Best City Breaks in Europe For For a Long Weekend
With spring just around the corner, now is the time to get thinking about booking your well-deserved bank holiday city breaks. There are so many incredible cities that are great for a weekend escape in Europe, whether it’s a foodie adventure or a walk through history, but choosing the best place to go for bank holiday is hard when time is so precious. We’ve put together a list of the best cities for a bank holiday break, taking time and travel costs into consideration so you won’t even have to dig deep into the wallet!
Read on to find out the best spring destinations for a bank holiday city break in Europe this 2019 (in no particular order...)
Just a few hours by Eurostar, it’s no surprise that Paris gets a shoutout as being one of our ideal bank holiday spots. Paris is a bucket list city so whether you’ve yet to explore the city before or it’s your fifth time there, a trip over the English Channel to see the City of Lights is a must! While away your time wandering around the Louvre or taking in views from the Sacre Coeur, or enjoy a more relaxing break away from the crowds and see off-the-beaten-track Paris. Our two hostels in Paris are in a prime location, one right by Gare du Nord (the Eurostar station) so you can hop off the train and check right in, and one with stunning views over Paris’ canals.
Edinburgh is a great bank holiday option - a small medieval city packed with fascinating culture, incredible views and a buzzing nightlife. Pack your walking shoes for a springtime trip up to Arthur’s Seat, take a tour of Edinburgh Castle and sample a few delicacies at Edinburgh Farmer’s Market. The city is small enough that you don’t even have to worry about catching public transport, just about filling your days with delicious food and Edinburgh must-dos.
Looking for central accommodation in the Scottish capital? Check out our hostel in Edinburgh
Prepare to drink a lot of beer on your spring getaway in Bruges - because when the sun is out and you’re in one of Europe’s best beer destinations, you won’t be able to resist! The Belgian city of Bruges is the perfect place for a few days getaway in the spring. Hire a bike and cycle your way through the city, stopping to snap some photographs, indulge in a classic waffle from Chez Albert or relax with a chilled Belgian beer at one of the best beer spots in Bruges. Head up the Belfry Tower and check out the gingerbread-style buildings in Markt Square while you’re there, then sample some perfectly creamy hand made truffles in one of the city’s quaint little chocolate shops.
Sun, sea, sangria, tapas… If you’re after the perfect beach weekend with a touch of culture, Barcelona is your city. Spend your bank holiday touring the best of the city of sunshine, stopping to take photos of the Sagrada Familia, explore Parc Guell and, of course, relax on one of the best beaches in Barcelona (nope, the beaches don’t stop at Barceloneta!). But the city isn’t just home to awesome beaches and architecture, stay for a few nights to get to know Barcelona after hours and experience some of the best nightlife in Europe. Don’t leave without sampling some of the tastiest tapas you’ll ever eat in one of the Gothic Quarter’s best tapas bars, making sure to order a bottle of homemade cava to wash it all down. For a city break you’ll never forget, tick Barcelona off your bucket list.
You don’t have to go abroad just because it’s bank holiday - Britain is full of amazing places to explore the outdoors and relax away from home. Get down to the Cornish coastline and stay in Newquay for a bank holiday break by the sea. Eat fish and chips wrapped up in paper, sink your toes into Newquay’s sandy beaches or take a day trip and explore the quaint towns and villages dotted up and down the surrounding coast. The weather will be warming up on the south coast of England, so why not have a go at surfing the waves of Towan Bay? St Christopher’s offers a Surf ‘n’ Stay package, so whether you’re a complete beginner or you’re after a refresher lesson, our surf instructors can do it all! There’s no where we’d rather be in the UK when the Newquay sun is shining.
Check out St Christopher’s Inn for your trip to the Cornish coast, one of the best hostels in Newquay
Spend the long weekend exploring the best of Norway’s capital city of Oslo. With so much history mixed with modern-day Scandinavian architecture, you won’t be short of incredible things to do and see. Take a look around the 14th century Akershus Fortress and then step into Bjørvika, an area with a city landscape, great shopping and stunning river views. If you’re after some fresh mountain air, Oslo Fjord to the south of the city is an amazing place to explore when the sun’s out. Try some Norweigan cuisine at Mathallen, sit back in a coffee shop or head to the seawater pool in Sørenga for a brave spring dip!
Cycle your way around Copenhagen on a weekend of Danish culture and creativity. Whilst the city is renowned for being pricey, you only really need to spend what you budget for (check out our Copenhagen in 48 Hours on a Budget guide), and it helps that flights for April and May are pretty affordable if you book soon! Copenhagen is the perfect place for cool vibes, chilled coffee spots and a bit of wackiness - and you only need to hire a bike to see the city properly. There are countless camera opportunities in Copenhagen, from the colourful street of Nyhavn to Tivoli Gardens all lit up at night. Don’t miss a wander around Christiania, the famous freetown in the middle of law-abiding Copenhagen - it’s a strange place but definitely one you will never forget!
Looking for hostels in Copenhagen? Check out Copenhagen Downtown Hostel
Escape the UK’s big cities and head southwest for a relaxing city break in England to breathe in some fresh country air. Bath is one of the best bank holiday destinations in England as it’s packed with fascinating history and a quintessentially British atmosphere! In 1987, Bath became a World Heritage site for its incredible Roman remains and stunning 18th century architecture. Visit the city’s world famous Roman Baths - the only site in the UK which still has natural hot spring water running through it each day - wander around Bath Abbey and the Royal Crescent, or get pampered at the Bath Spa. The quaint old candy shops, afternoon tea spots and cobbled streets are all part of Bath’s charm, but don’t underestimate the city’s nightlife as it is booming! Bath is the perfect city break for a spot of relaxation, culture and a gin or two…
Article by Darcy King
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