For the longest time, Lloyd and I sought out every way to try to travel the world as often as possible and one of the best ways we’ve found is to look to travel during the weekends. This is perfect if you’re working full-time (as we both were) because weekend travel requires you to use ZERO holiday days.

25 Perfect Weekend Getaways In Europe

Living in Europe of course meant that going away to another European country was relatively easy in terms of journey times and thanks to this, with experience gained from years of looking for the best places in Europe to visit for weekend breaks, we’re pleased to bring to you 25 perfect place European weekend getaways.

1.) London, UK

Being A Tourist In My Own City - London! (8)

Being A Tourist In My Own City - London! (13)

Being A Tourist In My Own City - London! (2)

London is always an easy win as there’s always so much to here! There are lots of places with amazing views, some amazing and unique restaurants to visit, not to mention 101 free things to do and secret spots you definitely have to see.

2.) Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre To Pisa: Italy Road Trip On A Rickshaw (34)

Cinque Terre To Pisa: Italy Road Trip On A Rickshaw (40)

Cinque Terre To Pisa: Italy Road Trip On A Rickshaw (43)

One of the most colourful places to visit in Italy, Cinque Terre is an amazingly picturesque place to spend a lovely and relaxing weekend in. Unless you like to hike of course in which case, you’re going to the right place anyway. Here’s a complete guide on Cinque Terre and a some photos from the 5 towns – Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Manarola, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare.

3.) Paris, France

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9 Free Things To Do In Paris! (3)

Paris as a city is another easy win though my personal favourite time to visit Paris is definitely in the summer. Summer in mainland Europe always seems a lot nicer and there are so many outdoor festivities, picnics and dinners just waiting to be had. Do check out these free things to do in Paris, dine in these restaurants with the best views in Paris, see these essential sights in Paris and have a little fun searching for these secret spots in Paris.

4.) Split, Croatia

24 Hours In Split, Croatia... (13)

24 Hours In Split, Croatia... (38)

24 Hours In Split, Croatia... (22)

Not only is Split an amazing city to visit (make sure you check out Diocletian’s Palace, especially if you’re a Game of Thrones fan), it’s also quite close to beautiful islands like Solta and lovely seaside towns like the Markaska Riviera. We’ve also got an action packed itinerary to help you plan what to do when you visit Croatia in general.

5.) Gothenburg, Sweden

Nordic Adventures - The Sequel! Next stop - Gothenburg, Sweden! (21)

Nordic Adventures - The Sequel! Next stop - Gothenburg, Sweden! (8)

Nordic Adventures - The Sequel! Next stop - Gothenburg, Sweden! (14)

This laid back Swedish city packs a lot of fun for a weekend away. You could always plan everything out though in our experience, this is one of those cities where you’re best throwing caution to the wind and playing the weekend by ear. If you have a bit more time, step away from the city and check out some of the neighbouring towns and villages.

6.) Budapest, Hungary

Budapest at Night! (9)

How To Spend A Perfect Weekend In Budapest (6)

How To Spend A Perfect Weekend In Budapest (2)

There’s so much to do here during the day and at night though one of the best part about visiting this city is how affordable it is. Affordability is relative of course but Budapest is unique in that the affordability doesn’t come at the cost of a lack exciting things to see, do and eat in the city (check out this list to help you plan a weekend in Budapest). It’s one of the cities where 5 star luxury accommodation is a lot more attainable and you can definitely splash out a lot more on.

7.) Florence, Italy

The Sights Of Florence, Italy... A Photo Diary [Part2] (12)

The Sights Of Florence, Italy... A Photo Diary [Part 1] (5)

The Sights Of Florence, Italy... A Photo Diary [Part2] (20)

My love for Florence has been stated on here time and time again. With lots of sights to see, an abundance of amazing restaurants and stunning places with amazing views, it’s probably easy to see why a weekend away in Florence is just what you need!

8.) Venice, Italy

Venice - A Photo Diary. Italy, Europe (3)

Venice - A Photo Diary. Italy, Europe (26)

Things to do on a long weekend in Venice! A photo diary... (13)

Venice is one of those cities where even if you’re the most cynical people in the world, you won’t be able to help but fall prey to Venice’s romantic charm. The beautiful side streets, gondola rides and venetian architecture will definitely see to that when you visit and although a weekend here will leave you wanting to come back, you can cover most of the sights here in a weekend here. Do check out this complete guide to all the sights in Venice to help you plan your trip.

