Heroes' Square, Budapest, Hungary
When it comes to city breaks, the usual Euro hotspots like Paris, Rome, Madrid or Berlin, quickly come to mind. But, there are so many more cities to explore in the diverse continent; you just need to search them out. With Easter fast approaching, now is the perfect time to book your city getaway.
Here’s our pick of the top eight underrated European cities that you should visit (scroll down for gallery).
Budapest, HungaryThe capital of Hungary has so much to offer visitors, including; great restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and best of all, some of the best spas in Europe. It is said that over 15 million gallons of water runs through Budapest’s 118 springs and boreholes on a daily basis, giving travellers an astounding array of baths to choose from, such as the 16th century Turkish pool boasting original Ottoman architecture.
Dubbed the “Queen of the Danube”, Budapest is a city best discovered on foot. History, culture and stunning landscapes all make up its beautiful façade. From the historical complex that is Budapest castle, to the Roman ruins of the Aquincum Museum, the awe-inspiring Heroes’ Square and the 300-foot dome of St. Stephen's Basilica – this is a city with the kind of unforgettable unique charm that will draw you back to its lands time and again.
For cheap city breaks to Budapest, click here.
Krakow, PolandOne of the oldest cities in Poland with a deep history and a fascinating royal past, Krakow is where you should head for a cool urban break. Exploring the wonderful architectural gem of central Europe with its Gothic and Renaissance style buildings, and other cultural sights like the stunning Twelve Apostles, St. Florian’s Gate, and the inspiring Main Market Square, will take you a world away from the tourist trap sites of the more well-known European cities.
The spectacular Wawel Royal Castle, which has served as the royal residence for over 500 years, is the city’s centerpiece, symbolically representing the independent Polish state. The citadel overlooks Krakow's cobbled streets lined with candlelit cafes and friendly bars, all welcoming visitors in search of relaxation and having a good time. A visit to the Old Town is a must too.
For cheap city breaks to Krakow, click here.
Seville, SpainThose in search of romance, history, culture and great food, should turn to Seville for their next city break. Andalusia’s capital is charming, seductive and picturesque. It’s situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, home to the Gothic Seville Cathedral, also the resting place of Columbus, as well as a number of other points of interest, including Plaza de Espana and the Alcazar of Seville with mesmerising Islamic and Jewish art.
The atmosphere in this beautiful Spanish city is laid-back and dreamy, and this ambience carries throughout the city’s winding streets from Alameda to Santa Cruz and Remedios. Expect nothing less than superb Spanish cuisine in the bars, cafes and tapas restaurants. A climb up Giralda Tower is a must, to experience the most stunning views of Seville.
For cheap city breaks to Seville, click here.
Dusseldorf, GermanyRenowned for its fashion and trade fairs, Dusseldorf is often overlooked as a city break destination; but those in search of an alternative shopping and nightlife scene to busy Berlin, Milan or Amsterdam, would be wise to consider this German city’s appeal.
Straddling the banks of the Rhine River, Dusseldorf is a great mix of traditional and modern; Altstadt, dubbed "the longest bar in the world", is the lovely and small Old Town with more than 300 bars and nightclubs. This place also takes its beer seriously, and alongside the more contemporary party drinks, you’ll find the native dark beer, Altbier, being served.
Königsallee is an urban boulevard and Dusseldorf's famous shopping street, with many high-end stores. Once you’ve shopped to your heart’s content and enjoyed a night out, head for a cultural fix to the Museum Kunst Palast, which houses one of the best art collections in the Rhineland.
For cheap city breaks to Dusseldorf, click here.
Nice, France Looking for a less crowded mini-break option that guarantees a stunning city and a sun-drenched beach? Then Nice is the place for you. The beautiful French hotspot combines culture, beach, sun and sea – all the ingredients for a perfect escape.
Located on the southeast coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, Nice takes prime position on the area aptly named the Cote d'Azur, for its beautiful bright, blue waters. The whole place is stunning, and carries a sophisticated Riviera vibe with fashionable boutiques and restaurants, and tons of cultural sites to wonder.
Take a stroll up to Castle Hill for a spectacular view of the city and the Bay of Angels. For art-lovers there’s must-visit museums; archaeological buffs can marvel the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Cemenelum; and foodies can indulge in delicious family-style French cooking as well as Michelin-starred cuisine.
For cheap city breaks to Nice, click here.
Moscow, RussiaYou may rarely here talk of a break in Moscow, but this cultural city is a fascinating place to discover the rich and interesting history of the biggest country in the world. Russia’s capital offers architectural wonders, like the Charlie and the Chocolate factory-looking St Basil's Cathedral, in Moscow’s famous Red Square; the Senate Palace, where the current president holds office; and many other churches and monuments all over the city.
It’s true that, according to one poll, Moscow was voted the most unfriendly city in the world, but the survey does no justice in capturing the city’s vigour, creativity and contemporary culture. It is a major political, economic, cultural and scientific centre in Russia and in Europe.
The city is full of edgy art galleries, world-class theatres, enthralling underground clubs and some of the best coffee houses, wine bars and exclusive nightspots with a bohemian-chic vibe for all to enjoy.
For cheap city breaks to Moscow, click here.
Lisbon, PortugalForget the Algarve; the capital city of Portugal is where you should be heading for a memorable city break. The hillside city of Lisbon overlooks the pretty River Tagus and has plenty to show for, including its exciting nightlife, wonderful historical and cultural sights and the best traditional cuisine for you to relish.
Walk through Lisbon’s intimate alleyways and narrow lanes to explore this vibrant and characterful cityscape with its magnificent monasteries, charming museums and great old Moorish Castle.
Tuck into some fresh bread or pastry with a glass of wine in one of the leafy plazas, get to meet the locals at the traditional public baths in Alfama, or party until dawn in the hilltop district of Bairro Alto to jazz and reggae; Lisbon’s mix of traditional pastimes and contemporary culture makes it the perfect warm city break, without all the crowds and fuss of other European capitals.
For cheap city breaks to Lisbon, click here.
Tallinn, EstoniaCatch a glimpse of Estonia’s intriguing past in Tallinn’s impressive Old Town with its mishmash of medieval pathways and spires. Tallinn is small compared to other European cities, and tourist areas are very safe, so getting out and exploring on foot would be the way to take in this wonderful city. Art, cultural hotspots and delicious local food await those who choose to visit here.
Tallinn has the benefit of being relatively untouched by tourism, meaning fewer crowds and more room to appreciate the attractions such as Rocca-al-Mare Open Air Museum, the onion-domed Alexander Nevsky cathedral, the buzzing Town Hall Square and St Olaf’s church - its spire was once the tallest in the world.
For cheap city breaks to Tallinn, click here.
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