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The 18 best city breaks in Europe for 2024

Got time off and want to explore the continent? These are the best city breaks in Europe for food, nightlife, and more

The city break continues to rule in 2024. According to ABTA , city breaks overtook beach holidays as the UK’s favourite type of trip last year – and travel booking site  Opodo  has reported that nearly half of all trips taken in 2023 were between two to four days. Long live the long weekend, eh?

When it comes to cramming in the best food, nightlife and culture in one whistlestop weekend,  Europe really does spoil you for choice. Of course, there are the classics – Rome , Amsterdam , Paris – but the continent is packed with lesser-known second cities and more obscure cultural capitals that make for the ideal affordable city break in 2024. 

From gastronomic delights and cultural cubby holes to all-hours party hotspots, Europe’s best city breaks tick all the boxes. But with so many options, where should you head? Well, we’ve narrowed it down for you: in our list of Europe’s best city breaks, everywhere from France to Bosnia and Herzegovina is covered. See you out there!


📍 The absolute best things to do in Europe 🗺 The most underrated travel destinations in Europe 🛤 The ultimate Europe Interrailing itinerary

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Amazing European city breaks for 2024

Porto, Portugal

1.  Porto, Portugal

Porto is nothing short of postcard-worthy. If you’re not drinking in views of the Douro Valley, you’ll certainly be drinking something here – head to one of the riverside port houses for a wine tasting or grab a port-tonic at one of the many glorious rooftop bars. As well as being gorgeous to walk around, the city is also packed with quaint bookshops, old-school cinemas and tinned fish. Plus, it’s soon to be home to Portugal’s second Time Out Market . Watch this space.

📍 Porto’s very  best things to do 🏖️ The best beaches near Porto 🐟 The best restaurants in Porto

Brighton, UK

2.  Brighton, UK

A former Victorian fishing village turned party town, the seaside city of Brighton is now most notoriously associated with a love of brunch, coffee and vegetarian food. Sure, Brightonians still love to party – the city’s annual Pride celebration is the biggest of its kind in the UK – but the charming pebbled beach, quaint North Laine shops and lovely pubs make for a cracking getaway destination that's not all about the night out (though there is a great selection of bars to keep the night going, if the mood takes you).

📍 The best things to do in Brighton 🍹 Brighton’s best bars 🍳 The best brunch spots in Brighton

3.  Tbilisi, Georgia

Packed with whimsical architecture and steeped in fascinating history: what more could you want from a European city break? Tbilisi, situated at the heart of the historic Silk Road trading route, is one of the world’s oldest capitals – making it the perfect destination for a dose of culture. Medieval churches? It’s got ‘em. A factory turned into a shopping and eating hot spot? Absolutely. Incredibly delicious local wine? Top us up.

📍 The best things to do in Tbilisi

Marseille, France

4.  Marseille, France

A Mediterranean melting pot that’s been bubbling for an astonishing 2,600 years, Marseille ’s been drawing an increasing number of visitors in recent years. Though it once had a slightly rough-edged reputation as a town of sailors and gangsters, these days Marseille is better known for jaw-dropping vistas of its calanques, beaches of every shape and size, world-class museums and some of France’s (and Europe’s) most spectacular rooftop bars. It’s an ancient, fascinating and alive city.

📍 The best things to do in Marseille 🌊  Marseille’s Calanques: the ultimate guide 🥘 The best restaurants in Marseille

Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina

5.  Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sat in the northwest corner of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bihać is all about the magic of the Una River. Eco-friendly accommodations such as  Japodski Otoci  and  Eko-Selo Natura Art  offer adventure and restoration in equal measure, while the bike route from the centre of town to the remains of Sokolac Fortress is ideal for energetic cyclists in search of valley views. After several local initiatives to clean up the surrounding lakes and rivers, now you’ve got a destination embracing all that Bosnia’s most beautiful river has to offer.

6.  Valletta, Malta

Valletta might be the smallest capital city in the EU, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in beauty, history, food, nightlife and so much more. Plus,  Malta  boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year, meaning you’re almost guaranteed a warm weekend break in Valletta. Explore the city’s sandstone-paved streets, chow down on pastizzi (a type of Maltese savoury pastry) and soak up the sun on the steps of Cafe Society, a bar with alfresco seating and a unique view of the Grand Harbour.

📍 The best things to do in Valletta 🏝️ The best beaches in Malta

Milan, Italy

7.  Milan, Italy

Milan has shed its industrial image in recent years and created a more sustainable metropolis with a  ‘green lung’  surrounding it. Big events like the famous  Salone del Mobile  furniture fair take over  Milan  with lively art installations and events open to design pros and the public alike, while the city also plays host to marvellous music festivals like the  Milano Summer Festival .  Plus, it’s home to Isola, named one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods in our annual ranking this year.

📍 The best things to do in Milan 🍝 Milan’s best restaurants 🛍️ Where to go shopping in Milan

8.  Bilbao, Spain

Cosmopolitan but traditional. Sophisticated but edgy. Fun but chill. From the glorious Guggenheim and the bridges that criss-cross the Nirvión river to the refined old town – and not forgetting, of course, a city’s worth of drool-worthy pintxos to sample – Bilbao is a city of contrasts. Over the past few decades, the city has been completely transformed, evolving from the industrial heart of Spain’s Basque region to a fascinating cultural hub.

📍 The best things to do in Bilbao

Brno, Czech Republic

9.  Brno, Czech Republic

Although sandwiched between  Prague  and  Vienna , self-confident Brno is no middle child. Once a powerhouse dubbed the ‘Moravian Manchester’, the laidback  Czech  second city has repositioned itself as a post-industrial science and tech hub. But you’ll find plenty of clues to Brno’s layered past at a clutch of offbeat underground attractions, including the mysterious brick cisterns at Žlutý Kopec, communist-era nuclear bunker 10-Z, and the ‘Denis’ bomb shelter under the cathedral. The food and drink scene is reinventing itself too, from contemporary international at  Element  to  Výčep na Stojáka , a modern take on a trad pub.

10.  Liverpool, UK

The nightlife scene here is funner and wilder and friendlier than anywhere else in the UK. Now it’s time for everyone else to discover it too. The venues of the Baltic Triangle pack out year-round, but you may want to head down in August for something bigger like  Creamfields  or  International Beatle Week . Also check out  DaDaFest International , one of the world’s leading festivals of work by disabled, deaf and neurodiverse artists – a welcome reminder of what an inclusive place this really is. 

📍 The very best things to do in Liverpool 🍺 The greatest Liverpool pubs 🎨 Liverpool’s best museums

11.  Hamburg, Germany

Brisk with sea air, brimming with Hanseatic pride and open to the world not only in terms of centuries of maritime trade, but also in its vivid mix of nationalities, identities and political inclinations, Germany’s second city is a force to be reckoned with. From the Elbphilharmonie to the Reeperbahn, Hamburg  is a harbour city with cultural wealth in spades.

Tampere, Finland

12.  Tampere, Finland

It might be the world’s sauna capital and Finland’s second-biggest city, but Tampere is still very much an overlooked gem. The city might not stay under the radar for much longer, mind you: t hanks to the buzzy student population and recently opened tram line, it has the energy of a place that knows it’s about to become the next big thing.  With an eclectic culture scene, menus packed with locally foraged food and dozens of traditional wood-heated saunas to relax in, Tampere makes for an ideal city break – visit before the saunas get too cosy.

📍 I fell for  Finland’s second city – here’s why you will too

Kaunas, Lithuania

13.  Kaunas, Lithuania

Back in the 1930s, few places felt as happening as Kaunas. In the interwar period, with Vilnius occupied by the Polish, this smaller, central city was named the temporary capital of Lithuania. Embassies opened all over the shop. Artists flocked here in droves. The city became the unofficial home of modernist architecture. But then it was forgotten, left to wither during the Soviet era and surpassed again by Vilnius. Still basking in the afterglow of being European Capital of Culture in 2022, the city has tonnes of delights from its hundreds of modernist masterpieces to the  M.K. Čiurlionis Museum of Art  (dedicated to the musician and symbolist painter) and the frankly bizarre  Devils’ Museum .

14.  Galway, Ireland

A jewel of the rugged Atlantic coast that’s brimming with Irish charm, Galway makes for a cracking getaway. This small but mighty west Irish city is nestled among glorious scenery and is only a stone’s throw away from the Cliffs of Moher, but has bags of good art, good food and good craic, too. It's a very walkable place, so wander around and drink in its bounty of independent shops, pubs and restaurants. To get a taste of the city’s thriving art scene, plan your visit around the International Arts Festival  in the summer.

📍 The best things to do in Galway

Glasgow, UK

15.  Glasgow, UK

Glasgow has always been cool, but the Scottish city has seen something of a glow-up over the last few years.  West End is home to a mixture of families, students and artists, and is packed to the brim with bookshops and vegan cafes. But the city’s artsy side isn’t only concentrated in one neighbourhood: Glasgow ’s ever-growing creative community, in part made up of students and grads from the prestigious Glasgow School of Art, means you’ll never be short of cool galleries and arts events. For something delightfully nerdy, visit this year for the 82nd World Science Fiction Convention . 📍 Glasgow’s very best things to do 🥘 The best restaurants in Glasgow 🎨 The top art galleries to visit in Glasgow

Barcelona, Spain

16.  Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a classic when it comes to European city breaks – and for good reason. It tops Spain’s roster of great destinations in so many ways, with an abundance of magnificent architecture, great nightlife, and Michelin-starred restaurants. Head to the (almost, almost finished) Sagrada Familía and sit back in awe, or wander down La Rambla and sample whatever delicious Spanish delicacy is thrown at you. Time Out Market Barcelona is set to become an exciting addition to the city, with our local editors’ picks of the city’s very best food and drinks, all under one vibey roof.

📍 The very  best things to do in Barcelona 🦐 The best restaurants in Barcelona 🍷 Barcelona’s best bars

Trikala, Greece

17.  Trikala, Greece

Birthplace of hashish-inspired protest music rebetiko and home of the popular  Mill of Elves  Christmas market, under-the-radar Trikala in northwestern Thessaly is Greece ’s first official ‘smart city’. Green in all senses of the word, this tree-shaded spot is topped by its Byzantine castle and crisscrossed by the trout-filled Lithaios River. With a bike-sharing scheme and a slew of new cycle paths, it’s easy to get around – and when summer temperatures soar, there are pitstops where you can pick up (free) water. It also has the country’s first driverless buses.

18.  Turku, Finland

With its abundance of café terraces, Turku is often referred to as the ‘Paris of Finland’. But the country’s oldest city (and historic capital) has a distinct vibe of its own. It is big on music for a start, with fabulous festivals throughout the year. Turku is also a leading light in sustainable tourism, with the city running electric boat trips, nature excursions and food tours that showcase the finest local produce. That all forms part of Turku’s plans to become carbon-neutral and ‘zero waste’ by 2040. Want to get there by greener means yourself? The city is easily reachable via train (from Helsinki) and ferry (from Stockholm and Tallinn).

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35 Best Weekend Trips in Europe (Plus Where to Stay)


Home » 35 Best Weekend Trips in Europe (Plus Where to Stay)

Have you been wondering about the best weekend trips in Europe? I’ve got you covered!

Weekend trips in Europe can be a truly magical experience. From the sunny beaches of Greece to the rolling hills of Italy, our travels have taken us through many European destinations.

But of course, we cannot have covered every destination in Europe for this list so we have had a little help!

All of the 35 best European weekend breaks have been hand-selected by experienced travel bloggers who know all about the best spots for a weekend getaway.

best weekend trips in europe - Lake Como

All of the destinations are places that are within easy reach and offer incredible experiences that you’ll always remember. Ready for your next adventure? Keep reading and find out our selection of the 35 best weekend trips in Europe – perfect for those looking for an exciting escape!

35 of The Best Weekend Trips in Europe

With 35 best cities for a weekend trip in Europe to choose from, it can be difficult to pick the right one.

From culture-filled Prague to historical Rome, our list of must-see European cities offers something special for every type of traveler.

1. Paris, France

Paris Notre Dame

Paris is one of the most romantic getaways in Europe.

With its iconic sights like the Eiffel Tower, winding cobblestone streets, and charming cafes, it’s easy to see why Paris is a top destination for couples looking for an unforgettable weekend.

Whether it’s exploring the City of Light together or snuggling up during a picnic in one of its many public gardens, Paris offers endless activities and memories that you’ll keep forever.

For those dreaming of a weekend Europe trips full of romance and adventure, look no further than Paris!

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Paris:

  • Eiffel Tower Summit or Second Floor Access : Discover the beauty of Paris from new heights. Enjoy access to the 2nd floor and upgrade for breathtaking panoramic views from the summit.
  • Louvre Reserved Access and Boat Cruise : Explore the iconic Louvre Museum with a reserved access ticket and cruise the River Seine anytime to experience the city from its historic waterway.

How to get to Paris

Traveling to Paris is a breeze with two major airports: Charles de Gaulle and Orly.

Both are conveniently located near the city center and connected by RER trains. Tickets for the train cost around €10.

Where to stay in Paris

The Idol Hotel has all the amenities you want, with impeccable service.

Conveniently located near Opéra Garnier and Pigalle for when you are out and about sight seeing.

Idol Hotel Paris

When back at the hotel enjoy the sun terrace or indulge in room service with a minibar stocked with snacks for you and the kids!

2. Venice, Italy

Venice best weekend getaway in Europe

Venice is one of the best cities for a weekend trip in Europe.

With its winding canals, fascinating architecture, delicious food, and beautiful art and culture, it’s no wonder why Venice tops many lists of best weekend destinations in Europe.

From the sweeping views from San Giorgio Maggiore to the bustling Piazza San Marco and historic churches throughout the city, Venice is an unmissable destination.

Must-see sights of Venice include Rialto Bridge, the San Marco Piazza, and the famous Bridge of Sighs.

It’s no surprise that millions of visitors flock to this unique city each year, it truly has something for everyone!

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Venice:

  • Grand Canal Gondola Ride : Experience the essence of Venice as you explore hidden waterways near the Grand Canal on a picturesque gondola ride. Listen to in-app commentary to learn about the city as you admire the sights.
  • St. Mark’s Basilica Fast-Track Entry and Audio Guide : Explore the beauty of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice with a skip-the-line ticket. Learn fascinating facts about the artwork inside using an audio tour on your mobile device.

How to get to Venice

Venice has the small Marco Polo Venice Airport, where you can take a bus or boat into the city.

The best way to arrive is by train to the Santa Lucia Train Station, located on the northwestern edge.

There’s also a bus terminal and parking garages nearby at Piazzale Roma.

Where to stay in Venice

The B&B Ca’ Bonvicini is a lovely B&B in the heart of Venice! Situated in a tranquil yet convenient location near all attractions.

B&B Ca' Bonvicini Venice

Just a 7-minute walk from the renowned Rialto Bridge, this property features spacious Venetian-style rooms, some with canal views.

Countless piazzas, restaurants, galleries, and bars are just steps away in any direction!

3. Cinque Terre, Italy

Vernazza Cinque Terre Towns

Cinque Terre , Italy is the perfect city for a weekend trip in Europe.

It offers stunning views of the Mediterranean coastline, crystal clear waters, and vibrant villages that are sure to engage and delight any traveler.

For anyone looking for an exciting and unique cultural experience, Cinque Terre can provide.

With its picturesque beauty and vibrant cuisine, it’s no surprise that this destination is one of the most popular stops on European city trips.

Spend your weekend exploring these five pastel colored villages and you’ll be sure to make memories that will last a lifetime!

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Cinque Terre:

  • Monterosso Kayak and Snorkeling Tour : Explore the stunning Monterosso coast, kayaking with a local guide. Enjoy scenic views, snorkel in a protected bay, and embrace the wildlife.
  • Tour Cinque Terre From La Spezia by Train with Limoncino : Explore Cinque Terre villages on a day trip from La Spezia cruise terminal. Hop on a train to visit Vernazza, Monterosso, and Riomaggiore with a guide.

How to get to Cinque Terre

The closest airport to Cinque Terre is Pisa. Trains offer the easiest transportation option within and to Cinque Terre. Trenitalia also provides direct connections to La Spezia from Rome and Florence.

Once in Cinque Terre, the Cinque Terre Express train runs between La Spezia and Levanto, stopping at each village in Sestri Levante.

Where to stay in Cinque Terre

Nestled amidst vineyards and olive trees, high above Levanto, the gateway to Cinque Terre, is Al Terra di Mare .

Hotel Al Terra Di Mare Cinque Terre

Certain rooms boast panoramic valley or sea views, alongside a private balcony or terrace.

Hotel Al Terra Di Mare is located 2.3 km from Levanto center and 2 km from the train station.

4. Rome, Italy

Trevi Fountain Rome - Rome Weekend Itinerary

Rome is a city that offers something for everyone.

From the art and architecture to the food and culture, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the best cities in Europe for weekend trips.

Whether you’re looking for an artsy getaway or an adventure-filled trip, Rome has it all.

With its stunning monuments, delicious cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and rich history.

So if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life for a few days – Rome is the perfect destination.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Rome:

  • Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill : Get priority access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill on a guided tour. Step into the world of gladiators and emperors as you journey back to ancient Rome.
  • Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel Tour & Basilica Skip-the-Line Entry : Explore the Vatican Museums’ art collection on a tour with an art historian guide. Optional entry to Castle Gandolfo and St Peter’s Basilica. Admire Michelangelo’s masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel.
  • And for if you want to get out of Rome for a day tour, check out our recommendations of the best Pompeii day trips from Rome .

How to get to Rome

To reach Rome, the most convenient options are by plane or train. Rome has two airports: Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci) and Ciampino.

The main international airport is FCO. Both airports are about 30-40 minutes from the city center.

From the airport, you can easily take a train or Metro into the city center.

Where to stay in Rome

Hotel Cristoforo Colombo is set in Rome’s EUR district and close to Rome’s GRA Ring Road, offering complete convenience for all your shopping needs.

Hotel Cristoforo Colombo Rome

If you are visiting in the summer months, the outdoor pool is also wonderful for the kids!

5. Lake Como, Italy

Varenna in Lake Como

Lake Como is a beautiful destination that offers one of the best Europe weekend breaks.

The picturesque setting features postcard-perfect views and a unique atmosphere unlike anywhere else in Europe.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or an exciting adventure, there’s something to suit every taste.

With plenty of activities and attractions, from relaxing boat trips to thrilling cable car rides, Lake Como is the perfect option for your next Europe weekend break.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Lake Como:

  • Lugano & Bellagio Day Trip & Scenic Lake Cruise : Go from Como to Lugano, Cadenabbia, and Bellagio on a day trip. Explore two glamorous countries, two charming lakes, and two ravishing shopping districts.
  • Guided City Walking Tour with Cruise Ticket : Explore picturesque piazzas, the local cathedral, and iconic lakeside villas on a guided tour of Como by land and lake.

How to get to Lake Como

To reach Lake Como, take a train from Milan Centrale Station or Milan Nord Cadorna to either Como San Giovanni (Como’s main station) or Como Nord Lago. The closest airport is in Milan.

Where to stay in Lake Como

Located on the northwestern shore in the small town of San Vito, Casa Olea Hotel offers humble lodging.

Casa Olea Hotel Lake Como

Windows offer picturesque views of the surrounding landscape, blending curated shapes and sizes. Relax in a bath while admiring a private garden or gaze at the dimly lit Chiesa San Vito under the moonlight.

6. Zakopane, Poland

Krupowki street in Zakopane Poland

Zakpoane is an incredible city to visit on a weekend getaway, particularly for those looking to explore Europe.

From the stunning architecture of the old town, to the vibrant culture and lively nightlife, Zakpoane offers something truly special that you won’t find in many other cities.

It has hundreds of restaurants to choose from so you’re always spoilt for choice.

Whether you want to join a pub crawl or explore the city’s galleries and monuments, this European city is sure to fill any traveler’s itinerary with a wealth of activities and sights in Zakopane .

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Zakopane:

  • Relax, Explore and Conquer Zakopane’s Peaks : Experience Zakopane’s allure in a day of relaxation & adventure! Enjoy thermal baths, explore the charming city, and conquer the heights of Tatras.

How to get to Zakopane

Zakopane is located about a 2 to 2.5-hour drive South of Krakow and there are a number of ways to get there, including taking public transport such as a bus or a train ride.

Alternatively, you can choose to drive there directly or take a day tour.

Where to stay in Zakopane

Radisson Blu Hotel & Residences is a short walk from Krupówki, the city’s main street.

The onsite spa offers modern spa facilities, including steam and Turkish saunas.

Radisson Blu Hotel & Residences Zakopane

Guests can enjoy skiing and cycling activities in and around Zakopane.

7. Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt Austria with Kids

Hallstatt is a small Austrian village located in the Salzkammergut region near the mountains.

It is known to be one of the most beautiful and charming places on Earth, with its traditional alpine houses, crystal clear lake, and breathtaking views of the snow-covered mountains.

Hallstatt is also considered as a great place for weekend trips because it offers plenty of activities such as exploring salt mines and the ancient churches.

Take a boat ride across Lake Hallstatt and visit the nearby Dachstein Ice Cave – all of which guarantee an unforgettable experience.

So if you’re looking for one of the best European weekend trips, add Hallstatt to your list!

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Hallstatt:

  • Self-Guided Private Tour of Hallstatt : Explore Hallstatt, Austria’s most scenic town, on a self-guided tour. Discover the top photo spots and iconic landmarks.
  • City Highlights Guided Walking Tour inlcuding the Salt Mine (Group of 4) : Explore Hallstatt on a pleasant guided walking tour. Visit a salt mine, admire a 12th-century Catholic church, pass by the Bone House, and learn about the history of Hallstatt. Picture-perfect experience guaranteed!

How to get to Hallstatt

You can reach Hallstatt by either road or rail. If you prefer driving or taking the bus, the major starting points are Vienna, Salzburg (Hallstatt is a really easy day trip from Salzburg), and Munich.

There is a train station at Hallstatt, but the train journey is a lot longer than the journey by car or bus.

Where to stay in Hallstatt

Seehotel Grüner Baum Hallstatt

Seehotel Grüner Baum is located right next to the lake and has been running for a while now.

Many of the rooms are located right next to the lake and it is recommended to book in advance. There’s a free shuttle to the town too!

8. Zakynthos, Greece

Zakynthos Best Europe Weekend Getaway, Navagio Beach, Shipwreck Beach lookout, Greece

Zakynthos (or Zante) is one of the most beautiful and stunning islands in Europe.

With its pure white beaches, unspoiled nature, and crystal clear blue waters, it’s no wonder that Zakynthos is one of the best weekend breaks in Europe for a relaxing getaway.

From boat trips to the famous Blue Caves to discovering local taverns, there are plenty of activities to enjoy on this idyllic Greek island.

And if you’re looking for something more laid-back, Zakynthos also offers some of the best sunsets in Europe – perfect for taking a moment to appreciate life’s simple pleasures.

So if you’re looking for the perfect weekend break in Europe that combines relaxation and adventure, head to Zakynthos!

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Zakynthos:

  • Glass Bottom Speed Boat Shipwreck Beach and Blue Caves & Viewpoint: Take a guided minibus tour to Zakynthos’ northern landmarks, including the Navagio Viewpoint. Explore the famous Shipwreck Beach and Blue Caves on a glass-bottom speedboat.
  • Navagio Shipwreck Beach Excursion by Boat : The trip stops at Shipwreck Beach for photos, explores the best blue caves (Sfogio and White Beach), and visits Porto Steniti, and Poseidon’s profile. Also, enjoy 3 swimming stops!

How to get to Zakynthos

Zakynthos is known for its convenient airport. You can fly from Athens, about a 1-hour journey, or take a ferry from Kyllini in mainland Greece, which takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Where to stay in Zakynthos

Ionian Hill Hotel is a short 5-minute walk from the beach, Ionian Hill is located on the outskirts of Argassi in Zakynthos.

Ionian Hill Hotel Zakynthos

With accommodations offering balcony views of the garden or Ionian Sea, the property includes a pool and snack bar.

9. Santorini, Greece

Santorini Greece - Mother and daughter posing at the view point of the OIA old town

Santorini is a stunningly beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea, the perfect destination for a romantic weekend break with your significant other, no matter what time of year you visit Santorini .

With its white-washed villages, picture-perfect sunsets, and cobalt blue waters, it’s easy to see why this iconic Greek island is continually rated as one of the best weekend breaks in Europe.

Santorini offers time to relax on secluded beaches or exciting adventures exploring winding streets and vibrant markets.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Santorini:

  • Volcanic Islands Cruise with Hot Springs Visit : Enjoy a cruise to Santorini’s volcanic islands. Take a dip in hot springs, marvel at volcano views, and explore Thirassia and Oia’s charming villages.
  • Akrotiri Archaeological Site Entry Ticket : Explore the ancient city, buried in volcanic ash. Visit the remarkably preserved site often called the “Pompeii of the Aegean”.
  • Luxury Small Group Catamaran with Meal & Open Bar : Join a small group for a morning or sunset catamaran sail around the Santorini caldera! Enjoy an open bar, snorkeling, swimming in hot springs, and a delicious Greek meal.

For more inspiration, we have a complete list of places in Greece to visit .

How to get to Santorini

Santorini has an international airport and can be reached by plane from Athens and various European cities. The island is also connected to Athens by ferry.

To reach Santorini from other islands like Mykonos and Paros, the ferry is the sole direct connection option available.

Where to stay in Santorini

Whether you are looking for the best hotels in Santorini with pools , or just want an amazing hotel on the beach there is a hotel for all travelers!

Kalestesia Suites Santorini

Kalestesia Suites is perched atop Akrotiri Hill, just 350 meters from Akrotiri village and 800 meters from the main square.

Offering stunning views of the volcano, Caldera, and Santorini, some rooms even boast their own heated plunge pools!

10. Taormina, Italy

TAORMINA Weekend European Trips

Taormina is one of the best European weekend trips for people looking to explore the beauty of the Italian coast

With its stunning views of Mount Etna, charming cobblestone streets, and elegant restaurants, it’s easy to see why so many travelers choose to spend their weekends in this picturesque town.

With a variety of activities to do in Taormina , from exploring ancient ruins to taking part in outdoor sports, there’s something for everyone who visits Taormina.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Taormina:

  • Food and Wine Walking Tour : Join a local guide for an evening walking tour of Taormina. Discover the best places to eat and drink while sampling typical Sicilian foods and fine regional wines.
  • Mount Etna Guided Volcano Summit Hiking Tour with Cable Car : Hike Mount Etna’s summit craters, guided by professionals. Ride a cable car to the starting point and trek for 3.5 hours amidst breathtaking scenery.
  • Ancient Theater Entry Ticket and Guided Tour : Visit the Ancient Theater of Taormina, one of Italy’s largest show venues. Unearth the wonders of this renowned archaeological site.

How to get to Taormina

Getting to Taormina is easy as there are frequent direct flights from major cities across Europe, making it a great choice for a quick getaway!

Where to stay in Taormina

Hotel Corallo , situated in Taormina Mare, offers enchanting views of the Bay of Naxos and Cape Taormina from the guestrooms and the restaurant.

Hotel Corallo Taormina

Steps away from the hotel, you can relax on the beautiful beach of Baia di Villagonia when not exploring the area.

11. Corfu, Greece

Exploring Corfu Old Town, Greece, Father and Daughter walking up the cobble stone path, shops

Corfu is one of the best weekend getaways in Europe for many reasons.

The beautiful beaches, stunning views, and plentiful activities to do in Corfu make it an ideal getaway spot.

The island has a unique blend of cultures, which can be appreciated through its fascinating architecture, rich cuisine, and local customs.

Spend your days exploring the old town or just sitting back and sipping on a glass of ouzo!

With its vibrant nightlife, delicious dishes, and amazing outdoor activities, Corfu is truly one of the best weekend getaways in Europe.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Corfu:

  • Antipaxos & Paxos Blue Caves Boat Cruise : Embark on a day cruise from Corfu to the beautiful islands of Paxos and Antipaxos in the Ionian Sea. Witness the stunning views of the famous blue caves.
  • Live Jazz Music at the Old Fortress : Uncover a hidden side of Corfu with music at a secret location. Experience the talents of local musicians near the old fortress in the harbor.

How to get to Corfu

To reach Corfu from mainland Greece, you can take a ferry or a plane.

There are flights to Corfu from various European countries, as well as seasonal ferry connections with 3 ports in Italy and a year-round ferry connection with 1 port in Albania.

Where to stay in Corfu

Dreams Corfu Resort & Spa is in the charming town of Gouvia, right on the Corfu Island seafront.

Dreams Corfu Resort & Spa

It’s perfect for families and couples seeking an all-inclusive Mediterranean getaway. Rooms range from double and family rooms to suites and bungalows.

This resort has a dedicated beach and offers a variety of water sports, there are 2 pools, including a family-friendly pool.

12. Nice, France

Cours Saleya Market in Nice

Nice is a small city on the French Riviera that punches well above its weight when it comes to quick getaways in Europe.

Located just 40 minutes away from Monaco, Nice is an ideal destination for those who want to experience all of the glamour and grandeur of the Riviera without spending too much time getting there.

Its beaches are perfect for sun-soaking, while its historic city center is full of idyllic cafes, restaurants, and shopping streets lined with art galleries and boutiques.

With a host of cultural activities in Nice including incredible music festivals and modern art installations, Nice offers something for everyone looking for quick getaways in Europe.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Nice:

  • Culture, Wine & Food Old Town Guided Walking Tour : Join a walking tour of Nice Old Town to taste local produce like olive oils, regional wines, cheeses, bread, cold-cuts, fruits, and pastries in Castle Hill Park.
  • Old Town Treasures Walking Tour : Explore Nice’s history on a guided walking tour in the medieval old town, Vieux-Nice. Discover the city’s story from Greek origins to Italian governors.

How to get to Nice

With an international airport just 8km from Nice’s center, flying is the fastest and easiest option.

A regular 20-minute bus service connects the airport and the city, ensuring quick arrival at your destination.

Where to stay in Nice

Aparthotel AMMI Nice Massena is located just 200 meters from Place Masséna and a quick 3-minute walk from the beach and the famous Promenade des Anglais.

Aparthotel AMMI Nice Massena - ex Ajoupa in Nice

The hotel is only a 15-minute walk from Nice Ville Train Station.

The nearest tramway stop is just 100 meters away, and the old town is within a 5-minute walk from Ajoupa.

13. Florence, Italy

best cities in Europe Florence with Kids

Florence, Italy is a must-see for a weekend trip in Europe. With its breathtaking architecture, rich history, and Mediterranean climate, it’s easy to see why Florence is one of the best weekend trips in Europe.

Another great reason why Florence is great for a weekend trip is its small size, which means you can easily experience a lot within just two days!

Our kids loved that we could see a lot all within close proximity which means they did not have to walk too much when exploring.

From admiring the beauty of the iconic Duomo to exploring the Piazzas to dining on delicious Italian food or the best Gelato, Florence is the perfect destination whether traveling as a couple or as a family to Florence .

If you are a food lover, learn how to make your own gelato (and pasta, pizza) in a Florence cooking class .

So if you want to have an amazing European getaway make sure to add Florence to your list!

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Florence:

  • Skip the Line Entry to Brunelleschi’s Dome and Cathedral : Explore Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore and marvel at Brunelleschi’s Dome. Enjoy panoramic views of Florence from the iconic Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
  • Michelangelo’s David Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket : Skip the line and experience Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery Museum in Florence which houses more sculptures by Michelangelo than any other place in the world. Explore this gem with access to all parts of the museum and an optional audio guide.

How to get to Florence

Getting to Florence is quite convenient and the popular choices are by plane, train, or car.

Florence has its own international airport (Amerigo Vespucci) and Pisa International Airport is just 50 km away.

Alternatively, Florence is a major high-speed railway hub with regular train connections throughout Italy. It is also located on the A1, the main Italian motorway connecting Milan and Naples.

Where to stay in Florence

The 4-star iQ Hotel Firenze features modern and spacious rooms with an onsite Pizzeria and Cocktail Bar serving Italian gourmet pizzas , appetizers, and cocktails.

iQ Hotel Firenze Florence Best Europe Trips for a Weekend

It is conveniently located within a 10-minute walk from Florence Cathedral, Santa Maria Novella Station, and nearby attractions such as Accademia Gallery and the Uffizi Gallery.

The hotel also offers a fully equipped fitness area, an indoor boutique Spa, and an outdoor plunge pool.

Check out our local’s guide to areas to stay in Florence for the inside scoop!

14. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Contributed by The Spicy Journey

Amsterdam The Spicy Journey

What attracts people towards Amsterdam, one of the most popular destinations in Europe, are the romantic canals, museums, parks, Dutch cuisine, Heineken beer, and the tulips!

There are also many exciting day trip opportunities to Zaanse Schans, Giethoorn, the Hague, Rotterdam, and other beautiful destinations in the Netherlands and Belgium.

What’s even more exciting is that it is completely feasible to cover all the major attractions within a  weekend trip to Amsterdam  and even see the countryside with the help of the Amsterdam and region travel card.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Amsterdam:

  • Life of Anne Frank and World War II Walking Tour : Explore Anne Frank’s life on a walking tour of Amsterdam. Learn about her upbringing and the history of the Jewish Quarter and World War II from an expert guide.
  • V an Gogh Museum Timed Entry Ticket : Experience the Van Gogh Museum! Explore hundreds of paintings, drawings, and letters by the Dutch master. Get tickets for your preferred time slot.
  • Classic Boat Cruise with Cheese & Wine Option : Enjoy a canal cruise through the UNESCO Heritage listed Golden Age Canals of Amsterdam. See city highlights like the Skinny Bridge, Red Light District, and Old Harbor. Choose between a standard or deluxe tour with unlimited Dutch cheese, wine, and drinks.

How to get to Amsterdam

Amsterdam has one of the busiest international airports in Europe so travellers can fly into Amsterdam directly.

The Amsterdam airport is located 10 miles from the city center and you can take a local train or bus to reach the city center from the airport.

The city also has excellent train connectivity to the rest of Europe and the United Kingdom. 

Where to stay in Amsterdam

Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre  is located at the edge of the river IJ, one tram stop from the Amsterdam central station.

Movenpick Amsterdam City Centre Hotel Best European Weekend Getaways

The hotel is also within walking distance of most of the sights in Amsterdam, making it the perfect base to explore the city.

The hotel’s fitness center, spa, restaurant, and amazing breakfast are an added bonus.

15. London, United Kingdom

Contributed by Linda on the Run

best weekend trips to europe

“Planning the best weekend trip in Europe? If so then head to London.

Not only can you quickly and easily access top attractions using the Tube but you will never run out of things to do during your London itinerary . 

So, start with a visit to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. Next, see where the Royals were crowned at Westminster Abbey. Also, take a photo in front of Big Ben and then walk along the Thames to the Tower of London. 

Once here, see the Crown Jewels and where Anne Boleyn lost her head before walking across Tower Bridge to Borough Market. This landmark has been around since the 12th century and is an amazing place to enjoy a London food tour . 

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in London:

  • Tower of London and Crown Jewels Exhibition Ticket : Discover 1000 years of history at the Tower of London. See the Crown Jewels and gather captivating insights from the Yeoman Warders, the guardians of the Tower.
  • Skip-the-Line Entry to The London Eye : Experience the thrill as you rise above the iconic Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Soar up to 135 meters on the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel, enjoying mesmerizing 360-degree views of the city including Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Tower of London.

How to get to London

To get to London you can fly into Luton, Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, etc. Our top tip is to try to fly into Heathrow and take the Piccadilly line into central London.

Where to stay in London

The Tower Hotel London is an incredible place to stay with sweeping views of Tower Bridge right from your room.

The Tower Hotel London

Refined accommodations include in-room coffee makers as well as complimentary breakfast and all-day refreshments.

>>> Check out our post for London Hotels with rooftop pools and views!

16. Munich, Germany

Contributed by Big World Short Stories

What to do in Munich

Munich is the capital of the largest German state Bavaria. It is a perfect destination for a weekend trip due to its size and cultural and historic heritage.

Some of the main attractions that you can explore within  2 days in Munich  are the  Neuschwanstein Castle  and the BMW Museum.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Munich:

  • 3-Hour Guided Bike Tour of Munich : Discover vibrant Munich on a 3-hour guided bike tour whilst learning intriguing stories about the city’s history from your guide.
  • An Evening of Bavarian Beer and Food Culture: Explore Munich’s food culture and indulge in traditional food and beer. Join a guided tour, visit the Oktoberfest Museum, and savor a delightful Bavarian dinner.

How to get to Munich

Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport (MUC) is the closest international airport to Munich. The easiest way to get from the airport to the city center of Munich is by train.

There are 2 train lines S8 and S1 connecting Munich airport and the city center. The trains leave every 10 minutes and take about 40 minutes to bring you to the city center. 

Where to stay in Munich

The best area to stay in Munich is called the Altstadt (the old town). The most famous and luxurious hotel in Munich Altstadt is the  Hotel Bayrischer Hof .

Hotel Bayerischer Hof Munich

This iconic hotel has hosted many celebrities including Michael Jackson.

The rooftop terrace of the hotel overlooking the entire city is a great place to go dining or just enjoy a drink with a great view. 

17. Prague, Czech Republic

Contributed by Nats Travel

Prague River

Being based in the heart of Europe, Prague is a great weekend destination. Easy and fast to reach from any European country.

You can visit Prague at any time of the year, and you will always find things to do there.

Prague is perfect for 2 days sightseeing important landmarks of the historic city. Walk on Wenceslas Square, and continue to the Old Town Square to see the Astronomical clock and Church of our Lady Before Tyn.

Head towards the Charles Bridge, the most important landmark in Prague from where you will have a stunning view. End your walk in Prague Castle.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Prague:

  • Prague Foodie Tour : Do you love trying the traditional food of a country you visit? Then take this foodie tour to try the best of Czech cuisine.
  • Skip-the-Line Prague Castle Tour with Local Guide : Explore the breathtaking beauty of Prague Castle on a 2.5-hour guided tour, available in both group and private options. Enjoy fast-track access, bypassing long ticket and security lines.
  • Vltava River Night Cruise with Buffet : Experience the food and charm of Prague on a 3-hour dinner cruise. Admire illuminated historic monuments, including Prague Castle and the Dancing House on the Rašínovo embankment.

How to get to Prague

Traveling to Prague is straightforward. If you are coming by plane, you will fly to Vaclav Havel Airport. From the airport, you will take a bus and then a metro to get to the city center. It takes about 30-40 minutes to reach.

If you are coming by train, you will come to the main railway station (Hlavni Nadrazi) which is located inside the city. From there you can take a metro, tram, or walk depending on where is your hotel located.

Where to stay in Prague

When choosing a hotel, the best choice is the city center close to all the sights. You will love  THE MANES Boutique Hotel Prague . 

The Manes Boutique Hotel Prague

This modern hotel is close to the Vltava River where you can also find a kids’ playground on the island located on the river. Historical sights and public transportation are nearby.

18. Zurich, Switzerland

Contributed by Arzo Travels

Zurich old town Arzo Travels

Switzerland´s main city is easy to reach and located in the heart of Europe. However, this is not the only reason to spend a weekend in Zurich.

There are tons of things to do and see in  Zurich . Starting from a walk around Lake Zurich, strolling one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world – Bahnhofstrasse to exploring the old town.

Visit one of the many museums (including the very cool Lindt chocolate museum), or go on a day trip to see the impressive Alps in the nearby Lucerne or Bern regions.

And Zurich has the best nightlife in the country, while the after-drinks start after 5 pm, the nights are long with many bars and clubs to choose from.

But do not assume Zurich is only for adults who like to enjoy long nights – it is also a wonderful family-friendly city that offers plenty of outdoor and indoor activities for people of all ages.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Zurich:

  • City Tour, Cruise, and Lindt Home of Chocolate Visit : Explore Zürich on a combined city tour and cruise to see why it’s called the “city with the world’s best quality of life.” Marvel at impressive churches, guild houses, and more.
  • City Highlights Tour by Coach, Cable Car, and Ferry : Explore Zurich and its surroundings on a city tour. See the churches in the Old Town and ride the aerial cable car for a stunning view of Lake Zurich and the Alps.

How to get to Zurich

The train station is well connected to other cities in Europe and once at the train station you are actually already in the heart of the city and can start exploring. 

If you get to Zurich International Airport, then take a train (there are a number of trains departing to Zurich Train Station – Zurich Bahnhof) which will get you to the city center in just 12 minutes.

You could also rent a car at Zurich airport, but thanks to the fantastic public transportation in Zurich, there is actually no need to.

Where to stay in Zurich

Staying in the city center is definitely the best area to choose from as most attractions are located within walking distance.

One of the best hotels in the city is right on the shores of Lake Zurich in the center is the luxurious 5-star hotel Baur au Lac .

Baur au Lac Hotel Zurich

This is the perfect location to rest after some busy hours of exploring Zurich.

19. Malaga, Spain

Contributed by Ipanema Travels

Malaga Spain ipanematravels

Whether you are looking for the winter sun or want to combine beach and culture, Málaga is the perfect destination for a weekend trip in Europe.

Located in Andalusia, this Spanish city offers world-class heritage sites, art museums, cozy restaurants, and lots of Southern charm.

When in Málaga visit the Roman Theatre and the Alcazaba Fortress, together with the Gibralfaro Castle. For the best views of the city, take a tour of the cathedral roof. 

Famous for being the birthplace of the modernist artist Pablo Picasso, Málaga won’t disappoint those who love art either.

You can visit Museo Picasso Málaga and the birth house of Picasso, as well as the Pompidou Centre, and the Carmen Thyssen Museum.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Málaga:

  • Cathedral, Alcazaba, Roman Theater Walking Tour : Explore Málaga’s highlights on a walking tour: Cathedral, Alcazaba, Roman Theater, and Picasso’s streets. Learn fascinating details from your guide about each site!

How to get to Málaga

Getting to Málaga is pretty easy, as the city has its own international airport.

This is also one of the  reasons why Málaga is a popular travel destination  in Europe.

From the airport, you can take either the express bus line or a taxi to get to the city center. The transfer time is about 15 minutes.

Where to stay in Málaga

Hotel Boutique Teatro Romano is located in the heart of the city and this hotel won’t break the bank.

Hotel Boutique Teatro Romano Malaga

With comfortable, yet tastefully furnished rooms and beautiful views of the Roman Theatres, this hotel is perfect for a short stay in Málaga.

20. Brussels, Belgium

Contributed by World Wild Schooling

Brussels Mont des Arts Wolrd Wild Schooling

Brussels, the heart of Europe, is a perfect destination for a weekend getaway with its blend of history, culture, and cuisine.

One of the  best things to do in Brussels  is to stroll around the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You can also try a  tour of the city’s art and history and taste Belgian chocolate and waffles . Don’t miss the Atomium, an iconic symbol of Brussels. 

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Brussels:

  • Belgian Chocolate Making Workshop with Tastings: Experience Belgian chocolate and learn to make delicious treats at a workshop in Brussels with a chocolatier artisan. Indulge your sweet tooth with tastings and discover the uniqueness of Belgium’s cacao.
  • Brussels Atomium and Design Museum Entry Ticket : Visit the iconic Atomium, a unique architectural creation and a symbol of Brussels and Belgium. Originally built for the 1958 World’s Fair, it remains the most popular attraction in Europe’s capital city.

How to get to Brussels

It’s easy to reach the two airports in Brussels. Brussels Airport (BRU) is the closest at around 20 minutes by train or car.

Most budget airlines fly to Brussels South Charleroi Airport (CRL), which is about an hour by bus or car.

Major train stations, Brussels Central and Midi, offer high-speed trains that connect Brussels with major European cities.

Where to stay in Brussels

You can stay at  Hotel Amigo , a 5-star hotel right next to the Grand Place.

Its charming interiors and superior service make it a great choice for a weekend in Brussels.

Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo Brussels

Enjoy its proximity to major attractions and restaurants.

21. Barcelona, Spain

Contributed by Waves and Cobblestones

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway in Europe!  It’s got it all:  beautiful beaches, delicious cuisine, stunning architecture, and top-notch museums.

Some of the  top attractions in Barcelona  are the amazing buildings designed by renowned architect Antoni Gaudí. 

Enjoy a rooftop concert at Casa Milà or explore the colorful mosaics of Parc Güell.

You don’t want to miss La Sagrada Familia!  This magnificent basilica has become an iconic symbol of Barcelona. 

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Barcelona:

  • Sagrada Familia Skip-The-Line Guided Tour : Take a skip-the-line guided tour to see the breathtaking interior of the basilica. Be sure to get your tickets in advance, as this is extremely popular!
  • Casa Batlló Entry with Self-Audioguide Tour : Enjoy the Casa Batlló experience, where artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and machine learning intertwine. Immerse yourself in the masterpiece of Antoni Gaudí, an architectural and design legend.
  • Montserrat Tour, Monastery & Optional Wine/Lunch : Hop on a cogwheel train, explore a historic monastery in Montserrat, and soak in amazing views. Pick a half-day tour or upgrade to a full-day trip.

How to get to Barcelona

Fly to Barcelona via the Barcelona-El Prat Airport.  This international airport is only about 13 kilometers from the center of Barcelona, and it’s easy to take public transportation if you don’t want to rent a car.

Where to stay in Barcelona

Stay at the Hotel Jazz .  This hotel has a great location in the heart of historic Barcelona. 

Hotel Jazz Barcelona

You’ll love the rooftop terrace, where you can take a refreshing dip in the pool or enjoy a cocktail after a day of sightseeing.

22. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Contributed by Not About The Miles

Dubrovnik View Not About The Miles

If you are looking for an exciting weekend getaway in Europe, consider  2 days in Dubrovnik ! Known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, the Croatian city is compact but captivating.

If you enjoy history and architecture, pop into the beautiful Franciscan Monastery and the Dubrovnik Cathedral; or walk the famous city walls.

Take a boat trip to the little island of Lokrum, or go sea kayaking. Spend some time at the beach. Take the cable car to the top of Mount Srd for panoramas.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Dubrovnik:

  • Game of Thrones Tour : Take a Game of Thrones tour to not only see major filming locations but also to learn about the city’s real history. Tour Lovrijenac Fortress: It’s a climb but the views are well worth it!
  • Elafiti Islands (Elaphites) Tour : The Elafiti Islands are perfect for a day trip from Dubrovnik. Popular speedboat tours of the three main islands include stops for swimming and snorkeling and free time to visit each island.

How to get to Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik has an international airport and it is easy to fly in from many places in Europe, including hubs like London. 

From the airport, the old town is about a 30-minute drive, and you can take a taxi or the airport shuttle bus. 

Once in the old town, you can walk everywhere!

Where to stay in Dubrovnik

The Pucic Palace is a stunning boutique hotel located right in the old town, very convenient for sightseeing and walking to restaurants.

The Pucic Palace Dubrovnik

It’s a gorgeous place to base for your Dubrovnik weekend!

23. Lausanne, Switzerland

Contributed by Happy Little Traveler

Pretty Lausanne in Switzerland

Lausanne is a beautiful Swiss city located on the northern shores of Lake Geneva. Thanks to many attractions, wonderful views, and easy access it’s a great spot for a weekend trip in Europe that will steal your heart.

There are quite a lot of things to do in Lausanne , but if you want to get the best out of your weekend there, be sure to take a lazy walk along the Ouchy promenade and admire stunning views over the Alps.

Also, stroll around Lausanne’s charming old town and visit the famous Olympic Museum.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Lausanne:

  • Lake Geneva Cruise Along Lavaux Vineyards : A two-hour Lake Geneva cruise is a great choice as well! After all that, head to one of the restaurants and taste delicious Swiss food like rosti, raclette, or fondue.

How to get to Lausanne

The closest airport to Lausanne is located in Geneva, only 60km away. It offers train and bus connections to the city.

It’s also quite easy to arrive in Lausanne by train from many places in both Switzerland and France.

Where to stay in Lausanne

For a pleasant stay, you can choose Mövenpick Hotel , which is located just a few steps from the main city attractions.

Mövenpick Hotel Lausanne

But what’s most important is that this hotel offers rooms with unforgettable views over Lake Geneva and the Alps.

24. Lisbon, Portugal

Contributed by 24Hours Layover

Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon is a fantastic destination for a weekend trip due to its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes.

It’s compact and easily walkable, which is great if you love exploring a city on foot. Plus it’s certainly possible to see the best bits in just one weekend!

Visit historic sites like Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery, and make sure to check out the Alfama neighborhood and the scenic Miradouros, all of which make for great  places to take photos in Lisbon .

Then in the evening check out a Fado performance or relax on a  sunset boat cruise !

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Lisbon:

  • History, Stories, and Lifestyle Walking Tour : Explore Lisbon’s history on a guided walking tour, visiting charming neighborhoods like Chiado and Bairro Alto. Enjoy panoramic views from Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara and more.

How to get to Lisbon

Lisbon is very well-connected and easy to get to. Lisbon’s International Airport is 10 kilometers from downtown.

The airport has a metro station which will take you to downtown Lisbon in 20 minutes. If driving from Lisbon Airport to the city center, the journey takes around 20 to 30 minutes.

Lisbon is also well-connected to major cities in Portugal and neighboring countries through train services. The main train station is Santa Apolonia, located in the city center.

Where to stay in Lisbon

For an absolutely stunning hotel, stay at the  Be Poet Baixa Hotel .

Be Poet Baixa Hotel Lisbon

Situated right amongst the action, it’s the perfect place to stay for a weekend in Lisbon!

25. Madrid, Spain

Contributed by It’s All Trip To Me

madrid itsalltriptome

Planning a trip to Madrid  is always a good idea. With countless colorful neighborhoods to explore and laze around at quaint cafés and lively bars, Madrid is one of the most vibrant cities in Europe, the perfect place to spend a weekend away from home. 

When visiting Madrid for just a couple of days,  jump on the hop-on-hop-off bus for a chance to see more of the city in less time .

Moreover, if you’re traveling to Madrid during the weekend, you’re in great luck! El Rastro, the city’s most famous flea market, takes place on Sundays alone. 

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Madrid:

  • Prado Museum Entry Ticket : Explore art masterpieces and see works by Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, and more. The collection features 7,600 paintings and 1,000 sculptures, showcasing the full range of Spanish art.
  • Royal Palace Fast-Access Admission Ticket : Explore the Royal Palace of Madrid, the official residence of Spanish royalty, with an immersive experience in one of the world’s largest palaces. Wander through corridors steeped in centuries of Spanish history.

How to get to Madrid

Madrid’s international airport connects the city to several other destinations within Europe and elsewhere. The drive from Barajas Airport to the city center takes less than half an hour. 

Where to stay in Madrid

If you’re spending only a couple of days in Madrid, it makes sense to book a hotel in a central location. 

B&B Hotel Madrid Centro Plaza Mayor  is only steps from the iconic Plaza Mayor and within easy walking distance from the city’s other major attractions.

B&B HOTEL Madrid Centro Plaza Mayor

The impeccably clean rooms and the friendly staff render this hotel the perfect accommodation option for a weekend trip to Madrid. 

26. Budapest, Hungary

Contributed by Flying Fluskey

Budapest Flying Fluskey Weekend Trips In Europe

Budapest is an easy weekend trip  for the whole of Europe as it sits right at the center.

The city straddles the mighty Danube River and is packed with years of fascinating history to discover.

Budapest is full of natural hot springs that have been turned into divine public bathing pools. The baroque style Szechenyi Baths is the most popular and for good reason.

Spend an afternoon exploring the Buda Castle complex on top of the hill and another on a food tour enjoying Hungarian classics.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Budapest:

  • Buda Castle Cave Walking Tour : Discover the labyrinth caves beneath the Buda Castle District while learning about their history and unique geology.
  • 1-Hour Sightseeing Cruise with Welcome Drink : Explore Budapest’s iconic landmarks on a 1-hour River Danube sightseeing cruise. Sip on a seasonal cocktail or soft drink as you glide past Buda Castle and the Vigado Concert Hall.

How to get to Budapest

From Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport, catch the cheap and efficient 100E Airport Express bus that takes around 45 minutes into the city.

Alternatively, there are shared transfers run by MiniBUD or pricy private transfers.

If arriving by train from across Europe, there are many mainline terminus stations that connect to the Metro, giving easy access to the whole city.

Where to stay in Budapest

When staying in Budapest, stay on the Pest side of the river. The Jewish District is full of great options, and for the best value, book an apartment.

Anantara New York Palace Budapest

However, for a truly luxurious experience, the Anantara New York Palace Budapest Hotel has a beautiful lobby, plus, you can have breakfast in the iconic New York Cafe as standard.

27. Istanbul, Turkey

Contributed by Mog and Dog Travels

Istanbul mosque at sunset

Stretching across two continents and offering fascinating historical attractions, a lively nightlife scene, and mouth-watering cuisine, Istanbul is ideal for a weekend getaway. 

A perfect weekend in Istanbul should always begin with an indulgent Turkish spread breakfast. Known as serpme kahvaltı, it can feature up to twenty different dishes!

 You can walk off your breakfast by exploring some of Istanbul’s beautiful architecture.

Don’t miss the spectacular ancient mosaics in the Hagia Sophia mosque, the handpainted tiled interior of the Blue Mosque, or the underground Basilica Cistern.

If you like shopping, head over to haggle with local merchants at the Grand Bazaar, the largest covered market in the world.  

Istanbul has a breathtaking skyline, so make sure you book a spot at one of the many rooftop bars and restaurants that offer stunning panoramic views of the city. Alternatively, visit the extraordinary Galata Tower, which offers a 360° view of the whole city. 

Finally, treat yourself to a luxurious scrub and soap massage at a Turkish bath, a pampering experience that is like no other!

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Istanbul:

  • If you’re keen to explore more of Istanbul’s gastronomic delights, consider going on  this amazing food tour  around the city.
  • Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern & Hagia Sophia Tour : Discover 3 renowned landmarks in Istanbul on this guided combo tour. Admire the Blue Mosque, explore the mysterious Basilica Cistern, and visit the grand Hagia Sofia mosque.
  • Topkapi Palace Guided Tour and Skip The Line : Explore Topkapi Palace, Turkey’s prominent museum, and the Balkan Peninsula’s notable landmark.

How to get to Istanbul

Istanbul has two airports: the newly built Istanbul International Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) aırport.

Both are served by an airport metro service, regular shuttle buses that operate 24/7, and taxis.

Journeys by shuttle bus or metro from IST or SAW into Istanbul city center take around 1-1.5 hours. 

Where to stay in Istanbul

There are many  different areas to stay in Istanbul  but for a weekend trip, the lovely area of Galata is the best choice.

Surrounded by charming cafes, shops, art galleries and museums, it’s an ideal base. 

NOA - Ali Hoca 6 Istanbul

NOA Luxury Apartments  offers reasonably priced, spacious, chic apartments with fully equipped kitchens, a balcony or garden, free Wi-Fi, and a private gym. 

28. Dublin, Ireland

Contributed by Backpackers Thailand

Dublin Temple Bar Best European Cities Weekend

If you’re looking for a fun weekend full of cultural activities, tasty food, and exploring historic sites,  make sure you add Dublin to your to-do list.

When you’re in Dublin, don’t miss the chance to explore Trinity College with the Book of Kells and the EPIC (Irish Immigration Museum).

Take a stroll through the lively Temple Bar district with nice restaurants and bars.

Visit the historic Whitefriar Street Church. It houses the remains of St. Valentine! The famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral, named after the patron saint of Ireland, is another must-see landmark.

But the highlight of your trip has to be a visit to The Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Dublin. The live music and mouthwatering food will leave a lasting impression.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Dublin:

  • Guinness Storehouse Entrance Ticket : Explore the Guinness Storehouse with a self-guided tour and discover the world-famous Guinness Stout, and savor a complimentary pint.
  • EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum Entrance Ticket : Explore the impact of a small island on the world. Uncover the stories of Irish emigrants and immerse yourself in Irish culture.

How to get to Dublin

You can easily fly to Dublin from all the major European cities, the US, Canada, and the Middle East. The airport is located 30 min away from the city center (you can take a taxi or a city bus).

Where to stay in Dublin

Stay in the charming Trinity Townhouse Hotel and indulge in spacious rooms and the captivating interior of the Georgian period.

Trinity Townhouse Hotel Dublin

All the top attractions are located just a short walk away. 

29. Porto, Portugal

Contributed by Random Trip

porto views from gaia randomtrip

There is a city in the north of Portugal with plans for all types of travelers and budgets: Welcome to  Porto !

You may also know it as Oporto but the Portuguese name is actually Porto.

Porto is a perfect weekend destination, as in 2-3 days you can admire its many religious buildings like its cathedral (Se do Porto) or its beautiful tile-covered churches (Capela das Almas or Santo Ildefonso).

You can also admire the amazing views of the city from its marvelous viewpoints from Torre dos Clérigos or from Dom Luis I bridge.

Buy some artsy souvenirs from the small galleries at Rua Miguel Bombarda (for example at Ó! Galeria) and jump on a  river cruise on a “Ravelo” , the original boats used to transport Port wine barrels. 

Don’t forget the amazing gastronomy! The iconic dish in Porto is Francesinha, a sandwich filled with various meats, smothered in cheese and a flavorful spicy sauce made with tomato and beer. It’s typically topped with a fried egg and served with crispy french fries on the side.

There are also vegan and vegetarian versions. You will find Francesinhas in most restaurants, and if you ask local people about it, everyone will tell you which restaurant cooks their favorite one.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Porto:

  •   Torre dos Clerigos Entrance Ticket : Experience panoramic views of Porto from the top of the baroque Torre dos Clérigos. Climb the city’s iconic Bell Tower at your own pace, conquering its 225 steps. Marvel at the church’s intricate façade adorned with seashells and garlands.
  • Cockburn’s Cellar Tour Classic or Pairing Option : Experience a guided visit and premium tasting at Cockburn’s Lodge, the largest Port cellar in Vila Nova de Gaia’s historic quarter. Witness the only open cooperage in the area.

How to get to Porto

Getting to Porto is easy, as it has an international airport with low-cost flights connecting it with several cities in Europe.

The airport is 15km away from the city, and easily connected with buses, subway, and taxis or an Uber.

If you are already in Portugal, there are trains and buses connecting Porto to most places in Portugal and/or Lisbon.

Where to stay in Porto

Oporto Home – River Front : This modern and beautiful apartment is located right in the Ribera, one of the most visited areas in Porto.

Oporto Home - River Front in Porto

It has amazing river views and also Gaia views (the other side of the Douro River, where Port wine wineries are located).

You will be located within walking distance of the most interesting places and also near lots of restaurants.

Or why not check out the best hotels in Porto with a pool if you love having a pool for a dip at the end of the day!

30. Tenerife, Spain

Contributed by Alexander of Tenerife Is

tenerife from Tenerife Is

Tenerife  is a superb destination for a short trip. Firstly, the flight from London takes only 4 and a half hours. If you are already in Madrid the flight is only 3 hours.

And with so many low-cost carriers flying to Tenerife you can often get very cheap plane tickets.

Tenerife has great weather absolutely all year round, so any month and any date will be a great choice for a trip.

But that is not all that is great about visiting Tenerife. There is such a huge variety of activities in Tenerife that any traveler, families with children, couples, and elderly people will be happy with their journey.  

You can laze on the beach, go on excursions to colorful villages and towns, have fun in the largest water park in Europe Siam Park, or look at the stars at the foot of the volcano Teide.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Tenerife:

  • Siam Waterpark Entry Tickets : Kids will love it! Discover the Kingdom of Siam and dive into aquatic thrills with a full-day ticket to Siam Park Tenerife. Experience the force of the world’s largest artificial wave, float along a lazy river, and more.
  • Dolphin and Whale Eco-Cruise : Experience a memorable dolphin and whale-watching trip on an eco-friendly catamaran. Choose from 3-hour or 5-hour adventures, with food, drinks, and swimming available on both.
  • Teide National Park Sunset & Stargazing Tour : Enjoy breathtaking scenery in Tenerife and experience mesmerizing sunsets while stargazing in Teide National Park. Use telescopes at an altitude of 6561 ft (2000 meters) to observe the moon and stars.

How to get to Tenerife

There are two airports in Tenerife – the south airport and the north airport. If you plan to vacation in the south, where the sunny weather is the most stable, you should fly to the southern airport. It takes only 15-20 minutes by cab from the airport to the southern resorts.

Where to stay in Tenerife

Before I moved to Tenerife, I flew to vacation there with my family. I love the family friendly hotels in Tenerife. My all time favorite hotel is Bahia Principe Fantasia .

Bahia Principe Fantasia Tenerife

This Tenerife resort, inspired by fairy tales, captivates both children and adults. With an incredible water park, swimming pool, and exhilarating slides, it’s perfect for families.

Plus, there’s a fantastic kids club offering fun activities like cooking classes, and exciting excursions.

It’s a great opportunity for children to have fun and learn while staying here.

31. Kotor, Montenegro

Contributed by My Wanderlust

kotor My Wanderlust

Kotor, Montenegro is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe that can be a great weekend getaway to escape to a real wonderland.

The charming town with the maze of winding lanes dates back to the 3rd century BC, and still today, you can admire the numerous historical buildings (especially churches and palaces) in various architectural styles.

But the real highlight of the place and one of the best  things to do in Kotor  is the ruins of the St. John’s fortress towering above the city.

It’s a bit of a challenge to get all the way to the top, with over a thousand steps to climb, but the views you will see are totally worth the effort.

This is probably the most iconic panorama in Montenegro and certainly one of the most beautiful landscapes you will ever see, where rocky mountains meet turquoise water.

Since Kotor Old Town is rather small, you can see everything in one day and spend the rest of your weekend trip either relaxing at the beach or visiting one of the nearby interesting places.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Kotor:

  • Perast Old Town on Island Our Lady of the Rocks : The most popular trips from Kotor include the charming town of Perast (known for the church on the artificial island in the middle of the picturesque Kotor Bay). The trips are every 2 hours.
  • Private Guided Walking Tour : Embark on a 90-minute guided tour of Kotor, the city of merchants and sailors, to delve into its 2,500 years of captivating history. Marvel at the architecture adorning the squares in this UNESCO-listed fortified city.

How to get to Kotor

The nearest airport is in Tivat, around 10 km away from Kotor. You can also fly to the more popular Podgorica airport, from where it’s around 2 hour drive to Kotor.

Where to stay in Kotor

To make your trip even better, you should stay in one of the historical palaces in Kotor Old Town, such as Historic Boutique Hotel Cattaro , a former Rector’s Palace.

Historic Boutique Hotel Cattaro Kotor

This way, you can get a taste of Kotor’s rich past and enjoy fine accommodation in the heart of the town.

32. Reykjavik, Iceland

Contributed by Europe in Winter

Reykjavik waterfront Claires Footsteps

Reykjavik, Iceland’s effortlessly cool capital, might not be the first European weekend trip you think of – but it’s actually ideal. 

You can visit  Reykjavik in winter or any other time of the year for an amazing experience!

Once you reach the city, you’ll find a plethora of museums covering everything from Icelandic whales to Vikings and attractions, such as the immersive FlyOver Iceland experience and Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik’s main church – from the top you can take in an incredible city view. 

It may be geographically isolated, but the capital has an effervescently hip vibe, with chic cafes lining the streets and a gorgeous waterfront – perfect for a stroll. 

Explore the city independently or embark on a  free walking tour  to learn more about Iceland’s history and culture. 

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Reykjavik:

  • Northern Lights by Boat in Reykjavik : Head out on a Northern Lights tour (boats leave the harbour nightly).
  • Golden Circle Full-Day Tour with Kerid Crater : Year-round day trips to the Golden Circle are always popular. Enjoy stunning natural scenery and visit the Geysir area, Gullfoss waterfall, and Þingvellir National Park.

How to get to Reykjavik 

With links to main European cities and the East Coast of America, it’s easy to reach from either – and once you get to Keflavik Airport, there’s an easy coach connection (around 45 minutes) to the capital. 

Where to stay in Reykjavik

Skuggi Hotel by Keahotels in Reykjavik

Skuggi Hotel  oozes Nordic charm. With modern bedrooms, a fresh Icelandic breakfast served each morning and a prime city center destination, it’s the ideal place to stay on a quick break to the capital. 

33. Rouen, France

Contributed by Normandie Lovers

Street with Timber Frame Buildings in Rouen France

Located in northern France, Rouen is a wonderful city, full of history from the Medieval times. You can easily discover it over a weekend .

What should you plan? Simply walk around, admire the half-timbered houses, learn about Joan of Arc and her trials, marvel at the Gros-Horloge, and be speechless in front of the huge cathedral.

The old town is so fascinating that a guided tour will help you better appreciate all the buildings that are all around you, as well as their stories. 

What a perfect weekend to travel through time!

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Rouen:

  • Guided tour of the historic center : Travel through time by observing the greatest monuments of the city of Rouen including Place de la Pucelle, Place du Vieux Marché, and discover the last moments of Joan of Arc’s life, the magnificent Courthouse of Rouen, and more!

How to get to Rouen

To get there, you can land in Paris and rent a car. The drive is 1h15 to 1h45 long. Or you can reach Rouen by train. The station is in the center, just a 10 minute walk from the old part of town.

Where to stay in Rouen

Hôtel Littéraire Gustave Flaubert in Rouen France

Plus, to make your stay even more special, the Hôtel Litteraire Gustave Flaubert is centrally located and will surround you with the words of this famous local author. 

34. Sofia, Bulgaria

Contributed by A Social Nomad

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria at sunset

This multicultural city has centuries of history in a small space, much of the center is pedestrianized, with a cosmopolitan, Mediterranean outdoor lifestyle in the summer months.

The best way to explore is to take a walking tour of the city.

There are mosques, cathedrals, and synagogues within a city block, and finding out how that all came about is key to understanding Sofia.  

The highlight of Sofia  is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the world’s largest Orthodox Cathedrals, but the smaller UNESCO World Heritage Boyana Church has magnificent medieval frescoes.  Visit on a trip that combines the stunning Rila Monastery.  

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Sofia:

  • Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Group Tour : Discover 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bulgaria on a thrilling group tour from Sofia. Experience the awe-inspiring Rila Monastery and enjoy breathtaking mountain views. Explore the Boyana Church with its stunning pre-Renaissance frescoes.

How to get to Sofia

With an international airport that serves both national and budget airlines, Bulgaria’s capital city, Sofia is well connected as a great weekend getaway.  There’s even a metro connecting the airport to the city center, that also runs to the bus and rail terminals too (the overnight train from Istanbul is also a super way to get here).  

Where to stay in Sofia

The four-star Rosslyn Central Park Hotel is in a perfect location for exploring Sofia.

Rosslyn Central Park Hotel Sofia

Rooms have WiFi, minibars and satellite TV, an airport shuttle is available and the hotel is just 3 minutes from the National Museum of Culture. 

35. Cork, Ireland

Contributed by Amber Everywhere

Cork Ireland Best Europe Weekend Getaways

Cork is Ireland’s second city and the perfect place to visit for a weekend trip in Europe.

The city is full of lively pubs and great restaurants, so you can sip a quiet glass of wine at Meades 126 or party the night away at Bodega. 

Get an overview of the city by taking a walking tour of Cork , ideally one that includes most of the city’s main landmarks. Afterward, take in the views from Elizabeth Fort or ring the bells at Saint Anne’s Church. 

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Cork:

  • 2-Hour Guided Cork Harbour Scenic Cruise : Experience a stunning boat trip to witness iconic landmarks like Blackrock Castle and Martello Towers. Immerse yourself in the area’s rich history while enjoying the breathtaking scenery.
  •   Jameson Experience Whiskey Tour : Today, every drop of Jameson whiskey is made in Midleton, Co Cork. Visit to see the largest pot still and a new micro-distillery in action, as well as experience the live maturation warehouse.

How to get to Cork

Cork has an international airport about 20 minutes from the city center. Alternatively, you can fly into Dublin and drive or take public transit down to Cork. The drive takes about 3.5 hours. 

Where to stay in Cork

Stay at the Imperial Hotel Cork City . This beautiful hotel is located in the center of everything, just steps from all of the action on Oliver Plunkett Street.

Imperial Hotel Cork City

The rooms are tastefully decorated, and there’s a wonderful spa onsite, in case you decide to splurge on a massage or facial during your stay.

FAQs About The Best Weekend Trips in Europe

Here are some answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the best cities for weekend trips in Europe.

European cities are easily accessible for weekend getaways. Paris, Barcelona, and Rome are popular city break destinations. We have also included the attractions of Reykjavik, Sofia, and Budapest as great weekend getaways in Europe.

Late March to early June and September to November are the best times to visit. You’ll avoid the busy summer period and get more value for your money. In Northern Europe, May to September is warm and dry. Further south, temperatures can reach 36°C (96°F) in July and August.

Sure! You can spend a full weekend exploring the food and culture in Lisbon or Porto, both great ways to experience Portugal.

Weekend getaways in Greece have never been easier. With numerous cities and resorts to choose from, you can enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of the country before returning home within just 48 hours.

Croatia’s cities offer a captivating blend of heritage and modernity, with quality restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and world-facing cultural institutions. Everything you want and more for a city break!

Final Thoughts: Best Places to Visit in Europe for a Weekend

Europe is the perfect place for weekend getaways. From the vibrant city of Lisbon to the picturesque town of Cork and finally, to the beautiful city of Zurich, there are many great places to visit in Europe for a weekend trip.

From beach resorts to mountain retreats, you can find something no matter your budget or destination preference. Our travels have taken us to Greece, Italy, France, Spain, and other European countries. We’ve put this complete guide of the best quick getaways in Europe with other travel bloggers who have visited some of these destinations.

From all our travels, we’ve learned so much about what makes these places unique and special. No matter where you go in Europe, there will be something exciting and interesting waiting for you.

Whether it’s grabbing a bite from an unusual street food vendor in Lisbon or taking in the views from atop a mountain peak in Switzerland, you’ll have an unforgettable experience.

So grab your passport and get ready for an amazing weekend!

More Articles to Help You Plan Your Weekend Trip to Europe:

  • Best European Cities to Visit for any Traveler!
  • Best European Cities to Visit with Kids in Winter !
  • Read this post if you need ideas for the best European destinations for family vacations !
  • Here are our top five European family summer vacation destinations !
  • Fancy a winter European trip? Here is our list of the best cities to visit in Europe in December !
  • Here is the list of our best places to travel in Europe in kids !
  • Read all about our Europe travels on our Europe Travel Blog !
  • This post is a must-read if you are looking for the best airlines to fly to Europe !

Best Weekend Getaways In Europe

Jolene Ejmont

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best weekend trips to europe

  • 1 The Azores, Portugal
  • 2 Reykjavík, Iceland
  • 3 Dublin, Ireland
  • 4 London, England
  • 5 Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 6 Lisbon, Portugal
  • 7 Paris, France

These 7 Long-Weekend European Getaways Are Completely Doable from the U.S.

Europe for a long weekend? It’s possible—even enjoyable, if you’re willing hit the ground running after a red-eye flight. We found seven hot spots that can be squeezed into just a few days.

Senior Editor, Jetsetter | @lindseytravels |

See recent posts by Lindsey Olander

Sunny view of Angra do Heroismo from Alto da Memoria, Azores, Portugal

The Azores, Portugal

Despite being one of the closest European hubs to the U.S. (the flight clocks in at just five hours and 45 minutes), the Azores still flies off the tourist radar—but not for long. This lush volcanic archipelago, 900 miles west of Lisbon, is steadily cropping up on itineraries as people continue to seek out “the next Iceland.” Limited flights and its remote locale just add to its mystique. After landing in San Miguel, hit buzzy port town Ponta Delgada for its black-sand beaches, hot springs at Caldeira Velha , and gorgeous gardens like Terra Nostra (beloved for its 600 varieties of the camellia flower), where you can conveniently rest your feet (and head) at Terra Nostra Garden Hotel nearby.

Reykjavik Iceland city scape frop the top with Hallgrimskirkja church.

Reykjavík, Iceland

A six-hour flight from the U.S. gets you to Reykjavík, Iceland’s colorful capital city. After getting a refresher in Viking history at the National  and  Saga  museums, climb the iconic white clocktower at  Hallgrímskirkja for a sweeping view of the city and the sea. When hunger strikes, dig into Nordic specialties like Arctic char and beetroot at places like Dill  (which earned itself a Michelin star in 2017) and  Fiskfelagid  (its sea-centric menu includes Icelandic salted cod and monkfish). Afterwards, bed down in the  ION City Hotel  downtown from Icelandic architectural studio Minarc (behind the brutalist  ION Adventure Hotel ).

Explore More: See hotel details | See all Reykjavik, Iceland hotels

Pub on a street in Dublin Ireland.

Dublin, Ireland

There’s lots to love about Dublin—and we’re not just talking about the easy six-and-a-half-hour flight from the States. Ireland’s gritty capital has become seriously hip over the years, adding buzzy new cocktail bars and award-winning restaurants to its must-hit list once dominated by storied pubs and cobbled lanes. After ticking off the Trinity College Library and the Guinness Storehouse (you gotta do ‘em), make time for another tipple—this time of the craft cocktail variety—at Bow Lane . (For something more traditional, The Brazen Head has been open since 1198.) Then soak up the booze with bites at Mish.Mash , a ‘gram-worthy café known for its hearty lunches. The hotel du jour is The Dean , complete with a rooftop bar and restaurant and industrial-chic guest rooms—reclaimed wood, personal turntables—straight out of Brooklyn.

Explore More: See hotel details | See all County Dublin, Ireland hotels

London skyline seen from the River Thames

London, England

We made sure this list of long-weekend long-hauls tops out at seven hours (because truthfully, being in the air longer than a full work day is worth cashing in more PTO to recover from). London never fails to capture our hearts what with its royal neighborhoods, iconic landmarks, deep history, and newfound knack for incredible food and drink. After dropping your bags at The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione , a posh Victorian townhouse boutique in tony South Kensington, hit the ground running: Kensington Palace , the V&A Museum , Royal Albert Hall , and Hyde Park (home to the Serpentine Galleries ) are all just minutes away. Afterwards, head to trendy Marylebone and satiate your appetite at The Wigmore (get the three-cheese stovetop toastie and Cornish cod), then walk it off with some retail therapy down Regent Street.  

Explore More: See hotel details | See all London, United Kingdom hotels

Buildings around the Water of Leith, in Edinburgh's Dean Village.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Most visiting the U.K. for the first time stick to London, but Edinburgh, a few hours north in neighboring Scotland, has charm all its own. Picturesque Georgian townhouses, narrow lanes, storied pubs, and even a hilltop castle in the middle of a medieval Old Town—no wonder J.K. Rowling holed up here to pen her magical Harry Potter novels. If your wallet can handle a room at The Balmoral , go for it: the grand dame, filled with kilted staff and gilded antiques, is as gorgeous as it gets. If not, the Venetian mirrors and moody tones of Nira Caledonia are just as atmospheric. Tea, whiskey, pub life, royal life—what the rest of your stay entails is up to you (though we love enjoying a cuppa at the Elephant House after a hike up Arthur's Seat).

Explore More: See hotel details | See all Edinburgh, United Kingdom hotels

Lisbon, Portugal old town cityscape at dusk.

Lisbon, Portugal

You won’t be harping on that seven-hour flight after stepping into the glorious sunshine of Lisbon, one of Europe’s prettiest—not to mention affordable—capitals on the west coast of Portugal. Skip the in-flight meal and leave room for everything you’re going to want to taste here, from mouthwatering pastéis de nata (egg tart pastries) at Antiga Confeitaria de Belém (open since 1837) to sardines (a city specialty) at Farol de Santa Luzia and a bifana (a kind of pork sandwich), which you can pick up at most lunch spots ( Casa das Bifanas is a local favorite). Design lovers will also find their groove here at places like the LX Factory , an urban complex of boutiques and studios; the MAAT Museum ; and storied hotels like Verride Palácio Santa Catarina , where you’ll find 18th-century painted tiles, original stucco, and a rooftop pool overlooking the city.

Explore More: See hotel details | See all Lisbon, Portugal hotels

Paris Seine view with Eiffel tower and ship at summer

Paris, France

Paris is always a good idea—so good, we think, that it’s more than worth braving the just-under-seven-hour overnight flight for a weekend jaunt. You can’t get more central than The Castille Paris – Starhotels Collezione —a gorgeous boutique hotel in the 1st arrondissement literally right next to the Chanel flagship and within easy walking distance to sites like the Tuileries Gardens, the Musée d’Orsay, the Palais Royal, and the Louvre. If you’ve been there, done that, might we suggest a few off-the-radar spots like the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont —a 61-acre swath of waterfalls, temples, and Gustave Eiffel–designed bridges just begging for a picnic. Shopping in Paris is also nonnegotiable, and one of our favorite spots right now is home concept emporium Merci , where you can pick up finds from labels like Alexander Wang and Solid & Striped. Afterwards, toast to your purchases with a glass (or two) of wine with charcuterie and cheese at La Cave de Septime .

Explore More: See hotel details | See all Paris, France hotels

  • 15 Gorgeous Designer Beach Bags to Buy Now
  • The 5 Best Day Trips from Rome
  • 9 Paris Museums and Art Galleries Worth a Visit This Year

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The best city breaks in Europe

By Sarah James

38 best city breaks in Europe for 2024

Whether you’re looking for a whistle-stop weekend hop or a more languid, leisurely stay, much is to be said about the beauty and ease of a city break in Europe. There are the old favourites, of course – Paris , Amsterdam , Rome – but there’s a clutch of more offbeat places, too, with a fresh dynamism and a new wave of hot hotels and cutting-edge restaurants. Some of the best city breaks in Europe are packed with cultural splendour, others are known for their smart boutiques and world-class fashion scenes, while the best come with a sweep of golden sand. They’re all quick to get to from London – some are even a train ride away; so here’s our pick of the 38 best city breaks in Europe. If you're looking for a more affordable getaway, then take a look at our round up of the cheapest city breaks in Europe.

38 best city breaks in Europe

Kotor Montenegro

1. Kotor, Montenegro

Best for:  yachties Flight time:  2h45 min from London. Alternatively, fly to Dubrovnik in 2h40min – from here, it’s just under two hours to Kotor by car Train time:  Around three days from London via Belgrade, but it’s worth it – the final leg from Belgrade to Podgorica is one of the most scenic train journeys in Europe

Weighing in at just two-thirds the size of Wales and with a population of less than a million, the tiny Balkan state of  Montenegro  still flies under the radar for many European visitors – but just a few hours’ drives from better-known Dubrovnik, UNESCO-protected Kotor shares many of its Croatian neighbour’s charms. Circled by ancient stone walls, its warren of honey-dipped, maze-like streets was intentionally built in such a way to confuse invaders (the Venetian empire ruled her for over 400 years), and there’s a delicious sense that the city was frozen in time. The crystal-clear bay edging Kotor is high on natural drama – flanked by steep, brooding limestone and granite mountains plunging straight into the sea, it could easily masquerade as a Norwegian fjord. While you’re here, jump in a boat and zip out into the water to peek inside Our Lady of the Rocks, a beautiful church squirrelled away on a floating island in front of the city – and make time to scramble up Fortress San Giovanni for a birds’ eye view of the old town’s terracotta rooftops. Timing your visit with the start of the summer yachting season adds an extra layer of fun when glamorous crowds descend on Kotor’s lively waterfront restaurants before cove-hopping along the unspoiled Bay of Kotor.

Where to stay:  Located right on the marina,  Hotel Astoria is packed with character – but if you’ve got a boat at your disposal, stop off at achingly chic  One & Only Portonovi for a night or two on your way in or out of the city.

Syracuse Sicily

2. Syracuse, Sicily

Best for: archaeological enthusiasts Flight time: 3h10 minutes to Catania, which is around an hour’s drive from Syracuse Train time: around 24 hours from London via Paris and Milan and including a sleeper train across the Strait of Messenia to Sicily

In its Greco-Roman heyday, Syracuse was the world's largest and most important ancient city – and today, it’s home to some of Europe’s most celebrated archaeological ruins. But this diminutive, sun-drenched Sicilian city (a few years ago, it recorded  Europe ’s highest-ever temperature) is far more than the sum of its historical parts. With Mount Etna smouldering quietly in the background, glassy Porto Grande Bay gently curling around the city and a beguiling blend of Baroque, Greek, Roman and Medieval architecture packed into the narrow streets, the setting itself does much of the talking. A quick hop across the water leads you to Ortigia, Syracuse’s historical centre, where the daily food market is a hit on the senses and the contemporary restaurants draw critical acclaim. In the summer, rise early to snaffle a spot on the small pebbly beach at Spiaggia di Cala Rossa, or settle in for a coffee and some people-watching in glittering Piazza Duomo. Following your nose is the only real way to explore, but whatever you do, make sure you find your way to Antica Giudecca – their jumbo arancini balls are hands down the best street food in town.

Where to stay: Spread across two beautifully-restored 19th-century palazzi,  Hotel Gutwowski sits on the water’s edge in Ortigia. Ultra-minimalist, dreamy-creamy bedrooms look out over the coastline, and there’s a gorgeous rooftop terrace for sucking in the salty air.

Valencia Spain

3. Valencia, Spain

Best for:  food-lovers Flight time:  2h25min from London Train time:  around 15 hours from London, via Paris and Barcelona

San Sebastian  may be  Spain ’s undisputed culinary capital, but another unsung hero is clicking at its heels. Valencia is the birthplace of paella, Spain’s national dish – and ringed by orange groves bursting with sunshine-sweet citrus fruits, lauded for its bounty of fresh seafood and currently gearing up to host 2023’s  World 50 Best Restaurant Awards  – this city certainly isn’t lagging far behind. With a fraction of the tourist numbers of  Madrid  or  Barcelona , it’s easy to fall for Valencia’s small-town vibe and big-town buzz. Boundary-pushing architecture sits side-by-side with the city’s gothic-meets-baroque cathedral. At the same time, star attractions include the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences and Europe’s biggest and best aquarium, harbouring Patagonian sea lions, beluga whales and black-tipped reef sharks. In the fifties, a devastating flood wrought havoc on the city and forced the government to reroute the river wending its way around the centre – in its place, the Turia Gardens is a 9km oasis of waving palms, boating lakes, manicured gardens and bicycle routes, making two wheels in this city more popular than four. There are beaches: a thrilling mix of pretty coves kissing the edge of old fishermen’s towns and vast open swathes of golden sand with nightlife dotted along the shore.

Where to stay: Make the most of Valencia’s coastal location by checking into  Balandret Hotel , a smart boutique hotel spilling onto the seafront. From here, it’s an easy meander through the Turia Gardens to reach the city centre, with bikes available to hire from reception. For more, see our pick of the best hotels in Valencia .

Lyon France

4. Lyon, France

Best for: foodie Francophiles Flight time: 1h40 minutes from London Train time: 4h41 minutes via the Eurostar

This French city could be our favourite wildcard destination. This gastronomy-obsessed spot has gone from strength to strength on the culinary scene. Head to Vieux Lyon for the small legendary hotspots with reputations that have pulled in foodies from around the world – Les Loges is a Michelin-starred restaurant hidden inside Cour Des Loges, while Daniel et Denise is a more rustic, classic place for chequered table clothes and decadent dishes. Work off your lunch with a hike (or hop in the funicular) up to the top of Fourvière to get a view of the city below, and admire the winding roads, sloping roofs and double-whammy of glistening rivers, the Saône and the Rhône.

Where to stay: For a seriously impressive stay, Cour Des Loges is a masterpiece in historic sophistication. This elegant hotel has decadent rooms, a world-class spa and, of course, the epic restaurant.

Tbilisi Georgia

5. Tbilisi, Georgia

Best for: oenophiles Flight time: Around 6hr55min from London via Istanbul (no word yet on when direct flights will resume after they were paused during the pandemic) Train time: around three days, with stops in Paris and Istanbul and a bus to take you across the Turkish border

Sharing its borders with  Turkey , Armenia and Russia, Georgia’s intriguing geographical location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia lends itself to a complicated and often troubling past. But thanks to a flurry of government investment into the country’s once-dilapidated capital,  Tbilisi  now wears the crown as one of Europe’s coolest cities. A slew of new design hotels and smart boutiques helmed by emerging designers nod to the fresh creative spirit laying down its roots in the city – while by night, crumbling Art Deco mansions transform into underground speakeasies and converted Soviet-era factories moonlight as techno-pounding super clubs to rival Berlin’s. Thankfully, the old town hasn’t lost its soul, and its dusty pockmarked alleyways, pastel-coloured rickety wooden houses, Orthodox church spires and flea markets to rummage through provide a compelling contrast. It’s a little-known fact that Georgia is the oldest wine-making country in the world, and top-notch, laid-back wine bars are ubiquitous here – a decent bottle will set you back just a few pounds. The country is also renowned for its deeply comforting, fuss-free cuisine – and feasts of broth-filled khinkali dumplings and cheese-laded khachapuri bread will leave you begging the chefs for the recipes to take back home.

Where to stay:  With its industrial-chic interiors,  Stamba Hotel is something of a mirror into the city itself – and its lively Pink Bar and Café Stamba are ideal spots to rub shoulders with Tbilisi’s creatives and aesthetes.

Palma Mallorca

6. Palma, Mallorca

Best for:  lo-fi island life Flight time:  2h10min from London Train time:  Around 24 hours, with stops in Paris and Barcelona and a ferry crossing from Barcelona to Palma

Most people think of  Mallorca  and picture the Balearic beauty’s paradisical beaches and seductive mountain villages. But it’s well worth treating the island’s chic capital as more than an airport launchpad. Rising out of the harbour in a rush of golden stone and extraordinary Moorish architecture,  Palma  feels deliciously grown-up – and a world away from the brouhaha of  Mallorca’s beach  clubs and party towns. Its gothic cathedral is nothing short of an architectural wonder, and its raft of artisan interiors shops, kooky art galleries, lively rooftop bars, and experiential restaurants (Vandal, the city’s top table to book, is helmed by ex-Noma culinary wizard Bernabe Caravotta) are reason enough to visit alone. And though they may not be among the island’s most prolific, the beaches here still warrant a mention: palm-shaded Ca’n Pere Antoni stretches for miles along the city promenade, while locals prefer to head to the charming fishing village of Portixol. Just a 10-minute ride out of town, it’s a blissful spot for an early evening dip, followed by dinner at one of the homespun seafood restaurants stacked up along the shore.

