Guide to short breaks, European mini-breaks, long weekend trips, city breaks, short break ideas, where to go on short breaks, mini-break travel advice and more
European cities make classic short break destinations and, particularly with improved rail links between the UK and continental Europe, are easy on both effort and eco-conscience.
As we all become increasingly time poor, packing more experience into less holiday is becoming a challenge in itself, and has unearthed some interesting options.
Instead of Paris or Rome, you could pick a lesser-known city: low-cost airlines have opened up such gems as Gdansk (Poland), Sopron (Hungary) and Bari (Italy – for the biblical landscapes of Basilicata). If getting away is more important than where you get to, check a flight comparison website, see what’s cheapest and prepare for an adventure.
The experiences on offer on arrival are getting more inventive too, helping you make the most of your time. Instead of bog-standard city tours you could abseil into the wine cellars of Champagne (France), look for bears in the Carpathians (Romania), go birdwatching in New York City or learn to make cheese in North Cyprus – in just a few days.
In a long weekend you can find wilderness (camping in Norway or exploring Portugal’s Coa Valley, perhaps), wildlife (vultures in Croatia, seals on the Isle of Man, killer whales in Tysfjord, Norway) and walking (posh hikes in Austria, pilgrimage trails in Spain).
You can stay in hotels made of ice, cheap castles and offshore forts stranded each day by the tides. You can even cross continents (head to Istanbul to combine Europe and Asia, or take the ferry from Spain to bustling Tangier, Morocco).
In short, in a short break you can find everything you’d want from a longer trip – just intensified. And the best thing is, you can do them more often.
No time? No problem! Here are some ideas for making the most of your long weekend
Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, alive with polar bears, whales, walruses and a rich history of exploration. Discover why you should visit now... More
Austria’s capital can often seem so densely packed with culture that you don’t know where to begin, but it's also been voted the best city in the world to live in for 10 years running... More
Malta's sleepy little sister is worth so much more than a day trip. We've listed eight of the best things to do on the island of Gozo - highlights as well as the locals' favourites... More
Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, has many sights to see and activities for travellers: quirky art, panoramic views, nature walks in the city, and multi-coloured churches and cathedrals to admire... More
With direct UK flights to Osaka launching soon, it’s never been easier to explore one of Japan's biggest cities – just make sure you go with an empty stomach, says Olivia Lee... More
Looking for some time away from the bustle of modern life? With wildlife, natural beauty and a fascinating sauna culture, Finnish Lakeland has the answer... More
Feisty, cosmopolitan, but still very French, the historic port city of Marseille makes the perfect short break destination. Enjoy great food, beautiful beaches and a buzzing cultural scene... More
The Austrian Tirol is one giant natural playground that invites those seeking thrills and spills. Discover the best outdoor adventures, from hiking to paragliding... More
We've listed seven fun, quirky things to do in England, whether you're rediscovering home turf or travelling in England for the first time... More
Indigenous Australian culture, the laid-back attitude of Indonesia, South-East Asian cuisine, European sensibilities – Darwin is an intoxicating mix... More
Georgia’s hot and steamy capital is bursting with history, and plenty of good old Southern charm. Whether you come for the food, the parks or the history, you won't want to leave... More
With its epic landscapes and world-class hiking, the Austrian Tirol is waiting to be explored. Discover 8 reasons why you should visit this picturesque slice of Europe.... More
There’s more to Tromsø, Norway, than watching the northern lights. Visit during summer when the days are long and discover a city full of culture, terrific food and incredible nature, right on its doorstep More
With some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in Europe, the Austrian Tirol isn't short of impressive hikes. Discover 7 of the best walks achievable in just a day... More
With 154 countries down and 41 to go, Jessica Nabongo is en-route to becoming the first black woman in history to visit every country in the world. We caught up with her to find out more. More
Whether visiting on a long weekend break or a day trip, experience authentic Italia with romantic viewpoints, artistic masterpieces, and Florentine steak in the cradle of the Renaissance... More
From rumbling around on old steam trains to indulging in a night of open-air cinema, the Austrian Tirol is shaping up to be this summer’s hotspot destination... More
From cruising through iceberg bays to hiking the flower-speckled tundra, an expedition voyage is the best way to experience the remote wilderness of Greenland. Discover what it’s like… More
Forget Paris, Rome or Venice this Valentine's Day and visit these quieter, loved-up destinations instead. They offer all the charm and romance, but without the crowds... More
Wanderlust subscribers now receive a free £50 voucher valid on trips from a great selection of top tour operators
And the best bit is, this isn't a one-off offer, you get one every time you renew as well!
