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Having had such an amazing time on my recent European city break to Amsterdam I asked for some suggestions for other, not-to-be-missed, European destinations.
Some great suggestions came pouring in, so I decided to put a list together; an ultimate European city break bucketlist of places I need to visit! A tick list of city destinations I hope to visit in the next few years.
I often thought if I visited Finland, it would be in the winter for a trip involving huksy sledding and hopefully the Northern Lights. However, recently Helsinki is becoming more appealing as a destination for warmer climes. Actually, thinking about it, wandering around a city in the freezing cold isn’t as conducive to seeing the best of the city.
Incredible architecture, a foodie scene and a beautiful setting. Plus it seems very accessible to get out into the beautiful surrounding nature and visit the archipelago islands.
A seemingly peaceful and beautiful capital city.
I have been to Germany before, but a very long time ago and actually never to a city! I don’t know a huge amount about Munich, but a city full of very historic buildings and beer halls sounds like it would be a fantastic European City Break.
Apparently founded on the defeat of a dragon! What a legend to have behind a city. I can’t say I know too much about this city, other than it is extremely old. However the photos look very insta worthy! I’d love to explore the little back streets and visit Poland for the first time!
I have heard I would get both city and mountains, which might be the actual dream! I am not a massive fan of The Sound of Music, I mean I have seen it and loved it, of course. But I am not one of those people who watch again and again. But I don’t think I would be able to resist the Sound of Music tour, because why not?
Aside from that; the mountainous setting, UNESCO World Heritage site city centre and the beautiful setting mean this is a must visit now.
This city has been on my list for ever! I love the idea of the city being split into Buda and Pest. The thermal baths look incredible. I love a city where you can just wander and explore and Budapest seems perfect for this. Plus I have heard about the fantastic food and drink scene. All in all it seems like my perfect destination!
Confession. I am a massive Game of Thrones fan; so the city walls might be influencing my decision to want to go here. But I really really do want to see Dubrovnik. I, of course, know there is more to the city than the walls, but it is the big draw for me right now.
The Old Town would be first on my list to explore, probably checking out more Game of Thrones filming locations.
Ok, I need to do more research on this city.
A very picturesque capital city, and rising in popularity as a tourist destination. Estonia wasn’t on my radar until recently, but Tallinn looks so beautiful it seems necessary to visit. The influx of recent visitors may have changed things, but I have heard it still retains its charm.
Another Eastern European capital that is only recently added to my bucket list. This destination is perhaps suited to somewhere to visit around Christmas. I have heard the markets here at this time are pretty special.
Relatively in-expensive and full of beautiful sites. A must visit!
The only European city which you can hot air balloon over. Going on a hot air balloon has been on my bucket list forever. How incredible would that experience be over the centre of a capital city?
I have never been to Eastern Europe before, which is probably why a lot of cities from this part of Europe are appearing on my list. Vilnius, no exception.
This city holds Europe’s largest Baroque old town and has plenty of alleyways and hilltop views to explore – a dream European city break.
Having never Portugal before, I now have two Portuguese cities on my European bucket list. Lisbon has always been somewhere I have been meaning to go, but just never quite made it.
A city built on hills, with cobbled alleyways and beautiful scenes. It sounds like heaven!
I love Italy, particularly the food. I have been a few times, but never to Venice.
I am aching to go and visit the famous canals, the Bridge of Sighs and Piazza San Marco. It is such an iconic city and so full of history it seems right up my street (or canal). Plus any chance to get delicious Italian food.
I have heard slightly mixed reviews of this place, but is definitely somewhere I want to experience for myself.
The second city from Poland to feature on the list. Having never really considering Poland as a destination, never mind a European city break destination, Warsaw was recommended multiple times.
I can’t say I know anything specific about this city, but after so many recommendations it seems necessary to explore further.
Cities from the bucket list I have now visited
Since writing this list, I have now ticked off some of the list!
Oct 2018 update
This city was everything I hope it would be. Such a gorgeous quaint place and so easy to walk around. Find out my best things to see in Ljubljana here.
It is also possible to do a day trip from the city very easily, so I managed to go and see Lake Bled which has long been a dream of mine! I would highly recommend a visit. I went in October, the weather was cooler but a nice temperature. It was a little overcast but I managed to avoid the rainy mostly and it was beautiful and autumnal.
Find out more here:
December 2018 update
My only previous experience of Austria is on a couple of school ski trips, so not much to write home about.
I have now visited Vienna, for my first experience of Christmas Markets and it was a great city break! We wandered around the markets, ate lots of delicious food, bought more decorations than we could carry and drank my body weight in gluhwein.
Vienna was very walkable and also has a very easy to use public transport system. It was absolutely stunning and so full of history. I would recommend visiting the palaces and check out St Stephen’s cathedral.
If you are interested in Vienna take a look here!
March 2019 update
The second of my Portuguese cities. I think the elegance of this city seems to appeal to me. I have heard great things about the food and nightlife in Porto.
I visited here to celebrate my birthday with a friend. And it is the ultimate city break. A quick flight from the UK, the same time zone and an incredible destination. Lots of beautiful buildings, blue tiles, river side dining and alleyways to explore. We also indulged in a Port Wine tour, which was a highlight. Take a look here!
Additions to the European city break list, aka suggested places I’ve already visited:
and of course, Amsterdam!
So, there you have it. My own personal European city break bucketlist. As you can tell, some cities I know a bit about and others I want to visit based on just an opinion. Please send me your recommendations – firstname.lastname@example.org
What cities would be on your European City break bucketlist?
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