22 Best July Europe destinations for 2023 from cheapest to most expensive

Everyone knows that July is probably the busiest month for visiting Europe, but that is true for a reason. The days are long (especially in the north), the weather is sunny and warm, and everything is open and ready for visitors. The list below are the 22 best places to visit in Europe in the month of July, and this year we’ve ranked them by price so you can figure out a budget as you research. You may not realize that the most expensive cities in Europe (like London and Venice) are around 3 or 4 times as expensive as some of the cheaper ones like Budapest and Krakow.

If you’ve got a huge travel budget you can skip down to the destinations near the bottom of the list, but if you are one of us who needs to keep our expenses a bit lower, you’ll find plenty of great options in the top half of the list. To rank each destination we use our Europe Backpacker Index, which is an annual report that compares the typical daily costs for budget travelers in over 120 cities around the world. You’ll see the daily “Backpacker Index” budget at the bottom of each listing, and you’ll see the wide range of prices. If you choose the cheaper cities you can splurge a bit and still save money. Check out our list of Europe’s cheapest 5-star hotels, starting at US$80 per night for a really nice place.

>>Looking to avoid the hot places? Check out our best cool destinations around the world to escape the summer heat

Important July 2023 Holidays in Europe

  • July 6 – Jan Hus Day in Czechia (public holidays)
  • July 7 to 14 – Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain
  • July 14 – Bastille Day in France (major public holiday)

22 Best destinations in Europe in July from cheapest to most expensive

Budapest, Hungary – Cheapest

  • July avg high: 80F/27C
  • July avg low: 60F/16C
  • July avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

Budapest highlights

  • Parliament building overlooking the Danube: Great photos
  • Some of Europe’s grandest architecture fitting of a major capital
  • Very cheap food and drinks (outside of the riverside tourist zones)
  • Natural hot spring baths in the city that are easy and cheap to visit
  • “Ruin pubs” set in courtyards of old apartment buildings (unusual and unforgettable)

Budapest and Prague (see above) have a lot in common, but fortunately Budapest doesn’t get nearly as crowded as Prague, so it can feel a bit more pleasant in summer. The main attractions along the river on both sides can feel full, and prices of nearby hotels and restaurants can be pricey as well, but if you go a bit inland on the Pest side of the river, crowds are smaller and prices are lower.

This city has its fair share of outdoor cafes and bars, so you can take advantage of the unusually low drink prices to spend a long evening in one. The famous “ruin pubs” have an open-air courtyard in the center, so they are particularly enjoyable during the summer months.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €44 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €71 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €13 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Budapest
>>>Budapest prices and travel tips

Budapest Backpacker Index for 2023: US$38.21

Krakow, Poland

  • July avg high: 76F/24C
  • July avg low: 59F/15C
  • July avg precip: 3.5″/8.8cm

Krakow highlights

  • Wonderful historic zone surrounded by a green park
  • Wawel Castle complex is also in the center
  • Great food and hotels that can be weirdly cheap
  • Lively nightlife and culture, especially on weekends
  • An easy day trip to Auschwitz

If you are looking for Europe’s best bargain destination, you’ve found it in Krakow. This lovely and historic city somehow manages to be near the top of the cheap cities in Europe list, even as it’s one of the more pleasant and interesting cities as well.

The July weather will make spending time in the abundant parks and open areas all the nicer. You can expect some crowds in the main town square, but overall Krakow is still far enough off the main trails that it doesn’t get overwhelmed like so many others on this list can in summer. By the way, Warsaw is the current capital and a much larger (and a bit more expensive) city, but it’s actually kind of dull compared to Krakow, which used to be the capital and is easier to reach.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €34 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €68 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €12 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Krakow
>>>Krakow prices and travel tips

Krakow Backpacker Index for 2023: US$41.03

Istanbul, Turkey

  • July avg high: 83F/28C
  • July avg low: 65F/18C
  • July avg precip: 0.9″/2.3cm

Istanbul highlights

  • Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque: Both amazing and next to each other
  • Grand Bazaar overall souvenir shopping
  • Topkapi Palace is world-class
  • Great breakfasts and food in general at good prices
  • Very affordable hotels in the tourist zones

You might expect Istanbul to be outrageously hot in July, but it’s actually surrounded by water that keeps it mild. This would normally be a very crowded month, though in recent years Istanbul has struggled to draw tourists due to some protests that have made international headlines. At this point things are safe and calm, so it can be a good time to explore the city with smaller crowds than normal.

