July marks the midpoint in the summer season, a time when towns, cities and beachside villages across Europe and the US are teeming with people, alive with culture and baked in bright sunshine.

This month can bring with it positives and negatives alike, the crowds that can often be overwhelming can equally provide a buzz like no other time of year. The weather that provides almost guaranteed sunny weather can also become oppressive if you’re spending all day pounding the pavement in a city centre.

Travelling in July is about planning out where you visit carefully, being ready for what the weather and popularity might bring and preparing to either embrace the chaos or dodge it by choosing a destination wisely. Some people embrace the summer for travel, and others hate it in equal measure, but with this guide, we feel there is the perfect destination for everyone and anyone.

The Best Places in The USA to Visit in July

When it comes to summer travel, the USA offers a plethora of enticing destinations. From bustling cities to breathtaking natural wonders, there are plenty of places where you can dodge the crowds, avoid the heat and discover some lesser-known gems. 

Here are two top picks for your July travels:

Portland, Oregon:

Columbia River Gorge

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Known for its vibrant food scene, hip neighbourhoods, and stunning outdoor beauty, Portland is a great choice for July. Whilst the city is also known for its bitterly cold winters, it means that in summer, the weather is still mild and pleasant, making it perfect for exploration. In the face, it rarely gets above 85f (30c) and is usually sunny and dry throughout the month.

The pleasant weather in July makes it an ideal time to explore the outdoor beauty of Portland including Forest Park and The International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park. There are plenty of events too as the city comes to life, some of the best include Waterfront Blues Festival, The Mississippi Street Fair and the Oregon Brewers Festival. 

On top of that, there’s a great food scene with heaps of awesome outdoor dining and farmers’ markets that concentrates on sustainable and local produce which offer fresh produce, and artisanal products and help support the farmers of Oregon. Additionally, if you’re looking for a fun day trip, then Columbia River Gorge is a short drive away as is the Oregon coast.

Charleston, South Carolina:

Fort Sumter in Charleston

Experience Southern charm at its finest in historic Charleston. Whilst the city can be hot and humid during the month of July, it feels like it is an essential part of the Southern experience all the same. Expect some spectacular thunderstorms after warm but muggy days. For some, this is something to be avoided, but this is when the city is at its most lush and most alive. 

Thankfully Charleston is known for its beautiful beaches, so there are plenty of places to escape the heat and cool down. Visit places like Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, or Sullivan’s Island to relax, soak up the sun, swim in the Atlantic Ocean and do some surfing or paddleboarding.

There are heaps of fascinating historic sites in Charleston to explore too. Visit iconic landmarks such as Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, or explore the beautifully preserved historic district with its charming cobblestone streets, antebellum houses, and plantations. Taking a stroll along the Charleston Waterfront Park is also a great way to see the city in all its summer glory.

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Best Places to Holiday in July for Good Weather

For those craving sun-soaked adventures, July is the perfect month to explore destinations known for their delightful weather. Here are two idyllic places that will ensure you bask in the warm embrace of the summer sun:

Santorini, Greece:

Red Beach Santorini

Visiting Santorini in July guarantees you hot, sunny days and beautifully warm evenings that almost feel endless. Sure, the island is buzzing at this time of year, but if you enjoy that happening vibe then there is no better place to be in the Med than this stunning Greek Island. In fact, Santorini is a dream destination for July and being a seasonal location, it’s also much easier to reach during the summer months. 

With its iconic white-washed buildings there are heaps of different viewpoints to check out around the famous Santorini Caldera. The most stunning are around the villages of Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli. Be sure to explore their historic, narrow and winding streets too filled with vibrant bougainvillea, and quaint shops. Stick around for sunset and you’ll be treated with a worldly view as the last light shines its golden rays on the blue-domed churches below.

If you’re tired after all that hiking and exploring on foot, then you’ll be pleased to know Santorini has some amazing beaches too. I mean, what is a summer holiday without frolicking in the waves?! Check out the beaches of Perissa, Kamari, or Red Beach where you can see red, black and white sands, pretty cool! The crystal clear sea is paradise whether you’re looking to relax or partake in some exciting water sports.

Zanzibar, Tanzania:

Stone town Zanzibar Tanzania

July in Zanzibar marks the start of the dry season across Tanzania, making it the perfect time to plan a trip here. Unlike other locations where things are a little too hot and humid, here expect conditions to be mild, pleasant, sunny and dry. Whilst conditions aren’t boiling, it will still be plenty warm enough to enjoy a dip on the beaches of Nungwi, Kendwa, or Paje.

Speaking of the sea, the waters around Zanzibar are home to vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life, making them perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving trips. During July you can expect the water to be particularly clear and calm making visibility great. If you’d prefer to stay on dry land then explore the historic capital of the island, Stone Town. Visit its narrow, winding streets, the bustling markets, and admire the fascinating blend of Arab, African, and European architecture.

