Updated: March 2020
When it comes to varied and interesting destinations that will suit all types of tastes, Europe has a lot to offer- from bustling capital cities to charming rural regions.
Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend or an adventure-filled weekend of sightseeing and exploring historical sites, there are plenty of destinations to choose from.
Here are 10 destinations perfect for weekend getaways in Europe!
Costa Brava, Spain
To the northeast of Barcelona, the Costa Brava region is a lovely tourist area with a beautiful coastline and some wonderful beaches. It’s an ideal destination for those looking to relax in the sun!
Scuba diving is a popular activity with many great diving sites, while the wonderful inns and bars offer delicious traditional food and the chance to enjoy the local wine and beer.
This welcoming and inclusive city offers a step back into the Middle Ages when Ghent was one of the most powerful cities on the continent, and the pedestrianized city center is an amazing place to explore with superb historic architecture and lovely sights.
The cuisine is very good with some interesting dishes to try, and in the evening the riverside area is beautifully illuminated and is a wonderful spot for a stroll.
A charming coastal city which has a lovely old town, Nice has a reputation for its great selection of art museums, including ones dedicated to Chagall and Matisse, while the walk up to the Colline du Chateau on a hill above the city offers a lovely panorama.
The city has a lively nightlife and is known for its great seafood, while the botanical gardens here are very impressive.
The cosmopolitan Swedish capital is set over three main islands and has a good balance between a modern city center and historic sights, many of which date back centuries to the heyday of the Swedish empire.
The old town is filled with narrow cobbled streets that are great to explore, while the Royal Stockholm Palace and Drottningholm are grand buildings, and you can see the maritime history on the restored warship at the Vasa Museum.
The ‘Invincible City’ is Portugal’s second city and the location on the Douro River Estuary makes it a nice place to explore. Porto has given its name to Port, the fortified wine, so visiting the Port Wine Cellars in the Ribeira riverside district is a highlight.
The center of Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you’ll find delicious seafood, including hundreds of different types of salted cod available at the city’s restaurants.
Two-thirds of the Icelandic population live in the capital, and despite being a large city, it also has some beautiful green areas, including several parks and the botanical gardens.
Nature lovers can go whale watching or spotting puffins, while the Northern Lights are best viewed a short distance outside the city. To warm up afterward, the vibrant live music scene makes for a great night out!
Lying on the Bosphorus, Istanbul is on the cusp of Europe and Asia, and these influences can be seen in most aspects of the architecture and life of the city.
Christian buildings such as Hagia Sofia stand confidently beside Muslim architecture such as the Sultanahmet Mosque. In the spring, the bold colors of the tulips across the city are a stunning sight worth savoring!
The British capital is one of the largest and most influential cities on the continent, and it has a wonderful variety and diversity that makes it a great destination.
You can see buildings such as the Houses of Parliament or Buckingham Palace, or explore the wealth of art galleries and museums, before enjoying the great range of restaurants and nightlife in the evenings.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
This city of canals is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and the center is a UNESCO World Heritage site (dating from the seventeenth century).
There is a beautiful range of historical buildings as well as a famous museum dedicated to Van Gogh. The relaxed atmosphere and friendly locals make it a great place to unwind.
Perched on white cliffs at the southern tip of the French island of Corsica, this lovely city is set around a harbor and sits on a sea-facing cliffside. The walk up to the citadel is worth the effort, offering a great panorama across the surrounding area.
The city itself sits on a clifftop so there are some amazing walking paths and incredible dining options with breathtaking views.