15 best Europe city breaks 2022: best cities for a weekend break - from Paris to Prague and Amsterdam
Jetting around Europe can be as easy as a whistle-stop weekend or a longer leisurely stay
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Europe offers a clutch of cultural splendour, with classics like Paris, Amsterdam and Rome popular destinations for short spring breaks every year.
But as the summer slowly rolls in, and we’re offered a host of bank holidays, there are fresh, offbeat places deserving of acknowledgement too.
Deciding where to go is never an easy task, but these dynamic European cities are just a quick journey away.
Here are some of the best city breaks in Europe:
Only 3 hours and 10 minutes from London by plane, this picturesque city is perfect for a standalone city break.
As Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik is the pulsing heart of a quirky exploration, all to be taken in slowly and with style.
During the summer, the country offers the midnight sun, but you can take a dip in the renowned Blue Lagoon, or wander through contemporary museums like the Perland.
Striking Scandinavian architecture can be unveiled through the cities Churches and Cathedrals such as the Hallgrimskirkja.
Driving 30 miles out of the dreamy capital reveals otherworldly glimpses of glaciers and lava fields. Whilst east of the city is the stunning Thingvellir National Park.
Think citrus. Among the Moorish architecture and old-world glamour, Seville offers skin glowing heat and plenty to sightsee.
The Andalusian capital is a walking city, with private and luxury tours like the Cathedral of Seville (which holds Columbus’ tomb inside), Flamenco shows and bus tours around the White Villages.
Exuding big-city energy, but in a sunshine colour, Malta’s elegant capital, Valletta, is perfect for those seeking both sites and culture. This compact city break offers a UNESCO-listed experience, offering dramatic cathedrals, gilded gardens, and the contemporary Parliament Building.
With a circa of 1566, this city is steeped in history being built between two natural harbours.
Day cruises around the harbours can result in a step back into the 17th century, with the Three Cities, a trio of fortified towns, waiting to be discovered.
Malta offers a host of cheap coastal stays which are perfect for days lounging on the beach, for couples and families alike.
Stockholm is just under two and a half hours from London, but transports you to a slice of Scandinavian living. In a city connected by bridges, spread across 14 islands, this quirky capital is best seen in the summer, by boat.
Each island unveils its own scenery, a gradient from historic old towns to art hubs, to what seems to be a green oasis.
With each island offering something different, Stockholm is perfect for adventures who love to explore new cultures.
Still in Scandinavia, but less than two hours from London, this instagrammable city deserves more than a quick visit. Packed with design inspiration, Copenhagen is style.
Home to The Little Mermaid statue, the Tivoli Gardens, and 17th century castles, Copenhagen offers a hybrid between old world glamour and contemporary living, making it perfect for those who like mixing cultural days with an active nightlife.
Denmark is also home to the Danish Pastry, so sampling traditional cuisines is a must!
Renaissance-inspired Florence is a classic city break, and perfect for beginners and seasoned travellers alike.
Immersed with infamous art like Michelangelo’s David in the Galleria dell’Accademia, and with works by Botticelli, Caravaggio and da Vinci only a stone’s throw away in Uffizi - if culture is the aim, then Florence is the place to be.
With frescos, chappals, and of course world-famous Italian cuisine, this sensational city is the palace to jet to in a beat - perfect for spring and summer.
If you’re looking for a typically European city to chill, Amsterdam is ideal. With ample fresh air, and a less than an hour and a half trip from London, this creative city is all about culture and architecture.
Amsterdam is home to the world-renowned Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Anne Frank’s House, Amsterdam also has immersive museums. This active and vibrant city is perfect for those who love pops of colour.
With a major historical event occurring just over 30 years ago, Berlin offers an unrivalled glimpse into the past with a contrasting lunge into the future.
In one weekend, visit the remains of the Berlin Wall and check out the cool cafes and hip bars lining the streets, making this place perfect for history lovers and nightlife goers.
Paris has the allure of glamour, known for its decadent image, its picturesque buildings and authentic European vibes.
But aside from the usual tourist attractions, catch a film in the Latin Quarter’s arthouse cinema, or try the Grande Mosquée’s cafe offering Northern African cuisine.
Paris has the added bonus of being a relatively short journey. From London the flight time is just over an hour, while travelling by train on Eurostar takes just over two hours.
Lisbon is home to pastel buildings and old-world towns, with towers, castles and Portuguese bakeries.
This city is relaxed, and great for people who love to wander at their own pace, uncovering attractions as they stroll by. The Alfama neighbourhood is the oldest area of the capital city, and is steeped in its own historical importance.
A shot of Ginjinha, a Portuguese cherry-like liquor costs only one euro, and you can have it with a cherry or a chocolate wafer, which sweetens the deal.
The Lisbon card offers a package deal with unlimited usage of public transport and free admissions into popular museums in the form of a 24 hour, 48 hours or 72 hours card, with the 24 hour card costing £17.71 at the time of this article.
The dreamy city of Athens is hypnotic with its hybrid skyline dotted with modern and ancient architecture.
Visit the iconic Acropolis, or the Temple of Poseidon for a dose of ancient Greecian life. Or if something more contemporary is your choice, explore through the flea market in the Monastiraki Neighbourhood, and visit the National Museum of Contemporary Art.
Athens is also home to splendid hiking trails and nature walks through their abundance of parks.
Prague, Czech Republic
The City of a Hundred Spires offers a church around every corner, spread with Gothic and baroque architecture.
This city is known for its food tours and cheap beer, but offers so much more. It’s UNESCO-protected Castle is a grand site to roam as it sits on the highest part of the city.
But explore the Jewish Quarter to learn of the history of the Golem, or feel the pull to the Astronomical Clock that comes alive every hour.
Fans of The Beatles can linger over the John Lennon Wall which is saturated in wild art and memorabilia dedicated to the band after the death of John Lennon.
This UNESCO protected walled city is perfect for explorers who think city breaks are for discovery. Through the winding streets, you will discover perfectly preserved Baroque architecture, and gain a deep tan on lazy walks across the summer coastline.
Visit the Walls of Dubrovnik, or take the Cable Car to see the whole city from the sky. Island hop to see hidden caves in bays or for those who love to do something more daring, try sky-zipping across this picturesque city.
Vienna makes a dreamy winter wonderland, perfect for that time before Christmas. But, with its cobbled squares, and crisp architecture, this capital city makes a splendid summer break too.
Known for its regality, visit the classical Schönbrunn Palace and beguiling ballrooms or stop by to listen to Mozart’s legacy.
Austria is a quick city break, essential for anyone who loves royalty and grandeur in the form of baroque and rococo architecture.
Only a short trip across the sea, Dublin makes for a spectacular weekend away - or even longer if you love greenery.
With its down to earth atmosphere, this legendary revelry city is one not to miss. Party in the Temple Bar, or visit the Guinness factory - and for something stronger, take a tour of the Old Jameson Distillery.
Teetotal? Wander through the unique Spire of Dublin, or marvel at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and get lost in Dublin’s castle. For any literature fans, the James Joyce Museum sits near the coast, offering a relaxing afternoon.
Narrow streets and beautiful Georgian squares scream European getaway, but the rich historical city compels you to stay.