Here is our list of the best European city breaks in 2022.
Whether you are itching for that city break you have been dreaming of for months – or perhaps are considering a short getaway – now is the time. Europe offers many incredible cities to explore, from Athens to Rome, Barcelona to Prague.
Whatever you are looking for, we have it all here for you. Enjoy beautiful scenery, devour delicious cuisine or soak up the culture of the metropolis. Explore the best European city breaks for impromptu holidays, romantic weekends, girls’ getaways, and more with our list of the best European city breaks.
No.1 on Xplore’s list of best European city breaks is; Athens. Greek history is embodied in Athens, the country’s stunning capital. A city break to this fascinating part of the world will treat you to the world-famous acropolis, which overlooks the maze of streets below.
It is easy to imagine how much history is hidden beneath the surface of one of the world’s oldest cities. Explore ruins, temples, and timeworn treasures in this ancient city. Your sightseeing bucket list will certainly contain a lot of items to check off.
Having been honoured as the European Capital of Culture in 1985, Athens was the first city to receive the honour. The city was also the first modern site of those famous sporting events, so you’ll see iconic remnants of them everywhere.
You can enjoy the beauty of the Acropolis from afar, as it is perched on a hilltop and dominates the city.
It is simply breathtaking from sunrise to sunset. You can take some seriously dreamy photos here, especially with the cool street art and distant sea views!
No.2 Barcelona. It’s impossible to find a dull moment in here, the ultimate beach city all year round. A cool Mediterranean vibe, unique architecture, and an exciting dining scene are just a few of the highlights.
The city is on many people’s bucket lists. Explore the golden shoreline or even go skiing in nearby Andorra.
It is a Spanish treasure that boasts fantastic cuisine, breathtaking art, and a rich history, so how do you begin your exploration of the city? If you want to see the best of Barcelona, head to Las Ramblas.
From the centre of the city to the port, this tree-lined street is the bustling heart of the city. The perfect place to start whether you wish to enjoy a drink at a café or visit the Sagrada Família.
The Sagrada Familia, the Park Güell, and the Casa Milá should be the first items on your list as they are Gaudi’s masterpieces. Take a cocktail break at a rooftop bar after watching street theatre on La Rambla, browsing galleries, and shopping. Take a stroll through the Gothic Quarter and grab some tapas in the Poble Sec for a taste of the local culture.
Taking advantage of the sun at Barceloneta Beach is the perfect way to spend the day. There are numerous beach clubs and seafood snack stands along this 1km stretch, which is right next to Port Olympic. A little further down the coast lies Costa Barcelona. There is a sense of Catalan charm and a boho vibe in smaller seaside towns like Sitges, which combines festivals, trendy boutiques, and boho bars.
No.3 Budapest. Hungary’s capital is jam-packed with sights and sounds, from the skyline-dominating Parliament Building to the hip underground ruin pubs. Explore the majestic beauty of Budapest’s Queen of the Danube. On one hand, the Hungarian capital is home to art deco baths, grand cafés, and grand boulevards. On the other hand, it is a real melting pot of cultures as it is dominated by Eastern Bloc architecture and memories of its past.
Next, you’ll have the chance to visit some of the most popular attractions. Whether you’ve been exploring all day or not, nothing will prepare you for this! Enjoy soaking in the warm waters of the famous Gellert Baths, located right in the centre of the city.
Explore the Danube banks, enjoying spectacular views of the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Chain Bridge, and Buda Castle from its hilltop perch. St. Stephen’s Basilica and Heroes’ Square should also be checked off your list. If you’re looking for somewhere to drink, check out one of the ruin pubs, which use vintage furniture in rundown spaces, which are lit with magical fairy lights.
There are plenty of events in the spring, including the Easter markets, while the summer has big festivals like Sziget. Visit Széchenyi’s thermal baths for an open-air soak in the sun. During winter, hillside sledging and Gellert Baths are must-dos, followed by spicy goulash.
Christmas is the time of year when Budapest is a hive of activity with hundreds of bustling markets and stalls. There are carol singers and a giant advent calendar in Vörösmarty Square, making it one of Europe’s largest Christmas markets.
No.4 Innsbruck. It’s no surprise that Innsbruck is one of the best European city breaks of all time and is the capital city of the Austrian state of Tyrol. With its charming old town and inner city, you will find plenty to see, do and eat, all with an Austrian flair no matter the season.
Read more about this wonderful city here.
No.5 on our best European city breaks is Prague. A Prague city break will leave you spoilt for choice. There’s something to suit every traveller at this Czech hotspot, whether you’re with friends, family, or working in the business world. It’s a city where amazing architectural gems abound along with a buzzing nightlife scene.
A trip to the Old Town Square is the best way to begin your experience of Prague. The Astronomical Clock in conjunction with Gothic architecture makes for an interesting combination. In addition, the Jewish Quarter, Prague Castle, and Wenceslas Square are also worth a visit.
Last but not least No.6 on our best European city breaks is Rome. Italy’s capital has so much to offer! Visit, eat and explore! Exceptional culinary delights and world-class fashion combine to create an ancient yet vibrant place filled with relics, must-see attractions, and truly unique attractions.
This place is a magnet for foodies as well as history buffs. No matter what you fancy, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to pizza to go or an Italian feast. Explore one of the world’s most interesting cities by immersing yourself in everything it has to offer.
As you visit Rome, you’ll be transported back in time. Explore the Pantheon and the Roman Forum to get a sense of what life was like for a gladiator in the Colosseum. You might want to consider visiting the Trevi Fountain, or you might even consider travelling 30km to Ostia to explore its ruins.
The Vatican City, the world’s smallest state, is well worth a visit no matter what you do. The magnificent Sistine Chapel is one of the jewels of the museum, which contains treasures from ancient Rome and Renaissance Italy. A wood-fired pizza and fruity gelato scoop are a must, as are some of the tastiest pizzas in town.