75+ great destinations for your next city break…
Ever wanted all the information you need for a rip-roaring romance of a weekend city break in one easily-bookmarkable place? Just the very best of a destination distilled into a single page of sizzling hot tips, with sights that are actually worth seeing, hotels with towels worth stealing, restaurants to rave home about, bars ripe with swashbuckling adventure and experiences so great you’ll want to tell someone else’s grandchildren about them. Introducing Urban Travel Blog’s “Long Weekend” Guides…
Each of our lovingly-compiled city guides is written by a real insider who knows their metropolitan muse inside out, and each includes ten handy sections such as “Best of the Beaten Track” for first time visitors who want to catch the unmissable attractions, to “Hipster’s Guide” where we highlight some alternative treasures (hint: you might want to check out our new Secret Seven adventures as well if this sounds like you!), and expert recommendations on the best hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs…. plus lots lots more!
Below you’ll find links to more than 60 guides to some of the greatest cities on the globe, organised under the categories UK, Europe, North America (including Canadian cities), South America, Asia (please note, without any massive deliberation we’ve filed cities from Eurasia, such as Tbilisi and Yerevan, and the Middle East, such as Dubai, here), Australia and Africa. Whether you already know where you’re going and you’re here for some great insider tips, or if you’re looking for ideas for your next weekend away, we’re confident you’ll find lots of fantastic information – and inspiration right here. So why not take a look and judge for yourself?
Your favourite city not yet covered? We suggest you subscribe to get the latest guides as soon as they come out! We’ve also started to list our favourite cities by theme, starting with our articles on the most affordable weekends away in Europe as well as the best cities for a romantic break.
UK CITY GUIDES
This south coast sizzler has succeeded in reinventing itself as a hip weekend getaway for Londoners and beyond, with a new wave of great restaurants, spas and boutique hotels. Meanwhile the nightlife is in no danger of slowing down...
The UK's very own Berlin-by-the-sea, Brighton is famous for its free spirited party attitude that has made it a Mecca for mods, gays, clubbers and hipsters through the years. And you still can't beat those fish'n'chips...
Hanging out on the Harbourside, sipping craft ales and checking out Banksy murals are all essential ingredients for a weekend's break in Bristol. Giulia Riva is our guide.
Rugby, cheese and Lovespoons... these are just a few things the Welsh capital is famous for, although lovers of vintage fashion, vinyl records - and Dr. Who - are also in for a treat. Local journalist Nikki Vivian is our Cardiff insider.
Champion of Scottish culture, auld and new, Edinburgh is the must-see city of the Celts. Steven Blyth covers every cobble, from the castle to the cocktail bars.
Guidebook author Marsha Moore shares her secrets on the English capital, from the classic attractions of Kensington and the South Bank to the hip spots and unlikely gems of the rough and ready East End.
Voted third best nightlife in Europe (after London and Berlin), the Newcastle & Gateshead urban area makes for a wild weekend indeed... but it's not all about clubbing! There's theatre, modern art and natural beauty nearby...
One of the UK's prettiest cities, York has attracted history buffs for centuries. These days it's also known for its great food and several quirky festivals. Sasha Arms reports.
EUROPEAN CITY GUIDES
It's not all hookers and hashish, as Richard Tulloch explains in this insiders guide to the Dutch capital. World class museums, picturesque canals and parks, and hip undiscovered districts are all revealed.
The cradle of Western civilisation may not quite have the political and cultural clout as in its 400BC heyday, but with plenty of parks, galleries and bars - as well as classical ruins - it makes for a great city break. Local girl Mandy Andritsi tells all.
Duncan Rhodes uncovers a shabby but sexy city with jam-packed beaches, tranquil Gothic courtyards, dusk-til-dawn nightlife and mind-boggling Modernista architecture.
Boat parties, Tito's mausoleum and a beautiful fortress on the banks of the Danube are three of Belgrade's best attractions. Constance A. Dunn reveals many more in our guide to the Serbian capital.
The famously "Poor but sexy" German capital is exposed by Craig Robinson in this gritty guide to the city. Beach bars, street food and the unmissable attractions (like the Brandenburg Gate and of course the Wall) all feature.
