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Compare the best city breaks

Whether you want to hit the shops, explore world-class museums and galleries or simply relax on a short break somewhere new, we have thousands of city and weekend breaks with great value deals to destinations across Europe and the world.

Compare our deals below and read our guides for inspiration, or find the best offers in your city of choice using our search tool.

Top family city breaks for 2014

City breaks aren't just for adults, they can prove to be an enjoyable holiday for the kids too. Read our top picks of family-friendly city break destinations...

If you are looking for 2014 family holiday inspiration, family city breaks are perfect for injecting a dash of culture, art and history into your break without losing any of the excitement and fun of a more traditional family holiday.

Here are TravelSupermarket's top family city breaks...

 

London...

The cosmopolitan capital is packed full of family-friendly things to see and do. From green spaces to manmade attractions, your children will never complain about being bored, and museum-related groans will slip into the past when you introduce the kids to the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum.

Open-top tour buses make sightseeing easy and fun - be sure to hop off for river cruises, London Zoo and the Tower of London. Or for great views, why not take a ride on the London Eye or a trip up the Shard?

 

Edinburgh...

Smart, cool Edinburgh is a doddle to get around thanks to the compact size of the city centre. It's hilly, so if you have pushchairs, it's best to climb aboard a hop-on hop-off tour bus, which will deliver you to the major sights, such as Edinburgh Castle and the National Museum of Scotland.Camera Obscura and World of Illusions is a much under-rated but fabulous family escapade and perfect for rainy days. And, of course, families will have fun at the Edinburgh Festival.

 

Paris...


There is plenty to appeal to families in the French capital, but it's Disneyland Paris that the kids will go gaga for. Combining time on the bijou streets of the city with unforgettable moments within the Disney parks is trouble free thanks to fast and frequent train connections between the two.

Forty minutes is all that separates the attractions of Paris, such as the Eiffel Tower, from the home of Mickey Mouse and pals. For something different, why not plan a trip around the climax of the Tour de France or the Bastille Day parade?

 

Barcelona...


In Spain, family rules. Don't be surprised to see local kids up late and dining out with their parents, or little ones running around while their folks sup a drink in the evening.

It's part of Barcelona's charm, and your family should mingle in this nurturing and welcoming culture. Treat the kids to some time at the beach, in the parks, or whisk them away to nearby PortAventura theme park for a day of thrill rides and family fun.

 

Rome...


There is more than pizza, pasta and ice cream to put smiles on the faces of your children in Rome. This cool Italian city might not spring to mind when you consider family breaks, but if you brush up on your history you can inspire delight anywhere you go.

Tell them about the lions in the pits of the Colosseum; scare them with tales of gobbled-up hands at the Bocca della Verita; and wow them with mummies at the Vatican Museums. Cool off at a terrace café in a traffic-free piazza while the kids run around.

Choose a city break to suit you

With so much choice, it can be overwhelming trying to decide where to go on a city break. We recommend some top destinations for a range of circumstances...

With temperatures cooling, autumn is a great time to swap the sun lounger for exploring a city. But with so much choice, deciding where to go can be overwhelming.

Here we offer some suggestions of classic as well as not-so-obvious city break destinations - depending on a range of circumstances...

 

“I'd like some culture... ”

Culture and city breaks go together like strawberries and cream, so whether you love art, architecture, history or music, you'll be spoilt for choice when deciding on a destination. The classic cities of London and Rome will never let you down as they are crammed full of museums, art galleries, events, spectacular buildings and churches - your biggest problem will be fitting everything in.

But if you've already been to Rome and London, or perhaps want to try somewhere different, why not plan a trip to Bilbao? The northern Spanish city's Guggenheim Museum hosts big-name exhibitions by artists such as David Hockney and the building itself - which was designed by Frank Gehry - is world famous. And there's plenty going on in the evenings too whether you love jazz, the theatre or want to relax while drinking in bars in the Old Town.

Berlin is another great city to head to for a culture hit as it's home to around 180 museums alone. There's Museum Island on the Spree River to explore (you'll find five museum buildings here to look around showcasing everything from sculptures to exhibits from Ancient Egypt); the world-famous parliament building, Reichstag; and many fascinating monuments, sights and museums commemorating the city's rich past. But the city isn't stuck in the past and there's also a buzzing modern arts scene.

