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.
Related content and further reads:
- Best Day Trips from Stockholm: Weekend Trips from Stockholm (Sweden)
- Best Day Trips from Barcelona: Weekend Trips from Barcelona (Spain)
- Best Day Trips from Budapest: Weekend Trips from Budapest (Hungary)
- Best One Day Trips from Paris: Overnight Trips from Paris (France)
- Top 10 Day Trips from Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
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 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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Portugal is widely known for Lisbon, its 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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