Last Updated on October 26, 2023 by Cody Livingston
One of the best ways to travel more whilst working a full-time job is to travel to nearby locations over the weekend. There are some truly beautiful European destinations located just a couple of hours from the UK worth visiting, which require minimal flight, drive or train time – it’s a win, win!
Here are the 10 most beautiful European cities which you can scribble on your next short-haul vacation list.
1 – Paris, France
The French capital, Paris is one of the most popular European destinations near UK renowned for its rich food, culture, fairy-lit cobbled streets, beautiful landmarks and continental atmosphere. There are hundreds of cafes, restaurants, local bakeries, gardens and historically structures sure to keep you busy all day long – whether you want to soak up stunning views from the Sacre Coeur Basilica, wander the Bois de Vincennes park or simply crawl the fabulous fromageries dotted around the city.
Flight Time: 1hour 10mins
Eurostar Time: 2hours 16mins
2 – Brussels, Belgium
This capital of Belgium has all the quirks that you could want from a European city. The city boasts an amalgamation of Dutch and French culture, with bundles of exciting things to see and do, eat, drink and discover. History lovers can visit the Grand Place, which includes a stunning 15th century city hall surrounded by additional guildhalls, while nature enthusiasts can visit Le Botanique and its pretty greenhouse. If you like landmarks, the Atomium in Heysel Park is pretty impressive, or perhaps you simply want to hop on a beer tour?! Whatever you prefer to do, this city is full of wonder.
Flight Time: 1hour 5mins
Eurostar Time: 1hour 48mins
3 – Prague, Czech Republic
As a city break destination, Prague is held in high regard for its brilliance and beauty. You’ll discover centuries-old history dotted across this capital of the Czech Republic, with each quirky cobbled lane and corner of the city telling a different tale. Spend your days exploring the top sights, including wandering the Old Town Square, admiring the astronomical clock, crossing famous Charles Bridge and ticking off the opulent Castles and Cathedrals. After a day of exploration, pitch up at one of the atmospheric bars and watch the world go by.
Flight Time: 1hour 50mins
Eurostar Time: 8hours 30mins
4 – Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is one of the most affordable city destinations on the map, making it a popular spot to fly to for the weekend. There are so many great things to see and do here sure to keep every type of traveller entertained, from unwinding in quirky ruin bars such as popular SzimplaKert, taking a toasty dip in the Szechenyi Spa Baths, walking the Chain Bridge and doing a spot of shopping at the Great Market.
Flight Time: 2hours 25mins
5 – Reykjavik, Iceland
If natural wonders are your thing, this otherworldly destination is a must-visit. It’s one of the smallest European destinations near UK, but Reykjavik certainly packs in a lot of charm thanks to its fascinating sceneryand surroundings. Visit Snæfellsjökull National Park, admire the cascading Dynjandi Waterfall, heat things up in the Blue Lagoon and, if you’re an animal lover, take a trip to Puffin Island or go husky sledding! Crowned as the land of sagas, charm, Vikings and Northern Lights, Reykjavik is the perfect place for a historic city break full of awe-inspiring nature.
Flight Time: 3hours 15mins
6 – Lille, France
This quaint town is full of olde-worlde charm and very pleasantto spend a day wandering idly around the cobbled main square and admiring the Flemish-style architecture. Head to the museums and educate yourself about the city’s unique art, meander Old Lille for a taste of bygone years, or visit the large outdoor market Marche de Wazemmes, bursting with colourful stalls selling everything from exotic spices to clothes. A wonderful part of France ideal to explore on a quiet weekend.
Flight Time: 9hours 45mins (no non-stop flights available)
Eurostar Time: 1hour 22mins
7 – Geneva, Switzerland
If you’re thinking there’s not all that much beyond the snow-clad mountains in Geneva, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise. There are bundles of hidden gems waiting to be discovered in this lakeside city, from bustling flea markets to leafy parks, museums, shopping and plenty of places to wine and dine. With a flight time of approximately 90 minutes from the UK, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a whole new world in under two hours!
Flight Time: 1hour 35mins
8 – Berlin, Germany
Berlin is renowned for being one of the most historical cities in the world, with a treasure trove of culture, diversity, architecture and art to discover. This short-haul city is full of stunning archeological delights, from notable landmarks such as the Reichstag, TV Tower and PotsdamerPlatz – while it’s beautiful Tiergarten offers a greener contrast. Go on day tours, wander local markets, cruise the River Spree, admire the famous Berlin Walland indulge in the diverse food scene in this atmospheric city.
Flight Time: 1hour 50mins
9 – Amsterdam, the Netherlands
One of the most popular cities in Europe and undoubtedly the most picturesque, Amsterdam is bursting with winding canals, bikes, famous museums and incredible architecture. It’s a fantastic place to visit whether you’re a history lover or simply want to wander a pretty city with your partner – with must-sees including the Ann Frank Museum, wandering the artistic neighbourhood of Jordaan and booking a canal cruise. Plus, with a whopping 881,000 (approximately) bikes in the city, you have to explore this corner of the Netherlands on two wheels!
Flight Time: 1hour 5mins
Eurostar Time: 3hours 55mins
10 – Ibiza, Balearic Islands
For a perfect holiday, these European destinations near UK are for couples and families alike, Ibiza serves up a stylish beach escape with the right blend of laid-back and lively. The white-sand beaches and bustling resorts are hugely popular with tourists, while the chic harbour, atmospheric local restaurants and bars and architecture in the Old Town or Dalt Vila are a must if you want a contrast from the neon-lit clubs of San Antonio. However you like to holiday, this short-haul gem has the best of both worlds.
Flight Time: 2hours 15mins Fancy visiting the top destinations in Europe? With us you can, book your cheap flight tickets to Europe with Crystal Travel and spend your weekends discovering some of the most beautiful corners of the world! We have year-round deals from over 150 airlines, soyou won’t be short of places to visit.