Weekend in Europe: 15 cities to visit in 3 days

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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Best European cities to spend a 3-day weekend in Europe

If you are looking for European cities where to spend a 3-day long weekend, you are in luck in this post we have made a top 15 of the best cities to visit.Europe is dotted with dozens of interesting cities that differ in architecture, style and cost of living. However, not all of them are metropolises like London and Berlin: some are small enough to visit in a few days, allowing travelers to escape the daily routine for a few days. From the sunny cities of the south to the castles of central Europe and the capitals of the north, in this concise guide every traveler can find his or her next ideal stop.

15 European Destinations for a perfect 3-day weekend

1 - Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam is a surprising city in the Netherlands: it suffered severe damage during World War II, and has reinvented its identity becoming the cradle of experimental artists, making it a particularly suitable destination for young people. With its contemporary architecture it distinguishes itself from other European capitals in a clear way: no castles and royal palaces, but skyscrapers, modern bridges, cubist design houses and an intense nightlife.

Very interesting from this point of view the Church of St Laurens, among the few historic buildings that still remain standing, although damaged. For the rest, I symbols of the contemporary futuristic architecture of the city are the Cubic Houses of Piet Blom, the Erasmusbrug Bridge that connects the historic city center with the new shopping district of Kop van Zuid, and the Euromast Tower, icon of the city for over 50 years. 186 m high, 100 meters high there is an observation deck offering a 360 ° view of the city complete with glass elevators.
Of course, don't miss the Markthal, Holland's first covered market in the shape of a horseshoe, a unique structure in the world.

  • Best weather: in summer the weather is better, and you can also attend the summer carnival and world harbor days, a festival celebrating Rotterdam's historical importance as a European port.
  • Hotel and b & b from 69,00 € per room -
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 296,00 € -

2 - Copenhagen, Denmark

The Danish capital is the ideal destination for lovers of history, castles but also nightlife.
The city and its surroundings are home to numerous castles, all preserved in excellent condition. Among these do not miss Kronborg, the castle of HamletyAmaliensborg, the winter residence of the queen and the most important example of Danish rococo architecture.
Choose Copenhagen if you want a break from urban stress, here the roads are mostly traveled by bicycle, and in the harbor area you can admire the many colorful houses overlooking the canals for a romantic stroll at sunset.
Of course, a weekend in such interesting and rich cities may not seem like much, but among the absolutely must-do activities we recommend a short cruise on the canals and ... yes, a day at the amusement park TiVuelos Gardens!
Among the city's other attractions, the Little Mermaid Statue and the free city of Christiania, an autonomous community within the city, deserve special mention.

  • Best time: in summer, in the months of July and August, both for the milder temperatures and for the many events organized in the city, including the Aalborg Carnival.
  • Hotel and b & b from 74,00 € per room -
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 300,00 € -

3 - Krakow, Poland

Although Warsaw is the capital, it is Krakow, the city of Pope John Paul II, to hold the record for tourists in Poland. The reasons are soon told: it is a city not too big but rich in culture, testimony also of one of the darkest periods of history. Here is where the Schindler Factory, the German businessman who saved more than a thousand Jews from the Holocaust.
From Krakow, a visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp, about 60 km away, is a must.
The advice is in fact to dedicate a whole day to excursions outside the city, because in addition to that of Auschwitz, you can not miss the excursion to the salt mine of Wieliczka, an incredible subway salt cathedral with extraordinary routes.
However, Krakow is not only this: it is a city chosen by many students, also thanks to the reduced costs, which comes alive especially during the Christmas vacations.

  • Best time: can be enjoyed at any time of the year. For Christmas lovers, the month of December is absolutely recommended, when the city is tinged with the typical seasonal markets.
  • Hotel and b & b from 50,00 € per room -
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 300,00 € -

4 - Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is the perfect destination for lovers of myth and magic. Located in the heart of continental Europe, the city has its roots in legends of monsters and ghosts. The most famous is that of the Golem, an animated clay monster created by Rabbi Loew to defend the city from persecution. Therefore, one of the most original ways to discover it is through a tour of ghosts and legends.
Prague is also known as the city of a hundred towers, because of the numerous baroque and gothic buildings in the historic center.

