CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Best alternative European city-break ideas for 2019

30 November, 2018

When you think of European city break, a few names always crop up – Paris, Rome, Berlin. However if you want to avoid the crowds and have a truly unique weekend getaway this year, maybe you should try somewhere a little off the beaten track.

Here are five not-exactly-hidden gems you could check out for your European weekend city breaks in 2019.

Munich, Germany

Berlin is widely considered Europe’s coolest city, however it’s not the only urban centre worth visiting in Germany.

Munich, the Bavarian capital, has a wide range of activities to keep you going for a long weekend. Famed for its architecture, Munich is can even entertain travellers who want to do nothing more than wander the streets, gazing at the buildings around them.

When you need to get off your feet, you won’t be hard-pressed to find a beer hall to relax in for a few hours. Of course if you’re visiting after sunset, it won’t be a particularly relaxing experience. Munich hosts the world-famous Oktoberfest every year, meaning a quiet drink often turns into a celebration of beer featuring endless singing and dancing, no matter what time of year it is.

Many budget airlines fly to Munich, however Teletext Holidays can find you an all-inclusive weekend trip to the city.

Ghent, Belgium

The Belgian city of Bruges became a permanent fixture on the European city-tour map following the 2008 film starring Colin Farrell, however just 50km away is the smaller, quainter version of Bruges which hasn’t yet been discovered by the crowds: Ghent.

It has everything Bruges has – medieval buildings, canals, waffles, beer – but travellers often find it to be a cheaper and less busy alternative to its famous cousin.

Get there before someone makes a film about it though, as it’s only a matter of time before Ghent becomes as popular, if not more so, than Bruges.

Split, Croatia

Overshadowed by the nearby Dubrovnik (due, in no small part, to scenes of Game of Thrones being filmed there), Split often gets ignored tourists visiting Croatia. It’s difficult to see why – the beaches are splendid, the Mediterranean waters crystal clear, the cuisine unbeatable and the architecture sublime.

The history of Split reaches right back to the Romans, meaning there’s at least 2000 years’ worth of interesting buildings to visit. And if you want to get away from the hustle of the city for a day, one of Croatia’s famous islands it just a boat ride away.

La Coruna, Spain

Barcelona is probably the most famous beach-side city in Europe, however on the other side of Spain lies some stern competition in the form of La Coruna.

Two urban beaches mean you can spend the first day of your weekend break sunbathing, before heading into the tight medieval walkways to find a tapas bar and enjoy some wine. Plus it hasn’t been discovered by the stag and hen-do crowd yet, so nights out carry a relaxed Mediterranean feel.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Every year holiday makers spend hours of a plane and part ways with a lot of cash to visit the snow-covered castles of Austria. While there’s no denying that Bavarian castles are a beautiful sight in the winter, you can find equally as impressive battlements in the British Isles – and none are as impressive or accessible as Edinburgh Castle.

A short, cheap flight or even a drive for some, Edinburgh gives visitors the wilderness of Scotland alongside the comfort of a modern city. Famed for its nightlife and buzzing comedy scene (the Fringe arts festival is held here every year) Edinburgh feels bigger than it really is, and visitors might even struggle to fit everything they want to see into a weekend.

Of course that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, and the friendly locals will be more than happy to show you the best spots.

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