Last minute breaks to European cities
Why go on a city break in Europe?
Summer holidays for most people mean two weeks of sun, sea and sand, but a shorter, last minute break to a city destination can be every bit as rewarding. You might not go home with a tan, but there's so much more to soak up than the sun on a break in one of Europe's fascinating cities. There are great sights to see and wonderful architecture to appreciate, not to mention a whole new world of gastronomy to enjoy.
The Voyage Privé travel expert's opinion on last minute breaks to European cities
City visits are all about exploring new places and new cultures, and our exclusive selection of city breaks offers travellers a genuine voyage of discovery. From the ancient heart of Kraków to the stylish streets of Stockholm, there's something for everybody here. Guests can hike in the stunning scenery of Norway or Scotland, or wander through the shabby chic of Porto and Lisbon. And with up to 70% off some Voyage Privé deals, it's the perfect time to go.
Great destinations for last minute breaks
Though Poland may not be top of everyone's list as an obvious choice for a holiday, it has so much more to discover than you might think. The country has a rich heritage and a wealth of unique architecture. The stunning city of Kraków is home to Europe's largest medieval market square, along with monuments, museums and numerous other places of interest. The capital, Warsaw, is a city of culture, palaces, royal gardens and beautiful parks. Its historical Old Town has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Norway is probably best known for its mountains, glaciers and fjords, but it's also home to some gorgeous countryside, bustling towns and vibrant cities. Its capital, Oslo, is a city where contemporary culture fuses with history, and travellers on last minute breaks will find more than enough to see and do. The city of Bergen is known for its wharf surrounded by colourful wooden houses - and you might even get to see those elusive Northern Lights!
Portugal's Algarve region has been a haven for sun-seekers for many years, but travellers have also been busy discovering what its fabulous cities have to offer. Porto's bustling streets and squares are a delight to walk around, while Lisbon offers everything you could expect from a capital city and more. The cafés and restaurants are welcoming, and a visit to either city wouldn't be complete without tasting the famous Pastéis de Nata custard tart!
Scotland is a unique and popular destination within the UK, with some breathtaking views and charming towns and cities. The country is home to the famous Loch Ness monster (allegedly), and the rugged Scottish Highlands are truly majestic. As well as its annual festival and impressive castle on the cliff, Edinburgh's bustling streets are full of quaint shops, welcoming cafés and cosy restaurants.
5. Finland and Sweden
Scandinavia is becoming increasingly popular as a holiday destination and for last minute breaks. Cities like Helsinki and Stockholm have much to offer the last minute traveller, from glorious architecture and great shopping to a real sense of style and a fascinating cultural history. In Sweden, a new wave of young chefs has emerged, who are combining traditional Swedish cuisine with contemporary influences.
5 of the best deals for last minute breaks
Kraków is one of Poland's oldest cities and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world. With 4-star accommodation, you will travel by train from Kraków to Warsaw, allowing you to explore the history and culture of these two fascinating cities.
If you're looking for a different kind of experience, a last minute break to Norway could be the perfect choice. After a stay at a 4-star hotel in the country's capital, Oslo, the scenic Bergen Railway will whisk you off to explore the bustling and beautiful city of Bergen.
Porto is a wonderful city, famous for its architecture, iconic trams and port wine. Portugal's capital, Lisbon, is equally vibrant and fascinating. This trip will allow you to explore both, travelling by train and staying in stylish 4-star hotels along the way.
The Edinburgh Festival is famous the world over, and the city itself is a fantastic place to visit on a last minute break. With the choice of a 3 or 4-star hotel in Edinburgh, your stay will include a number of exciting and memorable trips.
Your trip will begin in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, where you can explore the culture, diverse architecture and smart pavement cafés. A memorable ferry journey will take you to the stylish Swedish capital of Stockholm, where your Scandinavian adventure will continue.
Practical information about European cities
What is the weather like?
Porto and Lisbon are your safest options if you prefer to do your sightseeing in warm weather and sunshine. In Portugal, even in early spring, it's often pleasant enough to break out the shorts and tee-shirts. The climate outside of the summer months is less temperate in Scandinavia, Scotland and Poland, and travel plans can sometimes be affected in mid-winter. However, spring or autumn can be good times to visit, when attractions tend to be less crowded and prices are often cheaper.
What budget to plan
Even in major cities, you don't have to spend a fortune on food, as most restaurants display menus and prices outside. If fine dining is more your thing, your budget will need to reflect that. Most cities have some great shopping districts, and if you're planning to take home some souvenirs, new clothes or luxury items, you'll need to increase your budget accordingly. You will also need to factor in any additional trips or excursions you wish to take, and there may be charges to enter some museums or galleries. To help keep your budget to a minimum, why not take a look at some of the money-saving deals on offer from Voyage Privé.