The Best City Breaks in Europe

Mediterranean flair in Barcelona, ancient sites in Rome or a canal cruise in Amsterdam: Europe, the smallest continent on earth, is characterized by its remarkable wealth of cultural, historical and geographical features. Especially in the metropolises of Europe, the different characteristics of history, culture and climate are clearly visible. Anyone taking a city break in Europe will certainly discover the contrasts between cities in northern and southern Europe. If you would like to take a city break in Europe with your travel group, you are spoilt for choice: Does one of the big cities in the Mediterranean region suit your expectations or do you prefer a short trip to one of the most famous cities in Central Europe? No matter what you decide on, for both options we will suggest the most beautiful destinations for city trips in Europe.

How are city breaks for travel groups organized by IQ Incoming?

Whether Paris, Prague or Lisbon: Share your travel wishes and expectations with us. Where do you want to go? For how long would you like to travel? Which sights would you like to visit? Which hotel category do you prefer? Would you like to have full board? As a professional hotel agency, we at IQ Incoming will assist you in answering these questions and will then put together an individual and tailor-made itinerary for your personal city break in Europe.  Exemplary details of our travel planning include:

  • Reception of all tour participants by local guides and accompanied transfer to the hotel
  • All overnight stays in your chosen hotel category – from budget to luxury
  • Local guides for a general or thematic city tour or for a day trip
  • All transfers by private coach
  • Panoramic tours, boat or train rides
  • Catering on request: from a coffee break in a trendy Parisian café to a tapas evening in Barcelona
  • Entrance and guided tour for your chosen sights and museums

Amsterdam: Venice of the North

Built on water: Amsterdam – the capital of the Netherlands is world-famous for its many waterways and special architecture. Hence the city´s nickname “northern Venice”. An absolute must during your city break in Amsterdam is a canal cruise:

City trip Amsterdam IQ Incoming
The bridges over the canals characterize the cityscape in Amsterdam

visitors can not only get a very good impression of the huge canal system, but also soak up the relaxed Dutch way of life. Depending on your preferences, a city trip to Amsterdam may include the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House, the amusement district around the Oude Kerk, and anyway the countless picturesque, narrow houses that make the city so special.

Salzburg: the city of classical music

On which city break can you experience mountains, castles, palaces, winding alleys, splendid baroque buildings as well as sinfully delicious desserts and lots of music? Salzburg, of course! The Austrian city is an Eldorado for lovers of classical music and world-famous for its most famous son: the musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Salzburg city trip via IQ Incoming
View of Salzburg with fortress in the background | Image: Tourismus Salzburg

From the house where he was born to the sweet specialty “Mozartkugel”: throughout the city you can trace the stages of his life and his legacy. The old town on the left and right of the river Salzach is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a magnificent urban ensemble of historical buildings, baroque churches, castles, beautiful squares and romantic alleys. In addition, the stately Hohensalzburg Fortress is enthroned above the old town, inviting you to enjoy great panoramic views of the city including a fascinating Alpine panorama. 

Rome: The eternal beauty

This city cannot be described without superlatives. And quite rightly so: The Italian capital Rome is an absolutely fascinating city. Thousands of years of history come alive here. During a city break there is so much to see: Ancient sites such as the Colosseum, Forum Romanum, Pantheon or Circus Maximus. Magnificent baroque at the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps or Piazza Navona. And of course the Vatican with St. Peter’s Basilica and famous Sistine Chapel.

City trip Rome - Italian capital
The largest cathedral in the world: St. Peter’s in the Vatican, Rome

Especially in summer, a visit to the green parks Villa Borghese or Parco del Gianicolo is highly recommended. The latter offers a sensational view over Rome. You can also cool off in one of the over thousand churches of the city. In addition, it is worth trying the excellent regional cuisine in the countless bars and trattorie in Rome. In this regard, a visit to the lively and pulsating district of Trastevere on the left side of the Tiber may be highly recommended.

Brussels – capital of Belgium, Europe and of the comic strip

Brussels is not only Belgium’s capital, but also houses the headquarters of the European Union. It is also special that the city has two official languages – French and Dutch. The Belgian metropolis also has other surprising aspects with an original mix of historical architecture and modern showpiece buildings. The most famous is undoubtedly the Atomium, the showpiece of EXPO 1958 and the city’s landmark. You should definitely plan a visit as part of a city break, the tour of this architectural masterpiece is a surrealistic and fascinating experience.

