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The Best European Cities for Weekend Getaways

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The Best Destinations for Weekend Trips in Europe

Where are the best cities for weekend getaways? Whether you've been through a busy period at work, feel tired from the rush of everyday life, or simply need a change of scenery to refresh yourself, a city break in one of Europe's many beautiful destinations will help clear your mind and expose you to some picturesque locations. But with so many vibrant cities in Europe, each with its own unique style and atmosphere, it can be tough to decide which one to visit!

Fortunately, there are a lot of beautiful and exciting cities which can easily be visited for a short two- or three-day city break - so you can fit in more weekends away! Need some inspiration? We've collected some of our favourite European city break destinations below. There are weekend getaway destinations for every mood, interest and budget, so read on and find the perfect place for your next wekeend trip!

The Top Weekend Getaway Destinations for Brits

In addition to our top 100 ranking, we also identified the top weekend break destinations for Brits, based on the most popular weekend getaway destinations for UK travellers and their score in our ranking. We came up with four cities that will give you a lasting impression.

Amsterdam: irreverent, cultured and welcoming

Amsterdam has always been one of the most popular weekend getaway destinations in the UK, and it's not hard to see why. British travellers love the city's relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, its distinctive architecture, its world-class museums and its vibrant nightlife. Whatever the season, the Dutch capital is one of the best destinations for a weekend break in Europe.

  • Amsterdam is the city of canals and bicycles. Rent one and cycle through bridges and lanes. Don't miss the Prinsengracht and the De Negen Straatjes for shopping and a coffee break
  • Equally iconic are the flowers, especially the tulips. Visit the Blomenmarkt to take in the city's colourful and unique atmosphere.
  • And of course, how could you miss the red light district? Its coffee shops, extravagant museums and irreverent mood make it a unique must-see experience.


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Barcelona: laid-back, colourful and full of life

Perfect for those who want a relaxed weekend break with tasty food, good weather and a day at the beach, the Catalan capital offers a winning mix of culture and fun. Its mild yet sunny temperatures, fantastical architecture and delicious tapas will charm any visitor.

  • Admire the city's unique architectural style, indelibly shaped by the visionary architect Gaudí and his love for bright colours and natural forms. It's said that Barcelona's most iconic building, the Sagrada Familia, will take longer to finish building than the pyramids.
  • Don't miss the old-fashioned atmosphere of the Gothic Quarter, Plaça Reial and the Picasso Museum. Get lost in the narrow streets and soak up the sunshine in the broad squares.
  • Enjoy a little sea air and some delicious tapas at one of the restaurants in the Old Port - the perfect way to relax after a day at the busy Barceloneta beach.
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Dublin: small but full of life and culture

Close to home and perfect for a quick weekend getaway, the Irish capital may be small but it has so much to offer. Once a quiet, old-fashioned city, it's now a thriving, modern metropolis - but that doesn't mean it's lost its sense of history. Walk in the footsteps of James Joyce, enjoy traditional music in one of Dublin's classic pubs and explore Ireland's dramatic history.

  • Explore Dublin's vibrant nightlife. The classic destination for visitors who want to sink a few pints of Guinness is the bustling Temple Bar, but venture further afield and you'll also find sophisticated bars and cutting-edge clubs like the Button Factory.
  • Traces of Ireland's turbulent twentieth-century history are everywhere in the city centre - the scene of much of the fighting in the 1916 Easter Rising. If you want to learn more about Irish history, a tour of Kilmainham Gaol - where the Rising's leaders were imprisoned - is an educational and powerful experience.
  • The lush Irish countryside is only a short drive away, as are the peaceful beaches of Bray, a charming town just south of Dublin in Wicklow. Or if you don't make it out of the city, enjoy nature - and spot some of the roaming deer - in Phoenix Park.
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Paris: gastronomy, art and unmistakable style

Just a train ride away from the mainland UK, Paris offers some of the best art museums and monuments in Europe, as well as an array of stylish shops, charming cafés and world-class restaurants. Visit the Louvre or the Musée d'Orsay, stroll through the Champs-Élysées and enjoy a relaxed dinner after watching the sun set over the Seine.

