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Micro trips in Europe | The best cities for a short break

Micro trips Europe Prague

If there is a travel trend for 2019, it is to take micro trips. Europe’s best cities for a short break are listed below, each with a little itinerary submitted by the best travel bloggers out there.

But first what is are micro trips? Micro trips are trips that you take for a short period of time. If can go from a few hours to 48 hours maximum.

Indeed, it was never easier to travel as today. Especially in Europe thanks to the short distances. The only thing to care about is organization, so don’t miss my article about my tips for a micro trip!

Micro trips in Europe : Prague

by Veronika by Travel Geekery

Prague can be easily visited for just a few days. 48 hours in Prague are an absolute minimum, three are enough and four are ideal.

Dedicate a full day to discovering the Old Town – that is the Old Town Square with its astronomical clock that works since 1410 and is definitely a must see on your Europe bucket list, and the surrounding museums and churches.

Another day should be spent at the Prague Castle – take it slowly and visit especially the St. Vitus Cathedral and the Golden Lane.

For your third day, go up to Vyšehrad and learn all about the first Czech kings. As a bonus, you’ll have a beautiful view over the town.

I really hope you’ll have enough time on your hands to also take in the vibe of Prague with its numerous little cafés, diverse art galleries and many cultural events happening no matter the season.

Just a word of caution, though – if you visit Prague in summer, be ready for crowds.

Micro trips Europe Prague

Belgrade micro trip

by Stephanie from Sofia Adventures

Planning a short city break or weekend in Belgrade? If you only have one day, start with the historic old city, which can be explored easily on foot. While you can find more than enough things to do in Belgrade to fill up three or four days, make the most of your short time by seeing the city highlights. Start with the free walking tour to see the Hotel Moskva, the bohemian neighborhood of Skardalija, and Kalamegdon Fortress. Afterwards, make sure to see the great street art in Dorcol. If you have more time, you can choose from exploring the city’s the socialist architecture in Novi Beograd, the Sajmishte Spomenik Concentration Camp Memorial, or the colorful houses in Zemun.
You can end the day with a delicious modern Balkan dinner on the Belgrade waterfront, followed by dessert at the Hotel Moskva. Get their famous Moskva cake, one of the most famous Serbian desserts.
If you have more time, check out the other lovely towns and cities of Serbia!
Weekend in Belgrade Around Mihailova (2)

Micro trip in Venice

by James Ian from Travel Collecting

If you have a just a few hours free, you can still experience the best of what Venice has to offer.   There is a large system of ferries, called vaporetti, that go all around Venice and the surrounding islands.  If you have just a couple of hours, take the Vaporetto No. 1 along the length of the Grand Canal and back again.  You will pass grand houses and palaces and dozens of gondolas and go under the major bridges, including  the iconic Rialto Bridge. 

With another hour available, take a gondola ride.  Riding in a gondola is not cheap, but it is a magical experience that will definitely make you feel like you are maximizing your time in Venice. For a 40-minute ride it is €80 before 7:00pm and €100 for rides after 7 pm, and is worth every euro in my opinion.

If you have a fourth hour, walk to Saint Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), where you can sit in a café and enjoy an espresso or Aperol Spritz while listening to a live band and enjoying jaw-dropping views of St Mark’s Basilica, the Clock Tower, Campanile  and Doge’s Palace. 

If you have a full day, try your hand at learning to row a gondola or visit the Basilica and Doge’s Palace to see the interiors to round out your trip. 

While you could easily spend days in Venice, you can also spend as little as two hours and fully experience the magic of this amazing city.

Micro trips Europe Venice

A short break in Bergamo

by Priya at Outside Suburbia

The streets of Bergamo in Italy retains the look of a Medieval village.  Enclosed by its strong walls built by the Venetians in the 16th Century when the the most Serene Republic was at the height of its power – more than three centuries of prosperity and economic development have left their mark in the monuments, institutions and the character of its people.  There are well-preserved palaces, churches and public squares, like the Piazza Vecchia (the old public square), Palazzo della Ragione, the Duomo, the Colleoni Chapel and the Baptistery.  Slowly meander up to the main square called the Piazza Vecchia stopping to check out all the little shops on the way. Run by individuals, they have everything from bakeries, ice cream stores, a greengrocer, a real butcher, stores that sell truffles, cheeses, coffee, liquor and there are even fashion boutiques that are run by local women.  Don’t miss a meal here of polenta which is usually served with game or stew and polenta e Osèi de la Bergamasca which is made with sponge cake and butter cream, chocolate and nuts

