Europe has so many places that are worth being visited, from the big capital cities to small and lovely towns. And all of them are great for a weekend getaway destination.
With all of these cheap flights around Europe how not to take advantage to hop on the plane and have a wonderful weekend in a new place, a new city. But where to go just for the weekend? Keep reading to discover the best European weekend getaways and your next destination.
I’ve asked some fellow travel bloggers to share their favorite places for a weekend getaway and their best tips for things to do in these places so you can have the most of your time.
READ NEXT: The Best Europe Weekend Getaways (Part 1)
The Best European Weekend Getaways Part 2
Budapest is an awesome city for a weekend break! Separated into two parts by the Danube River, the historic – not to mention hilly – side of Buda contrasts perfectly with the flat and sprawling Pest making this almost like a multi-city break! Between the two sides, they are home to some of the most iconic sights in Europe – from castles, bridges and monuments to one of the most famous public baths in the world, not to mention a flourishing food scene and an offering a range of hotels and hostels to suit every budget – visitors will be blown away by the range of things to see and do in one of the best Europe weekend getaways.
Vicki, Make Time to See The World
Plovdiv is one of the best places to visit in Bulgaria. The city has its own unique vibe and one of a kind ”ailyak” atmosphere.
Plovdiv is one of the most beautiful cities in Bulgaria and Europe’s oldest inhabited city. You can spend a whole weekend or even a week there without doing anything and you still won’t get bored.
The impressive Ancient Roman Theatre and the beautiful Old Town of Plovdiv are just a drop in the ocean of the things to see and do in the ailyak city.
Another thing not to miss in Plovdiv is to get lost and relax in Kapana. Kapana is the art district of Plovdiv, which literally can be translated as ”the trap”. It’s one of the favorite places for locals to gather and is full of unique cafes and bars.
Plovdiv also makes a great day trip idea from Sofia, as it’s just an hour and a half ride from the capital city.
However, a weekend in Plovdiv sounds a lot better than just a day trip, so don’t hesitate to visit the city because it’s definitely one of the best European weekend getaways.
When it comes to the best European weekend getaways, Riga deserves a spot at the top. Being the biggest city in the Baltics, Latvia’s capital is where culture, history, food, and nightlife come together to showcase the best the region has to offer.
Start by setting yourself up in a hotel or hostel close to the central square and then spend the weekend exploring the city on foot.
One of the best places to sample some scrumptious Latvian food (pieragi bread rolls are a must!) is at the Central Market. With a happy belly, you can then stroll on over to the cobblestone streets of the charming Old Town. And when you’re done munching on local treats and looking at the city’s famous art nouveau architecture, it’s time to hit the bars. To avoid the, er, colorful stag parties in the Old Town, head over to the trendy Miera district and mingle with some good old Latvian hipsters. Grab yourself a shot of traditional Balsam liqueur before checking out the area’s cool street art, boutique shops, and vibrant young vibe. Nostrovia!
Liam & Mariana, Rucksack Ramblings
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Every traveler has some kind of image of Amsterdam. From the canals to the red light district, everyone thinks they know what makes this city tick. But Amsterdam is richer and more complex than many give it credit. There’s just so much more to the city than the obvious attractions like the canals, Anne Frank’s house, and the red light district. The city is filled with hidden gems that are just begging to be explored. There’s a tiny church in the attic of a building, a distillery making unique alcohol called genever, and so many other things.
Amsterdam makes a perfect weekend getaway from anywhere in Europe. Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport is a major hub on the continent and cheap flights can be had from all over Europe. When it comes to weekend getaways in Europe, Amsterdam should be at the top of the list.
Laura & Lance, Travel Addicts
Prague, The Czech Republic
Europe is full of cities that are ideal for every taste.There are quaint cities and there are modern cities and there are both. If it is weekend getaways, Europe has a lot of destinations to offer which can be explored in just a weekend. When it comes to short breaks, Prague is a city that can offer you some of the best things from cozy cafés to historic architectures and more.
Prague is the Czech’s capital city and is a great place to visit whether it’s a weekend getaway or a romantic holiday. The city is especially beautiful to visit during the winter as it is the time you can witness the fabled medieval grandeur of Prague. The city can be divided into four romantic quarters which include the Hradcany or castle district, NoveMesto or New Town, the Mala Strana located on the west bank of River Vltava, and the Stare Mesto or the Old Town located on the east.
I fell in love with Prague for its incredible historic buildings, their local cuisine, little streets surrounding the Old Town Square, and of course, the animated people you can see wandering the streets. There are plenty of things you can do on a weekend getaway in Prague from a visit to the famed Prague Castle or the Petrin Hill, go to Kampa Island for a cold beer with your friends, just wander around the Charles Bridge, write something on the Lennon Wall, enjoy scenes from the top of the Old Town Hall and more.
These are only a few of the things you can do in your weekend getaway in Europe. If you still have plenty of time, there are countless historic places that you can visit including museums such as the Museum of the City of Prague, Museum of Decorative Arts, Beer Museum, and more. If it is a combination of an old-world and modern world you are looking for, I can say Prague is the perfect place for you.
Jared, G’Day Chef
If you’re looking for a relaxing, budget-friendly beach escape, Sopot is the best European weekend beach getaway for you. Located just a 10-minute train ride from Gdansk, Sopot offers many opportunities. You can opt for an overnight stay in the beautiful city of Gdansk or spend the night in the laid back beach town of Sopot. The neighboring town of Gdynia is further away from Gdansk and has a big harbor and a lot of industry. For a real beach vibe, we recommend the smallest of the Tri-City set-up: Sopot.
