While most of us prefer to travel for extended periods of time, modern life makes it difficult to fit in longer journeys into our schedules. However, modern life has also given us more flights, a greater choice of accommodation, and better transfer options, which is precisely why micro trips – weekend breaks where you pack in lots of sightseeing – have taken off as a travel trend this year. Choosing the right destination for a micro trip can be tough, though; the city needs to be small enough to get around quickly while still having plenty to keep you occupied. Here’s a guide to the best destinations for micro trips in Europe.
The capital of Latvia has long been a favorite of stag and hen parties due to its cheap booze, but there’s actually a lot more to enjoy here. Its center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you could happily spend your entire micro trip strolling around its cobbled streets and admiring the mix of Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture. There are also plenty of excellent restaurants, a vibrant nightlife, and cool creative quarters, so a visit to Riga will definitely keep you busy for a day or two.
Well-known as one of the most beautiful places in Belgium, Bruges attracts a lot of visitors every year, but they don’t stay for long. This is because this pint-sized city can easily be done in a couple of days. The old center is pretty compact so you can walk around it easily; if you want to see everything in a very short period of time, you can opt to take one of the many free walking tours which take place every day. If you do have some time to spare, you can head out to the beach at Zeebrugge; it’s just 30 minutes by bike.
The third-largest Swedish city might not get as much attention as Stockholm and Gothenburg, but it certainly has lots of cool things to see and do, plus everything that is worth seeing can be done fairly quickly. Here you will find an eclectic mix of old and new architecture, such as the Gamla Stan (Old Town) and the Turning Torso, the super-cool twisting building which is also the highest in Scandinavia, as well as a vast array of great places to eat and drink. If the weather’s not too bad, you can also head to Kallbadhus, the open-air saltwater pool.
Not many people have heard of Torun, but it’s definitely worth putting on your list as a micro trip. The main reason why many people don’t consider this UNESCO World Heritage city is that it doesn’t have its own airport; however, you can easily get a transfer from nearby Bydgoszcz Airport. When you get there, you can spend time marveling at the beautiful medieval architecture and even visit the house of Nicolaus Copernicus, the massively influential astronomer who was born in the city. Don’t forget to buy and try some of the gingerbread that Torun is also famous for.