Europe micro trip Bergamo

Micro trips in Europe – Bologna

by Amber from With husband in tow

Bologna, Italy, is the heart of the Emilia Romagna region. Referred to as the “Fat City” for the outstanding Italian food, Bologna offers travelers a lot to see and do even if it’s only for a quick city break. Exploring Bologna on foot is safe and it’s easy to see the city. So what to see in Blogona? Make your way to the Piazza Maggiore, the main square, which is home to the “Fontana di Nettuno,” or Fountain of Neptune, standing guard over the piazza. Also in the piazza is the most famous of all Bologna’s churches, the Basilica di San Petronio. If you have strong lungs and want to get in a workout head over to the Le due Torri, “Two Towers,” located just off Piazza Maggiore. It provide travelers with quite a climb but rewards with 360 degree views of Bologna. For food lovers who want to pack it all in, head over to FICO Eataly World, the world’s first “Food Amusement Park” to explore a wide variety of culinary treats from around Italy. Or, if short on time try some of the Bologna food specialities at the Mercato di Mezzo, a small space where you can try all the local foods under one roof. Once you’ve stuffed yourself on mortadella, pasta, and gelato find one of the many of the beautiful porticos found throughout Bologna for a “passeggiata” or leisurely walk to explore quaint side streets and shops.

Bologna

Micri trips in Europe : Saariselkä, Finland to see the Northern lights

by Sara from ourkindofcrazy.com

Saariselkä, Finland is such a great spot for a quick getaway. Located in North Finland, near Inari, Saariselkä is what you’d think of when you think of “winter paradise”. They have everything you’d want for a weekend getaway. Spend the day in the snow while cross country skiing, go snowshoeing around beautiful parks, or take a tour with one of the companies around town. They have husky rides, horse drawn sleighs, and you can even meet and feed some reindeer. Take a snowmobile out on a frozen lake to go witness the majestic Northern Lights dance across the sky. Saariselkä also has an awesome ice bar made completely of ice and snow. A great resort called Northern Lights Village has igloo cabins that have huge glass windows that make it perfect to watch the Auroras all in the comfort of your warm and cozy bed. Thy also have tours to to “chase” the Auroras pretty much however you want…in a limo, on a snowmobile, on snow shoes, in a bus, and more. Saariselkä, Finland would be our pick for an awesome micro trip!

Micro trip Saariselka

Mricro trips in France Lyon

by Noel from Travel Photo Discovery
Lyon is a perfect micro trip that you can do with easy access from Paris in under a two hour train ride. The city has a very elegant Parisian vibe with grand boulevards, squares and fun districts to explore with two major rivers intersecting the city with elegant shoreline walkways and lovely scenic views. One the hillside of Lyon sits a Unesco World Heritage site with a medieval historic city center with beautiful architecture, stunning views and amazing restaurant venues that spill into the larges streets and squares of the historic district. It’s easy and fun to explore the city on foot or take public transportation. Since the city is so compact in the city center, you can easily cover many of the key sites and attractions in one day, but you should stay for more than a few days and just enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and beautiful lifestyle that Lyon offers.
Night time is also a wonderful time to see the elegant street and nightlife, hang out in the beautifully lit squares and public areas filled with a myriad of restaurants with outside dining. Lyon is truly a fantastic micro city worth visiting. Check out my post on a first impression of Lyon here for more details and inspiration.
Micro trip Lyon

Micro trips in Spain Valencia

by Or from my path in the world
Valencia is an incredible city that offers many exciting and budget-friendly things to do. However, if you only have a few hours, I recommend focusing on Valencia’s Old Town.
Start with visiting Plaza de la Virgen and Plaza de la Reina. In Plaza de la Virgen you can find Valencia’s Cathedral, an important historical landmark from the 13th century and home to The Holy Grail. You can also climb up the cathedral’s bell tower to enjoy some fantastic views of the city. Continue to Plaza Lope de la Vega, a charming square housing Europe’s narrowest building. Take a brief break at Horchateria Santa Catalina and try some sweet horchata which is a drink made of tiger nuts. Now you can comfortably explore Mercado Central, one of Europe’s largest and oldest markets. After you’re done shopping and eating, visit La Lonja de la Seda, Valencia’s old silk exchange and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finish off your stroll in the vibrant neighborhood of El Carmen. This is where you’ll find beautiful street art, delicious tapas, and more enchanting squares and streets.
Best city in Europe micro trips Valencia