 

“I want to go on a romantic break... ”

Paris didn't get its nickname as the City of Love by accident - and whether you and your loved one look over the city from the top of the Eiffel Tower, wander through Montmartre's narrow streets hand in hand or take in the café culture, you'll fall for the city's charms - and perhaps each other all over again.

Another classic city for romance is Venice where you can glide along the water in a gondola while being serenaded, sip wine while watching life on the canals go by or wander around admiring the intricate buildings.

If you want to avoid these big hitters, why not try out Verona instead? As the setting for the most famous love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet, couples can visit Juliet's House - complete with the iconic balcony and a bronze statue of the leading lady herself. And when you've visited the star-crossed lovers' neighbourhood, take a look around the dramatic Roman amphitheatre which, during the summer months, holds open-air opera performances.

Cologne is another less obvious choice for romance yet the city's Hohenzollern Bridge is a good spot to declare your undying love - using a padlock...  The railway bridge is covered in thousands of engraved locks placed there by couples over the years - you could spend hours reading the etched initials and messages, and could even add your own if you can find space. While in the city you could also take your other half on a trip on the Rhine to admire the views of castles and vineyards as you bob by, or if you share a love of all things sweet, a visit to the Chocolate Museum could be just for you.

“I'm travelling with young children... ”

Many travellers have the misconception that city breaks are a very grown-up holiday and not suitable for children. But this couldn't be further from the truth - being taken on city breaks while I grew up gave me a love of travelling - you just have to think of activities everyone will enjoy.

You could play it safe and head to Paris or Orlando - both of which are in close proximity to theme parks - but you don't have to rely on the world's most famous mouse and his friends to keep your little ones entertained.

Why not plan a city break in Amsterdam, hire bikes for you and the kids and enjoy tootling around the flat, compact city? There's also NEMO, a hands-on science museum where children can do everything from climbing inside soap bubbles to learning all about the human brain, as well as cruises along the canals that all of the family will enjoy.

Or mini chocoholics will enjoy looking around Brussels with chocolate sampling stops en route. There's even a chocolate museum to learn all about how the sweet stuff is made. Other child-friendly activities in the city include the Belgian Comic Strip Center - after all Belgium is the home of the Smurfs and Tintin - the interactive Scientastic museum and Mini Europe where you and the kids can stroll around the continent in a few hours.

 

“I'm travelling with teenagers... ”

City breaks don't just offer up a great break for young children - teenagers will also enjoy exploring new places. Even the fussiest teens will be hard pressed not to be impressed by a visit to London or New York, whether their idea of a fun few days involves shopping, shows or world-famous sights. And both cities have such a range of things to eat and drink that finding a venue for all of the family to dine shouldn't be stressful.

But if you've already taken the family to our capital and you don't want to venture as far as New York, Barcelona is a nice alternative. The city has shops galore from high street favourites to up-and-coming design boutiques, the architecture is fascinating, the tapas bars and restaurants are buzzing and, if you are lucky with the weather, there are even beaches to loll on.

But if you've already taken the family to our capital and you don't want to venture as far as New York, Barcelona is a nice alternative. The city has shops galore from high street favourites to up-and-coming design boutiques, the architecture is fascinating, the tapas bars and restaurants are buzzing and, if you are lucky with the weather, there are even beaches to loll on.

Teens will also be impressed by the bustling city of Istanbul. Take them on a Bosphorus boat tour down the strait that divides east from west, go shopping together in ultra-modern malls or let them haggle in the bazaars, relax in a hammam and then take in a dance show while sampling the local cuisine at night.

 

“I'm looking for a girls'/lads' holiday... ”

Prague and Dublin are often top of the list for those on a holiday with friends looking to let their hair down. And whether Guinness is your tipple of choice or you are tempted by the cheap beer prices in Prague, it's clear to see why. Plus, when the sun goes down for the day, there's plenty of bars, clubs and music venues to venture to in both cities.

If you don't fancy Dublin but want to stay closer to home, Brighton could be the place for you. The laid-back seaside city knows how to show its guests a good time whether you want pubs, clubs, cocktails or comedy. There are plenty of daytime activities too whether you want to explore the quirky independent shops in the Lanes, the outdoor markets, stroll by the sea or even play beach volleyball in the dedicated beach sports venue, Yellowave.

