Learn what are the best weekend getaways in Europe, short city breaks and TOP European destinations you can visit just for a weekend.
Let’s face it! Europe is the best place on Earth for doing short breaks! It’s like it has been almost designed with all weekend getaway lovers in mind. There is something in Europe for everyone, so if you are looking for a city break in Europe with friends or perfect European weekend getaway with family, you will find it on our list of 25 best weekend getaways in Europe.
But where are the best cities for weekend getaways in Europe? From a culture-rich long weekend in Rome or hiking break in Ireland to spa getaway in Iceland and beach weekend in southern France – you don’t have to look far! All the best destinations are just a short flight away.
We have researched the most interesting weekend getaway destinations in Europe and created the best list of cities for weekend trips! All you have to do is deciding which of the below weekend getaways you will do first! 🙂
Here are 25 stunning destinations you should visit for an amazing European weekend getaway.
Best weekend getaways in Europe:
1. Cinque Terre
Enjoy all the beauty that Italian Riveria has to offer with these five fishing villages perched high above the sea. The best way to visit these ancient villages is equally as an ancient system of footpaths, that will take you between Vernazza, Manarola, Monterosso, Riomaggiore and Corniglia. Cinque Terre is also known as gluten-free foodie’s paradise – yes, you will love every bite of it! 😉
Charming and breathtakingly beautiful, with views that will stay with you for a lifetime. This is just what you would expect from a weekend trip to Cinque Terre. Is Cinque Terre on your travel bucket list?
Why Cinque Terre is one of the best weekend getaways in Europe?
It’s quite possible to visit all five villages of Cinque Terre in a weekend, and you will be spoilt for choice. “Cinque Terre” translates to “Five Lands”, the beautiful and picturesque villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare that are all found on the Italian coastline.
Read more: Italy facts
Known as the most romantic city in Europe, Paris is the place to go for a weekend getaway trip with someone special. If you have never been to Paris before, learn about the most common mistakes of first-time visitors.
Plan your weekend in Paris itinerary in advance as there are many interesting things to do. Not only are there some of the most amazing hotels and restaurants for you to explore, but there is also a wide range of sights to enjoy too. The Eiffel Tower, the Moulin Rouge or the Louvre are some of them. There are many great things to do in Paris with kids too – if you fancy visiting the city with the little ones 🙂
Spending a short weekend break in Paris is definitely going to be time that you will never forget. As one of the most romantic cities in Europe, Paris is a perfect destination for a short weekend getaway for two of you!
Why Paris is one of the top romantic getaways in Europe?
Where better to fall further in love than the city of romance? Paris is a celebrated city in Europe, home to fine French dining and the Eiffel Tower. A weekend here could be spent under the stars, toasting your partner with a glass of delicious wine and a smorgasbord of fresh food. Planning a longer trip? Find out what to do in Paris in 5 days!
There is nowhere in the world quite like Venice in Italy. A floating city that is world-famous, the beautiful sights that you can take in when you spend a weekend in Venice is something that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Away from leisurely floating around the city, there are plenty of other amazing things that you can see and do during your weekend break in Venice, including seeing the Palazzo Ducale and the Basilica Di San Marco too.
Why Venice is a perfect place for a weekend break in Europe?
Imagine a gondola ride with your beloved that takes you through the winding streets of Venezia without you ever needing to step onto the roads. Of course, you should also spend some time wandering those streets and take a few hours to get lost in the golden glow of an afternoon by the water. Check out what’s the best time to visit Italy before going for an Italian weekend getaway!
Going to Venice? Read also: Top Things to do in Venice Italy
One of the coolest cities in the whole of Europe, there is something amazing about spending a weekend in Copenhagen. It is not only a truly beautiful city, with pristine waterways, but it is also packed full of character and charm, which can be a hard combination to achieve.
You really cannot head to Copenhagen without visiting the Tivoli Gardens as well as the Little Mermaid statue, and if you are wondering how best to get around, then a bicycle is always the most recommended method of transport. Is Copenhagen on your weekend getaway destinations list?
Why Copenhagen is a great destination for a long weekend in Europe?
