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7 must-visit summer destinations in the UK & Europe

Published August 10th, 2015

If dreaming of Europe and the UK gets your heart racing and a hot, sunny summer is your favourite season, you'll want to start ticking off these cities. Exciting year-round, but especially magical during summer, the below destinations make perfect additions to a travel wish-list.

What's even more exciting is that if you book now for Summer 2016 trips, you can lock in Early Bird prices with certain group touring companies.

Berlin

Berlin is packed full of interesting architecture, a vibrant culture and fascinating history. And if it’s a party you’re searching for, Berlin won’t fail to disappoint.

Hit the city streets in the summertime and discover it all on foot under the warm European sun. Past the gritty grey city facade, you’ll be drawn into compelling cosmopolitan cafes, modern bars and underground kitsch music venues, alongside an impressive arts scene. Check out the remnants of the Berlin wall and learn all about Berlin under the Nazi regime.

Visit the historic Brandenburg Gate in Berlin (All images: Getty)

Barcelona

Beautiful Barcelona is an enchanting cosmopolitan city with quirky, imaginative architecture and a captivating personality. Barcelona is a lot of fun in the summertime, with lively nightlife and beautiful sunny beaches to escape to if the hustle and bustle of the city gets too much.

Spend your days under the Spanish sun getting inspired by the city’s captivating architecture as you wander around the Gothic Quarter, Gaudi’s Casa Battlo and the mighty Basillica of the Sagrada Familia.

Paris

Paris at any time of the year is an unforgettable experience, but a walk along the Seine and its city beaches in summer will truly fill you with joie de vivre.

If you're inspired by art, a visit to the almighty Louvre will satisfy your wishes to see Italian Renaissance greats alongside French Neo-classical masters. See the city lights by night, visit the city Palace of Versailles, drive by the Arc de Triomphe and climb the Eiffel Tower. The iconic sights in this romantic city are endless!

Locals enjoy drinks along the Seine in Paris during summer

Lisbon

Portugal’s capital offers all the captivating history and enchanting architecture of other European cities without the busy streets. Dubbed the 'San Francisco of Europe', Lisbon charms visitors with its Gothic cathedrals, yellow trams, hilly tree-lined streets and patio restaurants.

Visit the spectacular Botanical Gardens, gorge yourself on the famous pastel de belem Portuguese Tarts, and take in the history of what is one of the oldest cities in the world.

Venice

Summer is the time to visit Venice’s majestic marble palaces, famous waterways and multitude of islands.

In a city where the only mode of transport is by water, you’ll be spending a lot of time in gondolas floating around under the Italian sun, as you’re ferried from one iconic historic sight to the next. See the sights by day, gorge yourself on gelato, sip espressos in the Piazza di San Marco and party the night away.

Cruise along the canals in Venice

London

Lovely London is best explored in the summertime. Not only does the sunshine cheer up the grey streets, Londoners are also at their cheeriest when the weather is warm.

London is an easy city to walk around when you get your bearings, with so many famous sights and attractions located at every turn. London’s parks are where you’ll find many of its residents sunning themselves.

Take a wander through Hyde Park, head over to trendy Notting Hill and visit the Portobello Road markets. Hit the shops on Oxford Street, cruise the streets of Soho and stop in for a bite to eat in China Town before catching a matinee show in Theatre Land.

Istanbul

For a completely unique experience, Istanbul delights visitors with its ancient history, spectacular mosaicked mosques and trans-continental culture. Wander the historic streets of Sultanahmet and visit the cascading domes and towering minarets of the bedazzling 17th-century Blue Mosque, which gets its name from the blue hue of the thousands of iznic tiles that adorn its curved interiors.

Get your haggle on at the bustling Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s largest and oldest undercover markets, and take a relaxing scrub at a Turkish Bath to complete the iconic Istanbul experience.

Selfies in front of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul

Amy Dalgleish

Wanderlust pommie, currently living the dream in sunny Byron Bay.