  • The Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Montmartre, once Paris' most edgy and alternative district, has a special charm. Climb the 300 steps of its dome for a panoramic view of the city
  • Not afraid of the dark? Lose yourself among the underground labyrinths of the Catacombs, a place full of fascinating - and sometimes disturbing - history.
  • To find original souvenirs and feel like a real Parisian, have a browse through the St-Ouen flea market stalls. They're open from Saturday to Monday, perfect for a weekend getaway.
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The most popular European cities to visit in 3 days

Milan: Italian style and international trends

Milan is a popular weekend getaway destination even for Italians, with its many exhibitions, trendy clubs and shops. 48 hours is enough to visit the main monuments, enjoy a sophisticated dinner and do some shopping in the busy city centre.

  • Milan hosts many events related to art, fashion and design. Take a look at the current exhibitions at the Palazzo Reale, the Museo del '900, the Pinacoteca di Brera or the Natural History Museum.
  • Milan's nightlife is one of the liveliest in Europe. An aperitif in one of the many clubs is truly unmissable - or for a truly unique experience, check out the famous Bar Luce, designed by renowned director Wes Anderson in a classic 1950s/60s style.
  • The Duomo, Castello Sforzesco, Parco Sempione and Arco della Pace are just some of the city's architectural marvels. Don't miss the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which holds the Last Supper mural, a masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci.
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Berlin: a hedonistic and forward-thinking city

When it comes to nightlife, nowhere compares to Berlin. With over 500 bars and clubs - many of them open non-stop all weekend - and an average beer costing less than €5, it's not surprising that the German capital is a favourite weekend break destination for music lovers and party animals. But that's not all it has to offer - find delicious food, a progressive and welcoming culture and magnificent art and culture.

  • The East Side Gallery - a monument preserving part of the Berlin Wall - is now covered in vibrant graffiti. Walk along the Spree on a sunny day and enjoy a beer on the riverbank as the sun sets.
  • The Museum Island, as well as offering a splendid view of the city, hosts some famous museums such as the Pergamon (with a focus on Middle Eastern culture), the Neues Museum (with spectacular Egyptian artefacts including the iconic bust of Nefertiti) and many other galleries.
  • Berlin is a world centre for electronic music, and there's much more to its club scene than the iconic Berghain. Visitors can enjoy classic Detroit techno at Tresor, boundary-pushing queer parties at Salon zur Wilden Renate, or festival-style daytime raves at Sisyphos.
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Madrid, a busy and thriving capital

Another European city which offers a great range of activities for a weekend getaway is Madrid. The Spanish capital combines outstanding gastronomy and nightlife with magnificent art and culture, a mix that attracts travellers of all ages.

  • Visit the gardens of the Royal Palace, a haven of peace in the city center. The white stone façades of Plaza and the Cibeles Palace offer beautiful landscapes and architecture, but are also the centre of celebration for fans of Real Madrid FC.
  • The Museo del Prado is another unmissable experience. With over 9,000 works of art, it's easy to lose track of time and imagine yourself immersed in another era. Just be warned - queues routinely stretch to three or four hours on weekends. Monday morning is a good time to beat the crowds, and the perfect way to round off your weekend break before heading home.
  • For a truly authentic experience, head to one - or a few - of the many tapas bars and while away the evening enjoying one with each drink, rather than ordering everything at once. Don't miss the famous patatas bravas, Manchego cheese and luxurious tortilla de patatas.
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Prague, the city of a hundred towers

At the meeting of East and West, Prague is an exciting and historically rich place, an enchanting destination for a weekend getaway. It's easy to explore on food and lends itself to a short and sweet visit.

  • Visit the medieval Vyšehrad Castle and stroll through the world-famous Karlův Most on the Vltava River. The astronomical clock in the Old City is also a must-see: an intriguing mechanical masterpiece displaying the sun and the moon, the 12 apostles and the 12 months of the year.
  • If you want a weekend getaway on a budget, Prague offers plenty of free activities. Walk through the Jewish quarter, Josefov, and visit the synagogues. The Pinkas Synagogue and the bronze statue of the writer Franz Kafka are particular highlights.
  • Climb the stairs of the Prague metronome up to the Letná plain. From the plateau you have the best view on the bridges of the city and, on a sunny day, you can stop at the beer garden. Refuel afterwards with a trodlo, or chimney cake: an addictively sweet and crispy cylinder of dough filled with cream, jam or chocolate.
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Budapest: fairytale castles and wild nightlife

Combining great prices, stunning architecture and renowned nightlife, Budapest should be on everyone’s bucket list. With its 5-star rating in accommodation, it also comes to no surprise that Budapest is one of the most popular destination choices for travellers.

