When it comes to city breaks, nowhere does it better than Europe. From the cobbled streets of Bruges to the mosaics of Barcelona or the hidden pubs of Budapest, there are so many cities to choose from to get a firm fix of culture and history. Here we've picked our top 10 favourites - all tried and tested by our team - so that you can get inspired in time for your next getaway.
When it comes to bustling nightlife, colourful streets and sun-soaked beaches, no place quite compares to Barcelona. Enjoy the very best that this Spanish city has to offer by sampling some of the region’s finest produce at the famous La Boqueria market or admiring the stunning architecture of the Santa Maria Del Mar church. For those who enjoy beautiful art, the mosaics found in Park Guell and the Picasso museum both provide sightseers with the perfect culture fix.
Cobbled streets, medieval buildings and calm waterways are all to be found in Belgium’s city of Bruges. Bruges has exploded in popularity in recent years as more and more visitors discover the stunning history of this Belgian town, and it’s easy to see why. Head up the 366 steps of the Belfry medieval bell tower if you want some brilliant camera shots to take home with you, and don’t forget to indulge by buying some classic Belgian chocolate from one of the city’s many chocolate shops.
Sun-kissed and summery, Portugal’s capital city Lisbon is a true gem of a place. Hop on a tram to explore Lisbon’s heritage with its many landmarks and museums, or head up to the top of the Rua Augusta Arch for incredible views of the entire city. If you’re feeling peckish, the Time Out Mercado Da Ribeira is Lisbon’s most famous food market and lets you try cuisine from all over the world. Perfect for all you foodies out there.
Who says you have to get on a plane to enjoy some European culture? Our very own capital city here in the UK is renowned for its iconic landmarks and trendy streets. Whether you’re trying some tasty street food in Camden’s markets, relaxing in one of the parks or heading to a concert in the Royal Albert Hall or O2 Arena, London really does have something for everyone.
They don’t call Paris the City of Love for no reason. With its beautiful streets, romantic settings and authentic landmarks, Paris is the ultimate getaway for holidaymakers who fancy a trip away without the long travel times or complications. Relax on a riverboat cruise to see the sights on the Seine, discover a hidden gem of a restaurant in one of the city’s many backstreets, or head up the Eiffel Tower to really make the most of this gorgeous city.
Explore history like never before with a trip to Germany’s capital. From stunning street art, to the famous Reichstag building where you can enjoy audio tours and panoramic views of the entire city, Berlin is renowned for its interactive museums and historic past. You can walk the Berlin Wall and learn more about the city’s divide before 1990, or hop on a bike and cycle around the Berlin’s many hotspots. Culture and history at its finest.
With flights to the Netherlands taking less than an hour, if you’re looking for a quick and easy getaway there really is no better city than Amsterdam. Packed with hazy coffee shops, fascinating museums and the eye-opening Red Light District, this Netherlands city is a must-see for people of all ages. Head over for some crazy New Year celebrations if you really fancy breaking in the new year in style.
Situated on the beautiful Vltava river, Prague is the ultimate holiday destination for those interested in beautiful cultural attractions straight from the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque eras. Visit the Old Town Hall - completed in 1338 - to get your historic fix, or go on a walking tour of the Prague Castle to really get to the heart of the Czech Republic’s capital.
It’s an old adage, but it still holds true that “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.” With over 2,000 years worth of history to explore in this iconic Italian city, it’s easy to see why people return to Rome time and time again. Whether you’re admiring the ancient ruins of the Roman Forum, reading up on the long and bloody history of the Colosseum, or sipping on a coffee by the Trevi Fountain, Rome is a city that deserves a spot on everyone’s Travel Bucket List.
Discover famous baths, downtown cafes, the stunning Opera House and much more with a trip to Budapest. Mingle with the locals in one of the city’s Ruin Pubs - located in formerly abandoned buildings and open to some of Hungarian’s best bands and entertainment - or take a cruise trip on the Danube for the best views.
Have these amazing cities got you inspired yet? If you're interested in taking a trip to one of Europe's classic city destinations, then get in touch with the Holidays By Design team today!