Here are 10 ideas for day trips to Europe and easy getaways in under two hours! You don’t have to fly too far to discover some of the world’s most spectacular city breaks, so jet away to Paris, Prague, Oslo, Amsterdam and beyond and have more time on the ground to explore and enjoy! Use our helpful guide to find out what to do and where to go during your whistle-stop day trip abroad…
DAY TRIPS TO AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND
London to Amsterdam flight time approx. 1hr 10mins
There’s plenty to discover in the Dutch capital and it’s under two hours away – quicker than a train from London to Manchester! Start with a stroll through Central Amsterdam – a stunning part of the city is sandwiched within a winding canal belt. If you’re hankering for some history, the city’s medley of museums are well-worth visiting with The Van Gogh museum, the Rijkmuseum and, possibly the most popular attraction, Anne Frankhuis waiting to be explored. Amsterdam holidays are equally as exciting in the evening as they are in the day, hop on a romantic river cruise, bar crawl around bustling Dam square or head to one of the cities thriving late-night clubs!
DAY TRIPS TO PARIS, FRANCE
London to Paris flight time approx. 1hr 15mins
Fancy lunch under the Eiffel Tower and being back in the UK for dinner? The city of love is doused in quaint cobbled towns, fashion-filled high streets and iconic landmarks, but it’s the centre’s artistic flair that many tourists flock there for. Looking for romantic holidays? Take a look at our round up of our top romantic hotspots. The Louvre (metro: Palais Royal), Musee d’Orsay (metro: Musee d’Orsay), Sacre-Coeur cathedral and the artists’ district of Montmartre (metro: Anvers) are all must-visits during your Paris holidays. For architecture, make your way to St Michel metro and take a walk along the Seine, crossing to Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame Cathedral. Then walk to Saint Germain des Pres and treat yourself to tea at the beautiful Café Deux Magots!
DAY TRIPS TO PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
London to Prague flight time approx. 1hr 45mins
Prague is packed with gothic architecture, medieval streets and fairy-tale buildings and is perfect for a short hop, so if you’re looking for a magical day trip, book a Prague city break. Wander around the old town’s quaint cobbled streets and soak up sights of iconic Charles Bridge. Or make your way to the main square, where you’ll find the grand astronomical clock. The vibrant capital of the Czech Republic is brimming with entertainment, from beautiful spring events on the river and wonderful outdoor markets to buzzing al fresco bars in the picturesque city squares.
DAY TRIPS TO NICE, FRANCE
London to Nice flight time approx. 2hrs
Catch an hour-long flight to the Cote d’Azur and spend a day strolling along the mesmerizing Mediterranean coast of southeastern France. Home to famously glamorous beach resorts such as St Tropez and Cannes, there’s plenty of sights worth seeing during your holidays in France. Take a walk along the Promenade des Anglais for a view of the sweeping bay immortalised by artists including the Fauvist Raoul Dufy, or head to the characteristic old town for arts, crafts and the gorgeous daily flower market.
DAY TRIPS TO BERLIN, GERMANY
London to Berlin flight time approx. 1hr 50mins
Known as one of the best European cities to visit for a day, Berlin really has it all. If you’re a lover of history, culture and art then the charming city of Berlin has plenty of fantastic sights and architectural delights to dig out. On a day visit, it’s definitely worth a walk along the famous Berlin wall where you’ll pass the East Side Gallery and the colourful graffiti painted during the reunification. The eclectic street art shouldn’t go unseen either, with sketches from local artists including El Bocho gracing the walls and pavements. If you’ve not got much time, the best way to explore is on a Hop-On Hop-Off boat tour where you can stop for a spot of shopping at the markets, stroll through the beautiful parks and admire the monuments as you pass them.
DAY TRIPS TO COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
London to Copenhagen fight time approx. 1hr 50mins
In just under 2 hours you can be touching down in the dazzling Danish capital of Copenhagen. Take a trip to the Tivoli Gardens for an active afternoon with the kids, or if you’re up for colour and culture, head to the hippy district of Freetown Christiania founded in 1971! Before the day is over enjoy a spot of shopping at The Stroget (stopping to try a tasty smorrebrod) before taking a sunset walk down the Langelinje Pier, where you can view the famous Little Mermaid. If a day just isn’t enough, we have plenty of couples’ holidays to Copenhagen! With its bike-friendly culture, Copenhagen is also one of the best European cities to visit if you like exploring the world on two wheels.
DAY TRIPS TO DUBLIN, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
London to Dublin flight time approx. 1hr 15mins
Day trips to Europe don’t always have to be to the continent. Just over an hour’s flight from London awaits the bustling city of Dublin. If you’re after a lively scene, you’ll find entertainment on tap within the cobbled streets of Temple Bar, filled with snazzy cafés, live-music bars and traditional eateries. History buffs can follow the Heritage Trail which links the city’s significant buildings, including Dublin Castle, while nature lovers can stroll through beautiful Phoenix Park – once you’ve worked up a thirst, get yourself over to the Guinness Factory for a tour and taste of the brewery! Truly one of the best European cities to visit if you like good food, good drink and a good atmosphere.
DAY TRIPS TO LILLE, FRANCE
London to Lille flight time approx. 1hr 20mins
If you take the Eurostar you’ll arrive in the lovely city of Lille in less than one hour. Its attractive old town is a pleasant place to wander around and is sprinkled with pretty market stalls, shops and Flemish-style buildings. If you fancy an afternoon of education during your day trip abroad, take a trip to the city’s two excellent museums – Palais des Beaux-Arts and Musee d’Art Moderne du Nord. Or if you like to party, potter down to the annual Fete de Lille festival on the 3rd weekend of June, and you’ll find the streets are full of theatre and parades!
DAY TRIPS TO BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
London to Brussels flight time approx. 1hr
The Eurostar whisks you into Brussels’ central Gare du Midi in 2 hours 20 minutes or hop on a flight from London and arrive in just one hour. The first place to head for is Grand Place, a cobbled square surrounded by historic buildings, pavement cafes and fine restaurants. You can’t return without a souvenir or two, so spend the day shopping at some of the magnificent malls and markets where you can bag the best Belgian chocolate, beer and local lace among other arts and crafts. If you’re looking for luxury brands and boutiques, Boulevard de Waterloo and Rue Antoine Dansaert are the streets to swing by.
DAY TRIPS TO OSLO, NORWAY
London to Oslo flight time approx. 2hrs
If you’re a sucker for scenery, most of Oslo’s sights are within a 15-minute walking distance from the main street Karl Johans Gate, which runs from the train station to the Royal Palace. While most people come to see the city’s spectacular fjords, the grand historical and artistic attractions, shops and restaurants are growing in notoriety. For museum buffs, there is an open-air folk museum, Viking Ship Museum and the Kon-Tiki Museum just a 10-minute ferry ride away!