Spring is coming faster than you think and it brings with it a few sunny weekends that are perfect for a city trip! Even better: take an extra day or two and you have yourself an extended weekend and more time for adventures away from the boring sofa at home!
“Tips for city trips”
The nicest places for an extended weekend in Spring!
Spring – the perfect time of the year for city trips!
Finally back to sunshine, good mood and t-shirt weather! Spring with its mild temperatures is perfect for city trips: the cities themselves are not as hot as in summer when heat accumulates in the streets. In Spring people sit outside, enjoy the first rays of sunshine over a coffee or a cold beer and with a bit of luck you can even jump into the sea in some cities!
The nicest places for an extended weekend in Spring!
Spain – that is not only Barcelona and Madrid! There are many smaller places that often are a lot more charming and Spanish in a way and are perfect for an extended weekend. Cadiz is one of these cities. The largest town on the Costa de la Luz is known for its medieval alleyways – you walk past bright white houses, churches and old military fortresses.
The best part about Cadiz is, that it is right on the sea and the historical center of the town is almost entirely surrounded by water. You can stroll along the boardwalk and take in the wonderful view of the sea and the city. And in the evening you can sit down in a typical tavern and try your way through all the delicious Tapas. And of course there is super good wine to go with it. After that you should definitely stop by a Flamenco bar, it doesn’t get more authentic than that!
The average temperature in April is already 20 degrees in Cadiz and there are almost 10 hours of sunshine in a day. Who wouldn’t want to spend spring like this?
Poland’s capital was almost entirely destroyed in the Second World War and then rebuilt which is why you will find not only a historical town center with original fragments but also many modern buildings. Best to start your day with a coffee at the old market square, it is lined by nice street cafes and arts stands. Then let yourself be taken back to times past and walk along the King’s Road with its churches, palaces and museums all the way up to the king’s castle.
Wilanow palace is also worth a visit, it is not called the Polish Versailles for nothing, it is really impressive. Ujazdowski park is great for a green break from the city and in the evening you can get affordable Polish home cooking at a so-called milk bar.
Warsaw should be visited after May, because while the average temperature in April is only 12 degrees, you can already hit 20 degrees in May!
Antwerp is the second largest city in Belgium. It is incredibly diverse and you will definitely find something you enjoy here! There is an extensive arts scene, cool clubs and a beautiful medieval historical part of town with many cafes and a castle right by the shore. If you are into art then you can travel in the footsteps of the great painter Ruben or visit one of the numerous contemporary art galleries.
Fashion and design are very important here too, you will notice a lot stylish restaurants and bars. Also don’t miss the central train station, a beautiful Renaissance building that seems like a castle itself with all its glamour and pomp! A very cool alternative neighborhood is the old port in the North. Here you find warehouses that have been transformed to cool lofts, clubs and theatres.
Average temperatures in Antwerp in May are 17 degrees and they keep rising every day after that.
Why not Marseille rather than Paris? Café au lait tastes a lot better by the sea than in the bustle of France’s capital! Settle somewhere close to the harbor, from here you have the best view of the incoming boats.
Then head to the old neighborhood of Le Panier, walk past the old colourful houses, cute cafes in the sunshine and artist studios and balconies with fresh laundry hanging from them. Then go on to the Joliette neighborhood with its beautiful cathedral. And one day definitely rent a bike and ride along the coast past all the beautiful beaches. After that you can treat yourself to a nice glass of wine and do try the typical French fish soup, the Bouillabaisse – delicious!
Temperatures hit 18 degrees in April, 22 in May. So if you are lucky you can already sit outside in a t-shirt!
In terms of landscape Ireland is an incredibly beautiful country with gorgeous coasts, but a really cool and dynamic capital too. When walking through Dublin you should definitely stop by the General Post Office, St Mary’s Church which is now a cafe and bar, the Italian neighborhood, the castle and Trinity College. To get some fresh air, check out Phoenix Park which is just around the corner, it is twice as big as Central Park in New York! Bring a blanket and let the first rays of spring sunshine warm your face!
Part of any visit to Ireland is of course a drink at a homely slightly scruffy Pub. You really have to try Guinness, the typical Irish beer. Often there is Irish live music – a truly Irish experience!
The weather in Ireland is known to be instable and rainy but there are relatively few days with rain in May and June and temperatures slowly approach 20 degrees.
Have you ever heard of Muscat? Muscat is the capital of Oman and even though getting there takes a little longer the trip to this exciting and little known city is definitely worth it! Its location alone is stunning with the sea on one side and the mountains on the other. You should rent a car and drive along the coast, you will find the most beautiful towns there.
Another must is the Grand Mosque, a really impressive building. In Mutrah there is a nice Souk, a kind of indoor market with lots of little stalls and stores. From here you can take a boat out to the sea to watch dolphins. And for the rest of your time simply enjoy the delicious food, the oriental flair, the warmth, the sun and the sea! Muscat is the perfect city to combine a few days on the beach with culture!
Oman might be a bit far but temperatures there already reach 25 degrees in March. So it is a great place to escape the mud and the cold at home a little earlier!