Micro trips in Geneva

by Wendy from the Nomadic vegan
Geneva, Switzerland is a small, walkable city and makes a great micro trip destination. Start by taking a right out of the Cornavin train station and crossing the Rhone River. On the other side, stop to admire the Flower Clock. The flowers change with the seasons, so it looks different every time!
From there, head up into the Old Town. The narrow winding streets are lovely to explore. Don’t miss the St. Pierre Cathedral and the archaeological site underneath it. You’ll see the remains of various churches older than the Cathedral, and even pre-Christian structures from the 3rd century BC.
Getting hungry? Stop at nearby Pizza Leggera, one of a growing number of vegan-friendly eateries in Geneva, and they also do gluten-free pizza.
Head back down towards Lake Geneva and take a right to reach the Jet d’Eau, the huge spray of water that is Geneva’s most iconic landmark. You can even walk right under it on the jetty, but be prepared to get wet!
Take one of the yellow boats (mouettes) back across the lake and explore the multicultural neighborhood of Pâquis before heading back to the train station.
Europe micro trips

Micro trips in Europe : Luxembourg

by Chris from Amateur Traveler

One of the best European cities for a micro trip is the capital of the micro country of Luxembourg, Luxembourg City. This little country is located where Belgium, France and Germany meet. Luxembourg City is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe but does not get the attention it deserves. This city is located on a rocky overlook of two rivers and used to have one of the most formidable fortresses in Europe. You can still visit the casemates (complex of underground tunnels) from the fortress which are part of the Old City of Luxembourg UNESCO site. The great powers squabbled over control of this “Gibraltar of the North” from the 1600s until 1867 when the fortress was demolished.

With its old walls, its river gorges and its thin spiky church towers the city has a unique look. The culture in Luxembourg is a mix of French and German. The country has the highest GDP per capita in the world so this is a modern, clean prosperous country. It was one of the founding six countries in the European Union and the EU’s judicial and financial institutions are located in a modern part of the city. For a short trip I recommend the walking tour that starts from the tourism office in the old town as a good starting place. You will learn about its history as you walk the streets of the old city.
micro trips europe Luxemburg

One day in Bucharest, Romania 

by Greta’s travels
 
Bucharest in Romania is one of the best cities to visit in Europe if you only have a short time available for your trip. There are lots of cool things to do in Bucharest, since most of them located around the Old Town centre it’s easy to get from one thing to another and squeeze it all in in a packed one day itinerary.
In and around the Old Town of Bucharest you will find a number of trendy shops, bars and restaurants, where you can eat, drink, or just enjoy the Bucharest vibe. Bucharest has a very vibrant nightlife so try to be there in the evening if you can! Some of my favorite spots are Carturesti Carusel, a beautiful book store in the Old Town, and the famous umbrella street just outside it.
These are just two examples of quirky places you can explore in Bucharest, for a more traditional approach you can visit the Palace of Parliament or the National Museum of Romanian history. Bucharest is also a popular stop for Danube river cruises, meaning there are lots of people every year that visit the beautiful Romanian capital on very short trips.
Bucharest micro trip Europe

Micro trips in Europe : A few hours in Athens

By Dave from Dave’s Travel Pages

If you only have a few hours in Athens, you can still get a feeling of the city. Begin with the Acropolis, the world- famous archaeological site. In the Acropolis complex there are several temples, including the Parthenon. If you are a history buff, do not miss the nearby Acropolis museum, which contains various artifacts discovered in excavations over the years. Allow at least an hour for the Acropolis and an hour and a half for the museum.

When out of the museum, turn left and walk down the pedestrian road leading to Thisseio metro station, named Areopagitou street. This walk will take you around half hour, and you will come across several nice restaurants with great views.

After lunch, continue walking past Thisseio metro station and turn right on Adrianou street. You have now reached Monastiraki area, where you can do some souvenir shopping or just have a quick coffee at one of the rooftop bars. From Monastiraki, it’s only a short walk to the famous Plaka area. Though it’s nicknamed “the touristy area”, it is still a charming neighbourhood that you should check out if you are in Athens for a few hours. Take a look here for more things to do in Athens.

Micro trips in Europe : Ljubjana

by Leo from Slovenia Travel Guide

Start your trip in the heart of the city center, Prešeren square. It is not only a central square but also a favorite meeting point and the site of numerous events during summer. At the center of the square there is a monument of Slovenian’s greatest poet, France Prešeren. There is also a large pink Franciscan Church you can visit for free. Next to the Prešeren square, you will see three bridges forming the Triple Bridge across Ljubljanica river. Cross the bridge, close to Vodnikov square you will see Central Market with diverse fresh local food. Do not miss Dragon Bridge with famous dragon statues. While walking along the Ljubljanica river you will find numerous lovely cafes, bars and restaurants where you can take a rest and wacht people passing by. Continue your tour visiting the main attraction of the city, Ljubljana Castle. You can either reach it by funicular railway or walk uphill. Here you will experience the most beautiful views of the city and surroundings. Complete your city tour with the biggest city park, Tivoli Park. It is a mixture of lawns, wooded areas and playgrounds for kids.

