City breaks or city escapes have become increasingly popular and there are many possible destinations.
If you are European you will not be more than 3-4 hours away from a major destination, be it a capital or a country’s second city. There are high-speed trains to transport the environmentally conscious, and low-cost airlines flying just about anywhere.
This article will provide you with links to Sandalsand’s city breaks over the last ten years. Some of them have been part of a longer road-trip in a region, but most have taken place over a long weekend. My 22 best descriptions are now presented with abstracts in two articles: “10 European city breaks” and “12 more European city breaks”. (2018 update: Another 10 European city breaks have been presented, bringing the total up to 32 cities.)
Some cities are presented with more than one article.
Let me emphasize that the lists are sorted by city name, and that number 12 is not less interesting than number 2. I am not going to tire you with lists of 5 cheapest destinations or 5 most classy destinations, because prices vary, bargains flourish and the cities all have their advantages and disadvantages with respect to what there is to see and do.
The Granite City is Scotland’s third largest and presumably the one with the most churches turned into “dens of sin”. As such it was an astonishing place to visit.
The capital of Catalonia is one of the most popular weekend destinations in Europe. My itinerary is not perfect for all, but may suit as an inspiration for some.
3. Budapest (Hungary)
My suggestions are presented in four articles:
(1) Harmonious gardens and hidden courtyards: The famous monumental sights of Budapest are easy to find. For a change, join me for a walk to the nice little gardens and courtyards
(2) The Pest side of the Danube: The yellow Tram no 2 is the perfect way to transport yourself along one of the world’s most spectacular river fronts.
(3) More sights in Pest: There is a lot to be discovered in Budapest. This is the third article from the Pest side of the city and it will underline the foremost impression of it: It is monumental.
(4) The Buda side of the Danube: This is the hilly area of Budapest. The views are tremendous and the buildings are world class destinations.
The Queen’s City: Scandinavia’s largest city, the Danish capital, was for centuries called the King’s City. And indeed, the kings set their marks on place names and physical structures in “wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen” (as the song goes). Our weekend around the New Year was filled with royalty.
The city and a day-trip to the Renaissance towns of Baeza and Úbeda inland
This is about a few days in a most wonderful city with excursions to a terrible WW2 past and a magnificent salt mine.
We had two days at our disposal in central Lisbon and topped it with a full day excursion to Sintra. Neither should be enjoyed in less time, preferably more. On the other hand we left with a feeling of having seen much and visited marvellous places.
A couple of days in a city with football and the Beatles on the menu, and a long lost maritime past.
9. London (UK)
My suggestions are presented in three articles:
(1) A weekend in London is good for your heart and soul, and stomach. There is so much you have not seen before and so many past experiences to pick up on.
(2) The story from my London weekend continues here with visits to the British Museum and Highgate Cemetery.
(3) Our last day on this weekend trip to London was spent at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and at the Hampton Court Palace.
Madrid is a capital and has been so for centuries. That is easy to notice walking and driving around this city of royals.
Read up on 12 more city breaks in Europe and Another 10 European city breaks. All three articles are now combining in bringing the total up to 32 cities. Here is a map of all city breaks mentioned in my articles. Numbers on the map correspond to numbers in the articles.