Finding City Break Inspiration
While everyone else seems to be bagging super cheap flights and going on European city breaks every other weekend, I feel like I’ve been slacking on the travel front.
After spending the day with the lovely folks at Jet2 last month, I left with an urge to explore more of Europe and book some more city breaks in 2020. My foodie trip to Amsterdam last year was one of my favourite ever trips and I only had to use a couple of days annual leave.
As well as offering some pretty cheap flight deals, Jet2 now have a dedicated section for city break deals, so I used that as my inspiration to compile a list of 5 city breaks I want to take in 2020.
This Hungarian gem has been top of my city break bucket list for a while. I feel like everyone I know that has visited has absolutely raved about Budapest and given me a million recommendations.
It’s known for its amazing Christmas markets and in November & December you can wander around the historic squares while enjoying mulled wine and traditional Hungarian chimney cakes. Sounds dreamy, huh?
When you’re done admiring the stunning architecture of St Stephen’s Basilica and Parliament, head to a thermal baths to relax or hit up the city’s ruin bars for a drink or two.
Drinks in the ruin bars, a dip in the thermal baths, traditional Hungarian chimney cakes and exploring the Christmas markets.
Although it has a bit of a rep for being a stag do city break, don’t let that put you off visiting Poland’s former capital city.
If you’re looking for stunning architecture, Krakow has it in abundance. In the main square, you can visit St Mary’s Basilica and the Cloth Hall, before heading to the Royal Castle and Wawel Cathedral.
Of course, Krakow is also located close to the biggest Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. Although an uncomfortable reminder of the horrors inflicted on the people that were sent there, it’s a must-visit for those wanting to pay their respects, reflect on this period in our history or learn more about the concentration camps.
The architecture of St Mary’s Basilica, Cloth Hall and Royal Castle, a day trip to Auschwitz, the views from the Town Hall Tower and a few drinks in the Polish vodka bars.
Not your typical city break. Ljubljana is Slovenia’s capital city and one of the greenest city breaks in Europe.
It has a pedestrianised city centre and its main attractions are all within close proximity. This makes it a great place to visit for a 2-3 day trip, as you can enjoy the castle, markets & museums on day one and then venture out to the picturesque Lake Bled.
I definitely prefer mountains & lakes over cityscapes, so I’m really keen to tick Ljubljana off my list.
A trip to Lake Bled, the views from Ljubljana Castle, fresh fruit & veg from Central Market and a night out in the artistic quarter, Metelkova.
I have to confess, as I was writing this post I asked Mat to pick a number from 1 to 5 and he chose 4. So we’re now going to Lisbon for 3 nights at the end of May! Flights have already been booked, oops.
I’m really excited for this one. Lisbon is a beautiful city with the most gorgeous cobblestoned streets and classic architecture.
As well as architecture, Lisbon is real foodie destination. Most head to the Time Out Market to sample the food of over 40 traders, all carefully curated by Time Out’s journalists & critics.
Lisbon is also known for its famous pastéis de nata (Portugese custard tarts), so make sure to sample as many as you can. There’s even vegan versions available!
Eating as many pastéis de nata as you physically can, a ride on the number 28 tram, the Time Out market, the views from Castelo de São Jorge and a stroll through the Alfama neighbourhood.
Oh, Vienna! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I absolutely love Austria, but outside of ski holidays and a quick pitstop in Innsbruck for lunch before a flight, I haven’t had chance to explore its cities.
Austria’s capital city of Vienna is steeped in history and culture. The Viennese have an amazing coffeehouse scene, so it’s a great city to visit if you love coffee. If you have a sweet tooth, make sure to grab a slice of apple strudel or Sachertorte (chocolate cake) with your coffee.
Once you’re energised from all that caffeine, you can soak up the breathtaking beauty of Schönbrunn Palace, a former royal residence. This Baroque masterpiece is Austria’s most visited tourist attraction so get there as early as you can!
A stroll through the Belvedere gardens, an espresso & slice of apple strudel in a Viennese coffeehouse, the views from St Stephen’s Cathedral, the architecture & grandeur of Schönbrunn Palace.
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Which cities will you be visiting this year?