City breaks

The best city break destinations for a three-night getaway

Photo of Jacob LewisPhoto of Jacob Lewis
By Jacob Lewis

20 March 20249 min read

An aerial view of the Sacre Coeur Basilica rising above the streets of the Montmartre district at sunrise

Paris, France The City of Lights combines everything we love about city breaks.

Easter means a glorious four-day weekend – but are you ready to make the most of it? We’ve picked six popular city break spots that are just right for spending four days, three nights away.

These popular European city breaks have a superb blend of iconic sights and undiscovered areas – all perfectly packable into a half-week getaway.

Presuming your flight arrives early enough to explore that first evening, and you fly back sometime before dinner on day four, our expert itineraries will ensure you tick off the best of the cities, too.

Rome, Italy

Rome wasn't built in a day, but you can get a great taste of its ancient wonders in four. Dive into history with the iconic trio: the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain (don't forget to toss a coin!), and the majestic Vatican City. In between sightseeing, fuel up on mouthwatering pasta dishes and creamy gelato – after all, what's a trip to Rome without the Italian food?

Day 1: Immerse yourself in Roman pre-dinner culture with an aperitivo at Freni e Frizioni, a hip bar in the lively Trastevere neighbourhood. Then head to the Campo de' Fiori market for a casual authentic pizza at a locals’ favourite like the bakery Forno Campo de' Fiori (closes at 7:30pm so don’t leave it too late).

Day 2: Start your morning at the Colosseum and wander through the Roman Forum for a glimpse into the heart of the Roman Empire. In the afternoon, toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain but be ready to elbow your way past the crowds if you want the classic selfie. Then explore the Pantheon, the temple-turned-cathedral, built almost 2000 years ago. Finish your day with a delicious cacio e pepe at a charming trattoria such as Da Enzo al 29 in Trastevere.

Day 3: Dedicate day three to the Vatican City. Witness the awe-inspiring St. Peter's Square and Basilica, and marvel at the Sistine Chapel's breathtaking frescoes by Michelangelo. Afterwards, explore the Vatican Museums at your own pace, or join a guided tour to delve deeper.

Day 4: Use your last morning to climb the Spanish Steps for panoramic views. Spend your last afternoon before your flight exploring more of the historic Trastevere neighbourhood with its charming squares and lively restaurants.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona hums with an infectious energy that is perfect for a spring escape. Three nights offer ample time to soak up the sun on the beach, stroll along the lively Las Ramblas, and tantalise your taste buds with the city's incredible tapas scene.

Day 1: Dump your luggage in your room and head directly to dinner with a view at Martinez, a rooftop restaurant with stunning views of the city and port.

Day 2: Start your morning with a visit to the Sagrada Familia, Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece, and marvel at its intricate façade. In the afternoon, wander down Las Ramblas, soaking up the atmosphere and exploring the shops and stalls. Relax on Barceloneta beach in the afternoon, followed by a tapas crawl through the Gothic Quarter and Eixample in the evening. Try the bustling Tapas 24 or the atmospheric Ciudad Condal for moreish small plates.

Day 3: Spend your second morning in Park Güell, another Gaudí masterpiece with stunning views and quirky architecture – get up early to avoid the crowds. In the afternoon, wander through the charming El Born neighbourhood and visit the Picasso Museum. Fuel up with a paella feast for dinner at 7 Portes, a classic Barcelona restaurant, before enjoying a flamenco performance at Tablao Cordobes.

Day 4: Use your last morning to explore Montjuïc, a hilltop with panoramic views and the National Museum of Catalan Art. If you have time before you fly, spend the afternoon browsing the shops of Passeig de Gràcia, or visit Casa Batlló for more Gaudí architecture.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague's picturesque charm comes alive in its Old Town Square, the stunning Charles Bridge, and the majestic Prague Castle. Wander its cobblestone streets, savour hearty Czech cuisine, and sample the legendary local beers in bustling pubs. Three nights is just enough time to get a fantastic taste of the city without feeling overwhelmed – or overindulged!

Day 1: Get stuck right into the best of Czech beer culture on a pub crawl on your first evening. Stop into historic spots like U Fleků or U Zlatého Tygra, where locals and tourists mingle.

Day 2: Start in the heart of Prague, the Old Town Square, with its astronomical clock and vibrant atmosphere. Cross the iconic Charles Bridge and take in the views of the Vltava River. In the afternoon, ascend to Prague Castle and explore its palaces and St. Vitus Cathedral. End the day by indulging in a hearty goulash at U Parlamentu, a classic pub with a lively vibe.

