If the dreary weather here in the UK is getting you down, why not plan a city break somewhere in Europe? Without splashing too much cash you can hop on a plane for a few hours and experience a whole new culture for a few days. Seeing your trip marked on your calendar will also make the weeks ahead fly by.
Here’s a few of our favourite European cities to visit.
Amsterdam is one of our nearest neighbours and you can get there with a quick (and normally relatively cheap) flight or by popping on the Eurostar from St Pancras.
The Dutch city is famous for its rather unusual museums which include exhibitions dedicated to clogs, spectacles and tulips. Surely the Museum of Bags and Purses, which features the biggest collection of bags in the world, is a must visit? There’s also some more traditional museums and galleries, including the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank’s House.
One you’ve had your culture for the day, there’s the Vondelpark, the largest green space in the city, to wander through and the amazing vintage Noodermarkt to rifle through.
If all that sightseeing is making you peckish, take a break and enjoy a Dutch delicacy, we’re particularly partial to stroopwafels, a sort of delicious chewy biscuit with a syrupy centre.
As the oldest capital city in Northern Europe, Tallinn has a fascinating history and culture which can easily be explored on a weekend break. We’d recommend a walk along the medieval walls which encircle the old town to give you a real flavour of the Estonian capital.
After a long walk you’ll fancy some grub, and you can certainly find some unusual fare to tickle your tastebuds in Tallinn. The cuisine is influenced by a number of neighbouring countries and you’re likely to find delicacies such as boar and herring on many menus. After your meal, you should definitely try some local sweet treats, there’s a chocolatier on almost every street!
Tallinn’s nighlife is legendary with bars and clubs to suit every taste and every budget. You can get your hands on a traditional pint of local ale, or a sophisticated cocktail, with ease.
Portugal’s capital doesn’t get as much press as its better known counterparts in Italy, Spain and France, but having been named best European city and most affordable destination within the eurozone recently, its popularity is clearly on the rise. The historic city is full of contrasts, with each of its many occupiers over the years leaving a little something behind to contribute to the capital’s overall character. It’s easy to spend hours wandering the cobbled streets, and the narrow lanes of Alfama, just below the castle, are well worth a stroll.
If you want to pick up some souvenirs, the elegant Chiado district is the place for designer shops and quirky boutiques, and there are some real treasures to be found at the Feira da Ladra flea market on Saturdays and Tuesdays.
Once it gets dark, Lisbon truly comes alive, particularly the Bairro Alto region which is filled with bustling bars. We recommend trying a delicious steak, washed down with some local beers before hitting the nightlife.