The Danish capital of Copenhagen is an experience like no other. In a single hour, you can take a boat tour that will show you the city’s most popular attractions and locations. Of course, if you’re more about soaking up the sun, then Slotsholmen island is a better place for you.
Going to Copenhagen? Read also: 7 Must-see places in Copenhagen
Such a beautiful city that a song had to be made about it. Not only is Barcelona in Spain a historic and interesting place, but it is also somewhere that is packed full of character and charm too.
A coastal city, Barcelona not only allows you to enjoy wandering through the streets, soaking up all the sights and experiencing everything that it has to offer, but it also has some stunning coastal regions too.
Staying in Barcelona for the weekend is a great experience, whether it is for the culture, the food or perhaps the shopping. You certainly will never forget it – a perfect destination for a short getaway trip at any time of the year!
Why Barcelona is one of the best weekend getaways in Europe?
Perhaps the party capital of Spain, Barcelona is frequented by many young adults during University trips, but it’s also a great family location for the summer. Spain gets some of the warmest and sunniest weather in Europe, no matter the time of year.
Love Barcelona? What about Best Places to visit in Spain or 30 TOP Attractions & QUIRKY Things to do in Barcelona Spain!
Surrounded by beautiful lush green trees, not only is Prague a stunning city to spend some time for a weekend but the landscape that envelopes it is just as beautiful to look at. If you visit Prague in December you can enjoy one of the best Christmas markets in Europe – it’s really worth it! 🙂
There are many fun things to do in Prague. Whether you simply take the time to walk around and soak up everything that Prague has to offer, spend the evening in a bar, or perhaps visit some of the main visitor attractions such as Prague Castle and Charles Bridge, you will love every second of a weekend getaway spent in Prague.
Why Prague is perfect for Europe weekend breaks?
Visit Old Town in Prague for the weekend and see everything from the Estates Theatre to Old Tower’s famous clock. Prague is great for free walking tours but remember to tip your guide; this is an encouraged practice, considering they don’t charge you for the tour, itself. With so many great hotels and cheap hostels in Prague, the city is a perfect destination for a short weekend break!
What about other romantic places in Europe?
Berlin is known as the city of freedom and there definitely is a feeling of a city that is not afraid to express itself. It is safe to say that there is always plenty to see and do in Berlin, which means if you are staying here for a weekend, then you are likely to find yourself with a pretty big list of sights to enjoy.
The Reichstag building is a must-see, as is the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz. This beautiful German city really is the ideal place to go for a short getaway trip.
Why Berlin is one of the top weekend trips in Europe?
Relax in Tiergarten Park or be astounded by the sight of Brandenburg Gate; there are plenty of ways for you to spend 2 days in Berlin. If you’re looking for somewhere friendly and accessible to stay, try Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, or even Kreuzberg!
If you spend a weekend in Amsterdam, then you are going to absolutely fall in love with everything that it has to offer. Amsterdam Zoo, The Rijksmuseum and of course the Anne Frank museum. Getting around on the world-famous tram network, there is so much for you to explore and for you to discover when you take the time to visit one of the most fascinating cities in Europe.
Why Amsterdam is one of the best weekend getaways Europe?
Amsterdam has quite a reputation among young adults and students. It’s one of the cheapest and easiest cities to visit. Fights to Amsterdam are regular, and the city is a beauty of its own kind – with a nightlife that outshines many other places!
Going to Amsterdam? Read also: What to do in Amsterdam in 3 days
If you are looking for a city that has plenty to offer, then Reykjavik might just be the right place for you to spend the weekend in Iceland.
There are many great things to do in Reykjavik. It is not only a beautiful city in its own right, but it is also surrounded by some of the most beautiful and breath-taking scenery too. The summer brings sunshine that never seems to end, whilst the winter heralds the arrival of the Northern Lights. A sight that people wait their entire lifetime to see.
Take the time to explore the city itself, or, if you want to go off the beaten track, you can discover some of the natural landscapes that surround it.
Why Reykjavik is a perfect weekend break in Europe?
A great place to see the Northern Lights or relax with a spa day at the Blue Lagoon. Reykjavik may be a slightly more expensive city to visit, but it’s smaller and friendlier than other popular destinations in Europe.
