Travel

Top European City Break Destinations

 

Did the January blues roll on into February for you this year? Perhaps a weekend away is exactly what the doctor ordered!  If you’re planning a much-needed city break, here’s a list of some of the most happening Continental destinations for 2019.

Rotterdam, Netherlands

If one of your resolutions was to do more with your weekend this year, then booking a European city break is the perfect choice.  While Rotterdam’s big sister Amsterdam tends to hog the limelight, we’re sure you’ll agree that Holland’s second city definitely deserves your attention as well.   To kick things off, you can now hop on the Eurostar at St Pancras and zip across to Rotterdam in just four hours – making this an ideal weekend stop!

Heavy bombing throughout the Second Word War has led to a city bursting with exciting and experimental modern architecture that is bound to interest any design fans out there.  Make sure to take in the local scenery with a fun cycling tour or take in the thriving street art scene with the help of the Rewriters app. This handy app will lead you to the coolest murals Rotterdam has to offer.

Minsk, Belarus

With the European Games heading to the Belarusian capital in June this year, we’re sure Minsk will become a hotspot on the map this Summer!  Thanks to the new 30-day visa free regime and a plethora of cocktail bars and coffee shops to explore in the Old Town, this will likely become a new hipster haven.

With many tourists commenting on the city’s cleanliness and friendly locals, this could be a great weekend getaway for more adventurous travellers, as you shouldn’t expect everyone to speak English!

Sarajevo, Bosnia

Sarajevo offers an enthralling eat-meets-west vibe that is bound to entrance new visitors.  The city’s medley of mosques, cathedrals and synagogues help to create a beautiful cityscape and the souk-like-shopping alleys are definitely worth visiting.

With a great, up-and-coming street food scene, this is a great spot for any foodies out there! The cobbled Old Town oozes history and offers tourists an insight into the devastating Bosnian civil war.  However, you’ll quickly realise that Sarajevo locals are far from stuck in the past when you join its famous (and excellent value) nightlife!

Venice, Italy

Venice is now overcrowded and a cruise ship-choked getaway, right? Well, not if you know where to go! If you dodge the Doge’s Palace and opt to hop on a vaporetto, you’ll easily leave the crowds behind you.  You may be surprised to hear that the lagoon is actually home to over 100 islands – some play host to farms and vineyards, others to ghostly ruins.  This is a great option of you want to experience the romance if Venice without the long tourist lines.

Sitges, Spain

With Barcelona becoming overrun with tourists in recent years, it is now introducing laws to help discourage visitors.  This is why it may be time to set your sights on a short distance down the Catalonian coast.

While Sitges may be far smaller than its popular neighbour, this picturesque city shares many of Barcelona’s alluring traits: a plethora of museums to discover, a warm and sun-kissed climate, a long seafront promenade and last, but by no means least, an old town chock full of chic eateries.

Aarhus, Denmark

While you may have heard of Aarhus’s famous sister Copenhagen, you should not ignore this picture-perfect city.  If you choose to take a trip to Aarhus, get ready to enjoy winding cobbled lanes and bicycle-inly streets in the Old Town.  Unsurprisingly, getting around is quickest on two wheels, which is made even easier thanks to the city’s free city bike scheme.  You can easily cycle down to the Old Town, where you can visit the popular open-air museum, Den Gamle for an unforgettable and interactive history lesson.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

If you’re a little unfamiliar with this Bulgarian city, we don’t blame you!  While Plovdiv is definitely still on the obscure list of places to visit, we doubt this will last.  It has now been named the European Capital for Culture for 2019, so get booking before everyone else uncovers this hidden gem.

Formerly known as Trimontium, this historic city is definitely the cultural hub of the country.  Kapana is definitely worth a visit if you’re a fan of workshops, galleries and creative studios. If you’re all cultured out, why not take a stroll along the cobbled streets of the Old Town and take in the bold and striking architecture Bulgaria is famous for?  You’re sure to love the brightly coloured houses that lean into the streets.

While you may be unfamiliar with many of the cities included in our guide, we guarantee you each of the cities highlighted will provide an unforgettable and immersive experience.

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