7 Best Cities for a Spring Long-Weekend
There really is nothing quite like bathing in a sun-draped European city. And with temperatures finally starting to rise, we think it’s the perfect time of year to indulge in everything the continent has to offer. So if your summer holiday is just too far away, here’s what we think are some of the Best Cities in Europe for a Spring Long-Weekend;
It might not be the first city you think of but Reykjavik is truly one of Europe’s most underused gems. Though it’s become incredibly popular in the late winter when Northern Lights hunters invade the Icelandic tundra, the country’s capital is far more suited to warmer months. Reykjavik’s vibrant and colourful café/bar scene is thriving, with many comparing it to the trendier areas of East London.
While Reykjavik does have a reputation for being expensive – mainly on the drink front – accommodation is cheap enough and there’s much more to do in the city other than drinking, such as the Hallgrimskirkja and the world’s largest Phallological Museum… A perfect place to unwind, Reykjavik is also perfectly located to see some of Iceland’s most famed attractions, including the Blue Lagoon, The Great Geysir and Gullfoss waterfall.
Amsterdam is undoubtedly one of the biggest bargains in Europe with cheap, quick flights in abundance from all around the UK, as well as plenty of cheap accommodation options. It’s also the perfect place to visit in spring thanks to its plethora of canalside cafes and bars, while tulip season in the city also runs from the end of March until mid-May. The Dutch city has the ambience of a European metropolis but does away with many of the big city annoyances – primarily, size.
Amsterdam isn’t the biggest city in the world which means you can walk or cycle, as the locals do, pretty much anywhere. But its lack of square miles doesn’t mean it’s dull – anything but. With its picturesque waterways and leaning buildings, it’s the perfect city for a stroll, while its galleries and museums make it perfect for culture vultures. But as we’re sure you’re aware, Amsterdam is just as superb for a rebellious weekend away with your friends or partners!
Dubrovnik has quickly become one of Europe’s worst kept secrets. The charming pedestrian-only Croatian old town is located right next to the beautifully blue Adriatic Sea and mixes aristocratic charm and distinct history, with elegant Baroque churches and medieval architecture, meaning it’s got everything anybody could want from a long weekend away.
The beaches, ocean and the top-notch seafood are obvious attractions in what is arguably the world’s most spectacular walled city, while Dubrovnik’s UNESCO World Heritage Site status means everything is geared up for visitors. It’s not the cheapest place to go thanks to a recent influx of up-market Joes and those on the hunt for Game of Thrones filming locations but it’s still well worth the dough.
If you’re looking for a weekend away full of culinary delights – and why wouldn’t you? – in Italy, Bologna is often referred to lovingly as ‘La Grassa’ (the Fat One). This is the home of fresh pasta, the famed mortadella sausage, and nearby there are the finest producers of Parma ham, Parmigiano cheese, balsamic vinegar.
As well as its food, the city is also known for its beautiful arcades, medieval architecture, left-wing politics, and bustling social scene. This is partly down to its university, which is one of the oldest in Europe. The best thing about Bologna is while it has much of the charm of a Florence, it’s yet to be spoiled by the crowds. Take a trip before the secret gets out. For more info, check out our City Guide to Bologna.
Seville is one of Spain’s and Europe’s true gems. Rich in heritage, Seville is ideal for a long weekend away whether you’re looking for cobbled streets and historic architecture or a weekend of bars and restaurants. The influence of the city’s Moorish past and Catholic present is visible everywhere with the Alcázar of Seville the highlight. Coming complete with lush gardens, elaborately tiled courtyards and gilded ceilings, the palace is the oldest in Europe still in use today.
Other main sights to see include the world’s largest Cathedral, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Archeological Museum. Naturally, we’d also recommend catching a football game here, with the Sevilla fans notoriously some of the loudest and most passionate in the country. But if that’s not possible, just stay for the tapas…
While the likes of Copenhagen and Stockholm are well trodden paths, we make Bergen one of the best kept secrets in Europe. Found at the start of the stunning Norwegian fjords and enclosed by breath-taking mountain views, you’d struggle to find many more picturesque cities on the continent than Bergen. Packing a rich musical and maritime history, as well as a thriving student social scene, the city has plenty of things to do, with museums, shops, restaurants and pubs throughout the city centre and well into the University in the south.
The picture-perfect old town of Bryggen, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is impossible to miss and is a great place to meander. It’s easy to see why Bergen received the nickname of the ‘City of the Seven Mountains’ too – spectacular hilltop views of the city are available in every direction, as long as you don’t mind a short trek uphill. Bergen is also the ideal base if you want to check out the stunning Norwegian Fjords. For more info, check out our City Guide to Bergen!
But if you’ve already booked something lavish for the summer and are looking to save the pennies with a weekend away closer to home, then the UK has plenty of city breaks that should help you unwind too. While London is an obvious (and brilliant) destination, a romantic weekend away in Bath is difficult to beat.
Set in the rolling countryside of the Southwest, Bath offers traditional riverside pubs, 18th-century Georgian architecture and the best Roman Baths in the UK. The Romans discovered Bath’s hot spring waters over 2,000 years ago and it would be rude to waste them now. Bath is also home to a thriving arts scene, so there’s plenty in the way of hipster hangouts.
Sustainability and conservation are becoming ever more important when it comes to our travel choices. With that in mind, check out the 7 of the Best Eco-Resorts in the World below;