12 Of The Most Luxurious City Breaks in Europe

12 Of The Most Luxurious City Breaks in Europe


There are so many fantastic destinations in Europe that getting away to recharge your batteries has never been easier. We’ve rounded up 12 of the most luxurious city breaks in Europe, with our friends at Scenic, to help you choose the best options. Scenic, the luxury cruises and tours specialist, know a thing or too about luxury. From gourmet dining to their unique “space-ships”, every detail is taken care of – there’s even a personal butler to unpack your luggage! With so many cities in Europe, we’ve focused on those that are easily accessible from international airports, offering a range of attractions, fine dining and a luxurious element.

Luxurious City Breaks in Europe – Budapest

This city is one that you’ll want to return to time and time again. From trendy “ruin pubs” to stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it really has it all. For a luxurious weekend, take a stroll around the Castle district of Buda but consider staying in Pest for the vibrant nightlife. Budapest has more thermal springs than any other capital city, and some historical spas like the Gellert and the Széchenyi where you will see people playing chess in the water. However some of these can be a little tired around the edges. One that combines history with a stylish decor is the UNESCO World Heritage listed Racz Spa, built on the site of a medieval healing spring by the Omorovicza family.

luxurious-city-breaks-in-europe-budapest-castleFlorence

This pearl of the Renaissance oozes Italian flair, with famous museums such as the Uffizi and hidden gems such as the Vasari Corridor. The passage connecting Palazzo Pitti with Palazzo Vecchio is not normally open to the general public but can be visited by booking a private tour. For one of the best views over the city, walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo via the Folon Rose Garden, with its artistic sculptures by Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon.

florence_duomo_view
Hamburg

Many Germans consider Hamburg to be their favourite city and it’s easy to see why. With the 160 hectare Alster lake right in the centre, it has a huge range of activities for all the family to enjoy. The locals flock to the upmarket suburb of Blankenese and its beach when the weather warms up. The nearby Hotel Louis C. Jacob is a haven of calm, with a 2 Michelin starred restaurant overlooking the Elbe river. For a luxurious evening out, head to the world famous Opera House for a night of ballet or music.

hamburg-cathedral
Lucerne

One of Switzerland’s most charming cities, Lucerne is incredibly picturesque. Its compact size makes it an ideal place for a city break and you can explore most of it on foot. Stay at trendy Chateau Gütsch for the unparalleled views over Lake Lucerne, then venture into town via the hotel’s funicular. Many visitors don’t realize that Lucerne actually has two wooden bridges, the famous Kapellbrücke and the equally attractive Spreuerbrücke. Kids will love Verkehrshaus, the Swiss Museum of Transport, Switzerland’s most popular museum. The Gletschergarten or Glacier Garden is also fun for its mirror maze.

lucerne-spreuer-bridgeMonaco

You may be surprised to know that Monaco is a city, given its diminutive size. However, it certainly punches above its weight, with some fabulous attractions like the world-famous aquarium. Enjoy the freshest seafood at Les Perles de Montecarlo, run by two marine biologists whose lab you’ll see indoors. Of course, no trip to Monaco would be complete without visiting the casino!

Montecarlo_casino_nightParis

The city of love needs no introduction. Famed the world over for its incredible architecture, fine dining and luxury shopping, it’s one of the most in demand city breaks  in Europe. Easily reached by plane or the Eurostar, it’s a quick trip into the centre and then you’re spoilt for choice…From the luxury boutiques of Place Vendome to the gardens of Les Tuileries and the macarons at Ladurée on nearby Rue de Castiglione, there’s a lot to cram in. Take time to explore some of the hidden gems too, such as the Passages, picturesque covered arcades.

place-vendome-paris-renovationPrague

The Czech Republic capital is best explored on foot, particularly the historic centre, another UNESCO World Heritage site. Don’t miss the Astronomical Clock, which is 606 years old. If you have older children with you and are feeling brave, it can be fun to explore the centre via Segway. The Charles Bridge is a must-see for its baroque statues, and continuing the baroque theme, there are many classical music concerts in former palaces to enjoy.

prague-charles-bridge-viewReykjavik

This may seem like a surprising choice as one of the top city breaks in Europe, given that infrastructure here is still relatively basic. However, there are several new luxury apartments like Black Pearl, a practical choice if travelling with a family. These days, luxury is all about the experiences anyway and there are many interesting attractions to see during your city break. For a delicious lunch in stylish surroundings, Grillmarkaðurinn, meaning Grillmarket, is hard to beat. This Sun Voyager statue may look a lot like a Viking ship but apparently it isn’t!

Viking-Ship-icelandRome

If you have limited time and want to avoid the crowds, the best way to see Rome’s main attractions is by enjoying a private tour that allows you to skip the queues. Whether for St Peter’s and the Vatican or the Colosseum, it’s a huge time saver, and in the case of the latter you’ll get to walk where the gladiators once did. Rome is just as interesting for its hidden gems, however – like the Orange Garden or the Villa Medici which both have fantastic views over the eternal city.

