Vagabondish is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read our disclosure.
City breaks are becoming more popular these days as travelers find it easier to fit a long weekend into their busy schedule and to cover the cost of two or three nights abroad than a whole week or two. Long weekend city breaks can be a great way of exploring a new place and sampling the local culture. But with such limited time to explore the city it is important to organise your approach in order to make the most of the time you have there.
Start planning your trip by researching the city centre and find out where most of the attractions and sights you are interested in are based. Once you know the layout of the city you will be able to look for hotels and city-based apartments in that area, meaning you will not be spending half your time there travelling from your accommodation to the places you want to visit.
Consider if you really need to stay in a hotel or whether a self-catering apartment would suit you. Whilst hotels can be more convenient, apartments not only give you more space and save you money but can also provide greater flexibility and freedom to explore, without being tied into certain meal times or check-in times.
When you have a good place to stay, invest in a really good travel map or guide book. Ideally you will need one which covers public transport in the city as well as the layout of the streets and locations of attractions. Finding out the best way to get from A to B will not only save you time but will also avoid the stress of not being able to get back to your hotel in the evening.
Making a list of the top things you want to see on your trip can be a great way to pack in a load of sightseeing into a short space of time. Have a look on the internet at reviews and blogs about the attractions you are planning to see to get a sense of how long you will need to spend at each. Consider whether you really want to queue up for an hour to climb the spire of the cathedral, or perhaps you would be content with having a look from the outside and fitting in another attraction at the same time.
Once you know where you want to go and how much time you need at each attraction, you can start to group them into nearby places so you can aim to see different groups on different days. Don’t try to pack too much in. At the end of the day this is your break, so allow time to relax too. You don’t want to come back from your holiday exhausted!
Most importantly when on your city break — stay safe. Research the areas which are safe after dark and the ones to avoid. If you are not sure then opt for a taxi back to your hotel or city base apartment rather than walk, as even the most friendly city can have its dangerous area.