Planning a city break is the perfect way to explore somewhere new within a short period of time. You’ll be able to soak in just enough of the city’s culture, history, art, food and people to give you a feel for the place.
The tricky part is choosing where to go. To give you plenty of inspiration for your next trip, here are some of the best city break ideas in Europe and the UK and for couples and groups of friends.
There’s so much to see in Europe that it can be hard to choose just one place to visit. To help you plan your next getaway to this wonderful continent, we’ve listed three of the best European cities waiting to be explored...
Whether you’re looking to sightsee or soak up the sun, Barcelona offers the best of both worlds. Boasting a bustling city centre and miles of gorgeous beaches, it’s the perfect place to go if you’re after a little of everything. Cutting right through the heart of the city, Las Ramblas is where much the excitement is at, while the picturesque Gothic Quarter is significantly quieter. La Barceloneta beach is a short walk from the centre. Lined with lively bars and providing soft sand, it’s the ideal place to sit while you sip on a sangria.
Dubbed one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Paris will not disappoint - and there’s much more to the city than a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower. You can discover hidden gems all over the city. Check out the impressive house and gardens of the 17-century Marais Mansion or stand in awe at the beauty of the Sacré-Coeur before meandering through the cobbled streets of Montmartre. Of course, the Arc de Triomphe is a sight to behold, while the Louvre Museum is also not to be missed, especially if you’re keen to catch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa herself.
The fashion capital of Italy, Milan is renowned for its sophistication and style. The city is the ideal spot if you’re looking for some retail therapy. The Quadrilatero D’Oro district is bursting with high street shops, boutiques and outlets from some of the world’s most famous designers. For those craving culture, the spectacular Duomo di Milano is a must-see. The cathedral is one of the largest in the world, and it’s as impressive on the outside as it is on the inside. For something a little different, take in a show at the Teatro alla Scala opera house.
Despite being relatively small in size, the UK has much more to offer than you might realise. So, if you’re looking for a staycation but you’re not sure where to head to, keep reading...
It’s virtually impossible to see everything London has to offer in one short trip, but that’s not to say you can’t get a good feel for the city during your minibreak. There are famous landmarks on just about every corner, including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament, as well as the impressive Natural History Museum and V&A museums. You could even catch a show on the West End, hit up Oxford Street for a spot of shopping or people-watch from Covent Garden.
Whether you’d prefer to visit the iconic Titanic Museum, get lost in the stunning Botanic Gardens or drink your way along the pubs of Great Victoria and Donegall streets, there’s plenty to lure you to Northern Ireland’s port-side capital for a city getaway. If you fancy a break from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, you can venture further afield to discover the beautiful mountains of Mourne or the spectacular Giant’s Causeway, both of which are within easy reach.
From the sweeping elegance of the Georgian New Town to the impressive wynds of the Old Town, Edinburgh is a city steeped in historic beauty. The Scottish capital is home to Edinburgh Castle, which sits in all its glory on an extinct volcano at the top of the famous Royal Mile - a street running through the heart of the city from the castle to Holyrood Palace. The city provides stunning views, including those of the majestic Arthur’s Seat, and you’ll discover architectural detail everywhere you look.
Looking to whisk away your beloved for the weekend? We’ve put together a shortlist of the best romantic city breaks for couples...
As Italy’s capital city, Rome provides the perfect getaway for couples. There is so much to see and do, from the magnificent Colosseum amphitheatre, to the ornate Vatican City, to the famous Trevi Fountain. You can wander around the enchanting Quartiere Coppede district, as well as pay a visit to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Make your way around the cobbled lanes, discovering hidden gardens and spectacular architecture around every corner before settling down in a nearby restaurant to share an authentic Italian pizza followed by a helping of locally made gelato.
Having undergone a major revamp over recent years, Madrid is now a thriving, beautiful city, making it the ideal place for couples who are looking for somewhere new to explore. The city is full of quirky boutiques for a spot of shopping, as well as cafés and bars for taking in the atmosphere while nibbling on tapas and drinking local wines. Check out the vibrant Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s main square, peruse world-class artwork at Museo Nacional del Prado or head to El Retiro Park for a relaxing stroll with your other half.
With a history like no other city, Berlin offers a unique trip away for you and your loved one. During your adventure, make sure to visit the Berlin Wall memorial built in honour of the divide which famously split the city in half for nearly five decades. The Reichstag dome boasts impressive modern architectural detail. In fact, you can still see some of the graffiti left by soveiet soldiers in 1945. Explore further and visit the surrounding neighbours too. Weissensee has its own beach, while Neukölln offers an array of bars and restaurants.
While famous for its beer, Munich is a city rich in culture. It’s hard not to get lost in the Kunstareal, the city’s art quarter, and there is an abundance of world-class museums to explore. If you’re looking to relax, you and your partner can people-watch in the beautiful grounds of the English Garden, or if you’re keen to join in with the fun, visit one of the city’s many pubs where you might catch locals in their traditional lederhosen and even an energetic oompah band.
So, where will your next travel adventure take you?