Must-see activities and attractions in a weekend? Start, of course, from the Prague Castle complex, which also includes the Old Royal Palace and St. Vitus Cathedral. Malá Strana is the area of the city rebuilt after the great fire of 1541, with a Renaissance and Baroque look. Then take a walk across the Charles Bridge, a true icon of Prague, but don't miss the Jewish Ghetto, the Josefov and the old cemetery, a truly evocative place.

  • Best time: late spring, in the months of May and June. The internationally important Prague Spring music festival also takes place until the beginning of June.
  • Hotel and b & b from € 48,00 per room -
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 176,00 € -

5 - Dublin, Ireland

The Irish capital is located on the east coast of the country, at the mouth of the Liffey River. The center is small enough not to take many days to visit it: in just a weekend, moving on foot you can see all the main attractions, from the castle of Norman origin to the factory of Guinness, the national beer most beloved by the Irish. Don't miss the Old Library inside Trinity College, where you can relive the enchanted atmosphere of Harry Potter's school of magic.

More attractions not to be missed are the Temple Bar, undoubtedly the liveliest area of the city, with its pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, exhibitions and theaters. On a weekend you can also see St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin Castle and the old prison of Kilmainham Gaol. And even if you are not a beer lover, a tour of the Guinness Storehouse is still a piece of history of the city!
Although a weekend may seem little, try to reserve at least half a day for a tour of the Cliffs of Moher, a breathtaking place with immense charm, with cliffs over 200 meters high above the sea, which also inspired the movie "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince".

  • Best time: mid-May to mid-September, to avoid the wettest periods.
  • Hotel and b & b from 64,00 € per room -
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 298,00 € -

6 - Nice, France

Nice is called the pearl of the French Riviera. It is located in the south of France, a short distance from the Italian border, and is one of the most visited cities in the country. The city had already been chosen as an elegant vacation spot by the Russian elites of the 19th century, who spent their winters there in search of a more pleasant climate. Since then, Nice has evolved into a tourist-friendly city: from the shopping streets to the fish bistros to the numerous seaside itineraries, it is ideal for a relaxing vacation on the Mediterranean.

You can not miss a weekend stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, 7 km long, which runs along the picturesque sea of Nice and reaches the airport. In the old town, Vieux Nice, you'll find historic buildings such as the Palais Lascaris and the Sainte-Reparate cathedral, while small alleys open onto the splendid Cours Saleya, the city's liveliest and most animated square. But the most famous square in Nice is the Place Massena, dominated by the Fountain of the Sun with the statue of Apollo.
But if you are here in summer ... think also about a nice swim in the sea of the Côte d'Azur!

  • Best time: it is preferable to visit in the summer months, from June to September, months when the sea is warm enough to allow swimming.
  • Hotel and b & b from 68,00 € per room -
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 216,00 € -

7 - Brussels, Belgium

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the seat of the European Parliament. An excellent choice for those who are tired of the more bloated European capitals and want an equally interesting but less crowded destination to visit in peace. But do not choose Brussels if you are on a diet: the most famous products of the city are chocolate, beer and fries, temptations that will be impossible to resist!

Among the attractions not to be missed absolutely the Manneken Pis, the Grand Place, the Atomium, the Sablon district, the Magritte Museum and the Cinquantenaire Park.

