30 January 2013 by Alex Stewart
Europe is awash with excellent city break options. Use a European short break to explore a city's history and culture and immerse yourself in its daily routines and get a flavour of life in these exhilerating destinations.
Whether you're after iconic attractions, art, architecture or a vibrant atmosphere we've got a selection of top recommendations for you. Mix ancient and modern, indulge in local cuisine and take time out to try somewhere new.
What's more book before 20 February 2015 and save up to £624 with our exclusive British Airways Club Europe offer, travelling to a wide range of European destinations up to 30 June 2015.
Amsterdam city break
The Dutch capital may have a reputation for partying but it in fact conceals a wealth of cultural treasures within the beautiful canal system that wends its way through the city and celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2013. The recently renovated Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum provide artistic diversion before you're distracted by the lively nightlife.
Netherlands itinerary ideas
Barcelona city break
Mix sun, sea and Catalonian culture in this heady Spanish city, where highlights include Dali's architecture, the labyrinthine Old Quarter, the Barri Gotic, a Mediterranean beach and easy access to the Pyrenean mountains. Eccentric and enchanting, Barcelona is full of unique experiences. The visual impact and design on display will take your breath away whilst the wealth of shopping opportunities and places from which to soak up the after hours ambience will similarly have you spinning.
Barcelona places to stay
Barcelona city break with British Airways Club Europe
Berlin city break
No other European city has a history like Berlin courtesy of the Berlin Wall, which divided the city for almost five decades. These days the city has a bohemian atmosphere that belies its traumatic past, which can be understood by visiting the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, remains of the Wall and countless museums and galleries. Round off your day with a trip to the theatre or cabaret before taking in the vibrant nightlife.
Germany itinerary ideas
Gothenburg city break
Sweden's second city is the country's culinary capital. The coastal location means seafood is as fresh as it possibly can be and the city's restaurants are rightly renowned as a result. There are also beautiful parks, quaint canals, cobbled streets and plenty of history to keep you busy between mealtimes.
Gothenburg places to stay
Istanbul city break
Evocative and instantly recognisable, the Turkish capital has a traditional side best experienced by visiting the Ottoman Palace of Topkapi, the gold-clad Hagia Sophia and the Roman Hippodrome. Take in the markets and shaded bazaars where carpet sellers and cafés abound before descending on the Museum of Modern Art to see the city's more contemporary side. The Istanbul Biennial, the largest contemporary art event takes place in 2013 between mid-Sept and early Nov.
Turkey itinerary ideas
Madrid city break
A cult city break, the Spanish capital actually has a far broader appeal with a wide variety of architecture, sporting stadia, a giant bullring, communal parks, bustling flea markets and more, meaning that Spain's oh-so-hip capital and cultural gem has something for everyone. Drift round the streets, soak up the multi-layered heritage on display, drop into scores of galleries and revel in food that reflects every Spanish region and tradition.
Madrid places to stay
Paris city break
Paris still boasts the reputation of one of the most romantic cities on earth as well as one of the most beautiful. Incredible sights such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame cathedral compete for your attention with world-class artworks and a street café and food scene unlike anywhere else in the world. With more attractions than you can shake a baguette at though you'll need to be disciplined if you're to tick off everything on your itinerary.
Paris places to stay
Prague city break
Cobbled streets and hidden corners provide the atmospheric epicentre of this intriguing city, where interesting sights include historical monuments and impressive architecture whilst the riverside setting means it's particularly pleasant during the summer.
Czech Republic itinerary ideas
Rome city break
Rome has had a huge impact on Europe and the remnants of its art, architecture and culture, found round every corner, tell a fascinating story. See the Coliseum, temples, Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel for a sense of how this city has shaped a continent. After hours, revel in the excellent restaurants and realise that Rome is a feast for all the senses.
Rome places to stay
St Petersburg city break
The 'Window to the West' is Russia's second largest city. Grand streets and elegant waterside walkways meander amidst Neoclassical and Baroque architecture to find highlights such as the Hermitage, an absolute must with more than 3 million works of art on display. With the sun barely dipping below the horizon at some times of year, the White Nights are especially romantic and dramatic times to visit.
St Petersburg itinerary ideas
Venice city break
One of the most interesting European cities to explore on foot or by gondola, Venice makes the most of its canals and labyrinthine streets, with film star good looks and street-side restaurants to tempt you to pause amidst the hurly burly of daily life.
Venice places to stay
Venice city break with British Airways Club Europe