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From Paris to Prague: 15 Best Weekend Trips in Europe You Can’t Miss

From Paris to Prague: 15 Best Weekend Trips in Europe You Can’t Miss

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Looking for a quick, European getaway? Find out the best weekend trips in Europe that are easy and totally worth it.
This list of the best weekend trips in Europe was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

Guest post by Fiona

As someone who’s had the privilege of living in Scotland for five years, I’ve come to appreciate the unparalleled charm of Europe. 

With every free weekend I had, I embarked on captivating adventures to various corners of this diverse continent. 

This experience has honed my understanding of European cultures, landscapes, and travel logistics, making me an ideal guide for your journey.

Planning quick trips amidst the plethora of enticing destinations that Europe offers, navigating through the maze of logistics, and deciding where to spend your precious weekend time can be overwhelming.

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

I’ll take you through where to go and the best things to do in the best destinations for weekend trips in Europe. 

Let’s make your European dream weekends a reality!

Best Weekend Trips in Europe

1. Bruges, Belgium 

If you’re looking for a weekend packed with old-world charm, Bruges is your perfect stop. 

Imagine a place where time stands still, where cobblestone streets wind around ancient buildings, and where romance floats along enchanting canals. 

View of canal and houses at Bruges, Belgium

Kick off your trip with a lazy boat ride on the canals – they’re Bruges’ lifelines.

You’ll glide by quaint houses with step-gabled roofs and wave at folks relaxing at waterside cafés. 

Speaking of cafés, you’ve gotta grab a Belgian waffle, whipped cream, strawberries, the works! Pair it with a locally brewed beer, and you’re living the Belgian dream.

Climb the Belfry Tower’s 366 steps. It’s a bit of a hike, but the panoramic view of the city from the top is worth every step! 

History buffs, you’ll love the medieval architecture of the Basilica of the Holy Blood and the Gothic City Hall. Art lovers, the Groeninge Museum’s Flemish masterpieces will leave you awestruck.

In Bruges, there’s something magical around every corner. And that’s what makes it such a fab weekend destination. So, grab your camera and your walking shoes, and let’s get lost in the timeless beauty of Bruges!

2. Prague, Czech Republic

If you’re itching for a weekend filled with fairy-tale charm, stunning architecture, and a hearty dose of history, pack your bags for Prague. 

This Czech city has a way of capturing hearts and Instagram feeds like no other.

Prague Bridges and River

Start your adventure at the Old Town Square, where you’ll get lost in a time warp of beautiful buildings and lively atmosphere. 

The Astronomical Clock Tower offers killer views, while its hourly show is a must-watch. 

A stone’s throw away, the Charles Bridge is perfect for those candid shots with statues dating back centuries.

Feeling peckish? Get your hands on some Trdelník, a local sweet treat, and wander through the maze-like streets filled with shops and cafés. 

Up next, Prague Castle. It’s a bit of an uphill walk, but the view of the city skyline with its sea of terracotta roofs is oh-so-worth it.

In the evening, wind down at a local pub with a glass of world-famous Czech beer. 

Prague’s allure is more than its skyline; it’s in the laughter that spills out of cozy pubs, the melodies of street musicians, and the sunset hues painting the Vltava river. 

This vibrant city is a weekend wonderland waiting to be explored, so lace up those comfy shoes, and let’s get going!

3. Copenhagen, Denmark 

Ready to embrace ‘hygge’ in your life? If you’re nodding along, then a weekend in Copenhagen, the heartbeat of Denmark, should be next on your list. It’s stylish, it’s laid-back, and it’s brimming with reasons to fall in love.

Nyhavn with colorful facades of old houses and old ships in the Old Town of Copenhagen, capital of Denmark.

Kickstart your journey in the picturesque Nyhavn, where vibrant houses reflect in the canal, and sidewalk cafés buzz with energy. 

Next up, head to Tivoli Gardens, the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world – a fun-filled paradise that’s as much for thrill-seekers as it is for landscape lovers.

Fancy a royal experience? Don’t miss out on the magnificent Rosenborg Castle with its lush gardens. The Danish crown jewels are a sight to behold. 

Speaking of sights, grab a bicycle and ride to the iconic Little Mermaid statue, a tribute to Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved tale.

Hungry for Danish delights? Smørrebrød, a traditional open-faced sandwich, is a must-try. 

And when the day fades into night, the city’s vibrant bar scene has got you covered. Copenhagen’s charm lies in its perfect blend of history, modern design, and an unbeatable culture of coziness. 

4. London, England

London’s calling and it’s got a seriously cool vibe you’re going to love.