  • Best weather: any time of the year.
  • Hotel and b & b from 80,00 € per room - - 3 days / 2 nights from 240,00 €.
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 240,00 € -

8 - Geneva, Switzerland

Known as the smallest metropolis in the world, Geneva is a small Swiss jewel of immense value, which is why it was chosen as one of the most livable cities in Europe. It overlooks the shores of Lake Geneva and is home to important institutions for the protection of human rights, such as the Red Cross, the United Nations and Unicef, demonstrating the great Swiss tradition of peace and neutrality in conflicts.

It offers outstanding attractions such as the Palace of Nations, the Old Town, the CERN nuclear research laboratory, St. Peter's Cathedral and the iconic Jet d'eau.

  • Best time: from June to September, to avoid spring rains.
  • Hotel and b & b from 62,00 € per room -
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 234,00 € - - 9 - Lisbon, Portugal

9 - Lisbon, Portugal

The capital of Portugal is located in the south of the country, overlooking the sea. At the same time it preserves the colors and melancholy typical of the coastal towns of southern Europe, but there is no lack of entertainment and cultural itineraries. It is your ideal destination if you are a cod lover: here it is prepared in many different recipes, one for each day of the year, according to the Portuguese. Lisbon is located in a very steep mountainous area, so don't forget to bring comfortable shoes!

The symbol of the city is undoubtedly the Torre de Belèm, but it is not the only wonder to admire. The beauty of Lisbon is released especially in its neighborhoods: Chiado, Alfama, Bairro Alto. The tip is to discover them through a tour of history, stories and daily life, to experience the soul of the city among the alleys, iconic places and local traditions. ES do not miss a ride on the iconic streetcar 28, the historic line that allows you to visit the entire Alfama district.

  • Best time: in spring, from April to June. You will avoid the scorching heat of the summer months and have the opportunity to attend the Belèm Music Festival.
  • Hotel and b & b from € 48,00 per room -
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 162,00 € -

10 - Munich

Munich is the third largest city in Germany, capital of the homonymous Länder in the south of the country. Despite being a major commercial center, Munich does not reflect the stereotype of a cold and austere German city: here the people are jovial and welcoming, and in fact there are many Italians who choose to stay and live there. You will notice this in an evening at the Hofbräuhaus, the city's most famous (and huge) beer hall where excellent beer is accompanied by folk music and tasty pretzels.

Ma Munich and Bavaria in general are also castle territories! Don't miss those of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau: think that the former (Neuschwanstein) inspired Disney's design! Munich is home to the Nymphenburg, a summer residence of the court, which houses one of the most beautiful art collections in Europe.
Munich's unique attractions include Marienplatz, the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus), the Peterskirche church and the English Garden. If you manage to carve a half-day out of your weekend, take atrip to the Dachau concentration camp, just 20 km away.

  • Best time: plan your vacation in late September or early October, when the cold is not yet too bitter and the city comes alive for the famous Oktoberfest
  • Hotel and b & b from € 67,00 per room -
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 266,00 € -

11 - Stockholm, Sweden

The capital of Sweden is located on a vast archipelago of 14 islands in the Baltic Sea. Each island is different from the others: you pass through the cobblestone streets of the historic Old Town to contemporary neighborhoods characterized by glass and steel buildings. It is one of the most expensive capitals in Europe. But fortunately it is possible to visit it completely in a few days without increasing the travel budget too much.

Highlights include the Town Hall (Stadshuset), the Vasa Museum, converted from an old ship, Drottningholm Castle and the Skansen Open Air Museum.

  • Best weather: in the months of May and June you will avoid the harsh winter temperatures and at the same time you will not incur the high costs of the summer season.
  • Hotel and b & b from 71,00 € per room -
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 226,00 € -

12 - Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is the capital of Hungary, born from the union of Buda and Pest, on the Danube River. The city has gained popularity in recent years, partly thanks to its very affordable costs, but it is mainly the architectural beauties that attract tourists from all over the world. At the crossroads of East and West, Budapest is a mix of Islamic, Jewish, Art Nouveau and Gothic architecture. The Royal Palace, the Fishermen's Bastion, the extraordinary Parliament overlooking the Danube ...
Don't forget to pack a bathing suit: Budapest is home to many hot springs, some of the most beautiful in Europe!