Day 3: Dedicate your morning to the Jewish Quarter, where you’ll find synagogues and the poignant Old Jewish Cemetery. In the afternoon, explore the offbeat Petrin Hill with its mirror maze and views, then make your way to the charming Lesser Town (Malá Strana) with its beautiful Baroque architecture. Treat yourself to a slap-up dinner of roasted duck at Lokál Dlouhááá, a popular spot serving up modern takes on Czech classics.

Day 4: Use your last morning for souvenir shopping or a visit to the Museum of Communism for historical insight. Unwind before your flight in the afternoon by strolling through the peaceful Vyšehrad fortress with its scenic river views.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is famously known as the city built on seven hills. But is a three-night getaway enough to conquer them all? Maybe not, but you’ll have enough time to enjoy the coastal city's rhythm at a relaxed pace, uncover a few of its charismatic neighbourhoods, and maybe even squeeze in a beach day.

Day 1: Start things off with a seafood feast at Cervejaria Ramiro, a Lisbon institution, and get your first taste of Lisbon's nightlife in the lively Cais do Sodré district.

Day 2: Ride the historic Tram 28, the best way to get a feel for the city. Get lost in the maze-like Alfama district, the oldest part of Lisbon, then ascend to St. George's Castle for panoramic views. Indulge in those irresistible custard tarts, Pasteis de Nata, at Manteigaria, a beloved bakery near Praça Luís de Camões. In the evening, enjoy a night of Fado music in a traditional tavern in the Bairro Alto area such as Tasca do Chico.

Day 3: Dedicate your day to the Belém district, home to the Jerónimos Monastery and Tower of Belém, both UNESCO World Heritage sites. Take in the modern architecture of the MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture & Technology) by the river. Enjoy a seaside lunch in Cascais at Mar do Inferno, known for its fresh seafood and cliffside views.

Day 4: Leave the city on a day trip to the mystical town of Sintra, perched in the hills with its colourful Pena Palace and other fairytale castles. Head from here straight to the airport or return to Lisbon in the afternoon for one last wander around the charming Chiado or Baixa neighbourhoods.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Three nights is just enough time to uncover Amsterdam’s hidden hip neighbourhoods alongside its most popular sights. Rent a bike and explore like a local, visit the Anne Frank House for a poignant experience, and stroll through the stunning Vondelpark.

Day 1: Settle into your hotel then start things off in true Dutch style with a delightful dinner near Rembrandtplein at cosy De Pantry for a mix of classic – think, stamppot (mashed potatoes and vegetables) – and modern Dutch cuisine.

Day 2: Start your morning with a canal cruise, the best way to get oriented. Visit the Anne Frank House, a poignant reminder of some of the world’s not-too-distant history, then immerse yourself in the Rijksmuseum's artistic treasures in the afternoon.

Day 3: Day three continues the museum hop. Start with the Van Gogh Museum, followed by the nearby Stedelijk Museum for modern and contemporary art. Stroll through the beautiful Vondelpark in the afternoon. Indulge in Dutch pancakes (poffertjes) at the Pancakes Amsterdam Negen Straatjes for a classic take or try the unique and flavourful Indonesian cuisine at Restaurant Blauw.

Day 4: Explore the trendy Jordaan neighbourhood, filled with boutiques and cafes. Don’t miss the fried bitterballen at a local pub like Café de Tuin. Then rent a bike to see the city like a local or visit the Heineken Experience for beer lovers (combining too much of these two activities is not recommended).

Paris, France

The City of Lights packs iconic landmarks, world-renowned art, and undeniable charm into a perfectly walkable package. Spend your long weekend days delving into masterpieces at the Louvre and strolling along the Seine River. Cafés beckon with flaky croissants and strong coffee – the perfect way to embrace a Parisian long weekend.

Day 1: Start things off at a leisurely pace with a classic Parisian café experience at Café de Flore, a historic spot in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Sip a creamy café au lait while soaking up the timeless atmosphere.

Day 2: Begin your first full day by getting the lay of the land at the Eiffel Tower (where else?). Then walk through the Champ de Mars to the Arc de Triomphe. Spend the afternoon strolling the Champs-Élysées, the iconic Parisian avenue. For dinner tuck into steak frites near the Latin Quarter at the classic bistro, Le Relais de l'Entrecôte.

Day 3: Dedicate the morning to art and culture with a visit to the vast Louvre Museum, home to the Mona Lisa. In the afternoon, explore the charming Montmartre neighbourhood and Sacré-Coeur Basilica for stunning skyline views. Enjoy a final dinner in the lively Marais district at the trendy and delicious Breizh Café, known for its buckwheat crepes (galettes).

Day 4: Explore a different side of Paris with a boat tour on the Seine River, which has been cleaned up dramatically for the upcoming Olympic Games and is a great place to view the city's ever-changing architecture. Alternatively, visit Versailles Palace, the epitome of French opulence, just outside Paris.

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