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10 Beautiful European City Breaks from the UK

venice canal

Some of the best city breaks in Europe can be visited on a short break from the UK. A day, a weekend or slightly longer will allow you to immerse yourself in the history and culture of some of the best cities in the world.

I have been fortunate to have visited all these destinations and have enjoyed every one of them. From the canals of Venice and dragons of Ljubljana to the glitz and glamour of Monaco, each destination offers something unique.

So let’s find out my favourite Top 10 Europe City Break Destinations to see whether they could become yours as well.

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Pinterest Graphic of City Breaks

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A Europe City Break to Venice, Italy

Venice is everything you could imagine it to be and more and is my personal favourite European city. One of the most beautiful fully pedestrianised towns in the world, you will never have to worry about traffic. Wander alongside the canals, admire the architecture and feast on pizza, vino and gelato.

Watch the gondoliers glide along the waterways with their passengers and immerse yourself in the romance of this fairytale city on water.

Flight time from the UK is 2 hours, 5 minutes.

Find out more in my blog post: The Perfect Venice 3-Night Itinerary Guide.

A venice canal with a gondola parked up
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A Europe City Break to Seville, Spain

Seville is alive with history and culture, and as you wander the cobbled streets, you can feel the passion beneath your feet. The home to tapas, flamenco and fiestas it is sure to impress the eager visitor with its charm.  Being the capital heritage centre of Andalusia means there are so many unique things to do in Seville, which makes it an excellent place for a city break to Spain.

Flight time from the UK is 2 hours, 45 minutes.

Find out more in my blog post:  The Perfect Seville 3-Night Itinerary Guide.

Plaza de Espana
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A Europe City Break to Ljubljana, Slovenia

With cobbled streets and bridges guarded by dragons the town of Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital is a charming place for a European city break. I must admit I didn’t have a clue where it was, but after doing my research and discovering a fairytale castle, medieval streets and cute cafes, I just knew I had to visit.

Flight time from the UK is 2 hours, 5 mins.

Find out more in my blog post: The Perfect Ljubljana 3-night Itinerary Guide.

View of a river running through Ljubljana

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A Europe City Break to Prague, Czech Republic

A break to Prague will offer you a packed itinerary from dusk until dawn. Stroll across the historic Charles Bridge that spans the river and find yourself in the medieval streets the Lesser quarter. Stop at a bohemian cafe for coffee and chimney cake.

Climb the steep stone stairs to reach the castle and gardens and spend some time unravelling its secrets. Head back to the Old Town square and marvel at the astronomical clock and explore the Jewish Quarter to discover more about the history of Prague.

Flight time from the UK is 2 hours.

Find out more in my blog post: The Perfect Prague 3-Night Itinerary Guide

View of Prague castle and river

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A Europe City Break to Dubrovnik, Croatia

The walled city is a beautiful destination to visit and with its terracotta roofs and narrow streets offers the visitor a glimpse into its colourful past. Walk the ramparts or head to the island of Lokrum where peacocks roam freely.

Enjoy a meal in one of the many fabulous cafes that are dotted around the walled city and take the cable car up to the top of the mountain for a spectacular lookout.

Flight time from the UK is 2 hours, 45 minutes.

Find out more in my blog post: 5 Reasons to Visit Dubrovnik.

Visit Dubrovnik on a European Break and see the red rooftops

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A Europe City Break to Bruges, Belgium

Bruges is the perfect European city to visit for a 3-night break. A picturesque destination with plenty to see and do, Bruges offers pedestrian-friendly streets, beautiful waterways and medieval architecture. Chocolate shops, waffles and beer tastings are a bonus for food lovers who will find that every turn will take them to gastronomy heaven.

Flight time from the UK is 1 hour 10 minutes to Brussels, and then Bruges is 60 miles away and can be reached by train.

Eurostar from St Pancras to Bruges takes 4 hours with a change in Brussels.

Find out more in my blog post: The Perfect Bruges 3-Night Itinerary Guide

A city break to the European town of Bruges with its medieval houses and canals

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A Europe City Break to Monaco

Monaco is a unique destination being the second smallest country in the world, the first being Vatican City. Prince Albert II of the Royal Family Grimaldi is Monaco’s ruler. If you love glitz and glamour and are curious to see the wealth that is on display courtesy of the yachts, supercars and fashion, then you will enjoy one incredible day in Monaco.

