While I do love to go on road trips around Europe, driving from place to place can quickly become exhausting. I often prefer to base myself in a big city and then take day trips to visit small towns and explore the countryside.
Here are some of my favourite day trips from Europe’s major cities.
Amsterdam – Netherlands
- Keukenhof – Discover the beautiful tulip festival just outside of Amsterdam.
- Utrecht – Utrecht is like a smaller version of Amsterdam and is a fun day trip.
Barcelona & Girona – Spain
- Cadaques and Cap de Creus – Cadaques was the home of artist Salvador Dali. You can visit his house which is now a museum showing how the eccentric artist lived. Nearby Cap de Creus is a popular hiking destination with day trippers from Barcelona and Girona.
- Besalu – If medieval villages are your thing, spend the day at Besalu which is most famous for its medieval bridge and Ratafia liqueur.
- Lake of Banyoles – Banyoles is very close to Girona but you can do a day trip from Barcelona too. The main attraction is the lake where you can go kayaking or swimming but the town is pretty too, especially with the recs you see around the streets.
- Calella de Palafrugell – Head to Calella de Palafrugell for a day trip to the beach or to eat at one of the fantastic restaurants on the waterfront.
- Greenways Bike Path – Get out in the fresh air to experience one of the many bike trails around Girona.
Bari – Italy
- Alberobello and the Trulli Houses – The unique UNESCO listed Trulli houses are one of the most amazing sights in Italy and nothing like you’ll see elsewhere in the world.
Berlin – Germany
- If you feel like you’ve seen enough of Berlin (is that possible?) there are loads of day trip possibilities. This trip takes you to the Baltic coastline at Rostock and Warnemuende.
Budapest – Hungary
- Pecs is one of Hungary’s most beautiful towns and one of my favourites in Central Europe. It’s a much more interesting day trip than Szentendre although it’s quite a bit further away.
- Szentendre – If you can drag yourself away from beautiful Budapest, Szentendre is a popular day trip although I prefer Pecs.
Dubrovnik – Croatia
- Mali Ston – A worthy day trip on its own or a great place to stop on the way to Korcula Island, Mali Ston is know for its oysters and the Great Wall of Ston.
Frankfurt – Germany
- Bacharach – Made up almost entirely of perfectly restored half-timbered houses, Bacharach is one of the highlights of the Rhine region. It’s also a great town for wine tasting, especially if you like Riesling.
Ljubljana – Slovenia
- Top 5 Day Trips in Slovenia – Day trip to Lake Bled, Piran, Vintgar Gorge, Lake Bohinj and Maribor.
- Lake Bled – A stunning, majestic lake with the mysterious Bled Island, hilltop Bled Castle and the Julian Alps in the backdrop.
- More details on visiting Slovenia’s eastern city, Maribor.
- Piran – Slovenia is such a small country you can visit almost anywhere on a day trip from Ljubljana. Piran is an old Venetian town on the coast and it’s one of the prettiest towns in Slovenia.
London – England
- Brighton – Brighton Beach is only an hour or so from London. It could be a bit chilly in winter but it’s a great London getaway when the sun comes out.
Paris – France
- Chateau de Chantilly – The Chateau de Chantilly is like a fairytale castle. The chateau is adorable and the gardens are some of the prettiest near Paris.
- Parc de Sceaux – Famous for it’s cherry blossoms on display each April and the immense gardens designed by Andre Le Notre (who also designed the gardens at Versailles and Chantilly), Parc de Sceaux is a half day trip from Paris and perfect for a picnic and walk in the park.
- Marly-le-Roi and the Parc de Marly – Marly-le-Roi is very close to Paris so it’s perfect for a quick picnic or to go jogging around the lake.
Rome – Italy
- Orvieto – There’s so much to see in Rome but if you can spare the time head over to hilltop town Orvieto for the day to see the incredible cathedral.
Saranda – Albania
- From Albania’s southern beach town you can visit beaches, islands mountains and UNESCO sites.
Split – Croatia
- Trogir – Split may not be the most beautiful city in Croatia but it’s a great place to use as a base to explore the region. Trogir is just north of Split and worth visiting for a day.
Tirana – Albania
- Head out of bustling Tirana for some quiet time in the mountains. Kruja is one of Albania’s oldest cities and home to an Ottoman bazaar.
Toulouse – France
- Uzerche – Uzerche is one of the many hilltop towns in the Limousin region of France. It’s quite a way from Toulouse so it might be better to visit while driving from Paris or Limoges to Toulouse.
Vienna – Austria
- Bratislava – I love day trips where you get to visit a different country for the day. Bratislava in Slovakia is very close to Vienna in Austria. It’s an easy day trip and you get to visit two countries in one day.