Are you thinking of taking a few days away, unwinding from work? Perhaps a city break could be the perfect getaway for you. A short break, whether for a couple of days or an entire week, can be just the ticket to rejuvenation.
A city break is the ideal chance to explore and enjoy the wonders of a city. When vacation days are limited, you'll need to make the most out of it. Even better that city breaks mean you won't also be breaking the bank.
Why take a city break?
Why is city break so popular nowadays? Here are some of the biggest reasons why:
- It is cheap. Going on a city break nowadays is much more convenient because of package deals and cheap airlines. With just a few clicks, booking a cheap flight and hotel is quick and easy to do. You just need to be vigilant in order to grab the best deal for your short break. Also, city breaks cost less than the usual long-term vacations.
- It is easy and short. When you want to have fun, but you only have a short time available, a city break could be a solution. You can see and do a lot in a short period of time. It is also a great excuse to connect with your friends and loved ones whom you haven’t seen in a while.
- You will get to appreciate the place more. City breaks force you to focus on one destination. You get a chance to explore the wonders of the place and get to know a little more about the culture, language, foods and people. This will also allow you to experience new things that will make your trip a memorable one.
Many fascinating cities take pride in their rich culture, state-of-the-art attractions, infrastructures, museums, and even live music venues. (just in case you're into that.)
Here are some of the best cities to start with, along with average daily cost per person.
Average daily cost: $139
Amsterdam is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, and its canals are a UNESCO world heritage site. You can enjoy its unusual café culture, photograph its captivating architecture, and cruise down sun-dappled canals, or even join the locals by riding a bicycle through the city.
While Amsterdam has a lot of mesmerizing things to offer, many are within walking distance of each other. Here are some of them:
Also, don't forget to take a canal cruise while you're in town. It's the #1 attraction on the list of things to do in Amsterdam!
2. Hong Kong
Average daily cost: $138
City breaks in Hong Kong mean a lot of shopping and sightseeing. You get to discover their rich cultural landmarks, places of worship, and unique museums. Not just that, Hong Kong, a bustling city, also has a lot of shopping boutiques where you get to spend your fortune.
There are a lot of ways to enjoy this beautiful island from the water, too, like looking at the whole city from the Star Ferry or riding a traditional Chinese ship.
Among the best things to do in Hong Kong are:
- Victoria Peak
- Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
- Tian Tan Buddha
- Hong Kong markets
By the way, when visiting their markets, be sure to try some street food. You may find yourself enjoying their exotic yet tasteful foods while watching an opera performance in the market. Yep, it all can happen Hong Kong.
Average daily cost: $143
Considered a jewel in Italy’s crown, Rome should be included in your list of cities to visit. Two thousand years of history has given us St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest and most popular church in the world, the world-renowned Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo, the ancient Colosseum, and more. It's no wonder this Eternal City is considered one of the best places for a city break.
Plus, you get to indulge yourself in Iralian food at trattorias (laidback eateries), fill up on a rainbow of gelato flavors, and sip an espresso at a pretty piazza while watching the animated locals.
If you don’t feel visiting all by yourself, you can opt to join a guided tour of Rome, either individually or with a group. There are a number of free walking tours if you're watching your budget, but keep in mind that free ones won’t take you into places like the Colosseum or Vatican City. For sights like that, you'll need to take a paid walking tour. You can either take a private tour or join a group, where you'll explore Rome along with other tourists.
You may have a long list of places to see and things to do when you visit Rome. But if your time is extremely limited, you can't go wrong with:
- The Pantheon
- The Colosseum
- Vatican City – St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel
You'll be happy to know that there is no charge to see the Pantheon or visit St. Peter's Basilica. However, you'll need to purchase a ticket if you want to see the Colosseum or the Vatican Museums (where the Sistine Chapel is). Our best advice is to purchase those tickets online ahead of time. Who wants to waste hours of valuable sightseeing time by needlessly waiting on a ticket line?
Average daily cost: $86
As the capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague is a favorite among weekend city breaks in Europe. (Did you see how affordable it is?)
The city offers a wide range of historical sights as well as an impressive medieval castle. Some of the best landmarks you should visit are:
- Prague Castle
- St. Vitus Cathedral
- Old Town Prague (UNESCO listed)
- National Museum
If you want to continue your cultural journey, you can also enjoy the enchanting music from the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
And of course, there's the wonderful Czech cuisine. We ordered a lot of duck and svíčková (marinated beef sirloin) when we were there. Also, their unusual dumplings are hard to resist.
As you'd expect in the country that created pilsener, Prague offers a wide array of flavorsome local beers. Do try a few when you visit this enthralling city.
5. New York City
Average daily cost: $239
Commonly referred to as “the city that never sleeps,” New York City is one of the busiest cities in the world. And the Big Apple has plenty on offer, for all tastes. Whether you're in the mood for enthralling, spectacular entertainment, sumptuous food and beverages, breath-taking skyscrapers, or one of its many and varied shopping malls, you will never get bored here.
If you plan to visit the largest city in the USA, you should not miss these world-renowned spots:
- Empire State Building
- Statue of Liberty
- One World Trade Center
- Museum Mile
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Brooklyn Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art are world class, but New York has a wide selection of exhibits and galleries from world-renowned artists throughout its five boroughs.
Shoppers who want to reward themselves with luxurious and branded items must you should head to Manhattan. Macy's and Fifth Avenue offer the best in luxurious brands and department stores.
Music aficionados must head to Lincoln Center, where they offer world-class musical performances. Broadway is best for theater-goers, whereas if you are into dance clubs then the Meatpacking District is the place to be.
Average daily cost: $180
London is home to some of the world’s most famous and historical landmarks; Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Tower of London, and the Houses of Parliament immediately come to mind.
While there are a lot of things you can enjoy in London, be sure to visit these places during your city break.
- Buckingham Palace
- Tower Bridge
- London Eye
- Big Ben
- House of Parliament
When it comes to live music venues in London, you have countless to choose from. One of the most popular and best-loved is the Royal Albert Hall. It has hosted a lot of classical concerts, rock and roll gigs, and even musical theater shows. Actually, London is considered such a great music city that artists like Amy Winehouse, David Bowie, and many more are based here.
London's food scene ranges from a simple fish and chips meal in a local London pub to an extravagant sumptuous meal in a 5-star Michelin restaurant. Not to mention, London's large immigrant population means there is an infinite variety of foreign cuisines on offer. Brits love Indian flavors so much that they even designated chicken tikka masala as the national dish!
These are just some of the most popular cities to enjoy your city break. Just remember to enjoy it to your heart’s content and make the most out of it.
ⓘ READ NEXT: For more unusual (and more affordable) destinations, take a look at our Alternative Vacation Ideas.