European cities perfect for a three-day trip

A long weekend or a long weekend: both options are great for a quick but very satisfying visit to these European cities you may not yet know – check out our list of private tours here!

Lausanne (Switzerland)

It has been declared “the best city to move to with a population of up to 200,000”. And we would do it right away. Lausanne is a cosmopolitan university city where the arts – especially music – and entertainment are more vibrant than anywhere else in Switzerland.

Of particular note is the Quartier du Flon in the city centre, which houses a series of former warehouses from the 1900s that have been converted into cool spaces in the form of trendy shops, offices, flats and bars. Also striking is the use of the basement under the bridge for a bar, whose appearance contrasts with the steep, high streets that fill the old town.

In the same vein, Plateforme 10, a 25 square kilometre arts quarter has just opened, bringing together the Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts, the Elysée Museum (photography) and the Mudak (design).

Innsbruck (Austria)

Innsbruck, in the heart of the Alps, combines the past with the future: its world-famous monuments bear witness to centuries of history and coexist with outstanding international post-modern architecture.

What is there to see in the Tyrolean capital? The Hofburg Imperial Palace, Ambras Castle, Ottoburg Tower and Wilten Basilica tell the rich history of Innsbruck, with names such as Philippine Welser and Andreas Hofer.

The summit of the Seegrube also awaits you. There are very few places that allow you to reach an altitude of 2,000 metres from the historic centre in less than half an hour. There, in the Nordkette Mountains, you will have a totally incomparable view of the city and the Inn Valley, as well as the alpine panorama of the Austrian Alps in front of you.

Zagreb (Croatia)

Zagreb is becoming an increasingly unsurprising destination. Croatia’s capital has countless attractions, but we can start with its cultural mile: don’t miss the fantastic collection of Naïf and Contemporary Art, but don’t pass up the chance to go to Broken Relationships or The Hangover either.

Yes, there’s no doubt that this is a city with a sense of humour that loves to party and fall in love. As you’d expect, the city centre is packed with bars and cafés with a good atmosphere for a few drinks, and the trendy nightclubs line the shores of Lake Jarun.

And if you’re a foodie, you can visit Dolac, a fantastic open-air market specialising in organic produce and handicrafts. There is also an area dedicated to flowers, where you can enjoy an aperitif with a view surrounded by a special aroma.

Porto (Portugal)

We could have chosen Lisbon, it’s true. But Porto is more manageable and more suitable for a 72-hour holiday. We can think of 20 reasons to visit this charming city by the sea, but we’ll leave it at one: Porto is a great place to live. Not for nothing is it the best city of less than 250,000 inhabitants to move to. One of the main reasons? The people: “Porto’s inhabitants are known for their industriousness and simplicity. However, being business-oriented doesn’t mean that you lose the sense of community or that you can enjoy a glass of wine with friends over lunch. And what a wine it is!

The wide cultural offer, the cosmopolitan atmosphere, the compact radius in which most of the action takes place and the good weather convince anyone to pack up and leave, even if it’s not for good (or is it?). The city is surprisingly energetic: artistic experimentation is boiling thanks to a prolific generation of young creatives, which translates into top-notch gastronomy, numerous independent shops where it’s impossible not to take out your camera, ubiquitous street art exhibitions and hotels like the Duas Portas – owned by Luisa, Souto de Moura’s Pritzker Prize-winning daughter – where top-notch service competes with aesthetics.

Rotterdam (Netherlands)

Is Rotterdam the most modern and creative city in Europe? Probably. Maybe. Perhaps the busiest port on the European continent should be condemned. But what is known is that it also takes willpower to face the future, and Rotterdam has plenty of it. Just look at its skyline, made up of countless impossibly shaped buildings designed by some of the world’s most famous architects, which contrasts with our traditional idea of Amsterdam: here we forget the typical brick buildings and the classical, ornate facades. In Rotterdam, ingenuity prevails.

Let’s take a look. Here is Rotterdam Floats, the city’s new sustainable floating accommodation – near the recycled floating park, by the way. Or The Depot, the world’s first publicly accessible art warehouse. Or Brutus, a neighbourhood dedicated to artists. Is anything impossible in Rotterdam? It seems that all the world’s experiments, including the most drastic responses to climate change, are concentrated in this city. Of course, there is no shortage of top restaurants, such as De Matroos in Het Meisje, where the menu is a surprise. Nor are old industrial buildings transformed into leisure centres, as in the huge Maassilo. But there is also a lot of art and a rich cultural offer. Let this be your guide.

Posted in Europe.