But for something a bit different, why not pack your bags and jet off to Marrakech? Despite only being around a three and a half hour flight from the UK, you can enjoy some sunshine in this Moroccan city with temperatures staying in the 20s during the autumn. There's shopping opportunities, swanky rooftop cocktail bars and hammams to detox in while being pampered and pummelled.

Whatever type of city break you fancy this autumn, don't forget to compare prices to get the best deal for you. You'll find a number of great deals on TravelSupermarket's city breaks page

Top ten most popular destinations for city breaks

Need inspiration for your next city break? Our travel expert, Bob Atkinson, offers up suggestions of some sure-fire winners to help...

With a world of cities to choose from, these are the 10 most searched for city break destinations at TravelSupermarket.com. Read about what to see and where to go in places that are firm favourites with Brits year after year, whether you are on your first trip to see any of them or a returning visitor coming back for more.

Planning and booking a short city break is easy. You can either book cheap flights and then a hotel in your destination, or look to grab one of many city break deals from tour operators and online travel agents. Checking both out will give you the best overall options on choice and price for your arrangements.

1. Paris - The City of Light

The capital of France and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It has stunning architecture, amazing food, some of the most fashionable shops, art, museums, history and a joie de vivre unique to the city. This city is such as classic that you can come back time and time again and never get bored.

And it's not just a city of romance. You can take a city sightseeing tour to include the Eiffel Tower, the Sacre Coeur or Notre Dame, a ride on the Bateau Mouche along the Seine, a stroll around one of the many galleries of world famous art such as the Louvre or a walk in the Tuileries Gardens.

2. Barcelona - The capital of Catalonia

Spain's second city - although don't let the locals hear you say that - is located on the Mediterranean surrounded by hills on all sides. A busy and bustling place famous for La Ramblas, Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia and the Nou Camp stadium - home to FC Barcelona, one of the world's most iconic football clubs.

The city packs a punch in art galleries and shopping, and has a fabulous harbour area that was redeveloped during the Barcelona Olympics to offer restaurants, bars and nightlife to entertain you into the small hours.

You can even spend some time on the beach. The city has one just a ten minute walk from the city centre, so you can combine sightseeing, and culture, shopping with topping up your tan.

3. Rome - The home of the Roman Empire

La Dolce Vita. Rome is just one of the amazing short city break destinations in Italy - a country packed with more historic sites to visit than any other in the world. Famous for the Roman heritage of the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Forum, Rome draws crowds all year round to see its wealth of ancient history.

Another big draw is the Vatican - the centre of the Catholic Church which sits over the river Tiber from the Roman city, occasionally enhanced with regular appearances by the Pope. With the huge St Peter's cathedral at its centre, this complex houses an outstanding collection of fine art in what is the smallest independent state in the world. Add to this the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and fabulous Italian cuisine and you have lots to pack into your Roman city break to Rome.

4. London - The world's capital city for short breaks

We are always taking time out and jetting off in search of amazing places to visit, however, the UK is home to one of the most amazing cities in the world - London. And the home of the London Olympics 2012 showed us how much is on offer.

A city tour will take you on a whistle stop tour of historic and modern sites in the capital - Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral, the Shard and the London Eye to name just a few. There are art galleries galore, museums for just about everything and every kind of shop you can imagine.

And London also has incredible nightlife with world class restaurants, theatres, cinemas and music of all kinds. Factor in parks galore, river trips and lots for the entire family to get involved in and you have one of the most rounded cities to visit.

5. New York - The Big Apple mini break

You will never forget your first visit to New York, one of the world's most iconic cities. With its skyscrapers and sassy attitude, there is a real get up and go in the city and you will find the atmosphere very infectious.

Characterised by its yellow taxi cabs, hot dog stalls and steam rising from the man hole covers in the streets, you will not find this a dull city. Climb the Empire State building for city views, jump on the Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, browse through the galleries and museums and ride a horse drawn carriage through Central Park.

A city break in New York will not be complete without visiting one of the many shopping areas such as Madison Avenue, Broadway or Fifth Avenue or taking in a show in one of the many theatres.

6. Prague - Czech out the beers

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and one of the busiest city break destinations in Europe. This old town of stone buildings is a UNESCO World Heritage site and you will recognise many of the vistas from Hollywood Films such as Mission Impossible.

When you are away from the crowds this is a very romantic city with its bridges over the river such as Charles Bridge, Prague Castle on the hill, Tyn Church and Wenceslas Square. Hearty European food and Czech beers keep you on the go.