Flight time from the UK is 2 hours, 5 minutes.

Nice and Monaco can both be explored on a European city break due to their proximity.

Find out more in my blog post: The Best Monaco One Day Itinerary

Take a European city break to Monaco and view its harbour with yachts

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A Europe City Break to Porto, Portugal

Porto is the hub for the famous port wine cellars of the region. Joining a tasting tour around them is a must when in the city. Discover cobbled streets and elaborate churches and boat trips on the Duoro River during your stay. Visit the Livraria Lello, the bookshop made famous by J.K.Rowling.

Indulge in the traditional Portuguese custard tarts and if you have a hearty appetite the Francesinha sandwich, maybe once tried never repeated!

Flight time from the UK is 2 hours, 20 minutes.

Find out more in my blog post: The Perfect Porto 3-nights Itinerary Guide.

view from the Duoro river

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A Europe City Break to Nice, France

Nice is a fabulous place to visit with its 7km walkway alongside the seafront named La Promenade des Anglais. The beach, although pebbles, runs the entire length and is lined with cafes, restaurants and luxury hotels.

The old town offers a step into the past with colourful buildings, narrow cobbled streets and artisan shops. Explore markets and churches and finish off with an ice-cream from one of the many vendors residing there.

Flight time from the UK is 2 hours.

Find out more in my blog post: What to do in Nice France in 24 hours.

A city break in Nice town and beach viewed from above
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A Europe City Break to Budapest, Hungary

You will get the best of both worlds when you head to Budapest. The old town of Buda old town and the newer cosmopolitan side of Pest are separated by the River Danube. Discover the Unesco area of Buda with its castle and medieval streets, one of the prettiest districts.

Take a cruise along the Danube to see Budapest from the water. Explore Pest with its quirky bars and head to the famous New York Cafe for cake and coffee and then escape to the spa baths just outside the city. Budapest has so much to offer for a short European city break.

Flight time from the UK is 2 hours, 30 minutes.

A view of Budapest parliament and the Danube river
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I hope my top 10 destinations in Europe have given you plenty of ideas to book your next trip.

All travel was with Easyjet flights from London Gatwick Airport.

Flying out at lunchtime means you will arrive by late afternoon giving you the first afternoon/evening to explore. It also means you haven’t had to rise at the crack of dawn!

Flying back late in the evening means you will get a full last day to explore the city.

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You May Also Like to Read:

Top Tips For Travelling To European Cities
How to Pack Light for an Incredible 3-Night Stay

 

About Author

Angela Price

Angie is a full-time travel writer with over 30 years of travel experience. She has always had a passion for travel, and after a 3-month world trip with her 18-year-old son, she created her popular travel blog to share her adventures with a wider audience. When Angie is at home in the UK, she enjoys exploring the English countryside, visiting castles and gardens and planning her next big adventure. Her motto is "Live Life Wandering not Wondering".

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Jay Artale
9 months ago

We missed out on our trip to Bruges .. it’s been on my list for so long, and we were making our way up from France to go and spend three days there, but then our plans went awry … I didn’t realised that you could get there from the UK on the Eurostar, now that would be a great way to travel there. As I get older, I’m liking train travel a lot better than flying.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Jay Artale
9 months ago

Hopefully next year you will be able to get to Bruges. It is very easy by Eurostar.

Ann
10 months ago

Oh I would love to Seville, Spain and go for a weekend in Monaco, and we have actually talked about both of them, but we never really came around to it!

Sue
1 year ago

Great list & there are still a couple I need to check out. You picked some truly beautiful cities here & it just emphasises how lucky we are in the UK to be so close. Looking forward to when I can now discover Ljubljana & Monaco…fingers crossed not too long.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Sue
1 year ago

Good choices Sue. Both offering very different experiences and both completely wonderful in their own right.

Emily Young
1 year ago

Love this list! Can’t wait to visit some of these cities this year 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Emily Young
1 year ago

Glad you liked it. Hope you enjoy your trip.

Jenn | By land and sea
Jenn | By land and sea
1 year ago

We have visited a few of these spots ourselves. I think it must be so fantastic to live within good proximity of these beautiful places!!

