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Urban Adventures: Top 10 City Breaks

2024-05-13

Urban Adventures: Our Top 10 City Break Destinations

European city breaks

Need a break from the everyday? Then grab your backpack and head off for an action-packed European city break to one of our top 10 destinations.

If lounging by the pool just isn’t your bag, how about an exciting urban outside adventure instead this summer? Whether you’re off interrailing, exploring Europe on a budget, or travelling first class, there are 51 unique and exciting capital cities to choose from. And each one offers lots of lovely things to do indoors and outdoors.

Grab your travel backpack, toiletry bag and a pair of comfortable sandals and read on. We’ve picked out our top 10 European destinations to inspire you.

Rome

This magical city wasn’t built in a day, so definitely don’t expect to see everything in 24 hours! A long weekend, carefully planned, should provide just enough time to check out the key must-see sites and soak up some of the cool, laid-back atmosphere.

Don’t miss: A visit to the ancient Colosseum is a must for any first time visitor to the city. This magnificent monument was built with the manpower of thousands of slaves and designed to hold around 50,000 spectators. It’s a spectacle to be experienced but, be warned, it can get scorching here in high summer.

Park life: Villa Borghese Park isn’t the largest of Rome’s parks but certainly the most central and a beautiful place to road test your super comfy Timberland Flyroam sneakers! When you’re tired out, you can take a break at the Galleria Borghese, pop by the children's cinema, or simply relax in the sunshine with a picnic. Bellissimo!

Cafe culture: Pop by Cafe Colbert at the Villa Medici for a delicious lunch and some spectacular views.

Paris

Think you know Paris? Think again. There is always something new and amazing to discover in the City of Love, whether it’s a new exhibition, bar, food market, courtyard or garden.

Don’t miss: The stunning Musée D’Orsay, which sits on the site of the old Belle Époque Orsay train station. Home to one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionist and Post-impressionist art, it also has a lovely cafe.

After dark: If your rollerblading skills are a bit rusty, best get practising. One of the more exciting ways to explore Paris by night is with the local bladers. The Pari-Roller website will tell you where to rendezvous.

River adventures: Escape the bustling streets and take a leisurely cruise on the River Seine. It’s a fabulously relaxing way to catch some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Prague

The city of quaint cobbled streets and impressive baroque architecture has so much more to offer, besides great beer! To get the best out of your weekend visit, be prepared to wander.

Don’t miss: A stroll along the Charles Bridge in the old town is a real treat. The stone walkway offers great views of Prague Castle and is lined with buskers and 30 saintly statues.

On your bike: Experience Prague's impressive architecture and famous landmarks by bicycle on a guided tour. Take in the sights and explore the quaint side streets, stopping off at some of the city’s many bars and cafes along the way.

Rest and recharge: Pause for a delicious cocktail at Hemingway Bar in the Old Town. This atmospheric hang out is all sumptuous dark wood and comfy leather armchairs.

Venice

Despite being invaded by thousands of tourists all-year-round, this stunning waterside city retains its timeless charm and, miraculously, you’re never far away from a secluded street.

Don’t miss: The Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Located in the American collector’s former home, it houses her personal collection of priceless art and has a particularly enchanting sculpture garden.

Take to the street: Pop some Timberland Sensorflex footwear into your luggage to help you navigate the cobbles and when you get there, just start walking. Keep going and don’t stop, unless it’s to refuel with a sublime plate of pasta and a glass of something refreshing and delicious. Walking is by far the best way to explore this glorious city and its myriad of winding streets and enclaves.

Water taxi: Avoid the crowds and take a private water taxi back to the airport. It’s the A-list way to travel!

Florence

Experience your own mini-renaissance in this stunning city of culture. The Tuscan capital is packed full of things to do, see and eat, so make an early start.

Don’t miss: Once you’ve paid your respects to Michelangelo's David at the Accademia Gallery, visit one of the glorious open-air markets at San Lorenzo or Piazza del Mercato for a spot of retail therapy, Florentine-style.

Travel back in time: Just a few miles from the centre of Florence you will find the Fiesole Archaeological Site, home to ruins of ancient theatres, baths and tombs. The sights are spectacular but it can very hot during the summer months. Take plenty of water and wear footwear that’s light and comfortable. A pair of sneakers could be just the thing.

A sweet treat: Get a sugar rush at one of the city’s best gelaterias, Perche No! The honey and sesame ice cream is divine!

Barcelona

Offering sun, sea, and culture aplenty, this Mediterranean city has it all. If you love striking street art, fantastic food and football, you’ll be in heaven!

Don’t miss: Schedule a trip to one of the world’s most famous football stadiums. If you’re a fan of the game, Camp Nou, home to FC Barcelona, is an easy metro ride away from the city centre.

Row your boat: Grab your boat shoes and hire a creaky rowing boat at the Parc de la Ciutadella. When you’ve finished lazing around on the lake, you can head off to explore the gloriously manicured lawns, shaded walkways, and ornamental gardens. The grandiose waterfall is a particular highlight.

