Top 5 City Breaks

Top 5 European City Breaks, 2018

With so many spectacular cities on our doorstep, it is no easy task to choose where to go for a weekend away with your partner, friends or family. This guide to European city breaks in 2018 will give you a helping hand in choosing a destination, getting the best deal and making the most out of the time you have away.

If you are of a spontaneous disposition then you may enjoy scouring the SkyScanner Inspire Map that allows you to see where your flight budget could take you on any given month. Warning: this fun tool will suck up hours of time if you let it!

skyscanner inspire me

SkyScanner – Inspire Me tool

Tip: on the SkyScanner Inspire page, you can set your budget and choose direct routes only in the top left hand side of the website 

Without any further ado, here are the top 5 city breaks you should consider this year:

1. Amsterdam

This was an easy choice for the breaks.com team for a whole host of reasons. First and foremost is the Dutch capitals proximity to the UK which makes it very accessible and “doable” in a weekend which makes it a genuine weekend city break. EasyJet are the airline of choice when travelling from the UK to Amsterdam because of the flight frequency and low costs; you can get tickets for £26, including from London Airports. Take a look at the easyJet Amsterdam deals here.

On arrival to Amsterdam, you will find yourself in the best airport in Europe that is a breathe of fresh air for regular travellers. With time a premium, you probably won’t want to hang around the airport for shopping and food but that is something to leave an hour or 2 for when you are on your return journey. You can quickly get from Schiphol airport to central Amsterdam for a few euros thanks to the very regular intercity shuttle underground service. Note: you can easily buy a ticket on arrival at the airport at one of the many electronic payment terminals and there is an English language option on the screens.

If you are looking for a romantic weekend away then the tulips that drape over the many bridges create the perfect backdrop. Explore the cobbled shopping streets in the day and, if you’re trying to show off your cultural prowess, then a visit to Museum Square is a must. Rijksmuseum is the crown in this artistic and historic collection of international masterpieces and provides something of interest to those of all ages and persuasions. Take one of the many riverboat tours that take place through the canals in the evening to see the city from a different perspective and get a phone full of Instagram worthy pictures!

When you visit Amsterdam, you can’t fail to miss the affection for their home-brewed booze: Heineken. The green sign is attached to nearly all cafés (read: pubs) and you can get a cold, heady beer throughout the city. It is worth squeezing in a tour to the Heineken Experience while visiting Amsterdam so you can fully appreciate the cold beverage (and a good excuse for just one more!).

Accessible, vibrant, artistic, picturesque, affordable and fun. Go to Amsterdam in 2018!

amsterdam break

One of the many bridges in beautiful Amsterdam

2. Prague

No longer just the preserve of stag and hen do’s on the hunt for a cheap few nights out, Prague is an increasingly popular city break destination. Prague still offers a very affordable long weekend away that provides sightseeing, culture, entertainment and cuisine for all lucky enough to head to the Czech capital. Thanks to budget airlines, you can get cheap flights to Prague with easyJet and that leaves more in your pocket to spend on arrival.

Even if you spend most of the daylight hours inside nursing a hangover from the cheap drinks the night before, Prague at night is a view that is worth the trip in itself. Head to the Old Town to take in the picture perfect combination of historic buildings, lighting and a winding river. Walking over Charles Bridge will give you a different aspect and ticks off sightseeing at the same time as a romantic moment (or some nice pics with friends)!

We have written a guide to Prague that outlines the best things to do when visiting this city. The key highlights are Prague Castle, Wenceslas Square, the city zoo, the Jewish Quarter and a Vltava River cruise.

Tip: head to Prague in December to experience the famous Prague Christmas Markets 

 

3. Bruges

Next on the 2018 city break hit list is beautiful Bruges. This city break is likely to be more a strain on your wallet than Prague but is worth every penny! The iconic market squares are connected by cobbled streets that form a walkway around the medieval buildings; the sheer beauty and history of the city centre has earned Bruges the protected UNESCO World Heritage site status.

The Church of Our Lady is a gothic building famous for its height and occupant. A masterpiece from the Italian Michelangelo is housed at the church so art lovers flock to see the Madonna and Child sculpture. Add it to your list too.

If you fancy a bit of exercise then climb Belfort Tower to be rewarded with arguably the best view in the city. Once back on terra firma, head to the canal (you will never be far away) to get a boat trip that will take you around this famous Belgium waterway.

Fancy Bruges? Our guide to Bruges provides you with an itinerary that will leave you feeling fulfilled by the time you get back on the plane to come home.

Bruges Canal

 

4. Nice, France

There isn’t much love lost between the French and Brits but put that aside for the sake a city break to Nice! The only non-capital in our top 5 city break list, Nice is a chic seafront city break that deserves to be considered when you are next looking for a getaway. Take in the mega yachts that are moored up in the port before taking to the water yourself on a slightly different vehicle: a jetski. Tamer tourists may instead elect to do some sea fishing before coming back to shore to taste the superb seafood on offer at restaurants through the city.

You can easily kill a few hours by walking through the winding streets of old town Nice. A shoppers paradise and a relaxing way to while away some time on a sunny Mediterranean afternoon, the old town is very popular with visitors throughout the year.

Indulge in the artistic world of Matisse at the museum that takes the French artists name. You can get some more inspiration of places to go and see in our regularly updated Nice city guide for 2018. If nothing else takes your fancy then you can do a lot worse than to lay on the beach and top up your tan!

Nice in France

 

5. London

Yep, you read it right, London. Staycations are cool in 2018 and London will not disappoint. While you may think you know your way around the city, you will always find hidden gems with each visit. Although less of a cultural excursion in comparison to the European city breaks mentioned further up in this list, London can provide Brits with a food & drink, entertainment and experience treat day-in-day-out.

It is hard to highlight any particular activity or bar in this post as it depends what you are looking for as well as what you have done before. The best way to get inspiration for your next London trip is to visit our London tourist page to hear about the best places to stay, visit, eat and drink.

city trip to london

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Wherever you choose to travel in 2018, we wish you a fun-filled trip and would love to hear about your travels!

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