Europe has a lot to offer travellers, whether you’re going on a month long inter-rail tour or for a weekend away. Every city has something unique to experience, from culture to landscapes, so we’ve shortlisted the five best to visit this summer. Before you travel make sure you are protected against any health costs by filling out your EHIC Application Form.
Amsterdam offers a mix of historical culture (a visit to the famous Anne Frank house is essential) and diverse nightlife. There are over 300 festivals every year and most of these take place in the summer. There is sure to be something happening every weekend, from dance music to food and beer festivals. Although it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a trip to Amsterdam, there are beaches just half an hour outside of the city by train. Alternatively, you can spend the day exploring along the canals by bike, which is the most popular mode of transport in the city.
Night view of The Széchenyi Chain Bridge from Buda Castle in Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is great for travellers on a budget, with food, drink and accommodation being inexpensive. The picturesque city is a great place to soak up the sun, with plenty of parks to explore and its famous thermal baths to relax in. A river cruise on the Danube is the perfect way to spend a day seeing all the sights, including the Royal Palace and Buda Castle.
A collage of Venice: at the top left is the Piazza San Marco, followed by a view of the city, then the Grand Canal, and (smaller) the interior of La Fenice and, finally, the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
The canals of Venice have long been a favourite of travellers in Europe. Although the summer months may be the busiest, it is the best time to explore the waterways by gondola or water taxi. You’re never far from a secluded spot or a hidden pathway in the historic city. A highlight in the summer is stopping to enjoy some gelato in the scenic Saint Mark’s Square.
Courtyard of the Museum of Louvre, and its pyramid.
The city of culture may be an all-year-round attraction but the summer months are the best time to explore. Not only can you experience the clearest view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, you can also enjoy the park beneath it. Although it is worth arriving early in the morning to avoid long queues and make the most of your day! A cruise on the river Seine will take you through the heart of the city with its distinct architecture. Alfresco dining in Paris is unmissable, so plan to visit between July-August.
Bikini-Haus, Berlin. In the background: Gedaechtniskirche, Upper West and Zoofenster
Berlin comes alive in the summer, people can be found eating and drinking in bars and restaurants outside all day. The historical sites such as Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall are a great way to spend a sunny day. Afterwards, you can unwind in one of the many beautiful parks around the city. Day trips are easily accessible from the city if you’re looking to get the most out of your visit, Potsdam is just half an hour away and is home to Schloss Sanssouci the largest World Heritage Site in Germany.
Venice officials are considering a ban on noisy wheeled suitcases amid concerns they are keeping locals awake at night.
Officials want visitors to ditch the bags or switch to “noiseless” alternatives with wheels that are filled with air or liquid.
It is hoped the move will also protect the city’s ancient streets.
Venice is one of Italy’s major visitor attractions, with 27 million people flocking there each year.
A statement on the Venetian council’s website said the plan was drawn up to appease the city’s residents.
“The rule is designed to respond to the numerous citizens who have in recent years complained to the local council about the serious irritation caused by stuff being moved about at times of the day and night,” it said.
If introduced, anyone flouting the proposed rule would be liable to a fine of up to 500 euros ($675), according to AFP news agency.
According to new reports, Venice city officials are closing a walkway fronting the picturesque Grand Canal to keep crowds away from George Clooney’s wedding to human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin.
Venice city on September 26 issued an order closing walkways accessing the 16th Century Palazzo Cavalli (Cavalli Palace) for at least two hours on September 29, citing “the George Clooney wedding”.
A city official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said city police requested the closure to prevent crowds from gathering and creating a safety risk. The official said such closures have taken place previously for both public and private events.
Venice city officials are closing a walkway fronting the Grand Canal to keep crowds away from George Clooney’s wedding to Amal Alamuddin (photo People Magazine)
The Cavalli Palace is used for civil marriage ceremonies, with rooms overlooking the Grand Canal and the famed Rialto Bridge.
Amal Alamuddin flew from London to Milan with her mom Baria on Thursday, September 25, ahead of her wedding to George Clooney.
The future spouses are anticipating big-name guests at their nuptials, including pals like Rande Gerber and Cindy Crawford, as well as Matt Damon and his wife, Luciana.
George Clooney proposed to Amal Alamuddin this past April, after they started dating in late 2013.
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin’s highly-anticipated wedding in Venice, Italy, will be paid by Amal’s family, Us Weekly reported.
Amal Alamuddin’s parents also had a say in when the wedding would take place. Like George Clooney, Ramzi and Baria Alamuddin were anxious to have the nuptials this fall. An insider told Us Weekly shortly after the couple’s engagement that the Lebanon-born beauty’s mom and dad were “old-fashioned when it comes to these things”.
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin’s highly-anticipated wedding will take place in Venice
Amal Alamuddin’s mother, Baria, is an editor at Lebanese newspaper Al Hayat. She’s previously interviewed foreign leaders on TV, including Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. Amal Alamuddin’s father, Ramzi, is a retired business professor who taught at the Beirut branch campus of American University.
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin are currently putting the final touches on their upcoming September 27 wedding in Venice.
