Rip off your duffle coat, unzip that onesie and lose the mittens – summer is almost here and that can only mean one thing… summer holidays!

Those long evenings, basked in glorious sunshine are definitely made even better by the knowledge that you can (and probably should) be enjoying it somewhere new!

With so many epic European destinations to explore, the hardest part of your summer holiday will be deciding where you should go to and who to take with you! Though I can’t help you decide who to take (short of insisting you take me), what I can with is choosing where to go to on your summer European road trip.

European Places To Visit In Summer

Take a look below at some of the very-merry-places that you should be pinning on that travel map this summer!

1.) Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre To Pisa: Italy Road Trip On A Rickshaw (44)

Cinque Terre is one of those destinations that I always come across on Pinterest and was finally glad to see that they live up to the hype in person. They’re the perfect little region of five towns to drop into your European road-trip. Don’t forget to ditch the car and take the train between all the stunning towns as the drive can be long and tiring. Thankfully, each one of the towns rewards you with its own charm and homemade wines that’ll give you the perfect excuse to get sloshed in the afternoon. After all, who would (or indeed could) refuse you this guilty pleasure?

Planning on visiting Cinque Terre? Don’t miss our complete guide to planning your visit, here.

Thinking of an Italian road trip? Make sure you include these 23 stops!

2.) Barcelona

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A city as lively as its architecture!

Barcelona is one of Europe’s most remarkable cities and comes packed with some of the best restaurants in all of Spain. Perched on the Mediterranean coast, the city is basked in sunshine during the summer months.  Whip out the tank top/vest, chuck on the shorts and head straight for the parks and beaches where you’ll get to explore some of Gaudi’s most famous works!

Planning a visit to Barcelona? Don’t miss these 22 sights you must include.

3.) Santorini

A Journey To The Real Atlantis - Santorini In Greece (21)Santorini: A Photo Diary by Chris (18)

Legend has it that Santorini is the actually part of Atlantis, the city that was lost underwater. Once an important part of Greek civilisation, a catastrophic eruption of its volcano caused one of the world’s mightiest natural disasters in human history. As a result, half of the island was sunken underwater, destroying the civilisation that inhabited the island. Thankfully, the volcano now sleeps soundly and the island is easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Greece.

Grab a short flight from mainland Europe and enjoy the stunning views and stunning foods from across the island. Just don’t wake up that damn volcano!

Don’t forget to try this experience when you visit Santorini! 

4.) Nimes 

Visit Ancient Rome… in the South of France! In Nimes (10)

Want to discover a Roman amphitheatre that’s actually better preserved than the one in Rome? Then look no further than the stunning French city of Nimes on the South Coast. Nimes is actually an old Roman city so the amphitheatre is the first of many other amazing sights that will no doubt impress you when you visit! Take a wander through its windy streets, chow down on a belly full of Creme Brûlée and stock up on that champagne (obviously not if you’re driving – you might need a night of two here to indulge yourself a little here)! 😉

5.) Amsterdam 

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This little canal loving city is one of  my favourite places to visit on a European Road trip. Not only is it conveniently located by so many other ‘get-me-there-now’ cities such as; Paris, Brussels and Copenhagen – it has a character and charm that is truly unique. I’ve visited Amsterdam about 6 times in the last 2 years, with each time being completely different! For your own different type of experience, try staying onboard one of these beautiful house-boats that line the city’s canals.

Don’t forget to visit this beautiful place whilst in the city!

6.) Copenhagen

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It’s so easy to have an amazing time in Copenhagen! The important thing is to let yourself loose, interact with the locals (Danes are notoriously friendly) and before you know it, you’ll be at some of the best sights and events on offer in the city.

One easy fave when you’re in Copenhagen is the famous Tivoli Park, which was Walt Disney’s inspiration to create Disneyland.

Visiting Copenhagen? Then you’ll want to read our complete guide…

7.) Luxembourg City

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Old Luxembourg... The UNESCO World Heritage Site! (11)

Old Luxembourg... The UNESCO World Heritage Site! (16)

A small city, in a relatively small country, Luxembourg City should not be mistakenly thought to have a relatively small amount of things to do! An ideal weekend in the city should include exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, locating its deliciously calorific chocolate cafe, wander the cobbled street and easting lots of delicious food as a very bare minimum. Just don’t forget a good pair of walking shoes and your best elasticated trousers for dinner. ;-).