  • Climb up to Buda Castle, which offers spectacular views of the river and the city, as well as an interesting museum about the city's history. The magnificent Hungarian Parliament building - modelled on the British Houses of Parliament at Westminster - is also a sight toremember.
  • No weekend trip to Budapest would be complete without a visit to one of the city's thermal baths. The luxurious Széchenyi and Gellért baths are the most famous, but you'll also find plenty of cheaper options which are just as relaxing and rejuvenating.
  • Budapest offers some great clubs, but to really experience its nightlife, try an evening of bar-hopping. The quirky and laid-back 'ruin bars' in previously abandoned buildings are popular with travellers from all over the world - the perfect way to meet people and have a memorable night exploring the city.
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Lisbon, a city of explorers

The capital of Portugal is one of the most beautiful and cosmopolitan cities in Europe. Because of its position on the Atlantic coast, at the mouth of the river Tagus, it is a city strongly connected to the sea. Portuguese navigators embarked from here in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in search of new lands, leaving a complex legacy of colonialism that would indelibly shape the world we live in today.

  • The resting place of the explorer Vasco da Gama is a 16th-century church, part of a magnificent monastery. Its cloisters are considered among the most beautiful in the world and have been classified as a World Heritage site. Unmissable.
  • Visit the Torre de Belém, the icon of the city and symbol of the age of discovery, dating back to the early 1500s. While you're in the area, don't forget to stop at Pastéis de Belém, the bakery which invented Lisbon's most iconic dish: the sweet and creamy pastel de nata.
  • Enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the bastions of the Castle of San Jorge. Inside, there is a small archaeological museum, and at the foot of the hill a couple of terraces offer a beautiful view of the Alfama, the medieval quarter of the city.
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Torino: art nouveau and indulgent chocolates in the heart of the Alps

It may be a lesser-known weekend break destination in the UK, but Turin offers fascinating heritage, a dynamic modern culture, and delicious food. This city is Italy's hub of industry and innovation, a centre of art and culture, and the birthplace of the Risorgimento, the political movement that led to Italy's unification. Not to mention its internationally renowned chocolate gianduja...

  • Climb to the top of the 167m Mole Antonelliana tower. It's now home to the Museo Nazionale del Cinema and offers an unmissable view of Turin and the surrounding Alps.
  • Don't miss the Valentino Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the home of Polytechnic Faculty of Architecture. The park of the same name, created by the French landscape artist Barrillet-Dechamps, offers elegant landscapes and an interesting Medieval Village.
  • Curious about Egyptian art and culture? The Egyptian Museum of Turin has one of the richest collections of artefacts in the world, with over 30,000 objects - including mummies.
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Rome: an ancient city full of marvels

The 3,000-year-old Italian capital is home to countless timeless masterpieces, from the majestic ruins of the Colosseum to iconic Renaissance artworks like the Trevi Fountain and the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Naturally, you'll also find plenty of delicious food and drink to explore during your weekend break. Don't miss classics like cacio e pepe and pizza al taglio.

  • The Vatican City - technically a different country, but within Rome's city limits - houses the Vatican Museums, including the beautiful frescoed ceiling of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel.
  • The Trevi Fountain marks the final point of the Aqua Virgo, one of the aqueducts that supplied ancient Rome with water. Today it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city. The crowds make taking a picture almost impossible, but it's still a spectacular sight.
  • The Castel Sant'Angelo was once the tallest building in Rome. It was originally used as a mausoleum for the emperor Hadrian and his family. Now it is a museum not to be missed.
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Other top cities for a weekend getaway in Europe