Another reason to consider a visit to Turkey is that the currency has plunged in recent years, so now everything here is a bargain once again. In fact, Istanbul will feel fairly cheap, and literally every other place in the country is even cheaper. It will be warm in Cappadocia or Antalya, but when you see how wonderful and cheap those places are at this point, it’ll be worth the visit.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €24 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €36 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €9 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Istanbul
>>>Istanbul prices and travel tips

Istanbul Backpacker Index for 2023: US$56.35

Prague, Czechia

  • July avg high: 76F/24C
  • July avg low: 58F/14C
  • July avg precip: 2.6″/6.5cm

Prague highlights

  • Prague Castle complex: One of Europe’s largest and easiest to tour
  • Charles Bridge and Old Town Square for amazing photos
  • Eastern Europe’s most interesting architecture, which somehow survived WWII
  • Hearty food at great prices (if you avoid tourist zones)
  • Arguably the world’s best beer that is also very cheap

Similar to Venice, Prague is ridiculously crowded pretty much all year round. And in July it’s at least a bit worse. Still, it’s a pretty big city so once you walk a few blocks off the main tourist corridor stretching from the castle to the Charles Bridge into the main square, you can still enjoy yourself.

Hotels here can feel pricey, but there are affordable apartments and food is still good value even if prices have gone up in recent years. With 2 or 3 more days in you should consider a side trip to the wonderful small town of Cesky Krumlov, which is 3 hours away on a scenic bus ride or train.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €51 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €72 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €14 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Prague
>>>Prague prices and travel tips

Prague Backpacker Index for 2023: US$62.94

Lisbon, Portugal

  • July avg high: 82F/28C
  • July avg low: 64F/18C
  • July avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

Lisbon highlights

  • Castles, towers, and cathedrals, all close together in the same district
  • Tram 28, which connects many of Lisbon’s tourist sights for €3 a ride
  • Elevador de Santa Justa – the famous outdoor elevator: Great photos.
  • Really good food at affordable prices
  • Fado (local folk music) shows to go along with great dinners

We’ve removed Barcelona and Madrid from this list for the months of July and August, but Lisbon gets to stay all year because it’s got the best weather of all of them. This is a gorgeous and under appreciated city that is also surprisingly affordable. Lisbon is also famous for having some of the best hostels in Europe, and almost all of them have private rooms along with the dorm-style ones.

In July you’ll find half of Britain packed into the hotels and flats in the Algarve, which is the southern coast of Portugal. It’s worth a look in July if you don’t mind crowds, but this is probably a better month to head north to Porto instead.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €52 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €78 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €22 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Lisbon
>>>Lisbon prices and travel tips

Lisbon Backpacker Index for 2023: US$71.59

Berlin, Germany

  • July avg high: 75F/24C
  • July avg low: 58F/14C
  • July avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

Berlin highlights

  • Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Wall attractions make for great photos
  • Berlin Cathedral and Reichstag building: very different and both amazing
  • Museum Island including several world-class museums
  • Europe’s most eclectic and interesting nightlife
  • Surprisingly cheap food, drinks, and hotels for a huge European city

Germany’s most interesting and largest city is also still a great bargain by European standards. The parts of town that used to be East Berlin still have plenty of good hotels and restaurants that are surprisingly affordable, even in July. If you like high-end shopping and posh restaurants, the former West Berlin is still probably your best option.

Even though Berlin doesn’t have a great number of so-called checklist attractions, nearly everyone who visits absolutely loves it. This city is just a fascinating combination of elements that you can’t find almost anywhere else and it’s hard to describe in two paragraphs. Another interesting feature is that English is so widely spoken and understood that it’s considered acceptable to just speak in English if you are visiting without having to go through the whole “Do you speak English?” routine that is polite elsewhere in Germany.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €64 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €76 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €13 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Berlin
>>>Berlin prices and travel tips

Berlin Backpacker Index for 2023: US$75.49

Florence, Italy

  • July avg high: 88F/31C
  • July avg low: 63F/17C
  • July avg precip: 1.6″/4.0cm

Florence highlights

  • Florence Cathedral and city hall are major landmarks
  • Ponte Vecchio bridge with its jewelry shops
  • Uffizi Gallery and other museums (make reservations)
  • Capital of Tuscany gives it the best eats of major Italian cities
  • Great and affordable wines!

