Europe’s Best Alternative City Breaks

As amazing and interesting as big city landmarks are, there are only so many times you can visit the Eiffel Tower, the London Eye and The Colosseum. If you’ve well and truly ticked off Europe’s biggest landmarks from your bucket list, it’s time to visit some alternative city destinations.

You cannot beat a good city break and there are so many fascinating alternative destinations waiting to be explored. Steering away from the heavy tourist destinations will give you a totally different experience of a city break. You will find rich culture and traditions as well as meet more locals and have more opportunities to see how the people there really live.

Here are some alternative destinations for a city break in Europe to experience a true off-the-beaten-track kind of travel.

Cologne, Germany

If you love the nightlife scene but want to avoid the tourist targeted reps, groups of friends on their 18-30 holiday and judgemental bouncers who think our outfit doesn’t meet their nightclub ‘vibe’, you need to head to Cologne.

This cities nightlife has a totally laid back vibe but is still vibrant at the same time. The twisting spire of the central Cathedral dominates the skyline and the Love Locks Bridge crosses the peaceful river Rhine. It is far prettier that Germany’s concrete-clad capital.

The city Cologne holds the springtime Carnival and the city streets are filled with celebrations, unity and joyful people. It is the best time of year to visit and really experience their culture and traditions.

Galway, Ireland

A Guinness-fuelled weekend in Ireland is on many people’s bucket list, but it can be ruined with a stag-do or big groups of tourists with the same idea. Galway is the perfect alternative; the Harbour City on the West Coast has everything that the Irish capital has, and more.

The Latin Quarter is an area filled with enchanting city streets lined with traditional brightly painted pubs where you are certain to find fiddle players for an authentic Irish live music experience. The Irish spoken language can be heard in the streets, shops and bars, holding on to the countries tradition.

The city is rich is history and the medieval town walls can be seen surrounding the city. Just a short drive out of the centre, you can visit the seaside to vary your sights and scenery.

Nimes, France

The beautiful city of Nimes is a great alternative to Paris or Bordeaux if you are looking to escape the crowds of tourists. The city is placed between the Mediterranean and the Cevennes mountains and is home to some very impressive ancient historical monuments.

The preserved amphitheatre that once held Roman gladiator tournaments stands boldly within the city and is now the stage for traditional French festivities. It sets a reminder of its Roman and Mediterranean heritage but with a modern French twist.

Nottingham, England

Nottingham has more pubs, bars and restaurants per square mile than any other city in Europe. If you want to avoid the tourist targeted high prices of a city break in London, Nottingham is the perfect alternative.

Nottingham has a British cultural feel to the city along with the bonus of a lively personality and vibrant nightlife. The Creative Quarter is home to both the Lace Market and neighbouring Victorian buildings that are re-purposed as hidden bars and artsy cafes.

Nottingham’s outdoor music event, Splendour, attracts more than 20,000 people each year and it’s a great time to be in the city. Held in Wollaton Park, international artists from all over the world come to play and the community vibe on the streets during the festival is incredible. Best Western Nottingham is the ideal hotel for competitive prices to stay in the fascinating city during this busy time.