There are many exciting alternatives to traditional European city breaks, especially when steering clear of the capital cities and exploring new territories. Avid travellers such as Stefan Masuhr who love city breaks don’t always head to the most popular destinations. In the PDF attachment to this post you can view some price comparisons to help you plan your perfect alternative city break.
Here are just a few of the best European city break destinations that are not capital cities.
Brno in the Czech Republic
Brno is the second-largest city in the Czech Republic and has almost as much to offer visitors as the ever-popular Prague, but in a quieter, less hectic setting. The Tugenhadt Villa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a stunning example of modern architecture right in the centre and is surrounded by even more gorgeous Central European architecture. As a university city, Brno caters to the student population, resulting in a plethora of affordable yet vibrant pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants. Brno also makes an ideal base for exploration of the Moravia region, full of scenic landscapes and vineyards. Airbnb accommodation in Brno currently starts from as little as £16 per night for one person.
Malmö in Sweden
One of the main attractions of visiting anywhere in Scandinavia has to be experiencing the legendary chilled-out vibe, and nowhere is this more abundant than Malmö. A fascinating mixture of relaxed and gentle past-times with a vibrant nightlife, Malmö has something for everyone. The harbour precinct has the most exciting night-time pub, bar and restaurant experiences, while the Old Town (Gamla Staden) or Little Square (Lilla Torg) are ideal places to spend a chilled afternoon people-watching while soaking up the café culture. Malmö also opens up easy opportunities for a day trip to Denmark, with Copenhagen just over half an hour away on the train. HomeToGo currently has accommodation in Malmö from just £17 per night based on four guests sharing one bedroom.
Marseille in France
Marseille has an artistic, liberal bent that can be seen in the many contemporary galleries and independent shops and cafes to be found within the region. Nôtre-Dame de la Garde is a beautiful neo-Byzantine era church that is definitely worth exploring. The Friche La Belle de Mai is a young, edgy arts and social space which features a summertime open-air cinema and a rooftop bar. With the introduction of the new Eurostar Direct, Marseille is now affordably accessible from London in just 6½ hours. The website lastminute.com currently has hotel rooms available in Marseille starting at £25 per person per night.
Stirling in the UK
Stirling makes a fantastic alternative to both the UK capital and the Scottish capital. It’s far more affordable than London or Edinburgh, with an Edinburgh-style experience as well as some unique scenery, historic sites and the typically warm Scottish hospitality. Visit the iconic monument to Scottish historical legend William Wallace, photograph the scenic misty hills, explore Stirling Castle or simply relax in one of the numerous welcoming cafes and pubs dotted around the city. Stirling also acts as a fantastic base for exploring the rest of Scotland, located on one of the main rail routes and situated almost exactly midway between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Hotel prices in Stirling can be as low as £19 per night, depending on the season.
These are just a few alternatives to traditional city breaks. You can click on the attached infographic to find a list of other alternative suggestions, or watch the attached video to discover some useful apps to help you make the most of your next European city adventure.