Lloyd and I always seek a way to try to travel as often as possible whilst still working and studying. Well, this meant we had to be savvy with our free time, so looking for the very best weekend trips in Europe was totally essential.
This is perfect if you’re working full-time because weekend travel requires you to use ZERO holiday days. Well, unless you fancy tagging on an extra few days; which is totally justifiable.
This is exactly why we wanted to share some of the best weekend trips in Europe that’ll sort out any wanderlust-feelings you might have.
Plus, under each of the 25 different places, we’ve popped a link to a dedicated post on that very place. This all means you can get the full low-down on each spot without having to miss any of the weekend spots!
Take a look, below, at some of the best weekend trips in Europe to enjoy. Have the best time!
1.) London, UK
London is always an easy win as there’s always so much to do whilst you’re in buzzing London town.
Oh, and that’s before we’ve even got to the most stunning London palaces and all the best areas in London, too.
2.) Cinque Terre, Italy
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.
3.) Paris, France
Paris as a city is another easy win though my personal favourite time to visit Paris is definitely in the summer. It really is one of the best weekend trips in Europe if you love a city break.
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
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
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 gorgeous neighbouring towns.
6.) Budapest, Hungary
There’s so much to do here during the day and at night through one of the best part about visiting this city is how affordable it is. It really is one of the best weekend trips in Europe, and much cheaper than cities like London or Paris, too.
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
My love for Florence has been stated time and time again.
It’s probably easy to see why a weekend away in Florence is just what you need.
8.) Venice, Italy
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. Venice is easily one of the best weekend trips in Europe, especially as it’s a unique water city!
9.) Edinburgh, Scotland
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
It’s amazing and one of the best weekend trips in Europe that we loved!
11.) Barcelona, Spain
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, a wealth of exciting restaurants to eat in an uber-cool vibe, a weekend in Barcelona is one that definitely feels like a good choice to make.
12.) Porto, Portugal
Porto is synonymous with good wine, delicious food and a weekend getaway where you can take in some real Portuguese charm at a leisurely pace.
It’s also a very colourful city and an amazing place to visit for a couple of days (or even longer). It’s one of the best weekend trips in Europe that you can easily partner with a trip down Portugal’s dramatic coastline, too.
13.) Oslo, Norway
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.
14.) Prague, Czech Republic
We loved it!
15.) Flam, Norway
16.) Nimes, France
It’s got a strong Roman heritage (complete with Colosseum) and some of the best creme brulee you’ve ever tasted.
17.) Berlin, Germany
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.
Oh yeah, don’t forget about Potsdam too.
18.) Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam is easily the one city we’ve visited the most, out of all the cities in the world and with good reason too.
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
Its appeal lies in all the amazing natural wonders surrounding the city and just waiting for you to explore (there are quite a few you won’t want to miss).
Oh and don’t forget the food. Icelandic food is pretty great!
20.) Lisbon, Portugal
Forget a weekend – Lisbon is a city I’d happily move to for months on end and with good reason too.
Also, for a great hotel, check into this gorgeous spot, it’s the perfect place to chill whilst on the best weekend trips in Europe. So lovely.
21.) Brussels, Belgium
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
The Cotswolds is 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. You’ll have the best time and easily one of the best weekend trips in Europe if you’ve got a car to dart around the area in.
23.) The Hebrides (Scotland), UK
A weekend here is all about getting lost in nature and far-often rarely-seen rural British life.
24.) San Sebastian, Spain
This Basque Country city is a true 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
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.