The Best Places to Visit in Europe in July

The 10 Best Places to Visit in Europe in July

There are endless reasons why July is one of the most popular times to travel in Europe. The weather’s perfect for almost any activity, the beaches beckon with crystal-clear waters made for swimming, and dynamic festivals promise non-stop parties. I live in Spain and July is definitely the time of year that crowds descend on our famous beaches!

If you’re restless for dazzling sunshine, high-octane events, and an irresistible summer vibe that will sweep you away with it, these 10 European destinations have just what you’re searching for. 

Because Europe is at its best at this time of year, you can expect to spend a little more on flights and accommodation. Popular tourist sites and restaurants are also guaranteed to be more crowded. If you’d rather travel when things are a little cheaper and quieter, consider going to Europe in May or September instead. Otherwise, get ready for an epic summer vacation you’ll be talking about for years to come! 

From Iceland’s phenomenal Midnight Sun and England’s wildflower-laden gardens to Spain’s magical rock pools and Serbia’s hypnotic music fest, there are just so many options. Whatever you’re looking to get out of your summer vacation this year, here are the very best places to visit in Europe in July.

The 10 Best Places to Visit in Europe in July

1. See the Midnight Sun in Reykjavik

Best Cities to Visit in Europe in July: Reykjavik

In July, Reykjavik becomes a surreal dream as the often snowy city becomes bathed in the enchanting glow of the Midnight Sun. At this time of year, daylight stretches well into the early hours of the morning, with sunrise happening around 3 am and sunset happening just after midnight. 

Travel at this time of year and you’ve got the once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience this otherworldly phenomenon that defies the usual constraints of time. The Midnight Sun isn’t the only reason Reykjavik is one of the best places to go in Europe in July. 

With so many hours of daylight, there are countless hiking trails to explore, glaciers to trek over, diving sites to discover, and horseback riding excursions to enjoy. July is also an excellent time to spot humpback whales and puffins!


2. Go to the Galway Int’l Arts Festival 

Immerse yourself in the cultural extravaganza that is the Galway International Arts Festival in Ireland this summer. One of the best places in Europe to visit in July, Galway is transformed into a sparkling hub of expression and creativity when this exciting festival comes to town each year.

Against the backdrop of historic streets and lively pubs, this cultural event showcases a spectacularly diverse range of performances. You can see everything from world-class theater and modern dance to incredible acrobatics and captivating street performances. 

It’s important to note that you need a ticket for each individual event. So check the official website to confirm availability before making any commitments. 


3. Visit the Pink Elafonissi Beach in Crete

Best Places to Visit in Europe in July: Elafonissi Beach in Crete

One of the best European destinations in July, Elafonissi Beach is one of those places that you need to see with your own eyes to believe just how beautiful it truly is. Here you’ll find blushing pink sands lapped by aquamarine waters and frothy white waves. This beach is actually separate from the island of Crete, but because the water’s so shallow, you can safely walk across the sandbar to get there.

Elafonissi Beach can get incredibly crowded in July. Because of this, I suggest arriving in the early morning or around sunset. This way you’ll be able to snap loads of great pictures without other people getting in your shot. 


4. See Outdoor Movies at the Isola del Cinema in Rome

Experience the magic of outdoor cinema against the enchanting backdrop of the Tiber River at Isola del Cinema in Rome. Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, this enchanting festival is located on Tiber Island and beautifully captures the essence of la dolce vita on a warm summer night.

One of the best European cities to visit in July if you’re looking for unique evening activities, Tiber Island is transformed into the ultimate date night location at this time of year. From the beginning of June until the end of September, you’re invited to cozy up and watch a huge variety of Italian and international movies – plenty of which are in English or have English subtitles. 


5. Explore Picture-Perfect Gardens in London

What Places to Visit in Europe in July: London Kew Gardens

London is another one of the best places to go in Europe in July for sightseeing. The weather can be a bit hit-or-miss, but at this time of year, you’re certain to enjoy warmer temperatures, more sunshine, and less rain than almost all the other months.

In between gazing at Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye, I definitely recommend you take time out to walk through the city’s gardens. In summer, London’s green spaces are at their absolute best, with extravagant displays made up of all kinds of colorful flowers. 

Kew Gardens (the largest botanical garden in the world) and Kyoto Japanese Garden at Holland Park (where you can see elegant peacocks) are two of my favorites.


