Best City Breaks

Our best city breaks offer the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, a chance to immerse oneself in the vibrant rhythms of the world's most dynamic cities. From the historic charm of European capitals to the bustling energy of modern metropolises, each city presents a unique tapestry of experiences.

Whether you're looking to delve into rich cultural heritage, indulge in exquisite culinary delights, or simply soak up the atmosphere of a new place, city breaks provide endless possibilities.

Discover hidden gems, iconic landmarks, and local secrets as you explore our curated list of the best city breaks. Each destination promises not just a trip, but a journey filled with unforgettable memories and experiences. Let's explore the world's cities, each with its own story to tell.

Barcelona

Barcelona breaks invite you to discover a city of contrasts, where golden beaches meet Gaudi's architectural wonders, and the allure of Catalan cuisine blends with the energy of buzzing bars. Delve into the atmospheric Gothic Quarter or unwind in the serene Park Guell, marveling at Gaudi’s surreal creations. Wander through Barri Gotic's ancient alleyways, rich with medieval history, and relax on Barceloneta Beach, stretching up to the vibrant Olympic Port.

A short journey from the city reveals the charming seaside town of Sitges and the breathtaking Montserrat mountains. As night falls, indulge in Barcelona's renowned tapas bars, and dance the night away in lively jazz and salsa clubs, capturing the spirit of Barcelona breaks.

Rome

Combine Roman antiquities, great museums, fine restaurants and buzzing bars for the perfect city break to Rome

Discover an ancient world in the Eternal City of Rome. Visit the gladiatorial arena of The Colosseum, a 2000-year-old temple known as The Pantheon; and the largest church in the world, St. Peter’s Basilica. See Michelangelo’s famous painting in the Sistine Chapel; explore the boutiques, artisan workshops and traditional restaurants in the medieval neighbourhood of Monti or head out of the Vatican’s borders to check out the high-end shops and smart squares in Prati.  

Lisbon

Lisbon breaks transport you to a city where history and modernity merge beautifully. Known for its iconic vintage trams and hillsides dotted with pastel-coloured houses, Portugal's capital is perfect for a leisurely city escape. Dance to traditional 'Fado' music, browse designer boutiques, or soak in the breathtaking views and historical wonders, like the ancient São Jorge Castle perched on a cliff.

Besides its urban charm, Lisbon is just a stone's throw away from stunning beaches. A short train ride takes you to the surfer's paradise of Carcavelos or the serene, blue-flag Tamariz beach, making Lisbon breaks ideal for both city exploration and seaside relaxation.

Paris

City of Love and a mecca for art lovers, Paris is one of the most elegant places on Earth.

A weekend in Paris offers a journey through a city of timeless elegance and iconic landmarks. Home to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe, Paris is enchanting in every season, from the blossoms of spring to the cosy charm of winter. Whether your visit is for shopping, dining, or simply soaking in the city's atmosphere, Paris never fails to impress.

Discover the artistic treasures of the Musee D'Orsay and the Louvre, the grandeur of Notre Dame Cathedral, and the chic allure of the Champs Elysees. For those looking to venture beyond the city, the Gardens of Monet, the Palace of Versailles, and Disneyland Paris are easily accessible for memorable day trips during your weekend in Paris.

Athens

City breaks to Athens offer the chance to experience the cradle of Western Civilization and the vibrant capital of Greece. Known for its ancient Greek structures and a lively cosmopolitan atmosphere, Athens appeals to all, whether you're a history enthusiast or not. The iconic Acropolis, a must-see during your visit, is perched atop a rock in the city centre. These 2,500-year-old buildings dominate the cityscape, especially when they are spectacularly lit up at night, adding a magical touch to city breaks to Athens.

For an authentic summer in Greece, check out one of the city’s outdoor cinemas: these are huge in Athens, there being almost 90 of them. The most striking is possibly the Cine Paris, with the Acropolis as its backdrop.

Milan

City breaks to Milan offer a chance to immerse yourself in Italy’s wealthiest city and the capital of Lombardy. Milan is a treasure trove of historical, cultural, and architectural landmarks, including the world-renowned La Scala opera, the medieval Sforza Castle, and the dazzling Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade. Dominating the city's heart is the Duomo Cathedral, probably Milan's most striking feature. Known for its intricately sculpted creamy exterior, which boasts 3,400 statues - the most of any cathedral in the world - the Duomo took six centuries to complete. It's currently undergoing a two-decade-long cleaning programme, adding to the city's rich heritage. City breaks to Milan offer an opportunity to explore this magnificent city, where history and modern sophistication meet.

Istanbul

One of Turkey’s most important cities, Istanbul is the only metropolis in the world to sit on two continents, bridging Europe and Asia. This unique geographical position between east and west is evident in the city’s diverse landscape.

The Old City transports you through the multiple empires that once ruled here, from the rare mosaics of the Byzantine Hagia Sophia, to the blue-tiled turrets of the Ottoman Blue Mosque. After exploring the sites, relax in a Turkish bath, or watch the sun go down over the city from the islet-tower of Maiden on the Bosphorus strait.

For an unforgettable adventure, we highly recommend exploring our page dedicated to Istanbul holidays, where the magical confluence of East and West comes to life.

