In 2017 Spain officially overtook the USA to become the second most-visited country in the world (after France) according to stats from Hotels.com. And Europe continues to grow as a hotspot for travellers… whether it’s for a family vacation, girls’ getaway or a romantic trip pour deux. We round up some buzz-worthy locations to hit up this summer… some classics and a couple of up and coming destinations you won’t want to miss out on.
With all the royal wedding buzz, there’s no better time to visit the UK, in particular, England. The spotlight is on the Brits as they celebrate a royal wedding and a royal baby all in the same year, but truly aside from all that commotion, there truly is no better time to visit the UK than in the summer months. London is always a great spot to hit u , but then venture out into the countryside, for a real British (and even royal!) feel.
Rolling hills, quaint towns, cozy pubs and stunning properties like the Stapleford Park Hotel (part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World), set in Leicestershire is the perfect spot to relax, unwind and truly feel like a royal yourself. With just 55 rooms, it feels boutique in this regal estate. Don’t forget to spa, take in afternoon tea, clay-pigeon shooting, archery, and even falconry to up the royal-esque factor.
Europe’s new bustling and hip city is Warsaw–a mix of incredible old buildings, history and classical music with hipster cafes, clubs, nightlife and galleries. Be sure to wander the tiny streets of the Old City, take a peek at the Palace, poke around the beautiful cathedrals and nibble on some amazing Polish food. Summer in Warsaw equals a lot of outdoor music, festivals and performances in the great weather, so take advantage and chat with the locals.
Staying downtown gives you access to tons of history that Warsaw has to offer (the Chopin museum, the Jewish Cemetery, palaces, museums, etc.), and you won’t be too far away from cool neighbourhoods. H15 Boutique Hotel is the perfect fit for something artsy and cool and to capture that Warsaw vibe.
Croatia has been on the Europe hot list for a few years now. Mainly because of Game of Thrones fans flocking to Dubrovnik to see the Old City and it’s filming locations. But the surrounding area is also incredible along the coastline and the parts of Dubrovnik outside the Old City walls. Staying at the Hotel Excelsior makes it easy to experience both — it’s the closest hotel to the Old City and just a 5-10 minute walk, and accessible to other parts of the city too.
Another hotspot in Croatia is Zagreb… a Vienna-like city that is picture-perfect in the summer months with ideal temperatures. A lot of “hotels” here are actually apartment rentals which is more affordable and allows you to cook for yourself if you want. If you’re already in Croatia to see Dubrovnik, rent a car and drive up the coastline and in the interior to Zagreb… it’s worth it and you’ll get to see even more of that stunning countryside.
If you want to be ahead of the travel curve, pack your bags (bikinis, sundresses and floppy hats will be essentials) for Malta. We guarantee that in the next year or so, Malta will be brimming with tourists as the new hotspot in Europe. Think Iceland, before every single person you know went to Iceland. It’s not hard to see why with the incredible streets, coastline, to-die-for seafood (even if you’re not a seafood fan!).
The city of Valletta has also been named the cultural capital of Europe for 2018 and will be the best place for you to call home base as you explore the island, and if you really want to get that local feel, opt for Air BnB.