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Best City Breaks Picked from UK’s Travel Bloggers – Last Minute City Breaks

22 Travel Bloggers pick their Best City for a Short Break

Wondering which is the Best City Break? Of course depends on what you want to do and what type of traveller you are. But we've asked some travel bloggers to share their favourite City for a break. Let's see what they have to say!

Best City Breaks: Picked by Expert Bloggers

The Question was:

Which is your favourite City for a Short break and why?

Here are the top picks (so far):

  1. Barcelona & Budapest – 3 Votes
  2. Porto, Paris, Copenhagen & Edinburgh – 2 Votes
  3. Lisbon, Cologne, Innsbruck, York, Colorado, Rome, Reykjavik, Tallin Skopje – 1 Vote 

If you want to contribute feel free to drop us a line with your pick at editorial [@]

Mums do travelGretta –

Pick: Lisbon

I don’t have a favourite city for a short break, because its impossible to choose, but I really enjoyed our recent trip to Lisbon, and would definitely recommend it. The Portuguese capital is a fascinating historical city and is easy to explore on foot and by public transport.

Highlights for me were travelling on the vintage wooden trams which rattle up and down the hilly cobbled streets, and eating at Time Out Market Lisboa, easily our best foodie experience in Portugal. I wrote about our trip in this blog post:

Connect with Gretta: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

theadventurerblogHannah –

Pick: Cologne

I first visited Cologne last February and the city completely surprised me. I hadn’t known what to expect at all, but I guess I’d thought there wouldn’t be much going on. After the weekend I spent there I came away recommending the city to anyone who would listen!

I loved the big parks, the street art, the architecture, the food and (of course) the endless brunch possibilities. Everywhere seemed very ‘cool’.

If you’re visiting make sure to try Flammkuchen. It’s a bit like a German type of pizza and it’s delicious! A traditional Flammnkuchen has fromge blanc or creme fraiche on the base and is then topped with lardons and onions. Seriously, you’ve got to try one!

Connect with Hannah: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

pommietravelsVictoria –

Pick: Porto

My favourite city for a short break from the UK is Porto.

The weather is mild, prices are fairly cheap compared to the rest of Europe and it’s just a 2 hour flight away. I love the laid-back vibe and the scenery there is just stunning, since you have the beautiful Douro River and some really picturesque beaches just a short bus ride from town.

My favourite thing to do is head over to the wineries and spend the day hopping from one cellar to another, sampling port wines and cheeses a long the way. At the end of the day I’ll usually tuck into some delicious seafood in one of the local restaurants, then head to the bar streets for a caipirinha or two.

Connect with Victoria: Twitter | Instagram


Innsbruck City Centre

familyadventureprojectKirstie –

Pick: Innsbruck

Cable cars, castles, cakes and crystal. The Austrian city of Innsbruck is packed with treats and backed by the mountains. It positively sparkles in the weekend sunshine, calling us to explore.

We start our trip with the Nordkette Cable Car route – two cable cars and a funicular running from downtown Innsbruck onto the hills above the city.

The reward is a spectacular view, and a chance to wander in nature park Karwendel, Austria’s biggest mountaintop nature park. When it rains, we have to choose between restaurant Seegrube, (1905 metres altitude) or cafe Hafelekar, the top station (2256 metres). At Hungerburg (300m up) we enjoy the space age funicular station, designed for the city by the late architect Zaha Hadid. We sadly don’t have time for the Alpine zoo.

We find Innsbruck good value for money using the City Card, which gives free entry to the cable car and also Swarovski Crystal World and Museum with combined shuttle bus.

We thoroughly enjoy visiting the Schloss Ambras with its weird chamber of art and curiosities. And also Bergisel Ski Jump Stadium, where former champs demonstrate Olympic style jumps and even the cake in the restaurant looks like a ramp.

But the real joy of Innsbruck is random wandering.

By day the golden roof glints and in the evening the river draws you past pastel houses into a pretty Old Town. In less than two days we were beguiled by this shiny yet historic city.

Connect with Kirstie: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

traveloninspirationJason –

Pick: Paris

Paris is an incredible city with so much to see and do. For the architectural lovers there is the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, for Musuem buffs there is the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay, and if you’re really just a big kid Disneyland is only a short distance outside of the city.

Travelling from the UK to Paris really couldn’t be any simpler, with your choice of either planes, trains and automobiles. My personal choice however would be taking the Eurostar. Travelling to Paris in comfort and style leaves you refreshed and ready to explore as soon as you arrive.

Connect with Jason: Facebook | Twitter

Jenny –

Pick: York

One of my favourite city breaks is here in the UK. I lived in York for a couple of years when at university and still never get bored of wandering around this beautiful city. You can step back in time when walking down the shambles, a narrow cobbled street filled with unique little shops or by visiting the Jorvik Centre to imagine life as a viking.

There are so many restaurants to tempt your tastebuds, including the wonderful Blue Bicycle restaurant which never disappoints.

