Discover Europe on your doorstep with our pick of the best city breaks reachable from Manchester Airport.
It’s little wonder that Barcelona is on so many people’s ‘favourite cities’ lists – with its relaxed pace, and backdrop of sun-drenched beaches and iconic architecture, the city makes for a unique city break.
Take your pick from an abundance of mouth-watering tapas restaurants and inexpensive wine bars, before taking a walk through the cobblestone lanes of the city. Thanks to a rich architectural history, spanning more than 2000 years, just a short walk through Barcelona will reveal Gothic facades next to Gaudi’s whimsical creations, next to the towering constructions of Herzog and Jean Nouvel. When the sun sets, the city transforms again, with the rhythms of flamenco spiling out of subterranean bars as Barcelona chimes into life.
The most romantic city in the world is perfect for a weekend away. With iconic architecture and an abundance of museums and galleries, you’ll quickly fall in love with everything Paris has to offer.
Take a stroll down the winding roads of the city and you’ll find enticing patisseries and fromageries alongside pavement cafes and chic bars. Wile away an afternoon visiting Louvre and Musee d’Orsay before heading to dinner – take your pick from cosy bistros or triple-Michelin-starred establishments. Of course, a trip to the world-famous Eiffel Tower cannot be missed – if you’re feeling energetic, it’s 704 steps to the top…
Dublin is more than just the home of Guinness (although the factory is certainly worth a visit). Actually, the city has a thriving nightlife, an impressive restaurant scene and an abundance of unique bars. Best of all, you can touch down in the capital in just under an hour from Manchester.
Dublin has a rich history and as much character as its inhabitants. Take just a short stroll and you’ll be able to see many historic and famous sights: Trinity College, St Stephen’s Green, Christ Church and Dublin Castle, to name just a few. In the evening, head down to Temple Bar, buy a pint of the black stuff and soak up the live music as you witness the city transform once again.
Amsterdam may be one of the most laidback cities in Europe, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t charming. Quiet canals, pretty bridges and gabled buildings give the city a traditional feel despite its cosmopolitan reputation.
Amsterdam is also home to some world-famous museums, including the Van Goph Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank Huis. Explore the city on two wheels or by boat for a taste of authentic Amsterdam life.
Berlin is the perfect place to spend the weekend: with a buzzing nightlife, laidback pace and trendsetting culture, the city has truly transformed over the last two decades.
Easy to explore on foot, bike or public transport, the only problem you’ll have here is fitting everything in. Take in a few of the many museums and galleries to learn more about Berlin’s rich history, and walk by the remnants of the Berlin Wall on your way to Checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburg Gate. In the evening, take your pick from tiny basement clubs, chic cocktail bars or lively beer gardens. You’ll soon understand why Berlin is one of the most creative, cultural and exciting places in Europe.
Reachable from Manchester Airport when flying into nearby Pisa, Tuscan capital Florence allows visitors to experience a veritable renaissance-era destination.
Roman and medieval history can be witnessed throughout the city, with architecural spectacles everywhere you look. Sample authentic Florentine cuisine in one of the city's many restaurants, washing down Tuscan treats with a glass or two of wine in an enoteca - literally translating to 'wine repository'.
The Hungarian capital has become increasingly popular in recent years, with visitors charmed by Budapest’s awe-inspiring monuments, serene parks and quirky bars and restaurants, all set beside the Danube river.
Sitting on a patchwork of more than a hundred thermal springs, don’t leave Budapest without ‘taking the water’s’ at one of the cities bathhouses. Take your pick from Turkish-era, Art Nouveau or a modern establishment for some relaxation – according to the locals, it’s the world’s best hangover cure.
Portugal’s capital is an intriguing collection of cobbled alleys, grand plazas, and white washed buildings, along with delicious cuisine and a relaxed pace of life.
Sit back and enjoy a cinnamon-sprinkled custard tart at one of the city’s many quirky bars and restaurants, before exploring the town in all its beauty: steep hillsides, yellow trams clattering through leafy streets and locals enjoying conversation over wine at patio bars. Don’t be surprised if you never want to come home.