25 Weekend City Breaks in Europe
If you are a real traveler you will always find a way to escape the 9 to 5 life. While I was working I realized that I can travel during the weekends and it turns out that it is not that difficult to do after all. I hate waiting for August to travel, this is when everyone is on vacation and every place is packed so you cannot fully enjoy. Another great thing for me is that I live in Europe so we have flights to most of the cities, so I can reach my destination sometimes in less than 2 hours.
City breaks do not require too much planning and packing. You can do it on your own or if you do not want too much hassle you can find the best package deals on TripAdvisor and all you have to do is show up and enjoy your trip.
1. London, UK
When it comes to London I am a little biased. It is my favourite city in Europe and it will always come first. It is a city that is so diverse so you always have something new to do. So going back to London is always a good idea. There are different festivals throughout the year, cool neighborhoods to explore and quirky art galleries to visit.
2. Amsterdam , Netherlands
Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, and that is for a reason. You will find some of the most leading museums here and the architecture is nothing like any other in the world. The city has a unique charm and I have not heard not even one person to say that was disappointed of this city. The canals, which are recognized as an UNESCO Heritage Site, are beautiful and photogenic, the parks are clean and relaxing and the religious buildings are extraordinary.
3. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia. This city is so tiny so everything is in walking distance. There are not many attractions that you can visit here but it is a perfect place for a city break where you can really relax. There are some nice cafes and markets that you can visit and grab a bite. The most popular attraction here is the castle, where you can see the whole city from above. From Ljubljana you can take day trips to Postojna Cave and Lake Bled.
4. Belgrade, Serbia
Some say that Belgrade is a bit off the tourist trail but I cannot agree with that. The city is small and beautiful and it has rich history. You can do many things in Belgrade and always find new ways to entertain yourself and the best part of it, it is really cheap. In Belgrade you will find one of the most beautiful bohemian quarters, Skadarlija. You can witness the damage of the NATO bombings from 1999 on some of the buildings.
5. Zagreb, Croatia
You have probably heard of Croatia since it has some of the most beautiful beaches and national parks in Europe. Many people are heading to the coastal destinations and missing the opportunities that this city has to offer. The city of Zagreb is very beautiful and it has many things to offer. It is a small city but it has some of the most splendid Christmas Markets in Europe.
6. Skopje, Macedonia
Skopje is a small city in Macedonia. The city was redesigned in 2014 and has a completely different look now than it used to have. There are many statues which some people find appealing and other find it tasteless. I was surprised to find out that it is called the Statue Capital of the World.
7. Sofia, Bulgaria
Sofia is another great city you can visit if you are heading to the Balkans. There are many attractions you can see and the ones that you should not miss are the National History Museum and the National Archeological Institute. My favorite part when I traveled to Sofia was drinking cocktails on the Rooftop Bar at the Sense Hotel.
8. Thessaloniki, Greece
Greece, just like Croatia is known for its beautiful beaches and spectacular islands, but big cities deserve your time too. In Thessaloniki I tried my first greek coffe and it is really strong no matter how much sugar you add. There is no other city where you can see a mix of Byzantine, Greek, Roman and Ottoman architecture.
9. Paris, France
If you plan your trip well, a weekend is just enough for Paris. Most of the landmarks are in walking distance and if you want to go further, the public transportation is great, after all, it is Paris we are talking about.
10. Amalfi Coast, Italy
Amalfi Coast is probably the most Instagramed coastline in Italy. It is the place where the elite hangs out. Weekend is not enough since there are couple of towns you can visit but you can choose one and it will give you a taste of all the things that this coast has to offer.
11. Rome, Italy
All roads lead to Rome, so do the airports. Rome is the perfect weekend city break. I mean you can never get enough of this Italian capital. The city is a Holy Grail for religious people and History Lovers.
12. Venice, Italy
I love cities where you can wander endlessly without using transportation. Everything in Venice is in walking distance and the city is the biggest rival to Paris as a place for romance. This is the perfect city to get lost and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
13. Vienna, Austria
I have visited Vienna while I was backpacking Europe and instead of 2 days, I stayed 4 days in the capital of Austria. The city has so much to offer. If you have the energy you can go from one castle to another and if you do not, you can drink Viennese coffee and eat the famous strudel.
14. Edinburgh , Scotland
Edinburgh is the proud owner of some of the most impressive architecture in the UK. If you decide to visit this city you will have an amazing experience since the city has a rich culture, and you can even have a custom made kilt for you.
15. Madrid, Spain
Madrid offers endless opportunities for every traveler. It has rich history, magnificent museums, delicious food and awesome fiestas. With so many things to do it can be overwhelming to decide on couple of things only.
If you are heading to Madrid you should check my article on: 12 Things you shouldn`t miss in Madrid.
16. Barcelona, Spain
Ah Barcelona! I do not know how many times I have been there and every time I go I find something that I have not seen before. It is true that you need more time to explore Barcelona but it is still great for a weekend getaway. You can divide the city in sections and every time you go you can explore one part of Barcelona, just a thought.
If you are heading to Barcelona, you can check my article on Places to Tick Off your Barcelona Bucket List.
17. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a city that is simply magnificent. There are many monuments that you can visit, museums you can explore food and bear you can try and I can keep going on and on. The best part of Prague is that there are many installations that can appear in front of you while you are taking a simple stroll.
18. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is probably one of the greatest and most affordable destinations in Europe. The city is enormous and there are so many places that you can visit so you can never feel bored. This city is really a traveler`s dream.
19. Oslo, Norway
Oslo is the capital city of Norway. The city is quite small so if you can spend 3 full days there you can cover everything there is to see. The best time to visit Oslo would be early spring, since there will be snow but it would not be that cold like in winter.
20. Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland is the land of natural wonders. You have probably seen the photo of the blue lagoons before. It is a bit pricey but if you are a smart traveler and if you plan your trip wisely you can still have an affordable holiday.
21. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is the latest hot destination in Europe. Probably the reason for that is that it is very easy to adjust to Portuguese way of life including late night walks by the ocean, coffee on the cobblestone streets and remarkable cuisine.
22. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is a city that should be on everyone`s bucket list. The city stretches over 2 continents and has some of the most beautiful sceneries. It has so many secret spots so if you are visiting it would be great to explore the city with a local.
23. Milan, Italy
Milan is the city of fashion. So if you are a fashionista or a shopping goer this is a perfect place for you. But that is not all that this city has to offer. Start your tip at the very popular and recognizable Piazza Duomo and see where the city will take you next.
24. Nuremberg, Germany
Nuremberg might be Germany`s best kept secrets. The town is simply breathtaking and it is a home of a 1000 years old castle. The city played a major role after the World War II since this is where the Nazi rallies were held.
25. Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt is nothing like any other city in Germany. At first look one might think that it is in New York because of the high concrete skyscrapers. It is the financial center of Germany and a gateway to Europe thanks to the Frankfurt International Airport. The city has many things to offer, so all that it is left it is to go and see it for yourself.
Have you been to any of these cities? Do you have a favourite weekend getaway? Would add another city to the list?
Have you seen…..?
Freelancer, blogger and a world citizen.