If shopping is your thing then York is a small city for big shoppers! Not only are the side streets filled with unique shops but they have all the high street shops, including a discount Mulberry store. The outlet centre on the edge of the city is filled with amazing bargains too! Believe me. To top it off York also has enough pubs to go to a different one every day for a year.

What’s not to love?

Connect with Jenny: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

braveskimomKristen –

Pick: Colorado

Denver, Colorado. Denver is the capitol of my home state, but we live 4 hours away so when we get to the City, it’s a treat. Located at the base of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Denver is sometimes called the Mile High City in reference to it’s altitude (5,280 feet above sea level). Whether you’re visiting Denver as an intermediate stop before heading to the mountains, or visiting Denver for it’s own sake, it’s a memorable destination.

Here are some “don’t miss” highlights.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre. One of the most famous concert venues in the U.S., you’ll find big name rock, pop and classical artists performing during the warmer months. If you can’t make it to a concert, visit the amphitheatre during the day to take in the views. It’s a Denver City Park.

Big Time Sports. Denver is a sport crazy town that loves its NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS and NHL teams. In 2016 the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl and the resulting celebration, including a parade attended by nearly 1,000,000, increased civic pride. Even when the teams aren’t doing so well (we’re looking at you Colorado Rockies baseball, Colorado Avalanche hockey and Denver Nuggets basketball), the venues are superb and the experience of cheering for the home town is highly enjoyable. During the summer, Major League Soccer is catching on and the Colorado Rapids are among the league’s finest.

Museums. All cities have museums, Denver just happens to some of the most interesting. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is in a lovely setting in City Park. The Denver Art Museum is known for it’s unique architecture and exhibits, while the Colorado History Museum is totally unique.

Neighbourhoods. Denver has become a city of fascinating neighbourhoods, often anchored by parks. Stroll through the Washington Park area and enjoy urban greenery and neighbourhood restaurants. Other notable neighbourhoods include Cherry Creek (a tony shopping district) and Highland (an up and coming dining and shopping area for the offbeat).


Connect with Kristen: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

onestep4wardJohnny –

Pick: Budapest

Budapest is one of my favourite cities in the world, and I’d happily live there. It’s gorgeous, and the architecture is fabulous.

The price is unbeatable when compared to how developed the city is and dinner/drinks/walks by the Danube is spectacular.

The hot baths and the nightlife too, amazing place!

Connect with Johnny: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Becky –

Pick: Rome

My favourite city for a short break has to be Rome.

It might be a cliché, but actually spending a few days there, really getting under the skin of the city away from the major landmarks (you have to see these too, of course), is such a rich experience.

Just wandering the pathways and alleyways of the city (you really can’t get lost), is such a joy, and if you love art, the sculptures, frescoes, mosaics and paintings are sublime.

Oh and of course if you love food, then Rome is definitely for you too, with a great trattoria or café around every corner.

Connect with Becky: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

montjuic barcelona

Taylor –

Pick: Barcelona

Barcelona because the travel time and price are really manageable.

The food is incredible (who doesn’t want to eat tapas and churros all day long?!) and I love how different all of the neighbourhoods are.

My favourite spot is Montjuïc. I could spend all day there and the sunset views are incredible.

Connect with Taylor: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

abritandabroadMacca –

Pick: Copenhagen

Our favourite city for a short city break has to be Copenhagen.

It’s such a cool creative city, and from the trendy bars of the Meat Packing district to the brightly coloured restaurants of Nyhavn, it’s the perfect place to explore for a short break.

Whether by bike or by boat, it’s really easy to get around too.

There’s a reason why Copenhagen always gets ranked as the happiest city to live in in the world, and that’s just one of the reasons why we love coming here!

Connect with Macca: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

bridgesandballoonsVictoria –

Pick: Reykjavik

Reykjavik is amazing for a short break because it’s surrounded by an abundance of incredible nature, so you can get the best of both worlds – some time in the city mixed with some outdoor adventures.

Plus, if you go at the right time of year, you might see the Northern Lights!

Connect with Victoria: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Elle croftElle –

Tallinn (winter) – Porto (summer)

I have two (cheeky, I know!).

In winter, it’s Tallinn in Estonia – this medieval walled city is like something straight out of a fairytale. It’s even more incredible when it’s blanketed in snow, and the main square is filled with quaint Christmas markets.

In summer, I love Porto in Portugal. It’s really laid-back and the food is incredible. There’s so much to see and do you can spend your days exploring or totally relaxing – either way, it’ll be an unforgettable short break!

Connect with Victoria: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

lolaakinmadeLola –

Pick: Edinburgh

I absolutely love this Scottish city with its cool calm demeanour. From Edinburgh Castle and Palace of Holyroodhouse to Arthur’s Seat high up looking over the city, Edinburgh merges both the old and the new in a way that respects both.

