Skip to Content

10 Very Best European City Breaks From The UK

10 Very Best European City Breaks From The UK

Taking one of Europe’s city breaks is the perfect way to see some amazing European cities in a short amount of time.

A mid-week or weekend break will allow enough time to travel to Europe and enjoy a city break to discover a destination’s unique history and culture.

International travellers can also easily combine a European city break with a longer stay in any one of Europe’s great towns and cities. Once in Europe, the opportunities are limitless. There is something to suit all budgets, from luxury city breaks in Monaco to budget city breaks in Gdansk.

Each city break destination offers something unique, from the canals of Venice and dragon statues of Ljubljana to the glitz and glamour of Monaco and the rich history of Prague. They are all incredible in their own special way.

I have been fortunate to have had many European city breaks in all the destinations in this post and others, like Tromso, Tallinn, Copenhagen and Oslo, and I loved them all.

So let’s find the Top 10 Europe City Break destinations to see where your next break to Europe will take you.

This article may contain affiliate links – For more information, please read my disclaimer and privacy policy.

Do you need to arrange travel insurance, car hire or accommodation? Please check out my resources page to help you plan your trip.

Best City Breaks in Europe

Venice, Italy

Venice is everything you could imagine it to be, and this romantic city is undoubtedly one of the best city breaks for couples.

One of the world’s most beautiful, fully pedestrianised towns, you will never have to worry about traffic in Venice. Wander alongside the canals, admire the architecture and feast on pizza, vino and gelato.

Watch the gondoliers glide along the waterways and immerse yourself in the romance of this fairytale city on the water. Make a day trip to Burano from Venice to see the magical multi-coloured village in the Venetian lagoon.

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

Interested in Venice? You can find out more in my post: The Perfect Venice 3-Night Itinerary Guide.
A venice canal with a gondola parked up

Seville, Spain

Seville is a fabulous Spanish city to visit, alive with history and culture, and as you wander the cobbled streets, you can feel the passion beneath your feet.

Home to tapas, flamenco and fiestas, its charm will impress the eager visitor.  

Being the capital heritage centre of Andalusia means there are many unique things to do in Seville, making it one of the best cities in Europe for a weekend break.

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

Interested in Seville? You can find out more in my post: The Perfect Seville 3-Night Itinerary Guide.
Plaza de Espana bridge across the water

Ljubljana, Slovenia

With cobbled streets and bridges guarded by dragons, Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, is a charming place for a Europe city break.

I admit I initially didn’t know where it was. Still, after researching that it had a fairytale castle, medieval streets and cute cafes, I knew that Ljubliana would be one of the most fascinating European city breaks to discover; and it was!

Ljubljana is a compact city to explore, so you will have time during a city break to visit the beautiful Lake Bled, the location of Slovenia’s iconic lake, island and castle.

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

Interested in Ljubljana? You can find out more in my post: The Perfect Ljubljana 3-night Itinerary Guide.
View of a river running through Ljubljana, one of the cities in Europe for a short break

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague in the Czech Republic is one of the best city breaks in Europe and offers visitors a packed city break itinerary from dusk until dawn.

Stroll across the historic Charles Bridge that spans the river and find yourself in the medieval streets of the Lesser Quarter. Stop at a bohemian cafe for coffee and a chimney cake.

Climb the steep stone stairs to reach the castle and gardens and unravel its secrets. Head back to the Old Town Square, marvel at the astronomical clock, and explore the Jewish Quarter to discover more about the history of Prague.

If you fancy heading out of Prague on a day trip, you can visit the fairytale town of Cesky Krumlov or the famous Czech bone church in Kutna Hora. Or visit in December to see Prague’s beautiful Christmas markets.

Flight time from the UK is 2 hours.

Interested in Prague? You can find out more in my post: The Perfect Prague 3-Night Itinerary Guide.
View of Prague castle and river, one of the ancient cities in Europe

Dubrovnik, Croatia

One of the old walled cities in Europe is Dubrovnik, a beautiful destination with its terracotta roofs and narrow streets offering 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 dotted around the walled city and take the cable car up to the top of the mountain for a spectacular lookout.

For a day trip from Dubrovnik, cruise to the Eliphiti islands of Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan to spend time on the beach or hike the pine forests.

Dubrovnik is one of the best European city breaks for young adults, as it also has one of Croatia’s beautiful sandy beaches to enjoy.

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

Interested in Dubrovnik? You can find out more in my post: 5 Reasons to Visit Dubrovnik.
Rooftops of Dubrovnik

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges is one of the perfect cities in Europe to visit for a 3-night city 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. And in winter Bruges’ Christmas market attractions visitors from all over Europe.