If you have more time to spend in Slovenia, why not also go skiing in Slovenia? The ski slopes are not far away from Ljubljana!

Micro trips in Europe – One day in Brussels

by Emma from Emma Jane Explores

Belgium’s capital, Brussels, is the perfect European day trip as it’s quite compact and the key sights are all within a short distance of each other. It’s also super accessible, from places like Paris, London, Cologne and Amsterdam thanks to high speed European rail. Undoubtedly, the main attraction of Brussels is the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Grand Place de Bruxelles, a town square to rival all others with its gilded golden buildings including the Town Hall and the Kings House which is now the Museum of the City of Brussels. I’d spend most of my time ducking in and out of the lanes that veer off the square, wandering and eating from the local frites stalls and beer halls. The famous little statue of a boy peeing, Mannequin Pis, is also around the Grand Place and it’s always fun to see what outfit he’s been dressed up with a wardrobe of over 1000 to choose from!  I’d also add the beautiful shopping arcade, Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert to your visiting list as it houses beautiful shops and an awesome café to get a Belgian waffle fix.

Micro trips Europe Brussels

Micro trip to Pisa by Chandresh Jain from Family on wheels

Square of Miracles (Piazza dei Miracoli) is a large complex in Pisa, which houses four masterpieces, and one museum in itself. Tickets at can bought online or at site, however pre-booking is recommended for climbing on top of leaning tower.

  1. The first building to be created in this square was this Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. It is a white marble Basilica and boasts a unique Pisan – Romanesque architecture.
  2. Considered the largest baptistery in Italy, this second stop in complex is a scintillating building with a conical dome at the top and some amazing artistic work inside pertaining to New Testament scenes.
  3. Third Stop is Campo Santo, which is an elongated passage opening into a courtyard. On the floor of the walkaway, there are the graves of patricians of Pisa, and on sides are some inscribed stone coffins.
  4. Final Stop and most Insta worthy point is Leaning tower of PISA!

Overall, it takes 3-4 hours to visit. If you have more time you go for a roadtrip in Tuscany or take an onward journey to Cinque Terre

Tuscany roadtrip The Leaning tower of Pisa and Duomo in the back

(Picture by Greta from Greta’s Travel)

Micro trip to Sarajevo

by Ellis from Ellis Veen from Backpackadventures

Sarajevo is the perfect city for a micro trip in Europe. The capital of Bosnia Herzegovina is not a big city and everything there is to see and do can be explored on foot. The most beautiful part of Sarajevo is the compact, but charming old town where you can wander through the cobbled stoned streets that will bring you back to Ottoman times.

For its small size Sarajevo has a lot to offer and is a fascinating destination. It is one of the most multicultural cities and in a short walk you pass by mosques and churches that dot the landscape. If you want to learn more about the siege of Sarajevo during the civil war in Bosnia there are several interesting museums to visit that are all nearby the old town.

The old town is also the best place to try some Bosnian food and there is plenty of choice between trendy cafes and traditional restaurants. Even if you only have a few hours you can get a good sense of Sarajevo by simply walking through the old town and a micro trip to Sarajevo is well worth the effort.

micro trips Europe Sarajevo

Vilnius, Lithuania

by Mary of A Mary Road
Vilnius the capital of Lithuania is probably one of the coolest destinations in Europe that I’ve been to. I spent three months travelling and living here, while there are many things you can do while in Vilnius, this city is also a great micro trip destination. The airport is only 20 minutes from the city centre or even less and the traffic is almost non-existent if you only have a weekend – you can definitely maximise your time and be able to see everything that is must, eat all the food that you should, and taste all the local drinks they have. The Old Town is not very big, you can simply walk around or hop on a city bike if you prefer. There is a tip-based walking tour which will take you to the genocide museum (KGB) and learn the dark history of Vilnius. You will get to check out Uzupis, the art town which has many unique and interesting street arts around, and visits the Three Hill Crosses which will also give you a great view of the city.
If you are a foodie, make sure to try the beetroot soup which can be found all over the city, Zeppelin or Cepelinai, a traditional Lithuanian meat dish. Vilnius is filled with local ciders that you must taste while you are here. If you don’t know what to do in Vilnius on your first visit, hang out in the local bar and meet locals who will be more than happy to give you great tips.
mircro trip Vilnius Lithuania
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