woman in natural pool in iceland

Take time to zone out in Iceland. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tips + Trends

From Paris to Berlin, These Late-Night and Early Morning Must-Do’s Are Far From Basic

Space, along with the feeling of freedom it conveys, has become the ultimate travel luxury. Rather than once-packed tourist attractions, travelers are seeking room to move and breathe with peace of mind. As a result, more and more visitors are zoning out by finding unexpected ways to see their favorite cities at off-peak hours.

From late-night adventures to sunrise skateboarding, this approach to travel not only avoids the crowds, but also offers a fresh perspective on some of Europe’s most popular destinations.

And as always, check for travel restrictions or closures before booking your trip.

Swim in a Geothermal River Outside of Reykjavik After Dark

Forged by colliding tectonic plates, Iceland is a place where geysers and other reminders of shifting subterranean magma are never far from sight.

Located a 45-minute drive from the capital of Reykjavik, the natural hot springs of Reykjadalur make for an easy, restorative trip. Since locals flock to these mineral-rich waters in droves during the afternoon, consider swinging by for a late-night dip under the stars.

Greet the Day in Paris by Kayaking Down the Seine

paris skyline at dawn
Take a paddle on the Seine. (Photo: Getty Images)

While most visitors to the City of Light have strolled along the banks of the Seine, few have taken to the water by boat.

For centuries, this aquatic artery was the primary means by which merchants transported their wares through the French capital. As a result, it winds past the city’s most iconic sights, including the Eiffel Tower, the Ile de la Cité, the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay and both the Grand Palais and Petit Palais.

Rise early to rent a kayak by 9 a.m. and you can soak in all the charm of the 7th arrondissement without ever having to elbow your way past overeager shutterbugs.

Watch the Sunrise over Dubrovnik from the Top of Mount Srd

views of Dubrovnik
Hike Mount Srd to see Dubrovnik from above. (Photo: Getty Images)

“Game of Thrones” fans will recognize the Croatian city’s historic center as the site of King’s Landing. For a dragon’s-eye view of the spectacular walled medieval city, crawl out of bed in the wee hours of the morning and head to nearby Mount Srd.

Scaling a peak before breakfast might sound ambitious, but rest assured that this part of the Dinaric Alps offers a fairly gentle 30- to 60-minute hike to the top, where a white stone fort from the Napoleonic wars shimmers in the first rays of daylight.

Skateboard Down the Landing Strip of an Abandoned WWII-Era Airport in Berlin

skateboarders at tempelhofer park
Hit Tempelhofer Park before the crowd. (Photo: Getty Images)

After the last planes landed at Tempelhof Airport in 2008, the city government of Berlin converted the old landing strip into one of the largest urban parks in the world.

In the evenings, kiteboarders and roller skaters glide down the asphalt strip. If you want to have the whole place practically to yourself, arrive when it first opens at 6 a.m. while most of the city’s famously nocturnal population still slumbers.

Pack your own skateboard or rent one the evening before at hase, a hipster-y sports shop next to the park in the charming neighborhood of Schillerkiez.

Go Night Fishing in the Waters of Lake Geneva, Switzerland

explore lake geneva
Explore Lake Geneva. (Photo: Getty Images)

Perch, pike, trout and whitefish all swim in the pristine waters of this glacial lake. Serious commercial fishers require a license, but amateur enthusiasts require less fussy paperwork.

As pros will tell you, fish are more liable to take the bait after the sun goes down. Grab a flashlight, your gear and a few provisions and you might just be able to snag a trophy-worthy catch. Since much of the shoreline of the lake is private, consider booking a fishing tour, which comes complete with equipment and a guide.

Stargaze at a World-Famous Observatory in Florence

Galileo Galilei first spied three moons of Jupiter from the outskirts Florence, so it’s only fitting that the Tuscan city still holds a place of reverence among contemporary astronomers.

At the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, a stone’s throw from the scientific polymath’s villa, visitors can gaze on the heavens. The simulated night sky at the on-site planetarium may be the complex’s most popular feature, but it can never quite match the sense of wonder evoked by viewing the real thing through a telescope.