Living in Europe has its benefits as the best city breaks in Europe are only a couple of hours away and you can easily have a fun weekend getaway in various beautiful cities in Europe.
Europe has so much to offer and the past few years have made it hard to travel, however, things are looking up and Europe’s cities are opening up or have opened up by the time you read this.
Whether you’re looking for a quick weekend trip to discover beautiful beaches, explore a thriving fashion scene, explore museums and art galleries, or simply have fun eating and drinking at a rooftop bar somewhere, Europe has it all.
These are our 10 best city breaks in Europe that you should consider for your next weekend getaway.
10. Vienna, Austria
With its rich history, historical buildings, and Baroque architecture, Vienna is one of the greats that all people should see at least once in their lifetime. From traditional cuisine to coffee houses and of course the wine, Vienna will not disappoint.
The beautiful Danube River divides the city into two sections: Donau City (where you’ll find shopping malls and businesses) and the Innere Stadt (which contains cultural sites like historical cathedrals). If you’re looking for culture then visit this part of town. Donau City is ideal for a weekend shopping break with friends or family.
Lovers of music must visit Vienna as it is known to be the City of Music. The old town has been the home of various famous classical musicians like Beethoven and Mozart.
Start with a visit to Hofburg place, the house of the President of Austria. Then head over to Schonbrunn Palace for the pristine gardens and maze. Finish off your night at a street cart for a cheap frankfurter or at one of the many wine bars and I’d call that an amazing day.
9. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is an attractive seaside location and one of the best city breaks in Europe, with culture to last you a lifetime. The most lively neighborhood in Lisbon is the city centre Baixa which is one of the most popular spots among tourists.
Nowadays Baixa is a historical centre with fine architecture and famous monuments that mask a tragic fate that reduced the city to rubble back in 1755 when a large earthquake hit.
Be sure to visit Castelo Sao Jorge to Santa Luiza viewpoint for the finest views of Lisbon, unlike any other city. Explore the cobbled streets for food or try out a boat ride to see the city from a different perspective. Finally, make your way down to Bairro Alto for the nightlife and drink scene as well as the famous Pink Street. Finish off at the Belem Tower and enjoy the city life. For some fun nightlife in Lisbon try to see a Fado music show!
One of the many hidden gems in Lisbon you might want to explore out is the Campo de Ourique Market. Timeout Market is the most famous market ins Lisbon, but it’s often crowded so if you want to have a more chill vibe be sure to check out Campo de Ourique.
Last but not least, Portugal has a great café culture so but on the lookout for one of the many cool cafés you come across.
8. Nice, France
Nice in France is one of the top cities to visit in Europe that is located close to the Italian border. Many people have wondered why Nice is not part of Italy but that is due to Nice being part of the Kingdom of Sardinia which gave Nice to France.
Nice is a beautiful coastline destination in Europe, perfect for a weekend getaway to relax and forget about your life back at home. The French Riviera is the area where Nice is which offers some of the most beautiful water landscapes in all of Europe.
Be sure to do a boat tour from Nice to Monaco and Eze which offers stunning views out at sea as well as the stunning coastline that the French Riviera has to offer.
After a long day on the boat, you might be tired and in need of some food. Be sure to go to the port of Nice for fresh seafood at a great price! After dinner enjoy all that Nice has to offer with its nightlife scene and bars.
7. Madrid, Spain
Madrid is the capital of Spain and the biggest city in the country. While the old town might not have beaches like the beautiful city of Barcelona, it’s reasonably priced and has a nightlife scene making it one of the best European city breaks for weekend getaways.
Regardless, Madrid is a vibrant city with Baroque architecture where you can take in the beauty of the Royal Palace of Madrid and Museo Nacional Del Prado (the main Spanish Art Museum) then spend the night at one of the many tapas bars.
Madrid is known for being a very lively city so be sure to check out the famous Gran Via at night where you will find many bars, clubs, pubs, cozy family-run tapas bars, and restaurants.
One of the coolest attractions in Madrid is Retiro Park which is known for its large pond with rowboats inside. It’s a great spot to catch some sun, relax and enjoy the serene calm of nature if you’re into that.
6. Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is a small city with a rich history and culture. It’s the perfect spot for a weekend city break since getting to the old town of Dublin is as easy as it gets.
With its booming economy and European-like lifestyle, Dublin is one of those underrated cities that has plenty to offer visitors compared to most European cities which are too expensive.
Dublin is quite a compact city so exploring the city is quite easy and getting around is incredibly easy as well. Be sure to check out the Guinness Storehouse which is a very popular spot for tourists where you can learn the history of the famous Irish beer. Then take a stroll through St Stephen’s Green Park before heading to Grafton Street at night time for some of the best bars and restaurants in Dublin.
