Paris and Rome are lovely this time of year, but they're also packed with summer travelers.
For something a little quieter, consider Lonely Planet's latest list of top European destinations that offer café culture, history and outdoor adventures outside of Europe's most popular cities.
This year's Europe list, developed by Lonely Planet's editors and writers, includes the next hot spots to visit as well as longtime favorites with something new to enjoy.
"We try to point out what's the next hot thing, what's been overlooked and deserving of more attention and places that people have heard about forever but may not know have been revitalized in recent years," said Andy Murdock, Lonely Planet's U.S. digital editor. "It's food for thought for travelers looking to explore Europe more deeply."
1. Porto & the Douro Valley, Portugal
Portugal's second-largest city has so much going for it, Murdock says. The birthplace of port, this picturesque hilly town in northern Portugal also has a thriving arts scene and up and coming culinary reputation. And it's a good value destination right now. (Many of the Port houses offer tastings and tours for free or a small fee.)
"Porto is really the best in show for this year," Murdock said. "Porto is a great value for people interested in food and the arts."
The Douro Valley's wine and port scene is very easy to explore as a day trip. There you can visit some of the most famous Port houses, including Taylor's, W & J Graham's, Fonseca Porto and Casa Ramos Pinto. Check their websites for tours and tastings.
2. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is starting to steal the cool from Berlin right now, Murdock said, with unique summer pop-up bars in old buildings and gardens. (The city's architecture is an eclectic testament to its previous rulers, showing the influence of the Ottoman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Soviet regime.)
"There are a variety of different looks to them: Some are hipster weed patches with drinks, and others are manicured gardens," he said. "It's a unique type of bar you're not going to find most other places."
These "ruin bars" are mostly open in the summer, although some are starting to winterize their locations, so they can be open for more than the May-to-September season. Although some bars often switch locations, Szimpla Kert is one of the oldest, and visitors can find other bars on the same strip.
Sometimes known as "the City of Baths," Budapest has thermal spring-filled baths and traditional Turkish baths to choose from. Murdock recommends the Turkish-era Racz Baths, which recently reopened attached to the modern luxury Racz Hotel.
The Museum of Music History also had a recent update.
3. Northern Iceland
While everyone seems to know that Iceland is a cool weekend for U.S. East Coasters, Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon Spa and the Golden Circle are the popular stops on that quick trip. For a look beyond those spots, take a quick flight north to check out the Northern Lights in Akureyri, Iceland's second-largest town (population 17,000).
"Explore lava fields, waterfalls like you've never imagined, horseback rides and great whale watching out of Husavik (an hour from Akureyri)," Murdock said.
Myvatn Nature Spa offers a mini version of the Blue Lagoon -- without the tourists.
4. Cinque Terre, Italy
The five villages of Italy's popular Cinque Terre are ready for visitors again. Repairs to the cliffside villages after the devastating floods of 2011 were made more difficult because of the Cinque Terre's remote, mountainous location. The towns are connected by trains and are served within the villages by public buses. A national park and UNESCO site, the villages don't allow cars or motorbikes.
"It's very well-known but hard to reach," Murdock said. But it's worth it if you're ready to walk, he says. "They rebuilt the paths, the stone terraces are back, the vineyards are replaned, and the drainage is improved for the next flood."
The small, isolated beaches below the towns are also worth a visit. "They have a sense of fishery stewardship, allowing line-caught fish only. There is really lovely seafood coming out of the waters in Cinque Terre."
5. Moravia, Czech Republic
If you've been to Prague or shy away from popular cities that have been overtaken by tourists, try Moravia. It's known locally for bike tours and wine tasting, especially big robust reds. "It's a lot slower pace (than Prague) and gives you a much different feel of the country," Murdock said.
For a mini version of Prague, head to Olomouc, home of the country's second-oldest university, a lovely town square and the Holy Trinity Column (an 18th-century baroque sculpture on UNESCO's World Heritage list). For Gothic charm, head to Telc, which is also on UNESCO's list. The region's capital, Brno, has great museums.