I love throwing my essentials in to my carry on and heading out on a European city break for three or four nights. I am always on the hunt for new destinations to add to my list of places to visit. Nine times out of ten I always look to fellow bloggers to find out more, because they have actually been there. Guidebooks are great but sometimes you need more information and who better to ask than a fellow traveller? With that in mind, I have worked with some great bloggers to pull together three posts which feature some amazing cities across Europe, which will hopefully help you plan your next city break and further ignite that wanderlust that lives in us all.
- European City Break Inspiration: From The Bloggers Who have Been (A-H)
- European City Break Inspiration: From The Bloggers Who have Been (I-M)
- European City Break Inspiration: From The Bloggers Who have Been (N-Z)
Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Lisa, It’s A Wanderlust World
In August my travels took me to Amsterdam and it’s safe to say it did not disappoint! I was there during a heatwave so the city was full of people enjoying life. I explored what the city had to offer including The Anne Frank Museum, The Heineken Experience and The Red Light District. My favourite experience was the boat tour along the canal where I learnt some history. Although accommodation was expensive, I found the overall price of things to be reasonable. I fell in love with Amsterdam as soon as I landed and I cannot wait to go back!
Read more about Amsterdam here – Falling in love with Amsterdam
Athens, Greece – Joanne & Craig, Our Bumble
We chose Athens because it’s one of the oldest cities in the world with ancient monuments, fascinating history and a diverse culture. The weather is great, the Greek culture is welcoming and the food is fantastic. A true cosmopolitan city where you can meet people from all corners of the world. Once you’re done with the tourist sites there are beautiful bays and harbours to put your feet up and relax. We visited in October, we had sunshine with temperatures around mid 70’s but in the evenings a little chilly, so cardigan or light coat required. All the ancient sites were great but the Acropolis really was outstanding and the views over the city were captivating. The changing of the guards at sunset was rather special but at night, we just loved p wandering through Plaka and Monastiraki district with tiny lanes and passageways packed with restaurants, cafes and shops. For us, the area around the Port of Piraeus is where the city hides its heart. Around Kentriko Liman, the traffic maddened main street of Piraeus, lie the lively market area with a myriad of bazaars and alleys selling everything from live stock and pet rabbits to rope and police uniforms. I would say mid price range with the main tourist attractions offering fair prices for the archaeological sites and museums. We purchased a 5 day tourist pass covering 6 of the top sites for a combined price of €30. As for eating out, Athens caters for every spectrum of budget from local kebab at €2 to Mitchelin restaurants at €100+. On average our evening meal cost around €30 including wine.
Read more about Athens here – Locked Out In The World’s Oldest City, Athens
Connect with Joanne & Craig on Facebook
Barcelona, Spain – Nathan, The TRVL Blog
I chose to visit Barcelona as I’ve always heard positive comments about it, mainly surrounding the architecture and the food. August is a perfect time of the year to visit the city with searing hot weather in the late 20’s, early 30’s. Sagrada La Familia is an incredible building, the detail involved is out of this world. Some areas are pricey, some aren’t. We found Barcelona cheaper than our initial thoughts, especially the restaurants, it’s just about finding those hidden gems. Las Rambla is the famed street in the city, but I’d recommend heading elsewhere, it’s too touristy, over-priced and a pick-pockets haven. I would 100% recommend visiting Barcelona, if you love unbeatable tapas and unique architecture.
Berlin, Germany – Sam, Yoko Meshi
Berlin was actually a surprise Christmas present for my partner! Germany was top of his list of European cites, so what better place to start than the capital. We visited at the start of March, it was cold – coats and woolly hats cold, it actually lightly snowed on one of the days we were there. However Berlin is a city for a lot of walking, so we actually warmed up pretty quickly and didn’t notice the weather too much. The Brandenburg Gate is stunning and is a different experience at all times of the day. The sun also sets behind it, so it is beautiful at sunset, but also take a trip in the evening when it is lit up in all its glory. For something a little different I recommend the Museum of Computer Games, it is such good fun if you have a spare hour or two. I did not find the city too expensive, but I live in London so the prices where pretty much the same. However I know some people do find London prices expensive. I was so excited to see the Berlin Wall, I love motivated thoughtful street art but unfortunately a lot of the Berlin wall is now protected / covered by barriers from where people have graffited over the top, which is incredibly sad. While you can still see it, you can’t as well as used to be able to, I also find it sad that people have ruined some of the art that was created at a crucial time during German history. If you do enjoy street art though, Berlin is covered in amazing art, it is a really creative minded city. Berlin has made me want to explore so much more of Germany.
Read more about Berlin here – Nine Unique Things You Must Do In Berlin
Budapest, Hungry – Daisy, Prettygreentea
I’d always wanted to visit Budapest ever since I read about their thermal baths in a travel book. There’s a classic photo of men playing chess surrounded by the steam from the baths in Budapest. I really wanted to see and experience this for myself. We visited Budapest during the shoulder season of March. The weather was still cold so we needed to wrap up warm. My favourite attractions were: Széchenyi Baths, Castle Hill and Gellert Hill and Chain Bridge in the evening. I found Budapest to be very cheap. In terms of food we were paying around £10 for food and drinks, usually wine or cocktails, per person. I would highly recommend visiting Budapest. I personally think that a long weekend break is the ideal amount of time in the city. Continental Zara Hotel – is a beautiful hotel with lovely and helpful staff. The rooms were all clean, spacious and very modern. The breakfast is excellent too.
