If you’re a sports enthusiast, summer 2016 is your time to shine. With the Euros and the Olympics taking place alongside Wimbledon and all the other usual sports events, this is the summer of sports. If you’re not so big on sports, however, you might be feeling a bit fatigued.
Not to worry! It’s not too late to book a quick city break to somewhere lovely and sunny, where you can eat, drink, sightsee and escape the sports. We’ve rounded up our favourite picks for a summer city break.
Do you find yourself silently grumbling every time your friends suggest going to the pub to watch England play? Is your interest in Rio more about the beach than the Olympics? Do the names Ronaldo, Rooney and Ibrahimovic mean nothing to you?
You get two for one with this city break – Buda with its royal architecture and Pest with its cosmopolitan culture. The city comes alive in summer, with alfresco dining, arts events and a general air of conviviality. Read our complete guide here.
Outdoor concerts and events are frequent in summer, from design fairs to classical music at Vajdahunyad Castle. If you find yourself missing sports just a little bit, there’s always the Hungarian Grand Prix in late July!
Make the most of the long summer days with an evening cruise on the Danube. The views are gorgeous and the light is perfect for photos.
Summer is prime time to enjoy Budapest’s famous thermal baths.The outdoor pools at Széchenyi Baths are the oldest in the city.
The summer heat in Madrid is intense. Book a hotel with a pool and plan to spend a good chunk of every day lounging in the shade or the water. Locals often retire to the coast for part of July and August, so the city is unusually quiet, giving it a more relaxed vibe. Read our complete guide here.
Enjoy the 30° weather by lazing in one of the city’s green parks, like rose-filled Parque del Oeste, wild Casa de Campo or the super popular Retiro Park.
Get some art with your air conditioning at the ‘Golden Triangle’ of museums. These three museums – the Prado, the Reina Sofía, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza – house famous artworks by Spanish painters like Goya and El Greco.
Foodies will revel in Madrid’s tapas culture. The La Latina neighbourhood is famous for its tapas bars, so plan to sample plates of patatas bravas and gambas al ajillo (juicy garlic shrimp) from as many as you can.
Appealingly jumbled and constantly changing, Bucharest is an adventure. A city break here is sure to delight, with wonderful architecture, history and culture. Read our complete guide here.
A unique blend of Turkish, German, Hungarian and Slavic influences, Romanian cuisine is the perfect summer snack. Try grilled mici (beef sausages), sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls) and zacuscă (roasted vegetable spread). Wash it all down with a glass of delicious local wine or plum brandy.
To experience local music, go to a live manele show. Rooted in the country’s marginalised Romani community and previously reserved for wedding celebrations, this Balkanic music style has regained popularity amongst the young hipster crowd.
Discover Bucharest’s history in its old town of Centru Vechi and the neighbourhood of Centru Civic, where the former dictator left his architectural legacy.
Prague’s energy skyrockets in summer. The city is packed with people and cultural events. It might be crowded, but you can still enjoy the city’s bars, architecture and ambience. Read our complete guide here.
Summer shouldn’t be spent indoors, so enjoy some of the city’s popular outdoor spots. Grab a drink alongside the river in Náplavka or enjoy a film at the Tiskárna na Vzduchu outdoor cinema. The farmer’s market in the residential Jiřího z Poděbrad neighbourhood is another great local outdoors spot.
From Gothic towers and Renaissance palaces to Baroque cathedrals and Art Nouveau apartments – Prague’s stunning architecture is best enjoyed on bright summer days.
There’s nothing like sipping an ice cold beer on a hot summer’s day, and Prague is the place to do it. Czech beer goes down especially smooth. Sample one of the 45 craft brews at Zlý časy, or mingle with locals over a pint at Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden.