Best Cities in Europe to Visit 2018: Top Weekend Getaways in Europe!
Europe is one place that, for most people, is something straight out of a fairytale. When people think of Europe, they usually think of romantic getaways, hidden beaches, stone walkways, that sort of thing.
It’s easy to see that one can easily spend months in Europe without getting tired of the scenery, even if you wake up to the same view every day.
But what if it’s the opposite? What if you only get to have a weekend off and would like to spend it in Europe? Is it possible to have a weekend trip to Europe?
The answer is a resounding yes.
USEFUL TRAVEL TIPS FOR EVERY TRAVELER (BUDGET OR NOT!)
- Find great cheap deals from Skyscanner to anywhere in the world, read our detailed guide on how to find cheap flights if you want to know more.
- Book your first AirBnB and invite your friends to get up to 26USD in credit you can use to book your next stay!
- Find great hostel deals from Booking.com, some bunk beds cost less than 10USD per night. Also, if you stay longer than a week, there are always chances that they give you a "weekly" discount.
- If you want to get some money back off your bookings, you can use this Booking.com discount code and for every 50USD worth of hotel bookings, you will get 10% of your money back!
- Lastly, sometimes you can't see everything in so short time during your visit and one of the best things to do when you're traveling is to join tours! GetYourGuide is a tour website where I find cheap tours in almost every city I've been and it can help you save money by getting to know the city you're visiting well enough that you don't get lost (and spend money on taxi's to get back to your hostel!).
Related content and further reads:
- 30 Fairytale-like Towns and Places to Visit in Europe (That Will Tickle Your Wanderlust!)
- Top 20 Cheapest Countries in Europe to Visit for Budget Travelers
- The Most Colorful and Vibrant Travel Destinations in Europe
- The 20 Underrated Countries in Europe to Visit on Your Next Trip!
- The 15 Culinary Destinations in Europe That Will Make You Hungry! (Foodie Vacations)
- Places to See in Europe: The Most Picturesque Mountain Towns in Europe
- European Honeymoon: The Most Romantic Destinations in Europe
- 15 Beautiful Castles in Europe That Would Inspire Your Wanderlust
- 11 Stunning and Best National Parks in Europe You’d Love to Hike
- 7 Awesome Winter Holiday Destinations in Europe
- New Year’s Eve in Europe 2019: Best Destinations to Celebrate & Party!
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Cities in Europe to Visit 2018: Top Weekend Destinations in Europe!
- 1.1 Venice, Italy
- 1.2 Munich, Germany
- 1.3 Stockholm, Sweden
- 1.4 Copenhagen, Denmark
- 1.5 Tallinn, Estonia
- 1.6 London, United Kingdom
- 1.7 Paris, France
- 1.8 Florence, Italy
- 1.9 Edinburgh, United Kingdom
- 1.10 Barcelona, Spain
- 1.11 Helsinki, Finland
- 1.12 Prague, Czech Republic
- 1.13 Berlin, Germany
- 1.14 Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 1.15 Dublin, Ireland
- 1.16 Mallorca, Spain
- 1.17 Ghent, Belgium
- 1.18 Porto, Portugal
- 1.19 Ljubljana, Slovenia
- 1.20 Zagreb, Croatia
- 1.21 Budapest, Hungary
- 1.22 Nice, France
- 1.23 Reykjavik, Iceland
- 1.24 Athens, Greece
- 1.25 Krakow, Poland
- 2 Need help to plan your trip? Start with these useful tips!
- 3 Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Best Cities in Europe to Visit 2018: Top Weekend Destinations in Europe!
Venice, Italy is already impressive from the get-go: it’s a city that is built on canals – miles and miles of waterways and is one of the best cities in Europe to visit. Unsurprisingly, the primary mode of transportation here is by gondola or vaporetto, which is a kind of boat controlled by a boatman.
Venice changes entirely at night, transforming into one of the best weekend getaways in Europe. Many couples who visit Venice opt to explore around the city in the morning, visiting the Piazza San Marco, Saint Mark’s Basilica, and Doge’s Palace, before eating a romantic dinner in one of the restaurants lining the grand canal.
Read more about Venice:
Munich, Germany is filled to the brim with centuries-old architectural buildings and some historical museums
Some of its famous attractions are the Neuschwanstein Castle, the Linderhof Palace, and the Nymphenburg Palace.
If you only have two days to go around the city, which is expected if you’re just there for a weekend city break in Europe, then you can also visit the Viktualienmarkt, the Heiliggeistkirche, and St. Peter’s Church.
All of which are close to each other, so you don’t even need to go far!
Read more about Munich:
As a melting pot of different cultures, Stockholm, Sweden, is an excellent place to go to if you want to make new friends on a singles holiday, as you’re bound to meet people of different views and ideas.
It’s also a great city break destination in Europe, with its beautiful architecture and outstanding restaurants. Some of its most popular sites include Vasa, a maritime museum, Stockholm Palace, a royal palace that’s open to the public Skansen, an open-air museum with a zoo, the Nobel Museum, which contains mementos of all Nobel Prize awardees.
Read more about Stockholm and Sweden:
- Points of Interest: What to See and Places to Visit in Sweden
- Top Tourist Attractions and Best Things to do in Stockholm
- Best Day Trips from Stockholm: Weekend Trips from Stockholm
Water-lovers who are looking for a weekend getaway in Europe will love Copenhagen, Denmark, also known as the home of The Little Mermaid. A lot of the favorite sites here are connected to the water, which is also pretty evident due to the canals and waterways that connect different places within the city.
Some of the popular attractions here are the Tivoli Gardens, the Rosenborg Castle, and the Nyhavn
Not only is it one of the best city break destinations in Europe, but it’s also one of the most exciting places to go to, no matter what time of the year. To learn more about traditions in Denmark here’s a really nice article, so read more!
Read more about Copenhagen and Denmark:
- Points of Interest: Where to Go and Places to Visit in Denmark
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Copenhagen
- Day trips from Copenhagen: Weekend Trips from Copenhagen
Estonia is one of the least popular destinations in this part of the world, but it’s one of the best choices if you’re looking to go on a cheap weekend break in Europe.
The best part of Tallinn, Estonia? It seems straight out of an old-timey fairytale, with its brick buildings and cobbled alleys. You can easily spend a whole weekend here with your lover, exploring the Old Town, with all its markets and restaurants.
You can also visit St. Olaf’s Church, where you can view the city from above. At night, you can have a beer for less than $3, and right hotel rooms for less than $60.
Read more about Tallinn and Estonia:
- Estonia Travel Guide: What to See, What to Do and What to Eat
- Points of Interest: What to See and Places to Visit in Estonia
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Tallinn
- Best Day Trips from Tallinn: National Parks & Nearby Towns
London, United Kingdom
What more is there to say about London – arguably one of the best cities to visit in Europe? Tourist attractions here are a dime a dozen the London Eye, the Big Ben, the Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, and St. Paul’s Cathedral and a lot more places in less than 48 hours.
The proximity of all these sites and the efficient public transportation system makes London one of the best places to go on a weekend getaway in Europe.
Read more about London and the UK:
- Points of Interest: What to See and Places to Visit in the United Kingdom
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in London
- Top 10 Day Trips from London
Considered by many people to be one of the most, if not the most, romantic places in the world, Paris, France is the place to go to if you’re looking for a weekend getaway in Europe.
Its most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, alone is already an excellent place to hang out with your lover or partner on a beautiful day out. Other attractions include The Louvre, the Notre-Dame de Paris, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Jardin du Luxembourg.
These Paris attractions are pretty near to each other, so it wouldn’t be a hassle to travel between them.
Learn more about Paris and France:
- Points of Interest: What to See and Places to Visit in France
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Paris
- Best One Day Trips from Paris: Overnight Trips from Paris
Florence, Italy is the capital of Tuscany, also known as the birthplace of Renaissance in Italy. The city’s rich history is evident in its art and architecture, plenty of which are world-renowned for their beauty and historical value.
Some of its most popular sites include the Florence Cathedral, a medieval church looking straight out of a postcard with its iconic red dome. The Uffizi Gallery, an art museum where most of the Renaissance masterpieces, including Sandro Botticelli’s famous painting The Birth of Venus. And the Florence Baptistery, a religious monument that has now become a famous landmark.
The nearness of these sites to each other makes it easy to do a city tour with just one weekend, making Florence, Italy, another possible choice for one of the best weekend breaks in Europe.
Learn more about Florence and Italy:
- Italy Points of Interest: What to See and Places to Visit in Italy
- Top Tourist Attractions and Best Things to do in Florence
- Top 10 Best Day Trips from Florence
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
If you’re pressed for time and want to have a short city break in Europe, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, should be one of your options.
Edinburgh, also known as the capital of Scotland, is one of those places where it feels like you’re traveling back in time, with its cobbled alleyways and old architecture.
Some of its most notable sites include The Edinburgh Castle and the Museum of Scotland, two museums that will satisfy your craving for history.
You can also visit Arthur’s Seat and take in the fantastic view of this hill’s peak in the morning and spend the night exploring Calton Hill’s nightlife.
With all these activities, Scotland’s Edinburgh is indeed a worthy choice for those last minute city breaks in Europe.
When people think of Spain, one of the first destinations that come to mind is Barcelona, Spain. Its history is one of the oldest and richest and one of the best cities to visit in Europe, balancing this with its beautiful nature.
Barcelona has it all – if you like history and architecture, you can visit the Sagrada Familia; if you love shopping, you can visit the La Boqueria; if you like sand and sea, you can visit the Nova Icaria Beach.
That said, it’s also one of the best weekend getaways in Europe, so it’s up to you to decide if you’d rather splurge a bit more here and discover a beautiful new world.
Read more about Barcelona and Spain:
- Points of Interest: What to See and Places to Visit in Spain
- Paradors in Spain: Top 10 Best Castles in Spain to Visit!
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Barcelona
- Best Day Trips from Barcelona: Weekend Trips from Barcelona
Helsinki is the capital and largest city of Finland. As a highly urban area conveniently located near the seaside, visitors get the best of both worlds in this city.
Some of the notable attractions include museums like the Ateneum, the Seurasaari, and the National Museum of Finland, Suomenlinna Sea Fortress and Helsinki Cathedral.
All of these are sites located conveniently in the city, making Helsinki one of the best weekend city breaks in Europe.
Learn more about Helsinki and Finland:
- Finland Points of Interest: Where to Go and Places to Visit in Finland
- Finland Food: The 20 Different Traditional Finnish Food You Must Try
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Helsinki
- Top Day Trips from Helsinki That Are Not More Than 2 Hours Away!
- Top Attractions and Things to do in Tampere
Prague, Czech Republic
Another not so popular choice, Prague in the Czech Republic rarely comes up in lists of places to go on holiday in Europe. This is a shame, as it’s a pretty cool place to go on a long weekend break.
Its most famous sites include the Prague Castle, Old Town Square, and St. Vitus Cathedral, all pointing to the city’s rich culture and history.
If you’re a fan of scenic views, you can also take a trip to the Charles Bridge, an iconic bridge built around the 14th century. Do you know what else Prague is famous for? Cheap booze.
If you’re looking to spend a fun, cheap weekend in Europe, then Prague is your go-to place.
Berlin, Germany is arguably one of the more popular holiday destinations in Europe, especially if you’re looking for a short holiday break.
Some of the things you can do while in Berlin pass through the Brandenburg Gate, a classical archway that symbolizes the German divide. Visit the Reichstag building where the seats of parliament are housed. Walk around the Alexanderplatz, a large public square with a variety of shops and stores. And Enjoy the beautiful view of Berlin from atop the Fernsehtur, A television tower where visitors can overlook the whole city.
With all these sites, it’s no wonder that Berlin is one of those cities where you can spend one of the best weekends away in Europe. To know if this beautiful city is for you, this post about the photo spots in Berlin will certainly show you the best of it!
If you’re planning to visit, check out this post about the best places to stay in Berlin!
Read more about Berlin:
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Berli
- Best Day Trips from Berlin: Top 10 Weekend Trips from Berlin
Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands, as well as its largest city regarding population. It’s home to several famous personalities from history, such as Holocaust victim Anne Frank, and artist Vincent Van Gogh.
Some of the city’s notable attractions include the Anne Frank House, where Anne Frank lived during her time. The famous Van Gogh Museum, which houses the world’s most extensive collection of Van Gogh’s works.The Rijksmuseum, which houses several European masterpieces and Efteling, which is a fairytale-themed amusement park.
It doesn’t take long to visit these attractions, so a weekend should suffice or, if you want to stay longer, there are tons of day trips from Amsterdam you can visit!
Read more about Amsterdam and the Netherlands:
- Points of Interest: Where to Go and Places to Visit in the Netherlands
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Amsterdam
- Top 10 Day Trips from Amsterdam
If you’re planning on going on a city trip in Europe, you should check out Dublin, Ireland. It was labeled the City of Literature by UNESCO in 2010 due to its impressive written tradition.
Dublin by itself is a pretty significant city, but it’s quite easy to explore the city center in just a weekend if you wish. The transportation system is pretty convenient, and if you want, you can even go around by foot with no problems.
Some places you shouldn’t miss on this European getaway are the Trinity College, where the Book of Kells is housed, the Little Museum of Dublin, the Irish Parliament as well as the National Museum of Ireland, and the Kilmainham Gaol.
This makes Dublin one of the best places to go on a city trip in Europe.
Read more about Ireland:
Majorca, Spain, also spelled Mallorca sometimes, is the largest island in the Balearic islands. Although it’s still technically a part of Spain, the Balearic islands are an autonomous region in the country.
And while Spain has got its fair share of best city destinations, those who would instead go for R&R while surrounded by nature would enjoy Majorca more.
Some of the notable sites here include the Cuevas del Drach, a set of interconnected underground caves, the Palma Cathedral, a gothic church located in front of the sea, and the Sanctuary de Lluc, a sanctuary and pilgrimage site that goes way back in history
This still doesn’t include all the beautiful beaches that Mallorca is home to, which makes the city a perfect holiday destination even for Spain’s royal family. Looking for one of the best long weekend breaks in Europe? Look no further.
Read more about Mallorca:
- Top Attractions and Things to do in Mallorca
- Best Day Trips from Mallorca: Where to Go in the Island of Mallorca
Belgium by itself is already a small country; zoom in on Ghent, and you’ll find one of its coziest, most beautiful cities that feels more like a well-kept secret than anything.
The architecture here is superb, showcasing early Flemish designs. Gothic sites are also pretty prevalent, along with its museums showing the medieval city’s rich history.
In stark contrast to this, Ghent is also a go-to place for robust parties and cool music. The best part? It’s cheaper here compared to other tourist destinations.
Learn more about Ghent and Belgium:
- Points of Interest: Where to Go and Places to Visit in Belgium
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Ghent
- Top 10 Day Trips from Ghent
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Brussels
- Top 10 Day Trips from Brussels
Portugal is widely known for Lisbon, it’s capital, but other cities are also just as cool but lack attention from the tourism industry.
One such country is Porto, which is located north of Portugal. It is already marketed as an excellent destination for city breaks in Europe, and for good reasons.
Some of its notable landmarks are the Dom Luis I Bridge, the Sao Bento railway station, the Clerigos Church, and the Duoro.
Read more about Portugal:
- Points of Interest: Where to Go and Places to Visit in Portugal
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Lisbon
Slovenia is one of those countries in Europe that often get overlooked, just because it’s not located in the more famous western Europe.
However, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have anything worth a mention. Ljubljana is home to medieval architecture and unique designs, as evident in the Ljubljana Castle, the Ljubljanics, the Dragon Bridge, and the Tivoli City Park.
Despite this though, Ljubljana residents’ origins are pretty vague, pointing to a mixture of German, Mediterranean, and Slovenia.
Read more about Ljubljana and Slovenia:
The capital and largest city of Croatia, Zagreb is the first place you should go to in case you visit this East-European country.
A few of the sites in your European city trip include medieval style St. Mark’s Church, the museum for failed love stories called Museum of Broken Relationships, the museum for European art Mimara Museum, and a church called Gornji Grad-Medvescak.
If you’re craving for art appreciation and places with high historical values but don’t have a lot of money to shell out, then Zagreb is an excellent choice for spending a cheap weekend in Europe.
Learn more about Zagreb and Croatia:
- Points of Interest: Where to Go and Places to Visit in Croatia
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Zagreb
- Top 10 Day Trips from Zagreb
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Split
- Top 10 Best Day Trips from Split
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Dubrovnik
- Best Day Trips from Dubrovnik: Top 10 Activities & Excursions from Dubrovnik
- Hiking Plitvice Lakes National Park Experience and It’s Majestic Beauty
With a population of about 1.8M and a land area of around 525 square kilometers, Budapest is one of the best cities to visit in Europe and its most densely populated cities.
It’s already one of the more popular visits to visit for a weekend getaway in Europe, due to its numerous attractions such as the Buda Castle, the Matthias Church, the Hungarian Parliament Building, and the Fisherman’s Bastion.
On top of this, Budapest is one of the best winter city breaks in Europe. Around winter time is where the Nutcracker performances are held at the Hungarian State Opera House.
You can get mulled beer in night bars and explore the Christmas night markets, as well as go ice skating at the City Ice Rink and feel like you’re coming straight out of a fairytale!
Read more about Budapest and Hungary:
- Points of Interest: What to See and Places to Visit in Hungary
- Top Tourist Attractions and Best Things to do in Budapest
- Best Day Trips from Budapest: Weekend Trips from Budapest
Nice is the fifth most populous city in France as well as the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department. Its nickname is Nice la Belle, or Nice the Beautiful, which is only proper considering all the eye-catching and breathtaking views here.
Nice’s seaside attractions and inner city views are bound to make anyone’s heart beat faster, making it one of the top choices for the best city breaks in Europe.
Fall in love with the French Riviera, walk along the Promenade des Anglais, visit the Musee Marc Chagall and Musee Matisse, explore the Chateau Grimaldi, and discover this city’s natural beauty!
Learn more about Nice and France:
- Best Chateaux in France: Top 10 Castles in France to Visit!
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Nice
- Best Day Trips from Nice: Beaches, Mountains, & Islands
Reykjavik in Iceland is not the usual first choice when people plan their weekend getaway in Europe, but it deserves a spot on this list! It’s the world’s northernmost capital, often considered to be the gateway to a world of adventure waiting beyond.
If you’re a little more adventurous, you can check out outdoor activities such as the Puffin Express Cruise and the Icelandic Horse Riding, but if you’re more reserved, then a trip to the city would suffice for you.
Some of the major sites that you should check out are the Hallgrimskirkja, the most significant church in Iceland, the Perlan building, where you can eat a scrumptious lunch while getting a spectacular view of the city, and the Bessastadir, where the president of Iceland resides.
Since winter here is pretty amazing and there are loads of other fun things to do in Reykjavik, this city is an excellent choice for a European city break in November or December.
Read more about Reykjavik and Iceland:
- Points of Interest: Where to Go and Places to Visit in Iceland
- Things You Must Know Before Your Trip to Iceland – Travel Informations
- 20 Photos of Iceland in Summer That Will Inspire You To Travel
A city steeped in rich stories and infinite knowledge, Athens in Greece is one of the top choices when it comes to spending a long weekend break in Europe.
It’s impossible not to fall in love with this city even if all you have is 48 hours. Its attractions are some of the most beautiful in all of Europe, which includes the Parthenon, the Acropolis of Athens, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Syntagma Square, and the Ancient Agora.
Just imagine holding hands with your partner as you explore through gardens and museums depicting the ancient gods.
Read more about Athens and Greece:
- Points of Interest: Where to Go and Best Places to Visit in Greece
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Athens
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Rhodes
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Santorini
- Best Day Trips from Santorini: Islands & Excursions from Santorini
Krakow is another one of those places that most people tend to overlook when searching for weekend destinations in Europe. Compared to other tourist cities, Krakow’s attractions are a bit further regarding proximity, but a day trip here is still very possible.
Not to mention, Krakow is also quite inexpensive, making it one of the cheap weekend getaways in Europe, at least relative to other cities. Some of its notable sites include the Wieliczka Salt Mine, the Wawel Cathedral, St. Mary’s Basilica, and Planty Park.
If you have more time on your hands, you can also take a side-trip to Krakow Cloth Hall, and Ojcow National Park.
See, you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money to explore the world. Don’t have much time on your hands yet still want to visit Europe’s beautiful gems? Go check out some of the cities on the list! We promise you won’t regret it.
Need help to plan your trip? Start with these useful tips!
- Best Carry On Backpack: Top Weekender Backpack Reviews
- Best Luggage: Top Suitcase Reviews
- Backpacking Minimalist: How to Travel with Less (Minimalist Travel)
- Minimalist packing list for women
- Minimalist packing list for men
- Backpack vs Luggage: Which One to Use for Long Term Travel
Important travel tips and tricks:
- Before Flight Travel Checklist: Make Sure You Have Everything You Need!
- How to Find Cheap Flights Everywhere (Using Skyscanner)
- Why You Should Get a Travel Insurance for Your Next Adventure
- Hotel, Hostel, Airbnb, or Guesthouse: Which One to Choose for Accommodation?
- Top Travel Tips to Use When You Get to Your Destination
IS THIS THE KIND OF POST THAT INTEREST YOU?AWESOME! TICKLE YOUR WANDERLUST AND JOIN MY COMMUNITY OF TRAVEL ENTHUSIASTS AND NEVER MISS OUT A POST!
Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
- Is there any of these best cities in Europe you’d like to visit soon?
- What do you think of this list?
- Let us know in the comment section below!
DISCLAIMER: There may be affiliate links attached in this post and if you decided to purchase from my links, I get a small commission at no extra charge to you. That commission helps to run this website and so on. If you’re interested to read more about this visual travel blog’s other ventures, please read my disclosure policy for more information.