Being from the UK, we often underrate how lucky we are to have the rest of Europe on our doorstep. Dreaming of clear blue seas on tropical islands often takes precedent over appreciating the huge array of different cultures, histories and most importantly the food the countries of Europe offer.
Some of the best cities in the world are a 30 minute flight away, and a hop across a border from one European city to another can often result in a hugely different way of life. Each city in Europe has it’s own distinct identity so it is so hard to compare them. Here are our top ten city breaks across Europe and what we loved about each one.
Berlin is always going to be a must-see European city due to such a huge part of history belonging here. There is so much to learn, both incredibly sad and fascinating, and it is somewhere all Europeans should visit at least once. The nightlife is also probably the best in Europe, and for us was surprisingly un-intimidatingly edgy!
The best part: Physically seeing how the Berlin Wall split the city in two.
9. Dublin and Galway
If you are looking for a party weekend, Ireland is the way to go. Ridiculously short flight plus a country truly passionate about having a good time means it’s hard to go wrong. We split a long weekend between Dublin and Galway, which was a great decision as Galway is maybe even more fun than Dublin.
The best part: Watching a live band in a converted church turned bar in Galway.
Hungary is not your usual holiday destination however Budapest has been on the city break bucketlists for a while now, due to the picturesque river Danube, cheap drinks in ruin bars, and thermal baths. Budapest is the best city break for Eastern Europe, especially great to visit while the Christmas markets are in town.
The best part: Paying £3 for a pint and a glass of wine on a Friday night in central Budapest.
7. Brussels and Bruges
Belgium is a ridiculously fast train ride away on the Eurostar making it rude not to visit at least once. We split a long weekend between Brussels and Bruges, which were both well worth the trip. Brussels is great for the beers and chocolate without the crowds of Bruges, though Bruges is far more picturesque.
The best part: Beer tasting at independent micro breweries, Jungle Joy being a personal favourite.
Barcelona gives you city, beach and culture all in one. Most of the must sees are focused around Gaudi’s architecture, and as the majority is able to be viewed from street level you don’t end up spending loads on sight seeing. That means more money to spend on unbelievably good tapas. For food, this city wins.
The best part: The delicious tapas of Cervesería Catalanabeing completely worth the wait in the queue.
Lisbon is a great city break, as it acts as a great base for visiting other Portuguese bucket list places such as Sintra and Cascais. The abundance of seafood and the great nightlife make this one of our favourite city breaks, just be prepared for the steep hills!
The best part: Attempting to walk between the incredible castles in Sintra (top tip, take the bus).
Paris is often the go-to for the European city break and for good reason. The iconic Eiffel Tower, the romance of Montmartre and the piece of art itself which is the Louvre. There is so much to do in Paris, one visit could never be enough. The museums and galleries are so extensive it’s impossible to cover in just one weekend. All the more reason to hop back on Eurostar and get back to the French capital.
The best part: Getting lost in the Louvre
Seville doesn’t get enough credit as a city break destination. You get the amazing Southern Spanish weather, cheap delicious food, the beauty that comes with a city obsessed with oranges and fascinating Spanish architecture. Cheaper and less crowded than Barcelona with all the best bits still included.
The best part: Drinking beers in the street bars as the sun goes down
Amsterdam is definitely the most photogenic city in Europe. The canals, boats and bikes make the city so unique and beautiful, it’s hard to beat. Throw in the weirdly wonderful nightlife and the city’s penchant for narcotics and you have the perfect long weekend destination.
The best part: Legally buying weed in the coffeshops and uncontrollably laughing all the way home.
Our number one European destination has got to be Rome. There is so much history which has been perfectly maintained throughout the city. The ruins in the middle of the streets make you realise how ancient the world is and how far it’s come. The colosseum was one of our most breath taking experiences, as you can imagine so clearly everything that went down in the arena. On top of the history, the weather is great, and the food even better.
The best part: The bizarre feeling you get as you stumble across ancient roman ruins which happens all through the city.