Looking for inspiration for a last-minute escape in Europe? Whether you live in Europe already or are considering an extended stay, these getaway ideas will motivate you to plan a last-minute escape. And not just escape, but enjoy more culture and new cuisine, too.
The nice thing about Europe is that everything is so close. You don’t have to spend much time in transportation to find yourself in a new and unique city with fascinating sights to explore. So let me introduce you to my five favorite European cities for a getaway:
1. Last-Minute Escape to Paris
Ahh…Paris is the city of love and light. It is magical at its best, but still filled with amazing historic and beautiful things to see and do. You simply must see the Eiffel Tower and the Arc du Triomphe at the end of the famous Champs-Élysées. Stroll hand in hand with the one you love along the banks of the River Seine, and view the spectacular stained glass windows at Sainte-Chapelle.
Sip French chocolat chaud at Angelina’s near the Jardin des Tuileries and enjoy a fresh croissant at the corner boulangerie. Paris is very walkable, and the Metro makes it easy to hop from one arrondissement to another. Even at the last-minute, you can enjoy so much of Paris!
2. How about a weekend in Edinburgh?
Edinburgh, Scotland is the city of Scottish royalty, Harry Potter fans, and medieval history buffs. Walk the Royal Mile and wonder at the medieval apartment buildings. Explore the Edinburgh Castle, the medieval fortress that dominates the city skyline. A hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat will give you spectacular 360-degree views of the city.
Tour the Palace of Holyroodhouse where the Queen stays whenever she is in Scotland. Visit the cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books and see places that inspired the names and characters. And you must try sticky toffee pudding – a favorite Scottish dessert.
3. Escape to Sun-Swept Oia, Santorini
The island of Santorini is a jewel in the Aegean Sea. With white-washed homes contrasted against the rich blue skies and water, it is absolutely stunning. In the city of Oia, there are no cars and the silence is so serene. If you are looking for a last-minute escape from the chaos of everyday life, this is balm for the soul!
You could, of course, spend the day sunning by a caldera-view swimming pool. But if you’re feeling more adventurous, take a sailing tour to the nearby volcano or dive in to a thermal-heated pocket of the Aegean Sea.
Must-eats are fresh seafood baked in outdoor ovens or anything made with Santorini’s home-grown tomatoes!
4. Getaway to London
Yes, London! The largest city of England makes for a wonderful getaway. Whether you’re traveling solo, with a partner, or with your family, there’s no end to the things you can do here. For a taste of medieval history, tour the Tower of London and don’t forget to walk across the Tower Bridge for views of the Thames.
For crowd-watching, head to Trafalgar Square. In the early mornings, it is a peaceful place where you can enjoy the architecture and fountains. But come afternoon, it will be filled with buskers, artists, and lots of people busily making their way to Instagram-popular sites like Neals Yard, Covent Garden, or St. Paul’s Cathedral.
If you’re fascinated with royalty, you must visit Buckingham Palace. You might also enjoy a quiet Evensong performance at Westminster Abbey, where many kings and queens have been crowned or buried. And of course, the most iconic sight in London is Big Ben. Getting away to London will be more than memorable!
5. Last-Minute Adventure in Venice
Venice is a charming Italian city, built on islands in a lagoon of the Adriatic Sea. Traghettos and gondolas take the place of taxis and cars here. The best thing to do here is wander and try to get lost among the old alleys and canals. Romantic bridges are everywhere, and there are plenty of options for a picture-perfect photo.
Discover Venice’s 11th-century St. Mark’s Basilica and why it is called Chiesa d’Oro (Church of gold). Cross the Grand Canal on the Rialto Bridge just to say you did! Make your way to Burano island to see colored houses and beautiful lace…or to Murano, where blown glass is created.
Perhaps you’ll plan your Venice last-minute escape just in time to see one of its many carnivals or festivals!
Where to Stay for Your Last-Minute Escape
Regardless of where you decide to go for your last-minute escape, you may be worried about where you can stay. And often, last-minute prices are sky-high. But let me introduce you to travel in Europe with Voyage Privé. They offer all kinds of last-minute deals on luxury vacations, often up to 70% off. It’s almost like getting rewarded for last-minute travel! They can also help with booking transportation should you need it.
There’s nothing more thrilling than making plans to go somewhere special. It gives you something to look forward to, and gets you through the craziness of your everyday life. And sometimes you don’t realize you need to get away until the last minute! I’m excited to see where you decide to go for your last-minute escape. Will it be Paris? Venice? Or perhaps a city I haven’t mentioned, like Rome? Comment below, and tell me where your dream getaway will be!
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