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Jenn | By land and sea
1 year ago

Yes I am lucky to be able to get to most of Europe in a few hours

Sebastien
Sebastien
1 year ago

I created this poll to get public thoughts on the best European city trip destination:

https://pobll.com/poll/what-is-your-favorite-city-trip-destination-in-europe-101/

Would be great to have your thoughts, thanks !

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Sebastien
1 year ago

I voted Venice , no-where can beat it in my eyes.

Lisa
1 year ago

I spent some time in the Balkans last year and particularly like the cities of Sarajevo, Skopje, and Sofia, would consider those for some less touristy spots.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Lisa
1 year ago

I’ve read a few blogs on Skopje and it does sound an interesting place to visit.

Karen
1 year ago

Great list. I would also add Bratislava and Wroclaw to that list for less touristy places to experience. kx

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Karen
1 year ago

Thanks, I’m heading to Wroclaw in August so I hope that will make it on next years list! Thanks for the suggestions

Amy Tull
Amy Tull
1 year ago

What a great roundup of short trips for the UK. How lucky you are to have all these destinations so close by. Do you fly or do you take trains?

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Amy Tull
1 year ago

We fly. So easy and relatively cheap.

WhereAngieWanders
Admin
1 year ago

I’m glad there are a couple left for you to explore. Have fun on your next trip 😃

Susan Pazera
1 year ago

Love this list. As expats from the US, we will be based in Spain soon so we can really explore Europe, and your list will come in handy. We’ll be visiting Seville next spring, as it happens.
Cheers,
Susan

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Susan Pazera
1 year ago

How lovely. You will be placed perfectly to explore everything Europe has to offer. Have a great time in Seville 😃

Jennifer Mostert
1 year ago

I’m tucked away in the bottom of Africa, I am so envious of people who live so close to Europe and can take a quick break to these amazing cities. I have visited a couple on the list, so far Prague was my favourite.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Jennifer Mostert
1 year ago

Yes, Prague is an amazing city, so full of character. My favourite will always be Venice, just so magical, however, I have probably done more long-haul trips than Europe ones even though it is so close!

The Holidaymaker
The Holidaymaker
1 year ago

I agree and love your list of options, I have visited half of these wonderful places (Venice, Monaco, Bruges, Prague, Nice) and will be visiting Dubrovnik this year. But, above all I would love to visit Budapest. One day.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  The Holidaymaker
1 year ago

You won’t be disappointed with Budapest. It is wonderful.

the Curious Pixie
1 year ago

Great list of places! I’ve not been to Prague yet, would love to go.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  the Curious Pixie
1 year ago

It’s beautiful. So gothic and historical and great food.

Bree
1 year ago

Oh what great destinations. I have been to some such as Seville and Porto…Will be going to Budapest and Prague in July this year. So your post came up at such a good time.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Bree
1 year ago

Prague is sensational, so much to see and do. Budapest is always wonderful. You have chosen two great places to visit.

Sue Davies
Sue Davies
1 year ago

Great list of places to go from the UK. I’ve been to several. Seville, Budapest, Venice and Prague–all great places.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Sue Davies
1 year ago

Yes I’m so lucky they are all such short flights.

Slavka
1 year ago

A great choice! Can be easily explored on a long weekend. I haven’t made it Porto, Seville and Bruges, yet. Hopefully soon 🙂

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Slavka
1 year ago

I love jetting off to Europe for a quick city break. I hope you get to visit again soon. 😃

Karthika
1 year ago

Wow! I want to go to each and every one of them. Seville and Croatia are high on my list for sure. Is there one you would pick above all else?

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Karthika
1 year ago

Yes it would be Venice without a doubt 😍

Georgina
1 year ago

I would really like to visit Slovenia and Croatia – as you say, these places are easy to get to from UK. I must make the effort to visit them soon.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Georgina
1 year ago

I love being able to take short flights and then arriving at such different destinations to the UK. They are both really wonderful countries.

Emma
1 year ago

We’ve been to Venice and Split in Croatia and adored both holidays. We went in Mar/May time so it was cool but sunny which was lovely. They’re both such lovely cities to explore. My all time favourite is Rome as there is so much history. Definitely going to bare in mind some of these for our next break – we’re off to Copenhagen, Denmark soon!

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Emma
1 year ago

Yes, I’ve been to Rome, it is a great city but didn’t make it onto my favourites list. You will love Copenhagen. I visited the Christmas markets which were lovely but it was very cold there in December!

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