European city breaks

Discover our European city breaks and mini breaks travel guides, news and reviews. Whether you’re hoping to visit Prague or Budapest, we have you covered.

5 great European road trips 🚗

5 great European road trips | The LDN Gal

5 great European road trips

Europe’s mix of open fields and rolling mountains make a perfect scenic backdrop for any road trip or holiday. From the stunning scenery, unforgettable nature or even vibrant nightlife, Europe will not disappoint.

I’ve teamed up with Compare and Choose to round up my top five European road trips.

Verdon Gorge circuit, Provence, France

Province boasts one of France’s deepest central gorges, the Gorges du Verdon, and a lot of care has gone into keeping it as beautiful as possible. The circuit takes just under two hours at full speed, but you can easily enjoy it at a more leisurely pace – from the quaint little town of Moustiers Sante Marie to the spectacular views of Balcons de la Mescala, this road is a constant stream of new sights and sounds that you’ll never get tired of!

There’s plenty of places to stop and take in the fantastic view from a distance, and if you’re hungry, there’s classic French food available from the many towns and businesses that you’ll find on your journey.

The Autobahns, Germany

Adrenaline seekers will flock to Germany’s famous Autobahns, the giant highways that let you cut loose and enjoy miles upon miles of raw speed! If you prefer to pace yourself, you can always slow down on the side lane and enjoy a long, smooth, hassle-free afternoon drive.

Most Autobahn roads are lined with trees, fields and small forests – nothing over-the-top or exotic, but enough to keep you relaxed and interested throughout the whole journey.

Plus, with so many places you can break away from the road, who knows where you’ll end up?

La Route des Grandes Alpes, France

Designed, constructed and maintained specifically for tourists, this road takes drivers through over fifteen mountain passes and four national parks, as well as some of the most scenic points in the French Alps. The gorgeous Geneva Lake provides a lovely backdrop to the fresh air and wide-open spaces of the mountain region.

There’s no need to rush – the easy turns and straight roads make the Alps easier to explore than ever, offering a new way to see some of the world’s most famous mountains from the comfort and warmth of your car.

Furka Pass, Switzerland

A Swiss Alps road that challenges even the most confident of drivers – more variety and fewer stretches of plain straight road mean that you’re always seeing something new with each new corner you turn or hill you pass. The beautiful grasslands and majestic mountains give you a view that’s definitely worth the effort.

Patience is a key part of any good road trip, and there’s almost nowhere it’ll pay off more than Furka Pass.

Transfăgărășan, Romania

The “Road to the Sky” takes drivers from the base of the mountain range to the highest peaks in all of Romania, always sticking to an easy-to-climb angle that even the most overloaded car could easily tackle! From a beautiful grassy valley to a spectacular mountain peak, the Transfăgărășan is the definition of variety and can last anywhere from a few hours to a whole day depending on how you want to pace your trip.

The intriguing wildlife and scenic pathways offered by the mountains’ off-road areas mean that you can easily stretch your legs, so there’s no need to confine yourself to your car all day – every good road trip needs a stop now and then, after all, and the Transfăgărășan is more than happy to oblige.

Which of these road trips would you take? Where is your favourite place in Europe?

Stephanie xox

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This post is in collaboration with Compare and Choose

Top 10 things to do in Budapest 🇭🇺

A 20 something's guide to Budapest - Hungarian Parliament Building

A 20-something’s guide to Budapest: Top 10 things to do in Budapest

A city of beauty, culture and cheap eats, Budapest is simply on everyone’s European bucket list – and for good reason.

Celebrated as the “Paris of the East”, the winding Danube highlights the city’s beauty, separating Buda from Pest in a sea of twinkling lights by twilight, emulating the grandeur of its buildings and monuments that line its banks.

With a Budapest card in tow, it is time to explore this city and with your new card, all your public transport travel within Budapest is totally free!

The Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal

The Hungarian Parliament building:

Renowned as one of the most iconic buildings in Budapest, The Hungarian Parliament building is a truly spectacular sight on the Pest side of the river and one that cannot be missed. You can venture inside and see its stunning interior and the Holy Crown of St. Stephen on an organised tour.

See it from the Fisherman’s Bastion on the Buda side at night for a truly enchanting view – and photograph to boot.

St Stephen's Church, Budapest - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal St Stephen's Church interior, Budapest - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal St Stephen's Church view, Budapest - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal

St. Stephen’s Basilica:

St. Stephen’s Basilica is a truly magnificent Roman Catholic cathedral, named in the honour of the first King of Hungary.

Step inside this Neoclassical church and discover its gorgeous and grand interior and the mummified hand of St. Stephen himself (eek). Once done, ascend up to its cupola lookout for some fantastic panoramic views.

You can save 15% off your cupola lookout ticket with the Budapest card.

Szimpla Kert ruin bar exterior, Budapest- A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal

Szimpla Kert:

Allow yourself a cheeky evening treat and stop for a drink in one of Budapest’s famed ruin bars. Within seemingly disused buildings and overgrown outdoor spaces, these bars are housed within their remnants.

My favourite? Szimpla Kert. A quirky bar embellished with stolen literature, mismatched furnishings and years of memories, its ceilings littered paper. It has a cool vibe and offers a fantastic selection of drinks, food and even shisha. It can get busy, so head there early or during the week to soak up the interior and just unwind for a few hours.

House of Terror - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal

House of Terror Museum:

Discover more about Budapest and its fascist and communist past at the House of Terror Museum. Here, you will learn more about the historical terror the tyrannic occupying forces made locals endure as you immerse yourself in the interactive exhibitions within.

This haunting building served as the former Nazi and Soviet headquarters and commemorates the victims of these regimes. Its basement, the former prison, emulates the horror faced by these victims at the time, who were tortured in its darkness.

Shoes on the Danube - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN GalChain Bridge at Night - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal

Explore the Danube:

Regarded as one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe, the banks of the Danube are just asking to be explored. Be sure to take a cruise, be it in the day or at night, to soak up the architecture and beauty around you.

Once done, spare a moment by the haunting Shoes on the Danube memorial and pay your respects to the 20,000 lives cut short on the Danube banks under Ferenc Szalasi’s influence.

Be sure to cross the illuminated Chain Bridge at night, it offers a lovely evening stroll from Buda to Pest or vice-versa. With brazen lions standing to welcome you at each side, be sure to use it as a photostop.

Church Cave, Gellert Hill - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal Gellert Hill, Budapest panorama - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal Gellert Hill, Danube view - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal

Gellért Hill:

For the best view in the city, take a leisurely stroll-come-hike up Gellért Hill. Once atop, you will see Budapest in all her magnificence with panoramic views. It is the perfect place for a shop-bought picnic beneath the grand statues of the Citadella.

As you make your way down, stop by the Gellért Hill cave church for a unique venture into a church within the hill – not an everyday attraction.

Hospital in the Rock, Castle Hill, Budapest - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal Hospital in the Rock artifacts, Castle Hill, Budapest - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal Hospital in the Rock mural, Castle Hill, Budapest - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal

Hospital in the Rock: 

The Hospital in the Rock presents a turbulent and at times tragic wartime past, offering visitors a fantastic history lesson. Step back in time and discover this former hospital located within a cave system underneath Castle Hill.

Tours are given on the hour in numerous languages and offer an informative insight into the hospital and its fascinating WW2 and 1956 Revolution history, as well as touching on the nuclear disasters within Japan – I held back tears on more than one occassion.

You can save 30% off your ticket with the Budapest card.

Fisherman's Bastion - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal Matthias Church, Budapest - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal

Fisherman’s Bastion:

Fisherman’s Bastion is a dreamy structure sitting atop Castle Hill. This fairytale terrace sits in front of Matthias Church and close to Budapest castle.