Amsterdam is always worth the trip, but it is particularly nice in Spring, when the city and pretty much all of Holland is covered in tulips and everything is colourful. In Voldelpark downtown Amsterdam the forebears of Spring start blooming in early April. Bring a few snacks and sit down in the grass for a bit. Wonderful! And if you want to see tulips all the way to the horizon, then make a trip to Keukendorf, the tulip metropolis.
When you have had enough of the tulips then take a bike and cycle along the town canals to the hip Joordan neighborhood and have a delicious flat white at Headfirst Coffee Roasters in Westerstraat. In the evening you can round up your day on the roof top terrace of Double Tree Hilton Hotels right next to the main station. Here you have a fantastic view of the city and sunset. The perfect itinerary for an extended weekend in Amsterdam!
With an average of 13 degrees it is still a little chilly, but it doesn’t rain much and you get to see the sun.
Rome – that is not only Trevi fountain, the Spanish steps or St Peter’s Church. The eternal citiy has lots of nice neighborhoods to roam such as Quartiere Coppodè or Trastevere where you will hardly ever see ugly houses. Basically there is history and beautiful architecture wherever you turn!
And from Rome you can even drive to the sea in an hour. Forget Ostia and take the train to the smaller, nicer town of Sperlonga. There is excellent fish right from the boat at Fiumicino and you will find the best coffee at Café Saint Eustaccio. Rome definitely has a lot to offer! Not to mention the pizza, pasta and good vino…. delicious! Here is our guide for an extended weekend in Rome.
Rome can have temeperatures of up to 20 degrees in April. Ideal for a coffee or Aperitivo in the sun and not too hot to explore the city on foot.
Istanbul is perfect for a city trip: it takes only 4 hours to get there from Germany and still you are in an entirely different world! This city will definitely wow you! Some of our must-dos for Istanbul are a boat trip on the Bosphorus, breakfast or coffee on the terrace of one of the old city hotels and a visit to the Blue Mosque. Try the Turkish coffee, typical sweet Baklava and real Kebab at one of the many street eateries.
You can buy tasty spices to take home at the spice market or just watch the vendors go by their business at the fish market. Gülhane park is wonderful for a nice walk in green surroundings. If you need a bit of relaxation after all the walking then head to one of the numerous Hammams and let yourself be massaged and washed with big soapy warm washcloths.
Istanbul can already be travelled in April. Temperatures average around 16 degrees then. In May they even rise above 20 degrees, so you are basically heading into summer!
Brighton is in the South of England, right by the sea – a cool place with lots of art galleries, boutique hotels and nice restaurants. Here you find a kite shop next to a store with Balinesian furniture, an up and coming designer next to a retro store. With the long boardwalk by the water and the impressive royal palace, a miniature version of the Taj Mahal, Brighton really is a great destination for a city trip.
You don’t necessarily have to visit the palace but can simply stroll through the gardens around it. Another highlight: definitely go to the Duke of York’s Picturehouse at night, it is the oldest cinema in England! You recognize it from the two legs of a Cancan dancer extending up from the roof.
Come May Brighton is really nice, temperatures then go up to around 17 degrees.
Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden and has no trouble keeping up with the capital. Just like Stockholm it is also located by the sea, has wonderful parks, great food and wonderful views from a boat. Best to start your day in this city with a boat tour through the canals. This way you get a good overview of the place.
Then head to the Stora Saluhallen to refuel. This is a market hall where you can try your way through all the local specialties. There is even elk meat on offer. And if you want to see these huge animals in the flesh go to Slottskogen park. Part of every Gothenburg visit definitely is a trip out to the archipelago, to Bännö for example. You can have great fish here and walk across the island. Here is our ultimate guide for Gothenburg.
Gothenburg will have around 15 degrees in May. Perfect for a city walk but you should bundle up for the boat.
12. St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg dwelled in the shadow of Moscow for a long time but has now developed to a colourful lively city where the arts and music scene is slowly emerging from the underground and is filling the city with creativity. And with its 342 bridges St. Petersburg offers a bit of Venice flair!
The white nights starting in May when the sun only barely dips down below the horizon cast a wonderful light over the city and people know how to party in those nights! This special atmosphere alone is a reason to visit St. Petersburg! And even if you are not a friend of museums, do have a look at the Hermitage. The collection of masterpieces is impressive, just like the building itself.
May is already pretty warm in St. Petersburg, average temperatures are around 16 degrees, in June you then hit the 20 degrees.
Croatia has been pretty high on most travellers’ lists in the previous years because the scenery is beautiful with dreamy coastlines and great places for bathing. Zagreb however is not yet a popular destination for a city trip which is precisely why you should go there!
The city has everything a capital needs: architecture, culture, music, dining and lots more. Zagreb may not be big but all the more relaxed for that. The cafes are full and there are museums, theatres and cinemas for a few hours of culture in between. For a great view of the city walk up to the Lotrščak tower. The litle workout is definitely worth it! If it is warm you can go swimming or sailing on Jarun lake in the Southwest of the city – very relaxing there!
Temperatures in April still hover around 17 degrees, but in May they are already up to 22. So you could get lucky with a dip in the water!
Plan your next city trip for an extended weekend and enjoy the Spring!
There are so many great cities only a few hours of flying away yet worlds apart, worlds away from your comfortable sofa at home. Even if it is only a short trip you can make these days an adventure! So start planning your next city trip in Spring even if it is only for an extended weekend, because the anticipation is wonderful!