City breaks are often overlooked as holidaying options but they can provide a much-needed rest from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, without having to break the bank. With Europe you are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a place for a short weekend city break. From the traditional to the niche to the historical and to the contemporary, Europe offers cities that have a multitude of cultural opportunities. With this in mind, The Guide looks at the best cities to visit in Europe in 2020.
Budapest has become an established city for the weekend get-away. A city steeped in Eastern European history and culture, there is a romantic appeal about Budapest that is unrivalled. A large city built around the Danube, Budapest has grand architecture alongside quaint back streets of the Old Town. Whilst exploring the city, why not take some time out with a spa day at the world renowned Gellert Spa, or take a dip in the Széchenyi thermal bath which also turns into the famous ‘Sparty’s’ on Saturday evenings in the summer! For Food and Drink indulge in the phenomenal cocktails from the ‘Boutiq Bar’ and for mouth-watering food make sure to book in at the family run restaurant ‘Rosenstein’. To discover more of Budapest colourful history make time to explore the ‘Buda Castle’, which also offers stunning views over the city. If you are looking for a plethora of different opportunities from a city, Budapest is definitely your go to!
Salzburg is a city that is often overlooked, if you are a keen skier you more likely to know Salzburg as the airport you fly to before heading off on your transfer to the Austrian Alps. However, Salzburg is a small, quaint city that is perfect for an intimate weekend away especially in spring or at Christmas. The birthplace of the famous composer Mozart, Salzburg is a cultural hub but has not got the overbearing nature of some large historical cities in Europe. The Guide would recommend the Hotel Auersperg, a small boutique, spa hotel that offers quaint and intricately decorated rooms, amazing cuisine and a great location in the centre of the city, which is small enough to explore by foot. To indulge a love of art, music and literature, Salzburg is one of the best cities for this. Be sure to explore the Mirabell Palace and Gardens, which is listed as a cultural heritage spot and is sure to take your breath away. A trip to Salzburg would not be complete either without visiting the residence of Mozart, which is located in Makartplatz. To top off a day discovering the magical city of Salzburg, a meal at Zum Zirkelwirt serving traditional Austrian food will definitely not disappoint.
A city break would not be complete without mentioning the timeless city of Prague. The capital of the Czech Republic offers a wealth of activities for the weekend traveller from its culinary options to its galleries, Prague is a place that has solidified itself as a must visit European city. Whist exploring the magnificent Old Town Square, be sure to stop and watch the Astronomical Clock strike the hour, as it is not only just a piece of mechanical genius but a genuine piece of art too. In terms of art, take a trip to find the Lennon Wall, a shrine to the famous John Lennon that demonstrates the best of Czech street art. For a sophisticated cocktail in indulgent surroundings visit the Hemingway Bar, which offers both its own creations to ageless classics. Prague really is a refined city offering the sophistication of large cities such as Paris and Rome but has been able to maintain its intimacy and romance that made it famous.
Kotor is a relatively unknown town that many people will be unfamiliar with. However in recent years Montenegro has become a prime location for inquisitive travellers and Kotor is the perfect city break especially in the summer months. Known for its intricate and beautiful medieval architecture, it sits on the waterfront of the Bay of Kotor on the northern coast of Montenegro. A place that is gaining a reputation for being a stylish location, Kotor offers an alternative to the Riviera weekend break. Without doubt the opulent Hotel Per Astra is a charming place to spend a weekend that has outstanding views over the bay and also first-rate cuisine. A trip to the island holding the Our Lady of the Rocks chapel is a perfect way to become learned in the Kotor’s religious history, whilst being a place to take amazing photos across the bay. For a pre dinner drink head to Pržun Pub which offers a tranquil setting to see in the balmy Balkan evenings.