Going to Iceland? Read also:
Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa – All you MUST know!
Things to do in Iceland you will REGRET
Reynisfjara beach – a new standard of a beautiful beach!
Golden Circle in Iceland – MAP + self-drive tour for newbies
Portugal is a stunning country that has plenty to offer those that are looking to enjoy a holiday. For a weekend break, you might want to plan on a trip to Lisbon. A city that not only has a real sense of glamour and beauty, but also some gothic charm which is hard to beat.
Lisbon is a postcard-perfect city, with hillsides surrounding it to really give a sense of drama that is hard to beat. In the city itself, you can explore the ancient ruins, cobbled alleyways and of course the domed cathedrals that have all become an incredibly recognisable European weekend getaway.
Why Lisbon is one of the best weekend destinations in Europe?
An ideal weekend away, Lisbon is home to delicious custard tarts and streets full of charm and history. One of its features is the Tower of Belém; an outstanding medieval defensive tower that stands on a river island, offering amazing views.
If you are looking for the quintessential English countryside, then you are going to need to head to the Cotswolds. The entire area is packed full of some of the most picturesque villages and market towns that you could ever visit and sometimes a stroll through the streets of the Cotswolds can feel just like stepping into the past.
Whether you take in the regal charm of Blenheim Palace, relax in the Roman Baths or perhaps take a wander through Westonbirt, you will love spending the weekend in the Cotswolds – it’s one of the best places to visit in England!
Why the Cotswolds area is one of the top weekend destinations in Europe?
Famous for its market towns and plentiful villages, the Cotswolds is a great weekend destination. Rolling hills make up the natural beauty that surrounds the hundreds of small towns and villages here. You can even visit a miniature village in Bourton on the Water.
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Ireland is a wonderful country to visit, not only does it have a truly iconic landscape for you to remember, but it also boasts some of the friendliest and warmest locals too. In fact, if you do take the time to visit Cork, then chances are that after a busy day exploring, you can spend the evening dancing the night away.
Cork is one of the most laid back cities out there, it might be compact, but that doesn’t mean that there is a lack of things that you can do. So, why not book in to spend a long weekend in Cork with those who are most important to you?
Why Cors is one of the best long weekend destinations in Europe?
If you’re looking for a weekend road trip, Cork is an amazing starting point. You will love the Ring of Kerry and the amazing Wild Atlantic Way route will take you along the coast of Ireland, allowing you to take in the truly breath-taking countryside.
If there is one European country that is definitely growing in popularity it is Croatia, and when you see just what Dubrovnik has to offer, it is easy to see why. Not only is Dubrovnik a stunning coastal city, with one of the most amazing sets of views, but it is also an amazing city in its own.
The old town boasts limestone streets as well as baroque styled buildings and if you head out even further you can actually take a walk along the city walls which have protected the city folk for years. Whether it is your first, or 10th time spending the weekend in Dubrovnik is definitely something that you are going to want to do.
Why Dubrovnik is one of the top short getaways in Europe?
For Game of Thrones fans, you’ll be interested to know that the site of King’s Landing is right here in Dubrovnik. Not only that, but the area is a living UNESCO World Heritage Site and gets plenty of celebrity visitors throughout the year.
When you think of German cities and towns, you are going to think of stunning streets, plenty of culture and maybe a touch of historic charm too. This is definitely something that Munich has to offer.
The ideal location for a weekend break, one thing is for sure, you will never be bored if you spend some time in Munich. You can talk a walk around the Marienplatz, you can visit the Nymphenburg Palace, or you can visit the English Garden. Or perhaps do all three!
Why Munich is one of the best European weekend breaks?
Museums are plentiful and wonderful in Munich. From art galleries to more obscure offerings, there’s so much to see in this German city. It’s best known for its Oktoberfest festival.
The largest island in the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is a part of Spain, which means that it is a go-to choice for many people looking for a family holiday in the sunshine.
However, that doesn’t mean that Mallorca isn’t also a great idea for a weekend getaway if you prefer. If you don’t want to spend your time led on the beach, then why not explore some of the other things that Mallorca has to offer, including the Cap de Formentor, the Castell de Bellver and of course the Drach Caves too.