From a  thriving arts and performance scene to cosy pubs, and a blend of fusion restaurants, for me, Edinburgh is the place to go if I want to disconnect and step back into and soak up some history while still enjoying an urban vibe and feel.

Connect with Lola: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

travelglobe4lessAnne – traveltheglobe4less

Pick: Skopje

Skopje in Macedonia (technically the FYROM – you may wish to use this instead as you will get criticisms from the anti-Macedonia brigade if not) is a city that divides. Some people love its overpowering architecture, larger than life statues and its proximity to stunning landscapes whilst others hate the frivolous use of taxpayer’s money and it’s claims to Alexander the Great.

I’m in the former camp. This is a city where you can enjoy stupendous views of the city and mountains from high on the castle ramparts, with no hint of another person in sight. Food and drink is varied and incredible value and the bustle of the old Turkish town contrasts markedly with the modern, gleaming buildings of the more modern city areas.

A weekend in Skopje is enough to see the city and take a visit to Matka Canyon, a nearby attraction which can easily be reached by bus. You’ll find that your pennies go along way here.

Connect with Anne: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Emily-Luxton-TravelsEmily –

Pick: Barcelona

My favourite city for a short break is always Barcelona. It’s just such a fun, interesting city, and it’s so diverse that you can visit over and over and always have a different experience.

I love the food, the bar scene, the beautiful beach, the quirky street art, the narrow shopping streets around Las Ramblas… this city just has everything!

Connect with Emily: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

wildjunketNellie –

Pick: Budapest

I’m not usually a big fan of cities, but Budapest in Hungary definitely won my heart over. Despite being a capital city, it’s not overwhelming or crowded.

I love how the historic city centre can be navigated on foot and that there’s a beautiful river flowing through it. Budapest also has lots of green spaces dotted all over the city, which are great places to hang out and bask in the sunshine especially in summer.

But my favourite thing about Budapest has to be the thermal baths. There are plenty of them all around the city, most of them have many stories to tell from centuries ago, while others are new and designed for kids to enjoy too.

Connect with Nellie: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

fitwhentravelingAlexandra –

Pick: Barcelona

My favourite city in the entire world is Barcelona, for a short or a long break, simply always the best. It has it all from great beaches, good food, nice atmosphere, awesome shopping to beautiful architecture.

I love taking long walks around the city breathing in the chilled out atmosphere. I will never get tired of Barcelona, no matter what.

Connect with Alexandra: Facebook | Twitter

absolutelylucyLucy –

Pick: Budapest

Hi – I would definitely choose Budapest – I fell in love with the city after just a few days there. It’s small and easy to navigate in a short timeframe, it’s beautiful with a rich history and culture, it’s cheap and accessible for everyone.

And I just can’t get enough of those baths!

Connect with Lucy: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Amy –

Pick: Edinburgh

I may be a bit biased as this is where I grew up, but since moving away, my love for Edinburgh has only grown. This is a city that has everything: fascinating, gothic architecture, a thriving music and culture scene, and nature – like the Botanics or Arthur’s Seat – right in the middle of the city.

I’d recommend visiting in August – that’s when the huge Fringe festival of comedy, drama and arts takes place. Or, go in Christmas time. There’s nothing like enjoying a mulled wine at the German market amongst all the twinkling lights, while the formidable, mysterious Edinburgh castle watches over the city from above.

Connect with Amy: FacebookInstagram

amandaAmanda –

Pick: Paris

My favourite city to visit for a short break is Paris. It’s close enough to London that you can travel there extremely easily, but the cultural is still totally different.

The architecture, the fashion, the food, the ambience – it’s all magical. It’s a cliche but to me, Paris will always be romantic and chic. My favourite Parisian activity is to have a picnic down on the banks of the Seine (complete with wine and fresh baguette, of course!)

Connect with Lucy: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Sophie's SuitcaseSophie –

Pick: Copenhagen!

One of my favourite city breaks is the wonderful Copenhagen. After visiting this beautiful city last Christmas to explore the festive markets and Tivoli Gardens, I fell in head of heels for the city, with its love for the festive season and relaxed atmosphere across the city in both winter and summer.

Christmas in Tivoli Gardens is a wonderful tradition amongst Copenhageners and without doubt the city’s number one Christmas market, so much so that people from all over Europe come to visit.

And food is also important with some amazing Danish delicacies at the Christmas markets, from churros, ‘æbleskriver’, ‘flæskestegs’ sandwich, ‘gløgg’, hot chocolate and much more. There are so many restaurants to tempt your tastebuds, including the wonderful Royal Smushi!

Connect with Sophie: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  1. Thanks for including me in the round up. It seems as though Budapest is quite a popular destination. I am ashamed to say that I have never been, so it looks like I am going to have to check it out.

  2. Thanks for including me in the roundup. You have such a varied line up of cities although Budapest and Barcelona seem to be winners for a number of people. The great thing about living in Europe is the ability to visit so many different places for a weekend overseas!

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