It is free to wander around but if you desire to go up the ramparts to the upper lookout there is a small fee. From here, discover the picturesque and panoramic views of the Danube and Budapest cityscape.

You can save 10% off your ticket to the upper lookout with the Budapest card.

Holocaust Memorial Centre, Budapest- A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal

Holocaust Memorial Center:

Within the Holocaust Memorial Center you will discover that around 1/3rd of the people at Auschwitz-Birkenau were Hungarian. It is a shocking statistic and the interior of this memorial center emulates the shocking reality of the horrors faced by Hungarian citizens, Jews, Roma gypsies and homosexuals during this time. Its a harrowing and humbling experience, and one that simply cannot be missed.

You can save 10% off your ticket with the Budapest card.

Budapest zoo petting zoo - A 20 something's guide to Budapest - The LDN Gal

Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden:

The Budapest Zoo is one of the oldest in Europe and rather strangely, located within the city centre. It has nearly 1,000 species of animals on display from across the globe and a lovely botanical garden to boot. The best part for most? An interactive petting zoo where you can stroke goats and deer.

You can save 25% off your ticket with the Budapest card.

Have you been to Budapest? Where would be your first stop?

Stephanie xox

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This post is in collaboration with Budapest card

How to spend a long weekend in Prague 🏰

A view of Prague Castle from the Vltava River, Prague

A long weekend in Prague – surrounded by pastel-coloured views and terracotta roofs

Prague has always fascinated me – pretty buildings, cultural attractions, and an affordable price tag, what more could a girl want from a city break?

With all that in mind, a weekend in this scenic city was definitely on the cards, and Prague was the next destination myself and my boyfriend had planned to visit in Europe. Here is our guide to a long weekend in Prague.

Our mini adventure would begin after a night’s sleep in our okay-ish hotel. The Hotel Colosseum was well located to attractions and to be honest, pretty cheap. I’m not snobby when it comes to hotels, I literally sleep there. 

Seeing the quirky Dancing House

The Hotel Colosseum was less than five minutes from the celebrated Dancing House or ‘Fred and Ginger’ and this was our first stop.

This deconstructivist style building features quirky architectural design and fascinates many in its place amongst a myriad of Baroque, Rococo and Renaissance buildings, to name a few architectural styles found within Prague.

Church of Our Lady before Týn, Old Town, Prague
Church of Our Lady before Týn, Old Town

Step back in time in the Old Town

We gave the Dancing House a quick glance and raced towards the UNESCO-listed Old Town – naturally.

Stepping into the Old Town in Prague is very charming, lined with ornate buildings, street food vendors, the grand Church of Our Lady before Týn and of course, the wonderful Astronomical Clock.

Embellished with cobbled streets, Gothic churches and an array of architectural styles, the whole city is very romantic. Our favourite start to each day was coffee together in the Old Town square each morning.

Czech out the local delicacies and try traditional trdelník

While in Prague, be sure to sample some Czech delicacies by indulging in some delicious street food.

Local delicacies include trdelník (a spiralised pastry with delicious fillings), as well as famed sausages and hams.

Watch the Astronomical Clock procession

What did we love most about the quaint Old Town and its buzzing square? It would have to be the famed Astronomical Clock.

Be sure to await the hourly procession for a truly lovely show, with rhythmic chimes and animated figures. We managed to miss it about eight times during our stay before finally seeing it!

Astronomical Clock and Church of Our Lady before Týn, Old Town, Prague
Astronomical Clock and Church of Our Lady before Týn, Old Town

Another cultural delight that mesmerised me was the exquisite Gothic Church of our Lady on Tyn. It is a grand building that dominates the Old Town skyline.

Its interior is almost as astounding as its exterior and it dates back to the 14th century.

Get lost for a moment in Letenské Sady Park

However,  there is another church that dominates the Prague cityscape, and that is St. Vitus Cathedral, a beautiful church within the mighty walls of the Prague Castle compound.