9.) Edinburgh (Scotland), UK

14 Cities Outside of London That You Need To Visit In The UK! (24)

14 Essential Experiences You Have To Have In Edinburgh (15)

Without a doubt, the very best time to visit Edinburgh is during the annual Fringe Festival. It’s also one of the most expensive times to visit but this month with lots of free stuff to do in the city, things tend to balance themselves out. The fringe festival is a month long festival with visitors from all over the world and the energy in Edinburgh is pretty electric. Edinburgh also has lots of great bars, restaurants and a whole host of amazing experiences just waiting to be had.

10.) Copenhagen, Denmark

How To Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen! [PART1] (9)

How To Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen! [PART 2] (18)

How To Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen! [PART1] (2)

Copenhagen is one of those compact cities that is easy to explore in a weekend however you leave feeling like there’s so much more to see (and you would be right about that too). To help you get the most out of a weekend here, check out this complete guide on everything to see, do and eat in Copenhagen

11.) Barcelona, Spain

6 Must See Pieces Of Architecture By Gaudì In Barcelona (53)

6 Must See Pieces Of Architecture By Gaudì In Barcelona (51)

My Recommendation For Where To Stay In The Centre Of Barcelona (3)

Gaudi’s home city is famed all around the world and definitely lives up to the hype. There’s no other city in Spain quite like it and with its amazing sights to see, wealth of exciting restaurants to eat in and uber-cool vibe, a weekend in Barcelona is one that definitely feels like a good choice to make.

12.) Porto, Portugal

Wine with a view (oh, and some lunch too!)... in Porto, Portugal (5)

Wine with a view (oh, and some lunch too!)... in Porto, Portugal (8)

Wine with a view (oh, and some lunch too!)... in Porto, Portugal (4)

Porto is synonymous with good wine, delicious food and a weekend getaway where you can take in some real Portuguese charm at a leisurely place. It’s also a very colourful city and an amazing place to visit for a couple of days (or even longer).

13.) Oslo, Norway

Nordic Adventures - The Finale! In Search Of Vikings in Oslo, Norway! (22)

Nordic Adventures - The Finale! In Search Of Vikings in Oslo, Norway! (29)

Nordic Adventures - The Finale! In Search Of Vikings in Oslo, Norway! (10)

This Norwegian city is definitely a fascinating city to visit though it’s also an amazing place to go to when you want to see the fjords of Norway as the train system here is pretty much on point and you’re no more than a couple of hours away at most from a stunning fjord. There’s also a lot to see and do in the city of course but Norway true charm lies in how cities and nature seem very intertwined.

14.) Prague, Czech Republic

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8 Free Or Really Cheap Ways To Fall In Love With Prague! (7)

Easily considered one of the most beautiful and most charming cities in Europe, Prague has a wealth of sights to see and free stuff to get up to that will keep you busy all weekend long.

15.) Flam, Norway

Fjord Safari... in Flam, Norway (51)

 

The Flamsbana Experience - Norway's Most Scenic Train Journey! (29)

 

The Flamsbana Experience - Norway's Most Scenic Train Journey! (31)

Flam is a gateway to three amazing fjords (which you can take a fjord safari through) and although there’s not really much in Flam, it’s the perfect spot for a nice and relaxing weekend getaway. The train ride here is also pretty epic by the way and one of the best train journeys in the world!

16.) Nimes, France

Visit Ancient Rome… in the South of France! In Nimes (10)

Visit Ancient Rome… in the South of France! In Nimes (13)

Visit Ancient Rome… in the South of France! In Nimes (16)

This city in the South of France looks like it’s straight out of Rome (or somewhere equally as grand in Italy). It’s got a strong Roman heritage (complete with colosseum) and some of the best creme brulee you’ve ever tasted.

17.) Berlin, Germany

Sightseeing In Berlin, Germany - Part 1 (1)

Sightseeing In Berlin, Germany - Part 1 (17)

Sightseeing In Berlin, Germany - Part 2 (2)

I’ll just come out and say it, a weekend in Berlin is not nearly enough time to explore the city but this is not a bad thing. Visiting for a weekend and feeling like coming back is always a good thing when it comes to cities like Berlin. The city is exciting and ever-evolving and even my friends from Berlin feel like there are still so many parts of the city they haven’t discovered yet so you won’t be alone in feeling that way.

