Travel was back. And then it wasn’t. And then it was again. And now? In the UK, USA and basically everywhere else too, rural getaways, beach breaks, outdoorsy trips have all surged in popularity. This summer and last, we relished discovering our own homeland, spending time with friends and family, and some of us have even managed to get out and explore other countries too. So, whatever happened to the ‘city break’? Do you remember when you’d nip over to a foreign metropolis and just... wander? You’d order an espresso at a zinc bar, you’d hit up some museums, you’d order the local liqueur, you might even go out out. Above all, you’d be spontaneous. Testing requirements and border restrictions have temporarily put paid to short-notice trips like that. And in any case, over the past two years, many of us have wanted to escape the bustle of urban life; when on holiday, we’ve desired peace, quiet and as few humans as possible. In the middle of a pandemic, turns out, cities just weren’t where we wanted to go. But in 2022, touch wood, the city break should make its long-awaited comeback. As vaccination and booster rollouts continue apace worldwide, we think people will rediscover a passion for travel – and in particular, the food, nightlife, culture and community that have always made Europe’s cities such great places to be. So, planning a holiday and need some pointing in the right direction? We consulted our local experts in major cities across the continent to nominate the other
Travel is well and truly back, people. Covid testing for tourists is increasingly being scrapped across the board, and travellers are practically being ushered into the once-bustling cities of Europe. But the thing is, lots of us are still strapped for cash after two years of uncertainty. The good news is this: there are plenty of interesting and affordable locations on the Continent that you can visit without breaking the bank. Plus, a load of them are off the beaten track, meaning you won’t have to fight your way through crowds to find the best bits. We found out the average price of an Airbnb in each place, and cross-referenced that with data from financial comparison site Finder to work out where you can get a discount pint, too. From the ruin-filled city of Argos in Greece to the foodie-heaven of Graz in Austria, here are 11 of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe. RECOMMENDED: The 16 best city breaks in Europe for 2022
Europe is a tremendously pedestrian-friendly continent, with a conveyor belt of cities built for relaxing strolls and amiable ambles. Sure, the metros and public transportation networks of Europe have plenty to offer, but you can’t beat a long walk in a beautiful city. Not only do you get to see gorgeous architecture and oh so tangible history, but you’ll also get plenty of steps in along the way. Healthy and productive? Yes, please! The most walkable cities in Europe each offer something unique, something different, and all are ready and waiting to fill your heart and lungs with joy and fresh air in equal measure. Load up on water, wear some comfortable shoes and get that camera ready.
We get it: you’ve done your local park to death. There’s only so many times you can wander past the off-licence and around that yellowing patch of grass – or tempt yourself outside with the promise of a takeaway coffee.If you’re looking for something more dramatic – and want to actually, finally, book that trip away – there are some truly breathtaking hiking trails across Europe that mean all those mid-pandemic strolls can be passed off as practice. A new book, ‘Wanderlust Europe’, points would-be walkers in the right direction. Some of them are hundreds of kilometres long, but if you’re not quite up for a lifetime-defining pilgrimage, use the signposted paths to take in the impressive scenery for a day or two. Here the book’s author, Alex Roddie, picks nine of the very best hiking trails across the continent, from the UK and France to Slovenia and Scandinavia. Let’s be honest: we could all do with a proper adventure right now – and this could be one of the best ways to do it.