Where to stay:   Can Bordoy ’s orange-tree-shaded courtyard and rooftop pool provide welcome respite during steamy Palma summer afternoons – and the hotel’s restaurant, Botanic, is a destination in its own right.

Best for cool capital vibes Flight time 2h 45min from London Train time In around 24 hours via Paris and Spain  For the...

7. Lisbon, Portugal

Best for : cool capital vibes Flight time: 2h 45min from London Train time: In around 24 hours, via Paris and Spain

For the past few years there has been a growing buzz about Lisbon , the hilly coastal capital with pastel-coloured buildings in the old town and trundling yellow trams. There are flea markets and food stalls; street art by Shepard Fairey and shops that champion home-grown design talent. In the evenings, join the youthful creative crowd that gathers at restaurants run by brilliant Portuguese chefs such as José Avillez, who has a number of dining spots in the city, and linger at upscale rooftop bars with dreamy cityscape views.

Where to stay: Almalusa Baixa/Chiado , minutes from the riverside, where the best rooms look out onto Lisbon’s stately municipal square. Memmo Alfama is another standout spot, particularly its rooftop pool where you'll find a classic view of Lisbon's winding streets and colourful buildings. See our edit of the best hotels in Lisbon for more.

Best for a laidback almost carfree city Flight time 1h 15min from London Train time The Eurostar now goes direct from...

8. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Best for: a laid-back, almost car-free city Flight time: 1h 15min from London Train time: The Eurostar now goes direct from London to Amsterdam in 3 hours and 55 minutes

Amsterdam has well and truly shed its stag-do image. These days the compact city is all about creatives pedalling around on their bicycles and buying artisanal bread and cheese at the Saturday Noordermarkt. For a European city break, Amsterdam offers heavy-hitting art galleries and museums (the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum are both musts), cool cafés and independent fashion boutiques (the best are in the Nine Streets neighbourhood). But really, there’s nothing nicer than a morning spent strolling along the pretty canals lined with townhouses and soaking up the chilled vibe of the place.

Where to stay: The Hoxton 's five stitched-together canal houses are the city's coolest stay. Another option is the whimsical Pulitzer Amsterdam , designed by Jacu Strauss and ideal for a romantic break. For more, see our pick of the best hotels in Amsterdam .

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Best for unbeatable romance Flight time 2h 10min from London Train time In around 19 hours via Paris and Turin  Venice...

9. Venice, Italy

Best for: unbeatable romance Flight time: 2h 10min from London Train time: In around 19 hours, via Paris and Turin

Venice is always a spectacular destination. But beyond the obvious tick-off-the-list landmarks – glittering St Mark’s Basilica, Gothic Doge’s Palace, the Rialto Bridge – there is a quiet labyrinth of cobbled streets and narrow canals to explore. Art fans shouldn’t miss the 20th-century masterpieces in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Miró, Mondrian, Dalí) or the Venice Biennale, which typically runs from May to November.

Where to stay:   Casa Burano , on colourful Burano Island, is a slice of authentic Venice without the crowds. For something grander, check in to  Il Palazzo Experimental , where balconies have postcard views over the Giudecca Canal and  aperitivo  hour at the bar is essential. See our guide to the  best hotels in Venice . 

Au Vieux Paris dArcole

10. Paris, France

Best for: chic boutiques Flight time: In around 1 hour and 15 minutes from London Train time: The Eurostar goes direct to Paris in 2 hours and 19 minutes

The classic city break in Europe, getting lost in Paris is half the fun; the only real way to explore the city’s 20 different arrondissements is on foot, stopping to people-watch on wicker-chair-lined café terraces spilling onto beautiful cobbled streets. The most romantic city in Europe (and the world) hasn’t just got world-class culture, it’s also got smart boutiques, cutting-edge concept stores, jewel-box patisseries, colourful flea markets and a superlative food scene. And if you’re coming from London, you don’t even have to get on a plane to get there.

Where to stay:   Cheval Blanc Paris , with its global art collection and sleek rooms that overlook the Seine, is one of the best new hotels in 2022. For something cosier and velvet-covered, reserve a room at the boutique  Monsier George  in the 8th arrondissement. See our pick of the  best hotels in Paris . 

San Sebastian Spain

11. San Sebastian, Spain

Best for: Eating Flight time: Fly to Biarritz or Bilbao in around 1h 55min. San Sebastian is a 45min drive from both airports Train time: Around 10 hours, changing in Paris and a choice of other stop-off points in France

With more Michelin stars per square metre than anywhere else in the world, San Sebastian is the ultimate culinary destination. Yet it’s not all about the food. The gastro-capital of Europe’s elegant architecture and two beaches (one a sweep of glorious golden sand, the other a surfers’ nirvana) make this sophisticated city one of Spain’s most handsome Atlantic resorts. The best way to get under its skin is by sampling the local pintxo-bar scene, washed down with a glass of local tzakoli fizzy wine. For true once-in-a-lifetime cooking, snag a reservation at one of the city’s gourmet hotspots such as Mugaritz or Arzak. If you’re feeling active, hike up to Monte Urgull to visit the remains of the city’s 12th-century fort, or paddleboard across to Santa Clara Island – the cool waters lapping the shore bring welcome respite during the steamy summer months.

Where to stay: Arbaso , the city’s coolest new urban hotel where suites are so large they feel like apartments and have perfect views of the Cathedral. Sun lovers should check out Lasala Plaza which has its own rooftop ‘solarium’ with a swimming pool and bar. See our best hotels in San Sebastian for more recommendations. 

Reykjavik Iceland

12. Reykjavik, Iceland

Best for: Adventure Flight time: 3h 10min from London Train time: N/A 

Iceland ’s diminutive capital is small enough to explore in a day, yet size doesn’t stop this Nordic star from pulsating with a big city energy. During the summer, the city hardly sleeps, with revellers pouring out of bars and clubs to chase the midnight sun. Rather than hurtling between big-ticket attractions, this is a city to take in slowly. Spend a weekend soaking in the fresh air (it’s a welcome antidote to some of Europe’s more traffic-clogged capitals), bathing in the city’s geothermal pools and joining puffin and whale-watching tours just offshore. And once you’ve ticked off the main sites, use the city as a base for exploring the country’s more otherworldly wonders. You only need to drive 30 minutes out of Reykjavik for a glimpse of the glaciers, lava fields, and natural drama that give Iceland gets its bucket-list reputation.

Where to stay: The Reykjavik Edition is a breath of cool, fresh air in a city which lives and breathes style and creativity. Outside of Reykjavik, Hotel Rangá is a chic log-style cabin in the middle of Iceland’s south coast. For more, see our guide to the best hotels in Iceland . 

Best for a step back in time Flight time 2hr 30min from London Train time In around 19 hours via Paris and Turin  Rome...

13. Rome, Italy

Best for: a step back in time Flight time: 2hr 30min from London Train time: In around 19 hours, via Paris and Turin

Rome isn’t just a city, it’s an open-air museum. Crumbling landmarks and classical ruins dot the cobbled streets of the centro storico and line the grand boulevards, while the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon mark the city’s 3,000-year history. It’s got a world-class art scene, Renaissance palazzos, Baroque churches and, of course, a whole country within the city: Vatican City is the grand centre of the Roman Catholic Church, an independent city-state and one of the most formidable sites in the Western world. Head up the city’s seven hills to the cool neighbourhoods of Monti or Trastevere, where lively trattorias spill out onto the pavements and piazzas, and locals and tourists alike come out to soak up la dolce vita .

Where to stay:   Hotel Vilòn , a boutique hotel that perfectly showcases the city’s sharp sophistication. For something edgier,  Hotel Chapter Rome  offers a taste of New York cool in Rome. See our guide to the  best hotels in Rome . 

Best for cool concept stores Flight time 3hr 30min on the Eurostar from London St Pancras changing at Brussels Train...

14. Antwerp, Belgium

Best for: cool concept stores Flight time: 3hr 30min on the Eurostar from London St Pancras, changing at Brussels Train time: In around 3.5 hours via Brussels

Paris, Amsterdam and London – those city-break big hitters – may only be a couple of hours or so from pocket-sized Antwerp, but here’s a city that’s reassuringly less visited, cheaper, edgier and stuffed full of savvy creatives. And despite its size, this achingly cool port town packs a punch, racing to keep up with its better-known European fashion neighbours. It’s home to stylish concept stores; the studios of design greats such as Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester; diamond dealers; urban beach clubs; and streets humming with outdoor bars and cool restaurants. And, best of all, you can get here by train – Antwerpen Centraal station is a sight to behold.

Where to stay: August , a hotel set inside a former Augustine convent – with many of its original features still intact.

Valetta Malta

15. Valetta, Malta

Best for: History buffs Flight time: 3h 15min from London Train time: Around two days, changing in Paris and various stop-off points in Italy, before taking a ferry across to Malta

Clocking up over 300 days of sunshine each year, Valletta is Europe’s sunshine city – and Malta’s tiny capital makes an ideal city break for those in search of a warm-weather escape. Once dilapidated, now a hub of design hotels and buzzing bars, with a packed calendar of cultural events, this modest beauty wears its fascinating history with pride. Flit between the extraordinarily elaborate St John’s Co-Cathedral (home to two of Caravaggio’s greatest masterpieces) and the achingly modern Parliament Building. Then putter across the harbour to the Three Cities, a trio of ancient fortified towns so beautifully preserved they feel like stepping into a 17th century time capsule. You could easily cross from one end of the city to the other in less than half an hour, so if you’re here for a few days, the island’s intoxicating countryside and the coast is begging to be explored.

Where to stay: Iniala Harbour House , spread across four beautifully-restored townhouses – the hotel doubles up as an art gallery showcasing the talents of local Maltese creatives.

Best for design ideas Flight time 1h 50min from London Train time In around 20 hours from London via Brussels and...

16. Copenhagen, Denmark

Best for: design ideas Flight time: 1h 50min from London Train time: In around 20 hours from London, via Brussels and Cologne

For real-life interiors inspiration, as opposed to scrolling through images on Instagram, Copenhagen is the ultimate go-to, from the flagship store of beloved homewares brand Hay to Stilleben for accessories (smoked-glass vases, retro floral tea cosies, rose-quartz teaspoons) and art prints from the Paper Collective Design Gallery. Even the best restaurants – Noma 2.0 , the Ilse Crawford-designed Winterspring dessert bar – have desirable interiors, meaning you can soak up style ideas as you eat.

Where to stay: Hotel Sanders , the vision of former Danish ballet star Alexander Kølpin, where the sophisticated design is on point.

Best for cultural majesty Flight time 2h 10min from London Train time In around 18 hours from London via Paris and Milan...

17. Florence, Italy

Best for: cultural majesty Flight time: 2h 10min from London Train time: In around 18 hours from London, via Paris and Milan

The museums here are chock-full of world-famous, priceless Renaissance art, from the Uffizi (with works by Botticelli, Caravaggio and da Vinci) to the Galleria dell’Accademia (Michelangelo’s David is the biggest crowd-pleaser). Not to mention the dizzy-making ceiling frescoes in the Magi Chapel of the Palazzo Medici Riccardi; 16th-century sculptures dotted among the trees and roses in the sprawling Boboli Gardens; and views of the red-tiled roofs of the city from the Duomo’s bell tower. A head-spinning tour of sensational sights.

Where to stay: SoprArno Suites , a 16th-century palazzo in the hip Oltrarno district where rooms are furnished with eclectic flea-market finds. For more, see our best hotels in Florence guide. 

Staircase at Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary

18. Braga, Portugal

Best for: an under-the-radar artistic escape Flight time: 2h25 minutes from London to Porto, then a 40 minute train ride to Braga Train time: around 44 hours with at least three changes

This underrated European city also happens to be one of its most creative – and just a 40 minute train ride from Porto. UNESCO recognised Portugal’s third-largest city as Creative City for its contribution to global media art and technology, and places like the Duarte Sequeira gallery regularly hosts some of the world’s most exciting up-and-coming artists. For more classic art, visit the Nogueira da Silva Museum where a collection of historic work including Renaissance pieces and Portuguese painting makes for a well-spent afternoon. The city has some excellent food options too – Tabique offers modern small plates in a pared-back space, and Bonna Pastelaria on Rua Dom Paio Mendes has a great selection of gluten-free sweet treats (including pastel de natas).

Where to stay: Hotel Vila Gale Collection Braga is right in the city centre, a converted monastery overlooking the city’s main square, just a hop and a skip away from the Braga Se Cathedral.

Best for a slice of Scandi lakeside living Flight time 2h 25min from London Train time In around 27 hours via Brussels...

19. Stockholm, Sweden

Best for: a slice of Scandi lakeside living Flight time: 2h 25min from London Train time: In around 27 hours, via Brussels and Cologne

Spread across 14 islands all connected by bridges, Stockholm really comes into its own in the spring and summer when the loveliest way to explore is by boat. Float from the historic old town, Gamla Stan, on Stadsholmen to artsy Södermalm (don’t miss the excellent Fotografiska gallery, housed in a former customs building on the waterfront), then on to the green oasis of Djurgården island, where the Rosendals Garden café is a great pit stop for lunch (you eat in greenhouses surrounded by orchards).

Where to stay: Ett Hem , a townhouse hotel with relaxed home-from-home interiors by design doyenne Ilse Crawford.

Best for guaranteed sun Flight time 2hr 45min from London Train time In around 23 hours via Paris Hendaye Valladolid and...

20. Seville, Spain

Best for: guaranteed sun Flight time: 2hr 45min from London Train time: In around 23 hours, via Paris, Hendaye, Valladolid and Madrid

The sun-drenched Andalusian capital is one of Europe’s steamiest cities. Come for glasses of ice-cold sherry and plates of jamón; the orange-scented air; quaint medieval lanes; whitewashed houses; a fiery flamenco scene, extravagant Moorish architecture and the world’s largest cathedral – with Columbus' tomb hidden inside. There’s a real old-world glamour to Seville; 17th-century palaces have been converted into stylish hotels and horse-drawn carriages line up beside pretty courtyards filled with tinkling fountains.

Where to stay:  The neo-Moorish  Hotel Alfonso XIII , ever since it opened in 1929, has set the benchmark for Spain’s grand hotels. For a boutique stay, try  Corral del Rey , where two of the rooms have private pool terraces. For more recommendations, see our guide to the  best hotels in Seville . 

Best for the influx art scene Flight time 1h 50min from London Train time In around 9 hours via Brussels and Cologne ...

21. Berlin, Germany

Best for: the in-flux art scene Flight time: 1h 50min from London Train time: In around 9 hours, via Brussels and Cologne

Berlin is a fascinating place and a monument of living history. The Berlin Wall was dismantled in 1989, but the East and West still show signs of the political, cultural and physical divide that existed for almost 30 years. Yet the city is by no means stifled by its extraordinary past – it now hurtles headfirst into the future with hip bars and an unrivalled party scene, smart hotels, gourmet restaurants and experimental art galleries. There is plenty to see, from the graffiti-covered remnants of the wall itself to Hitler’s bunker, the Norman Foster-designed Reichstag dome, the New Synagogue and the Berlin Zoo.

Where to stay:   Sir Savigny Hotel  in Charlottenburg, where masculine interiors are inspired by the hotel’s namesake, a fictional character imagined as a well-travelled bon vivant. Architecture buffs will want to check in to  Hotel Oderberger , which was once a palatial public bathhouse designed by Pergamon Museum architect Ludwig Hoffmann in 1989. See our guide to the  best hotels in Berlin .

Best for cuttingedge creativity Flight time 2h 25min from London Train time In around 16 hours via Brussels and Cologne ...

22. Warsaw, Poland

Best for: cutting-edge creativity Flight time: 2h 25min from London Train time: In around 16 hours, via Brussels and Cologne

Edgy art collectives with studios in the old industrial quarter; vintage shops and jazz cafés that appear almost overnight among dilapidated houses; innovative chefs revolutionising the food scene – these are just some of the trends making Warsaw feel so fresh and exciting right now. There are also speciality coffee roasters and a lively speakeasy bar scene, and the Neon Museum, which is devoted to preserving dazzlingly inventive Cold War-era signs from the former Eastern Bloc country.

Where to stay: Raffles Europejski , a grand old city staple recently refreshed with a new, understated elegance.

Gothenburg Sweden

23. Gothenburg, Sweden

Best for: A city break with a conscience Flight time: 1h 55min from London Train time: Around 20 hours, via Brussels and a choice of other stop-off points in Germany and Denmark

Stockholm's easy-going little sister Gothenburg still flies under the radar for most city-breakers. For the past four years, this port city on the southwestern coast of Sweden has been crowned the most sustainable destination in the world. More than half of its public transport network runs off renewable energy and ahead-of-the-curve restaurants hone in on zero-waste, ultra-locavore cooking (the black lobster plucked from the waters here is considered the best in the world). Ethical fashion stores fill the wide boulevards, and even the rides at the world-famous Liseberg Amusement Park are powered by wind energy. It’s the perfect city/nature hybrid, and after visiting the impressive art collection at the Kondstmuseum or joining locals in their daily Fika ritual (tucking into tea and cake), it’s an easy cycle ride to reach the end of the peninsula. From here, ferries shuttle visitors across to the neighbouring coastal islands, where kayaking, fishing and wild swimming await.

Where to stay: The super-central Clarion Hotel Post , which has a slick rooftop pool.

Best for a historical hit Flight time 3hr 40min from London Train time In 23 days with potential stopoff points in Paris...

24. Athens, Greece

Best for: a historical hit Flight time: 3hr 40min from London Train time: In 2-3 days, with potential stop-off points in Paris, Munich , Zagreb, Belgrade or Sofia

With its alluring blend of ancient and modern and a skyline stretching all the way down to the Aegean, Athens has undergone a real renaissance in recent years to become of the best city breaks in Europe. There are still pockets of the city that have kept their authentic grit, of course – the Acropolis looms large over hilly streets filled with tumbledown buildings and politically charged street art – but a new wave of creative energy is leading the change. Today, the city is filled with kooky pop-ups, start-ups, art galleries, cool little boutiques and a slew of exciting new hotels. And there are beaches too: pine-fringed peninsulas and stretches of empty golden sand where rustic family-run tavernas rub along with glamorous beach clubs .

Where to stay: xenodocheio Milos , located smack bang in the commercial and political heart of Athens and born from chef Costas Spiliadis. We also like Perianth Hotel , a modernist, super-central stay by one of Greece’s hottest design studios. See our pick of the best hotels in Athens . 

Best for outdoor pursuits Flight time 2hr 10min from London Train time In 23 days with potential stopoff points in...

25. Oslo, Norway

Best for: outdoor pursuits Flight time: 2hr 10min from London Train time: In 2-3 days, with potential stop-off points in Brussels, Hamburg , Cologne, Copenhagen and Gothenburg

Oslo may have always lagged behind its better-known Scandi neighbours Stockholm and Copenhagen, but this easy-going city still has bags of appeal. Make no mistake, it’s expensive, but with its blend of top restaurants, fantastic museums, pretty 19th-century architecture and a burgeoning art scene, this compact city has a newfound confidence. And there’s more: it’s circled by mountains and sea, so visitors can hike in the summer, ski in the winter and visit the region’s lush green fjords filled with pretty forest-shrouded islets all year round.

Where to stay: The Thief , a modernist boutique hotel with a credible art collection and the best harbour views in town.

Best for fashion Flight time 1hr 55min from London Train time In around 14 hours via Paris  The fashion industry may be...

26. Milan, Italy

Best for: fashion Flight time: 1hr 55min from London Train time: In around 14 hours, via Paris

The fashion industry may be the lifeblood of Italy’s capital of chic, but beyond the sophisticated storefronts and grand design houses, Milan boasts a haul of its own cultural treasures, too. The magnificent Gothic Duomo – the third largest church in Europe – has views stretching all the way to the Alps; Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper adorns the walls of the Santa Maria delle Grazie monastery, while the La Scala opera house is the world’s best. And if you want to escape the city, the glamorous, mountain-fringed shores of Lake Como are only an hour away by train.

Where to stay: Set in an early 20th-century residence a few steps from the Fashion District, the Mandarin Oriental is one of the top addresses to know about. At Bulgari Hotel Milano you'll find a jet-set crowd mingling within its gorgeous garden and 12-metre gold mosaic swimming pool. For more, see our pick of the best hotels in Milan . 

Cardiff Bay Cardiff Wales UK

27. Cardiff, Wales, UK

Best for: shopping and greenery Flight time: A flight from London to Cardiff would take around half an hour, but with the extra time of getting to and from airports it's much more worth your while to take the train. Train time: the train from London Paddington to Cardiff takes just under two hours.

This all-too-often overlooked UK city is one not to forget about when considering a European city break. Cardiff moves to the beat of its own drum, not one for fads or trends. The Welsh capital is home to a host of independent shops and cutesy boutiques, with lots of neighbourhood restaurants to stop off at for a mid-shopping spree break. Book a table at Dusty’s in Canton for Neapolitan pizza, or head to Brother Thai for the legendary sticky spicy beef. The city stays true to the country’s green reputation – there are plenty of parks in the city centre (Bute and Roath are two of our favourites), but it doesn’t take long to escape the city borders to find some classic Welsh woodlands.

Where to stay: Cardiff is yet to welcome many hotels worthy of its idyllic city-break reputation, but its Airbnb scene is where it’s at. This city-centre townhouse is sleek, modern and sleeps four.

Best for port tasting in the prettiest setting Flight time 2h 25min from London Train time In around 23 hours via Paris...

28. Porto, Portugal

Best for: port tasting in the prettiest setting Flight time: 2h 25min from London Train time: In around 23 hours, via Paris with various potential stop-off points in France, Spain or Portugal

With a distinctly different character to Lisbon (it’s easier to navigate on foot, for starters), Porto is perhaps most famous for its port-wine cellars on the south side of the Douro River. Take a guided tour, followed by a tasting, before making your way back over the Dom Luís I Bridge to wander the photogenic streets of the UNESCO World Heritage Ribeira old town and while away the afternoon at a riverside bar.

Where to stay: Torel 1884 , a former palazzo that feels like a lovely private home. For views of the Douro, try Torel Avantgarde , a boutique hotel within walking distance of São Bento train station. For more, see the best hotels in Porto . 

Best for architecture Flight time 1hr 30min from London or 4hr 20 mins on the train from London Kings Cross Train time...

29. Edinburgh, UK

Best for: architecture Flight time: 1hr 30min from London or 4hr 20 mins on the train from London Kings Cross Train time: Direct trains go from King’s Cross in around 5 hours

For a city break closer to home, Scotland’s cultural and political capital also happens to be one of Europe’s loveliest cities. Wander down cobbled lanes, stroll up one of the city’s seven hills for far-reaching views of the turreted skyline stretching all the way down to the coast, and admire the varied architecture of the distinctly Georgian and medieval parts of the city. A trip during the summer, when the Fringe – the largest arts festival in the world – brings the city alive, is a must. And if you want to escape to the country, spend a night or two at Gleneagles , just an hour’s drive up into the Highlands . The all-singing, all-dancing hotel has had a slick makeover – and it’s now one of the UK’s hottest places to stay.

Where to stay: Eden Locke – with its hipster Georgian-townhouse studio apartments – is an incredibly affordable option in a central George Street location. For a quintessential stay, The Balmoral is the city's grand dame hotel. See our guide to the best hotels in Edinburgh . 

Best for the perfect seacity combo Flight time 2h 5min from London Train time In around 17 hours via Paris and a choice...

30. Barcelona, Spain

Best for: the perfect sea-city combo Flight time: 2h 5min from London Train time: In around 17 hours, via Paris and a choice of other French stop-off points

Madrid might be the Spanish capital, but Barcelona draws the crowds for its winning mix of Modernist Gaudí architecture, Michelin-starred restaurants, characterful barrios and clutch of golden beaches. To one side of the marina, Barceloneta thrums with locals in summer; for quieter, emptier stretches of sand keep walking north along the coast to neighbouring Nova Icària and Bogatell (from here you can nip inland to the arty El Poblenou neighbourhood). Keen kite surfers head south to Castelldefels, a 30-minute drive away.

Where to stay: Ian Schrager’s The Barcelona Edition , with its be-seen rooftop pool and basement cocktail bar/nightclub. At ME Barcelona , suites are worth the splurge; several count expansive terraces with Jacuzzis where you can soak while taking in sweeping city views. See our pick of the best hotels in Barcelona for more. 

Best for a spa scene Flight time 2hr 30min from London Train time In around 22 hours via Brussels Cologne and Munich ...

31. Budapest, Hungary

Best for: a spa scene Flight time: 2hr 30min from London Train time: In around 22 hours, via Brussels, Cologne and Munich

Hungary ’s capital is broken into two distinct parts – Buda and Pest – split by the beautiful Danube River running right through the middle. Most of the action happens in Pest, on the east of the river – here, you’ll find scores of smart restaurants, cool street-food spots, big-name stores and grand, gilded cafés. But wander across the landmark Chain Bridge to find the more authentic side. Over in hilly Buda, there’s the magical Buda Castle and some of Budapest’s best-known thermal baths: the city was founded by the Romans for its healing waters, and the spa scene is just as much a part of daily life today as it was back then.

Where to stay: Matild Palace , a restored heritage building right on the river.

Marseille France

32. Marseille, France

Best for: Culture by the sea Flight time: 1h 55min from London Train time: Around 6h 45min from London, changing in Paris

Travellers often overlook Marseille , heading to more polished Nice, the leaping-off point for glitzy jaunts along the Cote d’Azur. But this multicultural city is shaking off its bad-boy reputation. Rise early to catch the seafood market at the Norman Foster-designed Vieux-Port, get your art fix at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, and then dip into the flurry of smart boutiques slowly overtaking the city’s pastel-hued streets. The emblematic hilltop basilica boasts widescreen views – work up an appetite climbing to the top before tucking into a steaming bowl of bouillabaisse at locals’ favourite Chez Fonfon, squirrelled away in a quiet inlet just outside the centre. Not only is the city full of cultural riches; it’s the gateway to the Calanques National Park – one of the wildest sweeps of the Mediterranean coastline packed with jaw-dropping hiking trails and azure-blue swimming bays.

Where to stay: Tuba Club , a former scuba diving school turned boutique hotel, set on rocky cliffs overlooking the Med. For more, see our guide to the best hotels in the South of France . 

Best for an authentic slice of Italian life Flight time 2hr 40min from London Train time In around 20 hours via Paris...

33. Naples, Italy

Best for : an authentic slice of Italian life Flight time: 2hr 40min from London Train time: In around 20 hours, via Paris and Milan

Naples may be indelibly chaotic, but it’s well and truly shed its image as the gritty, Mafia-ridden place it used to be. Its dishevelled centre is chock-a-block with churches, faded frescos, Caravaggios and tiny cloistered gardens, while a burgeoning art scene adds to the city’s dynamism. Many travellers only visit in transit, stopping off briefly before catching the ferry to the glitzier Capri , but – with the shadow of Vesuvius looming in the background – this is one of Italy’s most historically fascinating and authentic cities.

Where to stay: Primo Piano Posillipo , a funky four-bedroom B&B in a 19th-century palazzo. 

Best for grand cafs and microbreweries Flight time 1hr 55min from London Train time In around 19 hours via Paris and...

34. Prague, Czech Republic

Best for: grand cafés and microbreweries Flight time: 1hr 55min from London Train time: In around 19 hours, via Paris and Zurich

Prague is nicknamed the City of a Hundred Spires – its magnificent skyline is scattered with medieval church towers, while its streets are punctuated with striking Gothic and baroque architecture. Inside the UNESCO-protected old town, it’s a warren of uneven lanes and hidden courtyards, microbreweries, turn-of-the-century grand cafés and chocolate-box houses. But there’s another side to the city too: one of offbeat cultural venues, hip bars, arthouse cinemas and buzzy markets, squirrelled away in cool neighbourhoods including Holešovice, Prague’s former rundown meatpacking district.

Where to stay: The Augustine – hands down the city’s best hotel, with Olga Polizzi interiors and a sweeping courtyard restaurant.

Best for island hopping Flight time 2hr 40min from London Train time In around 36 hours with potential stopoff points in...

35. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Best for: island hopping Flight time: 2hr 40min from London Train time: In around 36 hours, with potential stop-off points in Paris, Munich and Zagreb/Split

Byron famously called Dubrovnik the Pearl of the Adriatic, and it’s easy to see why. The UNESCO-protected, perfectly preserved old walled city is filled with elegant Baroque architecture, winding limestone streets and top-notch seafood restaurants, while the city’s lick of sun-drenched coastline is fantastic in the summer. Escape to the pine-covered Elafiti Islands on day trips, stopping to swim in secluded bays and secret coves, or head up the coast to visit the world-class wineries and oyster farms in the nearby Peljesac peninsula.

Where to stay: Villa Dubrovnik , set in a modernist glass and stone building perched on top of a rocky outcrop overlooking the Dalmatian Sea. 

Best for rooftop drinking Flight time 2hr 25min from London Train time In around 19 hours via Paris and Barcelona  What...

36. Madrid, Spain

Best for: rooftop drinking Flight time: 2hr 25min from London Train time: In around 19 hours, via Paris and Barcelona

What the Spainish capital may lack in grand monuments and world-famous sites, it more than makes up for with its relentless energy and vibrancy. Each of the compact city’s barrios has its own distinct character; come for the art and the architecture; stroll through the beautifully manicured Retiro Park; and pick up everything from antiques to vintage fashion at El Rastro, one of Europe’s best-known flea markets. Dip in and out of family-run tapas bars, the sprawling Mercado San Miguel food hall and a clutch of brilliant Michelin-starred restaurants – or just people-watch from a pavement café with a fishbowl G&T.

Where to stay: The Principal Madrid , with its buzzy rooftop terrace and superlative city views. The undisputed grande-dame is Westin Palace Madrid , where a cocktail in La Rotonda lobby bar, beneath the famous stained-glass cupola, is a must. See our edit of the best Madrid hotels for more. 

Best for a wintery break Flight time 2hr 30min from London Train time In around 17 hours via Brussels and Cologne ...

37. Vienna, Austria

Best for: a wintery break Flight time: 2hr 30min from London Train time: In around 17 hours, via Brussels and Cologne

Austria ’s capital really comes into its own as a winter city break , when a crisp layer of snow covers the streets, its storied coffee houses emit a welcoming glow and pretty cobbled squares transform into magical Christmas markets . But with its beguiling blend of old and new, Vienna – one of the grandest city breaks in Europe – is spectacular at any time. It’s known for its imperial palaces, pristine gardens and gilded ballrooms and Mozart’s musical legacy; come for the opera, the waltzes or to listen to the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Where to stay: The grand, magnificent Park Hyatt Vienna – its bar is one of the city’s hottest.

Best for revelry Flight time 1hr 25min from London Train time Direct trains to Holyhead take just under 4 hours while...

38. Dublin, Ireland

Best for: revelry Flight time: 1hr 25min from London Train time: Direct trains to Holyhead take just under 4 hours, while the ferry to Dublin takes just over 3 hours

Dublin is often voted one of the friendliest cities in the world, with its down-to-earth atmosphere and welcoming people. It’s a city rich in history, too, with its narrow streets, beautiful Georgian squares, majestic St Patrick’s Cathedral (the largest in Ireland) and imposing castle. Discover the city’s legendary pubs, rifle through a treasure trove of goods at the George’s Street Arcade flea market, bag a table at one of Dublin’s clutch of Michelin-starred restaurants or head along the coast for bracing walks along Dublin bay.

Where to stay: The Westbury , a grand, family-owned hotel with the best location in the city.

Old city of Bucharest Romania

Old city of Bucharest, Romania

People on a pier of a pillar of Galata bridge in the background YeniValide mosque and Nuruosmaniye Mosque Sultanahmet...

Istanbul, Turkey

Main Market square of Krakow

Krakow, Poland

Stari Most Old Bridge over the river Neretva connecting the two parts of the city seen from a distance

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tirana Albania View of a carousel  water fountain on the Skanderbeg Square in downtown Tirana

Tirana, Albania

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26 Amazing Summer Weekend Getaways in Europe (in 2024)

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Nicole

There are many incredible summer destinations in Europe if you are looking for a short vacation away from your busy life. Whether you prefer somewhere in Western or Eastern Europe, or somewhere in the north or the south, there is a fantastic mid week break or weekend escape within easy reach. City breaks, beach vacations, or being immersed in nature are easily available in Europe for a quick summer trip. The months of June, July, August and September offer some of the best weather of the year. Beyond enjoying sun and warmth, that also means you won’t have to worry about the weather preventing you from reaching your ultimate holiday destination quickly and easily whether you hop on a plane, or decide to take a road trip. Here are 26 of the best summer weekend getaways in Europe.

This post may contain affiliate links. That means that I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you buy something through my site. This helps me run my website and produce the articles that I hope you find helpful.

Other Options

There are many amazing destinations In Europe. If after reading this article, you are curious about other options, you are in luck! Here are some more fantastic spots in Europe.

If you are solely looking for a summer beach destination in Europe, most of which would be amazing for a weekend away, please review:

  • 27 Best Beaches To Visit In Europe In June ; and 
  • 25 Best Beach Holidays in Europe In September . 

Most of us would prefer not to blow the annual travel budget with a short summer trip. For those looking for affordable options in Europe, please see 28 Best Cheap Places In Europe For A Summer Vacation .

For those looking for fantastic destinations with cooler summer temperatures, please see  24 Best Places To Visit In Europe For Mild Summer Weather .

If you love to find the best spots for the most beautiful sunsets, check out  28 Best Places In Europe For Most Beautiful Sunsets .

If you are curious about the best European destinations during specific summer months, the following articles would be helpful:

  • 25 Best Places To Visit In Europe In June ;
  • 24 Best Places To Visit In Europe In July ; and
  • 22 Best Places To Visit In Europe In August .

The United Kingdom has many wonderful summer getaway destinations:

  • 28 Best Places To Visit In The UK in June ;
  • 23 Best Places To Visit In The UK In July ;
  • 22 Best Places To Visit In The UK in August ; and
  • 26 Best Places To Visit In The UK In Summer .

Best European Weekend Trips In Summer

Here are 26 of the best quick vacation getaways in summer in Europe . They are all within a 2 hours drive of a significant airport, although most are much much closer. For each  destination , the best things to do are highlighted as well as what kind of summer weather you can expect in June, July, August and September. Lastly, if a remarkable hotel is available, that is included and described as well.

best weekend getaway in summer in western Europe

San Sebastien, Spain

By Milijana from World Travel Connector

San Sebastian in northern Spain is one of the most glamorous cities in Europe. It is the perfect spot for a city and beach getaway in summer in Western Europe.

Impressive San Sebastian was a favorite vacation destination of Spanish and French aristocracy in the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. In addition, Queen Maria Christina and Coco Chanel, among many other royals and celebrities, enjoyed spending their summers in San Sebastian. 

This beautiful Basque city is famous for its Belle Époque architecture, white sand beaches, upscale summer houses, delicious food, and Michelin-star restaurants. It is among the  best cities in Spain  for beach lovers, gourmands, and music fans.

The prettiest urban beach in Europe is in San Sebastian. Famous La Concha has been awarded the most beautiful European urban beach several times. Swimming and sunbathing on La Concha beach are among the most popular things in San Sebastian in summer.

In addition to the best urban beach in Europe, the highest number of Michelin-star restaurants per square meter in a city in Europe is in San Sebastian.

The renowned Veuve Clicquot called Elena Arzak (the chef of the iconic Michelin-star Arzak restaurant) one of the best chefs in the world. If you want to try traditional Basque cuisine and creative and avant-garde meals, book a table at Aryak restaurant in San Sebastian.

For lovers of music, San Sebastian hosts the Jazzaldia festival (a top jazz festival in the world) in July and the Classical Music Fortnight festival (a top classical music festival in the world) in August. 

The city of San Sebastian is in the Biscay bay in the Basque Country in northern Spain. It has an oceanic climate with warm summers and cold and wet winters.

The best time to visit San Sebastian is in summer when the rain falls the least. The average high temperatures range from 71 °F to 76 °F with average evening lows around 62 °F.

Expect very little rain and only a few days of humidity in July and August.

Best Way To Reach Destination

San Sebastian international airport is 13 mi from the city. Direct bus lines connect the airport and the city center. 

Hotel Recommendation

Milijana says, “Book a room in the 4-star Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, which overlooks La Concha beach, and you will have one of the best summer city breaks in your life!”

best summer weekend trip in northern Europe

Berlin, Germany

By Ali from Berlin Travel Tips

Summer is one of the most popular times to visit Berlin in Northern Europe, and with good reason. The weather is gorgeous, the days are long, and the city is alive with activity. With only a few days away, there are plenty of  things to do in Berlin  in the summertime.

Explore the many sights in the Mitte district. Museum Island is a collection of five world class museums filled with culture, art, and history. The Berlin Cathedral is also located here, and it’s one of the most famous sights in the city. Farther down Unter den Linden, you’ll reach Brandenburg Gate, one of the former city gates that makes for some great photos.

Don’t miss the East Side Gallery, the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall. It is also covered in amazing art. Enjoy the warm weather and take your time admiring the display.

To learn more about the Berlin Wall, visit the Bernauer Strasse Berlin Wall Memorial. This is a mostly outdoor memorial detailing how this street was transformed when the Wall went up, and how people tried to escape from the Soviet controlled East Berlin to West. Don’t miss the two short films in the Visitors Center that explains this history.

Summer is also a great time in Berlin to enjoy lots of festivals. The Carnival of Cultures celebrates diversity and cultures from around the world, and takes place in late May or early June.

Several concert halls hold open air performances in summer, such as the Konzerthaus at Gendarmenmarkt and the Berlin State Opera House on Unter den Linden. 

Berlin’s Pride celebration takes place in July, with the biggest event being Christopher Street Day (CSD). 

Berlin Fashion Week and the Long Night of Museums (80+ museums stay open until midnight) also take place in summer.

The average high temperatures in Berlin are in the low to mid 70s in the summer months (although September’s average is 66 °F). However, this is just an average. There are always a few weeks when the high is in the 80s or 90s, so make sure your hotel has air conditioning before you book.

Expect a few days of light rain and there shouldn’t be any humidity.

The Berlin Brandenburg Airport is located south of the city. Take the FEX (airport express) train from the airport. It will only take 30 minutes to reach Berlin Hauptbahnhof.

Ali says, “The 25Hours Hotel has fantastic views, a great cocktail bar, and air conditioning.”

Best summer weekend vacation in Western Europe

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

By Martha from

Lauterbrunnen is an impossibly picture-perfect village at the foot of the Bernese Alps in southwestern Switzerland. It’s a great place for a summer weekend getaway because it is stunningly beautiful and while it   feels very far from maddening crowds, it’s actually only a short journey from the Swiss capital, Bern.  

There are plenty of  things to do in Lauterbrunnen  in summer over a long weekend – and they all involve nature, spectacular landscapes and bucolic, Swiss beauty.

Top of the list should be enjoying the scenic viewpoints in and around the village, including a view of Lauterbrunnen church framed by epic mountains and Staubbach Falls, the highest free-falling waterfall in Switzerland.

If you’re feeling active, there are plenty of hiking and cycling routes around the valley. And it’s a real treat to take one of the mountain trains or cable cars up to one of the mountain villages, such as Mürren or Wengen.

Finally, from Lauterbrunnen, you can make the scenic train journey all the way to Jungfraujoch. At 3463 meters above sea level, it’s the highest railway station in Europe. The altitude might take your breath away, as well as the snowy mountains and the view towards the Aletsch Glacier. In summer, it will be chilly in the mountains but not freezing cold and you will have a good chance of clear views.

Summer high temperatures in Lauterbrunnen average between 71 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit, although it dips down to around 66 °F in September.

Rain is a strong possibility with about 3.5″ expected each month. There is no humidity.

To get to Lauterbrunnen, fly into Bern or Zurich international airports. A car journey would take one hour from Bern or 2 hours from Zurich.

If you go by train (which is an even better option if you want to relax and enjoy the views), it’s an hour and 20 from Bern and 2 hours 20 from Zurich.

Martha says, “If you’re looking for a place to stay, the Hotel Oberland offers affordable rooms, many with mountain views.”

best quick beach getaway in summer in Eastern Europe

Pula, Croatia

By Natali from She’s abroad again

Located in the northwestern Croatian coastal region of Istria, Pula is one of the best hidden gems for a beach vacation during a European summer weekend holiday.

It is the biggest town in this Central European region, with plenty of things to do such as swimming and soaking up the sun, enjoying delicious fresh food and discovering the Roman history of the city.

Pula is not as well known as Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia’s biggest tourist hot spots, but is equally as amazing and beautiful. With fewer crowds, your quick summer trip will feel much longer.

The first thing on your itinerary should be to swim at one of the incredible beaches in Pula . If you like pebbled beaches, go to Ambrela beach. If you prefer untouched landscapes, beaches in Kamenjak nature park will leave you mesmerized. 

Pula has a Roman past and is home to one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in Europe. Discover all traces of Pula’s past when you visit the Temple of Augustus, Arch of Sergii and Fortress Castello. 

On another day, take a day trip to Brijuni National Park. This beautiful island is a great place to walk around, see the animals around the island, enjoy nature and swim.

If you ever wanted to watch a movie inside a Roman amphitheatre, plan your visit in mid-July for the Pula Film Festival. It is a week-long event with nightly movie screenings.

The average daily high temperatures in summer are around 83°F in July and August, and 76 °F in June and September.

Expect rain every few days and some humidity in July and August.

Pula has an international airport, so it is easy to visit from all over Europe. The airport is located less than 6 miles (10km) from the city.

Natali says, “Most people visiting Croatia choose to stay in private accommodation, and there is plenty of options available. If you don’t have a car, choose a place close to the city centre, as most bus lines pass through the city on their way to the beach.”

best city break in Western Europe in summer

Brussels, Belgium

By Tamar from World by Weekend

A weekend in Brussels is the perfect European summer weekend getaway. Brussels is not only the capital of Belgium, but since it’s home to the European Parliament, it’s also touted as the “capital of Europe.”  However, for being such an important city, Brussels is actually compact and easy to explore during a mid-week escape in Western Europe.

Brussels also has some exciting summer festivities. Every two years, the city hosts a flower festival in which the entirety of the Grand Place is decorated with a carpet of flowers.

For music lovers, the annual Summer Brussels Festival, held every August, consists of 10 days of concerts and cultural events in the city center.

For a small city, Brussels has a lot to offer. At the center of the city is the famous Grand Place, considered the most beautiful square in Europe. It is populated with many restaurants and is the perfect place to sit out during the summer months and enjoy a fine Belgian beer.

A short walk away, you’ll find Manneken Pis, the little peeing boy that has become the unofficial symbol of Brussels. He is regularly dressed in quirky outfits, and you can see examples of his many outfits by visiting the small Garde Robe Manneken Pis museum.

For a more highbrow experience, head to Brussels’ premier art museum, The Royal Museums of Fine Arts. A complex of museums that houses over 20,000 works, they showcase some of the finest examples of Flemish art in the world. There is also a museum dedicated to the art of René Magritte, a Belgian surrealist painter and contemporary of Salvador Dalí.

Finally, no visit to Brussels is complete without a trip to the European Parliament. While you can’t visit the Parliament building on Saturdays or Sundays, the adjacent Parliamentarium Museum gives the history of the EU and its role in shaping a modern, united Europe.