8.) Lisbon

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The city of Lisbon is perched within, around and on top of 7 different hills that make up this beautiful Portuguese city. Take a wander through its many neighbourhoods and scoff as many freshly baked egg tarts at Pastéis de Belém.  (I managed 5 before the sugar high kicked in! They really are too more-ish to stop.)

Thinking of visiting Lisbon? Don’t forget to try these 12 experiences! 

9.) Gdansk

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Nestled on the northern coast of Poland, this beautiful little city is a great place for an overnight stay while heading east in Europe. Take a wander through Gdansk’s main streets, search for your favourite piece of amber jewellery and explore the spa town of Sopot with its white sandy beach! Just remember to pack that sunblock… no one wants to end up the colour of a strawberry on holiday! 🙂

Here’s more reasons why you should be visiting Gdansk, Poland this summer! 

10.) Bergen

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bryggen... In Bergen, Norway. (16)This Is The Best View In Bergen (And One Of The Best In The World)!!! Mount Fløyen and the Fløibanen funicular (13)

This Is The Best View In Bergen (And One Of The Best In The World)!!! Mount Fløyen and the Fløibanen funicular (22)This Is Yet Another Reason To Fall In Love With Bergen, Norway... (2)This Norwegian city is the perfect stopping point before heading deeper into the beautiful Norwegian countryside. Take a wander around its famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, explore its pristine forests and discover the open-air dried Tørrfisk that I’ve still yet to taste! You see, I knew there was an excuse for why you need to take me along on your road trip! 😉

Thinking of visiting Norway? Don’t forget these stunning places you’ll want to visit! 


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  • Cinque Terre and Santorini are on my bucket list 🙂

    • HandLuggageOnly

      They’re both amazing places, Angie – you’ll love them 🙂

  • I love your suggestions! I would like to visit all these places someday. I guess it’s time to start thinking and planning our summer vacations. Thank you for reminding us!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! Thanks so much! So glad you love them as much as we do! Summer holidays… here we come! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya

  • Julie San

    Beautiful choices! I loved Cinque Terre!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It really is a magical area of Italy isn’t it Julie 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I’m visiting Cinque Terre very soon!! Can’t wait.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! Amazing! You’re going to have such an amazing time! Are you taking the train between the towns?

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Probably…. I’m also thinking about maybe hiking a bit… and still have to research the boat options. 🙂 What do you reckon is the best route/way to get around (I will only have a day there)?

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Definitely the train – it only take 3-6 minutes between each town. If you get to the first town for like 10am you’ll definitely see all five by sunset. It’s such a lovely way to spend a day but take some comfortable shoes for all the walking too 🙂

          You’re going to love it!


  • So many gorgeous photos. I think I’m drooling ; )

    • HandLuggageOnly

      So glad you love them! There really are so many lovely places to visit in Europe isn’ there.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • great photos and then the last from instagram…aaa london! I’m there in May:))

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! Thanks Tanja – London never fails to impress us! It doesn’t matter how many times we see that view it always feels magical.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Raquel

    I’ve only been to two of these, Barcelona (where I’m from) and Amsterdam, where I had two of the greatest weeks of my life, but I can say they are MUST-GO. They’re beautiful cities and there’s so much to do and see. I’m definitely thinking of visiting Lisbon this summer, but we’ll see if I can figure that out XD Lovely post!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      To live in Barcelona is our dream, Raquel – it’s such a great city isn’t it. So glad you loved Amsterdam as much as we did. Every time we visit we always seem to have new and amazing experiences!

      You’ll love Lisbon Raquel – make sure to try the egg tarts, they’re delicious! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Ahh all of these look amazing! I have only done about half as well and concentrating on Asia this year. Will manage to squeeze in Malta in September though I hear Valetta is meant to be amazing!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Valleta is stunning! Also don’t forget to take the ferry over to Gozo. A stunning island right next to Malta.

      Sounds like your going to have an amazing time in Asia! We can’t wait to hear more about it! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Holy wow! Wish my summer roadtrip looked like this haha. Great photos!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      So glad you like them Emily. 🙂 xx

  • Seriously dreaming of all of these places. They look incredible!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! So glad you like them Rachel! 🙂