Florence does get hot in July and it’s very crowded all summer as well, but just as we mentioned with Rome (above), it’s just such an interesting and beautiful city that you shouldn’t skip it if you are doing a July Europe trip at all. Florence was the capital of culture and the arts during the Renaissance period in Europe and you really do get a sense of this when you visit.

Another great thing about Florence is that it’s an ideal base for day trips to Pisa, Siena, Cinque Terre, and some lovely hill towns nearby, so this is a good place to pad your Italy trip. Hotel rates here are lower than in Rome and Venice as well, but again, cheaper hotels might not have air conditioning.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €55 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €97 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €21 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Florence
>>>Florence prices and travel tips

Florence Backpacker Index for 2023: US$83.19

Rome, Italy

  • July avg high: 83F/28C
  • July avg low: 65F/18C
  • July avg precip: 0.6″/1.5cm

Rome highlights

  • Colosseum, Ancient Rome, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and many more
  • Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, are amazing
  • Stunning architecture that brings a smile every time you turn a corner
  • Great place to sample Italian food styles from all over the country
  • Coffee and wine bars that are cheap, fun, and interesting

Rome is hot and crowded in the month of July, so if you can go in April, May, September, or October, you’ll be at least a bit better off. But Rome is also one of the world’s great cities and the evenings are cool enough that it’s still very enjoyable. Some of the cheaper hotels don’t have air-conditioning, so that’s something to consider before you book.

Most people head north from Rome to Florence and Venice (see below), but if you’ve got a bit more time you might consider visiting Sorrento, which is a bit south of Naples and it’s the ideal base for a day-trip to Naples as well as Pompeii, the island of Capri, and the Amalfi Coast. Sorrento will be much less crowded and more pleasant in July, so it’s a nice place to just relax and enjoy the food and scenery.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €56 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €68 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €15 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Rome
>>>Rome prices and travel tips

Rome Backpacker Index for 2023: US$83.32

Vienna, Austria

  • July avg high: 78F/26C
  • July avg low: 60F/16C
  • July avg precip: 2.7″/6.8cm

Vienna highlights

  • Schönbrunn Palace and Hofburg Palace are both incredible
  • Vienna State Opera with daytime tours: culture capital
  • Famous Ferris Wheel in Prater Park as featured in The Third Man
  • Lovely historic town center within the Ring Road
  • Cafe culture at its finest and amazing desserts!

Vienna is a major cultural capital, but most of the major operas and other performers take the summer off. Still, there are performances going on and plenty of other major sights so a July visit is very worthwhile. Many of the residents will have the month off as well, so crowds in certain areas will be less packed than usual.

This city is also known for its cafe culture, much more so than its nightlife, and the lovely July weather is a perfect time of year to spend parts of each day outdoors watching the city go by. The palaces here are also among the best in Europe.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €59 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €73 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €12 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Vienna
>>>Vienna prices and travel tips

Vienna Backpacker Index for 2023: US$85.00

Bruges, Belgium

  • July avg high: 66F/19C
  • July avg low: 58F/14C
  • July avg precip: 1.5″/3.8cm

Bruges highlights

  • Burg Square and the famous Bell Tower (as seen in In Bruges)
  • Daily market in the historic district
  • Brewery tours: many to choose from
  • Choco Story Chocolate Museum
  • Lovely canals and bridges with a pleasant atmosphere

If you are visiting Amsterdam (see above) in July, you should also consider spending 2 or 3 nights in Bruges. Actually, both cities look quite alike since they were both built mostly in the 1600s and well preserved since then. But Bruges is more peaceful and less filled with the nightlife crowd, if you know what I mean.

On your way to Bruges you’ll almost certainly need to change trains in Brussels, and spending a few hours there is a good idea. It’s mostly a business and government city, but the area around the Grand Place (main square) is extremely impressive and interesting. You can have lunch, take some amazing photos, and even see the famous Manneken Pis sculpture just a couple short blocks from the Grand Place.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €83 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €104 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €23 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Bruges
>>>Bruges prices and travel tips

Bruges Backpacker Index for 2023: US$86.99

Salzburg, Austria

  • July avg high: 76F/24C
  • July avg low: 56F/15C
  • July avg precip: 6.2″/15.5cm

Salzburg highlights

  • Hohensalzburg Fortress on top of the hill is stunning and photogenic
  • Mozart’s birthplace and other Mozart attractions
  • Sound of Music bus tours (seriously great even if you haven’t seen the movie)
  • Gorgeous historic town center at the base of the hill
  • Classical concerts in small venues at reasonable prices, day and night

With its location at the base of the Alps, Salzburg does get a decent amount of rainfall in July, but it’s still the most lovely time of year to visit this stunning city and its surrounding area. You won’t find a more charming historic town center anywhere in this part of Europe, and the countryside (where The Sound of Music was filmed) is also extremely photogenic.