A summer visit in Brussels is an especially good idea as the daytime temperatures rarely creep above 75°F. Expect average highs in the high 60s in June and September and some rainfall in all summer months.

Getting to Brussels is easy, making it the perfect destination for your weekend jaunt. You can fly directly to Brussels airport from any major European city . From there, a short 25-minute train ride takes you directly to the Grand Place, the heart of the city.

Tamara says, “For the best experience, stay in a hotel close to Grand Place, such as the Ibis Hotel Grand Place .”

best European summer weekend holiday

Sorrento, Italy

By Sanika from Trailing Pages

On the beautiful cliffs dominating the crystal-clear waters of the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy, you will find Sorrento, Italy. It is the perfect destination for anyone dreaming of cobblestone streets and dining in lemon groves. It is here where life slows down and everyone embraces “ la dolce vita ” (the good life) lifestyle. 

Still, the coastal city is a vibrant one that draws lots of tourists over the summer.

Wandering the picture-perfect Old Town, experiencing a horse-drawn carriage ride in Piazza Tasso, taking in the sea breeze from a sun bed and watching a sunset are the main attractions of Sorrento when you’re not indulging in delicious cuisine and limoncello.

When it comes to historical attractions, the 15 th -century Sorrento Cathedral of San Filippo and San Giacomo with its mix of architectural styles, are lovely landmarks to admire.

If you are searching for a little more adventure, Sorrento is an ideal base for a day trip boating along the Amalfi Coast and exploring nearby villages like the incredibly stunning Positano. A boat trip also usually involves jumping into the Mediterranean Sea for snorkelling, visiting hidden beaches, and providing views of the iconic Mount Vesuvius in the Gulf of Naples!

If you are looking for hot and even tropical weather in Europe, then Sorrento is a good option. Average highs in summer are around 87 °F, with lots of humidity in July and August.

The easiest way to reach Sorrento is by flying into Naples International Airport and then hopping onto a 1.5-hour train ride from Naples Central Station. Alternatively, you could rent a car and take a scenic drive which takes just under an hour. Both options are straightforward routes.

Sanika says, “Sorrento has great accommodation options, and beachfront hotels are always sought after. Some of the best include Hotel Bellevue Syrene , Hilton Sorrento Palace , and  Villa La Terrazza Suites .”

best city break in Western Europe in summer

Strasbourg, France

By Jen from Dabbling in Jet Lag

Nestled in the Alsace region of eastern France lies Strasbourg, one of the best weekend getaways in Western Europe. This stunning city is brimming with culture, history, picturesque neighborhoods, and lush gardens. 

Meander down the cobbled streets of La Petite France and admire the magnificent half-timbered buildings. Then, stop in a brasserie for some savory Alsatian food.

Of course, Strasbourg’s Notre Dame Cathedral is a must-see. Towering at a whopping 465 feet, this Gothic church took more than 300 years to build. You can tour the inside, and, if you’re looking to test the limits of your vertigo, you can climb to the top. It’s a heroic feat, but your efforts will be rewarded with the best views over the city.

You’ll even be able to see the courtyard of the Rohan Palace, which is your next stop. This Baroque palace is home to three outstanding museums, the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Decorative Arts. They each offer a unique insight into the history and culture of Strasbourg.

After you’ve toured the historic part of the city, head to Parc de l’Orangerie. It’s the largest park in town and the perfect addition to any short Strasbourg itinerary . Here you’ll find gorgeous gardens, pristine walking paths, and endless green space for picnicking.

While Strasbourg is a year-round destination, summer is one of the best times to visit. The weather is beautiful with temperatures hovering around the upper-70s, the gardens are in full bloom, and there’s around 2″ of rain each month.

Strasbourg is also easy to reach. The closest international airport is EuroAirport. Trains run regularly and take less than two hours.

Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris is another convenient option. Trains leave from the airport hourly and also take two hours.

Jen says, “Once you arrive, you’ll have your choice of hotels. City Residence Access Strasbourg is a good option. It’s central and doesn’t cost a fortune.”

Best midweek break in Europe in summer

Yorkshire Dales, England

By Hannah from Get Lost Travel Blog

The Yorkshire Dales is a stunning region in the north of England, known for its rolling hills, lush green valleys, and breath-taking views.

It’s an ideal location for a long summer weekend in Europe for those looking to immerse themselves in nature. There is plenty to do, from outdoor activities such as walking, cycling and horse riding to more leisurely pursuits like exploring quaint villages or sampling local delicacies.

If you’re just visiting for a quick summer vacation, start your trip with a day hike in Malham.

Malham is a picturesque village located in the south of the Yorkshire Dales and the area around Malham is home to some truly beautiful natural attractions.

Visitors can explore the limestone pavements and gorges, see the famous Malham Cove or take  the popular circular walking trail  through the stunning countryside to visit Malham Cove, Janet’s Foss, Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn.

After a day of hiking, enjoy the Yorkshire Dales at a slower pace with a relaxing day in the village of Hawes.

This charming village is home to many independent shops and cafes that are well worth exploring. It is the ideal place to pick up a souvenir or gift.

Plus, Hawes is the home of Wensleydale cheese. You can learn more about the cheese making process on a visit to the Creamery in the village as well as sampling and purchasing some of the many delicious cheeses in the cheese shop!

For one final stop, the spectacular Aysgarth Falls is just a short drive from Hawes. This beautiful waterfall is the ideal spot for a peaceful riverside stroll or a picnic beside the waterfall.

With so much on offer it’s no wonder why so many people choose this beautiful part of England as their perfect short summer getaway.

With average temperatures of 62-68 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer, the Yorkshire Dales has comfortable temperatures for outdoor activities and hiking.

There is no humidity but come prepared for a little rain as there is around 2″-3″ of rainfall each summer month.

The Yorkshire Dales is easily accessible by car or train from major cities. Leeds Bradford airport is just 25 minutes away by car and Manchester Airport is 80 minutes away.

Hannah says, “Mason’s Campsite is a lovely place to stay in the Yorkshire Dales. They have camping and glamping packages available so you can fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region. Plus, they have wonderful modern facilities onsite so you have easy access to your home comforts!”

best European city break in summer

Budapest, Hungary

By Destiny from Guided By Destiny

Budapest, Hungary is one of the best places in Eastern Europe for a short summer city break. Located along the Danube River in Central Europe, Budapest is known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and unique thermal baths. There won’t be a dull moment during a 2 days stay in Budapest .

One must-do activity on a short trip to Budapest is to one of the many thermal baths in town. The Szechenyi Thermal Bath is one of the most popular and an amazing spot to spend a few hours.

Afterwards, head to one of the “ruin bars”, a collection of bars in abandoned buildings and courtyards with graffiti & plants. These fun yet eccentric bar complexes have grown popular due to their cool bohemian vibes and original interiors. These bars are great places to relax, unwind, and enjoy a drink or two.

If you visit in July, Budapest hosts its annual month-long festival called Sziget Festival. This event brings people from all over the world for music concerts, art shows, cultural performances, and more.

With so much to do and see in this great European city during a quick summer trip, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t add it to your list of places to visit this summer!

Average high temperatures in summer is the mid to upper 70s (°F) in June and September, and low 80s in July and August. Expect around 2″ of rain each month.

International travelers should fly into Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD), which is just 25 minutes outside of the city.

Destiny says, “ Hotel Oktogon Haggenmacher is a great hotel option as it is spacey, offers airport transportation, and has a bike rental service.”

best summer weekend break in Western Europe

Malaga, Spain

By Cristina from My Little World of Travelling

If you are looking for a short summer beach holiday in Southern Europe, Malaga, in the south of Spain, is an excellent option. Its’ beautiful beaches, cultural activities and events make it a favourite among travelers.

There are many things you can do in Malaga in a couple of days. However, one of the things you can’t miss doing is visiting Alcazaba, one of the most  beautiful castles in Malaga . This fortress palace has unique Moorish architecture and breathtaking views of the city. You can visit it for free on Sunday afternoons.

Another thing you should do is go to the beach. The temperature in Malaga during the summer months is high so you will definitely want to hit the beach. On top of this, you don’t need to go very far as La Malagueta Beach is just next to the city centre.

If you are looking for a break from the beach, a fantastic activity is to visit a museum. Picasso Museum Malaga is one of the most popular museums, but there are over 30 museums in the city from which to choose.

If you happen to be in Malaga in the middle of August, you can also experience Feria de Malaga (Malaga’s fair). Attractions, traditional dances, live concerts and wine are a few of activities that you will find at this popular event.

In the afternoon, go to Larios Street, where locals eat out, dance and drink Cartojal wine. In the evening, head to the fairground next to the Malaga Trade Fair and Congress Centre, where you can go on rides, attend live concerts and much more.

The temperature in the summer months is high, with an average high between 82 °F and 86 °F. There is barely and rain, and only in August will you find lots of humidity.

Fly directly into Malaga International airport. It is only a few minutes to the center of town.

Cristina says, “For a central stay, book a room at Room Mate Valeria. They have comfortable and modern rooms and a lively rooftop terrace bar with a swimming pool.”

best long weekend destination in Western Europe in summer

Hallstatt, Austria

By Jessica from the Uprooted Traveler

Hallstatt, Austria, is a fairytale town, which sits on the shores of a turquoise alpine lake and in the shadows of the snow-capped Alps.

There’s so many things to do in Hallstatt to keep you busy for a quick holiday weekend in this beautiful mountain town offering wonderful outdoor activities. 

For example, stroll around the streets of its Old Town, which are full of colorful gingerbread houses. Be sure to pop into Seecafé Hallstatt for some delicious pastries and views of Lake Hallstatt.

To get a closer look at the lake, consider renting a canoe and paddling around its’ crystal clear waters to get an ever changing perspective of the surrounding Austrian Alps. For a real treat, pack yourself a picnic and enjoy your meal in the middle of the lake, as swans glide across the water around you. 

While you’re in town, you’d be remiss not to stop at Salzwelten Hallstatt, which holds the impressive title of the oldest salt mine in the world. While you may not count yourself as a salt mine enthusiast, Salzwelten is surprisingly interesting and has some quirky attractions, like a salt mummy that was discovered in the 18th century and Europe’s longest wooden slide (that also just so happens to be in an underground salt mine!).

Summer is one of the best times to visit Hallstatt. The temperature is pleasant (with daily highs in the upper 60s to mid 70s), the skies are clear, and if you want to explore the surrounding mountains, they’re usually snow-free. 

To reach Hallstatt, you’ll fly into Salzburg’s W.A. Mozart Airport in Salzburg and then make the one and half hour drive southeast to the town. Alternatively, there’s a few options with public transit, including a bus ride or via train and then a very picturesque ferry ride across Lake Hallstatt. 

Jessica says, “Once you reach the town, snag a hotel in the Old Town, like Seehotel Gruener Baum . Not only will you have excellent views of the surrounding Old Town and the lake, but you’ll also be in a prime location to explore its charming streets bright and early and beat the tour buses that pour in by the late morning!”

best weekend escape in Eastern Europe in summer

Dubrovnik, Croatia

By Taylor from Brown Eyed Flower Child

Dubrovnik, Croatia is one of Central Europe’s best cities to visit for a quick summer vacation. If you’re wondering  what to do in Dubrovnik  during summer, plenty will keep you and your travel buddies busy!

Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dubrovnik, Croatia boasts a fortified Old Town located on the Dalmatian coast that will bring you back in time.

During a short summer escape to Dubrovnik, you must wander through the Old Town and admire all the Baroque architecture.

Next, you should walk along the ancient city walls that overlook the entire city and coastline. The best time to do so is during sunset.

Additionally, Dubrovnik and Croatia are famed for being the Game of Thrones’ filming locations. If you’re a fan, consider booking a tour.

Another memorable thing to do in Dubrovnik during summer is to visit one of the many beach clubs. Banje Beach is only a 10-minute walk from the heart of Old Town. It’s a picturesque beach renowned for hosting some of the best DJs in the world!

For more breathtaking views of the Adriatic, you must also visit Buza Bar, a cliffside hotspot to enjoy a drink.

Lastly, check out Dubrovnik’s best restaurants. You can find everything from traditional cuisine to Italian eateries, Bosnian food, and Michelin restaurants. Restaurant 360 is a Michelin Star restaurant located along the city walls of Dubrovnik. It is a romantic spot with incredible views and fantastic food!

Taj Mahal is also an excellent spot to add to your summer mid-week break in Europe. Situated in the heart of Old Town Dubrovnik, Taj Mahal has some of the best Bosnian food in Croatia.

Dubrovnik is also in a great location for day trips if you can add a couple of extra days to your stay! Some of the best places to visit from Dubrovnik are Kotor, Montenegro, and Ston and Mljet National Park in Croatia.

Dubrovnik is mainly dry, sunny, and warm from June through September. Temperatures usually range from the high 60s° Fahrenheit in the evenings to the upper 80s° Fahrenheit during the day. So don’t forget your sundresses, shorts, swimsuits, and hats.

The best way to travel to Dubrovnik is to its International airport. It’s around a half hour from the Old Town. You can also get to the walled city by taking a ferry from other Croatian islands and, of course, by car from nearby countries like Montenegro.

Taylor says, “The best place to stay in Dubrovnik is The Pucic Palace , located in the heart of the walled city. It’s a luxury boutique hotel situated on Gundulić Square, which boasts a bustling farmer’s market, restaurants and cafés, galleries, and more.”

best quick nature retreat in summer in Western Europe

Wicklow, Ireland

By Amber from Amber Everywhere

Located about an hour south of Dublin is County Wicklow, the perfect destination for a summertime nature escape in Europe.

County Wicklow is known as the Garden of Ireland , a place where everything seems to grow in shades of deep, vibrant green. There are plenty of activities for those who love the mountains and the beach, as you’ll find both in the Wicklow Mountains and on a stretch of coastline along the Irish Sea.

The mountains of Ireland are much smaller than the Alps of continental Europe, but you can still get plenty of wonderful views from their peaks. If you only plan one hike for your visit to Wicklow, make it Glendalough.

This is a moderately strenuous hike (easy if you only hike the flat portion through the forest) that circles an alpine lake, offering stunning views of mountaintops and the valley below. Near the lake is a set of monastic ruins, including a stone tower. 

About an hour from Glendalough are the seaside towns of Bray and Greystones. These two towns are connected by a cliff walk, and you can walk from one to the other and then take a train back to your car.

You can swim in Brittas Bay, a beach to the south of Wicklow Town – if you go, be sure to check out the beach just south of the main area. 

Dress warmly for a summertime visit to Wicklow, as the highs are typically around 16°C/60°F, with lows around 7°C/44°F. Though the temperatures are cool for swimming, you can still dip your feet into the ocean (and you’ll see plenty of locals diving in!). The cooler temperatures are rather nice for hiking, as you won’t risk overheating. 

You can reach Wicklow by flying into the Dublin International Airport and renting a car. The Glendalough car park is about an hour’s drive from the airport through Ireland’s trademark rolling green hills. 

Amber says, “You can camp in the Glenmalure Valley or wild camp wherever you find a spot. The easiest way to find a wild campsite is to ask a local farmer, as they’ll sometimes allow you to camp on their land for free.

Be sure to bring warm clothing and plenty of protection from bugs if you’ll be camping in Wicklow in the summer. There are lots of local B&Bs or hotels in the area, too, if you’d prefer not to camp.”

best short summer trip in Western Europe

Porto, Portugal

By Allison from Renovating Life

Summer is the perfect time for a short visit to the Western European city of Porto, Portugal. The weather is warm but not stifling like in more southern areas of Portugal, and the rain that is typical in this region eases up for a few months of days filled with sunshine.

Start by sipping local Vinho Verde and feast on seafood at a riverfront restaurant, eat a famous Francesinha sandwich, or head across the river to Vila Nova da Gaia to explore the Port wine caves (many offer tours and tastings).

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, don’t miss the  famous Lello Bookstore . It’s thought that this library inspired J.K. Rowling to write the Harry Potter book series during her stay in Porto.

A day trip to the Douro Valley to visit the wineries is a must see for those who love investing in wine or simply love wine tasting. The most popular way to enjoy this excursion from Porto is a Douro River cruise. Snag a tour that includes several winery visits along with lunch and tastings as you take in the beautiful hillside vineyards. 

Whether you simply relax and wander the cobblestone streets and alleyways, or go full speed ahead taking in all the sights and experiences Porto has to offer, you won’t regret spending a summer weekend in this magical and romantic city.

Average temperatures in June, July, August and September range from 60°F in the evening to 80°F in the daytime.

Arrive in Porto by flying directly into Porto’s Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO). Alternatively, if you have the extra time, take an easy drive or train ride from Lisbon (around 3 hours).

Allison says, “Book a hotel like the Pestana Vintage overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Douro Riverfront. The slightly higher prices than elsewhere in the city are worth it for the sunrise and sunset views alone.”

best short summer vacation in Central Europe

Perast Montenegro

By Caroline from Veggie Wayfarer

The little fishing village of Perast is one of the very few hidden gems in the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro . Often frequented by day trippers from Kotor, as dusk sets, the village returns to a peaceful oasis.

There are a surprising amount of  things to do in Perast . Start by a boat trip to the nearby Lady of the Rocks islet, visit the eponymous church and little museum.

Next climb the stairs of the Saint Nicholas church where on top, you are rewarded with the very best views over the town.

Finally, take in some culture at the local Perast Museum which is housed in one of the many beautiful 17 th  century Baroque palaces.

If you are wondering whether you should stay in Kotor instead of Perast, please take a look at Kotor Old Town, Montenegro: Best And Worst Location.

For those considering a road trip to explore other parts of Montenegro, please see Exploring Montenegro: A Breathtaking Road Trip.

For an amazing day in nature just a short drive from Perast and Kotor, please see Lake Skadar, Montenegro: The Perfect Day Trip .

The summer is nice and toasty with average temperatures of 85°F, though the evenings do tend to cool off to a 66°F. It is best to bring a light jacket with you when you dine at one of the many romantic waterfront  Konoba .

Getting to Perast can be done either from Tivat Airport (an easy 26-minute drive) or from nearby Dubrovnik Airport (1h15 minute drive). Both airports have regular shuttles that connect the airport with the various towns along the Bay of Kotor.

Caroline says, “The very best place to stay in Perast is, without a doubt, the 5-star Heritage Grand Hotel Perast , the only hotel in the village with its own private beach.”

best short summer holiday in Western Europe

Venice, Italy

By Kim from Traveling Swansons

Venice also referred to as the City of Canals and the City of Bridges is one of the most picturesque cities in the entire world.  

This Italian city makes for the perfect short summer trip in Europe because it’s easily accessible by plane or train. In addition, it’s just the right size that you can explore most of its major sites in just a couple of days.

No matter how many days you are in Venice, you must take a gondola ride down the iconic Grand Canal.

You must also stroll along the gorgeous Venetian waterfront, Riva degli Schiavoni. Here you’ll find many vendors selling souvenirs, food, drinks, and paintings. You’ll also find the iconic Bridge of Sighs here.

No  trip to Venice  is complete without a visit to St Mark’s Square, one of the most famous and well-known squares in the entire world.

When in St. Mark’s Square, visit the incredible St. Mark’s Basicilia and Doge’s Palace. St Mark’s Basicilia is not only gorgeous from the exterior but also in the interior. It is filled with gold mosaics and stunning marble flooring.  

Doge’s Palace, a Gothic architecture styled building is also simply stunning.

When in Venice also take some time to browse the many clothing, jewelry stores, and Murano glass shops. 

If you happen to be in Venice on the third Sunday in July, there’s a big celebration called Festa del Redentore. This night ends with a magnificent fireworks show.

Weather in Venice during the summer can be very hot and sunny. Average highs range from 78-83 degrees Fahrenheit. Average lows are from 62-68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Expect 2″ of rain each month, and lots of humidity in July and August.

Fly into Venice Marco Polo Airport and then, transfer by water taxi or bus for 20 minutes.

Kim says, “ Hilton Molino Stucky Venice is the perfect hotel to stay for your short summer vacation to Venice. You can enjoy a swim on the rooftop pool overlooking the Venetian skyline.”

best quick summer trip in Western Europe

Mallorca, Spain

By Samantha Tatro of Undiscovered Path Home

Looking for a quick, sunny beach getaway in Europe this summer? Then, fly to Mallorca for a short but sweet beach escape. Palma de Mallorca, Spain, remains one of the best summer weekend or mid week getaways in Europe thanks to its tasty eats, beautiful beaches and laid-back vibes.

Over the summer, Mallorca hums with life. While you’re visiting the island, make sure to check out its’ key attraction – the most jaw-droppingly beautiful beaches in Mallorca .

Many of Mallorca’s most beautiful beaches can be reached by public transit (or rental car) and lie within two hours of the airport. You simply can’t beat the views, the crystalline water and beautiful coves.

Otherwise, plan on going for a hike on the island or spend a couple hours munching on Spain’s delicious tapas. Palma de Mallorca has some amazing Spanish restaurants and they serve tasty eats late into the night.

Over the summer months, pack lightly. Temperatures often exceed 25 – 30 degrees Celsius (81°F – 88°F) and it rarely rains. Mallorca is known for its endless sunshine and gentle waves, perfect for travelers seeking a short trip to dip their feet in the ocean.

To reach Mallorca, look into flights to Palma de Mallorca Airport. Once you land, you can take a taxi or bus 15 minutes to Palma de Mallorca.

best short summer vacation in western Europe

Lugano, Switzerland

By Linda from Hiking The Alps

The  beautiful city of Lugano , in the south of Switzerland, is the perfect outdoor nature retreat in Western Europe for a quick summer holiday. 

The city in the canton of Ticino is nestled between wooded Alpine foothills, on the north of the picturesque Lake Lugano. The historic old town with its narrow streets and colorful mansions, as well as the long and wide lake promenade, exude Italian flair and dolce vita.   

Especially inviting are the early evenings, when people flock to the streets and into the bars and cafés to enjoy the typical Apéro when the sun goes down.  

In the south and east of Lugano’s center, the local mountains, San Salvatore and Monte Brè, offer fantastic views of the city and the lake. The viewpoints on the tops of the respective hills can be reached by beautiful and easy hikes or by funiculars from downtown Lugano.   

The city can also be wonderfully enjoyed from the water. By boat, you can visit various charming fishing villages along the shore. Especially worth mentioning are Morcoto and Grandia.  

A must-do during a short summer vacation is to take a swim in the inviting blue lake. The area offers various Lidos with all kinds of amenities. Alternatively, you can basically jump in and refresh yourself wherever you want along the shoreline. 

In summer, it hardly ever rains in Lugano. Temperatures range from 64 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, so be sure to bring sunscreen for the day and a light jacket for night.

The nearest international airport is Milan Malpensa in Italy. Only 50 miles (80km) away, it will take only 1-hour to drive or 1 hour 45 minutes by train.

The train ride is the recommended option as it will save you the cost of expensive parking within Lugano. Tickets are quite cheap and the views from the train are spectacular. 

best short summer holiday in Eastern Europe

Ljubljana, Slovenia

By Anja from Anja On Adventure

Whoever said “beauty comes in small packages”, was right! Slovenia is a small European gem of a country. It is the only country with the word LOVE in its name and its capital city, Ljubljana, means “to be loved”.

Ljubljana is just the right size to not feel overwhelming but still big enough to keep you busy for a weekend break in summer.

At the heart of the Old Town in Ljubljana , you will not see any skyscrapers but will be able to wander around the charming streets, explore unique architecture, walk across the Dragon bridge, and take a photo with the dragon and a castle behind it. You can take another stunning photo at the Tripple bridge and pair it with a Slovenia Instagram caption .

When you are done taking photos, stop by one of the cafes near Ljubljanica or take a boat ride on the Ljubljanica River.

In the afternoon, walk up to the Castle, and admire the breathtaking views over the city and out to the Julian Alps from Castle Hill.

Ljubljana also comes alive in the evening so grab a cocktail from one of the river bars.

On another day, take a day trip. Because Slovenia is so small, you can visit the stunning Lake Bled and Postojna Cave in a day . The most comfortable way to do this is by renting a car, but if you want to be more carefree, sign up for one of the tours.

Summer in Ljubljana is hot. Average highs are usually around 80 °F, but can climb up all the way to 95 °F. At night and after summer storms, temperatures can drop to 72 °F. Expect around 3″ of rain for each month.

It is only a short 20 minutes ride from Ljubljana airport (LJU). You can get a taxi or a shuttle.

There are bigger airports nearby, such as Venice Marco Polo (VCE) and Franjo Tuđman Airport Zagreb (ZAG). They are only two hours from Ljubljana. Check GoOpti and EasyDrive rides and (and even Flixbus) for the fastest transfers.

Anya says, “The most stunning spot in Ljubljana is the Old Town in the city center which is reserved for pedestrians only. That is where the best accommodation options are found like the Cubo hotel .

best small towns in Europe for a few days away in summer

Champagne Region, France

By Nausheen from Globe Gazers

One of the most incredible summer destinations in Western Europe for a short retreat is a visit to Champagne country in France.

One of the best ways to experience the Champagne region is through a local-led Champagne tour . What could be better on a hot day than sampling chilled bubbly in the French countryside?

There’s plenty more to do in addition to taking a tour to visit the various Champagne houses in the region. In Reims, you can visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, admire the Art Deco architecture, take a leisurely stroll along Vesle Canal and more. Foodies should be sure to try Reims Ham from one of the local butcher shops while visiting. 

In Epernay, you can walk along the Avenue de Champagne, take a hot air balloon ride and visit the nearby village of Hautvillers to pay homage to Dom Perignon. 

Epernay and Reims are only half an hour apart from each other so you will have plenty of time to visit both on your short European summer holiday.

Average highs in summer are in the high 70s F with lows in the high 50s F. Expect very little rain and no humidity.

You can easily visit the Champagne region by car or train from Paris as it is only an hour away. If you’re booking a train, you’ll want to travel to either Reims or Epernay station. 

best places in Western Europe for a mid-week break

Varenna, Italy (Lake Como)

By Sarah from Life Part 2 And Beyond

The gorgeous Italian lakeside town of Varenna , on Lake Como’s eastern shore, is a beautiful, picturesque village with cobbled streets, pretty churches, stunning villas, and an ancient hilltop castle, making it the perfect place in summer for a few days away.

Spend a day exploring Varenna. Be sure to visit the beautiful Villa Monastero and wander around the botanical gardens with their incredible lake views.

Take a hike up to the Castello di Vezio for more stunning vistas and a chance to meet its ghostly residents. From here, there’s a lovely hike down to the nearby village of Fiumelatte.

The next day, buy a one-day pass, board the Lake Como ferry and explore the other lakeside towns. Visit glitzy Bellagio, with its fancy shops and restaurants, which is just across the lake.

Alternatively, explore sleepy Lenno and pay a visit to the stunning Villa Balbianello, the most famous villa on Lake Como. You may even recognize it from the movies, such as Casino Royale.

Or take a stroll along the lakeside promenade in Maneggio, and relax with a drink in the Piazza Garibaldi.

If you enjoy festivals, visit Lake Como in July and enjoy the annual LacMus Festival, an international classical music festival with concert performances at many lakeside villas.

It can get hot in July and August, with average highs reaching 80°F. However, there’s always a cool breeze coming off the water. Expect around 4″ of rain each month so make sure you also bring an umbrella or light rain jacket. It is rarely humid.

Getting to Lake Como is straightforward. The nearest international airport is Milan. From there, the best way to reach the lake is by train. It only takes an hour to Varenna from Milan Centrale Station.

Renting a car in summer to visit the lake is not advisable, as parking is challenging, and it’s far easier to explore the other towns on Lake Como by boat.

Sarah says, “Stay at Divina Vita Apartments . It is conveniently close to everything and has great views of the lake.”

best place for a summer weekend escape in Eastern Europe

Sibiu, Romania

By Joanna from The World In My Pocket

Sibiu in Eastern Europe makes a wonderful quick summer getaway. The city is located in the beautiful Transylvania region in Romania, and it is surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains. The city itself is quite small and it can be explored in one weekend.

There are plenty of things to do in Sibiu, starting with touring the historical centre of the city. Here you will find the old walls, which are now a museum that you can visit. The walls are next to the most beautiful street in the city, which has pretty coloured houses and plenty of flowers.

Another great thing to do in Sibiu is go to the Bridge of Liars. Legend says that if you say a lie when you stand on the bridge, it will collapse.

The bridge got its name because soldiers who would meet their loved ones before going to war, promising to marry them when they returned. Many never returned, and promises were broken.

For a bird’s eye view of the city, make sure to climb the Council Tower. This is one of the most iconic buildings in town, connecting the Big Square with the Small Square. In the latter, you will find plenty of restaurants serving  traditional Romanian food , as well as an artisan market from where you can buy souvenirs.

There are plenty of events taking place in summer in Sibiu, from different fairs to open air concerts in the main square of the city.

The temperature in Sibiu in summer is around 77 degrees, with around 2.2″ of rain each month. There is practically no humidity.

Sibiu has its own airport, so it’s easy to get there from many cities in Europe.

Joanna says, “If you want to stay in the centre of the city, check out Imparatul Romanilor luxury hotel.”

best city escape in summer in Western Europe for a short break

Barcelona, Spain

By Izzy from the Gap Decaders

Barcelona has to be one of the best summer weekend getaways in Western Europe. It is located on the pretty Mediterranean coast of northeastern Spain, and blessed with fabulous sandy beaches, diverse architecture, and a thriving culinary scene. Whether you like to party, chill by the pool or immerse yourself in culture, you’ll find plenty to do in this cosmopolitan and lively city.

One of the must-dos in Barcelona is to visit the stunning and slightly surreal Gaudi architecture. From the famous Sagrada Familia to the lesser known Casa Batlló, Casa Mila and Casa Vicens and Park Güell, Gaudi has left his vision and imprint on the city.

A wander down Las Rambla is fairly obligatory. Even if you find the street full of tourists and tacky souvenirs, there are lots of great spots just off this main road from the city to the sea.

Check out the fantastic Boqueria Market, a vibrant public market filled with colorful fresh produce and a central part of daily life in Barcelona. In addition, visit the elegant Barcelona Opera Theatre, one of the most popular opera houses in Europe.

Next up is the historic Gothic quarter, also known as the Barri Gotic. Walking through the medieval Gothic quarter with its labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets and historic buildings brings a new perspective to this modern city. Discover the Catalan Gothic Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, the beautiful 14th century Barcelona Cathedral and the grand squares of Placa Reial. 

You’ll need at least half a day to fully enjoy Montjuïc, an area high on a hill to the south of the city center. Walk up from Placa d’Espanya through the fantastic Placa de les Cascades, a huge series of waterfalls, to the grand and ornate Palacio Nacional, site of the 1929 International Exhibition. From here you can easily walk to all the main attractions of Montjuic.

Visit the attractions of Montjuic Castle, the botanical gardens, the Joan Miro Foundation, the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Pavilion and the beautiful magic fountain with its nightly light and music displays, before grabbing the Port Cable Car from Miramar on Montjuic down to the old port and beaches. The views on the ride are spectacular!

Visit in August for balmy weather and the Festa Major de Gracia, the best known of Barcelona’s district festivals. The streets are full of statues and lanterns and every street corner becomes a concert venue as the fiesta gets going.

Average highs in summer are around 82 °F. There is practically no rain, but you will get humidity about 50% of the days in July and August.

Fly into Barcelona International Airport, just 9 miles (13km) from the city. Catch the train to Barcelona Sants (the main train station) which takes around 20 minutes. 

Izzy says, “Stay at the H10 Metropolitan Hotel with its 10 out of 10 location overlooking Placa Catalunya in the heart of Barcelona, and rooftop bar with pool.”

best Western European places in summer for a short summer escape

Durbuy, Belgium

By Babs from Next Stop Belgium

Known as “the smallest city in the world”, the City of Durbuy in Belgium is an excellent destination for your summer nature break in Western Europe. It is a picturesque medieval town in the middle of a vast forest. Its cobbled streets, quaint shops, and historic buildings offer a charming experience for all visitors.

Aside from its charming center, Durbuy is mostly known as the adventure capital of the Belgian Ardennes. The ultimate place to be is Adventure Valley Durbuy where you can experience a wide range of activities such as mountain biking, wall climbing, kayaking, and zip lining.

If you’re looking for something that is more suitable for a family trip with young children or grandparents, head towards Le Labyrinthe de Barvaux. Just a 10-minute drive from the town of Durbuy, this giant corn labyrinth offers a unique maze park experience every year. It covers a vast 27 acres (11 hectares) and there are no less than 7 miles (10km) of hiking paths to be found!

Another fun way to wrap up your weekend in Durbuy is to experience the vibrant Belgian Color Festival, celebrated every mid-summer (end of July). The Radhadesh Summer Holi Festival is a festival that celebrates love and colors in Belgium and is held in a castle. Beyond the entertainment, this festival signifies growth and new beginnings that reminds us to be grateful and see life from a new perspective.

The average daily temperature in Durbuy during summer (from June to September) is above 66 ° F. While the hottest month of the year is in July, hitting 71°F as the highest and 57°F as the lowest.

Expect around 2″ of rain each summer month and no humidity.

The closest airport to Durbuy is Liège Airport (LGG) in Belgium. With an approximate distance of 29 miles (47 kilometers), you can reach Durbuy from Liege in around 50 minutes by rental car.

Another option is Brussels Airport, Belgium’s main international airport, which is located 1h20 away by car.

Babs says, “There is no doubt that there are a lot of things and  attractions to visit in Durbuy . To make the most out of it, it’s best to spend a night or two in this medieval town.

Book your stay at  Hotel Des Comtes Durbuy  for a unique experience at the banks of the river Ourthe.”

best summer beach destination in Eastern Europe for a quick weekend break

Opatija, Croatia

By Martina from Places of Juma

One of the most charming places for a summer weekend trip is the picturesque  Opatija in Croatia . During the time of the Habsburgs, the coastal resort in Central Europe was already known as a health resort and nobility spent their vacations here.

Even today Opatija is wonderful and exudes a unique charm of times gone by. The whole ambience of the old magnificent buildings, villas and the coast is absolutely enchanting.

There is a lot to experience in Opatija. There are wonderful Mediterranean gardens to relax in, a beautiful beach promenade for long walks along the Adriatic Sea and also an amazing culinary scene!

Another highlight are the many good wellness hotels that have settled directly in the town and offer a wide range of health treatments.

You should also visit the Walk of Fame, a street on which famous Croatian personalities have been honored.

Imperial Town” is a special event held in July, when the imperial and royal history comes to life. Opatija is transformed into an open-air stage celebrating this historical period.

Opatija is particularly suitable for a short vacation in summer. Summer temperatures average around 80.6 °F. Expect around 2.5″ of rain each month and no humidity.

To reach Opatija, fly into Pula, Rijeka or Zadar. The best option is Rijeka airport, which is only 25 minutes away.

Martina says, “Be sure to choose one of the great hotels in Opatija. You will be hard pressed to find a more splendid selection of gorgeous 4-5 star hotels in Croatia than in Opatija.”

best places in Western Europe for a weekend getaway in summer

Groningen, Netherlands

By Kayla from Writing From Nowhere

Groningen, Netherlands is a Dutch city in Western Europe bursting with bicycles, beer and bags of character. It is the perfect destination for a short summer weekend getaway.

Come celebrate freedom in Dutch style at the annual May 5th Bevrijdingsfestival (“Liberation Festival”). It’s a national holiday that celebrates freedom with an incredible free one-day music festival.

In June, the biggest park in the city rocks out for Stadspark Live , a popular multi-day music festival. The festival has an entry fee but the park itself is open to the public, so feel free to bring a blanket and some snacks and enjoy the music from a distance. 

An even bigger outdoor summer celebration is the Noorderzon in August, an 11-day cultural event that takes place in the city center. Live music, theater performances and good food are found throughout the tiny cobblestone streets of Groningen. 

Translation? The Dutch like to have fun in the sun. After a dark, wet winter, a cold beer and some vitamin D are practically government-endorsed health recommendations. Having a beer on a terrace on the Grote Markt or a bottle of wine in the Noorderplantsoen are some of the beloved moments of summer in Groningen. 

Take it one step further with a self-guided walking tour and you’ll be in for a real treat (and you may see the entire city in the process). A part of Groningen’s charm is its small size. You can walk or cycle easily from end to end.

While it’s easily overshadowed by Amsterdam, you can find all of the Dutch charm in Groningen but with fewer tourists, cheaper prices and more free seats available on sun-soaked terraces (a real currency in summer). 

The average daily high temperature in the summer months is above 65°F, with rain on about a third of the days of the month. Don’t worry though, the rain doesn’t slow down the fun.

To reach Groningen, catch a flight into Amsterdam airport and then take the train or drive 2 hours.

Kayla says, “ Hotel Schimmelpenninck Huys is a fantastic local accommodation that’s right in the city center with easy access to everything. Have lunch at the vismarkt, only a few blocks away, then end your night with a drink or a walk around the city. Groningen is small, safe, and the perfect alternative to a big bustling Dutch city. In addition, Groningen is the perfect place to spend a few days or an entire remote workation .”

Europe offers many amazing vacation destinations for a quick summer weekend getaway. Whether you want to lounge on beaches, explore nature, visit charming small towns, or experience an exciting European city, there is something for everyone in these fantastic summer weekend trips.

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52 Best Weekend Getaways in Europe: A Year-Long Escape!

Those blissful three days that all of us living in the UK look forward to, especially for a quick escape to the wonders of Europe. And what’s not to love? Amazing food, history, culture, and just a short flight away.

Darek and I have had our fair share of quick getaways, each leaving us eager for the next. We just love our weekend getaways – is that an illness? 😉

If you find yourself wondering where to jet off to every weekend of the year, wonder no more! We’ve compiled a colossal list, categorised by North, South, East, and West Europe for your convenience.

Whether you’re a romantic , an adventurer, or a city slicker, there’s something here for everyone – a long list of top weekend trips from London to Europe.

Best weekend getaways Europe

Best weekend trips Europe

Before you ask – yes, we’ve deliberately left out all the magical places in England . Because, you know, why not experience something different when you’re already living in a gem? Onwards, shall we?

South Europe – best weekend getaways

1. cinque terre, italy.

Nestled between steep cliffs and the Mediterranean Sea, Cinque Terre is a tapestry of five quaint villages. Hike from Monterosso to Riomaggiore and treat yourself to breathtaking views and artisanal gelato. The vibrancy of the buildings looks like a real-life palette of colours. Gosia and I, for instance, found a secluded spot near Vernazza, where we enjoyed a picnic with local focaccia. Pure magic.

Must-Visit Villages in Cinque Terre

  • Riomaggiore

Where to stay during Europe getaways in Cinque Terre?

  • Affittacamere Casa Dane’
  • Le 5 Terre La Spezia
  • Hotel Marina

Weekend getaway in Europe - Cinque Terre, Italy

2. Venice, Italy

There is nowhere in the world quite like  Venice in Italy . In fact, this is one of the best weekend trips Europe! A floating city that is world-famous, the beautiful sights that you can take in when you spend a weekend in Venice is something that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Away from leisurely floating around the city, there are plenty of other amazing things that you can see and do during your weekend break in Venice, including seeing the Palazzo Ducale and the Basilica Di San Marco.

Venice’s Virtues

  • St. Mark’s Square
  • Doge’s Palace
  • Gondola ride
  • Cannaregio District

Where to stay during Europe weekend trips in Venice?

  • Hotel Antigo Trovatore
  • Residenza Goldoni
  • Al Gazzettino

Best short trips in Europe - Venice, Italy

3. Zante, Greece

Also known as Zakynthos, Zante is a Greek island that offers an ideal blend of beachy relaxation and exciting water sports. The Shipwreck Beach alone makes the trip worthwhile!

Zante’s Zing

Best long weekend trips - Zante, Greece

4. Rome, Italy

Rome is not just a city; it’s an immersive experience. From the ruins of the Colosseum to the magnificence of the Vatican, every street corner whispers stories of the past. The local cuisine is another story altogether. Pizzas, pastas, and pastries—every meal feels like a Roman holiday. Our personal highlight? A moonlit stroll around the Roman Forum.

Highlights of Rome

Where to stay during extended weekend trips in rome.

  • SuiteSistina for Lovers
  • Trianon Borgo Pio Aparthotel
  • Hotel The Building

Weekend trips Europe - Rome, Italy

5. Menorca, Spain

An island in Spain’s Balearic archipelago, Menorca is the quieter, more tranquil sister to Ibiza and Mallorca. It’s the go-to place for beaches, coves, and coastal paths that can keep you exploring for days.

Menorca’s Moments

Best weekend getaways Europe - Menorca

6. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Where to go this weekend in Europe? There is something magical about Italy. Maybe it is the food, maybe is the wine, maybe it is the language. However, when it comes to the  Amalfi Coast , the truth is that it is the destination itself that can make you fall in love.

A recognised  UNESCO site , it is not only truly breathtakingly beautiful, but the Amalfi Coast is also a place that you will remember for nails to come. Set next to the sea, you may love the clifftops, or you may love the woodland, both of which can be found with ease.

Best Photo Spots in Amalfi Coast

  • The cliffside gardens in Ravello
  • The iconic Positano skyline
  • Fiordo di Furore, a hidden fjord
  • The ancient towers along the coast

Where to stay during short weekend trips Europe in Amalfi Coast?

  • Alcione Residence
  • Villa Yiara
  • Hotel Villa Bellavista

Long weekend trips in Europe - Amalfi Coast, Italy

7. Malaga, Spain

Malaga is a bundle of contradictions: an old soul with a young heart. It’s a city where modernity mingles effortlessly with history. And let’s not forget, this city gave us Picasso! The beaches are perfect for sun-soaking, while the museums are treasure troves of art and culture. When Gosia and I visited, we indulged in a tapas crawl, savouring everything from grilled sardines to Iberian ham.

Not-to-Miss in Malaga

Where to stay during short weekend trips in europe in malaga.

  • ICON Malabar
  • Soho Boutique Equitativa

Weekend trips in Europe - Malaga

Best European weekend trips? If you’re looking for a getaway in the Mediterranean, then Malta is the place to go. It’s got everything you could possibly want from a holiday destination: great weather, beautiful beaches and some of Europe’s best nightlife.

The city of Valletta, in Malta, is one of the most picturesque places in Europe. The historic city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the second largest in Malta after Birgu. It is also known as “Little Venice” due to its canals, which are filled with colorful houses and palaces.

Malta’s Magic

Best places for long weekend Europe - Malta

Where to stay during European weekend trips in Malta?

  • Osborne Hotel
  • The Embassy Valletta Hotel

9. Barcelona, Spain

Here, Gaudi’s masterpieces blend seamlessly with a nightlife that’ll make you forget what sleep is. From the winding streets of the Gothic Quarter to the bustling markets of La Rambla, this is a city that never stops. Of course, no trip would be complete without visiting the Sagrada Familia . We got there early to beat the crowds, and the morning light filtering through the stained glass. Absolutely ethereal.

Staying in Barcelona for the weekend is a great experience, whether it is for the culture, the food or perhaps the shopping. You certainly will never forget it – a perfect destination for a short getaway trip at any time of the year!

Must-Try Foods in Barcelona

  • Tapas (especially patatas bravas)
  • Churros with chocolate
  • Fresh seafood at La Boqueria Market

Where to stay during Euro weekend trips in Barcelona?