The Temple Bar area is also a great spot in Dublin for bars and pubs. You will find plenty of young people there having a good time till the early hours of the morning.
5. Krakow, Poland
Kraków is the second most popular city in Poland after Warsaw and it’s known as one of the best city breaks in Europe.
Visiting Poland is often overlooked but Krakow is one of the best city breaks in Europe that is full of rich history for some slow-paced sightseeing.
If you do however find yourself traveling through Central Europe, Krakow would be our weekend break destination of choice. Krakow has some excellent public transport which makes it easy to get around and it offers plenty of things to do with its rich history and culture making it worth visiting during any time of year.
There are also some unforgettable day trips to explore. Most tourists that come to Krakow for day trips tend to make their way to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp or the Wieliczka Salt Mine.
For those who don’t know yet, Kraków was named the European Capital of Culture in 2000 and has been on UNESCO World Heritage Sites ever since 2003 which means that all tourists must experience this beautiful Polish city at least once!
Visit Wawel Royal Castle and Wawel Cathedral which are two of the most beautiful Polish landmarks. Also, don’t forget to visit the Rynek Glowny, which is the biggest market square in all of Europe and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Poland.
4. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is the perfect city break destination for those who love to party as this city stays up till the early hours. This Spanish hotspot has it all from beautiful beaches, parks, and medieval architecture which makes it one of the best places in Europe not only during summer but any time of year.
Be sure to check out Montjuïc known as one of Barcelona’s green lungs with its top attractions being the Joan Miró Foundation and Poble Espanyol (open-air museum) where you can learn about traditional Spanish culture.
The port area, known as Barceloneta, has been redone recently and now offers some amazing views both at night and by day plus plenty of bars, cafes, restaurants with vibrant food, and nightclubs to party like crazy. One thing is for sure, Barcelona is an amazing party destination which is why it’s one of the best places in Europe for weekend getaways.
If you plan to stay a little bit longer in Spain you could also do some island hopping on the islands nearby.
3. Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is one of the most popular weekend break destinations in Europe and for good reason. It’s a very small medieval town with canals, cobbled streets and cobbled lanes, and an old-fashioned vibe which makes it the perfect spot to visit during spring and summer.
Two places you should check out when in Bruges are the Basilica of The Holy Blood and Belfry Tower where there are spectacular views over the entire city. There are also plenty of museums such as the Groeningemuseum (Museum of Fine Arts), Museum Plantin Moretus (Printing museum), and a Chocolate museum plus many bars and restaurants where you can enjoy Belgian beers or some traditional mussels!
2. Paris, France
What more is there to say about Paris that hasn’t already been said? Paris is one of the best city breaks in Europe and it’s a cosmopolitan city where dreams come true. A place people will always remember for the rest of their lives.
Visiting Paris during springtime is the best time of year as you might be lucky enough to catch its famed flower parade known as La Fête des Fleurs which takes place around the Montmartre area. Otherwise, take some time to wander around Montmartre itself which is full of art galleries, cafés, restaurants, and street artists.
There are plenty of things to do in Paris with its world-famous attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, the remains of the Notre Dame Cathedral, and Arc de Triomphe but this beautiful French capital has so much more to offer. Paris is an amazing city break experience full of culture with many museums, churches, palaces, luxury hotels, and its beautiful cobbled streets are great for taking romantic walks during the nighttime!
And if it’s a romantic weekend getaway you are after, there are plenty of places in the city of Paris where you can take your loved one including Le Jules Verne which is a restaurant located in the Eiffel Tower, and Le Meurice which offers stunning views over Paris along with exquisite fine dining.
1. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is a beautiful city full of history and culture with its top attractions being the Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, and Matthias Church. If you visit this city during springtime then be sure to check out the most popular festival in Budapest which is known as the Easter Festival or Pásztortűz where locals build straw sculptures that are lit on fire at night from Saturday until Monday.
One place everyone visiting Budapest must-see is Andrássy Avenue which is enclosed by Opera House, State Opera House, and Heroes’ Square which truly is a sight to behold! Also, if you have time don’t forget to visit Margaret Island where you can relax by taking a walk along its paths or even relax on the sandy golden beaches located along its edges.
The nightlife in the city of Budapest is amazing with many bars and restaurants as well as nightclubs where you can dance the night away with some traditional Hungarian music! The food in the city of Budapest is also one of the tastiest in Europe and will give you a real taste of what Hungary is all about!
These were the 10 best city breaks in Europe to explore in 2022. Keep an eye out for our other content and be sure to subscribe below for updates and travel tips.