Read more about Budapest here – 6 Places to Eat in Budapest
Cluj Napoca, Romania – Cristina, Look and Walk
I chose to visit Cluj Napoca because my father was born here and I’ve always kept a strong connection with the city but haven’t visited for pleasure, as an adult, until this year. I went in August with the purpose of writing an article about best places to take selfies. I love everything about the city but the Old Town remains my favorite. As for outside the city, Turda Salt Mine (in Turda) is amazing. I stayed with family so accommodation was free. The city is not expensive, though. Sure, there are expensive restaurants but it is a university city,so prices match the students’ money (or lack there of). I am biased, so I say there’s nothing that I dislike about Cluj Napoca. I would recommend visiting and I am glad that a lot of foreigners do visit (feel free to ask me for advice!) If you come to Cluj Napoca, make sure to create a small Transylvania itinerary and include places like Sighisoara, Sibiu and Brasov in it.
Read more about Cluj Napoca here – 14 Things to do in Cluj Napoca and close by
Copenhagen, Denmark – Becky, Girl Goes To
I love Scandinavian style cities. They have this great cafe culture that I can’t get enough of and I had heard great things about Copenhagen being a foodie haven so I had to give it a go myself. I visited in January and the weather was very wet and very cold. I was hoping for snow but no such luck. If you go this time of year I would suggest you wrap up and have a good quality waterproof jacket. I found this little local restaurant called Schonnemann which I cannot rave about enough. The locals queue up outside waiting for it to open and they serve the best smorrebrod and schnapps. Copenhagen is crazy expensive! I spent more on food and drink whilst there than I did on the flight and hotel combined. Aside from the cost of everything, there wasn’t anything I didn’t like. I genuinely love Copenhagen. I would recommend visiting a million percent yes! Just do some serious saving first.
Read more about Copenhagen here – Denmark Archives
Dublin, Ireland – Francesca, Francesca Andrews
I live in Bristol so Dublin is only a short flight away. I’ve heard so many good things about Dublin so it seemed like the ideal choice for a long weekend away. I visited in October and had fantastic weather. Bright blue skies and a slight crisp in the air. The leaves were starting to turn orange so I got plenty of beautiful photos. Ireland is renowned for rain though, so take an umbrella no matter what time of year you go! I’d have to say the tour of the Guinness storehouse was a personal highlight and a great attraction. Even if beer isn’t your thing, the view from the Gravity bar is unreal. Like most capital cities, food and drink can be expensive in the tourist hot spots but everywhere else is reasonable. It is a city proud of it’s history and will soon feel like a home from home.
Read more about Dublin here – A Surprise Trip to Dublin
Edinburgh – Danielle, Boots Not Roots
Edinburgh is the “birth-place” of the Harry Potter series so naturally as a huge fan this city quickly made it to the top of my bucket-list. For my birthday in May, my best friend and I packed our best pair of Wellies to arrive in a surprisingly sunny and warm Edinburgh. With only 24 hours in Edinburgh we headed to Edinburgh Castle for epic views and a strong dose of Scottish history. Despite the hit to the pocket (it’s quite expensive!), Edinburgh is an amazing European city break with new coffee-shops and brewpubs popping up left and right. Well worth a visit!
Read more about Edinburgh here – 24 hours in Edinburgh and why you need a longer visit
Gothenburg – Hattie & Seb, Cats and Backpacks
We chose to visit Gothenburg because we scored an amazing deal on flights- £12pp return! We couldn’t say no at that price. We enjoyed wandering through the City- particularly Haga- and soaking up the atmosphere. Oh, and we played a brilliant Escape Game too! Most things are pretty expensive, but we had a delicious meal the The BARN which was cheap compared to the rest of the City.Although there’s not loads to do, Gothenburg makes a great- slightly more unusual- City break. We’d definitely recommend visiting for a couple of days.
Read more about Gothenburg here – My New Obsession and Time in Gothenburg
Heidelberg, Germany – Nicola, Being Buttons
I visited Heidelberg in early April to stay with a friend who was studying there for a year and was blessed with mild spring weather. The city is very picturesque, and is perfect for walking around and exploring at your own pace, with options for all budgets. I would recommend visiting the castle for the views over the city and River Neckar – if you go after 6pm you can get onto the terrace for free! I also enjoyed my walk along the philosophenweg to see the Heidelberg Thingstätte, an open-air theatre built during the Third Reich.
Read more about Heidelberg here – Heidelberg, Germany
Helsinki, Finland – Sophie, Sophie’s Suitcase
I had visited Stockholm and Copenhagen previously, and fell in love, and wanted to see what the capital of Finland had to offer. I visited in February so the weather was super cold, there was a little snow and there was a mist in the air. Helsinki is an incredible city with lots to see and do. The city is based across 300+ islands and even had a sea fortress! Top things to do include: Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki Zoo, Helsinki Cathedral, Seurasaari Open-Air Museum and Suomenlinna Sea Fortress. It was a little more expensive than the UK, and eating out could become expensive so best to be organised and fill up on breakfast where possible. There was lots of walking, public transport wasn’t always easy to navigate. But walking isn’t a bad thing, it was just tiring! Yes, of course I would recommend visiting! I had such a great time exploring the city and finding incredible cafes on street corners serving the most incredible coffee!
Read more about Sophie’s European adventures here – Europe
I hope these fantastic write ups have given you some food for thought, have you been to any of these cities? We’d love to hear your thoughts on them. Or have you visited anywhere (A-H) that you would recommend and why?
Thank you again to all the wonderful bloggers who were involved in producing this post!