I love city breaks as this is the perfect solution to a quick get-away to gather some new experiences and memories. Luckily Europe is the perfect continent to do them often as the cities are well connected and in just a couple of hours you can explore new traditions, architecture, climate and vibes.
During my years of traveling I have visited many cities, which are perfect for a city break, so my list include only the cities I have visited. But to make the list fair, I have done it in alphabetical order.
Most amazing city break destinations in Europe
I believe Amsterdam is one of the most popular city break destinations in Europe. If you have already visited it, that will not come as a surprise as Amsterdam really has so many great things to offer, including with a very unique ones like the red light district and cafe shops. But Amsterdam is of course amazing for its museums, parks, water canals and markets too. The city is not really known as a low budget one, but with some tips, you can also do Amsterdam on a budget.
Bratislava is known as the perfect party city-break destination. Beer, goulash and night life fans will love it here for sure, but the capital of Slovakia is much more than the party destination. Make sure not to miss the Devin castle, UFO viewing point, TV tower Kamzik, city castle and the old town.
Venice is mostly visited as a one day trip, but if you decide to stay the night in this romantic city, the whole experience will be icing on the cake. The Venice will shine in a total different perspective and if you will join it with wandering around Burano and Murano islands too, your Venetian lagoon experience will be perfect!
City break in Berlin has been increasing in popularity with each year and that is for a good reason. It is not really important what you are interested in – the Berlin wall and history connected with it, hipster locations, art, modernism, electronical music… Berlin has everything and that is why visiting it will never be a disappointment.
The capital of Belgium will blow you away with its architecture and a stroll around the charming old town. But a city break in Brussels have few secrets as well – yummy waffles, chocolate and beer. The view over the Atomium, built for the world World’s fair (Expo 58) is futuristic in many ways. Due to good train connections you can connect the city break in Brussels with a day trip to the amazing Bruge.
Many people decide to visit Budapest during the Christmas markets, as they are spectacular there. But even if you decide for a city break in Budapest outside December, you will still be able to enjoy this city along the Donau River to the fullest.
Cordoba and Seville
The magnificent Andalusian history will blow you away and there is no better way to get to know it than wandering round Cordoba and Seville. Both cities are well connected by fast trains so you can easily joined both in one city break. Cordoba was once the largest city in the world and had a larger population than today. Seville, apart from its history, will surprise you with a modern look too – make sure to walk on the Parasol – the world’s largest wooden construction.
For many, a city break in Vienna is the best possible one to enjoy culture, theater and opera shows. Even though the city is a modern capital, all the historical buildings make it rich and special. Traveling to Vienna is also good destination for kids, as it has many interesting things to do for them – the Zoo, museums (for example Children museum, Natural history museum and technical museum) and amusement park Prater.
I love Florence, also because I really enjoyed art history in high school. Everyone who is traveling to Tuscany, spending a day or better two in Florence, is a must thing to do. Take a walk around the cold city center, admire the old bridge Ponte Vecchio, and enjoy the views over the city from the cathedral or from Michelangelo square.
I have to admit, I was not deeply in love in Frankfurt, but it is a great base for shorter one-day trips to Rudesheim, Gelnhausen, even Heidelberg. Even though Frankfurt is known as the financial center of Germany, you can still be a tourist and experience some nice things, also if you just have one day for Frankfurt.
A city break in Graz will not disappoint. In fact, each time you decide to visit it, you will realize, it becomes even more charming. The old city center is beautiful and perfect to explore it on foot. Don’t forget on the double gothic staircase, the castle hill and the tunnels underneath it. Our son also enjoyed the kid’s museum Frida and Fred. If you want to do a daytrip from the city with kids, a nice place to spend it is the Herberstein Zoo. On the outskirts of Graz also lies little known Sculpture park, which we really enjoyed.
Every time I think of Hamburg, I want to go back. The city of grand industrial buildings, made out of red bricks, were my favorite part of the city, but Hamburg has several more surprises on stock – even though you might have just one day for it. It is also an interesting city to visit with kids.
Istanbul has been one of my favourite city break destinations. I have visited the city more than 10 times and I always managed to find something new and exciting there. A mixture of old and new, modern and tradition vibes always convince me to be back. Not to mention all the amazing historical buidlings and sights from the Ottoman Empire. Check out which tourist attractions you should never miss on your travel to Istanbul here. For the complete beginners Istanbul travel itinerary click here.
