15 best Europe city breaks 2022: best cities for a weekend break - from Paris to Prague and Amsterdam

Jetting around Europe can be as easy as a whistle-stop weekend or a longer leisurely stay

Europe offers a clutch of cultural splendour, with classics like Paris, Amsterdam and Rome popular destinations for short spring breaks every year.

But as the summer slowly rolls in, and we’re offered a host of bank holidays, there are fresh, offbeat places deserving of acknowledgement too.

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Deciding where to go is never an easy task, but these dynamic European cities are just a quick journey away.

Here are some of the best city breaks in Europe:

Reykjavik, Iceland

Icelandic capital Reykjavik is seen with the glow from the lava coming out of a volcanic fissure on the Reykjanes Peninsula behind in May this year (Picture: Halldor Kolbeins/AFP via Getty Images)

Only 3 hours and 10 minutes from London by plane, this picturesque city is perfect for a standalone city break.

As Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik is the pulsing heart of a quirky exploration, all to be taken in slowly and with style.

During the summer, the country offers the midnight sun, but you can take a dip in the renowned Blue Lagoon, or wander through contemporary museums like the Perland.

Striking Scandinavian architecture can be unveiled through the cities Churches and Cathedrals such as the Hallgrimskirkja.

Driving 30 miles out of the dreamy capital reveals otherworldly glimpses of glaciers and lava fields. Whilst east of the city is the stunning Thingvellir National Park.

Seville, Spain

Plaza de Espana (Spain square) in Seville, Andalusia.

Think citrus. Among the Moorish architecture and old-world glamour, Seville offers skin glowing heat and plenty to sightsee.

The Andalusian capital is a walking city, with private and luxury tours like the Cathedral of Seville (which holds Columbus’ tomb inside), Flamenco shows and bus tours around the White Villages.

Valetta, Malta

View of Valletta, the capital of Malta.

Exuding big-city energy, but in a sunshine colour, Malta’s elegant capital, Valletta, is perfect for those seeking both sites and culture. This compact city break offers a UNESCO-listed experience, offering dramatic cathedrals, gilded gardens, and the contemporary Parliament Building.

With a circa of 1566, this city is steeped in history being built between two natural harbours.

Day cruises around the harbours can result in a step back into the 17th century, with the Three Cities, a trio of fortified towns, waiting to be discovered.

Malta offers a host of cheap coastal stays which are perfect for days lounging on the beach, for couples and families alike.

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, encompasses 14 islands and more than 50 bridges on an extensive Baltic Sea archipelago. Today, the people of Stockholm will have a maximum temperature of 24°C.

Stockholm is just under two and a half hours from London, but transports you to a slice of Scandinavian living. In a city connected by bridges, spread across 14 islands, this quirky capital is best seen in the summer, by boat.

Each island unveils its own scenery, a gradient from historic old towns to art hubs, to what seems to be a green oasis.

With each island offering something different, Stockholm is perfect for adventures who love to explore new cultures.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Get your skates on for a visit to Denmark and its festive capital Copenhagen. The city has several outdoor ice rinks to enjoy over winter - including at the famous Tivoli Gardens. In the evening grab a blanket and enjoy a drink sitting outside one of the bars in the fairy light-bedecked Nyhavn Harbour. Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines all fly to Copenhagen from Edinburgh.

Still in Scandinavia, but less than two hours from London, this instagrammable city deserves more than a quick visit. Packed with design inspiration, Copenhagen is style.

Home to The Little Mermaid statue, the Tivoli Gardens, and 17th century castles, Copenhagen offers a hybrid between old world glamour and contemporary living, making it perfect for those who like mixing cultural days with an active nightlife.

Denmark is also home to the Danish Pastry, so sampling traditional cuisines is a must!

Florence, Italy

A picture taken from the heights of the city shows a general view of Florence.

Renaissance-inspired Florence is a classic city break, and perfect for beginners and seasoned travellers alike.

Immersed with infamous art like Michelangelo’s David in the Galleria dell’Accademia, and with works by Botticelli, Caravaggio and da Vinci only a stone’s throw away in Uffizi - if culture is the aim, then Florence is the place to be.

With frescos, chappals, and of course world-famous Italian cuisine, this sensational city is the palace to jet to in a beat - perfect for spring and summer.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Flights to Amsterdam are available from £83.

If you’re looking for a typically European city to chill, Amsterdam is ideal. With ample fresh air, and a less than an hour and a half trip from London, this creative city is all about culture and architecture.