Obviously July is a busy month in Salzburg and there are some classical music festivals in July that could make visiting near the end of the month more expensive, but the home of Mozart is still worth a visit if you are anywhere near it in summer. By the way, Innsbruck is essentially a hub for skiing and other winter sports and there isn’t much to see, especially compared to the gorgeous historic district and surrounding terrain in Salzburg.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €86 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €103 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €29 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Salzburg
>>>Salzburg prices and travel tips

Salzburg Backpacker Index for 2023: US$90.89

Edinburgh, Scotland

  • July avg high: 66F/19C
  • July avg low: 51F/11C
  • July avg precip: 2.3″/5.8cm

Edinburgh highlights

  • Edinburgh Castle and the photo from below
  • The Royal Mile and great shops
  • The Camera Obscura: highly recommended
  • Unique food and drink culture (haggis isn’t bad!)
  • Palace of Holyrood: Royal residence

Many people know that London is famous for lousy weather almost the whole year round, but in Edinburgh it’s actually worse. Still, it won’t get any better than it is in July and this is a really wonderful place to visit. July is also much better than August because Edinburgh famously holds dozens of large festivals in August (including the Festival Fringe), pushing crowds and accommodation prices into the clouds.

Edinburgh is worth three nights if you can spare them, but you might also consider heading north from here up to Inverness, which is the gateway to the Scottish Highlands. Skip the dull Loch Ness tours and make your way to the Isle of Skye out west for some scenery you’ll never forget.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from £68 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from £111 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from £28 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Edinburgh
>>>Edinburgh prices and travel tips

Edinburgh Backpacker Index for 2023: US$94.93

Stockholm, Sweden

  • July avg high: 71F/22C
  • July avg low: 56F/13C
  • July avg precip: 2.8″/7.0cm

Stockholm highlights

  • Amazingly beautiful city with green copper rooftops
  • Gamla Stan historic district
  • Vasa Museum with actual recovered ship
  • ABBA Museum
  • Östermalm – Fashionable and trendy shopping district

If you read the description of Copenhagen (above), then pretty much everything also applies to Stockholm. The cities are both gorgeous and well organized, yet fortunately they look almost nothing alike since Stockholm is a collection of islands.

The bit about the summer sun certainly applies here, and since the weather is so terrible most of the year, the whole city pulses with energy during the short summers. In fact, many attractions are only open in July and August, so it’s probably better to join the crowds and soak it all in.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €91 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €128 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €24 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Stockholm
>>>Stockholm prices and travel tips

Stockholm Backpacker Index for 2023: US$104.51

Copenhagen, Denmark

  • July avg high: 68F/20C
  • July avg low: 55F/13C
  • July avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

Copenhagen highlights

  • Tivoli Gardens in the center of the city
  • One of Europe’s most beautiful skylines with green copper roofs
  • Christiansborg Palace and the royals
  • Strøget pedestrian shopping street for entertainment and style
  • Christiania experimental commune: Unlike anything else

Copenhagen is another one of those Northern European cities where the weather is almost never very good, but of course it won’t get better than July so this is the ideal time to visit. The city center is almost as beautiful as the local citizens, and that is saying something. The copper domes and rooftops that have faded into that gorgeous light green color dot the skyline and make for some excellent photos.

You could save a bit of money by visiting Copenhagen in the shoulder season, but it may not be worth it because summers here are so much more alive than the rest of the year, with a sun that barely even sets before heading back up into the sky again. Copenhagen is expensive, so it’s helpful that it’s usually easy to get cheap flights on one of the local airlines.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €94 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €122 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €24 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Copenhagen
>>>Copenhagen prices and travel tips

Copenhagen Backpacker Index for 2023: US$105.71

Paris, France

  • July avg high: 76F/24C
  • July avg low: 61F/16C
  • July avg precip: 2.3″/5.8cm

Paris highlights

  • Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe are incredible in person
  • Louvre and Orsay Museum are must-sees
  • Seine river cruise at sunset to see the illuminated bridges
  • Hop-on, hop-off double-decker bus tour (seriously amazing!)
  • Probably the best quality food in the world, and wine as well

Paris is obviously one of the world’s most popular tourist cities, but it’s also a major business city as well. And since there are very few meetings or conferences in July, most of the business hotels are less full than normal. So not only do you get the excellent weather, but sometimes you can find bargains at 4-star hotels in the city center. In other words, July is one of the better months to visit and it’s a key on a few of our recommended first-time Europe itineraries.