6. Attend the AgitAgueda Art Festival in Portugal

What Places Have Shoulder Season in Europe in July: Agitagueda Art Festival

Looking for the best European cities to visit in July for the chance to capture one-of-a-kind photos? Then add Águeda in Portugal to your short list. Every July, this charming city hosts the AgitAgueda Art Festival, a vibrant celebration of art that transforms the streets into a rainbow of creativity. 

The vivid festival is best known for its umbrella-covered streets, where a sea of vibrant parasols creates a whimsical canopy overhead, providing shade and an incredible photo opportunity at the same time. 

Beyond the umbrellas, the AgitAgueda Art Festival features a fantastic program of events, including live music, street performances, and a showcase of contemporary artwork. 


7. Cool Off in Natural Rock Pools in Tenerife

Where to Vacation in Europe in July: Natural Rock Pools in Tenerife

With stunning volcanic beaches, world-class water parks, and superb weather, Tenerife is definitely one of the best places to go in Europe in July. The only downside is that temperatures can skyrocket up to 90°F (32°C). 

If the heat ever gets to be too much for you, you can cool off in one of the island’s many natural rock pools. These hidden gems are scattered along the coast of the island and are made up of lava that flowed to the coast and naturally formed a pool shape before hardening into rock. 

The El Caletón rock pools in Garachico are the most popular, but they can get very crowded. Charco de La Laja in San Juan de La Rambla is my favorite. If you visit on a weekday, there’s a great chance you’ll have the place to yourself!


8. Party All Night at Tomorrowland 

Must Visit Places in Europe in July: Tomorrowland

One of the world’s biggest and best electronic dance music festivals, Tomorrowland transforms the picturesque town of Boom, Belgium, into a jumping hub for anyone who wants to party. Grab yourself a ticket for the non-stop party, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by unparalleled audio-visual spectacles, world-class DJs, elaborate stage designs, and an atmosphere charged with pure euphoria.

The backdrops are gigantic, spectacular, and look like something out of a Disney theme park. There’s nothing like standing in front of an extravagant stage, with the sun setting, fireworks popping, and music pumping. Tickets go on presale in December the year before the event and sell out incredibly quickly. To get the best price, book as early as you can in December. 


9. Have a Posh Beach Vacation in Biarritz

Best Cities to Visit in Europe in July: Posh Beach Vacation in Biarritz

When it comes to the best European destinations in July for the ultimate beach vacation, you can’t go wrong with Biarritz. Set on the coast of the French Basque Country, this elegant resort town boasts the perfect blend of laid-back charm and seaside sophistication. 

Here you can stroll along golden sandy beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, take a dip in the beautiful blue sea, and discover the wonders hidden inside secret coves. The promenade that lines the Grande Plage beach is an excellent place to explore. 

Here you’ll find all kinds of high-end boutique stores and excellent fish and seafood restaurants. Chez Eugénie, located just a short walk from the main promenade, is my favorite. They do an excellent sharing seafood platter, which changes throughout the seasons.


10. Go Glamping at Exit Festival in Novi Sad

Best Places to Visit in Europe in July: Exit Festival in Novi Sad

Exit Festival is a 5-day music spectacular with a line-up so amazing that you’ll never want the music to end. It takes place in the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia, and features 16 music stages, plus silent discos, dance-offs, fireworks displays, food trucks, and chill-out zones.

If you never want to leave the fun behind, opt for one of the tickets with accommodation. The campsite is the most fun place to stay, but sleeping on the floor isn’t for everyone. If you’d prefer something a little more sophisticated, the glamping option is perfect for you! You’ll get access to a private yurt complete with beds, sleeping bags, linens, pillows, and electricity. 

There you have it! The 10 best places to visit in Europe in July. What’s your favorite July travel destination in Europe?


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Author

  • Nicola Quinn

    Nicola is a freelance writer with an insatiable hunger for travel. She swapped her home in the UK for the sunny Canary Islands when she was just 11 and she has been based there ever since.

    From crawling on her hands and knees inside pyramids in Egypt to swimming with baby sharks in Bali and searching (fruitlessly!) for the Northern Lights in Iceland, Nicola takes every chance she gets to explore new places.

    The incredible experiences she has around the world fuels her writing and inspires her to plan even more adventures for the future.

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