Start your adventure in the heart of the city. The iconic Big Ben and Houses of Parliament are must-sees, and while you’re there, why not take a spin on the London Eye

Image of the The Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster bridge in London in a beautiful summer day, England, United Kingdom

The views are seriously killer. Head over to the Shard – a cocktail in their sky-high bar as the sun sets over the city is a moment you won’t forget.

London’s food scene is a melting pot of cultures. Grab a curry on Brick Lane or some fish and chips in a traditional pub – it doesn’t get more London than that! 

For shoppers, a stroll through the bustling stalls of Covent Garden or the trendy boutiques in Shoreditch is a dream come true.

But what really makes London a top-notch weekend spot is its energy. 

Whether you’re exploring world-class museums, catching a play in the West End, or just kicking back in a centuries-old pub, you’ll feel it. There are so many things to do in London.

So grab your Oyster card and your sense of adventure, because a weekend in London is a wild ride!

5. Cotswolds, England

It’s all about winding country roads, charming stone cottages, and some of the prettiest landscapes in England. Talk about a perfect escape! And there are tons of Cotswolds tours from London.

First up, Broadway Tower. Take a leisurely stroll up and soak in the panoramic views – on a clear day, you can see up to 16 counties! 

The quaint fairy tale village of Castle Combe at the border between the Cotswolds and Wiltshire with its characteristic bridge. Rural England at its best.

Then, it’s time to get lost in the Cotswold villages. Bourton-on-the-Water, often called the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’, is a must-visit. 

Pop into the cute tearooms for a traditional cream tea – you’ll thank me later!

And let’s not forget about the stunning gardens. Hidcote Manor Garden is a floral paradise that’s a feast for the senses. 

If you’re an animal lover, the Cotswold Wildlife Park is right up your alley – who wouldn’t want to feed a giraffe?

Tuck into some classic British pub grub in a cozy local inn. That’s the Cotswold charm: its blend of breathtaking scenery, history-soaked villages, and good ol’ countryside hospitality. 

So, grab your wellies and your camera, and let’s dive into the heart of England!

6. Paris, France

Fancy a weekend where every street corner oozes with style, history, and that unmistakable French charm? 

Well, pack your beret because Paris is calling, and trust me, it’s a city that knows how to make you fall in love.

The Eiffel Tower and seine river in Paris, France

Start your day with a leisurely stroll down the Seine River. Wave ‘Bonjour’ to Notre Dame, and of course, prepare to be awestruck by the iconic Eiffel Tower. 

And if you’re up for it, why not climb to the top? The view is pretty epic.

Grab a buttery croissant at a sidewalk café, or indulge in some of the best crepes you’ll ever taste. 

Now, what’s Paris without a bit of art? The Louvre is home to the Mona Lisa and countless other masterpieces, while the bohemian Montmartre district is a canvas of street art and creativity.

As the city lights twinkle, Paris transforms into a romantic dreamscape. From the quaint bookstores of the Latin Quarter to the lively cabaret with a glass of Champagne at Moulin Rouge, there’s a slice of Parisian life waiting at every turn. 

So come on, let’s embrace the ‘joie de vivre’ and dive into a weekend in Paris!

7. Berlin, Germany

Got a weekend to spare and a thirst for unique experiences? Then you need to check out Berlin! 

It’s a city where history shakes hands with modernity, where street art adorns every alleyway, and where nightlife is truly the ‘life’.

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin at sunrise, Germany

Start your journey at the iconic Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of unity that has seen Berlin’s dramatic past. 

A stone’s throw away is the poignant Holocaust Memorial, a powerful reminder of history. 

The Museum Island is an art and history lover’s paradise, with five world-class museums to explore.

The local food scene has got you covered. Currywurst is a Berlin classic, and don’t even get me started on the delicious Döner kebabs! 

After you’ve filled up, why not wander through the colorful stalls of Mauerpark Flea Market?

As the sun dips, Berlin’s famous club scene comes alive. 

But here’s the thing: Berlin isn’t just about the big sights. It’s about the alternative culture, the quirky shops, the riverside hangouts. 

So pack your bags, lace up your most comfy shoes, and dive head-first into a Berlin weekend!

8. Munich, Germany

Looking to spend a weekend where tradition and modernity live side by side? Munich is just the ticket! 

This Bavarian beauty is packed with charm, character, and more beer gardens than you can shake a pretzel at.

Aerial view of Marienplatz town hall and Frauenkirche in Munich, Germany.

Kick off your Munich adventure in Marienplatz, the city’s beating heart. 

The glockenspiel show at the Neues Rathaus is a total crowd-pleaser. Fancy a royal affair? The Nymphenburg Palace, with its opulent rooms and stunning gardens, is like stepping into a fairy tale.

