With summer in full swing, the days are longer, the nightlife is brighter, and Europe in July feels magical and alive. July may be peak season to travel, but we were able to find the best European cities to visit in July, and you won't be disappointed!
1. Galway, Ireland - If music and arts pull you in, the Galway Arts Festival is something you will truly enjoy. Ireland's biggest art jamboree, the festival showcases all kinds of entertainment, and you can expect street spectacles, theater, comedy, literature, music, exhibitions, and concerts all in one venue. Afterwards, try a day hike through Connemara National Park where breathtaking scenery will greet you everywhere you turn. To relax, have an amazing pint of beer at the Tig Coili while listening to traditional Irish music. It's no wonder Galway is one of the best European cities to visit in July, but check out our tips for driving in Ireland to stay safe while driving in this beautiful country.
2. Nyon, Switzerland - Paléo Festival Nyon, the biggest open-air festival in Switzerland and one of Europe's fastest growing outdoor music events, is something you truly don't want to miss. Held every year in the eclectic and emergent city of Nyon, this festival will kick off an awesome vacation in the city. Beautifully surrounded by vineyards, you can also check out multiple museums, like the Swiss National Museum and the Museum of Lake Geneva, or swing by La Garenne Zoo in Le Vaud for a glimpse into the European animal world. Finish the day by taking your Switzerland rental car through a private Rhone wine tour where adventure and great tastes await.
3. Istanbul, Turkey - For a more adventurous vacation, why not get the best of both worlds with a little bit of Europe and a taste of Asia? Istanbul possesses a rich, complicated heritage and all of the beauty you would expect. Once the capital of the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires, this city's prestigious history has left us with many monuments to cherish. Istanbul integrates its past and present to create a unique mix of architecture, for example, in a glass skyscraper next to a Byzantine church or a colorful bazaar in the shadow of a shopping mall. Taste the distinctly Turkish treats in the streets, including döner, the Turkish version of fast food, to discover why Istanbul made our list of best places to visit in Europe in July.
4. Beaune, France - Sure, Paris is more famous, but in July, you'd have to share the capital with thousands of other tourists! Head out of the capital to one of the many provinces that have just as much to offer. Beaune, one of France's wine capitals, is a town that looks like it came out of a children's story book, with multicolored roofs and extremely pleasant residents. Beaune boasts some must-see museums like the Musee de l'Hotel-Dieu and the Musee du Vin de Bourgogne, and you can rent a car in Beaune to see both in one day. Afterwards, relax at one of the many outdoor cafés with your favorite glass of wine.
5. Stavanger, Norway - Stavanger is a city big in atmosphere with a small-town feel that was a must for our best European cities to visit in July list. Home to almost two dozen museums and, according to some, the highest concentration of wooden architecture in Europe, Stavanger's appeal is really about atmosphere. Its scenic waterfront comes alive at night, especially in the summer. The city is a hotbed for street art and hosts an annual festival in July that allows artists from around the world to work on public buildings. Don't miss the well-preserved old town (Gamle Stavanger), the unique Canning Museum, or the 12th-century Stavanger Cathedral.
There are so many options when it comes to traveling in the summertime, and we hope our list of the best places to visit in Europe in July helps narrow it down for you. Be sure to research and make your reservations in advance for any major city sites that might be crowded, and stay hydrated in the July heat.