August is a more popular month for French holidays, although some people do get the entire month of July off instead. This means that a few things will be closed, but all the attractions will be open and you’ll have no problem doing whatever you want to do this month.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €68 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €89 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €22 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Paris
>>>Paris prices and travel tips

Paris Backpacker Index for 2023: US$105.89

Reykjavik, Iceland

  • July avg high: 56F/13C
  • July avg low: 47F/8C
  • July avg precip: 2.0″/5.0cm

Reykjavik highlights

  • Charming and quiet town center for one day and night
  • Rent a car and do the Ring Road in 7 days if possible
  • Amazing attractions along Iceland’s southern coast
  • Northern Lights tours in winter
  • Blue Lagoon pool near the airport is surprisingly cool

Even though Reykjavik somehow earned a reputation as a nightlife capital in recent years, it’s still not a place you want to linger in any longer than you have to. The magic of Iceland is the scenery all over this extremely photogenic volcanic island, and Reykjavik is the only plain-looking place here.

If you have at least a week you should consider driving a lap around the Ring Road in a rented car. You won’t believe your eyes. Even though the country has become more expensive in the last few years, you can still visit Iceland on the cheap with these tips. Food and accommodation are on the pricey side, but it’s worth it. Tourism to Iceland had dropped even more than other places during the pandemic, but late 2022 saw record numbers of visitors once again, particularly among Americans.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €165 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €246 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €52 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Reykjavik
>>>Reykjavik prices and travel tips

Reykjavik Backpacker Index for 2023: US$109.39

Dublin, Ireland

  • July avg high: 66F/19C
  • July avg low: 53F/12C
  • July avg precip: 2.0″/5.0cm

Dublin highlights

  • Guinness Storehouse brewery complex and its city views
  • Trinity College and the Book of Kells
  • Kilmainham Gaol: Historic prison
  • Jameson Whiskey Distillery among others
  • Grafton Street for shopping and Temple Bar for nightlife

Dublin is a pleasant enough city for a couple days, but really it’s the rest of the island that you want to focus on for a summer trip. As you can see above, the weather is still a bit chilly even in July, but at least you get very long days and the Irish countryside is absolutely stunning.

Many people rent a car for a tour around Ireland, but you can see a lot by train or on coach tours as well. The smaller towns can be magical with historic stone pubs filled with local musicians most evenings. Galway is a good base for a couple days, and it’s easily reached by train from Dublin.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €108 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €132 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €31 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Dublin
>>>Dublin prices and travel tips

Dublin Backpacker Index for 2023: US$110.51

Interlaken, Switzerland

  • July avg high: 76F/24C
  • July avg low: 56F/13C
  • July avg precip: 5.5″/13.8cm

Interlaken highlights

  • Gateway to the Lauterbrunnen Valley, the most beautiful place in Europe
  • Cable cars rides and amazingly scenic hikes
  • Jungraujoch railway and Schilthorn cable car: Two top highlights
  • Skiing in winter and adventure sports the rest of the year
  • Gimmelwald and other tiny villages in the Lauterbrunnen Valley

If you want to visit the Swiss Alps to witness the most amazing scenery in all of Europe, Interlaken is the best place to go. This is the main reason I wrote an article called where to go in Switzerland on a short visit. July is actually one of the wettest months in this part of Switzerland so you might need your umbrella, but still it’ll be worth it.