  • Ohla Eixample
  • Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella
  • Catalonia Catedral

Weekend Europe trips - Barcelona

10. Athens, Greece

When it comes to history, there is no other city that is quite as ancient than Athens. The home of gods, if you do take a weekend break to Athens then be prepared to be awe-struck by just how special it is as a city.

Of course, the history of Athens is one of the many reasons that people pay it a visit, but the truth is, just because it has a rich and deep story behind it, this city does not live in the past. It is also a  modern and vibrant place to spend the weekend, with plenty of amazing spots to spend the evening, after spending the day taking in sights such as the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

Athens Highlights

Where to stay during european weekend trips in athens.

  • Athens Raise Acropolis Project
  • Athens Capital Center Hotel – MGallery Collection
  • Athens Cypria Hotel

Weekend getaways Europe - Athens, Greece

11. Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca is not just a beach destination; it’s a Mediterranean dream. The island offers golden sands, azure waters, and a Tramuntana mountain range that’s perfect for hiking. We rented a Vespa one day and explored the hidden coves—definitely a day to remember.

Must-Visit Beaches in Mallorca

  • Cala Millor

Where to stay during short trips to Europe in Mallorca?

  • Elba Sunset Mallorca Thalasso Spa
  • Hotel Riu Festival

Weekend trips in Europe - Mallorca, Spain

12. Lisbon, Portugal

With its cobbled streets, historic trams, and a nightlife that buzzes with Fado music, Lisbon offers a laid-back charm that’s hard to resist. You can also visit Sintra if you have time 🙂

Lisbon is a postcard-perfect city, with hillsides surrounding it to really give a sense of drama that is hard to beat. In the city itself, you can explore the ancient ruins, cobbled alleyways and of course the domed cathedrals that have all become an incredibly recognisable European weekend getaway.

Darek, being an F1 car fanatic, was in heaven when he jumped on a tram – they are both the same, right? 😉

Things to Do in Lisbon

Where to stay during a weekend get-away in lisbon.

  • My Story Hotel Tejo
  • TURIM Boulevard Hotel
  • Lux Lisboa Park

Best weekend trips in Europe - Lisbon

13. Dubrovnik, Croatia

If there is one European country that is definitely growing in popularity it is Croatia, and when you see just what Dubrovnik has to offer, it is easy to see why. Not only is Dubrovnik a stunning coastal city, with one of the most amazing sets of views, but it is also an amazing city on its own.

Dubrovnik is a city where stone walls meet azure seas. The Old Town is a maze of narrow streets and hidden squares. Trust us; you’d want to get lost here. It’s also a perfect spot for Game of Thrones fans.

Game of Thrones Locations in Dubrovnik

  • The Pile Gate
  • The Jesuit Staircase
  • Fort Lovrijenac
  • The City Walls

Where to stay during getaways to Europe in Dubrovnik?

  • Guest House Tomasi
  • City Center Rooms
  • Scalini Palace

Long weekend destinations Europe - Dubrovnik, Croatia

14. Nice, France

The French Riviera is encapsulated in this stunning city. Walk the Promenade des Anglais, dip your toes in the sea, and explore the vibrant markets. Let’s not forget the rooftop bars with panoramic views – the perfect setting for a tipple or two.

Nice is a city that is like no other in the  south of France , it is not only a seaside location, which brings in families, but it also comes with some real city-like vibes, which attracts those who want to spend a weekend break there.

Best Rooftop Bars in Nice

Where to stay during weekends away in europe in nice.

  • Best Western Plus Hôtel Massena Nice
  • Hôtel Nice Azur Riviera

Long weekend destinations Europe - Nice

15. Porto, Portugal

The city of bridges, trams, and of course, port wine. Porto is a great weekend getaway option for those who want to enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, relax and recharge their batteries.

The city has been named one of the most beautiful cities in Europe by National Geographic and has also been voted as one of the most romantic cities in the world by Lonely Planet.

Must-Visit Wineries in Porto

Where to stay during europe getaways in porto.

  • bnapartments Carregal
  • LETHESHOME Apartments

Best long weekend trips Europe - Porto, Portugal

16. Ronda, Spain

There is plenty of growth happening in some of the smaller towns in Spain and  Ronda  is no different. Whilst it may be expanding, Ronda is actually still managing to retain some of the small town, a historic charm that makes it the ideal place to explore during a weekend break.

Perched atop a gorge, this Spanish beauty offers stunning views that make your jaw drop. Seriously, you can’t visit without snapping hundreds of photos.

Look at Gosia! She could spend hours there 😉

Ronda’s Breathtaking Spots

Where to stay during your europe getaway in ronda.

  • Catalonia Reina Victoria
  • Lewis&Peter Apartments Los Remedios
  • Parador de Ronda

Unique weekend getaways Europe - Ronda

West Europe – best long weekend trips

17. paris, france.

Known as the most romantic city in Europe, Paris is the place to go for a weekend getaway trip with someone special. If you have never been to Paris before, learn about the most  common mistakes of first-time visitors .

Plan your  weekend in Paris itinerary  in advance as there are many interesting things to do. Not only are there some of the most amazing hotels and restaurants for you to explore, but there is also a wide range of sights to enjoy too. The Eiffel Tower, the Moulin Rouge or the Louvre are some of them. There are many great  things to do in Paris with kids  too – if you fancy visiting the city with the little ones 🙂

Parisian Essentials

Where to stay during weekend trip europe in paris.

  • Victoria Palace Hotel
  • Hôtel Le Presbytère
  • Hôtel Horset Opéra, Best Western Premier Collection

Weekends away in Europe - Paris

18. Hallstatt, Austria

Ah, Hallstatt! This village is straight out of a postcard. Snuggled between the Hallstätter See and the Dachstein Alps, it’s a haven for nature lovers. Gosia was so mesmerised by the lake’s reflections; she practically turned into a professional photographer!

Hallstatt Highlights

Insta-worthy spots in hallstatt.

  • Market Square
  • Evangelical Parish Church
  • Hallstatt Viewpoint
  • The Lake Promenade

Weekend getaways Europe - Hallstatt

19. Ghent, Belgium

Less crowded than Bruges but equally charming, Ghent offers picturesque canals, historic castles, and a youthful vibe thanks to its student population. The Belgian waffles are to die for; you can have them every day for breakfast!

With a rich history, visitors to Ghent can marvel at the historic architecture, sample unbeatable local food and beers, and take in the beauty of the riverside city.

Ghent Highlights

  • Gravensteen Castle
  • St. Bavo’s Cathedral
  • Graslei and Korenlei
  • Ghent Altarpiece

Where to stay during trips to Europe in Ghent?

  • Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Reylof Ghent
  • 1898 The Post
  • Hotel Harmony

Best weekend trips Europe - Ghent, Belgium

20. Colmar, France

Nestled in northeastern France’s Alsace region, Colmar is like a fairy tale come to life. With its half-timbered medieval buildings and Renaissance architecture, it’s a haven for history and art lovers alike.

Colmar’s Charms

  • Petite Venise
  • Unterlinden Museum
  • Bartholdi Museum
  • Christmas Markets

Long weekend in Europe - Colmar, France

21. Cork, Ireland

This Irish gem offers the perfect blend of modern energy and old-world charm. Take a day to explore the English Market and grab some artisanal Irish cheese.

Cork is one of the  most laid-back cities in Ireland, it might be compact, but that doesn’t mean that there is a lack of things that you can do. So, why not spend a long weekend in Cork with those who are most important to you?

Cork’s Must-Dos

Where to stay during weekend away europe in cork.

  • Gabriel House Guesthouse
  • Imperial Hotel Cork City
  • The Dean Cork

3 day trip Europe - Cork

22. Salzburg, Austria

Famed for its classical music heritage (it’s the birthplace of Mozart, no less), Salzburg is an Austrian city that oozes charm and sophistication. The Salzburg Fortress and Mirabell Gardens are must-visits.

Rather unsurprisingly, given the history of the city,  Salzburg  is known as the stuff of fairytales, and we have to admit, it does feel as if there is a spot of magic when you spend the weekend in the capital city of the  Austrian Alps .

Alternatively, if Salzburg is not your cup of tea, you can visit the capital of Austria:  Vienna – the most livable city .

Salzburg’s Symphony

  • Salzburg Fortress
  • Mirabell Gardens
  • Mozart’s Birthplace
  • Hellbrunn Palace

Where to stay during Europe weekend trips in Salzburg?

  • Austria Trend Hotel Europa Salzburg
  • Altstadt Hotel Hofwirt Salzburg

Best long weekend trips Europe - Salzburg

23. Luxembourg, Luxembourg

If you’re looking for the ultimate weekend break, you can’t go wrong with Luxembourg. The capital of Europe is a stunning place to visit, with its grand medieval architecture and lush green countryside.

It’s small but packs a punch. The city offers a unique blend of the medieval and modern, and its compact size makes it perfect for a weekend stroll. A highlight for us was the Bock Casemates – a network of underground tunnels with centuries of history.

Luxembourg’s Unique Spots

  • Bock Casemates
  • Palace of the Grand Dukes
  • Mudam (Museum of Modern Art)

Where to stay during long weekend trips Europe in Luxembourg?

  • Le Royal Hotels & Resorts Luxembourg
  • LÉGÈRE HOTEL Luxembourg

Best weekend destinations Europe - Luxembourg

24. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Whilst  Amsterdam  may be thought of as a city that is just for one thing, the truth about this beautiful Dutch city is that it is packed full of history and culture too.

Canals, culture, and cannabis – Amsterdam is a city of endless possibilities. Whether it’s a peaceful boat ride on the canals or a night out in the Red Light District, there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget to try the stroopwafels; they’re heavenly.

We really had a fun time when we visited Amsterdam 🙂

Amsterdam Essentials

Where to stay during european weekend trips in amsterdam.

  • Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam
  • Room Mate Aitana
  • Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam

Weekend trip Europe - Amsterdam

25. Chamonix, France

Located in the French Alps, Chamonix is synonymous with winter sports and alpine glory. It’s not all about skiing and snowboarding though; summer offers excellent hiking, climbing, and panoramic views that leave people speechless.

Chamonix Cheers

Short trips Europe - Chamonix, France

26. Bruges, Belgium

This place is like stepping into a medieval fairy tale. Think cobblestone streets, charming squares, and chocolate shops galore. When we were there, we enjoyed a lovely canal cruise – highly recommended!

Bruges can be very busy during weekends, but once the buses with tourists are gone, the city has a completely different vibe. If you are an early owl as we are, for the best pictures we recommend exploring Bruges in the morning hours.

Bruges Essentials

Weekend trips from London to Europe - Bruges

27. Berlin, Germany

Berlin is a melting pot of history, art, and nightlife. The graffiti on the Berlin Wall tells stories that textbooks can’t. A currywurst at midnight? Berlin has you covered.

It is known as the city of freedom and there definitely is a feeling of a city that is not afraid to express itself. It is safe to say that there is always plenty to see and do in Berlin, which means if you are staying 2 days in Berlin , then you are likely to find yourself with a pretty big list of sights to enjoy.

Berlin Nightlife Spots

  • Charlottenburg

Where to stay during weekend Europe break in Berlin?

  • Schulz Hotel Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery
  • Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt
  • IntercityHotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof

Weekend trip Europe - Berlin, Germany

28. Engelberg, Switzerland

Engelberg is your quintessential Alpine paradise. Whether it’s skiing in winter or hiking in summer, this place is a natural wonder year-round. Darek, being an adventurous soul, could hardly resist the call of Mount Titlis.

If you are looking for a unique weekend break Engelberg is for you! It’s only a stone’s throw away from Zurich.

Engelberg Essentials

Adventure sports in engelberg.

  • Snowboarding
  • Paragliding
  • Mountain Biking

Weekend trip in Europe - Engelberg

29. Antwerp, Belgium

Antwerp offers a delightful blend of art, fashion, and diamonds – yes, diamonds! This buzzing Belgian city is often overlooked but never disappoints. The cathedral and art museums are top-notch.

Antwerp’s Sparkling Spots

Short trips in Europe - Antwerp, Belgium

30. Munich, Germany

Think Bavaria, think Munich. Famous for Oktoberfest, it’s not just about the beer (though that’s a big plus). Castles, tech museums, and vibrant markets – it’s a city that marries tradition with modernity.

The ideal location for a weekend break, one thing is for sure, you will never be bored if you spend some time in Munich. You can take a walk around the Marienplatz, you can visit the Nymphenburg Palace, or you can visit the English Garden. Or perhaps do all three!

Have more time after a  visit to Munich ? Why not visit  Eibsee Lake in Bavaria  and  Zugspitze ?

Munich’s Highpoints

Where to stay during europe weekend trips in munich.

  • Cocoon Hauptbahnhof
  • Platzl Hotel – Superior

Weekend getaways in Europe - Munich, Germany

East Europe – unique weekend getaways

31. lake bled, slovenia.

A Slovenian gem that’s got romance written all over it. Whether it’s taking a traditional pletna boat to Bled Island or hiking up to Bled Castle for panoramic views, the area offers a variety of experiences. The lake’s beauty was so overwhelming, it was a challenge for us to leave!

If you love S love nia as I do, after your weekend trip you will definitely book a long holiday in this stunning country.

Best of Lake Bled

Lake bled activities.

  • Rowing to Bled Island
  • Swimming in the lake
  • Horseback riding
  • Cycling around the lake

Best weekend trips Europe - Lake Bled

32. Hel, Poland

Contrary to its name, Hel is actually a slice of paradise in Poland. Situated at the tip of the Hel Peninsula, this charming town offers stunning sea views and a rich maritime heritage.

It’s only a short drive from Gdansk making it a perfect location for a quiet weekend break.

Highlights of Hel

  • Hel Peninsula
  • Seal Sanctuary
  • Coastal Defence Museum
  • The Lighthouse

Weekend away Europe - Hel

33. Budapest, Hungary

The city of spas, Buda and Pest, and the stunning Danube snaking through. It’s hard to beat a sunset cruise here.

Budapest is one of the most popular destinations for a weekend break in Europe, and it is easy to see why. From impressive architecture to thriving nightlife, Budapest really does offer something for everyone.

Budapest’s Best Bits

Where to stay during a weekend break in europe in budapest.

  • Arcadia Hotel Budapest
  • Roombach Hotel Budapest Center

3 day trip Europe - Budapest, Hungary

34. Warsaw, Poland

A weekend break to Warsaw will certainly not disappoint, with a rich history, eclectic nightlife and beautiful panoramic views.

The Warsaw Old Town is one of 17 World Heritage Sites in Poland, after the intense bombings in the Second World War and being beautifully rebuilt. History buffs will love the abundance of museums in the city, and those looking for a good night out can discover one of the best bar scenes in Eastern Europe.

Warsaw Wonders

  • Wilanów Palace
  • Royal Castle
  • Warsaw Uprising Museum
  • Lazienki Park

Where to stay during a short break to Europe in Warsaw?

  • Novotel Warszawa Centrum
  • Hampton by Hilton Warsaw City Centre

Best weekend trips in Europe - Warsaw, Poland

35. Prague, Czech Republic

The city of a hundred spires! A haven for lovers of gothic and baroque architecture. The Charles Bridge at dawn is an experience that stays with you.

Surrounded by beautiful lush green trees, not only is Prague a  stunning city  to spend some time for a weekend but the landscape that envelopes it is just as beautiful to look at. If you visit Prague in December you can enjoy one of the  best Christmas markets in Europe  – it’s really worth it!

With so many great hotels and cheap  hostels in Prague , the city is a perfect destination for a short weekend break. Whether you simply take the time to walk around and soak up everything that Prague has to offer , spend the evening in a bar, or perhaps visit some of the main visitor attractions such as Prague Castle and Charles Bridge, you will love every second of a weekend getaway spent in Prague.

Prague Picks

Where to stay during getaways in europe in prague.

  • MOSAIC HOUSE Design Hotel
  • Grand Majestic Hotel Prague
  • Grandior Hotel Prague

Weekend destinations Europe - Prague, Czech Republic

36. Bratislava, Slovakia

This charming capital on the banks of the Danube is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbours. But with its medieval buildings and modernist 20th-century architecture, it holds its own.

Bratislava Castle and its 47-metre high tower offer stunning views over the country, as does the 45-metre high Old Town Hall. Bratislava is also home to the largest war memorial in Central Europe, Slavin, which is one of the main features on the city skyline.

Bratislava’s Hidden Gems

  • Devin Castle
  • Blue Church
  • Slovak National Theatre

Where to stay during weekend European trips in Bratislava?

  • LOFT Hotel Bratislava
  • Apollo Hotel Bratislava

Best weekend getaways abroad - Bratislava, Slovakia

37. Wroclaw, Poland

Known as the “Venice of Poland,” Wroclaw is peppered with more than 100 bridges connecting 12 islands. A paradise for architecture enthusiasts and photographers alike!

Wroclaw has many museums and galleries, including the Museum of Modern Art, an art gallery with a collection of paintings by famous Polish artists such as Jan Matejko.

Wroclaw Must-Sees

Where to stay during europe weekend trips in wroclaw.

  • Hotel Dikul Market Square Wroclaw
  • Scandic Wrocław

Short trip Europe - Wroclaw, Poland

38. Riga, Latvia

Yet another European capital that is rarely visited by tourists, but an ideal weekend destination is Riga. An underrated gem on the Baltic coast, Riga is known for its Art Nouveau architecture and charming Old Town. The Central Market is a feast for the senses!

Latvia’s capital offers endless beautiful architecture, and the centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many of the grand buildings are excellently preserved and line the streets with pastel hues.

Riga’s Highpoints

  • House of the Blackheads
  • Riga Cathedral
  • Central Market
  • Jurmala Beach

Where to stay during weekend trip getaways in Riga?

  • Wellton Riverside SPA Hotel
  • Rixwell Hotel Konventa Seta

Weekend trip in Europe - Riga, Latvia

39. Krakow, Poland

Krakow is a city of legends, dragons, and an enormous castle. The Old Town Square is one of Europe’s most stunning, and the historic Jewish district, Kazimierz, is not to be missed. Darek recommends trying a zapiekanka (open-faced sandwich) while you’re there.

Krakow Know-How

Long weekend trips Europe - Krakow, Poland

40. Tallinn, Estonia

With its medieval streets and modern tech vibes, Tallinn is an intriguing mix of old and new. Its digital society is almost as impressive as its well-preserved city walls.

Tallinn To-Dos

  • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
  • Kumu Art Museum
  • Telliskivi Creative City
  • Kadriorg Palace

Unique weekend getaways Europe - Tallinn, Estonia

41. Sofia, Bulgaria

Nestled at the foot of Mount Vitosha, Sofia is one of Europe’s oldest cities. The blend of Roman, Ottoman, and Soviet influences makes for a fascinating visit.

Sofia Surprises

Long weekend Europe - Sofia, Bulgaria

North Europe – long weekend trips

42. copenhagen, denmark.

Copenhagen is as chic as cities come, with its stylish boutiques, modernist architecture, and a cycling culture that’ll make you want to trade your car for a bike. Don’t miss the colourful Nyhavn harbour; it’s an Instagram dream!

Gosia found a hidden gem called Reffen – you need to visit it while exploring Copenhagen!

Copenhagen Coolness

Where to stay during european weekend trips in copenhagen.

  • citizenM Copenhagen Radhuspladsen
  • Ascot Hotel

Weekend getaway Europe - Copenhagen

43. Bergen, Norway

Known as the gateway to the fjords, Bergen is more than just a pretty face. The historic Hanseatic Wharf is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Fløyen Mountain provides stunning vistas.

Visitors also love the bustling fish market, which is one of the most visited markets in the country and offers much more than just local fish catches.

Need more adventure?  Fjord cruises from Bergen  offer a breathtaking experience, making it a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and spend a memorable day.

Bergen Besties

  • Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf
  • Mount Fløyen
  • Fish Market
  • Bergenhus Fortress

Where to stay during long weekends abroad in Bergen?

  • Bergen Børs Hotel
  • Zander K Hotel

Weekend away ideas Europe - Bergen, Norway

44. Reykjavik, Iceland

This small but mighty capital is the launchpad for exploring Iceland’s out-of-this-world landscapes. From the Blue Lagoon to the Northern Lights, Reykjavik serves you nature on a silver platter.

If you are looking for a city that has plenty to offer, then Reykjavik might just be the right place for you to spend the  weekend in Iceland .

There are many great  things to do in Reykjavik . It is not only a beautiful city in its own right, but it is also surrounded by some of the most beautiful and breathtaking scenery too. The summer brings sunshine that never seems to end, whilst the winter heralds the arrival of the Northern Lights. A sight that people wait their entire lifetime to see.

Reykjavik Rendezvous

Where to stay during european weekends away in reykjavik.

  • Exeter Hotel
  • Reykjavik Residence Apartment Hotel
  • Reykjavik Marina – Berjaya Iceland Hotels

Best places in Europe for a long weekend - Reykjavik

45. Oslo, Norway

Oslo combines modern architecture with natural beauty. From world-class museums to the outdoor activities in the surrounding fjords, there’s never a dull moment.

Oslo also offers a great selection of restaurants and bars where you can try local delicacies such as smalahove (Norwegian smoked ham) and lutefisk (a fish dish made from dried cod).

Oslo’s Oomph

  • Vigeland Sculpture Park
  • Viking Ship Museum
  • Oslo Opera House
  • Frogner Park

Where to stay during short trips Europe in Oslo?

  • Hotell Bondeheimen
  • Cochs Pensjonat

Best short trips Europe - Oslo, Norway

46. Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedish capital is spread across 14 islands, connected by 50 bridges. A haven for design aficionados and history buffs, the city’s hipster cafes and trendy boutiques are also worth exploring.

Stockholm’s Staples

Best European weekend trips - Stockholm, Sweden

47. Oulu, Finland

Known as the “Technology City,” Oulu might surprise you with its vibrant cultural scene. The Oulu Museum of Art and the spectacular Northern Ostrobothnia museum are must-visits. And yes, the place is as Finnish as a sauna full of Nokia phones!

Outstanding Oulu

Best long weekend trips in Europe - Oulu, Finland

48. Trondheim, Norway

This Norwegian city offers a unique blend of old and new. From the magnificent Nidaros Cathedral to the modern Rockheim, Norway’s national museum of popular music, Trondheim is a symphony of experiences.

Trondheim Treats

  • Nidaros Cathedral
  • Old Town Bridge
  • Trondheim Art Museum

Best places for a weekend getaway Europe - Trondheim, Norway

49. Rovaniemi, Finland

Ah, the official hometown of Santa Claus! But Rovaniemi isn’t just about Christmas; it’s a hub for experiencing the Northern Lights and the midnight sun. Darek suggests a snowmobile safari if you’re up for the thrill.

Reasons to Visit Rovaniemi

Quick European getaways - Rovaniemi, Finland

50. Gothenburg, Sweden

A lively city with a laid-back vibe, Gothenburg offers everything from stunning archipelagoes to delightful amusement parks.

Cobblestone streets, hipster coffee shops, and even a picturesque archipelago off the coast. But let’s not forget Sweden’s second-largest city is a bustling centre of culture, innovation, and gastronomy. You won’t want to miss this place.

Gothenburg Glory

  • Liseberg Park
  • Gothenburg Archipelago
  • Haga district

Best places in Europe for weekend trip - Gothenburg, Sweden

51. Aarhus, Denmark

Known as the “City of Smiles,” Aarhus is Denmark’s second-largest city. From the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum to the Den Gamle By (Old Town), it’s a city that successfully combines the contemporary with the historical.

Aarhus Attributes

52. malmö, sweden.

Malmö is an underrated Swedish destination that’s often overshadowed by its more famous neighbours. Whether it’s the Turning Torso skyscraper, the delightful parks, or the buzzing cafés, there’s something for everyone.

Malmö’s Must-See

Malmö moments.

  • Little Square (Lilla Torg)
  • Oresund Bridge
  • St. Peter’s Church
  • Moderna Museet Malmö

Long weekends in Europe - Malmö, Sweden

Weekend trips Europe FAQ:

Yes, you can enjoy a long weekend in Europe by choosing a destination that is easily accessible from your location and maximizing your time by planning efficient travel and prioritizing key attractions or experiences.

Whether you choose Barcelona, Copenhagen or London, Europe is full of amazing places to go for a weekend break!

From the UK, you can fly to several destinations within a 2-hour flight range, including popular European cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, and Brussels. This allows for convenient weekend getaways or short trips to explore different cultures and attractions.

Is it worth going on weekend trips to Europe?

Europe has a lot to offer, with a wide variety of destinations and experiences to choose from.

One of the main advantages of a weekend trip to Europe is that it allows you to experience a new culture, visit new places, and make memories without taking too much time off work or away from your daily life. Additionally, Europe has an excellent transportation infrastructure, making it easy and convenient to get around to different destinations.

A weekend trip to Europe can be a great way to get a taste of a new destination and create lasting memories, but it’s essential to plan ahead, choose your destination carefully, and have realistic expectations.

Further reading

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These Are the Best (and Most Affordable) European Cities for a Weekend Trip

London came in at No. 1.

best weekend trips to europe

Gautier Houba/Travel + Leisure

Sometimes, all you need is 72 perfect hours away to feel totally refreshed and renewed. And that’s where the 3-day getaway comes in. But, rather than book a nearby trip this year, why not go for a big swing and head to Europe instead? 

With direct flights to and from many U.S. cities straight to Europe , it’s easier than you may think to hop the pond for a quick escape. But where, exactly, should you go? Slot.Day , an online slots website, has a few ideas. 

To help travelers determine the best European cities to visit for weekend getaways in 2024, experts from the site analyzed data and ratings from Tripadvisor reviews for every European capital city, specifically looking into the quality of nightlife at each and the cost of accommodation. (It excluded Kyiv, Ukraine, due to the ongoing conflict; Vatican City for, well, obvious reasons; and Vaduz in Lichtenstein due to a lack of Tripadvisor ratings.) After analyzing the data, it named London the top spot for a European break. 

“The U.K. capital has a staggering 854 highly rated bars, clubs, and pubs to choose from on a typical night out,” the findings, shared with Travel + Leisure , explained. “It is worth noting that London is the fifth most expensive European capital for accommodation, estimated at an average of €116.9 ($127.65) per person for one night. However, the unmatched range of things to do on a city escape outweighs the steeper hotel costs.” 

While London may be a fairly obvious choice thanks to its frequent non-stop flights between New York City, Miami, Chicago, and Los Angeles, the website did point to some more under-the-radar cities too. That includes destinations like Prague, which clocked in at the No. 2 spot, followed by Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, which came in third. 

“Bulgaria also has its capital city as a major tourist attraction,” the findings noted. “Sofia offers its visitors a choice of 112 bars and clubs rated four stars and above, while hotels are a reasonable €41.9 ($45.75) per person for one night.” 

Skopje in North Macedonia took the fourth spot in the study, followed by Tirana Albania at No. 5. Rounding out the rest of the top 10 are Bucharest, Romania; Belgrade, Serbia; Warsaw, Poland; Berlin, Germany; and Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina at No. 10.

“It is surprising to find places like Skopje, Tirana, and Sarajevo offering a good balance of high-quality nightlife and affordable accommodation,” Michael Slot, the main author of the study, said. “Other hidden gems off the beaten path include Vilnius, Riga, and Chisinau. These findings offer fantastic insight for anyone planning their 2024 holidays with their partner or BFF. You can tick off your culture quota during the day, explore another capital city full of history, and top it off with a great night out, all in just one fun weekend without breaking the bank.” 

Now all that’s left to do is toss out the idea to your group chat, book the ticket, and go.

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25 Very Best Weekend Trips In Europe

Best Things To Do In Prague (3)

Lloyd and I always seek a way to try to travel as often as possible whilst still working and studying. Well, this meant we had to be savvy with our free time, so looking for the very best weekend trips in Europe was essential. 

Ultimate Map Of Things To See When Visiting Scotland (4)

This is perfect if you’re working full-time because weekend travel requires you to use ZERO holiday days. Well, unless you fancy tagging on an extra few days; which is justifiable. 

This is exactly why we wanted to share some of the best weekend trips in Europe that’ll sort out any wanderlust feelings you might have.

Plus, under each of the 25 different places, we’ve popped a link to a dedicated post on that very place. This all means you can get the full low-down on each spot without having to miss any of the weekend spots! 

25 Perfect Weekend Getaways In Europe

Take a look, below, at some of the best weekend trips in Europe to enjoy. Have the best time! 

1.) London, UK

Here's How To Get Free SkyGarden London Tickets (6)

London is always an easy win as there’s always so much to do whilst you’re in buzzing London town. 

There are lots of places with the best views , some amazing and unique restaurants to visit , not to mention the best bars and secret spots you definitely have to see .

10 Best Things To Do In Covent Garden - London (3)

Oh, and that’s before we’ve even got to the most stunning London palaces and all the best areas in London, too. 

Read more: Best areas of London to explore

2.) Cinque Terre, Italy

11 Stunning Things To Do In Cinque Terre, Italy (3)

One of the most colourful places to visit in Italy, Cinque Terre is an amazingly picturesque place to spend a lovely and relaxing weekend in.

Unless you like to hike of course in which case, you’re going to the right place anyway.

11 Stunning Things To Do In Cinque Terre, Italy (18)

Here’s a complete guide on Cinque Terre and some photos from the 5 towns; Riomaggiore , Corniglia , Manarola , Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare .

Read more: Best things to do in Cinque Terre

3.) Paris, France

unique things to do in Paris (22)

Paris as a city is another easy win though my favourite time to visit Paris is definitely in the summer. It is one of the best weekend trips in Europe if you love a city break. 

Summer in mainland Europe always seems a lot nicer and there are so many outdoor festivities, picnics and dinners just waiting to be had.

Do check out these  free things to do in Paris , dine in  these restaurants with the best views in Paris , see these essential sights in Paris and have a little fun searching for these secret spots in Paris .

Read more: Best markets in Paris to visit

4.) Split, Croatia

24 Hours In Split, Croatia... (36)

Not only is Split an amazing city to visit  (make sure you check out Diocletian’s Palace , especially if you’re a Game of Thrones fan), but it’s also quite close to beautiful islands like Solta  and lovely seaside towns like the Markaska Riviera .

We’ve also got an action-packed itinerary to help you plan what to do when you visit Croatia in general.

Read more: Best places in Croatia to visit

5.)  Gothenburg, Sweden

Nordic Adventures - The Sequel! Next stop - Gothenburg, Sweden! (21)

This laid-back Swedish city packs a lot of fun for a weekend away .

You could always plan everything out though, in our experience, this is one of those cities where you’re best throwing caution to the wind and playing the weekend by ear.

If you have a bit more time, step away from the city and check out some of the gorgeous neighbouring towns .

Read more: Best things to do in Stockholm

6.) Budapest, Hungary

Best Things To Do In Budapest Hungary New York Cafe

There’s so much to do here during the day and at night through one of the best parts about visiting this city is how affordable it is. It is one of the best weekend trips in Europe, and much cheaper than cities like London or Paris, too. 

Best Things To Do In Budapest Hungary Fisherman's Bastion Halászbástya

Affordability is relative of course but Budapest is unique in that the affordability doesn’t come at the cost of a lack of exciting things to see, do and eat in the city.

It’s one of the cities where luxury hotels are a lot more attainable and you can splash out a lot more on.

Read more: Best things to do in Budapest

7.) Florence, Italy

Best Things To Do In Florence (7)

My love for Florence has been stated time and time again.

With lots of sights to see , an abundance of amazing restaurants and stunning places with amazing views .

Best Things To Do In Florence (42)

It’s probably easy to see why a weekend away in Florence is just what you need.

Read more: Best things to do in Florence

8.) Venice, Italy


Venice is one of those cities where even if you’re the most cynical people in the world, you won’t be able to help but fall prey to Venice’s romantic charm.

Photos And Postcards From Venice, Italy (18)

The beautiful side streets, gondola rides and Venetian architecture are just incredible to see and experience when you visit. Although a weekend here will leave you wanting to come back, you can cover most of the sights here in a weekend.

Do check out our complete guide to all the sights in Venice to help you plan your trip. Venice is easily one of the best weekend trips in Europe, especially as it’s a unique water city! 

Read more: Best things to do in Venice

9.) Edinburgh, Scotland

Re-Visiting Edinburgh - What's Changed In Scotland's Capital City In The Last 7 Years... (1)

Without a doubt, the very best time to visit Edinburgh is during the annual Fringe Festival. It’s also one of the most expensive times to visit but this month with lots of free stuff to do in the city , things tend to balance themselves out.

Best Things To Do In Edinburgh, Scotland (12)

The fringe festival is a month-long festival with visitors from all over the world and the energy in Edinburgh is pretty electric. Edinburgh also has lots of great bars , restaurants and a whole host of amazing experiences just waiting to be had.

Read more: Best things to do in Edinburgh

10.) Copenhagen, Denmark

visiting Copenhagen-113

Copenhagen is one of those compact cities that is easy to explore in a weekend however you leave feeling like there’s so much more to see (and you would be right about that too).

16 Best Things To Do In Copenhagen (4)

It’s amazing and one of the best weekend trips in Europe that we loved! 

Read more: Best things to do in Copenhagen

11.) Barcelona, Spain

15 Amazing Free Things to do in Barcelona (16)

Gaudi’s home city is famed all around the world and lives up to the hype.

There’s no other city in Spain quite like it and with its amazing sights to see , a wealth of exciting restaurants to eat in an uber-cool vibe, a weekend in Barcelona is one that definitely feels like a good choice to make.

Read more: Best free things to do in Barcelona

12.) Porto, Portugal

14 Fantastic Things To See In Porto - Portugal (17)

Porto is synonymous with good wine, delicious food and a weekend getaway where you can take in some real Portuguese charm at a leisurely pace.

14 Fantastic Things To See In Porto - Portugal (8)

It’s also a very colourful city and an amazing place to visit for a couple of days (or even longer). It’s one of the best weekend trips in Europe that you can easily partner with a trip down Portugal’s dramatic coastline, too. 

Read more: Best things to do in Porto

13.) Oslo, Norway

Best Things To Do In Oslo (6)

This Norwegian city is definitely a fascinating city to visit though it’s also an amazing place to go to when you want to see the fjords of Norway as the train system here is pretty much on point and you’re no more than a couple of hours away at most from a stunning fjord.

A Quick Stopover In Oslo, Norway (9)

There’s also a lot to see and do in the city of course but Norway’s true charm lies in how cities and nature seem very intertwined .

Read more: Best things to do in Oslo

14.) Prague, Czech Republic

Best Things To Do In Prague (3)

Easily considered a beautiful and one of the most charming cities in Europe, Prague has a wealth of sights to see and free stuff to get up to that will keep you busy all weekend long.

We loved it! 

Read more: Best things to do in Prague

15.) Flam, Norway

Fjord Safari... in Flam, Norway (51)

Flam is a gateway to three amazing fjords  (which you can take a fjord safari through ) and although there’s not really much in Flam, it’s the perfect spot for a nice and relaxing weekend getaway.

The Flamsbana Experience - Norway's Most Scenic Train Journey! (1)

The train ride here is also pretty epic by the way and one of the best train journeys in the world .

Read more: Best things to do in Norway

16.) Nimes, France

best weekend trips to europe

This city in the South of France looks like it’s straight out of Rome (or somewhere equally as grand in Italy).

It’s got a strong Roman heritage (complete with Colosseum) and some of the best creme brulee you’ve ever tasted.


Read more: Best things to do in Nimes

17.) Berlin, Germany

Sightseeing In Berlin, Germany - Part 1 (1)

I’ll just come out and say it, a weekend in Berlin is not nearly enough time to explore the city but this is not a bad thing. Visiting for a weekend and feeling like coming back is always a good thing when it comes to cities like Berlin.

German Christmas Market In Berlin, Germany (24)

The city is exciting and ever-evolving and even my friends from Berlin feel like there are still so many parts of the city they haven’t discovered yet so you won’t be alone in feeling that way.

Oh yeah, don’t forget about Potsdam too.

Read more: Best places to see in Berlin

18.) Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Exploring Amsterdam's Canal (By Driving A Boat For The First Time!) (9)

Amsterdam is easily the one city we’ve visited the most, out of all the cities in the world and with good reason too.

The Lazy Guide To A Weekend In Amsterdam (50)

Every visit to Amsterdam exposes a new part of the city and new ways to explore the city we’ve just leaned into this vibe now and have our next two trips to the city already planned.

Exploring Amsterdam's Canal (By Driving A Boat For The First Time!) (7)

What does this mean for you? Even if you have been to Amsterdam, a trip back is pretty much guaranteed to be fun-filled!

Read more: Best things to see in Amsterdam

19.) Reykjavik, Iceland

Best Things To Do In Iceland (16)

Even in winter, Reykjavik is a colourful city and although it feels like you don’t need much more than a day to spend in the city, Reykjavik’s greatest appeal stretches far beyond the city .

Visiting Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach In Iceland And The Dyrhólaey Arch

Its appeal lies in all the amazing natural wonders surrounding the city and just waiting for you to explore. There are so many amazing places in Iceland to see . So, we’ve put together a 1-week itinerary to help you get started with your trip to Iceland. 

Hiking To An Active Volcano Eruption In Iceland (Near Reykjavik)

Oh and don’t forget the food. Icelandic food is pretty great . We ended up eating so much all across the country.

Read more: Best things to do in Iceland

20.) Lisbon, Portugal

36 Hours In Lisbon, Portugal (16)

Forget a weekend – Lisbon is a city I’d happily move to for months on end and with good reason too .

36 Hours In Lisbon, Portugal (32)

The city is fun, has amazing food (yes, I keep talking about food but it’s an important part of travel) and is quite easy to spend an amazing weekend in .

Also, for some epic things to see, check into these gorgeous spots in Lisbon , it’s the perfect place to chill whilst on the best weekend trips in Europe. So lovely. 

Read more: Best things to do in Lisbon

21.) Brussels, Belgium

Weekend Travel Plan: 11 Things To Do In Brussels (19)

Even if it’s just for the chocolate and waffles, you’ve got to take a weekend trip to Brussels .

Weekend Travel Plan: 11 Things To Do In Brussels (13)

Of course, there’s so much more to see and do here but I honestly won’t judge you if you wanna visit just for those two reasons. 

Read more: Best things to do in Brussels

22.) Cotswolds, England

14 Best Places In The Cotswolds You Should Visit (6)

The Cotswolds is  one of the most beautiful places you can visit in the UK and every time we return, this only serves to re-affirm what we already knew .

In Search Of The Most Beautiful Street In England - Arlington Row, Bibury (17)

There are so many quaint English villages to see here which just makes the list of reasons to visit the Cotswolds grow larger and larger. You’ll have the best time and easily one of the best weekend trips in Europe if you’ve got a car to dart around the area in. 

Read more: Best places in the Cotswolds to visit

23.) The Hebrides (Scotland), UK

Ultimate Map Of Things To See When Visiting Scotland (19)

A weekend here is all about getting lost in nature and far-often rarely-seen rural British life.

The Hebrides are unlike anywhere else you can visit in the UK and are an eye-opener when it comes to how amazing and beautiful Scotland truly is .

Read more: Best places in the Highlands to visit

24.) San Sebastian, Spain

Best things to do in San Sebastian Spain Beach

This Basque Country city is a true gem in Spain and although it’s one of the most expensive places to visit in Spain, a trip here is most certainly worth it.

Best things to do in San Sebastian Spain Pintxos

When you’re here, you can pop down to the gorgeous beach , try pintxos at every restaurant/bar possible and  have a generally great time just ambling around the city.  

If you’re planning a bigger trip around the Basque country (including San Sebastian ), then do check out this 4-day travel plan to help you get started.

Read more: Best things to do in San Sebastian

25.) Istanbul, Turkey

Best Things To Do In Istanbul (14)

Although Turkey is technically in Europe and in Asia, Istanbul is still a worthy addition to the list of cities worth visiting for a weekend as it is exciting, vibrant and full of character.

Best Things To Do In Istanbul (16)

There are lots of great experiences you can have here though do check out the  FCO website before you visit.

Read more: Best things to do in Istanbul

11 Best Things To Do In Istanbul, Turkey

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A Nomad's Passport

50+ Amazing & Budget-Friendly Weekend Getaways in Europe

Updated: January 19, 2024

Europe , Estonia , Finland , France , Germany

written by: Steph Kloeckener

If you are short on vacation time, weekend trips are the your best option. These 50+ destinations are the best budget-friendly weekend getaways in Europe!

Europe is a vast continent with many amazing places, but these cities are the best budget-friendly weekend getaways in Europe. There are cities right at the beach and those with an intense history. Places that bring you closer to nature and those that make you want to eat all day long. Cities that are more than worth a short trip there and that just might make you want to return there so you can explore more. On this list, you will find amazing locations all over Europe . Therefore you are bound to find a great location wherever you want to go for a weekend.

All Weekend Getaways in Europe

The best budget-friendly weekend getaways in europe.

When it comes to Europe it is hard to say where one should go first, as the number of places worth a visit is seemingly endless. After all, every single country has great places that are perfect for a short trip. However, the places on this list are the very best destinations if you are planning one or several budget-friendly weekend getaways in Europe.

Discover the very best of Europe and get to know new places that you should add to your travel list.

Structure of this list of budget-friendly destinations in Europe

In order to make it easier to look for destinations in a certain area of Europe I decided to divide the list into seven regions. It is not an entirely traditional split, as I realized that different people have very different concepts when it comes to the region of some countries in Europe.

— read more —

I actually had a debate on Twitter about where Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia belong. And the discussion made me realize that there are two very different ways to see it. One is based on the old East-West line, while the other splits the countries by adding Central Europe.

Therefore you will find the countries of Europe divided into Northern, Western, Southern, Central, East-Central, East und South-Eastern Europe. In the case of the Balkans, I decided to go with a geographical approach, so it does include Slovenia.

I decided to compile the countries Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia in the special East-Central category. It is based on no geographical or political aspects. I know that the regional affiliation of these countries can be the topic of a hot debate. And in recognition of both points of view, it seemed fitting to grant them this status. Interpret it however, you want and according to what you learned in school or university. Just be aware of the fact that there is another way to see it.

Weekend Trips in Northern Europe / Scandinavia

Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg is one of the best places to visit in Scandinavia. A smaller and more affordable version of Stockholm, Gothenburg is becoming more well known as it has won the world’s most sustainable destination four times in a row!

The best time to visit the city is in December for the  Gothenburg Christmas Markets . There are four Christmas markets but the main one is at Liseberg Amusement Park. It combines roller coasters with seasonal stalls, Swedish sweet treats, and a festive ice skating show, making it fun for all the family. The Christmas Markets have plenty of festive food choices such as traditional Swedish gingerbread called Pepparkaka, sweet mulled wine called glogg, and even a four-course Swedish Christmas buffet dinner all under one roof. 

The city itself is one of the most walkable and combines local designer shops with (free!) tropical botanical gardens. Gothenburg is also a great place for modern foodies, especially those who love the Swedish fika culture, as the Haga neighbourhood is home to the largest cinnamon rolls in Sweden! 

Weekend Getaway destination Gothernburg

Gothenburg is also the jumping off point for the West Sweden islands, if you have time and want to visit some Swedish nature.

