7 great weekend destinations in Europe to suit all tastes
With the holiday season just around the corner, a European weekend getaway is the best way to make the most of your holiday leave! Move over Paris and Berlin - here are our top destinations for summer 2019.
The regal jewel - Munich
If you’re after a spot of culture, look no further than Munich. Not only is the city of “art and beer” home to over 100 museums and art galleries, but it’s also within easy reach of some of Germany’s most stunning castles and palaces.
What with that, and the city’s famous “coffee and cake” culture, wandering around this stunning city, you’ll feel like German royalty! If you need a spot of downtime after all that classiness, head to one of the city’s famous breweries for some no-frills German cuisine.
The romantic rendez-vous - Florence
Paris is SO 2003. What’s more romantic than slurping on creamy gelato and admiring David’s famous marble backside in the Renaissance city of Florence?
Not only is this Unesco World Heritage Site home to a frankly unfair amount of incredible art and architecture, but it’s also the birthplace of Italian fashion and quite possibly the most beautiful and romantic city in the world. Head to Piazzale Michelangelo for sunset and you’ll see what we mean.
The scenic route - Bergen
Bergen is definitely a class act city in its own right - full of charming, chocolate-box houses, art museums and a vibrant bar scene - but one of its main attractions is that it’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from the breathtaking natural scenery of the Norwegian Fjords.
Nestled between the two biggest fjords in western Norway, Bergen is the ideal starting point for exploring Scandinavia’s number one attraction. Jump on one of the popular fjord tours or, if you’re the “outdoorsy” type, engage in a spot of fjord kayaking.
The all-nighter - Hamburg
Forget New York, Hamburg is the city that never sleeps. It’s often sidelined in favour of Germany’s capital city, but if you’re after a good night out, this nautical city has more than its fair share of after-dark vigour.
If the world-famous Reeperbahn isn’t classy enough for you, the square-kilometre between the St Pauli and Sternschanze districts is densely packed with charming watering-holes and edgy, all-night boozers. Don’t expect to be in bed before 7 am.
The sun seeker - Nice
Nice has exerted a pull on sunseekers since at least the 1700s - and with good reason. The mild Mediterranean climate and gorgeous waterfront promenade ensure that it’s the ideal spot for those looking for a touch of sea, sand and serenity.
In between lazing on the balmy beach and people-watching from the Promenade des Anglais, you can also take in a spot of art (Matisse, Picasso and Renoir were all reported fans of the city), and chow down on some incomparable local cuisine.
The round-town ramble - Utrecht
It’s the logistical centre of the Netherlands, but walking around the quaint, crooked streets of Utrecht, you’d never realise it. One of the oldest Dutch cities, Utrecht is just a stone’s throw from Amsterdam and has 10 times the charm.
Its compact centre, contained within a group of tree-lined, fairy light-bedecked canals, is positively groaning with unique and quirky places to eat, drink and shop. If you ever tire of wandering through the higgledy-piggledy streets, Utrecht’s concert venues have lineups to rival the best.
The all-rounder - Lisbon
Cliched it may sound, but Lisbon really does have it all. Spread over seven hills, it is a beautiful, sprawling mass of cobbled alleyways, crumbling white cathedrals and custard tarts (if for nothing else, go to Lisbon for the Pastel de Nata, which are served up day and night, hot, oozing and divine).
While the Bairro Alto district buzzes with cheap and cheerful nighttime fun, by day there is no greater pleasure than stomping around Lisbon’s mosaic pavements, admiring the views and stuffing your face with delicious seafood. As if that wasn’t enough, the beach is less than 30 minutes away by train.
Pack your bags!
Inspired yet? Time to get booking! With summer just around the corner, there’s no time like the present.
This article was originally published on IamExpat in Germany.