Don't forget to visit the statue park, the Széchenyi thermal baths, Margaret Island and, of course, the Buda and Pest districts.

  • Best time: in spring you can attend the Budapest Spring Festival, twenty days dedicated to Hungarian music and ballet.
  • Hotel and b & b from 40,00 € per room - - 12 - Budapest, Hungary
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 152,00 € -

13 - Barcelona, Spain

The Catalan capital is one of the most popular cities in the Mediterranean for its mild climate, vibrant nightlife and unique architecture in the world. In fact, here are the works of Antoni Gaudí, which dot the city with buildings of sinuous and dreamlike shapes reminiscent of the sea. For this reason, plan your visits in advance by buying tickets online to avoid long lines- Barcelona's monuments are always crowded!

To list Barcelona's main attractions is a feat, as the city is literally full of memorable beauties. But if you only have 3 days available, don't forget to visit the Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, the Gothic Quarter, Parc Güell and La Rambla.

  • Best weather: choose spring or summer months if you also want to take advantage of the nearby sea.
  • Hotel and b & b from 48,50 € per room -
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 164,00 € - - 14 - Vienna, Austria

14 - Vienna, Austria

Vienna is the perfect city for lovers of romantic atmospheres. It was the city that brought Mozart and Strauss to eternal glory, and remains the European reference point for classical music with its prestigious philharmonic.
Vienna is also the city of Princess Sissi, the sad empress entered the hearts of generations of young girls. The Austrian capital is at its best in winter, amidst the wonderful Christmas markets and the aroma of mulled wine wafting through the streets along with the carols.

During your weekend discovering Vienna, don't miss the Schönbrunn, St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Hofburg, the Belvedere Palace and the Luna Park Prater.

  • Best weather: Viennese winters can be quite harsh, but it's worth braving them to enjoy the magical Christmas atmosphere that permeates the city in December.
  • Hotel and b & b from 51,00 € per room -
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 168,00 € -

15 - Oslo, Norway

The capital of Norway, on the southern coast of the country, is a perfect blend of modernity and nature, making it one of the greenest cities in the world, a must-see for lovers of the great outdoors. Retrace the footsteps of the Vikings at the maritime museum and enjoy classical music at the city's proud opera house, which hosts thousands of concerts each year.

Among the beauties not to be missed, consider the Akershus Fortress, the aforementioned Viking ship museum, the Munch Museum, Vigeland Park and the Cathedral of Our Savior.
But the real must in Oslo is the scenic cruise along the fjords, these deep inlets that run through unspoiled landscapes, between steep green walls, small archipelagos and beautiful colorful summer houses.

  • Best weather: May and June, with moderately cold temperatures and below average precipitation.
  • Hotel and b & b from 80,00 € per room -
  • 3 days / 2 nights from 414,00 € - - 15 - Oslo, Norway

Other ideas for a weekend in Europe

  • Where to go in winter: even in the cold season it is possible to relax and enjoy sports, wellness and cultural trips, here is where to go on vacation in winter and the best Christmas destinations in Europe.
  • Where to go in spring: culture, history and breathtaking natural landscapes await you in the best spring destinations in the "Old Continent".
  • Where to go in summer: summer is perfect for getting to know European cities and capitals, take the opportunity to visit the most beautiful capitals in Europe; and for those on a budget, here are the cheapest European cities!
  • Where to go in the fall: for a romantic autumn weekend, here's where to go in the months of September, October, November.
  • Family destinations: vacations for the whole family? Here are the best European destinations to visit with children.
  • Youth destinations: for an unforgettable trip full of unbridled fun, here are the European cities with the best nightlife.
  • Romantic destinations: a romantic getaway is what it takes to make the right choice of destination! Here are the most romantic cities in Europe.

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