Deciding where to spend a weekend on a continent as vast and varied as Europe can be a difficult task. Are you interested in strolling around cobblestone streets with a gelato in hand, are you set on seeing all the museums, or are you simply ready to bask in the sun?
Thankfully, there is something in Europe for everyone and, for inspiration, we’ve compiled our favorite European weekend getaway cities; each equipped with an international airport!
15 Best Weekend Getaways in Europe
While Paris may seem like an enormous city with endless sites and opportunities, it is indeed possible to experience its grandeur in a weekend. In order to hit all the sites important to you, our recommendation is to come prepared and route out your stops. Want to see Moulin Rouge, Champs Elysées, the Eiffel Tower, Musée D’Orsay, and Shakespeare and Company? Map it out! The metro is your friend.
Where to Stay in Paris
While Dublin is Ireland’s capital city as well as its largest, given the walkability of the downtown and the easy-to-use transit system, hitting all the major sites in Dublin is absolutely achievable in a weekend. For the ultimate Dublin experience, check out the Guinness Storehouse, a traditional Irish music pub of your choice, Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and take a tour through Kilmainham Gaol.
Where to Stay in Dublin
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Sitting on the shores of sunny Southern Croatia, Dubrovnik is a city known for its incomparable beauty. To capture the essence of it in a weekend, make sure you walk the city walls, take the cable car up Mount Srd, shop for some lavender, and eat tons of the local grub.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
Constructed on more than 100 islands in northern Italy, Venice is a dream destination for casual tourists and honeymooners alike. During your weekend in Venice, be sure to spend time in St. Mark’s Square, people watch in Piazza San Marco, wander along the canals, and be sure to treat yourself to a Gondola ride.
Where to Stay in Venice
Given London’s vast size and number of sites, in order to not burn yourself out we recommend choosing a neighborhood in London (or two) to focus on during your weekend trip. Whether your style is more Soho, Kensington, Greenwich, Camden, Shoreditch, Westminster, or any of dozens of others, pick out your must-sees and take in London at your own pace.
Where to Stay in London
A city as regal as it is quirky, Brussels is the perfect weekend trip for those looking for a well-rounded experience. Spend your time eating a chocolate waffle while expressing confusion at Mannekin Pis, take a stroll around the Mini-Europe Park, discover the beauty of Grand Place, go on a beer tour, and learn the history of the Smurf’s.
Where to Stay in Brussels
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Cinque Terre, Italy
The villages that make up Cinque Terre are as picturesque as they come, and visiting this region makes an excellent weekend trip. However, while it is possible to fit all the villages into a weekend, if you are keen for a slower pace, pick your top two or three, and plan from there. Hiking, kayaking, noodle eating, and photography are all great Cinque Terre activities to enjoy.
Where to Stay in Cinque Terre
If you’re looking for both urban and natural beauty for your weekend getaway, then Bergen is the way to go. In Bergen, enjoy the fresh seafood from the Old Market Square, visit the Bergenhus Fortress, discover Bergen’s history by visiting a museum, and get out in nature and kayak through the fjords.
Where to Stay in Bergen
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is an awesome city for a weekend getaway in that it’s extremely walkable and has tons of great sites. Check out Prague Castle, stroll across Charles Bridge, wander the Old Town, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, have a drink at an Absintherie.
Where to Stay in Prague
Berlin is a cool blend of artsy, sleek, historical, and contemporary all rolled into one brilliant package. What you plan to do in Berlin totally depends on your interests, as there is truly an activity here for all styles. For a historical weekend, check out either the Jewish Museum or New Museum, for an artsy weekend, visit the districts of Kreuzberg or Neukolln, or, if you like your experience more refined, head to Mitte.
Where to Stay in Berlin
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam is easily one of the most pedestrian and bike friendly cities in all of Europe, not to mention picturesque. When planning your stay in Amsterdam, opt to take in one of the many museums (Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh, and Resistance museums are all great choices), visit the Anne Frank House, wander around the artsy district of Jordaan, take a canal cruise, and take a tour around the Old Town.
Where to Stay in Amsterdam
Gothenburg, Sweden’s largest port city, truly has it all; it’s home to some of Sweden’s most iconic art and design, Volvo’s manufacturing, and a great foodie scene. If you find yourself with a hankering for nature while in Gothenburg, head out to the Archipelago of Gothenburg, where you’ll find scenic, car-free islands waiting to be expored.
Where to Stay in Gothenburg
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The gorgeous, elegant capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is an epicentre of history and culture. In Edinburgh, do some shopping on Princes Street, wander around the Old Town, hike up to Edinburgh Castle, and visit Holyrood Palace.
Where to Stay in Edinburgh
Not only is the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik home to the iconic Blue Lagoon, it also boasts a fabulous arts scene, lots of historical attractions, wild nightlife, and drool-worthy cuisine. During your weekend in Reykjavik, plan on taking a food tour, hit up one of the renowned jazz café’s, sign up for a whale watching or puffin tour, and for awesome views, stop in at the Hallgrimskirkja Church.
Where to Stay in Reykjavik
A city straddling both Europe and Asia, Istanbul is both a major cultural and commercial hub. Over your weekend, make sure to visit the Blue Mosque (there are some excellent views from the top), do some shopping at Grand Bazaar, visit the Hagia Sophia Museum, visit a Turkish Bath, and don’t forget to try the coffee!
Where to Stay in Istanbul