I absolutely love city breaks – they are such a great way to discover the history, culture and art as well as experience the cuisine of somewhere in a short space of time. From the UK we have such great connections to the rest of Europe and there are just so many amazing cities to explore Here are my Top 20 suggestions for City Breaks.
I absolutely adore Barcelona for a city-break as its such a great destination with a beach, lots of sightseeing, sport, art and culture and amazing food. Seeing Park Güell is a must and walking along the buzzing Las Ramblas. Sun, Sea and Sangria as well as delicious tapas make it a fantastic destination for a long weekend break.
You can read my highlights of Barcelona here.
Just a 2 and a half hour flight from London, Lisbon is an unbelievably underrated yet very accessible city full of sunshine, culture, panoramic views (as it is built on 7 hills), romantic cobbled streets and amazing food. It is perfect for a city break and there is so much to do and see.
I particularly loved the vibrant colours all over the city contrasted with its historical charm. With castles, colour and custard tarts to look forward to, it is a great destination for a city break with the seaside on its doorstep, so you are guaranteed fresh seafood.
You can read about my top 5 things to do in Lisbon here.
Athens is so perfect for a city break and we spent 4 days in this eclectic, vibrant and cultural city which boasts ancient monuments that I promise will leave you in awe. It is also an European city you can visit all year round – we visited in January and had fabulous blue skies throughout our trip!
You can read more about my top things to do in Athens here.
Cosmopolitan Rome, the capital city of Italy, with its seductive mix of history, culture, cuisine and the prettiest streets made me fall madly in love with it. From the ancient monuments which are awe-inspiring from yesteryear to the sophisticated rooftops offering amazing views of the gorgeous city, I loved soaking it all in over 3 glorious sunshine filled days, living ‘La dolce vita.’ Oh and all the pasta, pizza, wine and gelato too! Such a great destination for a city break to recharge and relax.
You can read my Rome Travel guide here.
Tuscany has got to be one of the prettiest places on earth with its awe inspiring beautiful landscapes and hill towns. It truly captivated me and I know I will be back for more doses as I definitely left a little piece of my heart somewhere in the Tuscan countryside. It is the perfect destination for a long weekend, the weather is glorious and the people are absolutely amazing.
You can read my suggestions of top things to do in Tuscany here.
For inspiration on where to stay whilst in Tuscany, read my review of Ville sull’Arno here.
Paris, La Ville Lumière, always takes my breath away and is most certainly always a fabulous destination for a break.
I have written out an itinerary of what to do when you have 36 hours in Paris, which you can read here.
My number one nugget of advice would be to book any restaurants you fancy dining at well in advance! We got really lucky on this trip but I would strongly advise booking prior to travelling.
Vienna is considered t0 be one of the hottest city break destinations, and it is home to Mozart. Although I visited for the Christmas Markets, it is a great all year location with lots to see and do, and amazing cakes, including the famous Sacher Torte, to indulge in.
You can access my posts about Vienna here.
One of the few cities in the world that has no cars and is built entirely on water, I absolutely loved Venice. Gondola rides, gorgeous canals, colourful buildings, island hopping and delicious Italian food and wine – what else does anyone need?
Thanks to its Mediterranean location, you are rewarded by sub-tropical temperatures and vast stretches of stunning beaches and coves, and the amazing thing is it is only a 3 hour flight away! I loved Malta for a city break, and we even took the ferry across to Sicily for the day, which was charming.
Amsterdam is such a short flight away from London, and now the Eurostar also goes there. You can walk almost everywhere and it is such a buzzing city. I loved all the different pretty bridges and canals as well as the plethora of museums to wander and explore through.
Whenever I first thought of Monaco I imagined it to be all glitz and glamour with high rollers, luxury cars and well dressed people decked out in designer apparel. James Bond came to mind as it was one of the locations for Goldeneye and Never Say Never Again, where the Casino Monte Carlo was featured.