Venice Mayor Giorgio Orsoni is among 35 people arrested in Italy over alleged corruption in connection with new flood barriers built to protect the city.
Giorgio Orsoni and dozens of officials and businessmen are being held over claims of bribery during the public tender process of the Moses project.
Seventy-eight mobile barriers will be used to shut off Venice lagoon in the event of rising sea levels and storms.
Venice is continuing to sink and is hit by flooding on a yearly basis.
Construction of the barriers began 11 years ago but has been hampered by delays in funding due to Italy’s economic crisis.
Mayor Giorgio Orsoni and dozens of officials and businessmen are being held over claims of bribery during the public tender process of the Moses project in Venice
Once finished, the floodgates will extend more than a mile, blocking the three inlets to the lagoon.
Investigators are looking into allegations that 20 million euros ($27 million) in public funds was sent to foreign bank accounts and used to finance political parties, according to reports.
Giorgio Orsoni, 67, has been placed under house arrest while he is investigated for corruption, extortion and money laundering, Italy’s Ansa news agency reports.
His lawyers say the allegations against him are “hardly credible”, according to AFP news agency.
Prosecutors have also requested the arrest of a former governor of the Venice region, Giancarlo Galan, an ally of former PM Silvio Berlusconi.
Giancarlo Galan, who is currently protected by parliamentary immunity, launched the so-called Moses project – or The Experimental Electromechanical Module (MOSE) – in 2003 with Silvio Berlusconi.
Among those detained on Wednesday as part of the three year-long corruption inquiry are the regional head of the ruling Democratic Party, Giampiero Marquis, regional councillor for infrastructure Renato Chisso, and the president of a co-operative involved in the long-running project, reports say.
Some 100 other people are also said to be under investigation.
The operation comes after the arrest of Giovanni Mazacurati, the former head of the consortium building the barriers, over alleged contract rigging last year.
The massive Moses scheme has reportedly cost some 5.4 billion euros ($7.4 billion) and was due for completion this year but has been repeatedly hit by delays.
Some Venetians argue the project is a waste of money and there is no guarantee it will work.
In 1966, some 5,000 people were left homeless when flood levels in the city reached 6ft, causing immense damage.
Venice authorities have set out proposals to make navigation safer on the city’s main waterway after a German tourist died in a crash last week.
They aim to regulate traffic flow on the heavily congested Grand Canal, and include plans to carry out checks for drug use by gondoliers, the mayor says.
A 50-year-old German man died after his gondola collided with a “vaporetto”, or public water bus, on August 17.
Police say traces of cocaine were found in the bloodstream of the gondolier.
“We have to think of the Grand Canal as a street, a main street like that of all cities, with particular heavy traffic…we need some discipline,” said Venice Mayor Giorgio Orsoni on Monday.
Venice authorities have set out proposals to make navigation safer on the city’s main waterway after a German tourist died in a crash
To avoid future accidents, he said, “these measures will require some sacrifices for citizens”.
Gondolas may only be allowed to operate at certain times of the day after morning rush hour, he added.
He said the city council was assessing the possibility of widening narrow passageways – such as where the recent crash took place – by removing structures such as small docks.
They also hope to introduce a system of checking for drug and alcohol abuse by those in charge of boats and are looking into proposals to ban captains from using hand-held devices whilst navigating the canals.
Jaochim Vogel and his family were thrown into the water after their gondola collided with a water bus, which carries members of the public around the city’s canals.
His three-year-old daughter was treated in hospital for head injuries. Joachim Vogel, however, died after getting crushed between the two vehicles.
An association of gondoliers, which oversees training and issues limited licenses, is also engaged in discussions on safety and accident prevention.
Kim Kardashian turned 32 on Sunday and seemed completely unfazed about a birthday she previously admitted to dreading as she strolled round Venice with lover Kanye West.
Kanye West surprised Kim Kardashian with the Italy trip a few days before her birthday and the pair have spent in Rome, and now Venice, where they stayed at the plush Hotel Cipriani.
Kim Kardashian looked effortlessly stylish in a clinging chocolate-colored dress, elegant floor-length overcoat and peep-toe ankle boots. She wore her brunette hair loose and carried a camera over her shoulder.
Kanye West looked sharp all in black but was wearing exactly the same outfit he wore out for dinner in Rome a few nights before.
Kim Kardashian told E! News in the run up to the big day: “I’m not so into a 32nd birthday. Doesn’t do it for me, so I don’t really care.”
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in Venice on her birthday
But she’s clearly changed her mind, on Friday Kim Kardashian, who splashed out on a $720,000 luxury Lamborghini for Kanye West’s birthday in June, Tweeted: “Italy is so beautiful! Best Birthday ever!!!”
And it might get even better. There has been heavy speculation that Kanye West, 35, is going to propose any minute even though Kim Kardashian’s divorce from Kris Humphries is not yet finalized.
American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, who is also the executive producer on Kim Kardashian’s show Keeping Up With the Kardashians, has predicted that Kanye West will pop the question before the holiday is over.
A source close to the couple also told RadarOnline that Kanye West has been deliberating over a ring for some time.
The insider said: “It’s only a matter of time before Kanye pops the question.”