Craving some hearty Bavarian grub? Grab a Bratwurst or a soft pretzel, wash it down with a stein of locally-brewed beer, and you’re doing Munich right! 

For museum buffs, the Deutsches Museum is a treasure trove of science and tech exhibits.

As the sun sets, Munich’s vibrant nightlife kicks into gear. Whether you’re after a quiet beer garden or a lively club, Munich’s got you covered. 

Stroll through the Englischer Garten, and smell the delicious smells wafting from Viktualienmarkt, about the laughter echoing from biergartens.

9. Budapest, Hungary

Ever thought about spending a weekend in a city that blends history, nightlife, and thermal baths like no other? 

Say hello to Budapest! 

This Hungarian gem is a feast for the senses and a treat for the soul.

Hungarian parliament, Budapest at sunset

Kick things off with a leisurely stroll along the Danube River. You’ll spot the stunning Hungarian Parliament on the Pest side, and the enchanting Buda Castle on the other. 

The panoramic views from the Fisherman’s Bastion are hard to beat!

Dive into a bowl of hearty goulash or a chimney cake from a street vendor. 

The Széchenyi Thermal Baths are the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploration.

When the sun sets, Budapest truly shines. The famous ruin bars are a nightlife experience like no other. 

And what makes Budapest a winner for a weekend getaway? It’s the mix of historic grandeur, quirky charm, delicious food, and bubbling baths. 

10. Cinque Terre, Italy

Strap on your most comfortable sandals for a weekend trip to Cinque Terre, where picture-perfect villages tumble down to the sparkling Mediterranean.

Start your journey in Riomaggiore, the first of the five fishing villages. The pastel houses, the tiny harbor, the bustling local life – it’s pure magic. 

View of Vernazza village, Cinque Terre, Italy

The fresh seafood pasta at a local trattoria – delizioso!

Now, the best way to explore Cinque Terre? On foot! The trail between Riomaggiore and Manarola, known as the Via dell’Amore, is an absolute treat for the senses. 

Next up, Vernazza, possibly the prettiest of the lot. Don’t forget to reward yourself with a scoop (or two) of creamy gelato.

Grab a glass of local Sciacchetrà wine and watch the world go by at the end of the day. 

And that’s the charm of Cinque Terre. It’s not just about the stunning views, the sun-soaked vineyards, or the tantalizing cuisine – it’s about the laid-back vibe, the friendly locals, and the sheer joy of Italian life.

11. Florence, Italy

Got a soft spot for art, history, and mouthwatering Italian cuisine? Then pack your bags, because Florence, the ‘Cradle of the Renaissance’, is your next weekend destination in Europe, and trust me, it’s a stunner!

Start your Florentine adventure in the Piazza del Duomo, home to the iconic Florence Cathedral. 

facade of Santa Maria Novella church, Florence, Italy

Ready for a workout? Climb to the top of the dome for a bird’s-eye view of the city. It’s worth every step!

Delve into a plate of fresh pasta at a local trattoria, followed by a scoop of the creamiest gelato you’ll ever taste. 

For art lovers, the Uffizi Gallery is a must-visit. Hello, Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’!

Make your way to the Ponte Vecchio for sunset. The golden light reflecting off the Arno River is pure magic.

The world-class art, the stunning architecture, and the divine food make you feel as though you have stepped back in time, of walking in the footsteps of Michelangelo and Da Vinci. 

12. Venice, Italy

Fancy a weekend where canals replace streets, where gondolas glide by, and where every turn uncovers a new enchanting vista? Venice, the city on the water is an experience like no other.

Start your Venetian escapade in the famed Piazza San Marco. Admire St. Mark’s Basilica in all its Byzantine glory, and don’t forget to say ‘Ciao’ to the local pigeons! 


Ready for a unique ride? Hop on a gondola and let a friendly gondolier navigate you through the city’s labyrinthine canals.

Savor a plate of creamy seafood risotto, or indulge in some cicchetti – Venice’s answer to tapas. 

Afterward, lose yourself in the maze of narrow streets and discover hidden gems only the locals know about.

As dusk descends, the city transforms into a romantic dreamscape. The twinkling lights, the soft lapping of water against ancient buildings, the serenade from a passing gondola – it’s pure magic.

13. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Kick off your Dutch adventure at the iconic Dam Square, the beating heart of Amsterdam. The Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum are a must-visit for art lovers. 

Don’t forget to snap a picture with the famed ‘I Amsterdam’ sign!

