You’ve probably seen it on the news. It’s summer, most of the western world in on vacation, people travel from anywhere to everywhere, and the lines, oh the lines! We’re certainly not asking you to skip the top summer hotspots. Berlin, London, and Amsterdam are stunning in the summertime. However, if you’re looking for a more underrated summer getaway, check out these options and discover a new destination.
Many of these underrated summer destinations can easily be combined with a trip to the more famous counterpart, so if you want a little of both – there you have it!
Tip: keep this list handy, and travel to the top destination when there are no holidays. Here’s how to find cheap flights throughout the year.
You can never go wrong with London – לונדון. The capital of the UK has so much to offer as a summer destination. There “must do” for first-timers is brilliant, and there’s always something new for frequent visitors. That’s why the city sees around 50 million visitors each year, of which over 20 million international tourists.
Almost 5 million people visited Northern Ireland in 2018 of which many spent at least one night in Belfast – בלפסט. The capital city offers rich history, many sites, restaurants, and of course – pubs. Add it to the Belfast Castle, Cavehill, and City Hall which are all a must, and enjoy a queue-free and tipsy summer destination.
Istanbul – איסטנבול, the capital of Turkey, holds many festivals and events throughout the year. In the summertime, the city hosts both The International Istanbul Music and the Jazz festival. Istanbul is rich in culture, history, and food, and the prices are wallet-friendly. However, you can only imagine the crowds of this huge hub for connecting flights.
Split – ספליט is located in central Dalmatia, Croatia. The historic center of Split is still characterized by its Roman roots as is evident in its squares and temples. You can find perfect examples of Roman architecture at St Duje’s Cathedral and Peristil Square, and Jupiter’s Temple (St John’s Church). Want to feel like a true local? Then walk along the charming streets of Varoš. If you are looking for more modern attractions, visit the main promenade – Riva.
Park Guell, Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, and Casa Batllo are the iconic works of Antoni Gaudi, the Catalan artist, an architect from Reus. In addition to La Ramblas, these are the top spots for tourists in Barcelona – ברצלונה. With the delicious food that you can find anywhere in the city, as well as a great shopping experience, there’s no wonder how Barcelona became a top summer destination. However, you will not be alone there. The city of 1.6 million residents hosts around 9 million visitors a year. And in the summertime, it can be a bit too crowded.
Valencia – ולנסיה is a fantastic choice for a long weekend city break in Spain. It’s sunny, sophisticated, and much less crowded. Valencia is a beautiful beach town and vibrant metropolis. The city is also full of history and home to some of Spain’s most quirky and riotous festivals. The messiest and most well-known being the tomato-throwing La Tomatina.
Top: Amsterdam | Underrated: Maastricht, Netherlands
We will never say anything bad about Amsterdam – אמסטרדם. In fact, Amsterdam is the perfect destination for a weekend vacation. From Anne Frank House to churches and parks – Amsterdam is simply stunning in summer. But you have to keep in mind that some 18 million people think the same and many travels during the hot season. Get ready to queue up, or book tickets in advance.
Travel Tips: If you do travel to Amsterdam, check out our guide for a weekend in the capital of the Netherlands.
Maastricht – מאסטריכט is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands and the site of the 1992 treaty that brought into existence the European Union. With around 3 million visitors a year, you can have a much more relaxed summer vacation. Walking through the streets of Maastricht is an experience that will take you back to medieval times. Here you can also find several noteworthy natural attractions. One of the most popular is the extensive Saint Pietersberg Cave system. To conclude, Maastricht is an excellent option for those who want an alternative vacation destination that hasn’t been fully discovered by too many people.
The summertime in Lisbon – ליסבון is long and warm, not as extreme and humid as the summers of Tel Aviv. There are plenty of historic sites, museums, monuments, and parks to visit, including the Lisbon Zoo. As a city located by the Atlantic Ocean, you can also book a cruise or water tours for very affordable prices. However, just bear in mind that August is the most crowded month. In other words, the streets and beaches are packed.
Porto – פורטו is the second-largest city in Portugal. Framed by the ocean and the mighty River Duoro, Porto is home to one of the most beautiful old towns in Europe. The historic churches, the beautiful gardens and, of course, the port wine make it a brilliant choice for a summer destination with not as many people around you.
Berlin – ברלין is the capital of Germany as well as the country’s largest city. While the new airport is already quite a few years overdue, the two old airports can barely handle the number of visitors. This city offers sites that are rich in histories, such as the Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Brandenburg Gate. To explore the city’s dark era, go to the Holocaust memorial and the Jewish Museum.
Hamburg – המבורג is the second-largest city in Germany and the 9th in the European Union. But for some reason, it’s not really on the regular tourist trail. That plays in your favor when you are looking for an alternative summer destination. Hamburg became the industrial and media capital of Germany, and a home for Speicherstadt – the largest warehouse district in the world. There are plenty of other must-see attractions. Therefore we can highly recommend that you’d give Hamburg a try!
When you visit Northern European cities in summer, you might need your umbrella as it rains year-round. But in the south things are different, and Madrid – מדריד, the capital of Spain is a sunny destination. Over 7 million tourists know that, and they too want to visit the city’s museums, galleries, and admire the beautiful architecture.
If you don’t want to be smashed in the crowds, why not Granada – גרנדה? Located in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Granada offers its visitors everything that you desire on a summer vacation in Spain: flamenco, tapas, and endless sunshine.
Vienna – וינה, the capital of Austria. When you visit Vienna, you can find chic restaurants and bars that provide dining in style. No matter what, you have to try the famous Viennese Schnitzel and apple strudel, with the vanilla sauce of course. Vienna is a perfect destination for a weekend break, but maybe in the summertime, you should consider another place. After all, it is one of the top 10 most visited cities in Europe!
Did you also see in recent months more and more people posting photos from their vacation in Salzburg – זלצבורג? Salzburg is a romantic, theatrical, classy, and kitsch city. It’s surrounded by white mountains that will make you feel like you’re inside a postcard, beyond the preconceptions of alpine meadows, milk chocolate and the Sound of Music. Of course, there are fewer tourists here, but you should hurry up before everyone else discover the cobbled streets and the stunning central fortress.
Many years before Skyscanner started finding cheap flights to Paris – פריז, Audrey Hepburn said: “Paris is always a good idea” (the film Sabrina, 1954). Well, she’s right, but with millions of tourists year-round, maybe you should come here in spring or fall? Of course, summer is also a great time to visit the capital of France. However, you should remember that Paris is the second most visited city in Europe.
Alternatively, you can book flights to Lille -ליל and enjoy more space and laid back summer destination. Lille is a trading town since the Middle Ages. The Lille-Sud area is becoming a Mecca for fashionistas. In the past decade, some young fashion designers have set up workshops and boutiques here. Since the city is located only two hours from Paris and an hour from Brussels, it offers visitors a lovely mix of Flemish cheerfulness and French elegance.