Whether you’re looking for mouth-tingling cuisine, charming architecture or buzzing nightlife, Birmingham Airport is your gateway to some of Europe’s most exciting cities
We’re sure you don’t need an excuse to book your next getaway but if you are looking for some justification, surely escaping the unpredictable British weather and heading to the sunnier climes of a European city break is enough to tempt you? And some of Europe’s most exciting cities are on your doorstep when you fly from Birmingham.
Spain’s capital is brimming with unbridled energy and charisma. Chocolate and churros, paintings and plazas, tapas to share, jugs of sangria… it all adds up to a wonderfully dreamy destination. The wide boulevards and grand public squares express a deeper part of the city’s personality.
Soak up the spirit of Madrid by skipping the touristy spots in the centre and venturing out to the neighbourhoods of Malasaña, La Latina or Chueca to dine like a local. Madrileños are famously open and welcoming but typically locals eat at 10pm after the afternoon siesta, so if you can wait until then, you’ll experience the Madrid’s true spirit.
Cosy up in Bodega de los Secretos, a maze of underground 17th century wine cellars, and catch an intimate flamenco show where the atmosphere is truly magical. Have a sherry or a glass of cava for a nightcap, and if you’ve fully embraced the Madrid spirit, go out dancing until dawn.
On top of being home to some of the world’s best seafood, the Portuguese captial boasts a warm Mediterranean climate and a mix of traditional architecture and contemporary culture – an ideal spring city break location.
For a real taste of Lisbon get lost in the Alfama district, a network of charming cobbled streets. Take a leisurely stroll to the promenade and relax in one of the many intimate cafes. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous, hop on the cable car for magnificent views of the city and its coast.
By night, Lisbon’s wine bars are a hazy, alluring delight where you can nestle up with some of the country’s best wines and sample speciality dishes. You mustn’t leave without trying a pastéis de belém – heavenly crispy pastry filled with custard cream and sprinkled with cinnamon. Enjoy the city like a local and you will soon fall for its warm character and beguiling charm.
Two distinct cities, Buda and Pest, separated by a river,were joined together in 1873. Both sides of Budapest exude old-school elegance: the hills and cobbled streets of Buda as well as the nightlife and world-class shopping of Pest.
Sailing down the Danube river is a great way to see the city. During the day, stop off at the pedestrian-only Margaret Island, or enjoy dinner and dancing under the night stars. If you’d like to sample some more of the local treats like lángos (fried dough topped with sour cream and cheese), visit the beautiful Central Market Hall. While you’re there, check out the roof – it’s covered in colourful Zsolnay tiles dating back to the mid-19th century.
Budapest was one of the first European cities to catch the escape room game fever. There are dozens of versions, but all follow a similar format of finding clues and solving puzzles to escape a locked room. Visit Parapark, Claustrophilia or Mind Quest to test your skills.
Prague’s architecture is a visual timeline of the city’s history. It is known for its many Gothic towers but a recent addition, the Žižkov Tower, is proving particularly popular thanks to its commanding views of the city. With its space-age architecture and unusual art installations, it might be an acquired taste for some, but its eight-floor viewing platform is a must-see. However, not all of Prague’s well-preserved architecture is visible above ground. The underground tour of the medieval city lets you explore the catacombs and former streets hidden from everyday view.
Relax on the waterfront with a myriad cafes and bars to choose from along the Vltava river. Sit and drink in the atmosphere (and maybe some excellent Czech beer) while you look out over the famous Charles Bridge. If you’re a beer drinker, there’s more to Prague than the two brewing giants Budweiser and Pilsner Urquell. The country has nearly 300 craft breweries, each producing distinctive beers. Zlý časy is one of the best places in Prague to sample these, withmore than 45 Czech beers on draft.