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Short Trips to Europe - A Beginner’s Guide

Posted on 20 Dec 2023

Not every holiday can be a fortnight of fun, but taking a short trip to Europe can give you the same adrenaline rush. From planning your destination and daily activities, to securing your booking, each step brings you that much closer to breathing in the country's culture and traditions. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's go back to basics to help answer any potential questions you may have when planning a short European trip.

We love visiting Europe on our tours, which is why we've added new 3-4 day tours for that sweet short escape you deserve.

Within this article:

3 Tips to Making Your Short European Trips the Best

When you plan any length of stay away, you want to feel like you’ve made the most out of the destination and seen all that you wanted to see. And booking a short trip to Europe should be no different. Being fortunate to have experienced a variety of European tour destinations, we have our top three tips to share with you, including:

  • Booking a small-group tour
  • Make the most out of your bank holidays / public holidays
  • Plan How You’ll Commute Around the City

Book a Small-Group Tour

Visiting a new destination can be overwhelming to some travellers, but with the help of small-group tours, you’re surrounded by like-minded people all looking to experience the location too. Who knows, you may even make new friends you can visit in years to come. Not only is your itinerary already booked for you, you have the freedom and flexibility to add additional excursions to your day. To us, this can bridge the perfect gap between deciding to take a short trip to Europe as a solo traveller and being guided the whole time.

Being guided on a short tour of Europe can also be the best way to seek the lesser-known tales. While travelling by a short trip, your group could be made up of people from all walks of life, you can bond over shared experiences, relatable issues or even your favourite travel spot, and that's just on the comfortable mini-coach ride to the first destination.

Make the Most Out of Bank Holidays / Public Holidays

Public holidays, bank holidays, and weekends are your friend when considering booking a short break to Europe. Having dedicated time off work, that you have not had to request, can make your mini-break that much sweeter. Our top tip is at the start of every calendar year, mark the bank holidays and explore what short haul destinations are available for that season. Whether a quieter winter tour, or venturing in the spring before peak, being prepared is key. You then may also have the option to book additional holidays either side of these public days off to extend your vacation further.


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Plan How You’ll Commute Around the City

City breaks in Europe are very popular for those looking for a short break. Having everything located within walking distance or a short car drive away adds to the appeal many search for when securing their booking. But knowing how you will travel around your short trip destination is best to be decided prior to flying. Options include:

  • Hiring a car
  • Public transport - subways / underground / buses
  • Taxis
  • Walking

However you decide to commute, if choosing a rental car, look to book prior to setting off for your short break. Not only could you get yourself a better deal, you can compare dealerships and read the reviews prior to confirming your interest.

Top 4 European Locations For Your Next Trip

All within less than a 3 hour flight from London, each of our top 4 destinations can make the perfect location for your next European short break. See which ones you want to add to your list for an upcoming escape.


An ideal, warm location for a short break in Europe, touring Spain should be at the top of everyone's list. Packed full of culture, you can tread the cobblestone streets, sit back and sip on the local wines in a scenic vineyard and finish the night dancing away to the salsa. With a sprinkle of something for everyone, Spain can make for the best short trip in Europe. What’s more, it's around a 2.5 hours flight from London.


Home to the birthplace of Port, learn all about its history and more while taking a trip to Portugal. Whether a short stay or an extended visit, Portugal can cater for all travellers, especially the foodies among us. If looking to try something new, this country is not in short supply. With numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, serene blue waters, or seeing how many pastel de natas you can eat, this European country can offer guests a multitude of experiences when visiting on a short trip.


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When you tour Switzerland you’ll appreciate this country has so much more to offer its guests than just watches, chocolate, and mountains. Named as one of the top 10 safest European countries to visit, a short break to Switzerland will leave you wanting to return time and time again. Taking a European mini-break over the festive period to experience the Christmas markets? Switzerland has some of the best festive markets to experience in Europe. Our recommendation would be to book in advance to avoid any disappointment.


Home to over 1,500 lakes, the scenery in Italy is second-to-none, but it's not just the landscape which is captivating, it’s also the arts, cuisine, and culture this country has built for its reputation. Visiting Europe on a small break would be incomplete without adding a tour of Italy to the list. Providing beautiful beaches, historic towns and landmarks, and good food for when the day's adventures are done, Italy can ignite passion into your travels, which can fuel your exploration for many trips to come.


Short European Trips, Long Lasting Memories

Make long lasting memories no matter the length of your trip. Thanks to our expert driver-guides sharing their experiences and knowledge along the way, each tour is a treasure-trove waiting for you to discover it. If you’re wanting to take your short European trip to the next level, look to secure a private tour, which can be tailored to your specific needs or adventures. Looking to roam the royal ruins of Spain? Taste the finest aperitifs in Portugal, or maybe even try to capture a sighting of Nessie in Scotland, our guides can help it become a reality. For those still deciding between tours or locations, be sure to sign up to our newsletter. It's here you will find our latest departure points, new tours and any seasonal offers.