Coming in autumn 2017. Hold tight!
A heady mix of culture and indulgence, Brussels promises to be anything but boring - whether you're a fan of comic and surreal art, or a connoisseur of fine ales and frites. Laurent Vermeersch delivers the inside picture.
Not Romania's prettiest city by a long shot, but definitely its liveliest, there's something wild and untamed about Bucharest that keeps its fans coming back for more. Local guide writer Craig Turp offers his insider tips...
The Pearl of the Danube, Budapest is beautiful and lively in equal measure. From its renowned baths, to its 'ruin bars' there's plenty to do. Stuart Wadsworth is the man in the know.
Coming in autumn 2017. Hang on in there...
Ex-Dubliner and Qype's expert on Ireland, Rachelle Thompson, revisits the Fair City and reveals a city of literary and hedonistic pleasures... step this way for a combination of Guinness and genius.
If a Valley of Beautiful Women isn't enough for you, Eger also has its own castle, synagogue, thermal baths and astrology museum. Stuart Wadsworth reports from Hungary's wine region.
For centuries Florence has been one of the world's most visited tourist destinations, and admirers still flock to Firenze en masse. Thymn Chase points out the must-sees, whilst helping you step off the well-beaten track.
Sitting glitzy and serene next to the waters of Lake Geneva, this international city is a great place to mingle with models and millionaires, and a thriving student scene means backpackers can have fun too. Helen Parkinson tells all.
Whether you prefer hanging around the city's design district and hip bars, or fuelling up on lingonberry porridge and going ice skating, Constance A. Dunn reveals a Helsinki well worth visiting.
Sitting on the border between Europe and Asia, forget the cliched claims, Istanbul really is the city where East meets West. Revealing the low down on hammams, mosques and the dining and party scenes is Constance A. Dunn.
Polska-phile and self-confessed Krak-addict, Duncan Rhodes, reveals the romance of a city that long ago cast a spell on him... dragons, alchemists and giant cockerels await.
Lisbon's seven hills are one of the hippest places to be in Europe right now, whether you prefer to hang out at the gin bars, on Pink Street or at the city beaches. Lucy Bryson describes a city in flux.
The ultra cute capital of Slovenia offers a wonderful change of pace from big city life, with drinks by the river, libraries under the treetops and views from the castle all on offer. John Bills is our guide.
David Lynch loves the former industrial city of Lodz, the Polish Hollywood that spawned directors such as Wajda, Kieslowski and Polanski. Stuart Wilson is your guide.
Poland's Eastern gem goes largely undiscovered by travellers, which of course is much of the appeal, says Stuart Wadsworth. Maybe you'll even be able to get a seat on the Rynek.
An oft-forgotten European gem, this super-rich capital is built around the imposing ruins of an improbably-large fortress. Sasha Arms discovers a scenic city with a love of fast cars and bottles of bubbly.
The Lion City's 21st century roars are still falling on deaf ears... which of course is all the better for those pioneering travellers who do make the journey to Ukraine's most beguiling city. Stuart Wadsworth tells us how best to spend a weekend in Lviv.
Once described as the "world capital of gastronomy" Lyon stick packs a hefty culinary punch with classic Lyonnaise cuisine and a galaxy of Michelin stars. A wonderful old town and festivals of cinema and light complete the package.
Dusk 'til dawn nightlife, museums chockful of priceless treasures, cafe-littered squares and surely the world's best city park. Just some of the reasons Emma Weinbren loves Madrid.
Menorca's capital city was built on one of the world's biggest natural harbours and retains a strong British influence from its days under colonial rule. Order a pomada (gin and lemon) and enjoy watching the boats go by...
The world's famous fashion capital is less superficial than it looks... but this time it's you who needs to scratch beneath the surface. With the help of Guardian travel writer Margherita Ragg you'll find fantastic street food, authentically Italian aperitivo bars and old school bocce clubs...
The magnificent domes of St Basil’s cathedral, the imposing Kremlin walls, and Vladimir Lenin's embalmed body... those are just the sights on Red Square. Laura Gozzi reveals these and many more of the seductive, head-spinning charms of the Russian capital.
