City breaks are the perfect choice if you do not have the time for a full-fledged vacation. We understand that not everybody can afford to skip their work for a week, as to most of us even a weekend abroad can be very expensive. However, a short city break can easily be done on a budget and will do wonders to alleviate work-related stress, so next time you get a Monday or Friday off and have an extended weekend, think about going somewhere abroad. Europe is a good budget destination and has an almost overwhelming variety when it comes to culture, cuisine, and lifestyle. However, due to its size and the sheer number of countries, it may be hard to decide where to go. Fortunately, we have devised a Top 10 Best City Breaks in Europe list, which will hopefully help you find your perfect destination!
If you have not been to Amsterdam yet, prepare to be surprised, since no words can describe the atmosphere of this amazing city. After all, it is not without reason that Amsterdam is often called the Venice of the North. Amsterdam is also very budget-friendly since it is small enough to go traverse on foot most of the time. If you need to travel a slightly further distance, hop onto a bike - the city of Amsterdam is among the most cyclist-friendly cities on Earth! Moreover, you won’t need to learn Dutch to get around the city - most of the locals speak perfect English, maybe with the exception of some of the more elderly citizens, making it truly one of the best city breaks in Europe. The city is decorated with tons of cute parks, but its true beauty are the gorgeous museums - you definitely have to see the famous Van Gogh Museum!
Being one of the most colorful and vibrant cities of the world, London is a great place for a short city break, as well as for a longer trip. Even if you have been to London previously, it has so much to offer that one visit just will not do it justice! If you are a fan of live theatre, make sure to stop by Theatreland, which, alongside Broadway, is one of the most famous theatrical districts around the globe. Not a fan of theatre? Go shopping in one of the numerous department stores, which feature not only tons of souvenirs, but also local produce and handmade clothes and jewelry. Still not convinced enough? Take a trip to the London Eye, which offers the best view of the cityscape in London, allowing you to easily plan where you want to go next!
You have undoubtedly heard about all of the amazing places to see in Paris, but hearing and seeing are two different things. While some say that the Eiffel Tower is nothing extraordinary, often not worth the money, we assure you that there is no better panorama of Paris, even if it is a bit expensive. Want to save some money and still see as much as possible? Take a cruise along the Seine which will allow you to take in a variety of landmarks in just a couple hours. When thinking about Paris, one has to mention its unique cuisine filled with bread, cheese, and wine. You can find a five-star restaurant on almost every corner in Paris, and while opinions differ on the looks of Paris, its food is undoubtedly among the best the world has to offer - thus why some of the best city breaks happen in Paris. For the best patisserie in the city, make sure to visit Odette!
Built on seven hills along the Tejo river, Lisbon has some of the most wonderful views the world has to offer, and while most of the other tourist-oriented cities have a few spots with such panoramas, Lisbon is filled with them to the brim! Moreover, Lisbon is among the most budget-friendly destinations when it comes to major cities in Europe, with coffee being as cheap as €1 and a standard meal costing around €15, making Lisbon one of the best city breaks in Europe. Speaking about food, have you heard of Lisbon’s cuisine, filled with tasty seafood? Fresh squid and fish caught by the shore and prepared right in front of you, served with exquisite Portugal wine - just imagine! For such delicacies, head to Agulha No Palheiro. If that’s not enough to convince, what about all of the gorgeous sandy beaches?
If you still want to see what the Mediterranean has to offer but have already been to Portugal, why not give Barcelona a try? If you are a fan of intrinsic architecture, make sure to stop by the Sagrada Familia - a surprisingly spectacular piece of modern architecture, which is still under construction for over 100 years! This Roman Catholic church is unlike anything else the world has to offer. Not a fan of churches? Take a trip to the Gothic Quarter, a district of the city that looks as if taken straight from a gothic novel! If you need something more contemporary to entertain you, Barcelona is filled with amazing modern art museums, as well as with gorgeous street art murals. To top off your city break, make sure to try some of the local cuisine!
While Russia may not the first country you think of when you’re planning a city break to Europe, Moscow is definitely one of the Russian cities worth visiting. The city is filled with countless art galleries and museums, showcasing both historical works and more modern ones. See the true heart of Russia - the Red Square, which is surrounded by major architectural wonders, such as the Kremlin, which features the famous grave of Joseph Stalin. If you want to learn something more about Russian culture, make sure to stop by the Bolshoi Theatre for a show of the wonderful Russian ballet, including works such as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker!
Since the fall of communism, Poland has been developing very rapidly, making up for the long years of poverty and separating itself from the rest of the post-communist countries in Eastern Europe. Its capital, the city of Warsaw, is well worth visiting, filled with dozens of war museums that showcase the Polish history of hardships and betrayals. For a gorgeous view of the city, visit the Palace of Culture and Science - one of the few good things Stalin left in Poland. Warsaw is also known for its bustling nightlife, filled with clubs and pubs where you can find cheap beverages, much more affordable than in Western Europe, and the same goes for food, as you can usually get your fill for less than €10!
Surprisingly, some of the best city breaks happen right in the heart of Hungary - in Budapest. The city features a unique mixture of old and modern architecture, creating unique cityscapes that are hard to find elsewhere. Make sure to visit the city’s thermal baths, which are an extremely relaxing way to spend your evenings and their health benefits are known far and wide. Budapest is an especially good choice if you’re on a tight budget - you can easily have tons of fun with money to spare on a budget of around €50 a day! You can spend the spare money you saved at one of the famous open-air clubs, which are all the rage in Budapest.
There are definitely plenty of reasons why Rome is still one of the most visited cities in Europe - none of them unfounded! Italy has one of the richest cultural heritages in the entire world, and Rome is a perfect example of just that, filled with hundreds of museums, art galleries and pieces of ancient architecture. The whole city center of Rome is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which gives a pretty good estimate of its historical importance. There is also famous Italian fashion, critically acclaimed over the world, as well as gorgeous street art which livens up the buildings. While in Rome, make sure to pay a visit to Vatican City, the capital of Christianity! Last, but definitely not least, is Prague - the European capital of affordable city breaks! You won’t find a better quality-to-price ratio anywhere in Europe, not only when it comes to accommodation and food, but also for more luxurious goods such as clothes and perfumes. If you want to see the prettiest part of Prague that would definitely be the Old Town, filled with architectural wonders and tall, spiky churches. In the evening, you can find a place to sit by the Vltava River and watch the sunset over the Prague Castle, which makes for a gorgeous, unforgettable view. Make sure to visit the castle itself also, since it truly is a gem of Czech architecture, surrounded by marvelous gardens. When looking for a good view of the cityscape, visit the Astronomical Clock and its enormous tower.