Seven European Cities Worth Visiting To Use Up Those Last Few Annual Leave Days

By Éadaoin Fitzmaurice

November 15, 2019 at 12:32pm


It's that time of year when you're counting the last few precious days of annual leave that you have left.

If you were particularly clever, chances are you still have time to book one last short-stint weekend break before the year's end.

Going on a holiday doesn't mean that you have to take a week of annual leave, sure you can do some without taking any at all if you're smart about it.

Here are some of my favourite short city breaks across Europe:


Lisbon is a shabby-chic foodies paradise.

The stunning city is made up of narrow cobblestone streets, steep hills, trams, street art and tiles covering every inch of every building. It has managed to hold onto its old fashioned charm but still has a wide range of modern and trendy eateries that will leave foodies drooling for more.


Every street has something new to discover from tiny local cafés with disgracefully cheap wine to buskers accompanying the chill ambience - It's pure magic.

It's the ideal city for a weekend break away filled with unbelievable food, cocktails, scenic views and endless nooks and crannies to explore.


Edinburgh is the compact and hilly capital of Scotland.

There's a medieval old town and Georgian new town to explore, both with interesting architecture and gardens. Scotland's crown jewels can be found in Edinburgh Castle which I'm sure you've seen on your Insta feed at least once as it's the perfect photo opportunity for travellers.

It's a dotey place and deffo one to hit during Christmas because their markets are a brilliant place to pick up a unique gift.



If you're really tight for time Vienna is a great bet.

You can see a lot of this city in just 24 hours, making it the ideal spot for a weekend getaway. There are some divine food markets and restaurants, the opera is a must for the evenings and the hostels and hotels have a great atmosphere.

It has such a classic feel to it from any other European city I've visited.


Bratislava is a cute little city located in Slovakia that you probably haven't heard that much about but it's an amazing place.


The town is surrounded by forests, mountains and vineyards and is booming with cafés and bars throughout. It's a darling place with plenty to see and do plus it's cheap as chips.

Such a spot.


Bilbao is the largest city in the Basque country.

The port city is framed with green mountains and staggering architecture. Winner of the 2018 European City of the Year last year, it's a hub of culture, food and one that should definitely be on every travellers bucket list.



Last year I visited Cologne's Christmas markets and I've never felt more festive.

There's an array of different markets, all filled with dotey trinkets and unique gifts. Of course, there's hundreds of Gluhwein stalls to keep you toasty as you shop and a tonne of food stalls.

Nothing beats the smell of fresh cinnamon, the twinkle from the fairy lights above and the sound of trumpets playing carols as you pace around looking at the delicate ornaments and freshly baked goods.


The capital of Lativa, Riga is set along the coast of the Baltic Sea.

This cultural centre is full to the brim with museums, concert halls, stunning architecture, shops and restaurants.


Livu Square is the most popular place in the evenings with eateries, bars and clubs to carry your night along.

All you have to decide now is which one to choose from!