In need of some travel inspiration? From rediscovering Europe's capitals to planning an epic road trip, our editors share their top travel picks across the continent for summer 2017.
For an on-trend escape: Lisbon
Olivia Rawes, Editor
If there’s one city whose name seems inescapable this summer, it’s Lisbon. After years of economic crisis, Portugal is being led into the limelight by its capital. The city’s enduring appeal remains, but Lisbon has also become a centre of reinvention. From being flagged as Europe’s new culinary capital to becoming an arts hub – with recent openings such as riverside gallery MAAT – this is truly a city in transformation.
Plan your trip with The Rough Guide to Portugal.
For festivals: Czech Republic
Aimee White, Editorial Assistant
Food festivals, beer festivals, jazz festivals – you’ve no excuse not to chomp, sip and dance your way (preferably in that order) through the Czech Republic this summer. Head to the free Prague Museum Night (10th June) or the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary (June 30th–July 8th) for a real slice of culture.
Plan your trip with The Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget.
Traditional buildings And Tepla river, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic © ZM_Photo/Shutterstock
For exciting new openings: Paris
Freya Godfrey, Editor
After a challenging few years, it’s now more important than ever to visit Paris. In the face of adversity, the City of Light continues to shine, with a whole host of recent new openings, from the revamped Grand Musée de Parfum to the state-of-the-art Seine Musicale.
Plan your trip with The Pocket Rough Guide Paris.
Ros Walford, Senior Editor
In the clean air of Sweden’s Bohuslän coast, you’ll feel instantly healthier. Summer is the best time to hike the granite coastline, bike around car-free Koster Island, or kayak in the calm inlets near Grebbestad. Rejuvenate yourself with a sauna, a dip, and a smörgåsbord of the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste piled high on rye bread.
Plan your trip with The Rough Guide to Sweden.
For exploring after dark: Rome
Colt St George, Multimedia Editor
Though Rome’s eternal bustle can seem draining beneath a scorching sun, summertime’s offbeat appeal reveals itself after dark. Energised by the balmy relief of dusk, locals pour into their neighbourhood piazzas – when these stunning old squares take on the air of cheerful Italian homes. Eat, drink and mingle with serendipity as your guide, losing yourself in the blissful time warp of storied Roman nights.
Plan your trip with The Pocket Rough Guide Rome.
Rebecca Hallett, Editor
The West Country is always popular in summer – it has the highest average temperatures in Britain, and some of the country's best coastline. St Ives in Cornwall, with its winding lanes, picturesque harbourside and very modern art scene, is a perfect introduction to the area. Tate St Ives reopened after an eighteen-month refurbishment in early 2017, so now is the perfect time to go and immerse yourself in Cornwall's fascinating artistic history.
Plan your trip with The Rough Guide to Devon and Cornwall.
© ian woolcock/Shutterstock
For the unexpected: Berlin
Ed Aves, Managing Editor
The drab eastern suburb of Marzahn-Hellersdorf is brightened up this summer with the ambitious International Garden Festival at the Gärten der Welt (until October), featuring Berlin’s first cableway, a tropical hall, water gardens and bird’s-eye views from a cloud-shaped hilltop observation platform. It's an oasis of green among the high-rises.
Plan your trip with The Rough Guide to Berlin.
© Erez Shany/Shutterstock
For an epic road trip: Scotland
Greg Dickinson, Senior Editor
Scotland continues to deliver on its traditional attractions – from crumbling castles to moody, photogenic "coos". But there's a lot going on beyond the clichés. Skye's foodie scene continues to explode, and the North Coast 500 is becoming recognised as one of the world's great road trips. Walkers should head to the Outer Hebrides to tackle the Hebridean Way, a new, long-distance walking route taking in ten islands, six causeways and two ferry crossings, across a total of 156 miles.
Plan your trip with The Rough Guide to Scotland.
Loch Maree, part of the North Coast 500 © D K Grove/Shutterstock
For nightlife: Barcelona
Phoebe Lowndes, Senior Picture Editor
Combining a sunny climate, fantastical architecture and proximity to the beach, this Catalonian capital is the perfect summery city break. Long lunches segue into late dinners and, before long, you’re dancing your way home (after several copas de vino) in the wee hours of the morning. From June 15–17, Sónar Festival turns up the heat with three days of electronic, experimental and alternative music.
Plan your trip with the Pocket Rough Guide Barcelona.
Jacqui Agate, Assistant Web Editor
Most people head to Tromsø, Norway's Arctic gateway, in winter, hoping to spy the elusive northern lights. But the long days of summer mean more time to drink in the compact but lively city itself – not to mention ample opportunity for hiking and boating in the surrounding peaks and fjords. The Tromsø Jazz Festival in August is worth sticking around for.
Plan your trip with The Rough Guide to Norway.
© Diego Fiore/Shutterstock
Top image © seligaa/Shutterstock