Which city break are you?

Which city break are you?

If you were a city break destination, where would you be? Everyone’s got something they look for when they’re holiday browsing. Always find yourself in the national museums? Or do you get your kicks tucking into the local food? Maybe it doesn’t matter where you go as long as it’s on a budget or the nightlife is big. Call us Mystic Meg because we’ve figured you out. Pick the vibe that’s a bit of you below and discover your next city break destination. It’s your sign to go…

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The history geek

Journey east and find yourself somewhere that’s been at the centre of major political events for over 2,000 years – Istanbul. Formerly known as Constantinople, this Turkish city stepped up as the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, so it has a few stories to tell. Wander through its UNESCO-approved historic quarter to discover a mix of ornate cathedrals and mosques, many of which now house museums. Istanbul is the only city in the world to cover two continents, too – Europe and Asia – so expect Middle Eastern and Western influences. Our top things to do include a visit to Topkapi Palace, which was the home of Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years. Plus, Rumeli Castle which dates back to 1452. It was built in preparation for the fall of the Byzantine Empire and now forms an open-air museum right on the water – its amphitheatre often hosts concerts and performances.

The foodie

You’d love to visit the home of pizza and pasta, and a place that has over 20,000 restaurants? Your perfect city break is… Rome. This Italian stallion is known for its fresh and seasonal food. From one of the nation’s oldest dishes, cacio e pepe AKA cheese and pepper pasta, to the trendy new Trapizzino – a half-pizza-half-sandwich combo – you can try a different Italian dish every day if you’re up for the challenge. The best way to do it? Book an experience like a food tour. Or if you fancy yourself a bit of a chef, pick a cooking class and you can recreate your dishes at home. If you’re worried about your eyes being bigger than your stomach, throw the city’s ancient architecture into the mix. You can feast on views of the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Palatine Hill – they’re next-level tasty.   



The bargain hunter

Not about that payday panic and would rather go away little and often than splash out on two weeks All Inclusive? Enter Krakow. It’s known for being Europe’s cheapest city and the home of £2 pints – yes, please. No more than a two-and-a-half-hour flight from London, you can pop to Poland and back just for a weekend if you fancy, so if you’re savvy about annual leave too, it’s a win-win. You can walk pretty much anywhere in this city and it’s a great chance to take in the sights as you go. Mosey around Main Market Square – it’s the biggest in Europe and is backed by UNESCO status – and the old town’s Medieval streets with its up-and-coming clubs and bars. There’s a vibrant art scene too and a bunch of museums to learn about the place’s wartime history. Top tip – loads of the museums offer free entry on certain days, including the Wawel Royal Castle, National Museum and Museum of Photography.  


The party animal

If you’re a die-hard partygoer, you’ll probably have already made your mark on most of the more obvious nightlife spots. So, how about Budapest? Rumour has it it’s Europe’s new party capital. There are options all over the city for late-night antics, even on the water with floating boat clubs. Try A38 for DJ sets on the upper deck of a former cargo ship or dance along to hip-hop, Latino and electric beats at Pontoon. Hungary’s capital is also best known for its ruin bars. From the outside, these temples of beer look like ordinary townhouses. But step inside for a neon-junkyard vibe. Szimpla Kert in the Jewish Quarter has set the standards for the rest and Instant-Fogas combines two old ruin pubs to create a huge club complex. For something a little different, visit the Szechenyi Spa Baths – hello, full-on rave in the thermal spa. Yes sir, Buda can boogie. 


The bookworm

Keep calm and call on the café culture in Copenhagen. Denmark is absolutely crushing the happiness metrics as a home of hygge, which means cosy and comfy – just what you need for the perfect, low-key city break. A close second – good coffee. Copenhagen has a brewing coffee community set to rival those of London and New York. So, when the winter chills set in and the city’s at its peak cosiness, the coffee shops and bakeries are where it’s at. With daytrips to Hamlet’s castle and the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, lovers of literature will be in their element here, too. Stroll through the Anderson-approved Tivoli Gardens and spot the iconic statue of his Little Mermaid beside the old military fortress. Then head for Paulden Bog & Café, a cute coffee spot that lines its walls with leather-bound books. The Library Bar in the Copenhagen Plaza Hotel is up next, with its cocktails named after literary greats like Shakespeare and Dickens.


The adventure seeker

Size doesn’t matter when every inch of this city is covered by lively bars, laidback cafes, dramatic volcanoes or snow-capped peaks. Isn’t that right, Reykjavik? Iceland’s capital is all about a super diverse landscape, perfect for lacing up your hiking boots. The Golden Circle is the most famous scenic route in Iceland and a must-do daytrip, combining sights of Gullfoss waterfall, the Great Geysir and UNESCO Pingvellir National Park, where it’s even possible to dive and snorkel between continents. Sound like a lot to take in? A tour’s the easiest way to do it – you can even squeeze in a dip in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon. From the city’s harbour, hop aboard a boat and set your sights on spotting wild whales and dolphins or, in the centre, the icon that is the Hallgrímskirkja church has got views for days from its 74.5m-high tower, looking back over the skyline. Then, as the nights get dark, it’s time to gaze up and get a glimpse of the Northern Lights.  


The Christmas lover

You probably think you’re a Berlin or Munich, don’t you? Well, Warsaw’s worth a festive break to shake up your seasonal traditions. Poland’s capital boasts UNESCO status. The cobbled streets and pastel townhouses here paint a pretty picture, so cue the snow and it’s giving family Christmas card vibes. Festive markets start popping up from early November when, let’s be honest, you’ve already got Mariah Carey living rent-free in your head. So, kickstart the season with a mulled wine and ice skating session in front of the Royal Castle and Palace of Culture and Science. Mushroom dumplings, known as Uszka, are as important as your pigs in blankets here – Hala Koszyki’s a huge indoor food hall that’s the ideal place to pick your way through Polish and international cuisine. For a sing-along, the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir puts on carol concerts and from the top of St Anne’s Church, you can look out over the main square to see that Billy Mack was right, Christmas really is all around.  


So, did we get it right? Check out our other city breaks to find one that’s a bit of you. 

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Author: Lily Owen 
Last updated: 31/10/2023