Take a dip: Drop by Barcelona’s ancient Aire Baths to soothe aching limbs, after a day of exploring. Take your pick from a choice of saltwater, icy, hot or bubbling.

Amsterdam

You can fit quite a lot into an Amsterdam urban break if you have a good bike and lots of energy! From monuments and Old Masters to street markets and trendy restaurants, this city of canals has something for everyone.

Don’t miss: Budding artists should drop by The Rembrandt House Museum. Wander around the home where Rembrandt actually lived and worked during the 17th Century and learn all about his masterful techniques.

Cruise by kayak: Biking might be the most popular way to navigate the city, but kayaking is a super-fun way to check out the waterways. Quite a few companies offer guided kayak tours but if you feel confident, you can rent a kayak and head off with some waterproof shoes on a solo canal adventure.

Go cheesy: When you’re feeling peckish, head to Singel to buy authentic Dutch cheese from its long row of vendors.

Berlin

Sunny in summer and icy cold in winter, the German capital has plenty of appealing indoor and outdoor attractions that will keep even the most intrepid urban traveller busy.

Don’t miss: No first time trip to Berlin would be complete without a visit to the Wall Memorial. The East Side Gallery is the longest surviving section of the Berlin Wall and is decorated with the work of more than 100 artists from over 20 countries.

Eery adventures: Spreepark, once the only amusement park in the GDR, was left to rot in 2002. Today visitors taking one of the organised tours can explore on foot, with its deserted rides and overgrown attractions.

Relax with a good read: At the Buchkantine café, they serve books with the coffee. What better therapy after a busy day on the urban tourist trail?

Milan

Milan is a city bursting with art, fashion, history, and mouthwatering food, so it's really no surprise it’s an enduring weekend hotspot for visitors.

Don’t miss: Feast your eyes on one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s most iconic works of art. The Last Supper can be found in the Santa Maria Delle Grazie. Take note, it’s worth booking tickets in advance.

Meet the locals: While you’re unlikely to break a sweat, playing a game of Bocce is one fun way to pass the time outdoors in Milan and make new friends. Bocce clubs used to be the reserve of retirees but younger people are now enjoying the retro appeal of this very gentle sport. La Balera dell’Ortica is a good place to get your game in.

Sip in style: The Botanical Club serves up tasty food and mouthwatering gin cocktails in a super-stylish setting, making it a perfect pitstop.

Copenhagen

Did you know Copenhagen was recently rated one of the happiest cities in the world? It’s a super friendly destination to head to for a weekend of fun, food, and culture.

Don’t miss: Surrounded by canals, Slotsholmen island was the original heart of the city and is still home to the stock exchange and parliament. Visitors can book a guided tour.

Urban workout: Konditaget Lüders is a recreational space on top of a multi-storey car park in Copenhagen’s Nordhavn district. This alternative urban space is a playground open to everyone including local fitness fanatics like to soak up some impressive views of the harbour as they work out.

And relax...with coffee and cake at La Glace, Copenhagen’s oldest Patisserie, established in 1870.

London

To see the best of London town, it pays to stray away from the organised tourist trail. Some of the most amazing features of this stunning city are stumbled upon. So, grab your map and your sturdiest pair of sneakers.

Don’t miss: The museums. Sure, you’ll find lots of tourists wandering around, but the locals love them too. The Tate Modern on the city’s Bankside is housed in a converted power station and will keep you enthralled for hours. You’ll also be perfectly positioned for a picturesque stroll along the Thames after your visit.

Market hustle bustle: London’s street markets are world famous and there are plenty to choose from. Among the highlights is Borough Market, near London Bridge, for mouth-watering street food, fruit and veg. Then head west to look for A-listers on Notting Hill’s Portobello Road – it’s also a hotspot for cool, vintage buys.

Midnight feast: At Dans le Noir in Clerkenwell, you eat your meal in complete darkness. It’s the taste, smell and texture of the food that’s the focus in this curious eatery. It’s also lots of fun and all spills go unnoticed, of course.

Edinburgh

Did you know the Scottish capital is built on seven hills? The intriguing mix of medieval winding streets and Georgian architecture is pure heaven for urban walkers.

Don’t miss: Tea and cake at The Elephant House on George IV Bridge. Who knows, it might inspire you to pen a masterpiece? The back room of this cafe, overlooking Edinburgh Castle, is reportedly where JK Rowling wrote her early Harry Potter novels.

Visit the volcano: Arthur’s Seat, in the middle of the city, is actually a volcano that erupted 340 million years ago. It’s dormant now though, so don’t expect to see any lava streams. Grab your Timberland boots and head up there for fantastic views of the city.

Ghostly tours: Hop on the ghost bus for a spine-tingling tour around the spooky side of Edinburgh. You’ll see all the popular tourist landmarks and hear about the various ghosts and ghouls who inhabit the city.

Timberland creates fashion for urban adventurers, whichever European destination you’re heading to. For comfortable, stylish collections that travel well anywhere and everywhere, browse our collections for men, women and kids.