Summer is a great time for seniors to travel. You don’t have to worry about winter causing flight or transportation delays, you don’t have to pack heavy winter clothing, and there are endless destination possibilities! If you’re having trouble deciding where to go, check out these 15 great summer travel destinations for seniors.
Warm Summer Travel Destinations for Seniors
For seniors looking for a warm summer travel experience, check out these great travel destinations!
Budapest is famous for its relaxing thermal baths, which can be a welcome balm for many seniors. Budapest summers are warm and sunny, with mild mornings and evenings, and lots of daylight hours. Parks and gardens are in full bloom with beautiful plants and flowers. Outdoor pools and baths can be found in places like Széchenyi and Gellért. The Great Market Hall is an amazing place for local produce, food, crafts, and more. For those looking for more rest than walking, the Buda Castle Funicular is a cable car that provides picturesque views.
While it may not be the most original choice, everyone should visit Paris at least once in their life. There truly is no city in the world quite like it. Of course the Eiffel Tower (or la tour Eiffel, as it is known in France) is iconic, but there are many hidden gems to explore. Check out the Museé Rodin to view The Thinker and some of Rodin’s most amazing works in a beautiful garden setting. Take a tour of French castles. Explore the Palais Royal Gardens. And don’t miss the bread and pastries, which you can find at a boulangerie/patisserie on any corner.
When visiting Paris, make sure to bring great walking shoes–the Metro is a wonderful way to get around, but there is quite a bit of walking required to get the full experience. Seniors with mobility challenges can find senior-friendly tours and utilize taxis to minimize this. Don’t forget your rain jacket and umbrella, too. Paris has a wet, cooler climate, and it often rains even in the summer months.
Kyoto has some amazing World Heritage sights, like Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavilion) and Kiyomizu-dera, many of which are wheelchair-accessible for less mobile seniors. While the cherry blossom festival is in late March and April, Kyoto is still very beautiful in the summer. It’s warm, humid, and rainy, so make sure to bring a lightweight rain jacket. If you get too hot, shopping malls, department stores, and museums can give you a break in an air-conditioned space. Kyoto also has some amazing summer festivals, like e Gion Matsuri, held in July. It features colorful celebrations, parade floats, and exotic street markets and food. Daimonji Gozan Okuribi in August is also exciting. Whatever you choose to do, you can enjoy immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Japan.
Rome is a beautiful city full of amazing history, stunning art, excellent food, and a welcoming and friendly atmosphere that travelers love. Please note that summer in Rome is hot and humid, so dress in lightweight clothing! You won’t have to worry about rain in the summer months, however. You can see all the classic sights from the movies, like the Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, Vatican City, and the Pantheon. Don’t forget some lesser-known but incredible attractions like the Roman Forum, which remains from ancient Roman times. The Borghese Gallery has artworks from masters like Bernini, Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, and Canova. You’ll see incredible works of art just wandering this big, bright city.
Rome is very accessible for seniors, with flat paved roads and a bus and taxi system for transportation. Walking tours abound for seniors looking for a little more movement.
If you’re looking for a lively historic destination with beautiful beaches, don’t miss Barcelona. Barcelona also has thermal baths, spas, and saunas for an amazing wellness experience that can be a welcome relief for seniors with arthritis and stiffness. Try visiting the Gràcia district, known for its bohemian atmosphere and charming boutiques and cafes. The district is especially vibrant during the Festa Major de Gràcia, a popular neighborhood festival in August. You could also take a boat tour, see a Flamenco show, or visit iconic landmarks such as the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and the Gothic Quarter. Don’t miss the food in Barcelona, either! It’s renowned for its delicious Catalan cuisine.
Did you know that Vancouver, Canada, is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world? This means that this one destination can give you a huge variety of cultural experiences. Make sure to check out Chinatown, Gastown, or Granville Island to experience the unique cultural tapestry of the city. Don’t miss Stanley Park for vibrant greenery surrounded by water. The Vancouver Aquarium, VanDusen Botanical Garden, and the Museum of Vancouver are wheelchair and walker accessible and fun for everyone. If a scenic drive sounds more appealing, check out the Sea-to-Sky Highway, or consider a day trip to Victoria or Vancouver Island. Many tour operators provide comfortable transportation options suitable for seniors.
