Top five summer European breaks

With the summer holidays in full swing, many families, groups and couples are looking forward to jetting off to foreign climes for a well-deserved break. If you’re someone who likes to leave planning to the last minute – or if you’re already thinking about next year’s trip – here are a few of the fantastic holiday hotspots Europe has to offer.

Barcelona, Gaudi, Casa Batlló - Flickr CC melissadelzio

Barcelona

The Catalonian capital is the perfect destination for groups with different preferences or people who are having trouble making up their minds between a beach holiday and a cultural break. With golden sands and a generous sprinkling of cultural treasures, Barcelona offers the best of both worlds. Soak up the glorious sunshine on one of the beaches looking onto the Mediterranean Sea, marvel at the impressive Sagrada Familia and get snap happy at Guadí’s Park Guell.

Venice

This gem of a destination in Italy is a delight to visit all year round, but when the sun is out the waterways sparkle and look even more stunning, making a leisurely trip on a Gondola completely irresistible! Known as ‘The Floating City’, Venice is laced with canals and is teeming with historic buildings, grand cathedrals, fascinating museums and splendid artworks.

Amsterdam

The cosy coffee shops and wealth of museums that line the streets of Amsterdam make this a good destination regardless of what the weather may bring, but presuming the summer drenches the city in sunshine and treats it to balmy climes, there is plenty to do out of doors. Admire the tulips in the beautiful Vondelpark, scramble atop the famous ‘Iamsterdam’ sign in the Museum Quarter and enjoy a boat tour along the city’s network of canals.

Bruges

Bruges is simply stunning and nothing brings out the colour of the houses and the dazzle of the canals as much as bright sunshine, making summer the perfect season to enjoy this gorgeous city to the max. The pleasant weather gives visitors the perfect opportunity to explore the city by bike and soak up the sights of the historic houses, basilicas, churches and museums.

Berlin

A dynamic destination with plenty to do, Berlin is a haven for travellers who like to stay busy. Soak up the sun on one of the man-made urban beaches along the banks of the river Spree; swim in The Badeschiff, a floating pool crafted from an enormous cargo container; and enjoy a beer in Prater, Berlin’s oldest beer garden. With its many festivals, colourful parades and lively cafés, the city really is at its best on long, sunny days.

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