Uphill, we made our way through the lush Letenské Sady Park to the castle. There is so much green space in Prague, it is truly fabulous. 

A view on the descent towards Prague Castle, Prague
A view of the descent toward Prague Castle

Once you have made your way to the top of Letenské Sady, ensure to stop a moment and appreciate the wonderful view of the city beneath you. It is so picturesque, a sea of pastel houses, terracotta roofs, and trams.

Prague is separated by the delicate and winding Vltava river and within the park, you get to see a magical birdseye view of it.

See how the other half lived at Prague Castle

As you enter, you’ll need to purchase a ticket for Prague Castle. Within Prague Castle’s compound, you’ll find:

  • Old Royal Palace
  • St. Vitus Catherdral
  • Golden Lane
  • St. George’s Basilica Detail
  • The Story of the Prague Castle
  • Great South Tower of the Cathedral 
St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, Prague
St. Vitus Cathedral

Discover the ornate St. Vitus Cathedral

For me, St. Vitus Cathedral is the focal point of the area. Its dark exterior boldly contrasts against the smooth and light pastel walls surrounding it.

Similar to the other churches in Prague, the interior is sublime, truly beautiful for any fan of churches.

Take a stroll down the colourful Golden Lane

After a rather disappointing venture into the castle’s interior, we had a bite to eat and wandered down towards Golden Lane, a collection of former and rather cosmopolitan-looking homes of seamstresses, moviemakers, and herbalists that used to live within the castle grounds.

Golden Lane, Prague Castle, Prague
Golden Lane, Prague Castle

Walk with saints at Charles Bridge

Afterward, we went to Charles Bridge. Strolling along the winding Vltava River it is almost impossible to miss the entrance to the grand Charles Bridge. It becomes an even more impressive affair as you cross it, adorned with religious statues along its ancient stone walls.

A view of Charles Bridge from the Vltava River, Prague
A view of Charles Bridge from the Vltava River

Step into a fairytale in Malá Strana

Charles Bridge connects the Old Town with the pastel-coloured streets of the historic district of Malá Strana. It is like crossing into a fairytale, with many a ‘wow’ moment.

The historic district of Malá Strana, Prague
The historic district of Malá Strana, Prague

Take a snap at the John Lennon Wall

The backstreets of Malá Strana are amazing to wander. You will discover an array of food vendors, cosy riverside views and sweet lock bridges in abundance.

An interesting stop in the area, is the John Lennon Wall. A graffiti shine to the late Beatles singer and songwriter which is adorned with some peculiar quotes and imagery.

The vibrant John Lennon Wall, Prague
The vibrant John Lennon Wall

Discover the castle ruins at Petřín Hill

We took the steep climb from Malá Strana, past the exquisite Baroque St. Nicholas Church, up to Petřín Hill to explore some more. Here we discovered more incredible views alongside the old castle ruins.

It really is nice to just step away from the city for a moment to stop and see it all. We decided against Petřín Tower, already having gained some incredible views from walking through the parks alone.

The view from Petřín Hill, Prague
The view from Petřín Hill

Sip unique cocktails at AnonymouS Bar

After all the walking and with a recommendation from a friend, we decided to celebrate one evening with a few quirky cocktails at AnonymouS Bar.

Tucked away near Old Town Square, this quirky bar sells some strong cocktails and does so in an animated and exciting fashion. Trust me on this one, try it out and try to get a glimpse of the secret menu.

How did we find our long weekend in Prague?

Prague is a truly romantic city brimming with things to see and do. If you’re looking for a European city break with some flair, opt for a long weekend in Prague!

After our whirlwind weekend, we managed to walk about 30 miles (public transport really isn’t too necessary), see all of the attractions we desired, and had a truly amazing time.

I would recommend Prague to anyone and would be more than happy to give some advice if needed!

Have you been to Prague? Where is the next European destination on your travel list?

Stephanie xox

Looking for more European city breaks?

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