Five of the Best European City Breaks

Tuesday 4 September 2012
Reviewed: Monday 10 November 2014

A visit to a European city makes for the perfect last-minute getaway. With so many destinations just a short trip away, we pick five of the best.
Rome

Rome


Epic in size, epic in history, Italy’s capital is bursting at the seams with sights – and scooters!

You’ll feel the vibrant pulse of the city when you arrive outside the mighty walls of the ancient Colosseum, Vespas beeping manically in the background.

But you don’t have to travel far to swap the city’s soundtrack for something more subdued, for right in the heart of Rome is a city within a city – the Vatican. Most of this tiny sovereign state is out of bounds, but the museums are a must: few places contain such a literal wealth of art.

Of course Rome is renowned for its cuisine, so be prepared to put on a few pounds after indulging in platefuls of pasta, creamy cappuccinos and the obligatory gelato or two…

When you stroll back to your hotel after your final night’s feast, don’t forget to visit Neptune and toss a coin into his fountain to ensure your return to Rome.

Save 10% on European City Breaks with Saga

Barcelona


There’s something about Barcelona that inspires creativity, which is why many artists come here to ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’, drawing inspiration from the likes of Gaudi, Picasso and Miro.

The artists still have a huge influence on the city’s galleries, museums, parks and buildings – most obviously the fantastical structures created by Gaudi, such as the Sagrada Familia.

But aside from simply admiring the artistic talents of Catalan’s capital and hunting down the standard tourist haunts, there are some more unusual attractions worth seeking out too.

Be sure to check out the museum that celebrates the achievements of Barcelona FC, and the Spanish Village built for the 1929 World Fair and now home to a variety of craft workshops, restaurants and bars.

Find cheaps hotels in Barcelona

Lisbon


Looking wistfully out towards the Atlantic from the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, 33 figures stand as tribute to the achievements of Portugal’s Age of Discovery.

The group of explorers, scientists, royalty and missionaries are led by Henry the Navigator, the man responsible for Portugal’s imperial expansion into Africa and the Far East. But a maritime heritage is just part of Lisbon’s attraction.

The pleasure of exploring this small, understated capital is often in the unexpected: striking-up conversations while travelling along the tree-lined streets by tram; or happening upon a bustling flea market after pausing for a Sunday morning espresso.

Search for cheap flight and hotel deals for Lisbon

1 2 Next

Related

  • Free things to do in Barcelona

    Free Things To Do In Barcelona

    If you're looking to spend a day or two in Barcelona and are watching your Euros, you're in luck. There are plenty of things to see and do that won't cost you a single cent.

    Read on

  • Foodie Destinations Europe

    Top Foodie Destinations In Europe

    For those with a palate for the finer things in life, the cuisine of the country will play a huge part in the decision-making process.

    Read on

  • Central Park, New York

    Autumn in New York

    With cool, crisp days framed with fall foliage, no summer crowds, and more events and exhibitions than at any other time of the year, it is probably the ideal time to visit the most exciting city in the world.

    Read on

Save 10% on European Breaks

Find Late Deals and Flight & Hotel packages

Search over 5,000 UK and European Hotels and save 10% – exclusively for Saga customers.

Travel & Leisure Newsletter

Get the latest travel news and advice sent directly to your inbox.

 

Classic British Hotels

Explore Britain for less with Saga

An inspiring collection of Britain's finest independent hotels. Save 15% off the Best Flexible Rates and enjoy six Saga exclusive monthly short break offers.

Partner discounts

Travel deals and exclusive savings

  • City breaks, self-catering accommodation and much more 
  • Ferries, flights and a choice of hotels 
  • Get more from your holiday with our travel extras

cottages4you France

Up to 10% discount on every holiday

  • Over 1,300 of the finest French cottages and villas, hand-picked for you
  • Breaks of 2, 3, 4 or 7 nights
  • Coastal, countryside and city destinations