Colosseum_Rome_review_Luxury_ColumnistSeville

The capital of Andalusia in Spain is one of our favourite city breaks in Europe, with Moorish architecture and permanently good weather. You shouldn’t miss the Real Alcázar, Seville’s Royal Palace, or the Cathedral which are both UNESCO World Heritage sites. For a breath of fresh air, have a wander around Maria Luisa Park and Plaza de España, the site of Expo 29. If you’re looking for a luxury hotel with lots of character, Las Casas de la Judeira is a good choice. It’s actually 27 townhouses, connected by peaceful courtyards. For dinner, Taberna del Alabardero is located in a 19th century palace and easy to reach from the centre.

maria-luisa-park-seville
St Petersburg

This noble city is awash with palaces, a reminder of its aristocratic past. The Winter Palace, formerly the residence of the Russian monarchs, is one of the most famous. If you have time, make sure to also visit both The Alexander Palace and Catherine Palace, a 30 minute train ride from the centre. Just remember to wrap up warm if travelling in Wintertime, when temperatures can reach minus 6 degrees.

st-petersburg-palace-viewVienna

The capital of Austria is utterly charming, and famous for its artistic legacy. Beethoven, Mozart and Gustav Klimt all called this place home. The Spanish Riding School is a Viennese icon – housed in a beautiful building, it’s another UNESCO World Heritage site and the only institution worldwide to have practiced for more than 450 years. When you need a break from visiting the city’s Imperial palaces, refuel with a delicious chocolate Sachertorte at Café Sacher.

So there you have it, our favourite luxurious city breaks in Europe.
Have you been to any of these and which cities would you add to the list?

vienna-old-town

  • Oh wow such beautiful cities

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  • Paola

    I would like to see Hamburg and Vienna, I hope next winter!
    Kisses, Paola.

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  • This is giving me ideas for winter trips! I would so love to go to St. Petersburg, looks beautiful!

    Ash | Liakada

    • I think that Wintertime could be the best for a city break, some cities can be so hot in Summer!

  • Wonderful cities, I have been to eight of them. I love them all. 🙂

  • Fab selection Vienna, Budapest and Reykjavik are still on my wish list! I would love to pop to Vienna for Christmas.

  • Lately I’ve been to Prague, Rome, and Saint Petersburg! This list makes me so grateful to live in London, nestled so close to all these European countries (except for Russia) – I think the true luxury is that all these incredibly beautiful and culturally/historically diverse places are only a quick flight away. x

    New York City: STK Rooftop, Meatpacking District – Posh, Broke, & Bored

  • Wow, all so amazing!!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  • Lindsey

    this is such an informative post! great pictures too!

    http://www.portiastylebook.com

  • This is such a great post because most of the cities you’ve shared here, I’ve either never heard of or only vaguely. All look gorgeous and have so much history, culture, and character to offer, I’d want to visit them all 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing, beauty, and I hope you have a great weekend ahead!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    • Thanks Jalisa, the weekend was pretty tough as it was my Gran’s funeral but I’m back online now

  • Ok well I’m doing ok so far with my 10 out of 12 but you have got me very interested in Hamburg which is not somewhere I had considered before but it looks gorgeous for a long weekend break Suze!

  • Lyn – A Hole in my Shoe

    Suze, I’ve been to 7 of these beautiful cities, you put together such a great list. Many of them I’ve been to twice as they were just so beautiful, each with their own uniqueness. One that I’ve been to that I was sure I’d see on your list was Milan.

    • I was very tempted to put Milan but as there were already a couple of Italian cities I didn’t squeeze it in. We go to Milan most years en route to see my Father in law, love it!

  • Agness

    Budapest, my favourite Budapest is here! I wanted to explore it this summer but due to my recent Asia travels I couldn’t fit it in my schedule, BUT …. I will definitely make it there one day, can’t wait for it! <3

    • Ooh you have to schedule it in, Agness – I’d love to hear what you think about it.

  • Great picks! Been to all but Reykjavik. May I add London, Munich and Copenhagen.

    • Yes I was sorely tempted to put London but thought I was a bit biased ;-). I’d love to visit Munich and Copenhagen

      • Oh, you’d love these cities! Full of luxe 😉

  • I’ve visited 9 so far and would be more than happy to go back to any one of them. I’m looking forward to visiting Monaco, Vienna and Hamburg some day on my travels. I loved your recent Hamburg post…

  • Lucy

    Florence, Hamburg and Russia still to visit. Out of the entire list my top three would be Vienna, Prague and Iceland absolutely beautiful cities. Lovely post Lucy x

  • I’m really lucky to have visited most of these on the list, just can’t believe I sill haven’t managed to get to Budapest!

  • The bridge in Lutzern is iconic, so beautiful. Can’t wait to visit the other places as well!

    Xx,

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    • I agree, Luzern is a stunning place. I’m hoping to revisit Amsterdam soon by the way

  • Paris is at the top of my list
    xo
    http://www.laurajaneatelier.com

  • ♫ Alison M ♪

    Lovely round up. I love Florence but must visit some of the others

  • Coco Cami

    Great post, thank you for sharing. Definitely gives me wanderlust ! 🙂

    Camille xo

    http://www.cococami.blogspot.co.uk

  • Such wonderful cities! Vienna, Prague and Rejkjavik are on my bucket list of cities to visit. I’d really lovely to visit Vienna in winter and see the ballet!

  • There is so much to see and do in Europe – fantastic list of places to visit!

    Miriam
    http://www.londonkitchendiaries.com

  • I love many of the cities on this list!! the ones i haven’t been to yet are definitely on my travel bucket-list 🙂

    The Fashion Matters- Travel & Fashion blog | Instagram: TheFashionMatters

  • Paris and Prague are my favorites! I still have to get to some of these, adding them to the list. Amazing post! I have the travel bug now

    http://leftbankgirl.blogspot.com

  • I can honestly say that I want to go to every single place on this list! Especially Rome and Budapest

    Rachel xxx

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  • I wish I could pack my bags and visit all the cities in this list today. I also learned something new today as I have never heard of Lucerne before so thank you for the intro.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  • I’d love to see Reykjavik and Petersburg. The rest of your list I was lucky enough to visit and I totally agree: these are some of the most luxurious city breaks in Europe. Oh, how I’d love to go back to each one of them.

  • The Reader’s Tales

    Luzern is probable my favourite city in Switzerland – I can’t wait to visit Vienna 🙂
    Dear, I would add your gorgeous city – London, love so much 🙂