Submitted by Roshni from The Wanderlust Within

Helsinki may not be the first European city that comes to mind when you think of budget-friendly weekend getaways in Europe, but it surprisingly has a lot to offer budget travelers. The Finnish capital is known for being expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.

There are a large number of key attractions in Helsinki that are either free or relatively cheap to go to, such as Helsinki Cathedral, Suomenlinna, and Puu-Kapyla.

One of the biggest ways to blow your budget while in Helsinki is to constantly eat out at restaurants – they don’t come cheap! A great alternative to the ever-growing restaurant scene in Helsinki is to stop by Teurastamo, where they have converted unused buildings into various restaurants, bars, and even a gin distillery. Another must-try eatery in Helsinki is Cafe Regatta, which is considered by both locals and tourists as the best cafe in the city (don’t forget to try their cinnamon buns).

It may be one of the smallest European capital cities, but there are a lot of great activities to do in Helsinki and because of its size, many of the main tourist sites are within walking distance of one another. Helsinki is very easy to navigate, and if you want to use their public transportation, purchasing the multi-day transportation card through the HSL app is the best way to stay within your travel budget.

People will be shocked when you tell them that you’ve traveled to Helsinki on a budget, but it’s completely doable with the right planning and mindset. 

Submitted by Krista from Krista the Explorer

Helsinki Weekend Getaway

Weekend Breaks in Central Europe

I navigated the German landscape as a full-time traveler for over 2 years and Dresden is the one city I can’t ever get out of my head. Once decimated by WWII bombing raids, Dresden has resurrected itself to become the “Florence on the Elbe.” For all of its ornate Baroque details, it is still often overshadowed by the western monoliths of Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt.

If you want to see Germany on a budget, Dresden should be your destination, not a side trip. You can get all of the currywurst and historic-church-bells-ringing-as-the-sun-sets ambiance that you’d find in other German cities but for a fraction of the price. Plus, you have to option to extend your trip and visit the incredible Sächsische Schweiz region for a day.

Dresden Weekend Itinerary

Here’s a weekend itinerary you won’t want to miss:

  • Have a morning stroll along the Elbe River with a fresh cappuccino from Café Schinkelwache.
  • Get lost in Altstadt, marveling at sites like the Frauenkirche, Zwinger Palace, Katholische Hofkirche, and Dresden Opera House.
  • Eat a traditional German meal at Dresden 1900 with a commanding view of the Frauenkirche from the patio.
  • Explore what life was like behind the Iron Curtain at Die Welt der DDR Museum.
  • Catch a free evening concert during the summer concert series at Großer Garten.

Need more ideas? Get out of the city to visit Schloss Moritzburg, the hills of Radebeul, or the world-famous porcelain manufactory in Meissen. Dresden and its surrounding area is full of wonder, artistry, and breathtaking views. And with plentiful accommodation, accessible public transportation, and affordable cafés on every corner, you’ll likely be surprised by just how far your euro will go.

Explored by Courtney from Court the Blog

City Break in Dresden Germany

Nuremberg is the perfect for a budget friendly weekend getaway in Europe. One of Germany’s most beautiful cities, Nuremberg is located just an hour from Munich and is filled with castles, good food, cobblestoned streets, history and lots of beer. 

Nuremberg has built itself up from the ashes and its dark past, but retained its medieval charm. There are endless things to see and do in Nuremberg. Exploring Nuremberg Castle is a must, and the views from the top are incredible. Better yet, it’s free!

You can also visit the Documentation Centre and Nazi Rally party grounds to learn about Nuremberg’s history. Make sure you set aside plenty of time to just explore. Wander through the old town, admire the bridges, walk the Way of Human Rights and make sure to shop in the boutique stores and stop for coffee and ice cream, while watching life go by around you.  

View over the houses of Nuremberg - a view you see during weekend getaways in Europe

Nuremberg is home to some epic food and drink choices, and you absolutely have to try traditional Nuremberg sausages and of course, the local beer! There’s also plenty of budget-friendly places to eat and drink. Albrecht Durer Stube is a great traditional spot for a meal, and Alex Restaurant has a huge range of options without breaking the bank.  

You’ll quickly fall in love with Nuremberg’s medieval feel, cobblestoned streets and its history. It’s easily one of the best spots for a weekend getaway.  

Submitted by Emma from Emma Adventures

Munich is a terrific weekend destination that can be easily experienced on a budget. The reason why Munich makes the cut as a weekend destination is that it has plenty of places where you can unwind while also exploring a few tourist attractions. 

If you are on a budget, stay at one of the many hostels close to the Central Munich train station. 

From here, you can head to Marienplatz which is the central area of Munich. You can climb up to the top of St. Peter’s church for a panoramic view of Munich . You could also explore the Viktualienmarkt. This is the primary market area in Munich. You will find plenty of shops selling a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, eggs, venison, meat, wine, etc.

From here you must visit the famous Hofbräuhaus to experience the fun vibe of a classic beer house. 

During your time in Munich, you should also visit the vast English Garden where you could enjoy a boat-ride or ride a horse or simply have a few more glasses of beer while people-watching! Beerhouses here let you bring your own food. So you could save money by buying food at supermarkets and then eating it here after a glass of beer.

Nymphenburg Palace Munich

While in Munich, you could also visit the BMW showroom and factory and marvel at the beauty of the world’s most expensive cars. Additionally, you could also consider visiting the Olympiapark or the Nymphenburg Palace. 

Public Transport in Munich

However, the best way to ensure that you do not spend much while you are in Munich is by purchasing a Munich Card or the Munich City Pass that gives unlimited free access to all modes of public transport in Munich and free or discounted entry to most tourist attractions. If you are heading out to other Bavarian towns, buy the money-saving  Bayern Ticket . 

Submitted by Vrushali K from Couple of Journeys

Trips to East-Central Europe

For quite a few years now, I’ve been telling anybody who will listen that Poland is the perfect place for a budget weekend in Europe. Whilst Krakow remains its most visited city, my most recent trip to Poland (and perhaps my favorite so far) took me to lesser-known Wroclaw. 

Wroclaw City Trip Poland

Wroclaw’s historic old town is a delightful patchwork of cobbled streets and colorful buildings, centered on one of Europe’s largest market squares. It is at this square that the absence of stifling crowds of tourists is most noticeable – a far cry from the trappings of Paris or Rome.

Here, you can tuck into an  extremely  filling plate of traditional dumplings for less than the cost of a beer in London. These prices are typical in the dozens of enticing restaurants and cafes across the city.

Things to do in Wroclaw

Aside from the bargain food and drink, my favourite thing to do in Wroclaw is completely free – searching for dwarfs! The streets of Wroclaw are covered in hundreds of tiny figures, each of them completely unique, and as a collective they turn the city into an open-air exhibition. Their origins as an anti-communist symbol are equally fascinating, and capture the unique spirit of this brilliant city. 

You can’t help but notice the dwarfs everywhere you go, and the hunt to see them all can take you to some of the city’s other main attractions. The river Oder is a particular highlight during the summer, and it is here you’ll find the spectacular ‘Cathedral Island’ – one of the most photogenic spots in the city. If the weather isn’t on your side, the Racławice Panorama is a must-visit. This giant 19th-century painting commemorates a historic battle and is wrapped around the walls of a custom-built rotunda. It needs to be seen to be believed.

by Matt from TwoTicketsTo

As one of the most charming cities not only in Europe but in Poland, Krakow is a city that will steal your heart.  Krakow has Europe’s largest central square dotted by hundreds of restaurants and cafes as well as pigeons and horse carriages. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, central squares in Europe are common locations for pigeons to gather though many continue to be wary of people  Not in Krakow however.  The pigeons welcome people and allow people to get very close and feed them by hand.  The sheer amount of pigeons in the central square is remarkable.  The center of the square has a large building called Sukiennice, once a cloth hall, currently occupied by dozens of vendors and tourists walking through looking to buy authentic Polish items.  It’s a great place to find some hidden gems.

Krakow has plenty of fabulous restaurants offering local Polish cuisine for friendly prices.  Be sure to try pierogi or potato pancakes when in the city,

Not too far from the center is Wawel Royal Castle which has some remarkable history and also an underground area with tombs.  Close by there is also the dragon’s lair, a small cave found under the hill with a story of a mythical dragon that once lived there.

Krakow is also a great starting point for local visits to Auschwitz or the Wieliczka Salt Mine, which has an amazing underground tour that should not be missed. The city has plenty of tours that provide transportation to locations in and around the city.

Submitted by Diana from Travels in Poland

Gdańsk, part of the tri-city area of Poland, should be on everybody’s bucket list. From the sheer beauty of the city to the history that oozes from every corner to the wealth of day trips you can do from the city itself, it’s a great option for a budget Polish city break. Affordable flights and plenty of low-cost Airbnb options mean you don’t have to spend a lot to have an amazing few days in this pretty city.

Explore Długa, the main street filled with restaurants and bars, or head to the other side of the river to enjoy seafood and ride the AmberSky Ferris wheel.

There are museums aplenty, and you can board a pirate ship and head down the river to Westerplatte – a location that was a huge part of early WW2. Now an open-air museum, you can climb up a watchtower and look out over the Baltic Sea, or explore crumbling buildings that were half-destroyed in battle.

Gdansk Weekend Break

Head to the docks and find out all about the Polish solidarity movement and Lech Walesa, and keep going a bit further out to the Energa Stadium, a football ground that is also home plenty of things to do on a rainy day – the FunArena has escape rooms, go-karting and more. Sopot and Gdynia, the other two cities in the tri-city area, are within easy distance. They make for wonderful day trips! To put it simply, Gdańsk has it all – beauty, charm, good food and plenty of things to do.

Explored by Katy Gilroy  | The Lilac Scrapbook

An ideal long weekend getaway destination in Europe, Warsaw is the perfect city for those traveling on a budget. It offers an interesting mix of traditional and modern, attractions of all kinds, and great food and nightlife scenes, so anyone can find something to love about it.

There are plenty of  things to do in Warsaw  on a budget. Many attractions can be visited for free, including the Royal Castle (which offers free admission on Wednesdays), the beautiful University Library Gardens, and the Chopin Museum (which also offers free admission on Wednesdays. You can also wander through its gorgeous old town, take unique free walking tours (like street art and Jewish history), and visit its parks without spending any money.

It’s also easy to find budget-friendly hotels or apartments in the city center and feast on hearty Polish food at ridiculous prices. Lunch at traditional diners called milk bars will only cost 10-20 PLN (about $3-$6), and a full 3-course meal at a more upscale restaurant (after which you literally can’t breathe) should not cost more than $16. Take advantage of these prices and indulge yourself in a mountain of pierogis (Polish dumplings), potato pancakes, soups, stews, and other delicious Polish dishes.

By Or from My Path in the World

Weekend Getaway in Europe Warsaw

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic’s capital city has slowly turned into one of Europe’s best city breaks. And it’s understandable why! The stunning architecture, delicious dishes, tons of history and… it is very affordable. 

View over Prague

There are a lot of things to do in Prague , including visiting the world’s largest castle complex. It covers over 70,000 square meters, has a stunning castle garden and multiple buildings in both gothic and romanesque style. But this is not the only spot in Prague where you can enjoy the beautiful architecture in the city.

Prague’s Old Town Square is another hot spot for this. On this square, you can find the famous astronomical clock. This is the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest that is still working! Every hour on the hour (between 9 AM and 11 PM) you can see the statues of the apostles move around above the clock.

Prague is also known for its cheap beers – and they are very proud of their beer! You simply cannot leave Prague without drinking a pint of Pilsner Urquell. In some restaurants, it’s even cheaper to order a beer compared to a glass of water (and I love it!). Beer being the national drink of the Czech Republic, the people of Prague have taken it even further with their beer spas. Yes, you read that correctly – bathe in beer! 

If you want to surround yourself with some of Europe’s most beautiful architecture in a city that feels like a fairytale, Prague is the perfect place!

Prague Clock Weekend Trip

Submitted by Nele from The Navigatio

Budapest is one of the most charming and historically enchanting capitals in Central Europe. Situated on a Danube riverbank, the capital of Hungary was made up of three different cities – Buda, Pest, and Obuda – which were unified into one that we now recognize as Budapest. While the city is mostly known for its outdoor thermal baths and extraordinary ruin bars, there is so much more the city can offer for all types of travelers.

Compared to surrounding Central European capitals, Budapest is a super affordable option for budget travelers. The prices of hotels and restaurants in the city centre are a bit higher but, in general, you can spend around €25-€50 per day. This should include a comfortable hotel room (or a hostel if you prefer!), all the meals of the day, and one or two attractions.

The best part of Budapest is that the city is very walkable, so it saves you a bit of money. Also, if you do need to use public transport at some point, you can get a 24-hour travel card that is only around €5 and lets you use the metro, buses, trams, trolleybuses, suburban railway lines, and even city boats.

Asides from being a low-cost destination, Budapest has it all. No, really. You can admire spectacular architectural wonders such as the Parliament building, Opera House, Fisherman’s Bastion, or the Chain’s Bridge, you can immerse yourself into wild Hungarian nightlife in Szimpla Kert or spend the day in different museums such as the House of Terror.

If you need to relax, you can always spend an afternoon in Gillert’s spa and enjoy a wonderful sunset view from Gillert’s hill. Oh, and definitely don’t forget to get a taste of Hungarian cuisine and their famous Tokaji wine by the riverside.

Submitted by Leta from The Nerdy Me

Budapest Weekend Trip

Slovakia’s capital might not be on everybody’s radar but you should definitely consider  visiting Bratislava  if you are looking for a budget-friendly weekend getaway. 

The city has a beautiful old town with lots of cute buildings and cafés. Spend your time visiting the impressive Bratislava Castle, the blue church, or try some delicious Slovak food. The Slovak National dish is called Bryndzové Halušky, which are potato dumplings with sheep cheese usually served with bacon sprinkles on top. I can recommend the Slovak Pub for some cheap and authentic Slovak food.

When in Bratislava, also make sure to visit the nearby Devin Castle from where you can get incredible views of the Danube river. Another attraction in Bratislava is the UFO bridge and also make sure to walk up to the Slavín War Memorial. From there you can get amazing views of the whole city.

Bratislava Weekend Break

And if you are considering a trip to Bratislava you can also fly to the Vienna airport if you can get a better flight deal. From the Vienna airport, you can take a one-hour direct bus to the Bratislava Old town which will only cost you around 5€. Bratislava’s central location also makes it a unique place to visit. Not only Vienna is close but you can reach Budapest within 2.5 hours or Prague within 4 hours by train.

Submitted by Becky from Becksplore Travel

Weekend Getaways in Southern Europe

A great budget-friendly weekend idea is to jump on a plane and head to the southern part of the Aegean Sea. The Greek island of Crete offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy a fantastic couple of days without spending a fortune.

You can choose to land in the capital of Crete, Heraklion, and discover some of the many budget-friendly activities you can do in the areas.

Spending a weekend in Heraklion can represent a great opportunity to explore the culture and the history of the island. It’s in this region, just a few kilometers from the capital, where you will be able to visit the Archaeological Site of Knossos , the second most important archaeological site in Greece, only second to the Parthenon in Athens. During the visit, you can learn about the Minoans, one of the most important ancient civilizations which dominated all over the Aegean Sea as far back as the Bronze Age.

When visiting Heraklion and the Archaeological Palace, it’s a great idea to also explore the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, located right in the center of town and exhibiting hundreds of objects found on the island, and especially in Knossos.

Crete in Greece Weekend Trip Heraklion KNOSSOS PALACE

But not everything is just history. Heraklion is a city with plenty of restaurants, tavernas, and nightclubs where to enjoy some time. If you are a fan of swimming, you can also visit beaches such as Agia Pelagia or Ligres, only a few minutes from the center of town.

If you want to see more than Heraklion, you should get a car rental in Crete and do a road trip. Crete is full of amazing locations and you will not regret exploring them.

Submitted by Gabi Ancarola from The Tiny Book

Italy is one of these countries you fall in love with the minute you arrive. Therefore you usually cannot help, but to return there again and again.

And luckily the country has so many amazing places, that you will always be able to explore a new one.

Italy has some of the best weekend getaways in Europe, so be sure to check out these 7 cities including my personal favorite Bergamo.

Read More: Affordable Weekend Trips in Italy

Italy’s Hidden Gems

Bergamo Italy Weekend Getaway

Most people who visit Spain for the first time end up exploring Madrid or Barcelona. However, Spain offers a lot more beyond these two cities.

The ten weekend trip destinations on this list are all worth a trip. So be sure to plan one or many trips to Spain so you can explore all of them.

Read More: Great Weekend Trips in Spain

Hidden Gems in Spain

A fantastic coastline, beaches, vibrant cities, and great food – all of these things can be found in Portugal. Lisbon is a popular choice when planning a trip, but there are many more places to see. Faro, Evora, and Penich are just some of the many places to see in Portugal.

Read More: Budget-friendly Short Trips in Portugal

Lisbon Portugal Weekend Getaway

Budget-friendly Short Trips in Western Europe

Annecy is well known as being the “Venice of France.” This small city is located in southeastern France nestled in the alps between Lyon and Geneva. Charming canals wind through the city, with cafes and shops dotted along the sides. The canals then lead to the most stunning alpine lake called Lake Annecy. 

City Trip to Annecy

So why should you visit this small town? It has ample charm and stunning views, making it an ideal stop during a trip to France or as a day trip from Lyon or Switzerland!  

To make the most of your time in Annecy, you’ll definitely need to get out on the lake in the summer and paddle boat or swim. With mountain views from the lake you could spend a lot of time just taking in the scenery. 

Other incredible things to do include visiting the Annecy Castle Museum, exploring the gorgeous Palais de L’Isle (which was a former palace, then prison, and now art museum) located in the Thiou Canal, taking a hike up Mont Veyrier, and, being an alpine city, eating all the cheesy, gooey things! 

Annecy is a gem in France that few get to visit, but it is well worth your time to see! It is also very walkable and easy to get to via train from Lyon or Geneva. With affordable things to do, delicious alpine cuisine, and charming canals, a visit to Annecy is a budget European destination you never knew you needed to visit.

Submitted by Kat from Worldwide Honeymoon

Carcassonne is a historic city deep in the southwest of France, famous for La Cite, the renovated medieval citadel. Home to many battles and a chequered history, La Cite was renovated in the seventies and is now a must-visit on any trip in southwest France.

For the budget-conscious, La Cite is free to enter and you can wander to your heart’s content, heading for the big well, the oldest in La Cite and rumored hiding place of Visigoth treasure.  Stop for a beer though, or enter the chapels and certain parts of the castle and you will have spent quite a few euros before you even realize it! Another great way to see the citadel for free and at its best is to take a walk around the outside, where you’ll find fewer people and some great views. 

Carcassonne Weekend Trip TGD

For a more  authentic French experience  visit the new town, known as la ville basse and enjoy the wonderful Saturday morning farmers market in Place Carnot, surrounded by bistros and bars where breakfast or a beer won’t cost the earth!  

Head for the Aude, the clear sparkling river which runs through Carcassonne from the Pyrenees, on its way to the Mediterranean.  The bridges are fascinating, some of them very old and you’ll pass through vineyards and pretty woodlands as you stroll…all for free, of course!

Submitted by Philip from The Gap Decaders

The town of Condom and the surrounding area of what used to be called Gascony offer pristine rolling hills, picturesque villages, and delicious local dishes, all with very few tourists to share with. And, as an added bonus, most of the best things to see and do are free or close to it!

As one of the larger towns of the area, Condom makes a good base for lodging. Among its historic sites, the ornately carved 14 th -century Cathedral Saint-Pierre and its cloisters stand out as the highlight. However, a quick 10-minute drive will take you to the even more impressive Flaran Abbey, which also houses a collection of important artworks. 

You can reach 3 of France’s Most Beautiful Villages (there’s an official list) within a 15-minute drive of Condom: Montreal-du-Gers, Fources, and Larressingle. Stroll through each of these beauties and discover what earned them their place on this prestigious list. 

The charming village square of Fources flaunts large trees, lush green grass, colorful flower boxes, and quaint arcade houses that circle the central plaza. In Montreal-du-Gers, visit the 4 th -century Gallo-Roman Villa de Seviac and marvel at the mosaics. Larressingle, complete with a moat, church, and ruined castle, has the title of France’s smallest fortified city. Although it is small, it may be the most beautiful of these 3 villages. Budget time to linger at one of the 3 local restaurants and enjoy the local specialties. 

These specialties include some of  France’s best-known dishes , such as duck confit and foie gras, and you will be greatly relieved at the affordability of this gourmet fare perfectly paired with local wine. Although vineyards dot the hillside, Armagnac reigns king here. Be sure to enjoy a glass after dinner or visit the Armagnac Museum.

Explored by Denise from Chef Denise

Condom Flaran Abbey

Jura Mountains

The French Alps are a prized destination for visitors, both in winter and summer. But an Alpine vacation can be expensive: restaurants are delicious but costly, and accommodation is at a premium, whether you’re looking for a tiny studio or a luxury chalet.

Within sight of the Alps lies a more  unusual French destination , an older but smaller mountain range called the Jura, where prices are more modest, local food is delicious, and there’s plenty of fun in both summer and winter.

Given the difference in height, the activities are a little different. The highest peak in the Alps is 4800 meters, while the highest point in the Jura is just over 1700 meters. So while you’ll experience black downhill skiing runs in the Alps, you’ll be slipping on your cross-country skis for the Jura’s more than 1000km of trails.

Jura Mountains Weekend Getaway

Things to do in the Jura Mountains

In winter, apart from cross-country skiing, you’ll enjoy snowshoeing, dogsledding – and yes, downhill skiing, although not from the same height, of course. The après-ski is also fun, especially when it involves local products like Mont-d’Or cheese, one of the great culinary experiences of the Jura. The cheese comes surrounded by a thin strip of wood and is usually eaten hot and melted, by twirling potatoes inside.

Jura Mountains European Weekend Trip Destination

In summer, this is a hiking paradise, with some of France’s most spectacular hikes. Furthermore, the Jura is dotted with lakes so everything from swimming to kayaking can help break the heat of summer. The Jura is also rife with grottoes and caves to explore, and mountaintops off which to base jump.

There’s no question this is a paradise for nature lovers, but while there are expert-level tracks and trails, beginners are welcome and there is an easy version of every activity.

How to get to the Jura Mountains

The gateway to the Jura is across the border, in Switzerland. From Geneva, you can reach the mountains by car in half an hour. By train, Geneva will do, as will Bellegarde-sur-Valserine in France. 

Contributed by Leyla from Offbeat France

United Kingdom

Rye, east sussex.

Rye, East Sussex is a charming town to spend a budget-friendly weekend getaway. Only around 2 hours from London by car or train, this ancient medieval town sits near the coast and is rich with history dating back to the mid-1200s.

The town’s labyrinth of cobbled streets and half-timbered buildings are enchanting, and a weekend can easily be spent navigating the historic streets that look as though they’re straight out of a child’s fairy tale. 

Things to do in Rye

There are plenty of things to do on a budget, from a visit to the Rye Town Model for some town history portrayed through a sound and light show of a miniature version of the town (adults £3.50, children £1.50), the Rye Castle Museum (admission is free but donations are encouraged) for some interesting facts about the town and artifacts spanning over past centuries, Ypres Tower (adults £4, children under 16 free), dating back to the 1200s and was involved in defense and trade before being used a prison, or climb the church tower at St Mary’s Cathedral for £4 on clear days for sweeping views of the rooftops of Rye and beyond. 

There are numerous places to enjoy a drink or bite to eat in Rye . Some popular stops are Marino’s Fish Bar for proper fish and chips and great value. Order it for takeaway and enjoy it by the River Brede. If you’re for a unique place to stop for a pint, the Rye Waterworks is a cozy place to visit and is popular with locals – it was once a pump house, soup kitchen, then public toilets, and is now an award-winning micropub!

Rye is a place to visit and doesn’t require a lot of expense to enjoy. You’ll leave this tiny town feeling enchanted and yearning to return.

Houses in Rye - on of the best Weekend Getaways in Europe

Submitted by Sarah from In Search of Sarah

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, is known as being one of the most affordable cities in the UK across the board. For example, it is the 3rd cheapest city of 69 in Britain for a proper night-out including food and drinks and taxis and kebabs. At the same time, it is one of the more exciting cities to explore when it comes to culture, architecture, and nightlife in the otherwise somewhat sleepy capital in Northern Ireland.

Many of the main  tourist attractions in Belfast City Centre   are also free for entry including the Ulster Museum at the Botanical Gardens, the City Hall found smack in the center of the city, and the Titanic Quarter which is like a massive open-air museum commemorating the docks where the Titanic was originally built.

Hereby, the  Belfast Hop on Hop off  is the most convenient way to get around between these tourist attractions in Belfast.

But just exploring the small city, which can be covered fairly extensively through a weekend, is the main draw, like the cobbled streets of the Cathedral Quarter and the serene riverside strolls along the Lagan River. Then in the evenings, the bars are hard to beat when it comes to local banter (or craic as it’s called here) with some of the oldest and most homely pubs in all of Ireland. 

Belfast City Trip

Contributed by Allan from It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor  


Where is maastricht.

Maastricht is the capital of the Dutch province called Limburg, right in the south of the Netherlands. Maastricht is also the second oldest Dutch city, and known for being the hometown of the famous violinist Andre Rieu but also for being the birthplace of Euro, as the Maastricht Treaty was signed right here!

Being the second oldest city in the Netherlands, and not having been destroyed by WWII, means that when walking through the streets of Maastricht, you can enjoy the beautiful old architecture, cobblestone streets, and many cozy alleys and squares. For those who enjoy art, Maastricht is also known for hosting, every year, the European Fine Arts Fair (TEFAF).

How to get to Maastricht?

You can easily reach Maastricht either by train or car.

Must see in Maastricht

When in Maastricht one can’t leave without checking these spots:

  • Wijk neighborhood
  • Center Ceramic and enjoy a walk along the river Mosa
  • Appreciate the view from Sint Servaasbrug
  • City park (Stadspark)
  • Visit the Helport
  • Enjoy a slice of Limburgs pie right next to the Bisschopsmolen
  • Visit the Vrijthof square following a visit to the Saint Servatius church.
  • From there, go grab a nice drink at the Market square.
  • And finally, check out the Bassin area

If you have never been to Maastricht, you should definitely add it to your to-go list! You will not regret it.

Submitted by Barbara from Porty’s Diary

Luxembourg (City)

Don’t let the “lux” in Luxembourg fool you – this quaint little country can be a very budget-friendly weekend destination! Here are just a few low-cost features Luxembourg has to offer:

Transportation in Luxembourg

Earlier this year, Luxembourg became the first country in the world to make all its standard-class public transport free! Not that it was expensive before – a 2-hour ticket only cost €2, while an all-day second-class ticket cost €4. But now, you can save those euros and put them towards treating yourself to one of Luxembourg’s world-class pastries.

Attractions in Luxembourg

Luxembourg is packed with beautiful castles, and they’re not expensive to visit. Admission to most castles is under €10 per person. Museums are surprisingly inexpensive as well – for example, the permanent exhibits at the National Museum of History and Art are free, while access to their temporary exhibits is only €7.

But if you’re planning to visit more than two attractions, buying the Luxembourg Card is your best bet. You can purchase a 1, 2, or 3-day card, which gets you free access to over 60 museums, castles, and other attractions. If there are more than two of you traveling, the Family Card is an even better deal.

A Weekend in Luxembourg

Hiking in Luxembourg

Another budget-friendly activity in Luxembourg is hiking. There are numerous hiking trails of varying lengths and levels of difficulty all across the country. Plus, walking is free – although I would recommend investing in a trail map so you don’t get lost. My favorite hiking trails are the Mullerthal Trail and the circular routes, which start and end at the same point.

Despite being the richest country in the world by GDP per capita, Luxembourg can be a budget-friendly destination. At least with a little bit of planning! 

Submitted by Darlene from Thirsty Journeys

Budget-friendly Destinations in Eastern Europe

If you want to go away for a weekend without breaking the bank, then you should head to  Tallinn . With its many towers, cobblestone streets, and red-tiled roofs, this city looks as if it came straight out of a fairy tale.

Streets of Tallinn Estonia Weekend Getaway

The first thing you should do after arriving is going for a walk through the Old Town. Make sure to stop by the Town Hall Square. Here, you can visit the Tallinn Town Hall or check out the oldest pharmacy in Europe. Or how about climbing on top of the nearby city wall and into its towers?

If you want to visit the town’s best viewpoints, go up to Toompea Hill. Back in the days, the upper class lived here, where they could, literally, look down on the workers below. Today, you can find a great view of Tallinn as well as a beautiful Orthodox cathedral.

Tallinn is also famous for its many affordable museums. Check out Kiek in de Kök, the old watchtower up on Toompea Hill, or visit the National Museum in the Guild Hall.

If you’re looking for a different experience, we recommend the NUKU Museum of Puppet Arts, where you can spend a few hours getting creative. Create your own stage, play with puppets and have fun!

While in Tallinn, make sure to try some Estonian food. You will find many restaurants offering traditional and modern Estonian cuisine around the Old Town. The III Draakon, just by the Town Hall, is a great place to try elk meat for only a few Euros. You definitely won’t overspend here.

Submitted by Daniel and Ilona from Top Travel Sights

Riga is a small and charming UNESCO World Heritage site city and the capital city of Latvia. There are heaps of fun  things to do in Riga   that are free or inexpensive, which makes it a great wallet-friendly destination and perfect for a cheap weekend away. 

Highlights include soaking up the cobbled streets and numerous squares of the old town, whilst checking out magnificent old buildings such as the Riga Blackheads and the three brothers (or join one of the many free walking tours to learn more about Riga’s history). As Riga is a fairly compact city, you’ll be able to explore a lot of the old town on foot meaning you don’t need to spend any money on public transport to get to the major attractions. 

Dining out in Riga will not break the budget either with many cheap places to eat including Lido – a very popular chain restaurant that serves hearty local Latvian cuisine buffet style and charges by weight (you can eat here for under €5).

Alternatively, many mid-priced restaurants in town offer main courses for under 10€ or head to Riga Central Market where you will find bargain street food stalls. 

Weekend Trip to Riga

After the sun sets head to one of Riga’s most popular nightlife venues – Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs. Food and drink in this basement bar are super cheap and there is live music several nights a week. We recommend ordering the 5 euro beer platter to accompany your drink – it comes with delicious dark garlic bread and is very popular with locals.

Riga has plenty of affordable hotel and hostel options all over town, plus it is also served by several budget airlines including Ryanair and Wizz Air.

Explored by Caroline from CK Travels

Riga Latvia

Europe is often known as being expensive, too expensive to have a good time! Most people know to visit Europe on a budget, you head to Eastern Central Europe. But, what about the Baltic states? The Baltic countries are made up of three small countries, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Although these countries are small, they pack a punch and they’re a lot cheaper than the rest of Europe. 

One of the most beautiful cities in the Baltics is Vilnius, Lithuania. Whether you prefer to stay in hostels or in hotels, you can easily find accommodation for 50€ for two nights. Just because Lithuania is cheap, it doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do. 

Some of the best things to do in Vilnius are St Anne’s Church, Vilnius Cathedral, Gedmina’s Tower, and the Republic of Užupis. Although Užupis is located within Vilnius, it is also one of the smallest republics in the world. As you cross the bridge from Vilnius into Užupis, you can pass through border control (tourist information) and get your passport stamped. Warning, if you get your passport stamped, make sure you get it stamped on the way back to Vilnius. 

For great places to eat, that won’t cost an arm and a leg, head through the gates of dawn and down Ausros Vartai. Along this street, you will find plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can find local bites to eat. 

Don’t forget to explore the Baltic Way Monument. The monument pays tribute to the two million people who in 1989 joined hands across 675.5km through the three capital cities of the Baltic states.  The human chain was formed to protest against the Soviet occupation, in 1990 Lithuania became independent.

Vilnius City Trip

Submitted by Fiona from Travelling Thirties

Weekend Escapes in Southeastern Europe

Given the current situation in Ukraine, you clearly should not travel there right now, but once the war is over, the country will once again be a great destination for weekend trips in Europe.

Heading off to Ukraine when planning weekend getaways in Europe is something of a wild card; it’s definitely a bit of a detour from the standard tourist destinations. But even though it doesn’t yet see the tourist numbers of other European cities, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be a really unique and super affordable city break. 

Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital is so rich in history that you can’t miss taking a free walking tour of the city. Tours will show off Kyiv’s dramatic Soviet-style architecture whilst talking you through the city’s colorful past, and then point out some of their most beautiful golden-domed churches (Saint Michaels and Saint Andrews are stunners!). On the flip side, Andriyivskyy Descent is where you’ll find independent cafes, local galleries, modern street art, and bric-a-brac stalls lining the winding cobbled streets. Don’t miss popping into Lviv Handmade Chocolate café at the bottom of the road for a ridiculously rich melted chocolate drink and hand-crafted truffles.

On the far side of the city, you can visit the Kyiv Monastery and caves for a tiny entrance fee. This religious complex with expansive gardens, ornate, whitewashed churches, and adjoining catacombs with candle-lit underground caves and mummified monks is something of an experience!

When you’re in Kyiv, make sure you try out the local foods; places like Mitla and Korchma Taras Bulba serve up very affordable portions of traditional Ukrainian borscht, dumplings, and shots of the local Ukrainian spirits! And for something even more budget-friendly, the local street food, perepichka (a sausage in a deep-fried doughnut) can be picked up in the city for the equivalent of 50p!

Submitted by Michaela from This FP Planet

Kyiv Ukraine

Lviv, Ukraine is one of the best places for the city break in Europe. It is stunningly beautiful, full of history, with lots of great restaurants and cafes and, most importantly, very affordable prices. With so many great  things to do in Lviv , you will not be bored for sure.

The city, located near the border with Poland, is full of attractions, most of them are packed in the center of the city near the main square – Rynok. That’s where you will find the most beautiful pastel houses, cobbled streets, and impressive churches. If you are fit enough you can climb to the town hall tower for the best view of the city – it is a bit challenging but worth the effort.

A Day in Lviv

Lviv has also some jaw-dropping interiors, like the Ethnographical Museum or House of Scientists. The most beautiful one is, however, the Opera where you can attend the show for a very fair price or just visit the place during the day. Lviv’s culinary scene is spectacular, you can try here dishes from all over the world and relax with a cup of delicious coffee in one of the numerous cafes.

The city is still not very popular among foreign tourists, but it is a matter of time when the world discovers how amazing Lviv is!

Explored by Kami from My Wanderlust

the Balkans

The countries of the Balkan offer a lot and while many would not consider them when planning incredible weekend getaways in Europe, these 11 destinations should definitely be on your list.

Explore the more commonly known cities like Sofia, Split, or Zagreb. Or plan an adventure to the hidden gems of the Balkan like Kotor.

Read More: Amazing Weekend Getaways in the Balkans

11 Best Weekend Getaways in the Balkans

Weekend Getaways in Europe

Hopefully, this list of incredible weekend getaways will have helped you determine where to go next. And chances are, that you also added several cities in Europe to your future trip list.

Let me know which one of these cities you have already explored and which one you will explore next!

Planning a weekend getaway in Europe? Pin it for later!

Budget friendly Weekend Getaways in Europe

I am the founder of A Nomad's Passport and a solo traveling digital nomad, photographer, and writer. Originally from Germany, I have lived in several countries including Australia & Mexico.

As an outdoor lover and culture enthusiast, I love writing about all forms of adventure travel ranging from outdoor activities like scuba diving and hiking to cultural experiences, alongside road trips and itineraries that combine these elements.

A Nomad's Passport is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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2 thoughts on “50+ Amazing & Budget-Friendly Weekend Getaways in Europe”

Wow! What a list! And the pictures just add to the experience. Great post!

Great post! Although I live in Western Canada and wouldn’t just come to Europe for a weekend, you’ve given me lots of new places to add to my Travel Bucket List. Thanks for sharing.

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From Paris to Prague: 15 Best Weekend Trips in Europe You Can’t Miss

Posted on Last updated: February 6, 2024

Home » Destinations » Europe » From Paris to Prague: 15 Best Weekend Trips in Europe You Can’t Miss

From Paris to Prague: 15 Best Weekend Trips in Europe You Can’t Miss

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Looking for a quick, European getaway? Find out the best weekend trips in Europe that are easy and totally worth it.

This list of the best weekend trips in europe was written by family travel expert marcie cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, i may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog..

Guest post by Fiona

As someone who’s had the privilege of living in Scotland for five years, I’ve come to appreciate the unparalleled charm of Europe. 

With every free weekend I had, I embarked on captivating adventures to various corners of this diverse continent. 

This experience has honed my understanding of European cultures, landscapes, and travel logistics, making me an ideal guide for your journey.

Planning quick trips amidst the plethora of enticing destinations that Europe offers, navigating through the maze of logistics, and deciding where to spend your precious weekend time can be overwhelming.

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

I’ll take you through where to go and the best things to do in the best destinations for weekend trips in Europe. 

Let’s make your European dream weekends a reality!

Best Weekend Trips in Europe

1. bruges, belgium .

If you’re looking for a weekend packed with old-world charm, Bruges is your perfect stop. 

Imagine a place where time stands still, where cobblestone streets wind around ancient buildings, and where romance floats along enchanting canals. 

View of canal and houses at Bruges, Belgium

Kick off your trip with a lazy boat ride on the canals – they’re Bruges’ lifelines.

You’ll glide by quaint houses with step-gabled roofs and wave at folks relaxing at waterside cafés. 

Speaking of cafés, you’ve gotta grab a Belgian waffle, whipped cream, strawberries, the works! Pair it with a locally brewed beer, and you’re living the Belgian dream.

Climb the Belfry Tower’s 366 steps. It’s a bit of a hike, but the panoramic view of the city from the top is worth every step! 

History buffs, you’ll love the medieval architecture of the Basilica of the Holy Blood and the Gothic City Hall. Art lovers, the Groeninge Museum’s Flemish masterpieces will leave you awestruck.

In Bruges, there’s something magical around every corner. And that’s what makes it such a fab weekend destination. So, grab your camera and your walking shoes, and let’s get lost in the timeless beauty of Bruges!

2. Prague, Czech Republic

If you’re itching for a weekend filled with fairy-tale charm, stunning architecture, and a hearty dose of history, pack your bags for Prague. 

This Czech city has a way of capturing hearts and Instagram feeds like no other.

Prague Bridges and River

Start your adventure at the Old Town Square , where you’ll get lost in a time warp of beautiful buildings and lively atmosphere. 

The Astronomical Clock Tower offers killer views, while its hourly show is a must-watch. 

A stone’s throw away, the Charles Bridge is perfect for those candid shots with statues dating back centuries.

Feeling peckish? Get your hands on some Trdelník, a local sweet treat, and wander through the maze-like streets filled with shops and cafés. 

Up next, Prague Castle . It’s a bit of an uphill walk, but the view of the city skyline with its sea of terracotta roofs is oh-so-worth it.

In the evening, wind down at a local pub with a glass of world-famous Czech beer. 

Prague’s allure is more than its skyline; it’s in the laughter that spills out of cozy pubs, the melodies of street musicians, and the sunset hues painting the Vltava river. 

This vibrant city is a weekend wonderland waiting to be explored, so lace up those comfy shoes, and let’s get going!

3. Copenhagen, Denmark 

Ready to embrace ‘hygge’ in your life? If you’re nodding along, then a weekend in Copenhagen, the heartbeat of Denmark, should be next on your list. It’s stylish, it’s laid-back, and it’s brimming with reasons to fall in love.

Nyhavn with colorful facades of old houses and old ships in the Old Town of Copenhagen, capital of Denmark.

Kickstart your journey in the picturesque Nyhavn, where vibrant houses reflect in the canal, and sidewalk cafés buzz with energy. 

Next up, head to Tivoli Gardens , the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world – a fun-filled paradise that’s as much for thrill-seekers as it is for landscape lovers.

Fancy a royal experience? Don’t miss out on the magnificent Rosenborg Castle with its lush gardens. The Danish crown jewels are a sight to behold. 

Speaking of sights, grab a bicycle and ride to the iconic Little Mermaid statue, a tribute to Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved tale.

Hungry for Danish delights? Smørrebrød, a traditional open-faced sandwich, is a must-try. 

And when the day fades into night, the city’s vibrant bar scene has got you covered. Copenhagen’s charm lies in its perfect blend of history, modern design, and an unbeatable culture of coziness. 

best weekend trips to europe

4. London, England

London’s calling and it’s got a seriously cool vibe you’re going to love.

Start your adventure in the heart of the city. The iconic Big Ben and Houses of Parliament are must-sees, and while you’re there, why not take a spin on the London Eye ? 

Image of the The Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster bridge in London in a beautiful summer day, England, United Kingdom

The views are seriously killer. Head over to the Shard – a cocktail in their sky-high bar as the sun sets over the city is a moment you won’t forget.

London’s food scene is a melting pot of cultures. Grab a curry on Brick Lane or some fish and chips in a traditional pub – it doesn’t get more London than that! 

For shoppers, a stroll through the bustling stalls of Covent Garden or the trendy boutiques in Shoreditch is a dream come true.

But what really makes London a top-notch weekend spot is its energy. 

Whether you’re exploring world-class museums, catching a play in the West End, or just kicking back in a centuries-old pub, you’ll feel it. There are so many things to do in London .

So grab your Oyster card and your sense of adventure, because a weekend in London is a wild ride!

5. Cotswolds, England

It’s all about winding country roads, charming stone cottages, and some of the prettiest landscapes in England. Talk about a perfect escape! And there are tons of Cotswolds tours from London .

First up, Broadway Tower. Take a leisurely stroll up and soak in the panoramic views – on a clear day, you can see up to 16 counties! 

The quaint fairy tale village of Castle Combe at the border between the Cotswolds and Wiltshire with its characteristic bridge. Rural England at its best.

Then, it’s time to get lost in the Cotswold villages. Bourton-on-the-Water , often called the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’, is a must-visit. 

Pop into the cute tearooms for a traditional cream tea – you’ll thank me later!

And let’s not forget about the stunning gardens. Hidcote Manor Garden is a floral paradise that’s a feast for the senses. 

If you’re an animal lover, the Cotswold Wildlife Park is right up your alley – who wouldn’t want to feed a giraffe?

Tuck into some classic British pub grub in a cozy local inn. That’s the Cotswold charm: its blend of breathtaking scenery, history-soaked villages, and good ol’ countryside hospitality. 

So, grab your wellies and your camera, and let’s dive into the heart of England!

6. Paris, France

Fancy a weekend where every street corner oozes with style, history, and that unmistakable French charm? 

Well, pack your beret because Paris is calling , and trust me, it’s a city that knows how to make you fall in love.

The Eiffel Tower and seine river in Paris, France

Start your day with a leisurely stroll down the Seine River. Wave ‘Bonjour’ to Notre Dame, and of course, prepare to be awestruck by the iconic Eiffel Tower. 

And if you’re up for it, why not c limb to the top ? The view is pretty epic.

Grab a buttery croissant at a sidewalk café, or indulge in some of the best crepes you’ll ever taste. 

Now, what’s Paris without a bit of art? The Louvre is home to the Mona Lisa and countless other masterpieces, while the bohemian Montmartre district is a canvas of street art and creativity.

