Top 15 European City Break Bucket List 

Since travelling solo around Europe this summer, I’ve been badly bitten with the travel bug and have been planning my next trip ever since returning. So here’s the top 15 places in Europe I would like to visit for a long weekend city break or a short half-term holiday (in no particular order of preference, more by geography):


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I’ve wanted to go to Barcelona for a while now- I remember working in France in the summer of second year and being very jealous of the other girl who was there and going to Barcelona afterwards, and kept showing me photos of where she would be going! I also follow Barcelona Blonde who’s blog has beautiful pictures of this city as well as ideas for the best places to visit and eat while there. Also it’s close to a beach and fairly warm, so I wouldn’t just be a culture vulture all weekend.


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Granada has been on my list since I did my A Level history course on the reign of Isabella and Ferndinand who created modern Spain by recapturing the city and finally expelling the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula. The city is therefore a mix of European and Arabic styles and steeped in history- the Alhambra Palace where the royal family settled looks stunning! Again, being southern Spain the weather would be lovely and sunny which always helps!


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I passed briefly through Portugal last summer on the way into Northern Spain and realised there’s a lot more here to see. I figured visiting the capital would be a good place to start, and Portugal is known for being cheap at the moment. Lisbon seems to be becoming very fashionable on the Foodie scene so I reckon we could try some really amazing cooking while here too.


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I think the last time I went to Paris was to go to Disneyland at about 9 years old, and didn’t really enjoy the culture as much as I should have- I only really remember counting the stairs of the Effiel Tower and attempting to eat snails- yuk! I’d love to go back and do it all properly, especially after my brother visited about a year ago and raved about it for weeks!


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Who wouldn’t want to visit this iconic city? Mostly I want to see it before the tourists completely take over and ruin it so would definitely visit off season, but it just looks so beautiful and jam packed full of intriguing history! My very lucky friend Cass was taken for her birthday weekend and I’ve been jealous ever since!


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Florence is high on both mine and the boyfriend’s list and could end up as more than just a long weekend, but again it looks beautiful and a classic Italian culture city. Not only the views, but the food also sounds pretty tempting too… you may be sensing a theme here. Lots of history and culture all day and stuffing my face with local food at night- the perfect holiday!


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OK so here come the huge history geek ones- I’ve always wanted to visit Rome as it’s long history and mythology is fascinating plus it’s mostly warm when I picture it. Again it’d be one to visit off season to avoid too many tourists and one that the little brother loved- how come the poor student always seems to beat me to these places?!


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The centre and beginning of the civilised world as we traditionally see it, Athens sounds so interesting! Greece is cheap right now so makes up for the longer flight, and I have really come to love Greek food after visiting Cyprus this summer. The language and totally different alphabet completely baffled me but that’s what Google translate is for right?


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Amsterdam is super easy to get to from my home town of Hull, which is only an hour from my current home so the ferry seems the most reasonable option. P&O do a lot of 2-4-1 tickets for thier mini cruises and you can choose to spend a night in Amsterdam and get the next ferry back for a longer experience of this city, famous for bicycles and the house of Anne Frank.


In 6th form we were supposed to have a trip to Vienna that never happened and I always wondered what I missed out on. My friend Sophie visited recently and reminded me of the pretty architecture, museums and of course, the Lipizzaner horses- every little girl’s dream! Also to visit the home of Sachertorte would be amazing as it’s by far my favourite type of chocolate cake…


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I’ve been meaning to visit Berlin with uni friends for a while now but we never get around to organising anything! As a history teacher I’ve spent a decent chunk of each year teaching 20th century German history and really feel I should visit. It looks a little bleak but very interesting and cool (Im not sure I am cool but hey, I can still try!)


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Prague looks stunningly beautiful- my friend Nicole went last winter and bombarded my news feeds with beautiful snowy pictures and it looks so perfect for a long weekend of culture and hot chocolate. I also met someone while working in France this summer who lived nearby, so would even have a free tour guide!


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Another city I know little about but looks amazing, Budapest is lingering at the back of my mind. I actually think not knowing much can be more fun as it’s as bit more a surprise when you get there and allows you to be more spontaneous! I think it’d be a spring time trip though, as the temperatures drop quite a bit over the winter months and I’m definitely a summer baby!


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OK, despite just saying I’m a aummer baby, Iceland seems like a place you should only really visit in winter. Another friend, Helen, went to Reykjavik for new years last year and while freezing her ass off, had an amazing time and even saw the Northern Lights! I also follow This FP Planet whose recent posts on Iceland make it all the more tempting and real in my head!


I’d never really considered Denmark before, but two weeks ago I happened to be watching Rick Stein’s Long Weekend when he visited Copenhagen at the same time as scrolling through my newsfeed when I saw several posts by Ticket to Adventures about the city and it just seemed like it was a sign! A little off the beaten track it’s still full of the things I love- lots of history and interesting food!

So that’s it- my 15 top European cities I want to visit! Of course there’s lots of other places I want to visit in Europe and further afield, and if I was given the opportunity I’d practically go anywhere! If you have any suggestions or have been to these places, let me know!



6 thoughts on “Top 15 European City Break Bucket List 

  1. This post just makes me want to go and plan my next trip! Funnily enough, everyone I know seems to have visited Barcelona this year – flatmates, friends, my sister and others – though I can’t say it’s a city at the top of my to-visit list. Of the cities on your list, I’ve been to Granada, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna and Prague. You could quite easily spend an entire day at Granada’s Alhambra, but the city itself isn’t too big – easily done in a weekend break, but equally there are several other places of interest nearby so easy to spend longer there. I wasn’t totally enamoured with Paris – not because it isn’t nice, but simply because I found it a little overrated. That said, there’s so much to do you could visit several times and still not see everything; I visited for three days in October and at some point will get round to posting about that trip! Amsterdam is particularly nice in spring – April is the month to go if you want to see all the tulips at Keukenhof. I visited Vienna and Prague during a short five-day solo trip in Central Europe, and only spent a day in each – I’d love to return as both cities were gorgeous. In February there weren’t too many tourists in either, and though a little on the nippy side the weather was good and there were no queues for attractions. I’d absolutely love to go to Copenhagen (and explore a bit more of Scandinavia generally) and am currently eyeing up Milan as a potential weekend break, as a friend spent eight months living there and the architecture looked stunning!


    1. Milan was fabulous when I went in summer but heaving, so I’d go earlier in the year- the famous Opera house would also be open which I was gutted I missed out on! It was also only an hour from Lake Garda which I actually preferred but I guess that’s down to the sunshine 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the tips! I’ve not been to Lake Garda either, so useful to know it’s close enough to make a day trip out of it from Milan 🙂


  2. Thank you for reading my posts about Copenhagen, I am so glad you found them inspiring! This was my second visit to Copenhagen and I fell in love with the city all over again. I will definitely return, but during the summertime to see the green and sunny side of the city.

    Paris, Athens, Prague, Budpest and Reykjavik are all on my bucket list too. And would also love to revisit Barcelona and Berlin. One city to consider is my home town Helsinki up in the north, it amazes many visitors (and locals too).


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