Amsterdam is home to the world-renowned Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Anne Frank’s House, Amsterdam also has immersive museums. This active and vibrant city is perfect for those who love pops of colour.

Berlin, Germany

£65, Thursday August 29 to Thursday September 5 (easyJet, 2h 5m, non-stop)

With a major historical event occurring just over 30 years ago, Berlin offers an unrivalled glimpse into the past with a contrasting lunge into the future.

In one weekend, visit the remains of the Berlin Wall and check out the cool cafes and hip bars lining the streets, making this place perfect for history lovers and nightlife goers.

Paris, France


Paris has the allure of glamour, known for its decadent image, its picturesque buildings and authentic European vibes.

But aside from the usual tourist attractions, catch a film in the Latin Quarter’s arthouse cinema, or try the Grande Mosquée’s cafe offering Northern African cuisine.

Paris has the added bonus of being a relatively short journey. From London the flight time is just over an hour, while travelling by train on Eurostar takes just over two hours.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal cityscape in the Alfama District.

Lisbon is home to pastel buildings and old-world towns, with towers, castles and Portuguese bakeries.

This city is relaxed, and great for people who love to wander at their own pace, uncovering attractions as they stroll by. The Alfama neighbourhood is the oldest area of the capital city, and is steeped in its own historical importance.

A shot of Ginjinha, a Portuguese cherry-like liquor costs only one euro, and you can have it with a cherry or a chocolate wafer, which sweetens the deal.

The Lisbon card offers a package deal with unlimited usage of public transport and free admissions into popular museums in the form of a 24 hour, 48 hours or 72 hours card, with the 24 hour card costing £17.71 at the time of this article.

Athens, Greece

Thousands of years of history can be explored in Athens this spring, with Aagean Airlines and easyJet offering flights from Edinburgh. You can enjoy temperatures of up to 20C in April, with only 31mm of rain across the entire month, and an average of 12 hours of sunshine a day while you tramp around the Acropolis.

The dreamy city of Athens is hypnotic with its hybrid skyline dotted with modern and ancient architecture.

Visit the iconic Acropolis, or the Temple of Poseidon for a dose of ancient Greecian life. Or if something more contemporary is your choice, explore through the flea market in the Monastiraki Neighbourhood, and visit the National Museum of Contemporary Art.

Athens is also home to splendid hiking trails and nature walks through their abundance of parks.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague old town square and Astronomical Clock Tower, Prague, Czech Republic.

The City of a Hundred Spires offers a church around every corner, spread with Gothic and baroque architecture.

This city is known for its food tours and cheap beer, but offers so much more. It’s UNESCO-protected Castle is a grand site to roam as it sits on the highest part of the city.

But explore the Jewish Quarter to learn of the history of the Golem, or feel the pull to the Astronomical Clock that comes alive every hour.

Fans of The Beatles can linger over the John Lennon Wall which is saturated in wild art and memorabilia dedicated to the band after the death of John Lennon.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The old town of the city of Dubrovnik, on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. Photo by DENIS LOVROVIC/AFP via Getty Images)

This UNESCO protected walled city is perfect for explorers who think city breaks are for discovery. Through the winding streets, you will discover perfectly preserved Baroque architecture, and gain a deep tan on lazy walks across the summer coastline.

Visit the Walls of Dubrovnik, or take the Cable Car to see the whole city from the sky. Island hop to see hidden caves in bays or for those who love to do something more daring, try sky-zipping across this picturesque city.

Vienna, Austria

Country: Austria

Vienna makes a dreamy winter wonderland, perfect for that time before Christmas. But, with its cobbled squares, and crisp architecture, this capital city makes a splendid summer break too.

Known for its regality, visit the classical Schönbrunn Palace and beguiling ballrooms or stop by to listen to Mozart’s legacy.

Austria is a quick city break, essential for anyone who loves royalty and grandeur in the form of baroque and rococo architecture.

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is a bargain location for flights from Newcastle Airport all year round.

Only a short trip across the sea, Dublin makes for a spectacular weekend away - or even longer if you love greenery.

With its down to earth atmosphere, this legendary revelry city is one not to miss. Party in the Temple Bar, or visit the Guinness factory - and for something stronger, take a tour of the Old Jameson Distillery.

Teetotal? Wander through the unique Spire of Dublin, or marvel at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and get lost in Dublin’s castle. For any literature fans, the James Joyce Museum sits near the coast, offering a relaxing afternoon.

Narrow streets and beautiful Georgian squares scream European getaway, but the rich historical city compels you to stay.