We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

Cars & travel.

Updated: 1 Oct 2021

Best city breaks in Europe

Looking for a new weekend city break destination? Our top cities prove that exceptional accommodation, dining and attractions are key to an escape worth raving about.
Which?Editorial team

To help you plan your next trip we asked Which? members to rate the cities they had visited in the past year. 

Our top cities offer a winning combination of historic charm, cultural interest, good places to eat and drink, plus excellent value for money. 

You also rated accommodation, shopping and ease of getting around to give a complete picture of the city in question.

Book your own weekend break using the best and worst travel agents, and the best travel comparison sites to find a good deal.

Europe's best cities, as voted by you

DestinationAverage airfareAverage hotel rateAccommodationFood and drinkCultural attractionsShoppingEase of getting aroundValue for moneyCity score

Using the table

  • Star ratings range from one to five. A dash (–) indicates we didn’t receive enough responses to provide a rating. 
  • Cultural sights and tourist attractions Includes range, quality and price of historic buildings, galleries, museums, parks and city tours. 
  • Ease of getting around Includes range of public transport options, ease of understanding transport-related maps/information/ transport ticket pricing systems, ease of walking/travelling between sights. 
  • City score Based on a combination of overall satisfaction and how likely people are to recommend the city as a holiday destination

Krakow: best for cheap city breaks

Video: Take a tour of Europe's best city

With a palace on every street and a plate of pierogi and pint of Pilsner costing less than a tenner, Krakow has topped our survey for three years running.

Don't miss: Visit Auschwitz for a moving reminder of the horror that happened there during the war. Come in late June for the Jewish festival to celebrate the community's culture.

Krakow is also one of our top holiday destinations for September. 

Seville: best for a weekend break in Spain

Locals and tourists rub shoulders in the same tapas bars in Seville, spilling out on to streets where the carved walls of Renaissance churches provide shade to glorious open-air markets.

At night everyone from small children to immaculately dressed elderly couples promenade through some of the finest little plazas in Europe.

Don't miss: The Real Alcazar palace's carved arches are every bit as intricate and beautiful as the better-known Alhambra in Granada. The shady patios of olive trees and tinkling fountains are also the perfect place to cool off during Seville's hot afternoons.

Find out which are the best and worst hotel booking websites and flight booking websites to book your city break with.

Berlin: best summer city break 

From the darkest depths of its eerie underground bunkers, to the dizzying heights of its eccentric TV Tower, Berlin offers a constellation of eclectic five-star cultural attractions shaped by its tumultuous history.

The Pergamon and four other world-class museums are handily concentrated into one Unesco-listed island on the river Spree, while fragments of the Berlin Wall offer a sobering counterpoint to the vibrant hedonism of the modern city, with its outdoor summer bars and countless courtyard cafés.

Dont miss: Climb the gleaming glass beacon of the Reichstag dome for futuristic architecture and 360-degree Berlin views.

Amsterdam: best city break by train

With its direct Eurostar route from London, Amsterdam has shaken off its stag and sex tourism reputation to become a cosmopolitan maze of wonky, gabled houses laced with tulip-decked canals, artistic treasures and a contemporary drinking and dining scene – all easily explored on foot, by bike or by gently cruising the canals.

Dont miss: Step behind the false bookshelves into the cramped, airless secret annex where Anne Frank wrote the remarkably articulate diary that became an essential historical document.

Our destination features are based on real insight from readers, who tell us their favourite places to visit before we go undercover to investigate. Find out more about Which? Travel

Budapest: best spa break city

More than 100 hot springs bubble beneath Budapest before bursting through at beautiful spa complexes such as the palatial Szechenyi and Art Nouveau Gellert Baths. Take your lead from the time-honoured ritual of locals, young and old, who slink in and out of the pools, each set to a different temperature. 

With spa access costing around £14 per day and massages from £32 for 45 minutes, relaxing in Budapest is great value for money. 

Dont miss: All aboard the Children's Railway, one of the cheerier remnants of the Communist era, staffed entirely by cherub-faced children in peaked caps. The rattly old engine chugs seven miles through the Buda Hills, with each stop offering wonderful walks.

Who to book your European city break with

Some of the biggest names in travel offer to take the hassle out of a city break by organising a package for you. 

We've reviewed the most-used providers including British Airways Holidays, Broadway Travel, easyJet Holidays, Expedia, Jet2 Holidays and Tui.

For all of our travel agent reviews visit best and worst travel agents.

Our research

In April 2019, Which? members completed an online survey about European cities they’d visited for leisure purposes in the past year and stayed in for at least one night. We reported on 4,704 experiences. The city score is based on a combination of overall satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending it. Only cities that were mentioned by at least 30 members are included.