The ultimate European city break bucketlist


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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!

Image of Krakow - European city break


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:

Best things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Day trip to Lake Bled and beyond

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 –

What cities would be on your European City break bucketlist?

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A Finn On The Loose (@afinnontheloose) July 26, 2018 - 1:18 pm

Seeing my hometown as the very first one listed here really made my day! ❤

A new follower through Bloglovin’, by the way 😚

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders July 26, 2018 - 4:15 pm

Ah how lovely! I really want to visit – you’ll have to give me all the tips 😊

And thank you so much for the follow!

Diary of a Spanglish Girl July 27, 2018 - 7:33 am

Great post again Charlie 😊 a few I’ve ticked off , a few I have on my list, too!
Lauren |

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders July 30, 2018 - 10:10 am

Thank you lovely!! Which ones have you visited? I’ll hit you up for when I get round to booking

Diary of a Spanglish Girl July 30, 2018 - 10:11 am

Budapest, Lisbon and Venice and then a few of the ones you’d already ticked off like Barca and Paris xx

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders July 30, 2018 - 10:12 am

Ha I imagine you have great things to say about Venice. I imagine any trip I took there would be sliiiiiightly less romantic. Budapest is also so so so high on the list!

Diary of a Spanglish Girl July 30, 2018 - 10:13 am

Hahahah Yes! We did Venice as more of an engagement/romantic style visit so not sure how much my experience would relate to others 🙈🙈 I might have to do a post of Romantic spots in Venice haha! Budapest is AMAZING definitely recommend xx

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders July 30, 2018 - 10:25 am

Haha I think there are plenty of people who would be interested in that. Less relevant for me 😂😂

I’m so excited to start ticking all these cities off

Miles Away July 28, 2018 - 12:42 pm

Great list! We’ve been to several of these ourselves. Budapest is one of our favorite capital cities…it’s fun to go during the summer time as they have these wonderful “ruin bars,” which are bars hidden in the city! Also, you can never go wrong in Vienna! Can’t wait to read about your experiences in these locations!

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders July 28, 2018 - 4:20 pm

Wow! Sounds amazing. I can’t wait to visit!!

Hannah July 29, 2018 - 4:01 pm

I’m heading to Budapest at the end of next month, and I’m really excited. I’d love to visit Riga, and I’ve heard such great things about Porto as well! xx

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders July 30, 2018 - 10:08 am

Oh wow! So jealous. I can’t wait to start ticking them off my list

KB Gamblin September 17, 2018 - 7:10 pm

I LOVE this list! I’m often finding myself wishing I were based in Europe, rather than the US, because of how easy it is to travel to other countries over there! Barcelona is one of my favorites, as well.
KB |

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders September 17, 2018 - 8:38 pm

It does make it easy to nip away for the weekend. But I always wish the USA was closer!

nomademma September 22, 2018 - 1:06 pm

I’m gonna have to join you on this European bucketlist adventure – other than Dubrovnik (already been) and Budapest (end of Oct), I haven’t been to these places either. Great minds think and travel alike I guess 🙂

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders September 22, 2018 - 1:26 pm

Yay! Welcome on board. How exciting you’re visiting Dubrovnik. I’m off to Ljubljana in a couple of weeks time and then Vienna in December, so that’s two ticked off!

Our Carpe Diem September 28, 2018 - 2:47 am

Don’t forget Brussels!
Manneke piss and Jeanneken piss! 🙂

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders September 28, 2018 - 12:22 pm

Oh you’re right! I definitely need to add

shygirl February 17, 2019 - 12:05 pm

Great post! Right up my street! Haha Some of them were already on my list like Lisbon and Budapest and others I will have to add to it! Dubrovnik is gorgeous but the Old Town is definitely one of the most touristy places I’ve been – still worth a look because it is stunning! Definitely walk the walls and take a trip over to Lokrum island to escape the crowds!

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders February 18, 2019 - 9:38 am

Oh that’s a great tip! I hope I make it soon and will definitely check it out. Happy travels 🙂


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