City breaks that offer something special


For the time-pressed modern traveller who wants to get away from it all for a few days while still having access to plenty of things to do and see, the city break is ideal and is something that is becoming increasingly popular among holidaymakers.

But, with so many interesting destinations just a short flight away, it’s hard to pick exactly which city to head to, particularly if you’re only going to have the time to visit one place this year.

Below are a few suggestions for short-haul city-break destinations that really offer something extra special for travellers. Some are fairly established, while others are designed for those after something a little different.


It has almost become something of a cliché to include Barcelona on a list like this, given its huge popularity as a city break destination in recent years. But the Catalan capital has a stellar reputation among travellers for a reason – it truly is the king of city breaks. With brilliant cuisine, a rich history and culture, buzzing nightlife and a fabulous beach, there’s everything you need here for great few days away. Furthermore, there are plenty of low-cost flights to Barcelona available through airlines operating from the UK, such as Monarch and others.


Another classic city break destination and again with good reason. A visit to Rome gives you the chance to see some of the most fascinating historical and cultural sites in the world, from the Sistine Chapel to the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. And when you get bored of those, you can always just do as the locals do and pass a few hours leisurely sipping coffee on a cafe terrace watching the world go by.

Picture of Dubrovnik Old City in Croatia Photo by Greenweasel, Creative Commons


It may not have the glamour of the major European capitals, but what you do get on a city break in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik is the chance to enjoy a picturesque city with plenty of culture and history and no shortage of charm. Simply spending a few hours strolling around the beautiful old town and harbour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is enough to make you realise why Lord Byron once proclaimed Dubrovnik “the pearl of the Adriatic”.


If you’re torn between a city break and a sun-drenched beach holiday, then head to Malaga and you can enjoy both of these all wrapped up into one. Malaga is Spain’s up-and-coming city destination, offering plenty of history and culture. Explore the narrow winding streets of the largely pedestrianised old town and check out landmarks such as the 11th century Moorish fortress, known as The Alcazaba, which perches on a hilltop overlooking the city. Meanwhile, thanks to its location on the south coast of Spain, Malaga enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout most the year and boasts numerous beaches both in and near the city where you can make the most of the good weather.


This final choice offers something a little different to your standard city break. Located on the shores of Lake Constance in southern Germany, Friedrichshafen is a university city with a population of just 58,000 and is the ideal place for those looking for a more laid-back alternative to the bigger and better known city break destinations. The town itself offers historic architecture, friendly and traditional pubs and accommodation and plenty of traditional German culture. And all of this comes with the stunning backdrop of the lake and the mountains of Austria and Switzerland on the other side.


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