Get the passport ready
Are you in need of a foreign weekend getaway?! You’ve come to the right place if you’re either (a) planning a trip or (b) desperately in need of one asap. I mean, aren’t we all?
This is why I’ve rounded up a lust list of 5 European breaks to add to the travel agenda 2023 – get sharing in the group WhatsApp pronto:
Lisbon is authentic with plenty of character and charm to it making it one of Europe’s major hot spots for a city break.
Not to mention, it’s one of the least expensive cities in Europe to venture to and is filled with cobblestone streets, pastel-coloured waterfront buildings, beautiful restaurants & bars, as well as impressive heritage districts.
The nightlife there is pretty epic too. Head to Fado & Wine or Clube de Fado to experience Fado, a music genre in Portugal – It’s likely you’ll hear Fado style music as you stroll through the old town of Alfama.
Where to Stay: In terms of a home base while there, The Lumiares looks deadly and is situated in the bohemian Bairro Alto area which is ideal if you’re looking for a location near restaurants, bars and nightlife. Looking for somewhere a bit quieter?
The AlmaLusa is a boutique hotel set in the corner of Lisbon’s peaceful Municipal Square, opposite City Hall and in the middle of Bairro Alto.
Majestic and trendy is the only way to describe Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik. For such a tiny city, the nightlife there is meant to be great craic (fun!) with Kaffebarinn and underground music at Paloma very popular amongst party goers.
If you want to explore the outdoors, Mount Esja is a popular spot to venture out to on a day trip for hikers.
No visit to Reykjavik is complete without taking a trip to Iceland’s Golden Centre which is just 27 miles east from Reykjavik. Here you will get to explore an incredible sightseeing trail with spectacular sights that includes bursting geysers, a secret lagoon and roaring waterfalls.
Finally, you have to see the most popular attraction of Iceland, the Blue Lagoon which is basically Europe’s most famous outdoor swimming pool. It’s a geothermal spa found on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland where the waters are beautifully warm and rich in minerals.
Where to Stay: If you’re looking to stay somewhere that’s central and chic, checkout the Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel, Reykjavik
Budapest is rich in cultural heritage and has a bit of something for everyone. It’s commonly known as the “city of baths” because it has a large number of naturally heated thermal springs.
The most impressive has to be The Széchenyi Baths which features 16 pools, as well as saunas and steam rooms, while outside are more pools where bathers play chess on stone boards at the water’s edge.
Top Tip: most tourists visit during the day but if you want something extra special, visit at night-time under the stars. The baths stay open until 10pm daily.
Other sights to visit in Budapest include the Great Market Hall which is a foodies paradise, also take a walk along the pedestrianised Danube Promenade and make sure to visit some museums too.
Where to Stay: A hotel that caught my eye was Aria Hotel Budapest – it’s not cheap but looks DIVINE.
The opulent Bruges is picture perfect and like something from a Disney movie. A tiny medieval city that has so much character and charm to it, it’s lined with cobbled streets, quaint restaurants, architectural gems and boutique hotels.
While there, you have to visit the centrepiece of Bruges, the Belfort, a monument built in the 13th century to serve as both a clock and alarm. To get a bird’s-eye view of Bruges, you can climb the 366 steps to the top for an incredible view at the top.
A visit to beautiful Burg square won’t disappoint with its stunning gothic style buildings on display. The Stadhuis (city hall) overlooking Bruges's central square, is one of the oldest buildings dating back to the 14th century and is worth a visit if you’re down that way.
Where to Stay: The Pand is a boutique style hotel that sits on a tree lined cobbled street that look pretty special and quaint.
A seafront gem, Split has a bit of something for everyone. If you want to chill and sunbathe, head to Bacvice or Bene Beach, as well as Marjan Forest Park which has picturesque secluded beaches.
If you want to sightsee, visit the Diocletian's Palace, Saint Domnius Cathedral and Mestrovic Gallery. And if hikes and views are your thing, walk up to Marjan Hill. The views from the top are stunning, stretching as far as the islands of Brač and Šolta.
Where to Stay: The Cornaro Hotel would be my top pick purely because it has a wine cellar and rooftop terrace.