23rd November 2016

Destination Watch: Cities to See in Summer 2017

Looking for an excuse to go somewhere new or different for a city break in summer 2017? Try these five for starters…




Colours of Ostrava Festival, Image via Facebook


Located around 10 kilometres south of the Polish border and 50 kilometres west of the Slovakian border, choose the pretty Czech city of Ostrava for a great value summer break or well-connected base where you can plot a European adventure. The city is bursting with good old-fashioned Czech charm and is (usually) blessed with glorious, sunny weather until September.

When to Go: Visit in July for the Colours of Ostrava music festival (19th -22nd July) which takes place in the revamped Dolní Vítkovice, a former mine and iron works. 2017’s line-up includes performances by Norah Jones, Imagine Dragons and Birdy as well as over 350 other events and live acts.




Crack Düsseldorf’s tough, business-like exterior and you’ll uncover a city filled with enough interesting neighbourhoods and nightlife options to rival most major European cities. From the traditional bars of the old town to lively quarters such as Medienhafen and Flingern, get ready for plenty of Altbier-based antics.

When to Go: 2017’s Tour de France kicks off in Dusseldorf on 1st July with a 13-kilometre time-trial through the streets of the city for the first Yellow Jersey of the competition. Expect an electric atmosphere.





The land of Santa Claus, saunas… and Eurovision legends Lordi, celebrates 100 years of independence in 2017. Never been to Finland? Let the beautiful inland city of Tampere provide the perfect introduction. During the summer months, the sun doesn’t set. Wander the leafy parks, check out the Lenin Museum, the Spy Museum and whatever you do, don’t miss out on sampling the city’s famous chicken wings.  The hot and spicy dish was originally brought to Tampere in the 1990s by homesick US ice-hockey teams and has been a hit with locals ever since.

When to Go: Take the kids to the new Moomin Museum which opens in Tampere Hall in May 2017.




An oldie but a goodie, the summer months see Edinburgh swapping its brooding winter demeanour for lazy days of festival fun and sunny beer-garden evenings.

When to Go: In 2017, the Edinburgh Festival turns 70 – expect festival organisers to go all out with events to mark the anniversary in style.  Edinburgh Festival 2017 takes place from 4th – 28th August.






With eye-popping architecture and beaches on its doorstep, Porto in the summer months rarely disappoints. Catch some waves on the beaches to the north of the city, take a tour of the local port cellars or head along to one of the city’s excellent summer music festivals. Tip: Over the past few years, Porto festivals such as Nos Primavera Sound have attracted major international acts, snap up your tickets early to avoid disappointment.

When to Go: On 23rd June, thousands of people gather for Porto’s massive annual street party, Festa de São João. Grab a plastic hammer and join the locals for a night of food, drink and dancing.  Fireworks kick in at midnight, before the focus moves to Praia dos Ingleses, where the city’s bravest souls challenge each other to jump over bonfire flames lit in honour of São João.



Fiona Hilliard

Fiona Hilliard

A love of new cultures is what drives Dublin travel writer Fiona Hilliard to explore the cities of Europe and beyond.


  • eina hagberg

    Fun to read! And a little extra inside-information..

    3rd February 2017 at 4:22 pm
  • Maria

    Nice ideas!

    9th February 2017 at 5:19 pm
  • Steinar Thalberg

    Rayanair has a lot of interesting destinations – we used to travel around i Europe quite a lot from Rygge airport south of Oslo.
    It is closed now since 4 months – but as soon as Ryanair is returning, the joy of travvelling around will be resumed.

    18th March 2017 at 7:20 am
  • rick

    Bruges is also a good destination in April for 3-4 days

    27th March 2017 at 4:42 pm
  • Ray

    For the money, trips to Portugal and Croatia are the best! The fresh seafood in Portugal is to die for and the scenic beauty of Croatia’s national parks will leave an everlasting memory. Gorgeous beaches and water in Split, Croatia too!

    28th May 2017 at 8:08 am

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