Why Mallorca is one of the top beach weekend getaways?
Another Spanish paradise, Mallorca has golden sands and beautiful blue ocean waters. It’s simply a paradise for any people who love nature! You can even enjoy the city during the winter months in Europe and very little changes.
It’s really a perfect destination for a short getaway weekend in Europe!
Read also: Best islands in Europe for seaside Holiday
When you think of France, chances are that you do not think of stunning beaches that you can easily spend the day at. But with Nice, this is exactly what you can do.
Nice is a city that is like no other in the south of France, it is not only a seaside location, which brings in families, but it also comes with some real city like vibes, which attracts those who want to spend a weekend break there.
The streets are not only beautiful, but they are vibrant, warm and packed full of culture too, everything that you could ever want from a weekend city break.
Why Nice is a nice place to go for a weekend getaway?
A charming city nestled on the French Riviera, Nice is beautiful and full of culture. After Paris, Nice has the biggest number of museums in France and also offers attractive cafés that will warm you up during the colder months.
Read also: French Riviera – best places to visit
A harbourside city, Gdansk has something to offer those who spend the weekend getaway there, something that you may not find at many other cities in Poland.
The entire city, including the architecture, is influenced more by those who sailed into and out of the port, than by the usual Polish themes, although the two do come together to give a city that is difficult to compare. Packed full of history, Gdansk has a number of different museums that you are going to want to try and visit, this includes the National Maritime Museum and of course the Museum of WWII too.
Why Gdansk is one of the best places in Europe for a weekend break?
In Europe, Gdansk is known for its closeness to other cities. It’s a great place to visit during the weekend before you hop back to a different major city, or for a longer getaway. Known for its medieval ports and fabulous cafés.
Have more time in Gdansk? Why not go to Hel in Poland?
When it comes to history, there is no other city that is quite as ancient than Athens. The home of gods, if you do take a weekend break to Athens then be prepared to be awe-struck by just how special it is as a city.
Of course, the history of Athens is one of the many reasons that people pay it a visit, but the truth is, just because it has a rich and deep story behind it, this city does not live in the past. It is also a modern and vibrant place to spend the weekend, with plenty of amazing spots to spend the evening, after spending the day taking in sights such as the Acropolis and the Parthenon.
Why Athens is a perfect city for weekend trips in Europe?
One of the most popular Greek cities to visit, Athens showcases the history, myths, and legends all across its borders. Ancient Greece has left its influence everywhere in this stunning city.
For a very long time, Malaga has been known as a party place, a Spanish resort that knows how to have a good time. Whilst there is no shame in this, one of the best things about spending the time in Malaga is that it has so much more to offer than that.
Rather than being soulless, as so many people think it is, Malaga has so much history that you will have a lot to learn there, you will also be able to unwrap the multi-layered past, as well as soak up some of the modern cultures too. This includes enjoying a meal in a restaurant, or perhaps spend the night sampling some local drinks.
Why Malaga is one of the top weekend getaway ideas in Europe?
Spain is beautiful without a doubt, but Malaga highlights the beauty of Spain’s coastline in a unique way. It has two long stretches of sand that are only ten minutes from the port, right next to a strip of restaurants serving local food.
Read also: Best things to do in Malaga Spain
20. Amalfi Coast
There is something magical about Italy. Maybe it is the food, maybe is the wine, maybe it is the language. However, when it comes to the Amalfi Coast, the truth is that it is the destination itself that can make you fall in love.
A recognised UNESCO site, it is not only truly breathtakingly beautiful, but the Amalfi Coast is also a place that you will remember for nails to come. Set next to the sea, you may love the clifftops, or you may love the woodland, both of which can be found with ease.
Why the Amalfi Coast is one of the best weekend getaways?
The towns and villages on the coast are Amalfi Coast’s call to same. The most famous of these are Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. They are gorgeous towns with a wealth of history and dramatic scenery.
Love Italy? Read also:
- Amalfi Coast Italy – Italy’s most scenic & famous coastline!
- Things to do in the Dolomites
- Best Places to visit in Italy for holiday
21. Isle of Wight
It might be a tiny island nestled off the coast of Southern England, but the Isle of Wight is big on personality. A quick hop across the water on a ferry from mainland UK, the Isle of Wight is a great place to spend a weekend with your partner, with friends or of course, with your family too.