There are many classic European city breaks – arty jaunts in Paris, food comas in Rome, big ones in Berlin. But the continent also holds hundreds of off-the-beaten-track cities – buzzing with culture, historic architecture, incredible food and diverse communities – that are, for a lot of us, still waiting to be discovered. Here are ten such European cities, all nominated at this year’s World Travel Awards for the title of Europe’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination. From the capital of Azerbaijan to an ancient cave town in southern Italy, these are the European city breaks that should be top of your wishlist for 2021. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Europe
Enjoy travelling by train? Then get your buns to Europe, because the world’s second-smallest Continent also happens to be home to some magical railway routes. Not all of Europe is train-friendly, but even those parts that remain committed to buses (we’re looking at you, Balkans) have some beautiful journeys on offer – stunning stretches of rail that weave in and out of valleys with turquoise-blue rivers for guides. Unsurprisingly, many of the best train journeys in Europe are incredible feats of engineering. These routes see trains old and new scale mountains and beyond, taking passengers from base to summit without a bead of sweat lost. Sure, they don’t do much for your hiking cred, but there is something magical about staring wide-eyed out of a window as Europe’s stunning nature unfolds outside. Train travel is as romantic as it gets. RECOMMENDED: The 11 greatest train journeys in the world
Home to some of the best restaurants in the world – and, arguably, some of the freshest ingredients around – Europe is an amazing place to stuff yourself silly. The best restaurants in Europe come in all shapes and sizes, too. You can splurge on Michelin-starred meals in Paris, twirl pasta on a terrace in Rome, taste the sea in Lisbon and slurp oysters in Nice. (Are you getting hungry yet?) No matter what you're craving, the continent’s vast gastronomic landscape is bound to tickle your taste buds in new and unexpected ways, no matter which city, region or country you end up visiting. Take a look at the best restaurants in Europe and plan your next dining adventure accordingly.
There are 44 countries in Europe alone, and no other place on earth packs as much cultural diversity into its borders. Want world-class museums and Unesco-listed monuments? You got it. How about hiking and biking beneath jagged mountain peaks? Or perhaps it’s all-night party strips and silky sands you’re after? Our run-down of the best places to visit in Europe has it all. Throw in cheap flights and excellent cross-country rail links and, predictably, you have a densely packed swag bag of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet. So, where do you start? From Iceland to Spain to Croatia, Europe’s prettiest swathes are ground zero for holidaying families in late July and throughout August – at this time of year you’ll need to book at least six months ahead at the most popular resorts for good-value accommodation. In many regions, May/June and September are the city break sweet spots where visitors can expect temperate weather, cheaper prices and fewer crowds. In our humble opinion, these are the places in Europe you simply must visit at least once. Whether you fancy touring a wine region, eating your way along the Med or canyoning through river gorges, there’s a holiday for you on this list. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best cities in the world
You may have got wind of our recent, annual, much-debated ranking of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods. As part of our Time Out Index survey this year, we quizzed tens of thousands of city-dwellers to discover the best places across the globe for food, art, culture and – in 2020 especially – community spirit and resilience, before supplementing their answers with the expert opinions of our global network of editors and contributors. Of course, there are many more incredibly cool neighbourhoods around the world. On this year’s list, we only had room for 40. In Europe, these included neighbourhoods in Barcelona, Berlin, Porto, Amsterdam, Prague, London and beyond (with Dennistoun, Glasgow causing the biggest stir). But there were plenty more European cities whose locals we quizzed. So, from Moscow to Marseille via Vienna and (yes) Birmingham, here are 11 more of the coolest neighbourhoods in Europe in 2020: the underrated areas that locals love, rating them highly for food and fun. Visit as soon as you can – these are the places to be. Share your favourite neighbourhoods and local spots with us via the #LoveLocal hashtag – and follow Time Out’s Love Local campaign as we celebrate and support the independent food, drink and culture venues that make our cities great.
Is there a more romantic notion than indulging in a glass of wine while overlooking the Pantheon in Rome? Or sipping a cocktail al fresco while waiting for your dinner reservation in Barcelona? We think not. The best bars in Europe serve up plenty of boozy inspiration that'll have you wondering, 'Is it 5 o'clock yet?' There's something for every occasion, too – from trendy rooftop bars and next-level cocktail dens to old-timey dive bars and pubs. No matter your go-to drink order, we're willing to bet that there's a watering hole (or two, or three) for you on our list of the best bars in Europe. Without further ado, let's raise a glass!