European Summer City Escapes
Collected by Jen Murphy , AFAR Contributor
The best European cities where you can beat the heat and indulge in air-conditioned culture, great restaurants, and urban adventures.
Landgangen 1, 0252 Oslo, Norway
You’d be forgiven for mistaking this bold design hotel in Tjuvholmen for one of the neighborhood’s many art galleries. Billionaire owner Petter Stordalen is a sponsor of the Renzo Piano–designed Astrup Fearnley Museum of...
As the name suggests, this soaring 44-story hotel from the Ritz-Carlton brand is peppered with high-end artwork, mainly by renowned Spanish and Catalan artists such as Eduardo Chillida, Albert Rafols-Casamada, Perico Pastor, and Luis Feito. But...
1 Ham Yard, Soho, London W1D 7DT, UK
Most London hotels can’t claim to have a bowling alley in the basement. But then Ham Yard isn’t most hotels. The new address, opened in June 2014, also features a 190-seat cinema with Dolby surround sound, a spa with its own Hypoxic...
Toldbodgade 24-28, 1253 København, Denmark
The Copenhagen Admiral Hotel began its life as an 18th-century warehouse on the Copenhagen waterfront, before being turned into a maritime-themed hotel in the 1970s. With the royal family’s Amalienborg Palace on one side, the lively and...
Corso Como, 10, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
This intimate hotel in a formerly industrial building has, as the name suggests, just three rooms. Or perhaps apartment is a better word, since each one covers an entire floor and features a bedroom, bathroom, and living room. Designed by former...
108 Rue Saint-Lazare, 75008 Paris, France
Hilton’s reentry into the heart of Paris is nothing short of majestic. After a $50 million design overhaul, the 125-year-old hotel, made for the 1889 World’s Fair, has been revived to its 19th-century splendor with a contemporary...
Kurhausstrasse 65, 8032 Zürich, Switzerland
This landmark hotel, built in the Swiss rustic style popular at the turn of the 19th century, has hosted Winston Churchill, Arturo Toscanini, Albert Einstein, the Shah of Iran, Henry Kissinger, and the Rolling Stones, among others. Situated high...
Torstraße 1, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Looming over one of central Berlin’s most vibrant intersections, this restored Bauhaus building with its distinctive 1920s curved facade was transformed in 2010 into the Berlin outpost of the glamorous Soho House hotel and private members...
171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW, UK
From the moment the smiling doorman ushered us into the sleek, burnished lobby of the Bulgari, my sister and I felt like a couple of celebrities taking a discreet trip to the capital city. The type of luxury you get here is of a very distinct...
109 Rue de Bagnolet, 75020 Paris, France
Mama Shelter’s owners, who launched the Flèche d’Or indie rock club across the street, turned an outlying location in the 20th arrondissement into an advantage. They enlisted Philippe Starck to design the restaurant, bar,...
Lerchenfelder Str. 1/3, 1070 Wien, Austria
Guests feel like they’re staying under the big top in the quirky, colorful, circus-themed Vienna location of 25hours Hotel. Opened in 2011, this adventure in fun, affordable luxury is found at the edge of Vienna’s Museum...
Hverfisgata 10, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
On first glance, it would be easy to dismiss the 101 Hotel as merely a functional option. Stepping inside the austere five-story concrete building on Hverfisgata, however, guests discover an ultra-modern boutique lodging with minimal...
Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2, Ireland
A Georgian grand dame just off St. Stephens Green in downtown Dublin, the Merrion has been around in one form or another since 1760, when it was a set of four stately homes owned by English nobility. Today, it is elegance incarnate. An excellent...
Bairro Alto, 1200-223 Lisbon, Portugal
What a wonderful location to stay in Lisbon—in the middle of an elegant neighborhood like Chiado and so close to the trendy Bairro Alto. A five-star boutique hotel, this place is full of charm and luxurious rooms spread across five floors,...
No:28, Yıldız Mh., Çırağan Cd., 34349 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
At the Four Seasons Bosporus in the restored Atik Pasha Palace, Turkish interior designer Sinan Kafadar has created a space that effortlessly blends the decadent artisan features of the palace with contemporary comfort to reflect the...
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