15 Cooler European Locations to Visit in August to Beat the Heat

Steve Cummings

Romania

At the time of writing this, it's June, and the heatwave across Europe is well underway (well, in some places). While it might not get as hot as in Africa or other parts of the world, the temperature can peak at 40C/104F degrees in some places. Sometimes, when you visit places, you want somewhere that's not going to be too hot so you can explore without being covered in sweat and sleep comfortably without needing the AC on all the time.

Luckily, Europe is a diverse continent with plenty of places that rarely see extreme temperatures. Most of the cooler temperatures we are exploring are in the north of Europe, where it is generally cooler, and some of these may not have even been on your radar.

1. Reykjavík, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland
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Iceland is at the top of the list as it's one of the coldest countries in Europe and the world. There's a reason it's called the land of fire and ice. Temperatures in August average around 12C/54F degrees, but it can get a lot warmer sometimes, and you can happily wear shorts and T-shirts.

There won't be any snow during the summer months of July and August, but there's a good chance you will still see some rain during your stay, and the weather can change quickly. You must pack and prepare for all weather, but you will love Iceland regardless of the season and weather. We think it's better to visit in winter! 

Don’t expect it to get dark at night during the summer, so pack an eye mask if you have trouble sleeping in the daylight.

2. Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands
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The Faroe Islands are located roughly between Scotland and Iceland. As you can imagine, it's pretty cold here, so don’t come here in the summer expecting a sun tan. Temperatures can reach about 13C/56F degrees, but it can get colder, so pack for all weather.

The summer months are the busiest (just like anywhere else), and trips to popular places get booked up early. Birdwatching and boat tours are amongst the most popular.

Like Iceland, the Faroe Islands have the sun for about 20 hours a day, setting at midnight and rising again just after 3 a.m., giving you plenty of daylight to explore everything you need to see.

3. Shetland Islands, Scotland

Shetland Islands
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The Shetland Islands are part of Scotland. Due to their location being so high up, in the summer, the days are long, and evenings are short.

If you love being outdoors,, you will find plenty to do here,, such as kayaking, sea fishing, and watching wildlife, such as puffins and otters.

Boat trips are worth taking here. You might be lucky enough to spot the Orcas that feed around the islands during the summer.

4. Oslo, Norway

Oslo, Norway
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Oslo is best experienced in the summer when temperatures peak in the low 70sF/about 22C.

There is so much to do in this fantastic city, and one of the best things to do in the summer is to swim right in the city's heart. Participating in the winter would be far too cold, but the summer is just right. Also on the waterfront are saunas, which are located on the water, meaning you can pop out into the water for a quick dip when you get too hot and then get straight back in.

Boating and exploring the collection of outdoor artwork are also other popular activities in the summer months.

5. Copenhagen, Denmark

Ribe, Denmark
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Copenhagen's average temperature is 17C/63F degrees during the main summer months of July and August, and there are plenty of sunshine hours. The climate is similar to London’s. 

This nice temperature will allow you to wander around the city without getting too hot, and there isn’t much rain in the summer.

One of Copenhagen's highlights is the Tivoli theme park, which is located in the city center. 

We recommend renting a bike to explore the canals and riding along the waterfront. And make sure you visit the famous little mermaid statue.

6. Helsinki, Finland

Ice Swimming in Helsinki,
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Finland is a long, thin country, with the top of the country being the coldest. Having attended a wedding in the summer in the middle of the country, I can say that it was an enjoyable temperature for our friends' special day. Everyone was wearing suits, and it was warm but comfortable.

One thing to watch out for in the summer is the number of mosquitoes that come out, especially around areas with lots of water.

Helsinki is the main area most people visit, and the summer is lovely. You can expect to wear shorts and T-shirts during the summer months during the day, but the temperature will drop quite a bit in the evenings.

7. Edinburgh, Scotland

Looking up the hill at Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle
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Scotland can get very cold in the winter, but the summers can be pretty nice, staying calm and pleasant for most of the year. In July, it can reach a nice 65F/18C degrees, making it lovely to explore the city or maybe venture to the nearby mountains for a hike.

The beaches are not that far away and are lovely in the summer, but they are not somewhere you would want to be in the winter.

You could also head to Ben Nevis and venture up to the highlands from here, which are even colder than Edinburgh.

8. Liverpool, England

Liverpool, England
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England is my home country, and sometimes I wish it were hotter, with Liverpool being about 30 minutes away from where I live. Sometimes, we all wish it were a little warmer in the UK. But when we get some heat, people moan that it's too hot for them to do anything.

Liverpool is constantly improving and now has a growing cruise port, which has helped bring even more tourism into the city. The Albert Docks is right near the cruise port, and it has The Beatles Museum and plenty of bars and restaurants.