Bikes decorated with flowers in Amsterdam the Netherlands in spring

Dive into a stack of Dutch pancakes or a gooey cheese sandwich. Then, rent a bike and join the locals, pedaling through the city’s charming, cobblestone streets and over its picturesque canals.

As the city lights twinkle, Amsterdam’s vibrant nightlife kicks in. From the lively bars of Leidseplein to the unique coffee shop culture, there’s something for every taste. 

What’s the magic of Amsterdam? It’s the mix of rich history, buzzing energy, beautiful architecture, and of course, those dreamy canals. 

So grab your bike helmet and let’s pedal our way into a fabulous Amsterdam weekend!

14. Edinburgh, Scotland

Looking for a weekend getaway filled with ancient castles, hilly landscapes, quirky shops, and the best whiskey you’ve ever tasted? Then head for Edinburgh, a city that’s all about character and charm.

Dean Village in Edinburgh

Begin your Edinburgh exploration at the iconic Edinburgh Castle. The view of the city from up there is nothing short of breathtaking. 

Got a taste for the macabre? The eerie closes and wynds of the Old Town are a must-visit, especially on a guided ghost tour!

Tuck into a hearty plate of haggis, neeps, and tatties at a local pub, washed down with a smooth Scotch whiskey. For those with a sweet tooth, don’t miss out on trying a deep-fried Mars bar – it’s a local delicacy!

When night falls, the city’s lively pubs and bars come alive. 

Grab a pint and join in a traditional Scottish ceilidh dance. 

The historic charm, the scenic beauty, the lively locals, and the sense of stepping into a storybook will leave you wanting to stay forever. 

15. Inverness, Scotland

Looking for a weekend full of ancient legends, Scottish culture, and a possible Nessie sighting? Well, Inverness, the ‘Capital of the Highlands’, is perfect for you!

Begin your Highland adventure with a stroll along the banks of the River Ness. 

Image of Inverness Castle

Fancy a bit of history? The Inverness Castle, perched high above the city, offers stunning panoramic views. Don’t forget to visit the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery to learn about the city’s rich history.

Famished from sightseeing? Dig into a plate of fresh Scottish salmon or a hearty haggis at a local restaurant. 

Afterward, take a leisurely walk through the Victorian Market for unique souvenirs and local crafts.

But what’s a trip to Inverness without venturing out to Loch Ness? Rent a car or hop on a local bus, keep your eyes peeled for the elusive Nessie, and soak up the majestic beauty of the Highlands.

When the sun sets, experience the lively Scottish nightlife with traditional music at a local pub. Inverness, with its charming old town, friendly locals, and breathtaking surroundings, makes for a fantastic European weekend getaway.

European Weekend Breaks FAQs

What are the most popular cities in Europe for weekend trips?

Cities such as Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Berlin, and London are some of the most popular cities for weekend trips due to their rich history, cultural offerings, and bustling nightlife.

Can I visit multiple countries on a weekend trip in Europe?

While it’s possible due to the proximity of countries in Europe, it’s often better to focus on one city or country to avoid spending too much time in transit.

What’s the best time of year to take weekend trips in Europe?

Europe offers something unique in every season. Summer is high season, but spring and fall can offer milder weather and fewer tourists.

What should I pack for a weekend trip in Europe?

Pack light, but include essentials like comfortable shoes for walking, a good quality camera, travel adapters for electronics, and clothing suited to the weather.

Are weekend trips in Europe expensive?

It depends on the destination and your personal spending habits. Eastern Europe tends to be cheaper than Western Europe. Researching in advance and setting a budget can help manage costs.

Best Weekend Getaways Europe Wrap Up

The Best weekend trips in Europe are some of the most vibrant, charming, and downright enchanting in the world! 

From the bustling streets of London to the picturesque canals of Venice, from the majestic highlands of Inverness to the cobblestone lanes of Amsterdam – each city is a world in itself, brimming with unique experiences, delicious food, and unforgettable sights.

So whether you’re an art lover, a foodie, a history buff, or just someone who loves to explore, pack those bags and get ready to tick off these destinations from your travel bucket list. 

After all, the world is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. And remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. 

About Fiona
Fiona is an Australian Travel Blogger at Travelling Thirties. Fiona has volunteered in Thailand, lived in Scotland, jumped off cliffs in New Zealand, slept in treehouses and igloos in Finland, and everything in between as she has spent the last ten years exploring the world. I can’t wait to show you the world.

Looking for more European travel content? Get my top planning tips for Europe, Paris, London, Barcelona, Madrid, Mallorca, Venice, Florence, Rome, Germany, Amsterdam, Portugal, Santorini, and Athens! And find out how to plan a trip to Europe!

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