5 European cities to visit in a weekend

Who I am
Aina Martin

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

The best European cities to visit

The European cities that I recommend you visit are: Nice, Seville, Bruges, Porto e Rouen.

Nice, admire the old town

Beautiful Nice is a city that I was able to discover last year during a weekend trip with friends on the French Riviera. Right from the start it seemed to me a particular city, still shaken by the ugly terrorist episode a few months earlier. Although wounded, I have seen a living city and colorful especially in its old quarter. Nice is a city to visit on foot through an itinerary that starts from its main square "Place Massena", He continues passing through the"Promenade du Pallion”And reaches the entrance to the old city.

In the old quarter you will find the real Nice, the one still linked to the shops relegated to narrow and characteristic alleys; the one in which local flavors are discovered by tasting the Socca or Pissaladiere and finally we immerse ourselves in the popular fabric represented by the lively market in Cours Saleya. Not far from the market it is possible to walk on the splendid one Promenade Des Anglais and finally go up to Nice castle, a splendid panoramic point directly on the sea and from which you can see Nice and part of the coast towards Cannes.

The promenade of Nice

In short, Nice struck me and I would gladly come back to discover it even better, perhaps on a spring weekend, or, even better, during the folkloristic carnival of Nice.

If you want to read the complete itinerary on Nice with many tips for visiting it, I invite you to read this article -> Nice, what to see in one day: walking itinerary

Seville, a wonder of Andalusia

Seville as a European city is definitely my first love. I met her about ten years ago during a car tour in Andalusia… And the first love you know is never forgotten.

Seville is a city on a human scale. You can breathe serenity in the air. Life goes slower, yet everything (or almost everything) is efficient. The Spanish people are open, sunny and convivial. Spain, on the other hand, is as if it were our second home and therefore, we are happy Spanish.

But in Seville this feeling of well-being is felt even more.

Plaza de España in Seville: one of the most photographed places in the city

Among the European cities that I mention it is certainly the one that is needed avoid visiting in August because the temperatures are prohibitive and in the afternoon it is difficult to move under the scorching sun.

Seville is therefore the perfect stop for the rest of the year.

To visit the city of Seville you need at least 2 - 3 days, a full weekend. It is a city that offers a lot, from simple cultural tours to food and wine discoveries up to beautiful flamenco shows. The best ways to visit it are on foot or by bicycle.

But I don't want to reveal this destination too much, to know everything about Seville you can read these two articles of mine:

  • Seville: what to see in two days
  • Seville: 10 curiosities and tips to know

Bruges, the romantic Belgian city

So let's go from the Andalusian pearl to the Belgian pearl, and I'm not joking.

Bruges is a gem, otherwise I would not have put it among the 5 European cities to visit. Unlike Seville I would not go to live there simply because I would not get along with the weather, if it were not for that I would give it more than a little thought.

Bruges is elegant, romance e hot. Yes, warm, but not in the sense of warmth, in the sense that being a medieval city in some of its points it seems to go back in time. The color of the stones, the structures of the houses and of the city itself convey feelings of familiarity, of home.

You know that classic situation "fireplace with crackling wood plus armchair and book to read"? Here, more or less there.

Place market in Bruges seen from Brugge Fotoplaats

Also to visit Bruges there it takes two days, many visit it only in a day starting from Brussels but Bruges deserves much more than a hit and run. The "Venice of the North" goes lived on foot, discovering the most characteristic corners and, why not, pausing to sip signature beer while watching its canals.

A little tip: enjoy a few minutes sitting in Piazza Markt eating a waffle loaded with chocolate and cream.

If you want to discover Bruges better you can read these three posts of mine:

  • Bruges: what to see… discovering the pearl of Belgium
  • Visiting Bruges in Belgium: tips and impressions
  • By train from Brussels to Bruges with the weekend ticket paying half price

Porto, the home of fado and port wine

The title summarizes the sensations that pervade the traveler who visits Oporto, or Porto (they are the same city).

Porto is absolutely one of the best european cities to visit, is the second largest city in Portugal and is located in the north of the Portuguese nation. Much of its fame derives from the homonymous wine known all over the world.

Until a few years ago it was not a well known destination. Over time, thanks also to the growth of low cost flights, it has become a pleasant destination for any time of the year. From spring to late autumn you can visit this city and enjoy the sunset from its splendid bridge: the Dom Luis I bridge, one of the icons of the city.

It may seem like Porto doesn't have a lot to offer, but you will see that you will be able to fill the entire weekend and return home pleasantly impressed.

I have always defined the city of Porto as one romantic and decadent city at the same time. The reason is obvious: walking through the streets of the city it will seem almost neglected instead it is precisely one of its characteristics that makes it of extreme charm.

Il Palacio da Bolsto Lello and Irmão bookstore  Church of Sant'IldefonsoMajestic Café these are just some of the places you can visit in Porto.

Café Majestic, an icon of Porto.

Furthermore, Porto is a city to be experienced. Take the old tram 1 and spend a few hours admiring the lighthouse and the Atlantic Ocean, back in Porto spend a few hours in the Ribeira listening to the street musicians drinking some Porto wine overlooking the Duoro and the beautiful Dom Luis bridge.

And finally, dispassionate advice, visit a winery in Villa Nova de Gaia, on the other side of the Duoro river. An interesting guided tour to discover the production of this wine and, why not, a tasting while listening to a performance of Fado, a typical Portuguese song.

To learn more:

  • Visit Oporto: the 10 things you must do
  • With the old Porto tram 1 to the lighthouse on the ocean

Rouen, a fascinating and little known pearl of Normandy

Rouen's past has been troubled to say the least. THE bombing of the Second World War they hurt her hard but in a short time there city ​​of a hundred bell towers has raised its head and now represents a valid stage in a itinerary in Normandy o a day trip from Paris.

I put Rouen on the list of 5 European cities to visit because I liked it a lot. One of its main features is that it can be discovered on foot in a few hours.

It is a fascinating city whose renowned Notre Dame Cathedral leaves you speechless. Not only. Beautiful is also the Sainte Maclau church and the streets with half-timbered houses like Rue Martanville.

An advice: plan your visit to Rouen during the Armada which is celebrated every 5 years, it is a parade of the most beautiful sailing ships in the world.

For further information:

  • What to see in Rouen: discovering the city of Joan of Arc
The Church of Saint Maclau in Rouen

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