The top attractions here are the mountaintop visits of Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch, which are reached by cable car and tourist train, respectively. Things can be foggy or wet up top even in July so it’s best to schedule your visits immediately once you know that things are clear at the moment. If you want to visit a second place in Switzerland to admire the unusual beauty, Lucerne is your best bet. For any visit to Switzerland of 3 days or more you should also consider the Swiss Travel Pass, which is pricey but will still usually save you money.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €84 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €209 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €33 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Interlaken
>>>Interlaken prices and travel tips

Interlaken Backpacker Index for 2023: US$116.75

Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • July avg high: 69F/21C
  • July avg low: 55F/13C
  • July avg precip: 2.5″/7.3cm

Amsterdam highlights

  • Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and many more top sights
  • Rjksmuseum, Rembrandt House for Dutch Masters
  • Heineken Experience is really fun and you get two free beers
  • Stunning historic center with gorgeous 16th century buildings
  • Nearly car-free nightlife and restaurant areas

You won’t get many warm days in Amsterdam in any month, but at least in July you’ll get a few of them. The July days are also long with the sun still setting around 10pm, so this is an excellent time to have a Heineken in one of the outdoor cafes all over the city.

Residents of Amsterdam flock to the open areas in summer, hoping to get at least a bit of sun. So Vondelpark, Museumplein, Dam Square, and Leidseplein are all full of life this time of year. Things do get crowded around the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum, but since there are so few busy streets in Amsterdam’s center, it can still feel peaceful. Amsterdam Gay Pride Festival (and its boat parade) is a really huge deal and it draws large crowds from all over Europe and the world. In 2023 it starts on July 29 and goes through August 6, so if you are coming during that time it’s best to book as early as possible.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €94 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €141 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €27 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Amsterdam
>>>Amsterdam prices and travel tips

Amsterdam Backpacker Index for 2023: US$116.86

London, England

  • July avg high: 72F/22C
  • July avg low: 57F/14C
  • July avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

London highlights

  • Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey and countless more
  • Tower of London, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Oxford Street shopping and Leicester Square entertainment
  • Camden Markets and Portobello Road market are both unique
  • Neighborhood pubs and surprisingly good international cuisine

The London crowds in July can make you feel like you are in Disneyland, but it’s still one of the world’s great cities and it’s not so crowded that you should skip it if you are heading to Europe this month. The weather in July is actually quite good as well, which is something you can only say for a brief time in summer, so at least you’ll be able to spend most of your time outdoors.

More good news is that all of the United Kingdom is far more reasonably priced since the currency fell and stayed low following the Brexit vote. In fact, since every UK city outside of London is cheaper, this is a good time to tour the island. Bath and York are the two best other tourist towns in England, but really you should also head to Edinburgh (see below) in Scotland. We have much more information on our article about where to go in England, Wales, and Scotland for 1 to 3 weeks.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from £109 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from £141 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from £42 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for London
>>>London prices and travel tips

London Backpacker Index for 2023: US$122.18

Bergen, Norway

  • July avg high: 66F/19C
  • July avg low: 54F/12C
  • July avg precip: 3.5″/8.8cm

Bergen highlights

  • Gateway to the Norwegian fjords
  • Gorgeous harbor and boat tours
  • Bryggen: Historic village and museum
  • Fish market and nearby restaurants
  • Ride the Funicular to Mount Fløyen

Speaking of expensive northern cities, Bergen is another one not to miss if you are going to be in the area. The sun barely sets at all in July, so the whole city has a glow that lasts all but just a few hours when everyone is asleep. Oslo is obviously the capital of Norway, but honestly Bergen is the better city to visit if you have to pick one.

Located on a lovely harbor, Bergen is also known as the gateway to the fjords. If you want to see the stunning scenery up Norway’s jagged coastline, this is the place to come for boat tours or even the Hurtigruten that goes all the way into the Arctic Circle. Food and drinks here are expensive, but hotels are pretty good value because quality is high.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €125 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €163 for two people

>>>Check hotel deals for Bergen
>>>Bergen prices and travel tips

Bergen Backpacker Index for 2023: US$124.04

Venice, Italy

  • July avg high: 82F/28C
  • July avg low: 64F/18C
  • July avg precip: 2.5″/6.3cm

Venice highlights

  • St. Marks Square and Cathedral plus the restaurants
  • Rialto Bridge for amazing photos
  • Doge’s Palace and Bridge of Sighs
  • Gondola ride or other cheaper boat rides on the canals
  • Sidewalks and passageways in the morning and evening when they aren’t crowded

Since Venice is located on an island in a lagoon, it doesn’t get quite as hot as the other Italian cities on this list. Still, it’ll be hot and humid, and most of all insanely crowded. Nevertheless, if you are going to Europe in July and especially to Italy, you have to stop in Venice for at least a day or two. And you won’t be surprised to find Venice as a key stop on itineraries for Italy and France lasting 2 to 3 weeks.

The crowds in Venice are nightmarish even in the winter months, or at least they are during the day. So the trick to visiting is to book a hotel on the main island and do as much walking around and sightseeing in the early morning and evening as possible. Most of the daytime crowd heads off to buses or hotels on the mainland, so Venice is surprisingly peaceful in the off hours.

  • Good 3-star hotels in July from €87 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in July from €135 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in July from €32 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Venice
>>>Venice prices and travel tips

Venice Backpacker Index for 2023: US$125.77

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All Comments

  1. karen says:

    Thanks Roger. This really helps. We would consider two flights as well. The flights for us could actually be cheaper that way rather than going straight through. We’re also considering making the “European” section of the trip longer.

    1. Roger Wade says:


      I still like the Istanbul idea, and it’s among the cheaper options. If you are willing to do an extra flight then you can reach any city that has connections to Moscow, St. Petersburg, or Istanbul, which could get you to any major city in Europe. For a first-impression of Europe while also trying to keep costs down for a 3-day stay I’d recommend Berlin, Budapest, or Prague. Prague is the most beautiful of the three, but hotels there in good locations can be expensive. Berlin is the easiest (nearly everyone you encounter can speak English well) and it’s really fun, though it may not be classic enough for a great first visit. Budapest is the cheapest of the three and also fun. I hope this helps. -Roger

  2. Karen says:

    Hi. We need a good 3 night stopover city on the way back from Bishkek, Kyrgystan in July. Never been to Europe, but we’re trying to keep our costs as low as possible. Came across your site while researching and wondered if you have any recommendations for such a short stay? Thank you.

    1. Roger Wade says:


      I just checked which cities have flights to Bishkek, Kyrgystan from Europe and the only non-Russian one is Istanbul. That is actually fortunate because Istanbul is quite affordable these days and three nights there would be ideal. The Turkish currency is down in the last few years so it’s unusually cheap, and also some tourists are staying away because of some political uncertainty. I would not hesitate to go myself because it doesn’t involve tourists at all and if you went you wouldn’t even know that there might be an issue. There have actually been big demonstrations in Paris, London, and in Italy this year and Istanbul has been very quiet. Just stay in the Sultanahmet district, which is where most of the best attractions are located, and you’ll have a fantastic time.

      It looks like you’d require at least two flights to reach any other European city. If you are up for that and you don’t want to go to Istanbul, let me know and I’ll come up with something else. -Roger

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Hi. Best place to travel in July 2019? We prefer not heavily tourist area. Thank you

    1. Roger Wade says:


      The article above provides 22 of the best choices in Europe along with the reasons why. If you are after something different you could give me a hint as to what you prefer? -Roger

  4. Kendall says:

    Hi Roger,

    What do you know about the current state of affairs in Istanbul, Turkey? I’m considering a trip in June/July, but am unsure of what it is like nowadays on the ground. The US still has a travel warning in place.


    1. Roger Wade says:


      I wish I knew more about what is going on in Istanbul. I lived in Turkey for over a year not long ago and things are very calm in Kas (near Antalya) where I lived, but they are always calm there. I haven’t heard about ANY tourist-related issues in Istanbul in years, so I’m a bit surprised the warning is still on. One thing I do know is that tourism to Turkey is way down from even a few years ago and many hotels and tour companies are struggling. I think I’d go to Istanbul if an opportunity came up, but it’s hard for me to say that anyone else should go. My feeling is that as long as you avoid any protests or gatherings that it would be very safe. Most of those State Department travel warnings feel like an overreach, except for the ones related to consistent violence or targeting like with the drug gangs and that sort of thing. Best of luck with whatever you decide. -Roger

  5. Michael says:

    Hi and Thanks Roger,

    Had you mentioned Sofia as an uncrowded, reasonably priced place previously ?
    If so, has that changed ? Oh, talking July particularly.
    Appreciate it,


    1. Roger Wade says:


      I’ve been to Sofia a few times, but not in the last two years or so. Still, I’m 100% sure that it’s still very affordable because we do track hotel and hostel prices, as well as the general inflation rate. You’ll be able to get a dinner in a nice sit-down restaurant for under US$5 with no problem. And I’m also sure that Sofia is still fairly uncrowded even in summer. Not only is it a bit off the beaten path for most travelers, but it lacks a checklist attraction that people come specifically to see. I find the city enjoyable and pleasant in addition to being cheap and pretty friendly. But it’s not the kind of place people rave about after one short visit. Enjoy it if you go. -Roger