Prague, Czech Republic
If you’re a fan of world history, Prague is the place for you. Prague has some of the world’s most impressive and unique Medieval architecture. The colorful baroque buildings surround Old Town Square, where you’ll also find street performers and market vendors. You’ll love Charles Bridge, an iconic pedestrian bridge built in 1357 which crosses the Vltava River and is lined with statues of Catholic saints. Mozart lived in Prague and debuted some of his most famous pieces there. The food and cultural atmosphere are amazing, too.
Vienna is perhaps best known for its classical music history. The Vienna State Opera features ballet, opera, and classical concerts that musicians and music aficionados will live. Relax on a river cruise down the Danube. Vienna also boasts a great public transit system, huge open-air market, the peaceful Vienna Woods, and Hofburg Palace, a former imperial residence. Seniors might also enjoy the scenic Vienna Ring Tram to see some impressive sights without having to walk too far.
Lisbon is a great coastal destination during the summer. The Cascais and Estoril coastlines, with gorgeous beaches, are easily accessible via train from Lisbon. Many historic landmarks, like Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, and São Jorge Castle, offer senior discounts. You could also take a boat cruise along the Tagus River or ride the Tram 28 and enjoy some laid-back sightseeing.
Cooler Summer Travel Destinations for Seniors
Seniors living in hot summer climates might prefer to travel somewhere cooler. Check out these travel destinations with more temperate weather during June, July and August.
Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand, the filming location for the popular Lord of the Rings franchise, is known for its unmatched scenic beauty. Be forewarned that as Auckland is in the Southern hemisphere, June through August are actually winter months in New Zealand. However, winter is generally pretty mild, with temperatures from 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Rain showers are common, so bring your umbrella. If you want to get out of the heat and explore New Zealand without so many tourists, winter is still a great time to visit. The Auckland Museum is a must-see, as well as nearby Auckland Domain, a beautiful park. Auckland also has art galleries, more museums, an excellent and easily accessible zoo, and much more.
Confusingly pronounced Edin-burrow, Edinburgh, Scotland, is a beautiful summer destination. Expect temperatures in the 60’s and rain even in the warmest months, but all that precipitation is what makes Ediburgh so gorgeous! Check out the rich history of Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the National Museum of Scotland. You could also see Edinburgh’s nature side by hiking, or do a pub tour of the city.
San Francisco, USA
San Francisco’s mild weather and abundance of options makes it a great travel destination for senior citizens. See the Golden Gate bridge in all its glory, and learn how it got its name despite not being golden at all. Nearby Golden Gate park is another great stop for seniors. It’s flat and easily navigated for people with mobility issues. Don’t forget to explore Alcatraz Island, which is rich in military history.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is a great destination for adventurous seniors. You can take a safe, comfortable and accessible cable car ride up Table Mountain and enjoy amazing views and breathtaking vistas. Because it is located in the Southern hemisphere, remember that June, July, and August are Cape Town’s winter. Temperatures are in the 50’s and 60’s..It’s a good idea to pack layers and bring some warm clothing, especially for the cooler evenings. While the temperatures might not be extremely cold, the wind chill factor can make it feel cooler, particularly near the coast. However, you’ll experience far fewer tourists and crowds!
Visit the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront for shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Cape Town also boasts vineyards, gardens, and great scenery. History buffs should take a boat trip to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
For another mild summer destination, consider Buenos Aires. As it is also in the southern hemisphere, you’ll technically be visiting in Argentina’s winter. But Buenos Aires can be brutally hot and very humid during the summer months, whereas winter is less humid and features lots of sunshine. Take some historic walks through iconic neighborhoods like San Telmo, Recoleta, and Palermo. Don’t miss a tango show or another live performance in Buenos Aires’ thriving performance art scene. For a slower-paced trip, you can enjoy a boat tour on the Rio de la Pata, visit museums and art galleries, or check out the famous Recoleta Cemetery.
Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, has some amazing summer sights. Because Iceland gets almost 24 hours of daylight during the summer, you probably won’t be able to see the Northern Lights. However, the weather is much more mild than winter, with daytime temperatures around 60 degrees. You can watch for whales and other marine wildlife on the coast, visit cultural and art museums, and check out local national parks to see geysers, waterfalls, and volcanic formations.
Wherever you go, there are a few things seniors need to consider when traveling. Make sure you have comprehensive health insurance that will be accepted internationally, as you may find medical care extremely expensive in countries that don’t take your insurance. Also make sure to consider any medical accommodations or mobility needs you may have when choosing your destination. Senior living communities often offer short-term stays. It may be a good idea to check for communities when traveling! With these 15 great summer travel destinations for seniors, and a little planning, you’ll have the best vacation yet!