Summertime is probably the best time to visit, although we went there in the fall and had a great time too. Sopot is a vivid town with a plethora of bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops. The pier is a very popular photo location, where you can also do some shopping or just sit in the sun and relax. The beach itself is clean and lined with beach bars and restaurants. Sopot is also home to the famous “Crooked House”. This town has been a popular seaside destination for decades and we can clearly see why!
Inge & Lobke, Only Once Today
Malta, the Mediterranean jewel. Malta, Comino, and Gozo are all precious gems located in the Mediterranean sea. You can’t imagine how colorful these islands are. Fifty shades of blues surrounded by natural beauties and baroque architecture; it can’t get any better!
Malta was surprisingly budget-friendly. Rent a car and chase the best coastal views while listening to the ocean breeze. Isn’t this the best budget European weekend getaway?
The Azure Window might have collapsed a few months ago, but there are many other reasons to visit Malta. I’m thinking of the blue lagoon, incredible sunsets on empty beaches, and colorful scenes. The Maltese colors are quite unique and vibrant.
Get lost in Valletta‘s cutest streets, grab lunch in Marsaxlokk and remember your childhood at Popeye Village. You won’t be disappointed.
Discover my favorite scenic places in Malta – the ones you can’t miss!
Melissa, A Broken Backpack
Cologne is one of the best Europe weekend getaways because a couple of days are enough time to discover the city and the fun nightlife. There are many great little pubs all over the city, which will be great places to relax at after a day of sightseeing.
What to do:
You have to see the Cathedral and climb the tower for an amazing view over Cologne, later stroll to the Rhine, maybe add a lock to Colognes very own love lock bridge and then head to the chocolate museum, to bring home some special creations.
Sabine, KungFuPrincess on the Road
Despite headlines that suggest Barcelona is cracking down on the tourist crowds, there are still plenty of ways to get off-the-beaten-path in Barcelona, making it a nice city even for those who want a chilled-out city break! For a relaxed weekend break, skip the major Gaudi attractions and the Gothic Quarter, instead of taking in some alternative architecture, such as Hospital de Sant Pau, and some of Barcelona’s neighborhoods, like the newly hip Raval and trendy, local Gràcia. And if you have a bit more time, take an overnight trip out to Girona, a lovely Catalan city with a relaxed vibe.
Katie & Geoff, Wander Tooth
Isle of Weight, The UK
Quietly standing its ground off the southeast coast of the UK, lies England’s secret adventure island. Hidden coves, quaint villages, breathtaking hikes and eager surf-friendly waves await you on the Isle of Wight!
This rugged landscape undoubtedly holds a magical, mystical history to it. Many a dinosaur remain has emerged here, as well as off-the-scale levels of paranormal activity and tales of adventurous explorers.
Just 4 miles from the mainland, this is the perfect spot to escape London and feel like you’re on another planet. Within 2 days, I flung myself across the fields on horses. I twisted and turned through the country roads with my foot on the accelerator. I breathed in the sunset on the white cliffs of the southwest and filled my tummy with homecooked English pub comforts. Don’t miss the sunrise whilst dipping your toes in the island’s fine waters. It’s worth that 5.30am wake up call.
Alice, Teacake Travels
Belfast is one of my favorite cities. The people couldn’t be more welcoming and it has a superb food and drink scene. The main city center sights are all within walking distance of each other. Two of my favorite spots are Commercial Court for its street art and Belfast City Hall which is especially beautiful when lit up at night. It’s well worth joining one of the regularly held tours here.
Another must see is The Titanic Experience in the Titanic Quarter. I found it fascinating as well as very moving.
Must try restaurants include OX, a surprisingly affordable Michelin Star restaurant on Oxford Street, and the Italian restaurant, Coppi, in Saint Anne’s Square. If you are a food and drink fan I can highly recommend taking a food or drink tour with Taste and Tour.
My favorite bars are Fibber Magees in Great Victoria Street, which is fabulous for live traditional music and, just next door, The Crown Liquor Saloon, is said to serve the best pint of Guinness in Belfast. It is owned by the National Trust and both its exterior and interior are stunning with colorful tiles and beautiful wood paneling. If you are a gin fan, the local gin, Jawbox drink with ginger ale, is a must, while chocoholics should not miss at CoCouture in Chichester Street.
Kathryn, Boutique Travel Blog
The capital of Greece, Athens, is an enchanting city to visit. In all honesty, a lifetime is not enough to discover it. I’ve just come back from a short stay (weekend + overnight on the way back home) but I’ve been five years ago (and stayed five days)…and I still have a lot of places to visit.
If you only have a weekend in Athens, you want to hit the most important sights: The Acropolis of Athens and the Acropolis Museum are just two of them. Combined, you’d be spending at least half a day here. The ticket prices keep changing but right now, entrance to the Acropolis is 20 euros and the museum another 5 euros.
The next day you can either do a food tour in the city or take a half-day trip to Cape Sounion.
If you want to stay put, then spend some time in the National Gardens, walk in Plaka, then all the way to Anafiotika.
Close to the National Gardens, there are three other sights: The Temple of Olympian Zeus, The Arch of Hadrian, and the Zappion. You literally pass by them on the way to the Gardens coming from The Acropolis. And while you are at it, Syntagma Square is nearby and you can catch a glimpse of the Parliament and its guards.
Cristina, LooknWalk Greece
Zadar, Croatia is the perfect place to head for a short European getaway. Flights running in and out of the small airport are incredibly affordable and there are plenty of hotels, guesthouses, and hostels to take in any type of traveler. There is plenty to do in Zadar for everyone. The Old Town is where history comes alive and just walking through the streets transports you back in time. The beaches are beautiful and the water is clear for any beach vacation, and the city is well known as a party destination for the young backpackers. Overall, this is one of my favorite spots in all of Croatia because of the wide range of activities!
Which of these place do you wish to be your next Europe weekend getaway?
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