From the classics such as London, Paris, and Amsterdam, to more underrated gems such as Seville, Florence, and Kraków, a European city break allows you to enjoy the sights, tastes, and experiences of the great continent in just a few days.
The continent’s vast history gives each country its own distinct culture and feel, meaning that there’s something for everyone when it comes to a European city break.
But which European city break destinations are the best? And which are the most affordable?
New study has ranked the 50 major cities in Europe on factors such as the number of things to do, nature and parks, bars and clubs and average annual temperature and rainfall, to reveal the best city destinations in Europe.
The 10 best city break destinations in Europe
|Rank||City||Number of things to do per 100,000 people||Nature and parks per 100,000 people||Restaurants per 100,000 people||Bars & clubs per 100,000 people||Average annual temperature (°F)||Average annual rainfall (mm)||City break score /10|
|1||Palma de Mallorca||187.4||8.0||592.4||24.7||63.9||402||9.49|
In first place is Palma de Mallorca, with a city break score of 9.49. As well as being amongst the top-scoring cities for things to do, Palma also enjoys beautiful weather too, meaning that if you get tired of exploring the historic city centre and masses of great bars and restaurants, then you can relax on the golden sandy beaches instead.
Another Spanish city, Seville, ranks in the top 3. The capital of Andalusia has a city break score of 9.08 and again ranks high for things to do. With its charming streets, hidden gardens, and links with flamenco dancing, Seville is a great city for a romantic getaway. Seville is also the warmest of the city’s on our list, with temperatures averaging at 65.8°F over the course of the year.
Completing the top three best cities is another Spanish city, Valencia, with the excellent weather again playing a big part in this. However, it’s not all just about the sunshine in Valencia, as it’s also known for its thriving nightlife and striking architecture. The city ranks in third with a city break score of 8.13.
The European city break with the most things to do
Venice, Italy – 733.6 things to do per 100,000 people
One of the best things about a city break is that you can cram a lot of sightseeing into a short space of time, and nowhere is this truer than Venice, Italy, where there are 773.6 sights and attractions per 100,000 people. These include the Grand Canal thoroughfare, the Piazza San Marco, and St. Mark’s Basilica.
The best European city break for natural beauty
Venice, Italy – 24.8 parks & nature attractions per 100,000 people
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life for a couple of hours, then when it comes to parks and other natural attractions, then Venice once again takes the top spot. Venice is of course known for its canals and lagoons that carry people between the 100-plus islands that the city consists of.
The best European city break for foodies
Palma de Mallorca, Spain – 592.4 restaurants per 100,000 people
Discovering the local cuisine is one of the best things about going on vacation and the city with the highest concentration of restaurants to people is Palma de Mallorca. The city has a burgeoning restaurant scene that includes not just traditional tapas bars and the like, but also a number of Michelin-starred establishments.
The best European city break for nightlife
Prague, Czech Republic – 47.9 bars & clubs per 100,000 people
If you enjoy a night out after a day of sightseeing in the city, then Prague’s nightlife is world-famous, with more bars and clubs per 100,000 people than any other city that we looked at. Not only is the choice of venues amazing in Prague, but you also won’t have to stretch your budget too far to have a good night!
The most affordable European city break destinations
1. Istanbul, Turkey – 9.19 affordability score
When looking at the cost of things such as a hotel room, taxi, and meal in a restaurant, it’s Turkey’s Istanbul that works out as the cheapest of the European city breaks.
Istanbul is much more affordable than many other major European capitals particularly when it comes to taking a cab, with taxis averaging a cost of just $0.30 per kilometer.
2. Wrocław, Poland – 9.14 affordability score
Another affordable European city destination is that of Wrocław, in Poland. Here the average hotel room comes in at a bargain price of just $62 per night on a weekend.
The city is known for its Market Square with its Gothic Old Town Hall and huge astronomical clock, as well as Cathedral Island and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Centennial Hall.
3. Kraków, Poland – 8.98 affordability score
Poland proves to be a very affordable country for travelers, with Kraków coming in third place. Here, a meal in a no-frills restaurant will cost just $714, and you can pick up a beer for just $2.38
The city has a remarkably well-preserved medieval core and old town, which is surrounded by a park, as well as what remains of the old medieval walls.