Early summer is a great time to travel and explore some of the best destinations around the world. This transition period usually translates to comfortable climate and fun festivities – ideal for enjoying some summer sun before the crowds arrive.

    Those who love outdoor activities can engage in hours of hiking lush landscapes or swimming in crystal clear water. Want to visit a new city? You might find it easy to visit their popular attractions due to shorter queues. For UK travellers planning an early-summer holiday, check out our guide to the best cities and coastal towns to visit.


    Paris, France

    Early summer brings festivals and concerts to the romantic city

    Paris is beautiful and romantic year-round, but early summer brings many fun festivals to its streets. With great weather, you can explore the city on foot or by bicycle. Expect hundreds of stunning structures – the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Champs Élysées – stand out against clear blue skies.

    The capital of France hosts many annual festivals and concerts at the start of summer. Besides the iconic Fête de la Musique and Paris Jazz Festival, you can discover buskers performing along the Parisian streets, squares, and river quays. Read more


    New York, USA

    Enjoy cosy weather and street festivals

    New York offers a fun-filled city break in early summer, with cosy weather, annual events, and outdoor activities. It gets rather busy at the start of the season (June), thanks to popular festivals like Pride March, Central Park SummerStage Festival, and Big Apple Block Party.

    Of course, no visit to New York is complete without visiting its iconic landmarks. Times Square, the Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Statue of Liberty are great any time of the year, but an early-summer trip usually means smaller crowds – and, obviously, shorter queues. At the end of the day, rest your feet and refuel at one of New York’s outstanding rooftop bars or alfresco restaurants. Read more


    Rome, Italy

    Fantastic cuisine, charming piazzas, and blooming flowers galore

    Rome is absolutely gorgeous in early summer, when clear blue skies highlight its many charming piazzas and historic landmarks. A great place to start your day is the Trevi Fountain, an iconic landmark dating back to the 18th century. During this time of the year, you can easily toss a coin into the water without having to jostle with a huge crowd.

    Must-sees in Rome include the Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Pantheon. If you need a break, the hilltop Pincio Gardens feature dazzling flowers and plants, as well as a terrace overlooking Piazza del Popolo. The city’s many restaurants have outdoor seating for you to enjoy the cosy weather with amazing Italian cuisine. Read more


    Mallorca, Spain

    A great early summer getaway for sunseekers in Spain

    Mallorca is one of the best early summer destinations in Spain’s Balearic chain. Picturesque beaches, secluded coves, mountains, unique architecture, and world-class wineries are just some of the island’s highlights.

    Most first-timers to Mallorca stay in Palma Nova, which is right by the island’s airport and ferry terminal. The town has nice beaches, varied accommodation, high-end shopping, and plenty of alfresco dining options. It’s also a great base for exploring the rest of the island – must-sees include Serra de Tramuntana, Drach Caves, and Cap de Ses Salines. Read more


    Barcelona, Spain

    Surrealistic architecture and fun-loving culture

    Barcelona is a buzzing city year-round, especially in early summer. The shoulder season is a great time to enjoy the city’s coastal charm in mild weather. The beaches of Barceloneta, Bogatell, Mar Bella, and Nova Icaria are great for both relaxing and indulging in water sports.

    For those who want to experience Barcelona’s history and culture, Ciutat Vella is a must-visit. A stroll through this historic centre takes you to surrealistic structures like Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló and Park Güell, which showcase the brilliant mind of Antoni Gaudí. Read more


    Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Enjoy outdoor concerts, festivals and cinemas – some for free!

    Amsterdam is the quirky capital of the Netherlands, with plenty of things to experience year-round. It’s very easy to explore the city on foot or by bicycle – must-visits include the Museum District, De Negen Straatjes (The 9 Streets), and Anne Frank House.

    Early summer brings relatively clear weather to this city, resulting in fun-filled festivals all day (and night) long. Between May and September, the Vondelpark Openluchttheater puts on free dance, music, comedy, cabaret, and children’s shows in the middle of Amsterdam’s largest park. The city’s eclectic clubbing scene is sure to thrill hardcore partygoers from sundown until the next morning. Read more


    Budapest, Hungary

    Well-preserved landmarks amid gorgeous gardens

    Budapest is best enjoyed in early summer, especially in May. The city turns into a lively party with the Jewish Art Days Festival, which celebrates Jewish culture, food, music, and film for 2 weeks. If you’re a beer lover, plan your holiday around Budapest Beer Week to enjoy craft beers by over 60 microbreweries.

    As one of the best-preserved capitals in Europe, Hungary has plenty of historical landmarks to explore. Standouts include Buda Castle, St Stephen's Basilica, and the Dohány Street Synagogue. Make sure to spend some time at Budapest’s famous thermal baths – great for unwinding after a day of sightseeing. Read more


    Lisbon, Portugal

    The only European capital on the Atlantic

    Lisbon is a captivating city on the Atlantic, giving you easy access to pristine beaches, lush hills, outdoor adventures, and captivating structures. Early summer is a great time to visit, as you get to enjoy mild temperatures, relatively short queues at tourist sights, and alfresco dining at the city’s top-rated restaurants.

    Iconic sights in Lisbon include São Jorge Castle, Lisbon Cathedral, and Jerónimos Monastery. End the day in Bairro Alto, a hilltop district packed with restaurants and bars with seats that spill onto the streets. Read more


    Algarve, Portugal

    Great for sunseekers hoping to catch early summer rays

    The Algarve is a popular beach destination at the very southern end of Portugal. The region is busiest in summer, so we highly recommend visiting right before the peak season to enjoy equally beautiful weather, minus the crowds.

    By staying in major resort towns like Lagos, Albufeira and Portimão, you’ll get easy access to miles of pristine beaches lining the Portuguese coast. Other natural standouts of the Algarve include the Benagil Caves, Ria Formosa Natural Park, Ponta da Piedade, and Cape St Vincent (Cabo de San Vicente). Read more


    Tenerife, Spain

    Enjoy year-round beach weather on this Canary Island

    Tenerife offers one of the best early summer trips in Spain, with great beach weather, family-friendly adventures, and of course, miles of golden sand. The island sits just off the western coast of Morocco, with an average temperature of 26°C in June. 

    Tenerife is great for just about everyone – it really depends on where you choose to stay on the island. Playa de las Americas is great for adults, thanks to its vibrant nightlife scene (Las Verónicas in particular), golf courses, and water sports. If you’re travelling with kids, Costa Adeje caters to the little ones with fun-filled theme parks like Aqualand Costa Adeje and Siam Park. Read more

    Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveller

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