The £50 discount can be redeemed against one trip booking with one of our tour operator partners, by the expiry date printed on the voucher. The £50 can even be redeemed on top of any discounts our partners are already offering, ensuring Wanderlust subscribers get the best deal possible.
Simply quote your unique voucher code when booking to claim the discount. This offer is only available to Wanderlust subscribers.
UK subscribers automatically receive the voucher each year. Overseas subscribers receive it upon request.
Transylvania Live expert in Transylvania
Best of Transylvania short tour including the Ritual Killing of the Livind Dead show (as seen on Travel Channel)
For bird clubs, tour operators or just friends. Take the hassle and uncertainty out of your decision and let us arrange your trip, whether in Scotland or overseas, at any time of the year.
Visit the vibrant city of Phnom Penh, colonial town of Battambang and Grand temples of Angkor during this 8 night fully tailored trip to Cambodia.
Peter Sommer Travels
Cruising the Dalmatian Coast: from Split to Dubrovnik is a spectacular tour, offering the same combination of experiences that has become the hallmark of Peter Sommer Travels’ gulet cruises elsewhere.
Best Served Scandinavia
This voyage not only links the historic charm and designers’ beauty of Stockholm and Helsinki, but it showcases the unique natural world of the Åland islands and the Baltic Sea.
The Aurora Zone
Just 20 minutes outside of Lapland’s capital, the Arctic Circle Wilderness Lodge is a nature lover’s dream.
A six day bird watching holiday on the beautiful and wild Northumberland coast in search of seaducks, scarce grebes, divers, shorebirds and geese - including a full day on Holy Island
The Aurora Zone
Wilderness Hotel Inari is located on the shores of Lake Inari in Northern Finland. After the long days of summer, the dark nights return and breath-taking Northern Lights displays can be witnessed.
All-inclusive wildlife watching holiday just 6° south of the Arctic Circle in the far northern isles of Scotland.
From Muscat to Malvazija, this dreamy tour takes you from forests and rivers to ancient villages and colourful harbour towns - with wine sampling all the way.
The South Tyrol and Dolomites incredible natural beauty engulfs you on this tour, as you weave through deep valleys and apple orchards down to the Mediterranean-esque shores of Lake Garda.
Discover a landscape rich with flavour, from the finest olive oil and wine, to the freshest fruit and fish. From coastal paths to sunny vineyards, via perfectly preserved medieval villages.
The Aurora Zone
This four-night break, features some of the best of Iceland. The ‘Golden Circle’ tour will take you to the country’s famous geysers, the ‘Golden Waterfall’ of Gullfoss, and Thingvellir National Park.
A unique hotel in the up and coming harbour district, the Marina is characterised by its colourful modern design which embraces the building's maritime past. With the ships of the dry dock just out...
The Aurora Zone
Many people feel stuck in limbo between Christmas and New Year. Why not fill this gap with something extraordinary and visit Finnish Lapland?
The Aurora Zone
Menesjärvi is an isolated place at the heart of the Aurora Zone. The surrounding wilderness means that there is little light pollution, and as the skies become darker, the Aurora begins to re-emerge.
The Aurora Zone
The Arctic Circle Wilderness lodge, complete with its traditional Finnish log cabins and stylish Panorama Huts. Surrounded by stunning nature, you’ll be in awe both day and night.
Explore Cape Town your way, take a bicycle tour around Soweto, Search for wildlife on safari in Kruger National Park, Tour Victoria Falls with free time to spend as you like, Enjoy a traditional Bo...
Take a memorable road trip through South Australia and Victoria, starting off from Adelaide with a ferry ride to Kangaroo Island. Much of this stunning landscape is protected and is home to an abun...
In the farthest reaches of remote Northern Australia lies East Arnhem Land. This vast and rugged wilderness is where the Yolngu people have lived for millennia. Even today you’ll still find clans f...
With a warm, welcoming atmosphere, this newly remodelled Reykjavik hotel is situated in one of the greenest areas of the city, just a short hop from the popular warm water beach at Nautholsvik. Tak...
The newly renovated five-star Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow offers spectacular views of the Kremlin and St Basil's Cathedral. The property is located across from the Moskva River, and is nearby ...
Situated in the most prestigious area of the city, close to many wonderful cafés and shops, this hotel is an ideal base from which to explore the city's outstanding archaeological, historical and c...
Sign up today for free and be the first to get notified of new articles, new competitions, new events and more!