If you have time, head to Anfield, home of Liverpool FC, and take a stadium tour, which is held most days except match days.

In Liverpool, the heat rarely peaks above the mid-20sC/mid-60sF, which makes it a great place to explore without getting too hot.

9. Chamonix, France

Chamonix, France
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Chamonix is on the border of Switzerland, France, and Italy and is known for being one of the best destinations in Europe for those who like the cold.

Why is it so cold, you ask? It's a town high up in the French Alps, just below Mont Blanc (the most prominent mountain in Europe), so it doesn’t get as hot. Some glaciers nearby also help keep the area cool.

Popular summer activities include hiking along the amazing trails, chilling out in the town, and riding cable cars. It is also an excellent base for visiting other small towns nearby, such as Vevey and Lausanne.

10. Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø, Norway
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Tromsø is over 300km/186m above the Arctic Circle, making it one of the coldest places on this list in Europe. 

At the height of summer, in July and August, the average highest temperature is about 15C/59F degrees. By then, all the snow will be gone, but you will experience some of the longest days anywhere in the world, as the sun won’t set at all, not even at midnight.

Some of the best things to do here during your stay are to go hiking or cruise down one of the famous fjords.

11. Gdansk, Poland

Gdańsk, Poland
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Gdansk can be found on the edge of the Baltic Sea and is an excellent city if you want somewhere away from the crowds and somewhere with some culture.

Temperatures here reach about 22C/71F degrees, which is warm but not too hot!

Spend some time here walking around the old town, exploring the cobbled streets, and taking in attractions like the Gothic St. Mary’s Church, medieval town hall, and the 17th-century Golden Gate.

If it's warm enough, head to Plaża Brzeźno and swim in the Baltic Sea.

12. Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm
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Having covered all the other Nordic countries, we couldn’t leave out Sweden, and we are adding the capital, Stockholm, to the list as it's probably where most of you will be heading. 

Stockholm can be warmer than its Nordic counterparts, with summer temperatures averaging 18-22C/64-71F degrees. This gives you some heat, but not too much that you can’t enjoy exploring.

Some of the best things to do in the summer are to take a canal boat tour around some islands (Sweden has the most islands of any country in the world). Head to Museum Island, a traffic-free island that is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic or visit the Abba museum or the Vasa museum, which houses a 17th-century ship that capsized in 1628.

If you want somewhere even cooler, visit one of the more northern cities, such as Gothenburg or Helsingborg.

13. Dublin, Ireland

Dublin Castle
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Dublin has a climate similar to the UK's, which means it will never get too hot unless there's a heatwave. There's a good chance it will rain during your visit here. Temperatures usually peak around 20C/68F degrees, with lows of about 10C/50F degrees during July and August.

If you visit Dublin, you will likely be inside often, as the most popular attractions are the Guinness Factory and all the pubs along the Temple Bar area in the city center. Other popular activities during the summer are Phoenix Park, kayaking on the River Liffey, and hiking in the Dublin Mountains.

14. Tallinn, Estonia

St. Olaf Baptist Church and Tallinn City Wall in the morning, Tallinn, Estonia
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Summer in Tallinn is the perfect retreat for those who can’t stand the heat. With maximum temperatures hovering around 22C/71F degrees, walking around is nice and comfortable. It’s also one of the most popular rain months, so pack a light raincoat.

Some of the best things to do in Tallinn are to walk around the charming old town with its cobbled streets and old churches. Just be sure to pack some comfy shoes, as you will do a lot of walking.

Tallinn is also a nice 2-hour ferry ride away from Helsinki, meaning it could be added to a multi-trip adventure without the need to board a plane.

15. Wales

CARDIFF, UK - SEP 9: The Millennium Stadium, national stadium of Wales on September 9, 2010. The Engage Super League rugby season opens there, with Millennium Magic weekend on February 12th & 13th.
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We have included Scotland and England, so we thought ending this article with Wales would be good, which we believe deserves more attention than it gets.

Highlights of Wales include the island of Anglesey, which is full of amazing beaches, bike routes, and lovely landscapes. Not far from there is Snowdonia, with Mount Snowdon (the second largest mountain in the UK) worth hiking up if you have the energy.

Further down in Wales, there's the lovely village of Portmeirion, which is styled like an Italian village. It's ideal for a day trip to visit somewhere unique.

Wales is known for being a generally wet country, so even if it gets a bit hot, there's a good chance that some rain is on its way.

Escape The Heat in Northern Europe

Things to do in Iceland
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To escape the summer heat, northern Europe has a wide range of cooler destinations that will give you a break from the summer sun.  From the coldest in Iceland and Chamonix to the more pleasant temperatures in Stockholm, you can find somewhere suitable for you.

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