As the city lights twinkle, Paris transforms into a romantic dreamscape. From the quaint bookstores of the Latin Quarter to the lively cabaret with a glass of Champagne at Moulin Rouge, there’s a slice of Parisian life waiting at every turn. 

So come on, let’s embrace the ‘joie de vivre’ and dive into a weekend in Paris!

7. Berlin, Germany

Got a weekend to spare and a thirst for unique experiences? Then you need to check out Berlin! 

It’s a city where history shakes hands with modernity, where street art adorns every alleyway, and where nightlife is truly the ‘life’.

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin at sunrise, Germany

Start your journey at the iconic Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of unity that has seen Berlin’s dramatic past. 

A stone’s throw away is the poignant Holocaust Memorial, a powerful reminder of history. 

The Museum Island is an art and history lover’s paradise, with five world-class museums to explore.

The local food scene has got you covered. Currywurst is a Berlin classic, and don’t even get me started on the delicious Döner kebabs! 

After you’ve filled up, why not wander through the colorful stalls of Mauerpark Flea Market?

As the sun dips, Berlin’s famous club scene comes alive. 

But here’s the thing: Berlin isn’t just about the big sights. It’s about the alternative culture, the quirky shops, the riverside hangouts. 

So pack your bags, lace up your most comfy shoes, and dive head-first into a Berlin weekend!

8. Munich, Germany

Looking to spend a weekend where tradition and modernity live side by side? Munich is just the ticket! 

This Bavarian beauty is packed with charm, character, and more beer gardens than you can shake a pretzel at.

Aerial view of Marienplatz town hall and Frauenkirche in Munich, Germany.

Kick off your Munich adventure in Marienplatz, the city’s beating heart. 

The glockenspiel show at the Neues Rathaus is a total crowd-pleaser. Fancy a royal affair? The Nymphenburg Palace, with its opulent rooms and stunning gardens, is like stepping into a fairy tale.

Craving some hearty Bavarian grub? Grab a Bratwurst or a soft pretzel, wash it down with a stein of locally-brewed beer, and you’re doing Munich right! 

For museum buffs, the Deutsches Museum is a treasure trove of science and tech exhibits.

As the sun sets, Munich’s vibrant nightlife kicks into gear. Whether you’re after a quiet beer garden or a lively club, Munich’s got you covered. 

Stroll through the Englischer Garten, and smell the delicious smells wafting from Viktualienmarkt, about the laughter echoing from biergartens.

9. Budapest, Hungary

Ever thought about spending a weekend in a city that blends history, nightlife, and thermal baths like no other? 

Say hello to Budapest! 

This Hungarian gem is a feast for the senses and a treat for the soul.

Hungarian parliament, Budapest at sunset

Kick things off with a leisurely stroll along the Danube River. You’ll spot the stunning Hungarian Parliament on the Pest side, and the enchanting Buda Castle on the other. 

The panoramic views from the Fisherman’s Bastion are hard to beat!

Dive into a bowl of hearty goulash or a chimney cake from a street vendor. 

The Széchenyi Thermal Baths are the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploration.

When the sun sets, Budapest truly shines. The famous ruin bars are a nightlife experience like no other. 

And what makes Budapest a winner for a weekend getaway? It’s the mix of historic grandeur, quirky charm, delicious food, and bubbling baths. 

10. Cinque Terre, Italy

Strap on your most comfortable sandals for a weekend trip to Cinque Terre , where picture-perfect villages tumble down to the sparkling Mediterranean.

Start your journey in Riomaggiore, the first of the five fishing villages. The pastel houses, the tiny harbor, the bustling local life – it’s pure magic. 

View of Vernazza village, Cinque Terre, Italy

The fresh seafood pasta at a local trattoria – delizioso!

Now, the best way to explore Cinque Terre? On foot! The trail between Riomaggiore and Manarola, known as the Via dell’Amore, is an absolute treat for the senses. 

Next up, Vernazza, possibly the prettiest of the lot. Don’t forget to reward yourself with a scoop (or two) of creamy gelato.

Grab a glass of local Sciacchetrà wine and watch the world go by at the end of the day. 

And that’s the charm of Cinque Terre. It’s not just about the stunning views, the sun-soaked vineyards, or the tantalizing cuisine – it’s about the laid-back vibe, the friendly locals, and the sheer joy of Italian life.

11. Florence, Italy

Got a soft spot for art, history, and mouthwatering Italian cuisine? Then pack your bags, because Florence , the ‘Cradle of the Renaissance’, is your next weekend destination in Europe, and trust me, it’s a stunner!

Start your Florentine adventure in the Piazza del Duomo, home to the iconic Florence Cathedral. 

facade of Santa Maria Novella church, Florence, Italy

Ready for a workout? Climb to the top of the dome for a bird’s-eye view of the city. It’s worth every step!

Delve into a plate of fresh pasta at a local trattoria, followed by a scoop of the creamiest gelato you’ll ever taste. 

For art lovers, the Uffizi Gallery is a must-visit. Hello, Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’!

Make your way to the Ponte Vecchio for sunset. The golden light reflecting off the Arno River is pure magic.

The world-class art, the stunning architecture, and the divine food make you feel as though you have stepped back in time, of walking in the footsteps of Michelangelo and Da Vinci. 

12. Venice, Italy

Fancy a weekend where canals replace streets, where gondolas glide by, and where every turn uncovers a new enchanting vista? Venice , the city on the water is an experience like no other.

Start your Venetian escapade in the famed Piazza San Marco. Admire St. Mark’s Basilica in all its Byzantine glory, and don’t forget to say ‘Ciao’ to the local pigeons! 


Ready for a unique ride? Hop on a gondola and let a friendly gondolier navigate you through the city’s labyrinthine canals.

Savor a plate of creamy seafood risotto, or indulge in some cicchetti – Venice’s answer to tapas. 

Afterward, lose yourself in the maze of narrow streets and discover hidden gems only the locals know about.

As dusk descends, the city transforms into a romantic dreamscape. The twinkling lights, the soft lapping of water against ancient buildings, the serenade from a passing gondola – it’s pure magic.

13. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Kick off your Dutch adventure at the iconic Dam Square, the beating heart of Amsterdam . The Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum are a must-visit for art lovers. 

Don’t forget to snap a picture with the famed ‘I Amsterdam’ sign!

Bikes decorated with flowers in Amsterdam the Netherlands in spring

Dive into a stack of Dutch pancakes or a gooey cheese sandwich. Then, rent a bike and join the locals, pedaling through the city’s charming, cobblestone streets and over its picturesque canals.

As the city lights twinkle, Amsterdam’s vibrant nightlife kicks in. From the lively bars of Leidseplein to the unique coffee shop culture, there’s something for every taste. 

What’s the magic of Amsterdam? It’s the mix of rich history, buzzing energy, beautiful architecture, and of course, those dreamy canals. 

So grab your bike helmet and let’s pedal our way into a fabulous Amsterdam weekend!

14. Edinburgh, Scotland

Looking for a weekend getaway filled with ancient castles, hilly landscapes, quirky shops, and the best whiskey you’ve ever tasted? Then head for Edinburgh, a city that’s all about character and charm.

Dean Village in Edinburgh

Begin your Edinburgh exploration at the iconic Edinburgh Castle . The view of the city from up there is nothing short of breathtaking. 

Got a taste for the macabre? The eerie closes and wynds of the Old Town are a must-visit, especially on a guided ghost tour !

Tuck into a hearty plate of haggis, neeps, and tatties at a local pub, washed down with a smooth Scotch whiskey. For those with a sweet tooth, don’t miss out on trying a deep-fried Mars bar – it’s a local delicacy!

When night falls, the city’s lively pubs and bars come alive. 

Grab a pint and join in a traditional Scottish ceilidh dance. 

The historic charm, the scenic beauty, the lively locals, and the sense of stepping into a storybook will leave you wanting to stay forever. 

15. Inverness, Scotland

Looking for a weekend full of ancient legends, Scottish culture, and a possible Nessie sighting? Well, Inverness, the ‘Capital of the Highlands’, is perfect for you!

Begin your Highland adventure with a stroll along the banks of the River Ness. 

Image of Inverness Castle

Fancy a bit of history? The Inverness Castle, perched high above the city, offers stunning panoramic views. Don’t forget to visit the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery to learn about the city’s rich history.

Famished from sightseeing? Dig into a plate of fresh Scottish salmon or a hearty haggis at a local restaurant. 

Afterward, take a leisurely walk through the Victorian Market for unique souvenirs and local crafts.

But what’s a trip to Inverness without venturing out to Loch Ness ? Rent a car or hop on a local bus, keep your eyes peeled for the elusive Nessie, and soak up the majestic beauty of the Highlands.

When the sun sets, experience the lively Scottish nightlife with traditional music at a local pub. Inverness, with its charming old town, friendly locals, and breathtaking surroundings, makes for a fantastic European weekend getaway.

European Weekend Breaks FAQs

Cities such as Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Berlin, and London are some of the most popular cities for weekend trips due to their rich history, cultural offerings, and bustling nightlife.

While it’s possible due to the proximity of countries in Europe, it’s often better to focus on one city or country to avoid spending too much time in transit.

Europe offers something unique in every season. Summer is high season, but spring and fall can offer milder weather and fewer tourists.

Pack light, but include essentials like comfortable shoes for walking, a good quality camera, travel adapters for electronics, and clothing suited to the weather.

It depends on the destination and your personal spending habits. Eastern Europe tends to be cheaper than Western Europe. Researching in advance and setting a budget can help manage costs.

Best Weekend Getaways Europe Wrap Up

The Best weekend trips in Europe are some of the most vibrant, charming, and downright enchanting in the world! 

From the bustling streets of London to the picturesque canals of Venice, from the majestic highlands of Inverness to the cobblestone lanes of Amsterdam – each city is a world in itself, brimming with unique experiences, delicious food, and unforgettable sights.

So whether you’re an art lover, a foodie, a history buff, or just someone who loves to explore, pack those bags and get ready to tick off these destinations from your travel bucket list. 

After all, the world is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. And remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. 

About Fiona Fiona is an Australian Travel Blogger at Travelling Thirties. Fiona has volunteered in Thailand, lived in Scotland, jumped off cliffs in New Zealand, slept in treehouses and igloos in Finland, and everything in between as she has spent the last ten years exploring the world. I can’t wait to show you the world.

Looking for more European travel content? Get my top planning tips for Europe , Paris , London , Barcelona , Madrid , Mallorca , Venice , Florence , Rome , Germany , Amsterdam , Portugal , Santorini , and Athens ! And find out how to plan a trip to Europe !

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Our exclusive eBook, Top 10 Unforgettable Family Adventure Destinations , is your ticket to a world of wonder and excitement. Get your free copy today!

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12 Best Long Weekend Trips in Europe

As someone with a 9 to 5 , I try my best to fit in as many trips as I can while working. This means that I have to be savvy with my annual leave days and bank holidays (aka public holidays). So looking for the best long weekend trips in Europe has been essential in being able to see more of the world with a full time job. 

Weekend or long weekend travel is perfect if you work full-time because you only need to use one or two holiday days and sometimes even none, if done correctly! All my Europe travels have been long weekend or weekend trips, so I thought to share my reccomendations on 12 of the best destinations in Europe for weekend trips!

Here are my 12 Best Long Weekend Trips in Europe!

best weekend trips to europe

Best Weekend Trips in Europe

1.)  split, croatia.

Marjan Hill View over Split city - Best weekend trips in Europe

Not only is Split an amazing city to visit for a Europe long weekend (especially if you’re a Game of Thrones fan), there are also quite a few super cool things to do in Split . Everywhere you turn the views are stunning and the city is steeped with history. Split is Croatia’s second largest city but still has a small-town feel to it. So if you want to skip some of the crowds in Dubrovnik, Split is a city to consider! 

I’ve also got a guide to exploring Split to help you plan your visit to this awesome city and see it in the best way!

READ MORE: 10 Things to know before you go to Split

2.)  Copenhagen, Denmark

Nyhavn view across river - Best weekend trips in Europe

Copenhagen is one of the best weekend trips in Europe because you can easily see a lot of the city in a few days. Full of culture, great food and a little quirk, I really loved visiting Copenhagen for the weekend. You might be thinking Copenhagen isn’t very budget friendly but trust me, there are ways to enjoy your weekend in Copenhagen on a Budget .

READ MORE: The Ultimate Copenhagen Travel Guide

3.)  Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia - Best Weekend trips in Europe

Barcelona is one of the best places for a long weekend trips in Europe and one of my absolute favourite cities to visit. I’ve visited three whole times already and even spent my birthday there! It is home to one of my favourite structures EVER, The Sagrada Familia, and of course lots of beautiful Gaudi creations.

Let’s not forget the nightlife, you’ll have a ball here, I know I have! A weekend is perfect to visit Barcelona as it gives you an excuse to keep coming back and seeing more of what the city has to offer each time. Trust me, Barcelona for the weekend is a no brainer!

4.) Prague, Czech Republic

best weekend trips to europe

Easily one of the most beautiful and charming cities in Europe, Prague has a wealth of sights to see that will keep you busy for a weekend (and then some!). Prague usually doesn’t come to mind when thinking of Europe breaks but, with its pastel-coloured buildings, cobbled streets, and unique art, a weekend in Prague is an absolutely perfect city break! And with Prague being a compact city, a lot of the sites are nearby which means you can see a lot of them easily over a weekend in Prague! 

READ MORE: Prague Travel Guide

5. )  Berlin, Germany

best weekend trips to europe

Long weekends in Berlin are a BLAST and I speak from experience, the city is so full of energy! Now, saying that, it’s impossible to see everything on a weekend in Berlin but you will have an amazing time regardless. And you’ll have another excuse to another long weekend visit to Berlin and that’s a great feeling. Berlin is huge hub of design, fashion, culture, art and music. And let’s not even get started on Potsdam!

6.) Thessaloniki, Greece

View from top of white tower in Thessaloniki - best long weekend trips in Europe

This was the first city I visited solo and for that, it will always have a special place in my heart. Thessaloniki is a perfect city for long weekend trips in Europe and one I would fully recommend. The city is compact enough to hit the major spots in a weekend and the best part, it is VERY affordable! My entire trip here cost me under £300 including flights, accommodation and spending, which is insane. I would return to Thessaloniki in a heart beat, it’s a little Greek gem!

The White tower Thessaloniki

READ MORE: Solo Travel in Thessaloniki

7.)  Rotterdam, The Netherlands

best weekend trips to europe

Rotterdam is a city I visited on a whim as a result of a poll I did on my Instagram (Crazy, I know!) while I was literally on the train to Amsterdam! Even though I was only there for a day technically, I would definitely recommend it for a weekend trip. It has such a cool and artsy vibe and I felt extremely comfortable as a solo black woman. It’s also less busy than Amsterdam and lately, also much more affordable to visit.

READ MORE: How to Spend a Day in Rotterdam

8. ) Bordeaux, France

best weekend trips to europe

Bordeaux is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or city break! You can appreciate the architecture, enjoy a visit to some of the most famous vineyards in the world or spend a day at tallest sand dune in Europe! Whether you are travelling solo, with friends or family, spending a weekend in the vibrant city of Bordeaux is a great idea!

READ MORE: How to Spend a Weekend in Bordeaux

9.) Budapest, Hungary

best weekend trips to europe

An ideal long weekend destination in Europe is Budapest. Budapest is LOVED by a lot of travellers (and locals) for so many reasons. From the diversity & variety of activities you could get into, the rich & open culture that goes beyond museums and theatres but one that is important to the people to the bustling and vibrant nightlife. Best of all, it is affordable, which makes Budapest perfect for a long weekend break in Europe!

10.) Porto, Portugal

best weekend trips to europe

We all know about Lisbon, but lets shine some light on the wonderful city of Porto! Porto is in the north of Portugal and is an excellent destination for city breaks in Europe. Enjoy some Port wine in it’s origin city, visit the Dom Luis I Bridge, the Sao Bento railway station (one of the most beautiful train stations in the world!) , and the Duoro river. A visit to Porto is never a bad idea!

11.) Seville, Spain

best weekend trips to europe

Seville is a compact city that can easily be enjoyed over a long weekend trip in Europe and with minimal planning necessary. It is a beautiful city with gorgeous food, extraordinary architecture, fast-paced flamenco and seduce and home to the world’s largest cathedral – with Columbus’ tomb hidden inside. It’s a city I can’t wait to visit myself for a long weekend!

12.) Rome, Italy

best weekend trips to europe

There’s no place quite like Rome! I remember walking around the city during my 25th birthday and feeling like I was walking through the pages of history. There’s every thing from the actual Colosseum, Trevi fountain, the Pantheon, to the Roman Forum, the Spanish steps and so much more! There’s so much to see in Rome to fit into one weekend trip, so you definitely won’t be bored. Take your time, enjoy the slower pace, take in the history you’re now a part of.

Where are some of your favourite destinations for a long weekend trip in Europe? Share in the comments! Don’t forget to share and save this!

best weekend trips to europe

Until Next Time,

best weekend trips to europe

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best weekend trips to europe

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These are some really great recommendations! I’ve been to many of these places and they’re all are definitely worth a visit. Personally I would also add Munich and Vienna 🙂

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Thank you for your recommendations!

' data-src=

Ah, I wish I lived closer to Europe to be able to take long weekend breaks to these incredible cities. I’ve been to a few on your list but since I live in South Africa, I have to plan longer trips to make the flights there worthwhile. You’ve given me some great ideas for my Europe trip next year though.

Yeah! Whenever next you’re in Europe, you can combine a few of these countries to make it worth your while and since they are weekend trips, you can do a few countries in a week!

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Great list of places in Europe for a long weekend. I’ve been to most, but still need to get to Seville and Porto! – Saving this post as a reminder to go check them out!

Yay! I hope you enjoy them when you do get to go!

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I love the photo of you in Rotterdam with the yellow ceiling! You look so pretty! It’s pretty awesome that those living in Europe can do weekend trips to another country. In the states, we can barely do a weekend trip to a different state they’re so far away let alone a different country. Except Canada, because we live in MI and can see it across the Detroit river haha

Thank you! That’s so interesting, I just assumed dong weekend breaks within the country would be easy, like we get to do in Europe. And I love Canada, so that’s a great alternative haha

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I had visited the Netherlands back in 2016, but the day trip I had planned to Rotterdam somehow could not get materialized. I am glad you could visit the beautiful place.

Awww I do hope you get to visit Rotterdam in the future, its a really cool city!

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How awesome to live close enough to each of these destinations to be able to pop over for a long weekend trip. Someday I hope to be able to live in Europe and have this opportunity.

I hope you get the opportunity too, it’s a really great privilege that we have living in Europe.

' data-src=

Love all these Euro break ideas, especially since there’s so much to see in just a weekend’s worth of time. I’d love to check out Copenhagen 🙂

Copenhagen is such a cool city, you’ll love it!

' data-src=

You’ve just given me some great ideas for my next short trip to Europe! There are some places on your list that I’ve been dying to visit for a while now.

Yay! I’m glad you got some ideas from the post.

' data-src=

Great post!

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best weekend trips in europe - City Breaks and Countryside Escapes

Kiwi Curated

A weekend in europe: city breaks and countryside escapes.

When it comes to European city breaks, the options are endless—Paris, Rome, London, to name a few. Beyond those cities’ limits, slower-paced hidden (and not-so-hidden) gems await. So, sneak out of work a day or two early, toss that weekender bag over your shoulder and pair a quick city break with an island or countryside escape. We’ll see you on Monday.

best weekend trips in europe - Casa Cipriani Milano Milan + Val di Sogno Lake Garda, Italy

Pack your Bottega Veneta bag and head to Milan, the cosmopolitan hub of Italy’s north , for a getaway. Stay at Casa Cipriani Milano , where classic Milanese hospitality meets the old-world feel of an English gentleman’s club. Take in a treasure trove of masterpieces—Da Vinci’s The Last Supper , Il Duomo di Milano Cathedral and world-famous opera house La Scala. If the countryside calls, you’re a scenic 4.5-hour drive from the largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda. Here, adult-only Val di Sogno sits amongst small villages, picturesque hamlets and mountain slopes. Check in, listen to the sound of waves being gently pushed onto shore by passing sailboats and savor a poolside Aperol Spritz under the shade of olive trees.

best weekend trips in europe - Nolinski Paris + Boscolo Lyon, France

If sitting at a local bistro, slowly sipping a café crème and tearing into a flaky croissant sounds ideal right about now, then Paris is the perfect city break for you. Located in the 1st Arrondissement between the Opéra Garnier and famous rue Saint Honoré, you’ll find Nolinski Paris . After a stroll along the Seine and pass through the Palais-Royal gardens, dine at the property’s two Michelin-starred Palais Royal Restaurant or take to the Spa Nolinski by La Colline. Looking for more big city energy? Hop on a two-hour TGV train bound for Lyon, France’s third-largest city. Stay at Boscolo Hotel & Spa Lyon , a classically styled hotel sprinkled with Italian design dating all the way back to the 19th century. Go on a culinary journey at Mediterranean-focused Angelo Restaurant and go back in time with a dip in the historic Roman thermal baths at the Boscolo Lyon spa. Beyond the property, you’re steps away from Place Bellecour, the picturesque district of Vieux Lyon and the majestic Basilique de Fourvière.

best weekend trips in europe - Great Scotland Yard London + Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

London brims with things to do. You could catch a sporting event, with Wimbledon rolling around each July and the Premier League gearing up in August (the city is home to seven teams). If the arts are more your jam, London has over 192 museums and an incredible lineup of summer music festivals, including BST Hyde Park, All Points East and Field Day. There are all the classic sights, too—Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square. Luckily, a stay at Great Scotland Yard Hotel makes decision-making a little easier with its perfect location in Westminster. Its proximity to the train station at Charring Cross and underground lines makes it easy for you to see all of the city and beyond. A one-hour ride north of London Marylebone is Oxfordshire. Here, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel embodies the very best of the dreamy British countryside—channel your inner Jane Austen heroine and wander through the vegetable gardens, flower borders and orchards.

best weekend trips in europe - Villa Spalletti Trivelli Rome + La Roqqa Porto Ercole, Italy

Whether stumbling upon a local trattoria serving heavenly cacio e pepe or encountering a renowned Caravaggio masterpiece in an unassuming church, Rome offers surprises at every turn. Retreat to Villa Spalletti Trivelli Rome , an ideal home base complete with a library, Italian garden and a rooftop terrace with a jacuzzi. If you can’t get close to the Trevi Fountain because of the crowds, save your wishes for the Tuscan Coast, just a two-hour drive away. On arrival, get a taste of glamorous 1960s Italy at LA ROQQA . Quench your thirst (and move your hips to the music) after your journey at the hotel’s beach club, Isolotto.

best weekend trips in europe - Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid + InterContinental Barcelona, Spain

When in Spain, go big and bold. Start in Madrid where art lovers can spend the day exploring three of the world’s biggest museums, aka the Golden Triangle of Art. History buffs will love the city’s architecture and historic landmarks, including the oldest restaurant in the world and an Egyptian temple. And you can’t go wrong with the booming culinary scene here—it’s made Madrid one of Europe’s best food cities. Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid is a 10-story Art Deco building within walking distance of cocktail bars, shopping and entertainment. Next, continue your Spanish adventures by taking the AVE high-speed train to Barcelona—you’re there in less than three hours. Close to the city’s top sights, including the Gothic Quarter, The Barcelona EDITION is where you can savor a Spanish Gin and Tonic while enjoying the breathtaking views from a corner table on the rooftop terrace. Don’t forget to walk along the city’s most famous boulevard, La Ramblas, scout out the best paella and enjoy an afternoon siesta on one of the city’s best beaches.

best weekend trips in europe - The Rebello Porto + Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal

Long regarded as Lisbon’s little sister, Porto is finally emerging as a top destination, drawing weekenders seeking the ultimate 48-hour escape. Popping up like a storybook from the banks of the Douro River, Portugal’s second-biggest city is steeped in history and quickly becoming a haven for design and food lovers. Don’t miss Mercado do Bolhao, Porto’s historic central market. Reopened in October 2022 after a two-year renovation, it offers many delights, such as the famous francesinha sandwich. Explore the UNESCO Heritage Cais da Ribeira neighborhood, then unwind at The Rebello . This boutique hotel features an indoor and outdoor pool and various dining options, including the Lobby Bar and a chic rooftop restaurant serving fresh pizza with city views. In the mood for vinho ? It’s time to venture 90-minutes east to the Douro Valley, where 19th-century manor Six Senses Douro Valley awaits, offering vineyard tours, wine libraries and tastings aboard a vintage boat.

best weekend trips in europe - Boscolo Hotel & Spa Nice + The Maybourne Riviera Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France

It has the beaches, it has the sunshine and it definitely has the glamour—Nice is indeed nice. Nestled a few blocks away from the seaside along picturesque Boulevard Victor Hugo, Boscolo Hotel & Spa Nice exudes timeless charm. Discover one of the city’s most exclusive rooftops, BClub, boasting an outdoor pool and delicious cocktails. Just an 8-minute stroll away lies Ruhl’s Private Beach, where hotel guests are pampered with an array of amenities, including plush mattresses, parasols and towels. Drive east along the Côte d’Azur for 25-minutes and let the Mediterranean guide you to your next destination: Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Stay at The Maybourne Riviera , standing sentry on a rocky outcrop near Monaco. Taking the 26th position on 2023’s World’s 50 Best Hotels list, this gravity-defying architectural wonder puts guests 300 meters above the Mediterranean Sea. Plus, it’s the perfect base for one of the sporting highlights of the year—the annual Monaco Grand Prix in May.

best weekend trips in europe - Andronis Arcadia Santorini + Parīlio Paros, Greece

Santorini is a head-turner. It’s got the instantly recognizable white-washed houses, famous caldera and iconic sunsets. Not to mention, that crystal clear Aegean Sea. Equally as stunning is Andronis Arcadia , carved into cliffs near the iconic town of Oia. Intimate and secluded, the property features open, bright interiors and private pools. Enjoy the hotel’s Pacman Restaurant with its al fresco charm and breathtaking sunset views over the Aegean Sea accompanied by world-renowned live music May through August. If looking to escape the bustle of Santorini, hop over to low-key Paros and opt for a stay at Parīlio , an island retreat in full harmony with the surrounding sea and mountainous terrain. For those looking to fully embrace the slow-paced Cycladic way of living, the Elios Spa offers the ultimate vacation timeout.

best weekend trips in europe - The Merrion Dublin + Cliff House Hotel Ardmore, Ireland

James Joyce’s novel Ulysses famously takes the reader across Dublin on a single day in June 1904— imagine what you could with an entire weekend. So, what’s the craic (that’s Irish slang for fun) in the Emerald Isle’s capital? Walk the cobbles of Trinity College, wander St. Stephen’s Green, shop on Grafton Street or dine at one of the five Michelin-starred restaurants in town. If all that seems a little too fancy, grab a pint of Guinness in an 800-year-old pub. Check into The Merrion , an impeccable restoration of four Georgian townhouses with rooms and suites overlooking beautiful manicured gardens. Leave the city and experience the Irish countryside in County Waterford. Make your accommodation Cliff House Hotel , clinging to a cliff on the south side of Ardmore Bay, where there has long been a fishing village. The hotel features an intimate Irish destination spa and a floating golf green.

best weekend trips in europe - Nolinski Venice Italy + Grand Park Hotel Rovinj Croatia

Spread across more than 100 small islands, Venice stands as Italy’s Veneto gem, adorned with winding canals, majestic Renaissance palaces and graceful bridges. A few canals over from the Piazza San Marco, find newly opened Nolinski Venezia . Best reached by private speedboat, the property is housed within the confines of Venice’s old stock exchange and features a 4,000-book Library Bar and a 360-view pool with dreamy views of the Venetian skyline. While day-trippers hurry from the Rialto to St. Mark’s Basilica, consider slowing things down by heading to the Venice Biennale, an international cultural exhibition hosted annually. Ready to zip abroad? Set sail to Croatia. Skip the car rentals and opt for the ferry to coastal Rovinj. Perched amidst pine forests overlooking the azure Adriatic, Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is a serene escape with seven dining venues, including a Michelin-starred restaurant, and a 3800-square-meter spa set in Mediterranean gardens. Venture into Rovinj’s old town, rising from the sea, to wander its timeless streets.

Kiwi Newsletter

A Lady in London

A Lady in London

And Traveling the World

Lady’s 27 Weekend Trips from London to Europe You’ll Want to Take

Today I want to bring you my guide to the best weekend trips from London to Europe. From famous cities to beautiful towns and islands, there’s no shortage of unforgettable trips you can take from the UK capital to the continent. Whether you love exploring iconic urban centers or discovering somewhere under the radar, there’s a weekend trip you’ll want to take to Europe.

Weekend Trips from London to Europe

Weekend Trips from London to Europe

The best weekend trips from London to Europe range from big cities to sun-drenched islands. Some offer medieval walled towns, while others are known for their contemporary cool.

Wherever your passions lie, these European weekend trips will get you in the mood for traveling and inspire your upcoming journeys.

I’ve been to all the places on my list and I can personally recommend them for 2-day getaways. They’re some of my favorite travel destinations, and some of the best places to visit in Europe . I’m sure you’ll love them as much as I do.

Seine in Paris

Tips for Weekend Trips from London to Europe

Two days is a short amount of time to discover the destinations on my list. If that’s all the time you have, there are a few things you can do to maximize your experience.

First, try to leave on Friday night and return on Sunday night. If you can’t, try to catch the first train or flight of the day on Saturday morning and return as late as possible on Sunday.

Remember to factor in travel distances from railway stations and airports, too, as transfers will eat into your time. The same goes for time zones.

Paris Carousel

Second, try to book a hotel or other accommodation somewhere central. This will allow you to maximize your time doing the things you want to in the destination, and save you from spending half your weekend traveling to and from the city center. You can book a place to stay here .

Third, factor in the time of year you’ll be going on your weekend trip to Europe from London. Days are short in the winter, so you’ll need to be prepared to do activities that require daylight in a compact amount of time.

On the contrary, traveling in the summer months will mean you’ll enjoy daylight during your whole visit. You can check sunrise and sunset times before you book your trip to find out how much sun you’ll see (or not) during your trip.

Paris Restaurant

Fourth, make sure to plan an itinerary and check opening hours prior to traveling. With such a limited time, you’ll want to ensure each place you plan to tour, eat, and see is open when you’re in town. This is particularly true in the off-season.

Fifth, try not to stuff too much into one weekend. Two days isn’t nearly enough to see a major capital city, let alone a large town or island. You can always return in the future to see more if you love the place.

Sixth, do some research into how to get around before you leave home. Using public transport or bicycles and scooters will help you see more than you could on foot.

Paris River Cruise at Sunset

For example, the metro is a fast and easy way to travel long distances in cities like Paris, and bikes are a popular way to get around in places like Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

Seventh, be aware that service in cafes and restaurants can be much slower than what you might be used to at home. It’s a good idea to either factor in more time for meals or eat quick ones at markets or street food stalls.

1. Paris Weekend Trip from London

First on my list of the best weekend trips from London to Europe is Paris. With direct trains from London, the City of Light is just over 2 hours and 15 minutes away. That leaves you plenty of time to see the main attractions.

The capital of France is celebrated for everything from its cuisine to its culture. It has fashion for shopping lovers, museums for art aficionados, and picturesque streets for those who love to wander.

Notre Dame, Paris

While the City of Light is best explored over the better part of a week (or more), you can see the highlights in a weekend in Paris .

If you use the metro and RER trains, you’ll be able to visit Paris landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, soak up the scene on the Seine, and walk around neighborhoods like Montmartre.

If this weekend trip sounds good to you, you can book a place to stay here . You can also take a look at my guide to the best area to stay in Paris for my top picks.

Restaurant in Paris

2. Amsterdam Weekend Trip to Europe

Amsterdam is another of my favorite short trips from London to Europe. There are direct trains from London, but given the distance and time, it’s easier to fly.

Flights from London City Airport are ideal, as it’s one of the easiest airports to get to in the UK capital. The flight time is around an hour, too.

Two days in Amsterdam is enough time to get your fix of narrow houses, bucolic canals, and world-class museums housed in beautiful buildings.

Dutch Shoe Magnets in Amsterdam

It’s easy to spend a weekend walking or cycling along Amsterdam’s waterways and soaking up the colors in the floating flower market or the Vondelpark.

The restaurants and nightlife scene are great, too. Don’t miss the Indonesian rijsttafel menus or the opportunity to sample genever, a famous Dutch spirit.

If this quick getaway sounds good to you, you can book a place to stay here . I’ve enjoyed a stay at the Amsterdam Marriott Hotel . You can book a room here .

Sculpture in Amsterdam, Europe

3. Rome Weekend Trip from London

Next on my list of the best weekend trips from London to Europe is Rome . The Eternal City is an easy flight from the UK capital, and once you’re in town there’s a lot to do and see.

Rome is famous for its ancient ruins, world-class art, and great food. A weekend is enough time to see highlights like the Colosseum and Roman Forum, browse the Galleria Borghese or Vatican Museums, and eat all the Italian cuisine you could want.

Using the metro is a great way to cover long distances in Rome. It will help you see as much as possible in a couple days.

If this 2-day getaway sounds good to you, you can book a place to stay here . I’ve stayed at the The St Regis Rome and I loved the hotel and its location near the Piazza della Repubblica. You can book a room here .

Galleria Borghese in Rome

4. Lisbon Weekend Trip from London

One of my favorite weekend trips from London to Europe is Lisbon. The Portuguese capital is a straightforward flight from London, and it’s one of the few European capitals that’s on the same time zone as the UK.

A weekend in Lisbon is a great amount of time to see the city’s dramatic hills, admire its ceramic azulejo tiles, ride its iconic yellow trams, and eat your fill of custard tarts.

Given Lisbon is more affordable than most European capitals, it’s a great place to spend an extra day or two if you have time. You can also head up to Porto and do a combined Lisbon and Porto itinerary .

If this short break sounds good to you, you can book a place to stay here . I’ve stayed at Portugal Boutique Hotel and I really enjoyed the experience. You can book a room here .

View of Lisbon, Portugal

5. Barcelona Weekend Trip from London

Barcelona is another fun weekend trip from London to Europe. This Spanish city is an easy flight from the UK, and it’s a popular place to visit.

Barcelona is packed with historic streets, stunning beaches, beautiful museums, and fun restaurants and nightlife.

It has a bit of everything, and it’s a great place to explore for a couple days. From Barri Gotic to the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell, it’s a beautiful city.

Barcelona’s historic streets are easy to walk around, but the metro is helpful for places like Tibidabo that are further afield.

If this 2-day getaway sounds good to you, you can book a place to stay here . I’ve stayed at Le Meridien Barcelona and I loved its central location. You can book a room here .

Roof of Gaudis Casa Batllo in Barcelona, Spain

6. Prague Weekend Trip from London

Prauge is next on my list of the best weekend trips from London to Europe. I studied abroad in Prague when I was in college and I still consider it one of the most beautiful cities in Europe .

Prague is an easy flight from London. Once you’re in the city, winding cobbled streets and sweeping castle views tick all the boxes for classic scenery. Subterranean bars and hideaways provide the perfect spots for nightlife, too.

Add to that the stunning Art Nouveau buildings, the Charles Bridge, and some of the most well-preserved historic architecture in Europe, and the Czech capital is amazing to see.

If this sounds like a fun getaway good to you, you can book a place to stay here . I lived in Hotel Adler when I studied in Prague, and I loved it. You can book a room here .

Statue in Prague

7. Venice Weekend Trip from London

Venice is another of my favorite weekend trips from London to Europe. It’s a quick flight from the UK capital, and you can even take a water taxi from the airport to the city.

With its maze of canals and fairy-tale bridges, Venice does romance like London does rain.

A moonlit gondola ride and a Bellini with a view are just the things to get acquainted with the city, and there’s no better way to spend an afternoon than getting lost in the labyrinth of side streets.

Spending 2 days in Venice is a great weekend getaway from London. If this trip appeals to you, you can book a place to stay here . My favorite hotel in Venice is the luxurious The Gritti Palace . You can book a room here .

Building on a Canal in Venice

8. Reykjavik Weekend Trip from London

Reykjavik is another of my favorite trips from the UK capital to Europe. It’s a direct flight from London, and there’s a lot you can do and see in 2 days in Iceland .

2 days in Reykjavik is a great amount of time to see the city, visit places like the Sky Lagoon , and get out and discover the Golden Circle .

The landscapes around the city are prehistoric, the geysers and waterfalls breathtaking, and the myths and legends dramatic.

I always love seeing where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, bathing in steaming lagoons, and eating all the good seafood.

If this sounds like a fun getaway to you, you can book a place to stay here . My favorite is the hip 101 Hotel in Reykjavik . You can book a room here .

Grandi View, Reykjavik

9. Copenhagen Weekend Trip from London

Copenhagen is another European city that’s worth a weekend trip from London. Easy to get to by plane from the UK capital, it’s a manageable size for 2 days.

The Danish capital’s culinary scene is hot, and its other charms are equally appealing. From the markets to the waterfront, the architecture to the design, this cool city is hard to beat.

Parks like Superkilen are one of a kind, and alternative Christiania is unique. Getting around by bicycle is a great way to see the city and live like a local, too.

If this sounds like a fun getaway to you, you can book a place to stay here . I’ve enjoyed a great one at the Phoenix Copenhagen . You can book a room here .

Royal palace in Copenhagen

10. Florence and Pisa Weekend Trip from London

Back in Italy, Florence and Pisa make for a great weekend trip from London to Europe. If you fly to Pisa Airport (which most people do), you can see both in one trip. It’s easy to take the train between them.

After seeing the Leaning Tower, you’ll have the better part of 2 days in Florence . Given the city is so walkable, you’ll be able to see highlights like the Duomo and the Uffizi Gallery while you’re visiting.

Don’t forget the restaurants and markets, either. Florence has great food, and you’ll have plenty of time to sample some of the best.

If this getaway sounds like your cup of tea, you can book a place to stay here . My top pick is the Continentale . It has one of the best rooftop bars I’ve ever been to. You can book a room here .

Sculptures in Florence, Italy

11. Gothenburg Weekend Trip from London

Up in Sweden, Gothenburg is another easy weekend trip from London to Europe. A direct flight will get you there and allow you to see the best of the city in two days.

Gothenburg has a laid-back vibe, pretty parks, and good seafood. With a weekend you can visit the markets, shops, and gardens, and take a river boat tour.

This city is easy to see on foot, and you’ll probably want to walk after eating all the good food at the best restaurants in Gothenburg .

If you like the idea of spending a couple days here, you can book a place to stay here . I’ve had a great one at the Hotel Royal . You can book a room here .

Church in Gothenburg, Sweden

12. Dubrovnik Weekend Trip from London

Next on my list of the best weekend trips from London to Europe is Dubrovnik . A direct flight from London, it’s an easy place to escape to for a couple days.

Dubrovnik is one of the best places to visit in Europe for its marble streets, fortified city walls, beautiful coastline, and delicious food and wine. This city on Croatia’s coast is one of the most scenic on the continent.

Given how compact the walled city is, you can easily see it all on foot in two days. You’ll even have time to explore more places and go to the beaches outside the walls.

If spending a couple days here sounds like fun, you can book a place to stay here . My favorite is Hotel Bellevue with its gorgeous views. You can book a room here .

Old town in Dubrovnik, Croatia

13. Athens Weekend Trip from London

Athens is another great place to go for a weekend in Europe. It’s an easy flight from London, and once you’re in town there’s a lot to see.

With a weekend in Athens , you can visit the Acropolis, explore the historic streets of Plaka, take in the antiquities in the Acropolis Museum, and enjoy the great food and drink scene in the city.

The heart of Athens is easy to walk around, so if you stay somewhere central you’ll be able to explore on foot easily. There’s also a metro that can help you cover longer distances faster.

If you think you’d enjoy this getaway, you can book a place to stay here . I’ve had a great time at an apartment in hip Kerameikos . You can book one here .

Acropolis, Athens

14. Budapest Weekend Trip from London

Budapest is another of my favorite weekend trips to Europe from London. The Hungarian capital is a direct flight from the UK capital, and there’s lots to do and see.

A weekend in Budapest will allow you to admire the city’s dramatic bridges, soak in one of its historic spas, and take in the stunning architecture on its streets.

From the Neo-Gothic parliament building to the banks of the Danube, you can experience many of the best things to do in Budapest on foot.

If this sounds like a fun escape to you, you can book a place to stay here . My top pick is The Four Seasons , which is right on the Danube. You can book a room here .

Budapest Street

15. Cyprus Weekend Trip from London

A weekend in Cyprus is another exciting 2-day trip from London to Europe. There are flights from London to various parts of the island, and once there it’s easy to get around by car.

Legend has it that Cyprus is the birthplace of Aphrodite. Add to that boulder-studded beaches and lush mountain vineyards, and Cyprus is one of the perfect romantic weekend getaways in Europe .

If you want to experience romantic Cyprus at its best, you can visit the beach by the Petra tou Romiou rock stack in Paphos. Aphrodite was said to be born from the sea here.

If this sounds like your kind of thing, you can book a place to stay here . I’ve enjoyed two great stays at the waterfront Almyra in Paphos. You can book a room here .

Birthplace of Aphrodite in Cyprus

16. Cork Weekend Trip from London

Everyone loves Dublin, but my favorite weekend trip from London to Ireland is Cork . It’s a quick flight from London, and a fun place to discover.

Down in the south, Cork is often referred to as the “real capital” of Ireland. But whether it is or not is less important than the fact that Cork offers an impressive display of everything a capital should offer.

With a gorgeous university, bustling market, historic fort, and great pubs, the city is every bit as exciting as Dublin .

If you want to get even more off the beaten path in Ireland, a weekend trip to Ardmore is also a fun adventure.

If this sounds like your kind of spot to explore, you can book a place to stay here . I had a lovely time at Hayfield Manor in Cork. You can book a room here .

Cork, Ireland

17. Vienna Weekend Trip from London

Next on my list of the best weekend trips from London to Europe is Vienna. The capital of Austria is a straightforward flight from London, and it’s a great place to escape to for a couple days.

With 2 days in Vienna you can see highlights like the Spanish Riding School, The Hofburg, the MuseumsQuartier, the Danube, and the parks.

There are lots of under-the-radar streets and squares to discover in the city, too. They’re some of my favorite places to visit in Vienna .

The Austrian capital is easy to explore on foot, and there’s also a well-developed public transport network with buses, trains, trams and underground lines.

If this weekend trip appeals to you, you can book a place to stay here . I loved my experience at the hip 25Hours Hotel at MuseumsQuartier . You can book a room here .

Historic Street in Vienna

18. Bruges Weekend Trip to Europe

Bruges is one of the best short train trips from London to Europe. While there are no direct rail services from London to Bruges, you can take the train to Brussels and change there for rail services to Flanders.

Bruges is littered with waterways and wander-worthy streets. This medieval city in Belgium is worth seeing for its pretty squares, tall bell towers, and well-preserved old town.

Being in Bruges feels like stepping back in history. Everything from the bridges to the waterfront houses is postcard-perfect. It’s easy to get around on foot, and you can see all the highlights in two days.

If this sounds like something you’d love, you can book a place to stay here .

Boat in Bruges

19. Salzburg Weekend Trip from London

Over in Austria, Salzburg is another great weekend trip to Europe. There are plenty of direct flights from London, and lots to see in a couple days.