18.) Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Exploring Amsterdam's Canal (By Driving A Boat For The First Time!) (9)

This Is Where To Go For The Best Sunsets In Amsterdam! (14)

This Is Where To Go For The Best Sunsets In Amsterdam! (9)

Amsterdam is easily the one city we’ve visited the most of all the cities in the world and with good reason too. Every visit to Amsterdam exposes a new part of the city and news ways to explore the city that we’ve just leaned into this vibe now and have our next two trips to the city already planned. What does this mean for you? Even if you have been to Amsterdam, a trip back is pretty much guaranteed to be fun-filled!

19.) Reykjavik, Iceland

Afternoon in Reykjavik, Iceland Before Storm (13)

Afternoon in Reykjavik, Iceland Before Storm (9)

Afternoon in Reykjavik, Iceland Before Storm (10)

Even in winter, Reykjavik is a colourful city and although it feels like you don’t need much more than a day to spend in the city, Reykjavik’s greatest appeal stretches far beyond the city. It’s appeal lies in all the amazing natural wonders surrounding the city and just waiting for you to explore (here are quite a few you won’t want to miss).

If you’re planning a trip to Iceland soon, we’ve put together a 1 week itinerary to help you do so (even if you’re there for just a weekend, you’ll find a few things on there you’ll wanna tick off). 🙂 Oh and don’t forget the food. Icelandic food is pretty great!

20.) Lisbon, Portugal

12 Things to do in Lisbon (5)

How To Spend The Perfect Weekend in Lisbon, Portugal (11)

How To Spend The Perfect Weekend in Lisbon, Portugal (5)

Forget a weekend – Lisbon is a city I’d happily move to for months on end and with good reason too. The city is fun, has amazing food (yes, I keep talking about food but it’s an important part of travel) and is quite easy to spend an amazing weekend in.

21.) Brussels, Belgium

12 Important Reasons You Need To Visit Brussels! (16)

12 Important Reasons You Need To Visit Brussels! (1)

12 Important Reasons You Need To Visit Brussels! (2)

Even if it’s just for the chocolate and waffles, you’ve got to take a weekend trip to Brussels. Of course there’s so much more to see and do here but I honestly won’t judge you if you wanna visit just for those two reasons. 😉

22.) Cotswolds, England

3 Neighbouring Villages & Towns You Need To Visit In The Cotswolds, England  (15)

How To Plan The Perfect Weekend In The Picturesque Cotswolds, England (2)

A Weekend in The Cotswolds And Some Apple-Serving Bears! (6)

The Cotswolds are one of the most beautiful places you can visit in the UK and every time we return, this only serves to re-affirm what we already knew. There are so many quaint English villages to see here which just make that list of reasons to visit the Cotswolds grow larger and larger.

23.) The Hebrides (Scotland), UK

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A weekend here is all about getting lost in nature and far-often rarely-seen rural British life. The Hebrides are unlike anywhere else you can visit in the UK and are definitely an eye opener when it comes to how amazing and beautiful Scotland truly is.

24.) San Sebastian, Spain

The Most Beautiful City in Spain. San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa, Spain, Hotel Londres (15)

The Most Beautiful City in Spain. San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa, Spain, Hotel Londres (18)

So Here's The Thing About San Sebastian... (3)

This Basque Country city is a truly gem in Spain and although it’s one of the most expensive places to visit in Spain, a trip here is most certainly worth it. When you’re here, you can pop down to the beach, try pintxos at every restaurant/bar possible and have a generally great time just ambling around the city. If you’re planning a bigger trip around the Basque country (including San Sebastian), then do check out this 4 day travel plan to help you get started.

25.) Istanbul, Turkey

11 Things To Do, See And Eat In Istanbul, Turkey (10)

11 Things To Do, See And Eat In Istanbul, Turkey (15)

The Cheapest Cities In Europe That You Need To Visit! (7)

Although Turkey is technically in Europe and in Asia, Istanbul is still a worthy addition to the list of cities worth visiting for a weekend as it is exciting, vibrant and full of character. There are lots of great experiences you can have here though do check out the FCO website before you visit.


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  • I visited some of these cities and Rome is definitely my favorite!! Next time you are in Holland, visit Utrecht, Den Haag or Delft. Those cities are touristic, but not as much as Amsterdam. We, Dutchies, think Amsterdam is way too overrated, haha.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Such great advice Ariane – thanks so much! 🙂

      It’s funny you mention Utrecht, we actually visited when we went to Holland a few years ago. We spent the day there… such a wonderful place!