I visited Monaco and Monte Carlo as part of a day trip shore excursion whilst on my Mediterranean cruise with P&O Cruises, and we arrived via sea. You can, however, take a bus from Nice, if you are vacationing there, and it would be great to combine the two.
Monaco is such an ideal destination for a day trip from Nice, or as a short break, if you want a taster of it, and you can read my highlights here.
I have fallen in love with the gorgeous enchanting island of Santorini with its white washed buildings, famous blue domes, gorgeous azure blue Aegean Sea and amazing food. It is SUCH a fantastic island for a city break but I would avoid going during peak season as it is very very popular!
Although I visited Naples for a day, it won me over with its historical charm, quaint streets, architecture, and of course its famous Pizza! So much so that I was actually a pizzaiola for the day. If you love Italian food, especially Pizza, as well as culture, history and art, Naples is the perfect destination for you.
You can read more about my experience here.
Spain’s constant blue skies and sunshine are a great reason to visit, and I loved the buzz in Madrid with its cultural vibes, beautiful botanical gardens and delicious Spanish food and wine. It was almost too hot when we visited (40 degrees in July) and so I would suggest avoiding the height of summer.
Palma is the vibrant capital city of Mallorca (Majorca), full to the brim with a fascinating history, a fantastic dining scene, art, history and culture as well as the added bonus of having a beach right on its doorstep. The city is fringed with palm trees, which makes me so happy. It is just over a 2 hour flight from London, making it perfect for a city break.
You can read about my suggestions on the Top Things to do in Palma.
I have also covered where to wine and dine in Palma.
Basel is Switzerland’s third largest city and is filled with a vast variety of art and culture. It is located on the Rhine River in northwest Switzerland, close to the country’s borders with France and Germany. In fact, it is so close that you can actually take a tram from Basel, to either of these countries. It is also just over an hour’s flight from London, making it ideal for a city break.
It is an architecture and art lovers dream with its mix of both traditional and modern architecture, such as the medieval old town centre as well as modern skyscrapers and museums. There are fabulous spots dotted around the city which offer magnificent views of the River Rhein, where you can also relax and sunbathe in the summer. It is truly picturesque.
Getting around Basel is super easy, and if you are a tourist and staying at one of the hotels in Basel, you can actually use the trams and buses for free. This is fantastic as it is an ideal way to explore and discover the city and the transport system is so easy to navigate. I love to immerse myself in a city by either walking or using the public transport as you come across so many things off the beaten track and would hugely encourage this to anyone.
You can read more about my city break in Basel here.
I have chosen Switzerland for city breaks in the past because it is such a short flight from the UK, making it perfect for a weekend trip. Lausanne, which is french speaking, is just a short train journey from Geneva, where we flew into from London, and navigating around the city is super easy.
Additionally, as a tourist, if you are staying at any one of the hotels, you also get a complimentary travel card to use for the buses and trams, making getting around really convenient and the best bit is it is free.
Here are my top suggestions of things to do in Lausanne, a city packed with so much history and culture, and perfect for a weekend escapade.
The Danish capital is ranked as one of the happiest cities in the world, and is home to the Little Mermaid statue. It has fantastic things to do and see, although slightly on the pricier side, and I loved the Tivoli Gardens and Nyhavn.
Switzerland’s largest city, a short flight from the UK, is such a versatile city with so much to see and do, and the alps and lakes are a short train ride away. We actually combined our stay with a lake break in Lucerne, and we managed to visit Mount Titlis from there.
I visited Cádiz whilst we were on our Mediterranean cruise with P&O Cruises, and opted to explore the city by foot. Cádiz, which is 4000 years old, claims to be the oldest continuously inhabited settlement of Europe, and it is believed that Hercules was its founder. We felt like we were going back in time and seeing it as a “gaditán”, as the inhabitants of Cádiz are known. It is a gorgeous city and great for a city break.
You can read more about it here.
I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have been inspired to visit any of these destinations do let me know 🙂