Salzburg Garden

Salzburg is worth a visit for its hilltop castle, manicured gardens, pretty historic center, and Mozart connections. The filming locations for The Sound of Music are fun to see as well.

When the festive season comes, the Christmas markets are magical. They make Salzburg one of the best places to visit in Europe in winter .

Salzburg is easy to explore on foot, as many of the highlights are in easy walking distance of one another.

If this sounds like your kind of getaway, you can book a place to stay here . I enjoyed my time at the stylish Villa and Hotel Auersperg . You can book a room here .

Salzburg View

20. Bergen Weekend Trip from London

On the west coast of Norway, Bergen is another fun weekend trip from London to Europe. Less than a 2-hour flight from the UK capital, it’s an easy place to escape to for a couple days.

Nestled between mountains and fjords, Bergen’s stunning scenery is enhanced by the colorful wooden houses on the Bryggen wharf. And that’s to say nothing of the delicious seafood around every corner.

Given its compact size, 2 days in Bergen is enough to see the highlights. This is one of my top picks for under-the-radar European destinations .

If this sounds like your kind of getaway, you can book a place to stay here . I’ve stayed at the Thon Hotel Orion and I recommend it. You can book a room here .

Bergen Fish Market

21. Mykonos Weekend Trip from London

If you love islands, Mykonos is a great weekend trip from London to Europe. Several airlines offer direct flights, and once there you can rent a car or take taxis to see the highlights.

2 days in Mykonos is enough time to explore the whitewashed streets of Mykonos Town, go to some of the famous beaches, and eat at the top restaurants.

Mykonos is one of the best Greek islands to visit when it comes to parties, too. If you like to dance all night on the beach, this place is for you.

If this kind of getaway excites you, you can book a place to stay here . My top pick is the Absolute Mykonos Suites & More . You can book a room here .

Mykonos Beach

22. Sofia Weekend Trip from London

Over in Bulgaria, Sofia is another winner when it comes to weekend trips from London to Europe. This capital city can be reached on a 3-hour direct flight from London.

With 2 days in Sofia you can see famous landmarks like the St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, walk around the city’s streets, go to some of its cool cafes, and soak up the history (it dates back thousands of years).

The major sites are in walking distance of one another, but you can also use the metro, buses, trolleys, and trams to maximize your time in the city.

If this kind of short break is your thing, you can book a place to stay here . I enjoyed my time at the Hotel Marinela Sofia . You can book a room here .

Facade of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria

23. Helsinki Weekend Trip from London

Back up north, Helsinki is another of my favorite weekend trips from London. The Finnish capital is served by direct flights from the UK capital, and it’s a fun place to visit for a couple days.

2 days in Helsinki is enough time to take in the Market Square, see the museums, check out the cathedral, and enjoy the city’s food and drink scene.

Helsinki’s city center is easy to get around on foot, so you can easily see the highlights in two days.

If this part of Finland sounds good to you, you can book a place to stay here . I loved my time at the historic Hotel Kamp right on the Esplanade. You can book a room here .

Church Building in Senate Square in Helsinki

24. Nice Weekend Trip from London

Down in Provence , one of my favorite weekend trips from London to Europe is Nice. There are direct flights from the UK capital, and the airport is close to the city center.

From the historic streets of Vieux Nice to the famous Promenade des Anglais, there’s a lot to do on this part of the French Riviera. I studied here when I was in college, and I loved the beaches, shops, and squares like Place Massena.

If you want to go a bit further afield, you can fly into Nice and spend a weekend in a pretty village in Provence like Tourrettes-sur-Loup , Saint Paul de Vence, or Eze .

Nice Palais de Justice in France

You can also take the train along the coast to places like Monaco , Beaulieu-sur-Mer , Cannes, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat , Antibes, Villefranche-sur-Mer , and Ventimiglia .

Alternatively, you can spend one day in the city and choose from any number of day trips from Nice on your second day.

And if you want something different in the region, you can spend a weekend in Aix-en-Provence . It’s a beautiful city with historic fountains, markets, and streets.

If this part of France gets you excited to travel, you can book a place to stay here .

Historic building with a clock in Aix en Provence, France

25. Malta Weekend Trip from London

Back to islands, Malta is another great weekend trip from London to Europe. A direct flight from the UK capital, this place is worth discovering.

From the capital of Valletta to the hilltop city of Mdina, there are historic streets and squares, cafes with views, and architectural details befitting a great European travel destination. And that’s to say nothing of the food, which is amazing.

You can see as much or as little of Malta as you want in a weekend. Whether you stick to the cities or explore Malta’s stunning natural wonders, there are a lot of ways to spend your time here.

If this island sounds like your cup of tea, you can book a place to stay here . I’ve enjoyed a great time at The Xara Palace , and I loved how unique it was. You can book a room .

Historic Building in Valletta

26. Tallinn Weekend Trip from London

Out in Estonia, Tallinn is another of my favorite weekend trips from London. It’s a direct flight from the UK captial, and once you’re in town it’s easy to get around on foot.

If Europe has a cutest city center, it would be Tallinn . This Baltic capital has tile rooftops and colorful facades galore. The city also has great nightlife, contemporary art museums, botanical gardens, and towers with views.

If you want a nearby alternative, Riga in Latvia is also worth a special trip. The Art Nouveau architecture is amazing.

If Tallinn appeals to your inner travel lover, you can book a place to stay here .

Tallinn Old Town View

27. Brussels Weekend Trip from London

Brussels is one of the best weekend trips from London to Europe by train. Like Paris, the Belgian capital benefits from direct rail services to the UK. You can get here in just under 2 hours, leaving you with plenty of time to discover the city.

Brussels is underrated as far as European capitals go. I spent a summer living and working here after college, and I loved the city.

Rue des Bouchers in Brussels

From the stunning buildings in the Grand Place to the narrow streets lined with restaurants, the historic shopping arcades, the pretty parks and squares, and the Art Nouveau buildings, this city is full of beauty.

And that’s to say nothing of the street art, museums, and delicious food and drinks (think waffles, chocolate, fries, mussels, and beer).

It’s easy to see a lot in a weekend in Brussels , as most of the sightseeing highlights are in one compact area near the Grand Place and the central train station. There’s a metro, buses, trains, and trams for places further afield, too.

If this capital city sounds appealing, you can book a place to stay here . I’ve visited many times, and my top pick is the Hilton Brussels Grand Place . You can book a room here .

Grand Place, Brussels

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the best weekend trips from London to Europe, and that it’s inspired you to get out and discover some of the most exciting places to visit on the continent in 2 days.

If you want more inspiration, you can take a look at my blog post about the best weekend trips from London . Happy travels!

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Where To Go In Portugal This Summer

Where To Go In Portugal This Summer



For A Girls Trip

Few people go to Lisbon and don’t fall in love with the city. A fun and affordable option for a girls trip, the Portuguese capital is easily reached from London via a two-and-a-half-hour flight, followed by a 20-minute drive into the city centre. Offering the best of both city and beach life, Lisbon is spread across seven hillsides, with breath-taking views overlooking the Rio Tejo cradle. Visitors can discover ancient architecture decorated with intricate tiles, and explore cobbled alleyways and white-topped cathedrals. A tuk-tuk tour is a good way to see the city if you’re not keen on walking up the steep hills, or there’s the famous tram network. During a recent trip I booked a  tour led by a local guide that started at Restauradores Square and stopped at the historic Praça do Comércio. 

Alfama, with its independent bars and restaurants, is one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in. It’s a 15-minute walk to the city centre and has great views across the multicoloured buildings and harbour below. For a culture fix, there’s the beautiful Mosteiro dos Jerónimos monastery and Castelo de São Jorge, an impressive castle dating back to the 11th century. There are also boutiques and ceramic shops for souvenirs, cafés to stock up on pastel del natas and delis to buy tinned sardines – remember foodies are spoilt for choice in a city that prides itself on excellent produce and the freshest seafood, delivered to restaurants straight from day boats. 

The  Time Out Market is a great option for a casual meal. Home to numerous kitchens and bars, you’ll find everything from tapas and seafood platters to Asian street food and pizzas – all served with towering pitchers of sangria or white port-based cocktails. One of the buzziest spots right now is  Javá Rooftop , which serves sharing Middle Eastern dishes. Sit on the terrace to watch the sunset or dine inside, where friendly waiters bring creamy hummus and mezze platters to your table. For something traditional,  Pica-Pau serves typical Portuguese dishes alongside natural wines. Order garlic prawns, cod cakes and nisa cheese for the table, before tucking into mains of seafood rice or slow-cooked pork cheeks. 

If you’re visiting with friends, there are a few activities to make the holiday feel extra special. We booked a private chef with  Take a Chef . For ten of us, we chose a menu of sharing tapas dishes, seafood pasta, salads and dessert – all served by a friendly chef who cooked everything fresh at our Airbnb. Another highlight was a private  boat trip around the bay – another great way to see the city’s sites and architecture. We cruised along the Tagus on a yacht while crew served us drinks and refreshments. Finally, set aside some time to visit the beaches, most of which are in pristine condition. We spent a day at the chic  Casa Reia beach club in Costa da Caparica, a 30-minute drive from Lisbon. Here, you can lounge on cabanas, enjoy the DJ’s deep house tunes, swim in the clear waters, and eat at its excellent seafood restaurant.

Casa Reia

Where To Stay

Over in Alfama,  Memmo has a terrace pool bar and chic interiors. There’s a communal Scandi-inspired living area, plus rooms with great city views, some with balconies, others with private terraces. Nearby, there’s the newly opened  AlmaLusa Alfama hotel (the group also has a property in the Baixa district, as well as the coastal town of Comporta). The building pays homage to traditional Pombaline architecture, but you’ll find contemporary interiors inside. There’s a relaxed restaurant and bar on the ground floor, plus a 24/7 concierge service for personalised experiences. For a luxe trip, book into  Sublime near Bairro Alto. Rooms are modern with colourful accents, and guests can buy discounted day passes for the nearby Sayanna Spa and Club VII , which has a gym, pool and tennis courts.

For A Foodie Break

Portugal’s second city is known for its eclectic neighbourhoods, riverside restaurants and world-famous fortified wine. Lots of tourists head to Lisbon before driving or catching the bus to Porto, which takes around three hours. The city has an excellent transport network – metro, trams and buses – but it’s fairly small so you can make your way around on foot.  

A good place to start is the Old Town, a Unesco Heritage Site of neoclassical buildings and cobbled alleys. Other top sites include the gothic São Francisco Church, decorated with nearly 100kg of gold leaf, and the impressive  Serralves , which includes a contemporary art museum, gardens, and a 1930s art-deco villa. The Crystal Palace Gardens offer panoramic city views, while the Dom Luís I Bridge, designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel, is another landmark. If you have time, book a wine tasting or sample the city’s finest export at one of the port houses.  Kopke Port House is the oldest in the city, while  Vinhos Quinta Do Noval (just a few doors down) is another institution offering drop-in tastings. If you’d prefer a glass or two of wine, the immersive  World of Wine is a cultural hub with seven interconnecting museums dedicated to Portuguese food and wine. 

For a taste of local life, head to Matosinhos, one of the city's coolest areas with some of Porto's best beaches. Locals hang out here to try the freshest seafood, often grilled on the street. It also has some excellent seafood restaurants if you'd rather sit down. Walk along the Avenida da Liberdade coastal path for beautiful views or head out of the city centre to find Porto’s small but pretty coastline. Praia do Carneiro is one of the nicest in the upmarket Foz do Douro district. Visitors can sunbathe, swim in the sea, and walk along the promenade which is lined with bars and restaurants.



Book a food tour to try the city’s best delicacies.  With Locals offers a three-hour tour that includes ten different food and drink tastings. We tried everything from sardines and oysters to charcuterie meats and port. It’s also a great way to see the city and learn about its rich culture. Restaurant-wise,  Early is a great spot for brunch. It’s near the Crystal Palace Gardens in central Porto and serves fruit and acai bowls, shakshuka with sourdough, and other breakfast options, as well as salads and open sandwiches later on.  Época next to the National Museum was another favourite, with a daily changing menu featuring dishes like radishes with walnut oil, labneh with carrots, and toasted brioche with eggs, all at affordable prices. For dinner, book a table at  Cantina 32 on bustling Rua das Flores. Here, it’s all about relaxed dining among modern industrial-chic interiors while waiters serve hearty, rustic food like seafood stews, grilled sardines and roasted meats. If you want to experience the nightlife,  Mirajazz is a rooftop jazz bar along the waterfront, known for its live jazz musicians and vinyl DJs.

Rosa Et Al Townhouse ticks all the boxes. The hotel is a 15-minute walk from the city’s riverfront and is surrounded by galleries, boho boutiques and cool bars. A blend of traditional architecture and mid-century design, rooms are spacious and airy, while the restaurant is a local favourite for brunch, six-course dinners and cookery workshops. For a girls trip,  The Editory Boulevard is a fun hotel in central Porto. It’s colourful, with quirky artwork, bold interiors and a cool rooftop pool featuring giant rubber duck inflatables. There’s a buzzy restaurant with a pink winding staircase in the middle of the dining room, and a circus-themed bar for champagne and cocktails.  Cocorico offers the best of both worlds – an excellent location in central Porto that still feels tucked away. The guesthouse has ten individually designed rooms, while the terracotta-coloured restaurant serves French dishes.

AlmaLusa Alfama

For A Luxe Weekend

The Algarve is a failsafe choice, and Comporta is where the fashion set go in the summer. Just 90 minutes outside Lisbon, this old fishing village offers secluded golden beaches, excellent restaurants and relaxed beach clubs – and there’s no shortage of show-stopping hotels and villas. Whatever type of trip you’re planning, Sado estuary is a must visit. The nature reserve comprises sandbanks, rice paddies and woodland where you can spot birds including flamingos. You can also book boat trips to see pods of dolphins –  Sado Emotion offers numerous excursions. 

One of the best ways to explore Comporta’s beaches and rice paddies is to hire an electric bike.  Comporta Electric Bikes has bikes sturdy enough to ride along the beach towards Pego and Carvalhal. It’s also worth exploring some of the neighbouring villages, like Melides – my favourite – with its secluded beach of golden sand. It also has a few small art galleries, as well as sandstone cliffs and a deep blue lagoon you can swim in. 

In terms of beaches, Tróia Galé, Carvalhal and Pego top the list (you’ll find parasols, restaurants and beach clubs), while Robinson and Brejos are a little quieter with beautiful views. Horse riding along the beach is a popular pastime for locals, and there are two riding schools in the area:  Passeios a Cavalo and  Cavalos na Areia – the latter runs group tours if you don’t want to go solo. For surfing or paddleboarding, hire equipment or take lessons with  Surf in Comporta , which operates across most of the beaches in the area. And for private tours and bespoke itineraries,  Concierge Comporta can help you plan your holiday from start to finish.

Praia da Comporta is the focal point of the village's food scene, with  Comporta Café offering beachfront dining in a laid-back atmosphere. Guests can enjoy traditional Mediterranean dishes and local seafood with cocktails and wine, while watching the sunset and listening to DJs. Nearby,  Ilha do Arroz serves white sangria, local cheeses and fresh seafood, encouraging guests to linger and share meals on the deck. Then there’s  Sal in Praia do Pego and O Dinis in Carvalhal, both of which are fun for seafood and drinks.



Quinta da Comporta


For a small village, Comporta has an excellent range of accommodation, from luxury five-star hotels to stylish villas for families and groups.  Quinta da Comporta is a family friendly option with plenty of activities to keep little ones entertained. Styled like a traditional farm, the hotel has two types of rooms: thatch-roof cabanas and mock farmhouses with whitewashed walls and wooden beams. There’s also a 40m infinity pool, a second adults-only pool in the Oryza spa, a bar, and a Mediterranean restaurant.

Equally chic,  Spatia is a boutique retreat with minimalist interiors and ten rooms, all with terraces and hammocks. Ideal for couples or groups, the hotel has a clubhouse (with a restaurant, lounge and bar) and two pools – one of which has a button for summoning wine. The service is excellent and individual stays can be tailored to include paddleboarding and dolphin-spotting trips. 

Finally,  Sublime Comporta is a luxe retreat on a 42-acre estate surrounded by wild dunes and rice fields. The hotel has rooms, suites and cabana-style villas for special stays, as well as an impressive spa. There are separate pools for adults and children, plus two restaurants serving healthy, authentic Portuguese food. Sublime can organise everything from Pilates classes and bike trips to horse riding on the beach and dolphin watching at Sado estuary.

Quinta da Comporta

Douro Valley

For a holiday in the countryside.

Sweeping hills, beautiful views and world-class wine have been attracting tourists to the Douro Valley for decades. Just a 90-minute drive from Porto, this is one of Portugal’s most beautiful regions and one of the world’s oldest winemaking areas. The river Douro snakes its way through the hills, with numerous towns and villages dotted in between, all offering different kinds of wine, port and cuisine. The roads zigzag up and down the hills, so travelling by train or boat is a good way to get around. The town of Peso da Régua is home to numerous vineyards where you can pop in for tastings before getting back on a boat to cruise along the river.  Quinta Seara d'Ordens offers a two-hour tasting at its family run estate, while Sandeman's  Quinta do Seixo has wineries set over 250 acres of land. 

It’s also worth setting aside a day to visit the  Côa Valley Archaeological Park , a world-famous gallery of rock art. The park is an active research zone, so all visitors must enter with a tour guide. It takes around three hours to walk across its two main sites to see rock formations and ancient etchings on the walls. From here, make your way to the small village of Pinhão, also home to some excellent wineries. Visit its train station, decorated with blue and white tiles that depict the production of wine.

The Douro Valley is all about settling into a slower pace of life, so you won’t find an abundance of attractions. It’s more about sampling the local food and drink, cruising along the river and taking in the views. Many of the luxury hotels offer private excursions, so if you’re not relaxing by the pool, you could be enjoying a tile painting or cookery workshop, or heading on a mountain bike ride. Food-wise, the region is home to Michelin-starred restaurants like  DOC , as well as smaller spots run by locals serving rustic dishes. 

Octant has built eight boutique properties in Portugal over the last few years, all focusing on food, wine and local experiences.  Octant Douro is set on the banks of Castelo de Paiva. The modern decor of the rooms, suites and interiors complements the classic northern Portuguese views over the river and Ilha dos Amores (Lovers’ Island). Guest can visit the nearby Paiva Walkways, a Unesco World Heritage site, or go for a dip at one of the nearby river beaches. There’s also a spa and a panoramic outdoor swimming pool.  Six Senses has a property in the area, too. The eco-friendly resort is set in a 19th-century manor house, with rooms overlooking rolling hills or the nearby lake. Guests can relax with spa treatments, enjoy farm-to-table dining and wine tasting at the Vale de Abraão restaurant, and book experiences like cooking classes, river tours and more.

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7 Great European Road Trips

7 Great European Road Trips

Highland Base, Iceland


Route one, iceland, length: 800 miles time: 1 week/10 days.

There’s nothing like the landscapes in Iceland – they’re almost other-worldly, which is exactly why shows like Game of Thrones were filmed there. Cutting a swath through explosive geysers, hot springs, volcanos, waterfalls and lava fields is Route One. It even allows for detours to the Dettifoss waterfall and the small town of Myvatn to spot whales and other wildlife. Even if you did nothing but drive, the view through the windscreen is rewarding enough – the Westfjords region is particularly impressive, while the small town of Egilsstadir on the banks of the Lagarfljot river is one of the most scenic areas to stop for lunch.


North coast 500, scotland, length: 500 miles time: 4 days.

You don’t have to go abroad to hit scenic roads. Northern Scotland’s wild landscape is home to castle ruins, glimmering lochs, whisky distilleries and some of the country’s best golf courses. The North Coast 500 route swings through them all as it traverses the Highlands and cuts through the Black Forest. There are also ancient burial chambers, hidden caves and historic villages along the route. Start in Inverness (there are daily direct flights from London) before striking out for the west coast. Expect to pass dramatic cliffs, pristine beaches and mountains, and make time to break at Ullapool and Durness, where you can go fishing, try local seafood and walk quiet beaches.

Lake Garda, Italy



Northern lakes, italy, length: around 200 miles time: 4-5 days.

In the north of Italy, set against the backdrop of the majestic Alps, are some of Europe’s most famous lakes, each with its own appeal. The beauty of a road trip in this region is that you don’t have to stay overnight at the most obvious locations. Instead, stop at Lake Como for a day, then avoid some of the country’s most expensive hotels by heading to the nearby towns of Bellagio and Varenna, where cobbled streets lead to hidden cafés and panoramic viewpoints. Continue to Lake Garda, Italy's largest lake, where waters are framed by rolling hills and medieval castles. Sirmione, known for its thermal baths and ancient ruins, gets busy in summer but you might still enjoy a boat ride to some nearby villages on the lake. Finish your trip at Lake Maggiore, with its art deco towns and grand villas. Hit the Borromean Islands, wander the botanical gardens of Villa Taranto, then unwind in your choice of its peaceful lakeside resorts.

Castelbrac, Brittany, France


Paris to normandy & brittany, france, length: 280 miles time: 5-6 hours.

This route takes you from Paris, down to Normandy and onto some of Brittany’s most beautiful seaside towns. Combining city life with beach time and scenic French countryside, it's a great route for a memorable family trip – though you’ll probably want to avoid late July to mid-August when the city hosts this year’s Olympic Games. Once you’ve seen Paris’s sites and eaten your fill at its bistros, head to Rouen, capital of the Normandy. Reflecting its Roman and medieval history, you’ll find plenty of gothic churches and cathedrals to explore, as well as a large national park. Once you hit Brittany, you can spend downtime relaxing in oceanside spots such as Saint-Malo and the pretty seaside commune of La Baule, home to one of the longest beaches in Europe.

Transfăgărășan, România



Transfagarasan, romania.

Length: About 56 miles Time: 2-3 hours

Romania might not be your first choice for a summer holiday, but it’s home to hundreds of medieval castles, sprawling valleys, interesting towns and gothic architecture at every turn. The famous Transfagarasan Highway winds its way through the Carpathian Mountains, an area long associated with Bram Stoker’s  Dracula . Begin the trip in historic Sibiu, with its cobbled streets and medieval buildings, before ascending into the mountains, where the roads wind along views of lush valleys, rugged peaks, and cascading waterfalls. It’ll take a confident driver to navigate the winding and steep roads of the Transfagarasan, but the journey is worth it to see regional icons like Balea Lake and Vidraru Dam.


Barcelona to valencia, spain, length: 218 miles time: 4 hours.

This drive is bookended by two popular cities, both of which warrant a few days of exploration. Rather than putting your foot down, take your time and stay overnight en route. Close to Barcelona, Sitges has one of the best beaches in Europe – Playa de Sant Sebastian – not to mention some atmospheric back streets. There’s a buzzy atmosphere during July and August, with plenty of beach parties, as well as galleries and museums dotted around the historic centre. Carve out some time for Tarragona, too, with its ancient ruins, gothic castle and ancient cobblestone alleys. Finally, arrive in Valencia, where you can walk through the leafy Turia Gardens, sample authentic paella in the plazas, and relax on the beach. 


Ring of kerry, ireland, length: 110 miles time: 1-2 days.

The Ring of Kerry route is another famous one – like Iceland, there’s a reason why GoT producers chose to film there. The journey features the likes of Killarney National Park, with its lush green pastures and sparkling lakes. Stop off at Glenbeigh for a walk along its picturesque beach, as well as Portmagee, a fishing town dotted with colourful houses which offers trips to the remote Skellig Islands. Finally, continue the journey to Portmagee, a small fishing town with some wonderfully quiet pubs.

Ring Of Kerry, Ireland

Jean Carlo Emer/Unsplash

Castelbrac, Brittany

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20 of the best road trips in Europe

Posted: March 1, 2024 | Last updated: March 1, 2024

<p>Europe is a continent best known for amazing public transportation. Seriously, the rail network and bus connections over there put the US to shame. However, this limits your trip, as not every site or adorable town or viewpoint is located conveniently on the train line or near a bus stop. So, we’ve rounded up 20 of the best road trips around Europe.</p>

Europe is a continent best known for amazing public transportation. Seriously, the rail network and bus connections over there put the US to shame. However, this limits your trip, as not every site or adorable town or viewpoint is located conveniently on the train line or near a bus stop. So, we’ve rounded up 20 of the best road trips around Europe.

<p>This route weaves through two southern provinces, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg,<span> and follows an old Roman road. You’ll enjoy stunning views in the Bavarian Alps, storybook castles like Neuschwanstein, and medieval towns like Rothenburg de Tauber.</span></p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>24 things you didn’t know about Subway</a></p>

Romantic Road, Germany

This route weaves through two southern provinces, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg,  and follows an old Roman road. You’ll enjoy stunning views in the Bavarian Alps, storybook castles like Neuschwanstein, and medieval towns like Rothenburg de Tauber.

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<p>One of the original wine routes in France, Alsace is ideal throughout the year. You’ll stop at numerous wineries between Mulhouse and Strasbourg. Additionally, many other fairytale villages, such as Colmar and Riquewihr, are included.</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Alsace Wine Route, France

One of the original wine routes in France, Alsace is ideal throughout the year. You’ll stop at numerous wineries between Mulhouse and Strasbourg. Additionally, many other fairytale villages, such as Colmar and Riquewihr, are included.

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.

<p>Istria is one of the few parts of Croatia that can still be considered a true hidden gem, as the masses have yet to descend. The beaches, wineries, hilltop towns, and olive oil producers are best visited via car. Base yourself in Pula or Rovinj and take day trips!</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>The 23 best European cities during the spring</a></p>

Istria Peninsula, Croatia

Istria is one of the few parts of Croatia that can still be considered a true hidden gem, as the masses have yet to descend. The beaches, wineries, hilltop towns, and olive oil producers are best visited via car. Base yourself in Pula or Rovinj and take day trips!

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<p>Brittany and Normandy are some of the most underrated coastal regions in Europe. White sand beaches and turquoise waters await, with none of the crowds of the south. Start in Rennes and head west to Dinan, Saint-Malo, and Dinard. Then head north to Cancale and before stopping at the straight-from-Disney Mont St Michel. End your trip at the D-Day beaches.</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

The Northwest Coast, France

Brittany and Normandy are some of the most underrated coastal regions in Europe. White sand beaches and turquoise waters await, with none of the crowds of the south. Start in Rennes and head west to Dinan, Saint-Malo, and Dinard. Then head north to Cancale and before stopping at the straight-from-Disney Mont St Michel. End your trip at the D-Day beaches.

<p>This 1,600-mile route would be ambitious to complete on a single trip. It stretches from Kinsale in the south along the west coast all the way to Malin Head. Most people complete one or two sections at a time.</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>The 23 best European cities during the spring</a></p>

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

This 1,600-mile route would be ambitious to complete on a single trip. It stretches from Kinsale in the south along the west coast all the way to Malin Head. Most people complete one or two sections at a time.

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<p>Thanks to electric blue waters and stunning cliffs, Albania has blown up on social media in recent years. And all those stunning beaches you see on Instagram? They’re located in the southern part of the country. So rent a car in Tirana and head to <span>Vlorë, then continue south with stops in Dhërmi, Himarë, Sarandë, and Ksamil.</span></p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Southern Albania

Thanks to electric blue waters and stunning cliffs, Albania has blown up on social media in recent years. And all those stunning beaches you see on Instagram? They’re located in the southern part of the country. So rent a car in Tirana and head to Vlorë, then continue south with stops in Dhërmi, Himarë, Sarandë, and Ksamil.

<p>Travelers flock to southern Croatia for a reason: it’s amazing. Rent a car in Split or Dubrovnik, take a ferry to an island, check out Zadar and Cavat, and then head to Montenegro. Must-sees in this country include Herceg Novi, Kotor, and Budva.</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>20 essential travel hacks</a></p>

Dalmatia Coast & Montenegrin Coast, Croatia/Montenegro

Travelers flock to southern Croatia for a reason: it’s amazing. Rent a car in Split or Dubrovnik, take a ferry to an island, check out Zadar and Cavat, and then head to Montenegro. Must-sees in this country include Herceg Novi, Kotor, and Budva.

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<p>It would be almost criminal to leave Italy’s most iconic stretch of coast off this list. And it’s best explored by car if you can stomach the narrow roads and occasional street cliffside drop-offs. Start in Salerno and head to the town of Amalfi before heading to Ravello, Positano, and Sorrento.</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

The Amalfi Coast, Italy

It would be almost criminal to leave Italy’s most iconic stretch of coast off this list. And it’s best explored by car if you can stomach the narrow roads and occasional street cliffside drop-offs. Start in Salerno and head to the town of Amalfi before heading to Ravello, Positano, and Sorrento.

<p>These two neighboring regions in central-southern France are home to many “Villages de Caractère” (basically an official title designating them as cute), castles, wineries, and hikes. Rent a car in Valence or Montélimar, then head west to Aubenas, the entry point for the Regional Ardche Park. Return to the Drôme via Vallon Pont d’Arc and make sure to hike among the natural arches. Then check out Alba (Roman ruins), Grignan, and Nyons.</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>22 Southern slow-cooker recipes</a></p>

Villages de Caractère Drôme/Ardèche, France

These two neighboring regions in central-southern France are home to many “Villages de Caractère” (basically an official title designating them as cute), castles, wineries, and hikes. Rent a car in Valence or Montélimar, then head west to Aubenas, the entry point for the Regional Ardche Park. Return to the Drôme via Vallon Pont d’Arc and make sure to hike among the natural arches. Then check out Alba (Roman ruins), Grignan, and Nyons.

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<p>These three small Western European countries are best covered in a vehicle. Fly into Amsterdam and pick up a car. Explore the Netherlands before continuing south to Belgium and ending in Luxembourg.</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Benelux, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg

These three small Western European countries are best covered in a vehicle. Fly into Amsterdam and pick up a car. Explore the Netherlands before continuing south to Belgium and ending in Luxembourg.

<p>Start in Milan and hit up all the major lakes in northern Italy, from glamorous Lake Como to less pretentious but still lovely Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore, plus plenty of other small ones. You’ll delight in the Italian mountain scenery!</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>23 foods that make us nostalgic for the ‘90s</a></p>

Northern Lakes, Italy

Start in Milan and hit up all the major lakes in northern Italy, from glamorous Lake Como to less pretentious but still lovely Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore, plus plenty of other small ones. You’ll delight in the Italian mountain scenery!

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<p>Sweden’s west coast is a beautiful part of the country, with amazing cities such as Malmo and Gothenburg. However, plenty of smaller towns, beaches, and lakes await you in this epic part of the country.</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

West Coast, Sweden

Sweden’s west coast is a beautiful part of the country, with amazing cities such as Malmo and Gothenburg. However, plenty of smaller towns, beaches, and lakes await you in this epic part of the country.

<p>This storybook part of the United Kingdom is full of adorable thatched cottages, scenic walking routes, and villages plucked from a Miss Marple episode. The towns are best explored with a car but can also be walked between if you’re keen on some hiking!</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>25 cooking hacks you won’t believe you didn’t already know</a></p>

Cotswold, UK

This storybook part of the United Kingdom is full of adorable thatched cottages, scenic walking routes, and villages plucked from a Miss Marple episode. The towns are best explored with a car but can also be walked between if you’re keen on some hiking!

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<p>The Ring Road is a well-trodden (or, in this case, driven) tourist route for a reason. You’ll hit up all the best sites in the country: cascading waterfalls, glacier beaches, and volcanic landscapes. Just be prepared to share the roads with lots of other tourists!</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Ring Road, Iceland

The Ring Road is a well-trodden (or, in this case, driven) tourist route for a reason. You’ll hit up all the best sites in the country: cascading waterfalls, glacier beaches, and volcanic landscapes. Just be prepared to share the roads with lots of other tourists!

<p>This mountain route through the Carpathian Mountains is breathtaking at every turn. Just be mindful of the speed limit, as you’ll need to go slow at many points due to curves and landscape preservation.</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>15 essential scenic drives in the United States</a></p>

Transfăgărășan Highway, Romania

This mountain route through the Carpathian Mountains is breathtaking at every turn. Just be mindful of the speed limit, as you’ll need to go slow at many points due to curves and landscape preservation.

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<p>This unique part of both countries is perfect for those looking for something different. Begin in Bilbao and drive north with stops in San Sebastian, the Pyrenees Mountains, and Bordeaux. As a bonus, plenty of amazing wine is available to sample along the way (once you’ve finished driving for the day, of course.)</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Basque Country, Spain and France

This unique part of both countries is perfect for those looking for something different. Begin in Bilbao and drive north with stops in San Sebastian, the Pyrenees Mountains, and Bordeaux. As a bonus, plenty of amazing wine is available to sample along the way (once you’ve finished driving for the day, of course.)

<p>This beautiful drive along the Atlantic Ocean in Norway is great if you’re not looking for a major road trip. It’s only a few miles long but crosses bridges with the ocean on either side and has amazing views of fjords and mountains.</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>The 14 most beautiful beach towns on the West Coast</a></p>

Atlantic Road, Norway

This beautiful drive along the Atlantic Ocean in Norway is great if you’re not looking for a major road trip. It’s only a few miles long but crosses bridges with the ocean on either side and has amazing views of fjords and mountains.

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<p>Greece is often thought of as a sea-oriented trip, thanks to the ease of island-hopping via ferry. However, if you want to explore the mainland, a car is the easiest way to get around, especially the historic Peloponnese Peninsula. Home to Nafplio, Sparta, and numerous ancient sites, it’s the ideal place for a road trip.</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

The Peloponnese Peninsula, Greece

Greece is often thought of as a sea-oriented trip, thanks to the ease of island-hopping via ferry. However, if you want to explore the mainland, a car is the easiest way to get around, especially the historic Peloponnese Peninsula. Home to Nafplio, Sparta, and numerous ancient sites, it’s the ideal place for a road trip.

<p>This route is ideal for mountain lovers, whether you want to complete it in the winter and ski along the way or wait until summer to hike your way through it. Start in Vienna and grab a rental car, then head west to Salzburg, Austria’s gateway to the Alps. Continue to Innsbruck before crossing into Switzerland and, finally, France.</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>15 amazing train rides across the US</a></p>

European Alps, Austria, Switzerland, and France

This route is ideal for mountain lovers, whether you want to complete it in the winter and ski along the way or wait until summer to hike your way through it. Start in Vienna and grab a rental car, then head west to Salzburg, Austria’s gateway to the Alps. Continue to Innsbruck before crossing into Switzerland and, finally, France.

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<p>Slovenia is a great country for a road trip as it is compact but diverse in its small area. Start in Maribor in the east before heading west to Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj. Spend a few days hiking in Triglav Nation Park before turning south to Piran on the coast. Then return to the capital, Ljubljana, to end your trip!</p><p><a href=''>Did you enjoy this slideshow? Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Wine Country to the Med, Slovenia

Slovenia is a great country for a road trip as it is compact but diverse in its small area. Start in Maribor in the east before heading west to Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj. Spend a few days hiking in Triglav Nation Park before turning south to Piran on the coast. Then return to the capital, Ljubljana, to end your trip!

Did you enjoy this slideshow? Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.

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Enjoy all the very best that Britain has to offer on your next urban adventure

The city of London - Tower Bridge

  • 08:30, 25 May 2024

If the lure of art galleries, museums, historical buildings and shopping somewhere new has got you yearning for a weekend away, a city break could be just what you need.

From the iconic landmarks of London to the cobbled streets of Edinburgh, a lovely long weekend offers four days of fun and exploration at your own pace. Easy to get to, visitors can let the train take the strain and enjoy great food and entertainment, as well as upscale accommodation and unique places to stay .

From the effortlessly 'Instagrammable' streets of Bristol to the incredible Roman thermae in Bath, Great Britain has some unmissable destinations right on our doorstep.

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Bristol is a beautiful city with stunning outdoor areas perfect for relaxation, walks, and summer activities and for breathtaking views, the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge offers some of the very best. The city is also home to a wide selection of pubs and bars, offering the perfect opportunity to try local cider and craft beers. For dining, the city has options to suit every style and budget in its bursting culinary scene.

A short summer stay wouldn't be complete without a Banksy Walking Tour, taking in the Bristol Sounds festival at the Waterfront or a pint in the pub gardens at The Lock Keeper.

What to see: The Clifton Suspension Bridge, SS Great Britain, Bristol Museum & Ary Gallery, Bristol Harbour

Where to stay: Number 38 Clifton , Bristol Mariott Royal , Hotel du Vin , Redland House Apartment

Spanning over two thousand years of history, the northern city of York has an incredible tale to tell from every era. From the Viking invasion to the present day, the legacy of its past can be felt in the cobbled alleys, Victorian tearooms, haunted pubs and the Medieval Minster.

Home to cutting-edge art galleries, revamped chocolate factories and an interactive ride-through museum, modern-day York certainly hasn't been left behind either. During the summer a cruise along the river is a wonderful way to capture the spirit of the city or jump back on dry land to watch an outdoor movie in the grounds of Castle Howard.

What to see: JORVIK Viking Centre, York Minster, National Railway Museum, The Shambles, York's Chocolate Factory

Where to stay: The Holgate Haven , The Churchill Hotel , The Grand York , Principal York

With its Roman ruins, sophisticated Georgian architecture and charming cobbled streets, spending a weekend in Bath feels like taking a trip back in time. The city is so special, that it was listed by UNESCO as a cultural site with outstanding universal value and cultural significance in 1987.

Pay a visit to the Great Bath and the Roman Temple, relax at Thermae Bath Spa, climb Bath Abbey's tower or get lost in the world of Jane Austen. When you need to recharge, the city is packed full of restaurants, cafes and bars, theatres, museums and so much more.

What to see: Roman Baths, Thermae Bath Spa, Bath Abbey, The Jane Austin Centre, Mary Shelley's House of Frankenstein

Where to stay: The Gainsborough Bath Spa , The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Montebello Apartment , Tiny Home No. 5

Once the powerhouse of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, the vibrant northern city, is the birthplace of many great British bands and continues to offer a vibrant nightlife and music scene.

Sip cocktails in trendy bars, take a scenic steam train, see the famous LS Lowry artwork at the Manchester Art Gallery or watch some of the world-class sport that the city is so famous for.

What to see: John Rylands Library, Manchester Cathedral, Manchester Art Gallery, Imperial War Museum North, National Football Museum

Where to stay: The Edwardian Hotel , Kimpton Clocktower , The Bank Vault , Hotel Gotham

Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, stands out as one of Europe's most unique and memorable cities, packed full of narrow, cobbled passageways and steeped in history.

Home to majestic buildings and gardens, countless fascinating museums that are free to visit, great food, packed pubs and charming locals, Edinburgh is a firm favourite with all those who have experienced its magic.

What to see: Edinburgh Castle, National Museum of Scotland, Holyroodhouse Palace, Royal Botanic Gardens, Camera Obscura

Where to stay: Leonardo Royal Hotel , Market Street Hotel , Royal Mile Apartment , Ideal House

London ranks among the top weekend destinations in the country and is home to some of Britain’s most iconic landmarks including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and St. Pauls Cathedral.

Explore the city on sightseeing tours, soak up culture at museums and galleries, treat yourself to famous shopping destinations or take in world-class theatre shows, musicals, restaurants and bars.

What to see: The Tower of London, The London Eye, The National Gallery, The V&A, Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park

Where to stay: The Guardsman , Shangri-La The Shard , Locke at Broken Wharf , Chelsea Retreat

Make your trip even more special by treating yourself to some shiny new luggage. Antler has a range of on-trend cabin cases that would be perfect for a weekend away, and Nere has matching cases and carry bags that will keep your gear organised in style.

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best weekend trips to europe

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best weekend trips to europe

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    Trianon Borgo Pio Aparthotel. Hotel The Building. Long weekend getaways - Rome. 5. Menorca, Spain. An island in Spain's Balearic archipelago, Menorca is the quieter, more tranquil sister to Ibiza and Mallorca. It's the go-to place for beaches, coves, and coastal paths that can keep you exploring for days.

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    Dublin, Ireland. Dublin is one of Europe's most walkable cities, which makes it a great place to explore for a long weekend. Start at Phoenix Park before making your way to the medieval streets of Temple Bar. Sip a pint of Guinness before heading to Trinity College or the shops along Grafton Street.

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    Lloyd and I always seek a way to try to travel as often as possible whilst still working and studying. Well, this meant we had to be savvy with our free - 25 Very Best Weekend Trips In Europe - Travel, Travel Advice - Europe - Travel, Food and Home Inspiration Blog with door-to-door Travel Planner! - Travel Advice, Travel Inspiration, Home Inspiration, Food Inspiration, Recipes, Photography

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    Italy has some of the best weekend getaways in Europe, so be sure to check out these 7 cities including my personal favorite Bergamo. Read More: Affordable Weekend Trips in Italy. Italy's Hidden Gems. Spain. Most people who visit Spain for the first time end up exploring Madrid or Barcelona. However, Spain offers a lot more beyond these two ...

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    Best Weekend Trips in Europe. 1. Bruges, Belgium. If you're looking for a weekend packed with old-world charm, Bruges is your perfect stop. Imagine a place where time stands still, where cobblestone streets wind around ancient buildings, and where romance floats along enchanting canals.

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    18. Podgorica, Montenegro. The pint-sized capital of Montenegro is the cheapest place in Europe for a short break, according to research by Jersey Island Holidays. A two-day break will set you ...

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    European getaways. Many European cities, ideal for weekend getaways Europe, are just a short journey away, making them perfect for quick and memorable city breaks.Classic favourites like Paris, Barcelona, and Rome have always been top picks for weekend city breaks.But why not venture beyond and explore the unique attractions of Reykjavik, Bordeaux, and Budapest?

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    Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This city of canals is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and the center is a UNESCO World Heritage site (dating from the seventeenth century). There is a beautiful range of historical buildings as well as a famous museum dedicated to Van Gogh. The relaxed atmosphere and friendly locals make it a great place ...

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    Best Weekend Trips in Europe. 1.) Split, Croatia. Not only is Split an amazing city to visit for a Europe long weekend (especially if you're a Game of Thrones fan), there are also quite a few super cool things to do in Split. Everywhere you turn the views are stunning and the city is steeped with history.

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    18. Bruges Weekend Trip to Europe. Bruges is one of the best short train trips from London to Europe. While there are no direct rail services from London to Bruges, you can take the train to Brussels and change there for rail services to Flanders. Bruges is littered with waterways and wander-worthy streets.

  20. Best hotels in Portugal

    Few people go to Lisbon and don't fall in love with the city. A fun and affordable option for a girls trip, the Portuguese capital is easily reached from London via a two-and-a-half-hour flight, followed by a 20-minute drive into the city centre. Offering the best of both city and beach life ...

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    Northern Lakes, Italy. Length: Around 200 miles. Time: 4-5 days. In the north of Italy, set against the backdrop of the majestic Alps, are some of Europe's most famous lakes, each with its own appeal. The beauty of a road trip in this region is that you don't have to stay overnight at the most obvious locations.

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    Benelux, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. These three small Western European countries are best covered in a vehicle. Fly into Amsterdam and pick up a car. Explore the Netherlands before ...

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    The Tower of London, The London Eye, The National Gallery, The V&A, Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park. , , , Make your trip even more special by treating yourself to some shiny new luggage. that would ...

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  28. Ryanair

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