A city break in Linz is not really often on travelers radars, but don’t be fooled over the first glimpse. The city, where the steel industry is home, is actually a very interesting place to spend a weekend. The Pöstlingberg hill is fantastic for kids to travel into the underground, where fairytales are home. You will also find the city ZOO there. Linz is ideal to do some shopping, getting to know the street art / graffiti or learning more about its history in the City museum. Don’t even forget to taste the Linzer cake.
I have managed to visit the capital of Portugal during the six hour long layover, but the city impressed me by its history, vibe, culture and food too. I really need to visit it again and for at least several days.
Due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions, Simon and I have finally had the time to spend a city break in Ljubljana, our capital. Ljubljana is such a wonderful place to wander – it has so many diverse things to offer. No wonder it has been getting more and more attention each year. it is indeed the perfect city break destination for young and old.
I have visited London twice and I always felt well connected with it. The world metropole is full of life, full of museums, history, culture and interesting districts where you can easily forget you are in Europe. Oh yes, it would be time for a re-visit.
Marrakesh is not in Europe, but this colorful and exotic city is so well connected with Europe, that is can easily be stated as the perfect city break destination. Even though Marrakesh is only a short flight away, you will find yourself in a totally different world – the world of spices, smells, colors and sounds. A city break in Marrakesh is for sure a trip you will not be sorry to take. Maybe you can even make it longer with our Morocco travel itinerary.
A city break in Milan, the world’s capital of fashion, is not just the perfect place for shopaholics. If you really want to get the real feel for Milan, you will soon realize what a great city this is, offering so much more than shopping for luxury brands. Check out what to do in Milan here.
The capital of Bavaria is known all around the world for its Oktoberfest – beer festival. But don’t be fooled to fast – Munich is so much more than white sausages, beer and pretzels. Tourist attractions in Munich are so many, they will easily occupy you for days. To name a few – Allianz Arena, BMW World, Olimpic Park, English garden, Technical museum…
I am not keen on crowds and chaos, but when you find yourself in Naples, you just cannot imagine the city without all of these. We have done the city break in Naples in May, what was a great timing. Naples has a rich history, but most importantly, the food in Naples is absolutely amazing.
One of the most popular city breaks in Germany is for sure spending a weekend in Nuremberg. With its many tourist attractions, interesting for young and old, rich history and a nice vibe, the city is indeed a great option to learn more about Germany.
For many Paris is the most romantic city to travel to, but even though you are not keen on sweet talk, you should still put a city break in Paris on your travel bucket list. Paris is amazing in numerous ways – from culture, architecture, food, history. Paris is known to be expensive, but don’t lose hope too fast. You can still do Paris on a budget.
Who doesn’t like a city with amazing history, cheap beer and a party vibes? Many visit Prague solely for its night life, but if you find yourself in the capital of Czech Republic, make sure to check its best tourist attractions too,
I must admit Rome is the only city which I have not visited yet, but still put it on the list of bet city breaks in Europe. The amazing historical buildings in Rome are sure not to be missed and that is why a city break in Rome has been waiting patiently on my bucket list for ages. No idea, why I have not visited it yet, but I really should sort this out soon.
I have visited Salzburg several times and I am always impressed over its old city center. You should spend at least three to four days in Salzburg to really get to know its history, its stories, views, activities and music. The city is also amazing during the Christmas markets.
Good food, low prices and Ottoman history might be the best reasons to visit Sarajevo, but don’t stop exploring too soon. You should also focus on the newest history, especially the one dated back to the ending of the Yugoslavian Republic.
Valencia is a city of two faces – it is a great family destination, with many attractions which the little ones will enjoy. But on the other hand the city is such a great place to get to know the historical attractions, evenings over tapas and wine, passionate locals, who knows how to enjoy life.
Low season is perfect for a city break in Valetta. The flight tickets are cheap and there are no crowds. If you are lucky with the weather, winter time is perfect and warm enough too. You can easily spend two or even three days exploring Valetta, but because the whole Malta is not really large, Valetta is the perfect base to see other parts of the island too. Malta has some really amazing sights.
The capital of Croatia is a nice way to spend a weekend get-away or stop for a day or two before reaching the amazing Croatian coast. Zagreb has been a popular destination during its Christmas market in recent years too.
I hope this list of 30 city breaks in Europe gives you some new ideas and inspirations on where to spend you next trips and explorations. I know I will visit some again and I sure hope to add some new ones to the list soon too.