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European Summer City Break Hot Spots

If you’re looking to save some pennies and have the pavements to yourself, summer can surprisingly be the best time to take a trip to some of Europe’s most popular cities.

While the weather is fine, locals disappear on holiday and business travelers are all on vacation, so July and August can be the best time to pick up a bargain city break. Here are our recommendations for European cities to visit this summer:

Paris
Because July and August are typically the hottest months of the year, locals head out of the cities and hit the beaches, so city breaks are at their cheapest. Forgo the seaside and take a stroll along the Seine, with frequent pit stops at pavement cafes for cooling refreshments. Time a trip with Bastille Day on July 14 to catch the parade down the Champs-Elysées and fireworks at the Eiffel Tower.

Rome
Tourists generally shy away from the Eternal City during the summer heat, but if you’re willing to slap on the sunscreen, there are lots of bargain breaks to be found. Coordinate a trip with the Estate Romana, from June to September, and involves a host of music, theater, literary and cinematic events in top spots around Rome.

London
Whether you’re looking for a top-notch 5-star treat or a conveniently located B&B, the Big Smoke has plenty of deals in the peak summer months. Best of all, July and August are the best time of year to catch some UK sunshine. Save some extra cash by visiting one of the capital’s many free museums -- such as the Victoria and Albert, Tate, Natural History or Science museums – which should be a little less crowded than usual.

Barcelona
While the locals venture to beach resorts, make the most of the bargain hotel rooms on offer in Barca. Coordinate a trip with one of the city’s many music festivals, such as Primavera Sound or Sonar. If that’s a little pricey, throughout the summer, each of Barcelona's neighborhoods holds its festa major, which normally kicks off with a huge street dinner for residents, followed by live music into the night.

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Tips by
Amy

Deal Expert, London
Monday, May 2, 2011
See more Tips from
Amy Lindsay