My shortlist of nine amazing European City breaks was both incredibly hard to write and a lovely walk down memory lane – distilling all the sights and sounds over the years into just one list was tough.
Honestly, I could have made this a 42 destination long post, but ain’t nobody gots time for that, amiright? So, on with the (potentially controversial) shortlist of amazing European city breaks.
Canal Wandering in Amsterdam
There are certain cities that have an addictive, mysterious joie de vivre to them. Amsterdam sits firmly on that shortlist. We have other friends who return to Amsterdam time and time again because as a city it has the trifecta of tourist to-dos: culture & history, entertainment and delicious food. All with a side of mischief that is uniquely Amsterdam.
Oh, and did I mention the joy that is eating Bitterballen and sitting canalside with a glass of something delicious, whilst the sun dapples on the surface of the canal?
Stroll Amongst the Orange Trees of Valencia
Our long weekend in Valencia was as easy as twisting a ripe orange from a laden bough. We chose a 2 bedroom apartment in the Valencia Old Town, close to the
cat cafe central marketplace bustling with local businesses selling freshly picked fruit, mountains of leavened bread straight from the bakery ovens and orange juice squeezed within a few minutes of you sipping it.
Relax in Budapest
Budapest is such a gorgeous, fascinating city to spend a long weekend in. So much so, that my lovely friend and I have been twice – there’s no great compliment than that. Spas, delicious beer, ruin bars, sunshine, beautiful buildings and the river currents wending their way between the two distinctly different districts. Egészségére! (That’s Hungarian for cheers!)
Sip your way through Porto
It’s so difficult to choose between Lisbon and Porto, but I think that Porto just managed to edge it – even with the propensity of hills. The views are beautiful, the delectable port is plentiful and the locals are incredibly friendly.
Prance through Prague
I first visited 12+ years ago, and honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t return sooner. Full of history, fantastic beers, gorgeous buildings and a TV tower that has giant babies crawling all over it. Yup, you read that correctly…
Within 24 hours of arrriving in Bordeaux I declared to the world that I wasn’t returning to my beloved London, but staying forever to bask in the southern climes of France. I even announced it via a variety of social media, both personal and blog related – and we all know that’s a seriously serious statement.
It captured my easy heart in a big way. Winding medieval streets, beautiful sunsets, quirky history, #pawned pavements, bouquet filled stems of wine, friendly locals, terracotta rooftops; all the things. Bordeaux is the perfect place for a relaxing city break.
Bath, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Your honey-coloured Georgian Terraces, the fascinating history, the infamous Sally Lunn Buns, the canals, the fact that you are a day trip from London, your Christmas Bauble shop… Bath. I adore you.
Corfu (off season)
3 things inspired our ladies long weekend on the Greek island/city of Corfu; a keening for off-season sunshine, a childhood full of ancient myths, and, well, Instagram – let’s keep things properly millennial and real here. Whilst we were there, we visited some really interesting corners and coves of the island – inspiring a list of the best things to do in Corfu…
Waltz in Vienna
We fell hook line and sinker for Vienna – so much so that we booked a week-long trip to Salzburg, it’s alpine sibling, the next year. Vienna is grand, elegant, perfectly compact, leafy, full of delicate baked goods peddlers, brimming with history and a thousand other superlatives. It’s one of those cities where you mention a visit, and everyone – and I mean everyone – exclaims “Oh, I LOVE Vienna!”. There is plenty to do for culture vultures, spas for relaxation weekends, cake on nearly every corner, gardens galore for picnics, museums for ghosting. Just all the things.
So, what’s your favourite European city break – did it make it on my shortlist of nine amazing European city breaks?
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