Admit it... you've never even heard of Olomouc! Oft (unfairly) eclipsed by Prague, Stuart Wadsworth shines a light on this Moravian marvel, which offers lots of great beers, jazz music and Czech culture, minus the tourists.
The smallest of the Scandinavian capitals is bustling, bohemian and beautiful says Ben Norum, who also advises strapping on your skis for a run out in the Nordmarka forest with the locals.
Who hasn't dreamed of living in Paris? Rich history, richer cuisine and the perfect stage for both the high - and low - life. Sophie Massie packs enough tips for the perfect long weekend in the City of Light.
The first capital of Poland has a real spring in its step these days, with a rich events calendar, lively nightlife scene and even a touch of hipsterism. Catch it before the tourists descend, says Kai Warmbold.
Toy town architecture, hedonistic nightlife and a constant flow of delicious beer... no wonder Prague has been a mainstay on the tourist circuit ever since the Iron Curtain cracked. Some great festivals and quirky treasures make it easier to avoid the crowds than you think, says Hannah Carr.
The Eternal City still resonates with the history of ancient Empires. Susana Cristalli reveals the ruins, along with the tastiest street food, more happening nightclubs and a dash of alternative/contemporary culture.
Europe's largest port is famous for its zany modern architecture and its colourful summer carnival. Local blogger Ina Scharun is our guide to this cosmopolitan party town.
Flamenco, fiery passions and architectural flair: discover the secrets of Spain's most Spanish city with local blogger, Mary Biles, including of course the best tapas bars in town.
Croatia's second largest city sits resplendent on the Dalmatian coast, growing out of the ruins of the Roman Emperor Diocletian's palace. The sparkling sea, Zinfandel wines and delicious prsut ham may prompt you to make a Split decision, says The Editor.
Royal architecture, beautiful islands, pagan traditions, Nordic design, strong coffee, rocking nightlife... and we didn't even mention the Abba Museum yet. Local journalist Wailana Kalana is our eye on Stockholm.
With its fairytale medieval old town and city beaches, Tallinn long ago emerged from the shadows of its Soviet history to become a hip, go-to destination. Duncan Rhodes has some choice recommendations on attractions, restaurants and happening nightspots...
Trace the history of Romania's 1989 revolution on your way to Transylvania, and don't forget to call by the local brewery too. Constance A. Dunn has the lowdown on theatres, cafes, sightseeing and accommodation in 'Timi'.
The one time home of James Joyce, Trieste is Italy's windswept Eastern outpost, a cosmopolitan town of many European influences. Gaia Zol invites you to marvel at seaside castles and indulge on some of the world's best coffee and cakes.
Spain's third biggest city lies on the Mediterranean coast, thus adding beaches to a long list of charms that include a medieval Old Town and the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences. Anna Baranek reveals all.
Utterly unique and rarely short of breathtaking, Venice is also unquestionably a victim of mass tourism. But you don't need to go far to escape the crowds - our expert insider, Alice Mulhearn, shares her tips and secrets.
The very city where Romeo and Juliet fell in love is certainly ripe with romance, especially by the Ponte Pietra at sunset, best enjoying with a vermouth or spritzer. Both Venice and Lake Garda are nearby.
Imperial grandeur, great nosh and surprisingly happening nightlife - Britta Pichler dishes out tips on how best to spend a long weekend in the Austrian capital. You'll have a ball!
East European adventurer Thymn Chase discovers that harder to find = harder to leave in the capital of Lithuania. This unspoiled Baltic great is bursting with the energy of urban renewal and a young partying population.
A mini Berlin? Warsaw is certainly the most dynamic of Polish cities and with parks, palaces and plenty of hipster bars to visit it may well be the best for a wild weekend. Kamila Napora is our guide.
Editor and Wroclaw-lover, Duncan Rhodes, runs down the best of what was once Breslau, but is now one of Poland's most charming cities. It's all gnomes, waterways and hidden student bars.
NORTH AMERICAN CITY GUIDES
The Windy City has plenty to offer travellers, from seats in Soldier and Cellular Field, to 1930s skyscrapers, trips by Lake Michigan and the famous Chicago hot dog. Pola Henderson is our guide.
