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Discover Europe’s Top Cool City Breaks for a Refreshing Urban Holiday

by CiCi
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As temperatures soar in the Mediterranean, those seeking respite from the heat are turning to cooler northern destinations for their city breaks. Here are three of Europe’s coolest urban getaways:

1. Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki emerges as a top summer destination for travelers looking to avoid the sweltering heat. With its archipelago of islands coming alive during the warmer months, visitors can enjoy the warmth without overheating. A short ferry ride from Market Square takes you to Lonna, where you can alternate between sauna sessions and refreshing dips in the Gulf of Finland. For a more rugged experience, head to Pihlajasaari for rocky cliffs and scenic nature trails. Helsinki also boasts several Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Room by Kozeen Shiwan, offering a culinary journey through theatrical dishes.

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2. Bodø, Norway

Named a European Capital of Culture for 2024, Bodø in northern Norway offers a unique blend of urban amenities and natural wonders. Located above the Arctic Circle, Bodø is famed for the Midnight Sun, which allows for late-night hikes, golf rounds under the never-setting sun, and thrilling RIB boat rides to Saltstraumen, the world’s strongest maelstrom. Nearby, Svartisen glacier offers an accessible glimpse into Europe’s icy landscapes. The city itself hosts over 1,000 cultural events this year as part of the Bodo2024 programme, enriching the urban experience with arts and performances.

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3. Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, with its extensive archipelago spanning over 30,000 islands, seamlessly blends city life with natural escapes. Stay at Hotell Furusund for a cozy maritime-themed retreat, where kayaking and floating saunas are just steps away. For a deeper immersion in nature, opt for one of the eco cabins at Lidö Värdshus and explore new hiking trails launching this year across 22 islands. Stockholm offers the rare opportunity to enjoy metropolitan comforts while surrounded by vast natural landscapes, making it a dream destination for urban adventurers.

These northern European cities not only provide relief from the summer heat but also offer enriching cultural experiences and stunning natural scenery, making them ideal for a sweat-free holiday getaway.

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