There are heaps of cultural experiences to get involved with too given the wide range of different heritages of the people on the island. Many of those include traditions from Arab, Indian, and Swahili cultures. There are local villages, traditional music and dance performances as well as taking a spice tour where you can visit the plantations that have been so important to the history of Zanzibar.

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Best Places in Europe to Visit in July

Europe beckons with its rich history, stunning architecture, and diverse cultures. In July, the continent showcases its vibrant charms, inviting travellers to immerse themselves in captivating experiences. Whilst the continent can get quite busy at times, it’s also alive with a buzz that can’t be replicated any other time of the year. 

Here are two captivating destinations to consider:

Porto, Portugal:

Historic Clerigos tower Porto

Known for its colourful buildings, charming riverfront, and port wine, Porto is a hidden gem in Europe. Being somewhat off the beaten track when it comes to European cities, it’s one of the best spots if you want to soak in unique culture without being swamped by the stampede-like crowds the summer holidays can bring!

Whilst July is one of the hottest months of the year for Porto, it’s still one of the most temperate cities on the continent given its Northerly position on the Iberian Peninsula. During the month of July, the end of the São João Festival (which starts in late June) is taking place. Here you can get involved in the many ??street parties, music, dancing, and the famous midnight firework display.

Explore the historic Ribeira district along the banks of the Douro River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can take scenic boat tours or wander on foot. The narrow streets reveal landmarks such as the Clerigos Tower and the Sé Cathedral which can’t be missed. Be sure to cross the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge and soak in the impressive views over the city before visiting the Port wine cellars on the Gaia side of the city.

Tallinn, Estonia:

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Tallinn Estonia

Step into a fairy tale in Tallinn, a medieval city with cobblestone streets, medieval towers, and rich history. If you’re looking to explore a fascinating and historic European city without the overwhelming heat and crowds that can blight the continent over the summer months, then Tallinn is your spot! Whilst it’s at its warmest in July, you can expect pleasantly warm rather than scalding hot temperatures. 

Explore the UNESCO-listed Old Town, visit the magnificent Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, enjoy panoramic views from Toompea Hill and walk the medieval city walls. You’ll be mesmerised by the cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and charming atmosphere of the Estonian capital. When you need to take a break head to Town Hall Square with its outdoor cafes and restaurants. 

If you want to get out of the city, then it’s easy to take a short trip to the seaside from Tallinn. Whilst the Baltic Sea isn’t known as the warmest in the world it offers a different experience than you might imagine from Europe in the summer. Pirita Beach is a great local spot that has a low-key but buzzing atmosphere.

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Best Places to Travel in July for Festivals

July is a month of festivals and jubilations around the world. If you’re eager to experience the energetic atmosphere of cultural celebrations, globally significant events and fun ceremonies, then July is a great month. 

Here are two destinations where you can revel in vibrant traditions, music, and dance.

Salvador, Brazil

Carnival of Salvador Brazil
Photo: Rodrigo Sa (Flickr)

Experience the energy of the Bahian culture during the Carnival of Salvador, one of the largest and most vibrant carnival celebrations in the world. The highlight of the Salvador Carnival is the massive street parties known as “blocos”. These lively local events are the perfect place to learn more about this important local custom.

Be sure to dance to the rhythms of the Afro-Brazilian, samba and reggae music that fills the air as the Trios elétricos (massive sound trucks with huge speakers) follow the circuits around the city. This “Axé music” creates energetic and infectious beats that bring people together in a vibrant harmony that is hard to resist! 

The Carnival of Salvador celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Bahia by incorporating elements of Afro-Brazilian, Capoeira, and Candomblé traditions, dance, music, clothing and processions. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colours and costumes of this incredible festival that celebrate the unique culture of this wonderful place.

Edinburgh, Scotland:

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Be a part of the world-renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. Known simply as “The Fringe” locally, it showcases a wide range of performances, including theatre, comedy, dance, spoken word, music and cabaret. 

The festival attracts performers from all over the globe making it a true mixing pot of cultures and offering a unique opportunity to experience a vast array of creative talent as a result. Another fun feature is the use of different venues across the city from massive venues to small clubs, pubs and even street corners. It feels like the entire city becomes a stage! 

Another cool element of the Fringe is that it’s an “open-access festival”, meaning anyone is able to participate and showcase their work. This means it’s a great place to witness performances from well-known and established artists as well as up-and-coming and niche entertainers. It really is the place to just immerse yourself in a whirlwind of performances all set against the backdrop of the historic city’s stunning architecture.

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Best Places to Visit in July on a Budget

Travelling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out on incredible experiences. Many mistakenly think that travel during the summer is going to be massively unaffordable to the average broke backpacker! Well, fear not because thankfully there are some awesome destinations that are accessible to all. 

