With their conveniently short travel distances, ease of communication and an enormous amount of choice, these countries are consistently rated some of the best travel spots in the world. If you are drawn by history and culture, here are some of the best European hotspots for a well-earned city break.
Scotland might not be the first place you think of when it comes to taking a holiday, but this beautiful country actually has some of the best treasures in Europe. From its rugged, mountainous landscape and spectacular wildlife to its historical architecture and hospitable culture, Scotland has everything you could want from a historical city break. The capital of Edinburgh is home to the annual Edinburgh Festival which draws people from the world over, while the restaurants provide top-quality locally produced fresh food that rivals some of the best restaurants around. Catch some of the brilliant live Scottish bands at a music festival or in the local pubs, or head to some of the multitudes of museums to find out more about the history of Scotland’s engineers, writers, inventors, poets, and artists.
The seduction of France is not lost on the 89 million travelers who visit each and every year. It’s famous historical buildings, café culture, boutique bistros, and world-class art make France a favourite for any self-respecting history buff and culture enthusiast. French cuisine is of such a high standard that even the simple freshly baked baguettes are worth writing home about, while the iconic landmarks, museums, galleries and restaurants provide visitors with a culturally and historically rich experience. Paris provides everything a tourist to the country could want and much, much more, while the rural cities are equally worth visiting as they each have their own charm.
For an eclectic mix of history from different eras, Hungary has it all. From the fairy tale beauty of its stunning neoclassical and art nouveau architecture to the romantic Roman ruins and the beautiful baroque churches, there is so much history to explore here that it can be difficult to know where to start. There are historical architectural gems on every corner as well as the famous thermal springs and authentic bathhouses that have been around since the Turkish occupation. With a rick folk tradition demonstrated by beautiful artwork and music, Hungary is one not to be missed.
Malta is home to some of the richest history in Europe, even dating as far back as prehistoric times. Farmers are believed to have inhabited this beautiful archipelago of islands since 5200BC, giving it a long and illustrious history that’s worth exploring. The small fishing village of St Julian’s is ideal for a bite to eat as well as a taste of the lively nightlife scene that Malta has to offer, while the second-largest Maltese island of Gozo is home to some of the oldest religious structures in the world.
Well known for its passionate approach to living a good and easy lifestyle, Spain has some of the most diverse and fascinating culture and history in Europe. From the dramatic ancient Roman ruins of Merida to late-night flamenco fiestas in the cities, Spain has got you covered from all angles. Head to Barcelona for a taste of the impossibly creative Gaudí buildings or to sample exquisite tapas in a Michelin starred restaurant as you watch the world go by in sunny Madrid. The country is packed with charm and beautiful experiences waiting to be had at every turn.
Of course, when it comes to history and culture there are many, many more countries worth exploring – but this list should certainly get you started on your city break tour of Europe.