials there are on such a small island. 

Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço is one of the most panoramic paths you can take to explore the island. If you are an expert hiker, you can climb the Pico Ruvio or Ribeiro Frio.

Madeira deserves a separate travel guide because there is so much to see on this tiny island, so make sure you read about the best things to do in Madeira.


Most beautiful places in Europe summer
15 Best Europe Summer Destinations For Every Budget
Most beautiful places in Europe summer

Algarve, located in the southern region of Portugal, is an exceptional choice among affordable summer destinations in Europe. With its stunning coastline, charming towns, and budget-friendly prices, the Algarve is a summer getaway that won’t break your bank.

While the small Portuguese towns are pretty, the main attractions include mostly beaches, so this is a perfect destination for those seeking a summer beach holiday in Europe.

From the popular resorts of Albufeira and Lagos to hidden gems like Praia da Marinha and Praia da Falésia, there’s a beach for every preference. You can soak up the sun, swim in the refreshing sea, or try water sports such as surfing, paddleboarding, and snorkeling.

The city of Faro, with its charming old town and medieval walls, invites you to explore its cobbled streets and bustling markets. Meanwhile, the town of Lagos offers a blend of history and nightlife, with its ancient fortifications and vibrant bar scene.

When it comes to prices, you can find affordable alternatives and great value for money. However, I highly recommend renting a car to explore Algarve which is going to be the biggest chunk of your budget when visiting Southern Portugal.


Most beautiful places in Europe summer
Most beautiful places in Europe summer
Most beautiful places in Europe summer

Georgia is another hidden gem and affordable summer destination in Europe. Yes, I am talking about the country Georgia, not the state in the USA. 

Georgia’s capital city, Tbilisi, is a vibrant hub of culture and history. You can wander through a charming old town, where narrow cobblestone streets lead to picturesque squares and ancient churches. 

Beyond Tbilisi, Georgia boasts breathtaking natural beauty. The Caucasus Mountains provide endless opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and paragliding. In summer, the mountainous regions offer cool retreats from the heat.

One of Georgia’s most famous attractions is the ancient town of Mtskheta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is a masterpiece of medieval Georgian architecture, and the Jvari Monastery offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Batumi is a popular beach destination filled with affordable resorts. And Gergeti Trinity Church is an incredible church hidden between the Caucasus mountains. As you can see there is something for every kind of traveler.

If you are a wine lover like me, this will be your paradise. Georgia is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, with a winemaking tradition that dates back thousands of years. 

For very affordable prices you can tour vineyards and taste unique varietals such as Saperavi and Rkatsiteli.

And can we talk about the food for a moment? Georgian cuisine is so underrated and everything from khachapuri and khinkali will leave you coming back for more.

If you are looking for unique summer destinations in Europe away from the crowds, Georgia should be on top of your list. Considering that I come from Latvia and we share a lot of history with Georgia, it was on my bucket list for years and it totally lived up to my expectations.

I think I am getting carried away because I could talk about Georgia for hours, so make sure you read this guide where I share the best of Georgia.

In conclusion…

This is the end of the best Europe summer destinations and I am sure that you have a few places on your mind for your next holiday. I believe my detailed guides will help you further with planning your designated destination.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.

Pin it for later and save the most beautiful European summer destinations!

15 Best Europe Summer Destinations For Every Budget
15 Best Europe Summer Destinations For Every Budget

One Comment

  1. I can’t wait to plan my European summer gateway!

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