In this section, we’ve curated two budget-friendly destinations that offer remarkable sights, unique attractions, and enriching experiences, all without breaking the bank:

Budapest, Hungary:

Szechenyi Thermal Bath Budapest

Explore the charming city of Budapest, one of the most affordable European capital cities and a classic destination for those looking for a cheap destination on the continent. This beautiful and historic city comes alive in the warm summer months with its vibrant atmosphere, long days and dry sunny weather. 

known for its beautiful architecture, Budapest offers a wide range of places to visit including the stunning Hungarian Parliament Building that dominates the riverbank of the Danube. The city is great to explore on foot, especially during the pleasant summer months, but another wonderful way to see it is by taking a picturesque cruise. 

Other highlights include taking a dip in the healing waters of the Széchenyi or Gellért Thermal Baths. Both of these spots are popular among locals and visitors alike and are the perfect way to recharge after pounding the pavement. Be sure to also visit landmarks such as Buda Castle, Matthias Church, The Fisherman’s Bastion and Andrassy Avenue before ending your day in one of the famous ruin bars.

Hoi An, Vietnam:

Thu Bon River

The historic town of Hoi An in the central region of Vietnam offers a budget-friendly cultural experience like no other. This idyllic UNESCO World Heritage site sits on the banks of the Thu Bon River and during the month of July is at its quietest. Often heaving with tourists in the high season, the rainy season in which July falls offers a unique opportunity to see it at a much calmer pace. 

Though July might fall during the rainy season, the weather is still warm and often the wet weather comes in the form of showers interspersed with sunny periods rather than lasting all day. The real benefit is that you won’t have to share these well-preserved historical streets with hordes of other visitors and prices are even more affordable in this already budget-friendly country.

Whilst here be sure to pick up a map of the town and explore the many historical buildings, lantern-filled streets and bustling local markets. A highlight is the ancient ??Japanese Covered Bridge that represents the different cultures that have called Hoi An home over the centuries. An eco-tour to visit the nearby rice farms to witness the local way of life here is also highly recommended.

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Best of the Rest – Where to Go in July

Still searching for more options? This section explores two additional destinations that are worth considering for your July travels. From off-the-beaten-path gems to unexpected wonders, we’ve got you covered. Think of this as a wild card pick at the end of the list, a location where some more unusual or just overlooked places reside!

Luang Prabang, Laos:

Kuang Si Waterfalls Luang Prabang

Experience the serene beauty and rich culture of Luang Prabang, nestled between the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. Whilst July does fall in the rainy season for Laos, don’t let that put you off a trip to this spectacular town. The weather is characterised by intervals of heavy rain and brilliant sunshine with temperatures being warm and conditions humid. Most importantly, being low season, it’s also the quietest time to visit. 

Luang Prabang has much to offer the discerning visitor and most of it is dotted around its UNESCO-listed old town. Here you can rise early to witness the daily alms-giving ceremony where local monks pour out of the countless temples to receive donations of foot in a centuries-old ceremony. Both locals and tourists are invited to take part in this spiritual and culturally immersive experience. Don’t forget to spend the rest of the day visiting the temples themselves as well as the morning markets. 

Another benefit to visiting during the rainy season is that the nearby Kuang Si Waterfalls, an absolute must-see whilst in Luang Prabang, is at its most fierce and vibrant. This set of stunning falls just a short trip from the town will just blow you away with their natural beauty. You can even take a refreshing dip in the lower pools.

Cape Town, South Africa:

Prison on the Robben Island

If you’re looking for the perfect destination to swerve the sweltering heat of summer then look no further than this Southern Hemisphere adventure. During the month of July, Cape Town is in the midst of its mild and pleasant winter. Though it can get a little chilly, those who hate the extremes of both summer and Northern European winter will thrive. 

There’s plenty to do here and the cooler weather makes having an active trip that much more comfortable than in the sweltering summer months. A hike or cable car ride up to the magnificent Table Mountain just can’t be missed. Admire panoramic views of both the city and the nearby coastline from this famous vantage point … but be sure to take a jacket! 

Back at sea level, you can mix up the rest of your trip with another eclectic collection of activities. From visiting the penguins at Boulders Beach to exploring the picturesque Cape Winelands, there are lots of other outdoor activities. For history buffs a trip to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela what imprisoned, is a must-visit. Those who love exploring busy cities will also love the colourful neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap.

Final Thoughts on Where to Go in July

As our journey through the best places to visit in July comes to an end, we hope this guide has inspired you to embark on an unforgettable summer adventure… that is, unless you decide to travel to winter!!

As we all know, travelling in the summer can be an equally amazing and frustrating experience. With the beautiful sunny weather we all want to get out there exploring the world … but so does everyone else on this overpopulated planet of ours! So being strategic about your destinations of choice is even more important. 

We hope this guide allows you to enjoy your July travels, and may they be filled with extraordinary memories wherever you choose to visit. Hopefully, this post will allow you to make the most of the weather and unique vibe that this time of year brings.