Europe is still one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and travelling there is like a dream comes true for any British mum and her family. The area has so much to offer! From a wealth of history, culture, nightlife to yummy European dishes. So if you’re considering a short break to Europe, here’s my top 3 choices.

Budapest, Hungary

Why Budapest?

Visiting Budapest is great value for a short break – accommodation, food and drink are all reasonably priced plus the city is fairly compact, so you can easily visit top sites in just a few days.

What to see and do

Budapest is bisected by the Danube river. I would suggest making the most of your time and visiting the Buda sights together, which you can probably do in a day. Then visit the Pest main attractions for which you really need 2 days. Here’s a list of my top sights to see:

Buda – Fisherman’s Bastion, Buda Castle and Hungarian National Gallery, Gelert Baths, Matthias Church and Citadella

Pest – Hungarian Parliament Buildings, St Stephens Basilica, Central Market Hall, Hungarian National Opera House, City Park & Museums, Szecenyi Thermal Baths and the House of Terror

Eating and Drinking

There are a huge number of restaurants available at all price points. The majority are situated on the Pest side of the city and do make sure you try the Hungarian Goulash Soup – it’s delicious!  For a drink you simply must try one of the famous Ruin Pubs. They are mainly situated in the old Jewish quarter in old and often dilapidated buildings, which are really fascinating.

Where to stay

Most hotels and other accommodation are situated on the Pest side of the river. I would highly recommend the Hotel Corinthia.

Prague, Czech Republic

Why Prague?

Prague is a a stunningly beautiful city! Many streets are traffic free and the area is compact, making it a great city for walking around.  Although more expensive than Budapest, Prague is still reasonably priced.

What to see and do

Prague is another city bisected by a river, this time the Vitava. On the right hand side of the river you will find Old Town Square, Wencelas Square, the Jewish Quarter and the main shopping area. On the left side of the river is the Castle District and Mala Strana.

Some of the best sights include the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, St Vitus Cathedral, Old Town Square and the Astronomical Clock. In fact, the architecture is magnificent so wherever you’re in Prague there is always something to see!

Eating and Drinking

Like Budapest there are many restaurants at all price points. A note to all the ladies, don’t visit Prague if you’re on a diet – they like their pastries, dumplings, sausages and stews, and portions are huge! Although you don’t go to Prague for Italian food, some of the best meals I’ve eaten there have been in small trattorias. These are plentiful, particularly in the Old Town.

Prague offers numerous bars, most serving traditional Czech beers (in litre measures if you want!).

Where to stay

There are many accommodation options to fit any budget and I would recommend the Grand Mark near the Old Town Square or (if you really want to treat yourself!) the Mandarin Oriental, situated in an old monastery in Mala Strana.

Nice, France

Why Nice?

Nice has everything you could wish for as an ideal short break destination. The weather is perfect, the setting is stunning, it’s utterly stylish and the food is amazing! This is why we keep returning, in fact, I don’t think I will ever tire of Nice.

What to see and do

A great way to see Nice is by doing one of the hop on, hop off open top bus tours which lets you visit all the places of interest on your must-see list. Make sure you include a stroll along the Promenade Des Anglais – the majestic hotels and residences overlook the Mediterranean and it’s great place to people watch. A visit to one of Nice’s private beach clubs is a great way to spend the day and sample Nice’s opulent lifestyle. As you would expect in one of the most stylish cities in Europe, the shops in Nice really are something else – even if you’re just browsing! You can also visit Nice’s famous daily flower market and maybe have lunch at one of the many seafood restaurants surrounding the market place.

Nice is also a great base for exploring other parts of the French Riviera. There are regular trains to Marseille, which also serves the stunning resort of Antibes. Going east by train you reach Monaco, which is only 20 minutes away and definitely worth a visit.

Eating and Drinking

Eating out is a way of life in Nice for locals and tourists alike. You can get a 3 star Michelin meal in a luxurious restaurant on the Promenade des Anglais, costing an arm and a leg, alongside delicious, inexpensive, home cooked food in a small bistro in the old town. You’re absolutely spoilt for choice and I’ve never been disappointed with any meal I’ve eaten in Nice!

Local wine in the South of France is devine, with the Rose from Provence being very popular.

Where to stay

Nice is a major French holiday resort so there’s an abundance of hotels and rental properties available. There are also also plenty of camping and caravan sites along the coast. My favourite Nice hotel is La Perouse. The location of this hotel has to be the best in Nice, with magnificent views of the Promenade des Anglais and the Mediterranean Sea.

Written by British mum and travel blogger Kate Nobel. Read more about her travels by visiting The Guestbooks.

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