May 30, 2016 3 min read

Escape from the Australian winter and head overseas to Europe for one of their amazing summers. With so many cities to chose from, each one vastly different in contrast to the one before, you’ll have a hard time picking which one to choose! Here are five of our favourite cities to spend your summer in this year:

Dubrovnik, Croatia
It is truly a city frozen in time. Dubrovnik is romantic, historical, and alluring. Ride a cable car to get a breathtaking view of Dubrovnik, the clay-tiled roofs cascading down to the deep Adriatic blue. Or you can catch a beach break in the nearby Lopud Island and enjoy a Mediterranean-like sunbathing. Croatia and its blue jewelled waters are ideal for ocean lovers, avid boaters and eager travellers. There are major cultural events in Croatia throughout the year, but most festivals and public celebrations take place from April through August.

Geneva, Switzerland
One of the most expensive cities in the world, but worth every penny. Visit Lake Geneva, the Swiss watch museums, the maze of cobblestone streets and alleys strewn with cafes and boutiques and all things Swiss. Given that Switzerland is landlocked, you wouldn't automatically think of it as a top spot for swimmers. But the nearest river or lake is never more than 10 miles away—and since they're invariably both refreshingly cool and crystalline, diving in has a definite appeal. Switzerland is so diverse with regard to landscapes, languages, customs, and cuisines that it can easily sub for neighbouring countries. That means that you can sample the continent's cultural smorgasbord even if you don't have time for an extended European trip.

Barcelona, Spain
The city is rich in arts, not the least Gaudi’s famous works, the Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila. You can also check Picasso Museum, which shows the artist’s works from his early to later years. The National Museum of Art of Catalunya is also a must-see for the budding or professional artist. Sunbathe on the beaches and you'll have no trouble getting a table for a cold beer and a plate of fried prawns at one of the many beach bars for that luxe holiday life. Throughout the summer, each of Barcelona's neighbourhood’s holds its festa major, which normally kicks off with a huge street dinner for residents, followed by live music into the night. A vibrant and lively city to add to your holiday getaway list.

Lisbon, Portugal
The city was once the centre of the world, the place that heralded the Golden Age of Exploration. The National Tile Museum is an interesting site, a throwback to a time when Portugal is Arabic. You can also check the Alfama, an old district in the city, which provides an impressive panorama of the sea, the same sea that had tempted explorers of the past to discover the world. Similar to Paris, the capital of Portugal has many white buildings, but it also benefits from a silvery light reflecting off the Tagus River just like Venice and its lagoon. Particularly in the summer, and from dawn to dusk, Lisbon has a very special aura, with the sunset shimmering off the river.

Budapest, Hungary
The city is known for the numerous baths, springs, and spas. Check the neo-baroque Szechenyi Spa and Rudas Spa, a Turkish pool and one of the favourites among travellers. What can be more refreshing on a hot day than splashing in a pool? These baths also have open-air pools that are open from May till end of August. The Turkish baths (Király and Rudas) originate in medieval times, from the era when Hungary was under Ottoman rule (15th-17th centuries). Roman ruins such as the Aquincum Museum, Heroes’ Square and Statue Park are photos waiting to be taken. You’ll leave feeling refreshed and revitalised- that’s if you want to leave!

 


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