From outdoor movies to food and wine festivals, summer in the city is filled with special opportunities to get outside and enjoy local culture. Our City Stays are great for travelers who want lots of free time to explore on their own. So with that in mind, we’ve rounded up three can’t-miss summer happenings in these four bustling cities.
With picnic blankets galore and brought-from-home snacks, outdoor movies are a quintessential summer activity. London’s Luna Cinemas kicks it up a notch by showing flicks in gorgeous and historic locations like Kensington Palace, Regent Park and the National Memorial Arboretum.
A beach in the city
Soft sand, deck chairs, a pool, ping pong tables, tiki bars and barbecue stands bring the beach to the English capital. It’s all located on the terrace of the Roundhouse, an artist-space-meets-stadium in Camden.
Late nights at the London Zoo
The London Zoo is staying open late on several Friday nights throughout the summer. On top of the usual animal viewing, guests can enjoy comedy shows, musical performances, drinks and more.
Paris Jazz Festival
From mid-June through July, various jazz artists perform in Paris’s Parc Floral each weekend. The festival is hugely popular with Parisians, so come early to claim a spot and plan to spend the day enjoying the sounds and sights of this bloom-filled park.
Paris’s many green spaces and pretty promenades are perfect for summer picnics. Try the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Champs-Élysées, Île de la Cité or, of course, the lawn stretching out below the Eiffel Tower.
The Paris Plages
Translating to the “Paris Beaches,” this summer staple is a beachy makeover of the Seine riverbank, complete with ice cream stands, concerts and a volleyball court. The “beaches” are located at the Pont de Sully, Port de la Gare and Bassin de la Villette.
During the summer months, there are a number of classical music concerts in the Church of Pont Sant’Angelo, which overlooks the twinkling Castel Sant’Angelo and Vatican City off in the distance.
Throughout the summer, the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla become a bustling outdoor stadium with various ballet and opera shows throughout the summer.
Colosseum by Night
In warmer weather, the Colosseum offers entrance in the evenings on Thursdays and Saturdays—the glowing lights of nightfall and (if you’re lucky!) a full moon give a new perspective to the ancient ruins.
With the sparkling Mediterranean on one side and a boardwalk lined with restaurants, bars and boutiques on the other, it’s no surprise that Barceloneta beach is popular all summer long. Not looking to lounge in the sand? Come to the neighborhood for dinner and eat al fresco to enjoy the ocean views.
The Modernisme walk
The influence of architect extraordinaire Antoni Gaudí can be felt throughout Barcelona. Spend a summer day strolling along on the self-guided Modernisme walk—and leave extra time to enjoy the sun from colorful benches in Park Güell.
Montjuïc after dark
Montjuïc has great offerings all summer long but for one night only, on July 14, the hill-top castle provides all-hours entertainment during Montjuïc de Nit, including musical performances and light shows.
Have any great summer travel tips? Share them in them in the comments below!