It has a real sense of laid-back charm here, with everyone moving at their own pace. Hop on a bike and explore some of the rolling hills, or perhaps spend the day on the beach, soaking up the sunshine.
Why the Isle of Wight is one of the top European weekend breaks?
Parks and gardens are plentiful on the Isle of Wight, and they certainly make for a relaxing weekend getaway. Visit the pristine Ventnor Park, with its clean-cut flowerbeds and neat grass.
Read also: Isle of Wight things to do & places to visit
The Algarve in Portugal is a beautiful spot to spend some time and Faro is no different. A fascinating city that has plenty to offer those who are looking to stay there for the weekend, there is always something to see and do at Faro.
Whether it is Culatra Island, Barreta Island or perhaps Ria Formosa, if you are spending some time in Faro, then you will find the ideal location for you to while away some time. For a true Portuguese feel to your weekend break, you cannot go far wrong choosing Faro as your destination of choice.
Why Faro is one of the best weekend beach breaks in Europe?
A city that is culturally rich, Faro offers amazing tourist attractions for a quick weekend visit. This city is often overlooked, but it is no less beautiful than any other destination in Europe.
Read also: Best beaches in Algarve Portugal
There is plenty of growth happening in some of the smaller towns in Spain and Ronda is no different. Whilst it may be expanding, Ronda is actually still managing to retain some of the small town, a historic charm that makes it the ideal place to explore during a weekend break.
One of the most popular attractions that many people head to has to be the Puente Nuevo bridge which allows you to take in some of the most amazing views of the Serrania de Ronda mountains can be found.
Why Ronda is a top Europe weekend break?
Home to Puente Nuevo, a bridge that spans across the El Tajo gorge; 100 metres of stone that joins the old Moorish town to the newer parts of the city. An unforgettable view lies in the sights that can be witnessed from this bridge.
One of the largest cities in the whole of Portugal, Funchal can be found in Madeira. Known to be one of the most picturesque and cleanest capitals in the whole of Europe, if you like beauty that is matched with cleanliness, then Funchal is definitely a place that you are going to want to go.
Having had somewhat of a modern makeover, Funchal may have a number of modern bars and restaurants that you can spend the time, but it also has some of the most stunning natural beauty too.
Why Funchal is one of the best weekend getaways in Europe?
Funchal is the capital of the island Madeira, a European paradise of its own kind. It’s beautiful and dramatic landscapes will transport you further than you could imagine, washing away your worries with its bright ocean waters.
Rather unsurprisingly, given the history of the city, Salzburg is known as the stuff of fairytales, and we have to admit, it does feel as if there is a spot of magic when you spend the weekend in the capital city of the Austrian Alps.
An Austrian city that is packed full of charm, not only will you spend plenty of time awe-struck by just how beautiful Salzburg is, but you can also take in some of the most fascinating sights, including the Festung Hohensalzburg and of course the Salzburg Museum too. Alternatively, if Salzburg is not your cup of tea, you can visit the capital of Austria: Vienna – the most livable city.
Why Salzburg is one of the best weekend breaks in Europe?
Austria’s Salzburg is known for its festivals. In the summer, the Salzburg Festival showcases incredible classical music, opening the world to the heart of its country and its people.
Going to Austria for longer than just a weekend getaway? Read also:
- Is Hallstatt worth visiting?
- Schafberg Mountain – Europe’s travel at its prettiest!
- UNIQUE Things to do in Austria
- Best things to do in Salzburg
BONUS Weekend Getaway in Europe destination: London
If you are not from London, you might choose the capital in the UK as a perfect getaway weekend destination. With so many romantic things to do in London, it’s one of the most visited cities in the world. A great destination, even for a short break!
Going to London? Read also:
- Central London in one day – The best 1 DAY London itinerary!
- Best Day Trips from London
- How long to spend in London?
- Best Parks in London
- Famous landmarks in London
Did you like our list of the best weekend getaways in Europe?
Or would you add any other destinations to our list? Please share with us if you think other places deserve to be on the list of the best short European breaks 🙂
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