Flight time from the UK is 1 hour 10 minutes to Brussels, 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.

Interested in Bruges? You can find out more in my post: The Perfect Bruges 3-Night Itinerary Guide.
Medieval houses and river in Bruges


Monaco is a unique destination along the French Riviera and the second smallest country in the world, after Vatican City in Rome. 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 on display courtesy of the yachts, supercars and fashion, then you will enjoy one incredible day in Monaco.

Due to their proximity, Nice and Monaco are European cities that can be explored on the same short break.

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

Interested in Monaco? You can find out more in my post: The Best Monaco One Day Itinerary.
Monaco city and harbour with yachts

Porto, Portugal

Porto is one of Portugal’s fabulous destinations and one of the best city breaks in October due to its mild climate. It is the hub for the famous port wine cellars of the region, and a Porto tasting tour is a must when in the city.

Discover cobbled streets, elaborate churches, street art and boat trips on the Duoro River during your stay. Visit the Livraria Lello, the bookshop made famous by J.K. Rowling.

One of the best European city breaks for foodies is Porto. 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 and 20 minutes.

Interested in Porto? You can find out more in my post: The Perfect Porto 3-nights Itinerary Guide.


Nice is a fabulous place to visit on the French Riviera. The famous 7km seafront walkway, La Promenade des Anglais, is perfect for beachside strolls past cafes, restaurants and luxury hotels.

The old town offers a step into the past with colourful buildings, narrow cobbled streets and artisan shops.

Take time to explore the markets and churches and lose yourself in the historic streets around town before settling down on the beach for sea, sun and cocktails!

Flight time from the UK is 2 hours.

Interested in Nice? You can find out more in my post: What to do in Nice, France in 24 hours.
A city break in Nice town and beach viewed from above

Budapest, Hungary

You will get the best of both worlds when you head to Budapest. The River Danube separates Buda’s old town and the newer cosmopolitan side of Pest.

Discover Buda’s Unesco world heritage area with its castle and medieval streets, one of the prettiest districts in Budapest.

Take a cruise along the Danube to see Budapest from the water.

Explore Pest with its quirky bars, 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 and 30 minutes.

Interested in Budapest? You can find out more in my post: How to Spend Three Days in Budapest.
A view of Budapest parliament and the Danube river

Useful information about weekend breaks in Europe

From 2024, travel to Europe from previous non-EU visa-exempt countries (that includes the UK) requires an ETIAS visa waiver.

Flights to Europe

All my Europe city break flights were booked with Easyjet flights from London Gatwick Airport.

Choosing a flight that leaves at lunchtime means you will arrive by late afternoon. This will give you plenty of time to drop your bags off at your hotel and start to explore your destination.

It also means you haven’t had to rise at dawn to catch your flight!

For your return flight, Choose the latest evening flight back to the UK. This will give you a full last day to explore the city.

City Break Hotels in Europe

I booked all the hotels in these cities in Europe independently through

It is a great website; you can cancel up to 24 hours before arriving without penalty. Enjoy staying in a boutique hotel, chain hotel, hostel or BnB; there’s a wide choice of accommodations on a European city break.

Package European Weekend Breaks

Suppose you prefer a package city break where flights and hotels are pre-arranged. In that case, Jet2 and Easyjet Holidays travel to all these European city destinations and sell excellent weekend breaks in Europe suitable for all budgets.

Luggage Bonus

You will only need to pack light for a weekend break in Europe, therefore saving money on paying for hold luggage. Just take a carry-on for your city break necessities.

Please Pin for Future Travel to Europe

Are you looking for Europe travel tips? Please check out the following posts:

How To Shop Tax-Free in Europe as a UK Resident

19 Most Essential Travel Tips You Need To Know Before You Visit Europe

World Travel Packing List: The Most Important Travel Products To Include

How To Solve A Travel Problem: The Best Travel Solutions You Need To Know

Jay Artale

Wednesday 5th of August 2020

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.


Wednesday 5th of August 2020

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


Wednesday 8th of July 2020

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!


Wednesday 15th of April 2020

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.


Wednesday 15th of April 2020

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

Emily Young

Thursday 5th of March 2020

Love this list! Can't wait to visit some of these cities this year :) Thank you for sharing!


Thursday 5th of March 2020

Glad you liked it. Hope you enjoy your trip.

Jenn | By land and sea

Thursday 6th of February 2020

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!!


Friday 7th of February 2020

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