Weekend Getaways in Europe: Top Holiday Lettings

House Otricoli
12 Oct - 19 Oct
-9%
£94
£86 per night
House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms

Holiday Home in Otricoli with Pool & Terrace

Otricoli, Province of Terni, Italy
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House Konjevrate
21 Sept - 28 Sept
-20%
£40
£32 per night
House ∙ 5 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms

Holiday Home in Konjevrate with Terrace

Konjevrate, Općina Šibenik, Croatia
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HomeToGo
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House Skaven Strand
2 Nov - 9 Nov
-20%
£50
£41 per night
House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms

House in Skaven Strand with Garden, Terrace, Hot Tub

Skaven Strand, Tarm, Denmark
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HomeToGo
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The best weekend getaways for every type of trip

The best weekend getaways for every type of trip

So you can easily find a weekend getaway destination that suits your own tastes, we've highlighted some European cities which offer particularly special experiences for foodies, museum lovers, clubbers and more! With so many beautiful European city break destinations out there, you're sure to find the perfect place for your weekend getaway.

Best Cities to Visit in Europe for Culture

Best Cities to Visit in Europe for Culture

With a history dating back thousands of years, Europe's cities possess rich historical and cultural heritage. If you're looking for cities filled with interesting museums, art galleries, historical monuments, and local cuisine, Europe presents plenty of options!

  • 1. Amsterdam

    An unforgettable time awaits you in Amsterdam, a city known for its romantically bohemian lifestyle. Amsterdam is one of the most multicultural places in Europe, and is home to people representing an endless range of backgrounds and cultures. There's a long and renowned history of the arts here. Rembrandt and Van Gogh are just two of the legendary artists that lived in the city. You can even see the works of some of these artists exhibited in the very houses they lived in.

  • 2. Edinburgh

    Edinburgh is one of Europe's most picturesque cities, with physical reminders all around spanning eras like the Middle and Georgian Ages. Cultural events appealing to all tastes can be found throughout the year here. National cultural institutions such as the National Theatre of Scotland, the Scottish Ballet and the Scottish Opera offer various exciting events. The Edinburgh International Festival lasts for several weeks in August each year, as the city opens itself up to a host of events focused on the performing arts.

  • 3. Florence

    Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence mesmerises visitors with its cultural offerings ranging from architecture to art and cuisine. World-famous artists and poets such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Dante Alighieri lived here, drawing their creative inspiration from this city. Florence is home to some of the world's most important art galleries and museums, including the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia, that will captivate you with their unrivalled collection of artwork.

  • 4. Dublin

    Dublin, Ireland's largest city and capital, charms with its many castles, cathedrals, statues, and monuments. Highlights include the National Museum of Ireland and St. Patrick's Cathedral, which exemplify the best of the city's Victorian architectural style. The lively nightlife of Dublin is a key part of its vibrant culture. Dublin pubs are world-renowned, famous not only for their pints, but also for being gathering places for music and good conversation.

Top Offers for Weekend Getaways in Europe

House Amsterdam
14 Sept - 21 Sept
-26%
£172
£128 per night
House ∙ 4 guests ∙ 1 bedroom

House in Zeeburg with Terrace

3.4
(30 ratings)
Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Details
heerlijkehuisjes.com
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Apartment Amsterdam
6 Jul - 13 Jul
£142 per night
Apartment ∙ 4 guests ∙ 1 bedroom

Flat in Oostenburg

Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, Netherlands
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HousingAnywhere
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House Amsterdam
9 Nov - 16 Nov
-23%
£171
£131 per night
House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms

Holiday Home in Zeeburg with Terrace

3.3
(12 ratings)
Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Details
heerlijkehuisjes.com
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Frequently Asked Questions

What types of holiday rentals are available for Weekend Getaways?

To find an apartment and complete the planning for Weekend Getaways, browse our top-notch selection of available Apartment rental and House rentals.

Weekend Getaways: what's the average price for holiday accommodation?

Holiday homes are currently available within the price range of £115 - £167, with discounts up to 40%!

Where I can find holiday rentals for Weekend Getaways that can host a family or large group?

Mostly a Apartment rental is 61 m² and average capacity is 4 guests - ideal for medium-sized groups and families.

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