city breaks from Ireland

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October Bank Holiday Weekend in Lisbon, 3 Nights from €240

Lisbon Portugal

A beautiful coastal city renowned for terrific sightseeing and a great food scene, why not spend the October Bank Holiday weekend in Lisbon? 


Lisbon is finally getting the praise it deserves and it is slowly becoming one of Europe’s top city break destinations.  The city is very easy to navigate and if you don’t fancy walking it there are fantastic old trams that will bring you around all the highlights. There is plenty to see in Lisbon itself, but if you want to travel, you can take the train to the coastal towns of Cascais or Estoril or explore the UNESCO world heritage city of Sintra. For more information on Lisbon and it’s coast, read my blog.

easter weekend in Lisbon


There are many flight options available so you can choose to fly out with TAP Air Portugal,  Ryanair or Aer Lingus, depending on your preference of flight times. I have priced this deal flying out with TAP Air Portugal, at the time of issue this price was just €70. However, you will see many more options when you click on the link below.


I found a great deal staying in the centrally located São Bento Hotel, with breakfast included. Its modern décor and super service ensure excellent reviews from guests on Tripadvisor. This hotel is an ideal choice to spend the October bank holiday weekend in Lisbon. 


Fly direct from Dublin on Friday 22nd October and return Monday 25th October and secure this great deal for just €240 per person, including breakfast! This rate has a free cancel policy if cancelled before the 19th of October. 


View flights here €70pp

View hotel here €170pp


Want a different hotel?

Check out: Where to stay in Lisbon – my top 10 Lisbon hotels





Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.




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Best City Break Destinations for 2020


2020 will offer adventure seekers more chances to explore than ever before as many new routes have been announced from Irish airports. I have compiled a list of the best city break destinations for 2020 I hope you enjoy! 


In terms of holiday options, city breaks are my absolute favourite. Ambling in and out of narrow side streets to discover the best restaurants is something I was born to do. Even if you’re not one for pounding the pavements and covering an entire city on foot, settling down with a coffee for some people watching in a town square can be just as enjoyable. Variety is most definitely the spice of life and hopefully this list of my best city break destinations will provide you with enough inspiration to take the leap.




1. Matera – Italy

This Italian gem might be an unknown quantity for some of you. It is one hundred percent worth your consideration though. The old town or ‘Sassi’ is full of boutique hotels, Airbnb’s and restaurants all built inside it’s caves. It has a remarkable story, to go from being Italy’s poorest cities to The European Capital of Culture for 2019 is quiet a feat. Located just over an hour from Bari Airport, which flies direct from Dublin with Ryanair, it is easily accesible. It also happens to be one of the locations of the new James Bond movie, so I am sure it wont be a hidden gem for long! This is one of my top city break destinations for 2020.

Check out The Travel Expert’s guide to a weekend in Matera here.

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Matera



2. Copenhagen – Denmark

This suggestion is admittedly a little mainstream but only because there are so many people who have yet to experience the wonderful Danish capital. The colourful Nyhavn canal will light you up and Tivoli Gardens is a beautiful year-round attraction. Flights from Dublin to Copenhagen are again extremely cheap with Ryanair, and the end result will be well worth the investment.

Check out The Travel Expert’s guide to Copenhagen for some more info about this great city.

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Copenhagen




3. Riga – Latvia

This city is always there or thereabouts in terms of my top city break recommendations. The city is a hipster’s paradise that combines art nouveau and medieval architectural styles. The iconic landmarks in Riga are the House of The Blackheads and Riga Central Market is well worth a visit too. With Air Baltic and Ryanair flying direct from Dublin airport, 2020 might be the year to visit Riga!

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Riga



4. Gothenburg – Sweden

Gothenburg was a new direct route from Dublin Airport in 2019 and thankfully it will continue in 2020. Like most other Scandinavian cities, it possesses the perfect balance of urban and natural beauty. In the peak summer months you can expect up to eighteen hours of sunlight. If you do make the trip, you will have to visit Haga as it has loads of great bars and also the Gothenburg Botanical Garden. My favourite thing about Gothenburg though is Universeum. It is an extremely large science centre with an indoor rainforest for you to enjoy. How cool is that?!

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Gothenburg




5. Heidelberg – Germany

Heidelberg is my personal favourite city. If you’re a lover of fairy-tales this should be right up your street. Situated along the Neckar River, Heidelberg Castle is one of the most enchanting places you will ever visit. The whole city has an undeniably charming historical vibe and you are likely to find people from all across the world.

The Himmelsleiter trail will allow you to reach Königstuhl (The King’s Seat) and enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view over the whole city. Just make sure that there is no fog around as the view is not so spectacular then. I unfortunately discovered this the hard way last November. 🙂 Heidelberg is just a short spin away from Frankfurt International Airport and has excellent bus connections with Flixbus.

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Heidelberg



6. London – England

You might be wondering why I have included London in this list. The reason is pretty simple; the city is just so vast that I am nearly certain if you visited it a second time, you could completely fill up your time with new activities that you hadn’t done before. My two favourite experiences were a boat tour along the Thames and the Emirates Air Line offers you a great alternative to the London Eye.

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - London



7. Nice – France

If you want to combine a city break with a little bit of beach, Nice is the perfect destination for you. This city lies along the French Riviera and possesses a lot of historical charm. The Promenade des Anglais has a plethora of fantastic little restaurants and bars to sample the local cuisine and atmosphere. You might even catch a sneaky tan too!

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Nice




8. Porto – Portugal

This hidden gem is full of colourful buildings, fantastic restaurants and of course, Port wine. Everyone should take a trip to Porto at least once in your lifetime. Porto is a World Heritage Site that boasts many fantastic port houses that are a tourist’s dream. The Dom Luís I Bridge is another iconic landmark that will have you Instagramming like nobody’s business. A city full of charm and brimming with class, Porto shouldn’t be far off the top of your list. It is a fantastic destination for couples and families alike.