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Grand Place in Brussels

In the city center, the Gothic heritage is particularly visible on Grand Place. The original Art Nouveau facades are also well worth seeing. Inside there are often picturesque and romantic stores selling sweet national delicacies such as Belgian waffles or chocolates. You should also definitely try the Belgian fries, which have their origin in this country. And when you stroll around, you are sure to meet the Belgian comic book heroes Tintin, Lucky Luke & Co., who are immortalized on many house facades.            

Prague: The city of red roofs

Hradcany, St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Town Square, Golden Lane, Wenceslas Square, Powder Tower, Charles Bridge and Vltava belong to…? Correct, to Prague! The Czech capital is certainly one of the most beautiful destinations and most worth seeing city trips in Europe. The medieval flair, several gothic churches, cozy cobblestone streets and endless red tiled roofs are what make Prague so charming.

Historical city trip Prague
Old Town in Prague | Image: Prague Information

In addition, the hearty, Bohemian specialties and the delicious Czech beer make your stay in the city even “sweeter”. Literature lovers can also follow in the footsteps of the famous poet Franz Kafka, who spent most of his life in Prague.

Barcelona: The city of Gothic and modern

Sea, beach, mountains, Gothic, Art Nouveau and soccer: that’s what everyone is talking about in the Catalan metropolis of Barcelona. Beware of the danger of addiction: anyone who takes a city trip here runs the risk of being trapped by the atmosphere of the coastal city for a lifetime. Barcelona’s trump card is its versatility: The maze of alleys in the old town, the square planned city with the fantastic church building Sagrada Familia and several buildings designed by the master of modernism Gaudí,

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Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

the lively student quarter Gracía with its picturesque squares, the Olympic mountain Montjuic, the idyllic fishermen’s quarter Barceloneta or the beautiful hills and green spaces in the hinterland – such as Parc Güell – make Barcelona a dream destination for any city break. The hearts of soccer fans also beat faster here: Lionel Messi and the stars of FC Barcelona kick the ball in the impressive Camp Nou stadium.

Zürich: The cosy metropolis

Those who prefer a city to be more comfortable and not so big, should consider a city break in Zurich. The largest city in Switzerland is yet relatively small, but is ranking regularly among the top cities with the highest quality of life – worldwide. Its idyllic location with Lake Zurich, the river Limmat and several local mountains in the immediate vicinity is one reason for this.

Zurich - city trip Switzerland
Zurich city center| Image: Martin Rütschi – Zürich Tourism

But also a perfect infrastructure and a high level of security are decisive for the positive ranking. A walk through Zurich’s old town is a must: cute alleys, tranquil squares and the bridges over the Limmat are simply beautiful to look at. The churches Grossmünster, Fraumünster and St. Peter are also well worth a visit. In the former, you can climb one of the two, high towers, the Fraumünster houses famous Chagall windows and St.Peter has the largest tower clock face in Europe.                

Lisbon: fascinating hill labyrinth

A city trip to Lisbon is special: the topography alone, with its seven hills and its location at the mouth of the Tejo River, gives the Portuguese capital its very own flair. Staircases, elevators and cable cars connect the quarters of the lower city with the higher districts. The constant ups and downs must also be taken by the small, nostalgic streetcars that make the city so famous.

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District Alfama in Lisbon | Image: Santiago de Alfama – Boutique Hotel

Get on line 28E and experience a very special ride: the narrow, yellow train not only winds its way through narrow alleys, it also has to overcome enormous inclines. It also passes the Alfama quarter, which is considered one of the oldest and best preserved in the city. From the Castelo de Sao Jorge you have a stunning view over the roofs of the city. Another eye-catcher are the many pretty house facades of the city, which are decorated with artfully painted tiles. And those with a sweet tooth should definitely try the delicious Pasteis de Nata tartlets in the Belém district, for which Lisbon is famous   

Paris: The city of romance

Oh, how beautiful is Paris: The French capital is and remains the permanent favorite of all city breaks. Whether art, architecture, gastronomy or fashion, Paris is always in vogue and up-to-date. Besides the classics like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre-Dame, Arc de Triomphe or Sacre Coeur, there are always new sights to discover in the city.

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Panorama around the Eiffel Tower in Paris

The idyllic and romantic alleys of Montmartre, the Jewish quarter Marais or the popular student and nightlife mile Rue Mouffetard are popular hotspots for young and old. In addition, families will be happy at Disneyland Paris or visitors may take a short trip to the magnificent ensemble of the Palace of Versailles, in the west of the city.