      Haha @ Amsterdam being overated… The same happens in the UK too – but we have to admit we have a very big soft spot for Holland generally 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I love this post! I’m desperate to visit over half the places you listed. Flights from London are so much cheaper but it takes so long to get there, especially when you’re only flying somewhere for the weekend. I’m always trying to find places with reasonably priced flights from East Midlands/Birmingham but that proves a little more difficult than hoped.

    Gemma x
    The British Feather – A Travel & Lifestyle Blog

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ahhhhhh thanks! 🙂

      You’re right Gemma. We always tried to get the early moring 6am flights, meaning you usually arrive at the destination by 9am. For a return we’d always choose the last flight of the night on Sunday (usually getting back to London at about midnight).

      It’s definitely easier from London, like you said – have you tried using Skyscanner for cheaper flight finds for B’ham or East Midlands?

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I literally love everything on this list. Saving it EVERYWHERE and going to print it out and hang it on the wall as inspiration to save money and take a few weekends away!! xxx

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Haha! So glad Sarah! You know, when we visited (Nimes in the south of France) it cost £16 return for the flights and £15.50 each for the hotel, meaning we were able to visit the South of France for a weekend for just over £30. Can’t wait to hear where you go! Yay!

      Lloyd xx

      • Whoa, that is incredible! The only time I’ve felt like I’ve found flights like that, they’ve been out of Dublin (Cork is too small, I guess), so then I’d have to pay (and sit on the bus for 3 hours) to get to Dublin as well. But it’s definitely worth it. It’s hard to remember that it’s okay to spend a little money on travel now and then, so I really appreciate the inspiration and encouragement xx

  • Lots of great places, some that I am yet to see! LOVE Lisbon, and am so happy that Norway is on this list twice! 🙂 (A little biased there, haha)

    — LisaLDN.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Haha! As you know, Norway will end up on our travel list as much as possible 😉 Definitely one of our most favourite countries to visit!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • great photos!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Tanja xx

  • This is giving me such wanderlust! I am definitely saving this for future reference!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! So glad Amanda. We can’t wait to hear where you head off to!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • What a list! I’m really itching to plan my next European getaway now!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! Amazing Rachel – well, if you need two ‘tag along’ guys – make sure to squeeze us in your suitcase! Haha! 😉

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • so happy you included my home city prague =o)

    http://dreamofadventures.blogspot.com/

    • HandLuggageOnly

      How could we not.. haha! Such a wonderful place! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Anja – Live and Let’s Go

    Great list, love to see Copenhagen on it 😉 I’m planning to travel a lot this year, but since I have a full-time job longer getaways aren’t always possible, so this list is great inspiration. Would especially like to visit Amsterdam and either Florence or Venice – which one of these do you prefer?

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, you’re going to love it Anja. Well, Amsterdam is amazing but you know you could potentially do Florence and Venice in the same trip? I did this during my first time in Italy. If you visit for four days or so you could catch the train from Venice (about 2 hours or so) south to Florence and even include half a day in Pisa if you wanted.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Holly

    Such a good list! I am just planning a trip to Amsterdam 🙂 Prague, Lisbon, Barcelona and more are already on my blog…www.ldnmuse.com
    I’ve definitely added a few more cities to my list now after reading this fab blog post 🙂 x

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! Thanks so much Holly! We’d love to read your articles on the city. Do you have links to them? 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Holly

        Sure they are all here: http://bit.ly/1P6ZWnV xx

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Wow! That beach in Portugal is stunning! xx

  • Oh my, all these amazing places to visit, I’m so jealous! I wish I’d still live in Europe to be able to make a few of this trips during weekends! It’s probably just a matter of perspective, though, and I should probably start looking into weekend trips that I could do in the US instead (won’t be the same, but will probably be also nice 🙂 )

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You’re right about Perspective – the US has so many wonderful places to and so diverse 🙂

      I do have to admit though, we’ve always found it easier in Europe with cheaper airfare prices.. where else could you fly from London to Sweden for £8 return! 🙂

      Lloyd xx

      • I’m trying to be positive here, don’t help so much, hahah! But that is true, my parents live in Europe and sometimes they manage to get last-minute flights to some of the major cities for less than what the airport taxi costs!

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Haha!!! It costs us about £50 for us both to get to London Stansted – making the 45 minute train or taxi journey more expensive than the flights! It’s crazy!

          Have you travelled around the National Parks in the US? There are so many I’d love to visit!

          Lloyd x

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