Check out Sarah’s guide to Porto to see why it is one of the best city break destinations for 2020.

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weekend in Porto



9. Poznan – Poland

Poznan is another city that will be reachable via a direct Cork flight in Summer 2020. The city of Poznan has some truly stunning Renaissance-style architecture to enjoy and the Old Market Square is a prime location for a cappuccino and some people watching. Poznan is super cheap, has a great nightlife, is extremely friendly and has become extremely trendy in recent times. All of these equate to a fabulously fun city break waiting to happen.

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Poznan



10. Edinburgh – Scotland

Again, this might seem a little mainstream for inclusion in this particular list, but I just love Edinburgh. As you walk through the city, you can nearly feel its pulse as the streets are awash with street performers wowing crowds. The city itself is again a medieval dream and Arthur’s Seat will allow you to enjoy a panoramic that is right up there with the best in the world. I love Edinburgh because it has direct flights from Cork, Shannon, Dublin and Knock so it is extremely handy to get there from a practical point of view. If you have never been, don’t let another year pass you by without making Edinburgh a priority, you won’t be disappointed.

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Edinburgh




11. Vienna – Austria

The city of Mozart, Beethoven and many more world class composers, a trip to Vienna would not be complete without taking in one of their famous concerts. Vienna has much more to offer though, renowned for it’s beautiful architecture, it also boasts a cool cafe culture. The Danube flows through the historic centre and a river cruise is a great way to admire it’s beauty. Laudamotion, who are managed by Ryanair started direct flights from Dublin airport last year, so prices have never been so good. This helps to make Vienna one of the top city break destinations for 2020.

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best city break destinations for 2019 - vienna



12. Thessaloniki – Greece

Thessaloniki is probably not the first place you would think of when it comes to possibilities for city breaks. This should definitely change in next year as it is easier than ever to reach this Greek destination. This is thanks to Ryanair adding it to their list of summer routes from Dublin last year. Now you’ll be able to enjoy this beautiful port city that sits along the Aegean Sea. The premier places to check out in Thessaloniki would be the Aristotelous Square where you can enjoy some fabulous Greek cuisine and the White Tower of Thessaloniki which is the city’s most iconic landmark.

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Best City Break Destinations 2019 - Thessaloniki



13. Zagreb – Croatia

Zagreb is another city that has recently been brought to Irish attention with Croatian Airlines flying directly from Dublin. The Croatian capital has a rich cultural history and this can be seen through the famous St Mark’s Church and Zagreb Cathedral. Another novel trip for you might be to the Museum of Broken Relationships. If you’re bouncing back from a break-up, a bit of strength in numbers might be just the trick to a speedy recovery. Ban Josip Jelačić Square is again the focal point of this charming place and is great for some coffee and a spot of people watching.

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Best City Break Destinations - Zagreb



14. Athens – Greece

Athens is a place that is brimming with wonder and intrigue into civilizations passed. The Acropolis of Athens and the Parthenon are two landmarks from Ancient Greek times that are so well preserved, it is easy to think you have transported back in time. The Temple of Olympian Zeus is another example of the multiple must-see monuments that are scattered across the city. If you’re looking for something with a few more modern conveniences, you are likely to find it at Kolonaki which is a great area for shopping and an evening meal.

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Best City Break Destinations - Athens



15. San Francisco, California – USA

United Airlines have announced daily flights to San Francisco from Dublin airport commencing in June. This is in addition to the daily service operated by Aer Lingus. It looks like there may be great value on airfares to San Francisco next summer. Visit Alcatraz, cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge or use San Francisco as a starting point to discover California. 

san francisco


Read: The streets of San Francisco – the good, the bad and the ugly

Read: The best places to stop on the Pacific Coast Highway

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We are truly blessed with the amount of options for cheap city breaks from Ireland at our disposal. A few days away and a change of scenery can make all the difference and more often than not you don’t have to break the bank. Go somewhere new in 2020 and choose one of these top city break destinations for your next adventure.

Like this post? You might like:

10 new destinations from Dublin Airport in 2020


Please note that these links are affiliate links where we receive a small commission if a booking is made.



Martin McKenna – The Travel Expert Team

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Weekend Break in Amsterdam – 3 Nights in 4-Star Hotel & Flights – €254pp


The New Year has arrived and with that comes a lust for new experiences and adventure. I have found a brilliant offer for a weekend break in Amsterdam that should fuel those urges even more.


Amsterdam is a city with an incredible aesthetic and history. The hotel for the offer I have found is the 4-Star Bilderburg Hotel Jan Luyken and this places you right in the historical heart of the city. Within walking distance of your hotel you will find the Riijksmuseum, The Van Gogh Museum, The Heineken Experience and the powerful Anne Frank Museum. The latter two are a good half an hour walk away but this is definitely manageable in Amsterdam on a nice day.
Weekend Break in Amsterdam


Also close to your hotel you will find Vondelpark. If you’re looking to get the full Dutch experience, you simply have to rent out a bike and cycle around to explore every corner of this beautiful park.
The hotel has excellent ratings on Expedia; scoring 4.3/5 from over 1700 reviews. This offer is for March when the temperature starts to become nice and mild making it perfect for a city break. The flights for the offer are direct with Ryanair and the dates are from Thursday the 7th to Sunday the 10th, but if these dates don’t suit simply edit the search via the link below, to suit your requirements. The price of €254pp covers the cost of the hotel and flights.



Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change. Note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, where The Travel Expert receives a small commission if a booking is made.




The Travel Expert Team


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