Famous for its high speed entertainment (the Indy 500!), Indianapolis also has a burgeoning slow food scene, plus nightlife that includes everything from blues to burlesque. Ashly Myers sings the praises of "Hoosier Hospitality".
Superficial? Not so says Vince Robbins as he guides us through his home town with gusto, stopping off at Holly Wood Reservoir, Venice Beach and Downtown LA en route.
Discover the city behind the film locations with this insider's guide to The Big Apple by actress Natalie Buster. Jazz, curry and cocktail bars are all on the menu.
Considered America's most European - and hippest - city, it's almost impossible to be bored in San Fran, where beaches, art galleries and bars compete for your attention. Bike tour guide, Daniel Watson-Weller is our local expert.
Toronto's diversity is such that you might find yourself eating French Canadian fast food before a night out at a Japanese rockabilly bar. Factor in Lake Ontario (and Niagara Falls), the CN Tower and Rogers Center Stadium and you've got plenty of reasons to visit, Rachel Lissner.
SOUTH AMERICAN CITY GUIDES
Forget the scare stories about gun-toting cocaine gangs... the only danger in Bogota is of having a damn good time. James Pengelley explores the sights of Colombia's capital and dishes the dirt on disco buses and the national sport of tejo, aka explosive darts.
The inspirational backdrop behind Gabriella Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera, Cartagena brims with Colonial splendour and dances to the melodies of cumbia rhythms. James Pengelley is seduced by its charms.
Whether you're investigating the revolutionary spirit, or the much-loved rum spirits, Havana is an intoxicating destination that will set your head spinning. Sasha Arms enjoys the salsa and cigars much more than the Communist customer service.
Peru's gritty capital comes with smog, traffic and skyscrapers... but foodies will love the mix of high end restaurants and cheap cervicherias, which account for just some of Lima's many charms, says Caitlin Purdy.
The Samba city is a must-see destination for any urban adventurer. From taking the sun on Ipanema to sinking caipirinhas in the Bohemian Lapa district, we get under the skin of Rio and her secrets.
ASIAN CITY GUIDES
This port city may not always be pretty, but it is rarely less than compelling. Azerbaijan's oil-rich capital is part Soviet rust-heap, part glittering Dubai, and part museum to a medieval Islamlic culture. Stuart Wadsworth is on the ground.
Bigger is better, explains Cameron Mehrabanpour, in his guide to the UAE's bling capital. Look hard enough and you may even find some culture, amidst the shopping and sunbathing opportunities.
Long gone are the days when visitors to Singapore were given a compulsory haircut upon arrival but, whilst it's still too organised for some travel junkies, there's a polished charm to this economic giant. And great cuisine. Richard Tulloch explores.
The Georgian capital may be a little off-colour as it continues to recover from its post-Soviet hangover, but with the picturesque wooden houses of its Old Town, natural spas and fantastic cuisine Stuart Wadsworth finds plenty to commend Tbilisi.
Not most people's vote for travel destination of the year, the Armenian capital nonetheless rewards those travellers intrepid enough to step this way. Stuart Wadsworth samples the local brandy, climbs the Soviet-era 'Cascade', takes a day trip to Lake Sevan and more.
AUSTRALIAN CITY GUIDES
Considered to offer one of the best quality of life anywhere in the world, Melbourne is a hip, fun and manageable metropolis with loads of cool things to do, including visiting night markets and sighting penguins. Sophie Nellis is our guide.
Beautiful beaches, the Blue Mountains, and beer served in manageable measures (all hail the Schooner!)... Sydney has it all! Local boy Richard Tulloch takes us on a whirlwind tour full of tips on how to make the most of Australia's largest city.
AFRICAN CITY GUIDES
The Egyptian capital is much more than the gateway to the pyramids, where Pharonic, Coptic, Islamic and colonial influences come together. Suck on a shisha and digest our guide by Joelle Petrus.
Sasha Arms reveals the very best of Cape Town in South Africa with its spectacular scenery, troubled history and kooky treasures.
Known for the Apartheid Museum, the Soweto township, and the nearby Lion Park, South Africa's largest city also boasts a burgeoning scene of hip bars, cafes and clubs. Francesca Lynagh is our guide.