How to stay ‘cool’ in Europe during the 2022 summer heat wave?

Summer travel across Europe in 2022 is not just hot in regards to the (pent up) demand, but the current and unusual heat waves have locals and visitors sweating more than normal. Journalist and travel writer Rachel Chang included Inside Europe in her recent feature story for Condé Nast Traveler. Walking the walk and experiencing first hand what it’s like to travel is our guiding principal and foundation for our one-of-a-kind travel experiences.

Inside Europe Tips for Staying Cool

Traveling in Europe during the summer? Here are our five tips for staying cool. The guiding principal for our advice is what traveling with Inside Europe is about in general: Do as the locals do!

  1. Stay actively hydrated!
    Ever noticed that Europeans drink water with their coffee? Staying hydrated is even more important with scorching temperatures, so start your day off with not just a great Cappuccino or Café au Lait, but also lots of water right from the start. More and more hotels are beginning to offer water bottle filling stations. Dolores “Lola” Fanjul, Inside Europe local host in Spain, points out that many cities, like Madrid, have drinking fountains scattered throughout town. Lola proudly states, “There are over 1,000 places where you can get fresh, cold water”, and shares the link to a map of Madrid’s drinking fountains.
  2. Visit museums at the hottest time of the day.
    Incredible art work, like Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ or gorgeous impressionist paintings by Monet and Manet, are presented in temperature controlled environments to preserve them for generations to come. This makes major art museums the place to be during the hottest time of the day. Cool down admiring art, shop for quality souvenirs and why not grab some lunch in nicely air-conditioned museum cafés, like at Musée d’Orsay. Make sure to get tickets with a timed entry in advance to avoid having to wait in line, in the heat, for too long.
  3. Embrace European AC, your body will adapt!
    While some hotels may offer American-style AC that lets you cool your room to temperatures requiring to wear that thick sweater you could’ve left at home, the majority of European accommodations won’t let you go below 77 degrees Fahrenheit when it’s 90+ outside. It’s still cooler inside than outside, and by getting used to the warmth, your body will adapt to the new environment.
  4. Eat lighter and later.
    With the sun not setting in Europe until well after 9 pm in the summer, it is no wonder why dinner time is also later — especially in France, Italy and Spain. Plus, tapas-style, small plate eating is highly recommended during the hottest days of the year. Aperitivo (aka Happy Hour with snacks) anyone? And don’t forget cooling down with Gelato anytime.
  5. Take a dip in the pool, ocean or river — even if it’s only your feet.
    What do locals across Europe do on a hot summer day? Go for a refreshing swim! If there is no pool or ocean close by, look for a fountain, canal or river. Especially after a lot of walking, giving your feet a break by dipping them into cool water is such a treat. Freiburg, Historic Highlight of Germany, for example, offers a system of tiny urban streams that invite citizens and guests to take a break and chill down.
Cooling down in Historic Highlight of Germany Freiburg is as easy as taking your shoes off and dip your feet in one of the tiny urban rivers called “Baechle” that run through town. Copyright: FWTM/Duepper.

Do as the Locals do

To summarize, yes, some summer days in 2022 are hotter than normal, but it being hot in July and August in Italy, Spain or Portugal is nothing unusual. Hotels, restaurants and attractions are prepared for temperatures above 90 degrees so spots to cool down can easily be found. For example, — as you may already know — there are very few Romans left in Rome in August. So again, by doing as the locals do, and with our Inside Europe pros at your side, your travel experience is always a better one. Last, but not least, hot summer days also make for hot summer nights: with glorious sunsets that can be best enjoyed from charming patio restaurants or rooftop terraces with stunning views.

We are a storytellers + matchmakers, lovers of all the great things in life starting with food + drinks, music, ski + golf, plus more. Explore our latest travel stories curated by our team of passionate Europe experts. (Positive side effects include the urge to travel to Europe, eat, drink and explore!)

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