Seville

Southern Spain’s largest city, Seville, is famed for its flamenco and rich architectural legacy. Unmissable sites include the 15th-century Catedral de Sevilla, the world’s largest Gothic cathedral, and the Plaza de Espana, a vibrant square paved with intricate ceramic tiles. For a typically Spanish setting, wander through the Old Jewish Quarter, the contrast of its scarlet geraniums against the whitewashed alleyways make it the perfect photo-op for your album. In the evenings, you can try a flamenco show (the Tablao El Arenal), or head to the city’s oldest bar “El Rinconcillo”, for atmosphere and tapas.

Marrakech

Visit the Red City on the edge of the Sahara for an exotic adventure. Marvel at the acrobats and snake charmers of the Place Jemaa El Fna. Stroll through souks hung with beautiful carpets, or lose yourself the tiled courtyards of the Bahia palace. Pamper yourself with a visit to a hammam, or take a respite from the heat in the enchanting Majorelle Garden.

When's the best time to book city breaks to travel to Marrakech? How about April for the Marrakech Grand Prix? Or read on for more great vacation ideas.

Venice

Explore magnificent art galleries and gothic architecture, sail along picturesque canals and indulge in ice-cream for an authentic Venice city break experience. 

Stand in magnificent Piazza San Marco to admire St Mark’s Basilica, ride a gondola along Venice’s quiet canals or take a water bus down the glorious Grand Canal. Find an authentic taste of Venice at Rialto Market, visit gothic Doge’s Palace and follow the footsteps of past convicts over the Bridge of Sighs. Escape the crowds and go island hopping to Murano, Burano or Torcello, and browse local boutiques for Murano glass.  

Amsterdam

A favourite for quick escapes and budget, Amsterdam city breaks blend its cultural core with a hedonistic spirit. 

This is a city where Van Gogh’s masterpieces hang in his self-named museum, and treasures of the Golden Age adorn the walls of the restored Rijksmuseum. You can join the locals and spin around the city on two wheels. Or get a different view and take a boat ride along Amsterdam’s picturesque canals. Whether you want to feel cosy in a traditional brown café or explore nature at historical Artis Zoo, there’s plenty to experience in the Dutch capital.

Dublin

City of literature, music and conviviality, Dublin is a place to both unwind and to get the creative juices flowing.

Nightlife centres around the pubs and restaurants found on the cobbled streets of the historic Temple Bar where locals jam at impromptu gigs. By day head to the library at Trinity College, home of the famous Book of Kells and don't forget to take a literary tour of the city, following in the footsteps of Joyce, Beckett and Yeats. Further highlights include a visit to the Guinness Storehouse or a tour of the Jameson Distillery as well as the National Museum of Ireland and the Dublin City Gallery. This is a city which welcomes visitors with open arms, a place bursting with love and laughter.

Dubai

With its mixture of Arabian allure and futuristic glamour, Dubai is a city like no other. Discover the historical centre of Dowtown and the Al Fahidi Neighbourhood. We dare you not to let your jaw drop as you take in towering landmarks like the Burj Al Arab, or steep yourself in the opulence of the city's spas. Sunset Beach offers a perfect place to relax, or you can go on a desert safari,  drive a racing car or even try your hand at sky diving.Thanks to its crowded calendar, there's no bad time of year for a city break in Dubai. And remember to explore our other top city break destinations.

Dive into the luxurious world of the Middle East by visiting our page on holidays to Dubai, where futuristic architecture meets traditional charm.

Copenhagen

The oceanfront city of Copenhagen is best known for its laid-back atmosphere and picture-perfect rows of coloured houses. Its great transport system and multitude of bike-friendly roads make the city incredibly easy to navigate. The Nyhavn Waterfront is a splendid oceanside walk, where you can take in the salty air and gorgeous views. If you head a little further down the promenade, you can visit Edvard Eriksen’s Little Mermaid statue, as her gentle gaze watches over the city. There’s something for the thrill-seekers too at the vintage theme park in Tivoli Gardens.

Budapest

The capital of Hungary, made up of Buda and Pest - divided the Danube, is one of Central Europe's true gems. 

This city is largely famed for three things, fine architecture, fine dining and hot springs. Many of the buildings in central Budapest date from the city's Golden Age in the 19th century, making for an eclectic mix of baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau influences. Magyar cuisine is said to be amongst the best in Europe and can be discovered on any budget. The hot springs that were first used by the Romans are located all over the city. Further highlights include the Great Synagogue, the Royal Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the Hungarian National Museum. 

New Orleans

Nicknamed the “Big Easy”, New Orleans is famous for its nightlife, music and unique cuisine. The French Quarter is a quintessential neighbourhood with iconic Creole buildings and a vast market. Once here, try Cafe Du Monde’s “Beignet”, a sugar-coated, deep-fried delicacy. New Orleans has a deep connection with the arts, whether musical or canvas: in Jackson square artists gather to paint together, and the city even has a park dedicated to the late Jazz King, Louis Armstrong. To experience one of the world’s best music scenes, go to Frenchman street, an area absolutely buzzing with live jazz.

FAQs: Top City Breaks

All your questions about the best city breaks answered.

What makes a city break the "best" anyway?

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Ah, the million-pound question! The "best" city break is like a perfectly brewed cup of tea – it's all about personal taste. However, we reckon it involves a mix of breathtaking sights, mouth-watering cuisine, a dash of culture, and a sprinkle of adventure. Whether you're after the historic streets of Rome or the buzzing nightlife of Berlin, we've got the lowdown on what makes each destination stand out. Check out our insights and pick your potion!

I've got a weekend to spare. Which city should I break into?

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How do I make the most out of my city break without breaking the bank?

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What are the top tips for first-time city breakers?

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Can city breaks be romantic?

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