7. Dublin - Where party and culture meets

Dublin is a buzzing city to visit on a short break, it has amazing nightlife in its bars and restaurants, the famous Trinity College and the Book of Keils,the Guinness Storehouse - home to one of the world's most famous drinks and numerous bars along the banks of the River Liffey running through the city centre.

Dublin has changed so much in recent years and now has excellent shopping, good quality eateries and some chic hotels too. And being only a short hop from the UK it is a quick and easy city to visit for the shortest of weekend breaks.

8. Istanbul - where east meets west

Straddling the Bosphorous, Istanbul makes a fantastic destination for a city break. A mixture of Europe and Asia, this city is in a beautiful setting and has an atmosphere like no other in Europe. Mosques, minarets and markets abound within a city that has been established for two thousand years. The cuisine is a heady mixture of east meets west with kebab shops and restaurants of all types. You can even enjoy a traditional Turkish bath. Contrast this with up to the minute designer shopping malls and hedonistic nightlife in the bars and clubs.

9. Stockholm - The winner takes it all

The capital of Sweden, Stockholm, as well as being a city, is set on water, gorgeous to look at all year round and full of trendy places to eat and shop. It's the home of the world's largest H&M store as well as cutting edge brands such as Acne and Cheap Monday. The city has a stunning old town called Gamla Stan, great to visit at Christmas market time as well as world class heritage attractions such as the Vasa Museum. When you are not exploring the many islands of the city's archipelago by boat, why not indulge in an ABBA walking tour of the city to capture the key places in the group's history. The Swedes are friendly welcoming people and will certainly ensure that a weekend city break in Stockholm will be memorable.

Don't waste your money on expensive holiday extras

If you've bagged a great late deal, don't throw away all of your hard work at the final hurdle by wasting any unnecessary money on your travel extras...

Don't throw money away on last-minute holidays

You've grabbed a last-minute bargain to Spain. You're already dreaming of getting a tan, nights out, great food and loads of fun. And best of all, your holiday really was a deal.

So don't ruin it all at the final hurdle by racking up a huge bill for all of your travel extras.

Now is the time to put your money-saving skills into practice and keep a lid on your holiday costs, giving you more to spend in Duty Free or on treats while you are away.

Follow our tips to keep the costs down:

Getting to the airport

If you are using your own car to get to the airport then pre-book your parking space (airport parking). Doing this in advance online can save you up to 60% compared to drive-up gate prices.

And, if you are travelling to the airport by public transport, it is nearly always cheaper to book your tickets ahead, especially for rail travel .

It's also cheaper to pre-book a local cab both to and from the airport in the UK than to use black cabs.

Travel insurance

Don't leave home without this travel essential! If you don't already have an annual policy that definitely covers your trip (check the details) then get online and compare policies. This only take a few minutes but will give you holiday cover from only a few pounds - and is substantially cheaper than the cover you can buy from travel agents or at the airport.

Holiday money

The easiest way to throw money down the drain is to exchange your money at the airport as you race through to your flight. If you really don't have time to get online to order your money for delivery, then pre-order your currency from Travelex or ICE for airport collection. It will save you up to 6% on walk-up rates.

And watch out for the costs of using your cards overseas in ATMs and shops. Hidden fees and currency loading charges can ramp up the cost of goods, so ensure you know these before using your plastic.

Holiday car hire

It never pays to walk up and rent a car on arrival. Firstly you will pay more and secondly you will only get a choice between cars that are left - in high season, these tend to be the more expensive models. So, always take a few minutes out to pre-book online car hire from the UK where you can save literally hundreds of pounds on longer rentals of up to two weeks.

Airport shopping and dining

Fancy a bit of retail therapy in your UK airport before you jet off? Then have a quick look at your departure airport's website for money- saving vouchers on everything from a coffee to a meal as well as many of the different shops beyond security. You could make even further savings with a few minutes' work.

Packing

Whatever you do, ensure you check the baggage allowances you have with your airline. Go just one kilo over or have a bag just a couple of centimetres too big and you will get fined at the airport. With costs of up to £50 per bag now commonplace, it's a hard lesson to learn. And don't forget the liquids ban in hand luggage - no more than ten 100ml bottles in one clear sealable bag. You don't want to have to throw away your expensive perfume because the bottle is too big!