City trips - Culture, shopping, and romance | H-Hotels.com
A short trip to Germany's most exciting cities: a city break promises a few rich and varied days in a different city. Whether you want to explore the magnificent old town of Dresden, combine a city break to Hamburg with a musical visit, or shop until you drop in the capital Berlin - Germany and its neighbouring countries have some highlights to offer for a city break. Or take advantage of a long weekend to enjoy a romantic minibreak with your partner! Turn a city trip into a minibreak: after an extensive sightseeing tour, enjoy some quality time together with a joint massage.
Our top 14 travel destinations for your city break
Do you have a question? We've got the answer! Click here for the city break FAQ!
- Where can I enjoy a worthwhile city break?
- How long does a city break last?
- What time of year is best for a city break?
- What should I take with me on a city break?
- Where can I book a city break?
- Who should I enjoy a city break with?
- What can you do on a city break?
- Which transport is suitable for a city break?
A short trip to Hamburg: highlights of the Hanseatic city to suit every taste
Anyone planning a short trip to Hamburg has to make a choice, because the Hanseatic city in the north of Germany has a lot to offer. With its colourful blend of architectural highlights and museums, musicals and events, maritime charm, and the Reeperbahn party district, the metropolis of Hamburg draws millions of visitors each year. Not for nothing is Hamburg the most popular city in Germany for a short trip! Many visitors are drawn to Hamburg's harbour on their city break.
Visitors can explore Germany's largest sea port during a harbour tour. The jetties on St. Pauli and the historic Speicherstadt with the Elbphilharmonie are further highlights for a city break. From here it's not far to the Reeperbahn - the Hanseatic city's notorious party district.
Hamburg has become a true musical metropolis. The famous musical "The Lion King" has been performed continuously at the Stage Theater am Hafen since 2001. But the city of Hamburg also offers a variety of new and changing productions. Combine your city visit with an unforgettable musical!
Interested? Here you can find all you need to know about a city break to Hamburg!
Hamburg city break checklist
Hotel tips for your city break to Hamburg
Hamburg, gateway to the world: This city offers something for everyone – ranging from the famous international port to the “Michel” church to first-class shopping. Our 4 star hotel lies in the south-east of the city in the lovely area of Bergedorf. 205 comfortable, modern bedrooms await you, a restaurant, bar and café garden. Relax in our “Aktivtreff” area with its sauna, steam bath and small fitness area.
The HYPERION Hotel Hamburg welcomes you to its location on Amsinckstraße, right in the city centre. Our hotel is distinguished by its upmarket standards, central location and excellent transport links. Situated on one of the Hanseatic city's main arteries, it is nevertheless only a few hundred metres from the old town, the main railway station, HafenCity, and the Cruise Terminal on the Elbe.
Berlin city break – urban, alternative and full of German history
Everyone should enjoy a city break to the capital of Germany once in their lifetime. Culture vultures will find a wide selection of museums, theatres, and operas. The unique thing about Berlin, however, is that Berliners actively help to shape their city. Berlin lives and loves diversity, whether we're talking about alternative living or art projects, small theatres or cinemas that only play films with their original soundtrack. The unique scene of clubs, bars and international cuisine attracts many young people and the young at heart to Berlin, who spend a short holiday here or stay forever.
In the capital, history and current politics come alive: on a city break to Berlin, a tour along the former Berlin Wall with its exhibitions and memorials is a great idea. In the government district you can visit the Reichstag and the Federal Chancellery, but you can also go on a private search for the residence of the Chancellor and the Federal President.
Shopping and sightseeing are classic activities for a city break in the metropolis on the Spree. The city of Berlin is ideally suited for this: far from the big shopping centres, a dense scene of small boutiques and shops has formed.
The classic sightseeing destinations such as the Brandenburg Gate and the TV Tower can be discovered on foot along the boulevard "Unter den Linden". For tired feet and short breaks, green oases of peace, parks and quiet spots can be found all over Berlin.
Interested? Here you can find all you need to know about a city break to Berlin!
Berlin city break checklist
Hotel tips for your city break to Berlin
Dresden city break – Romantic old town along the banks of the river Elbe
There's no doubt about it - the city of Dresden is a romantic place. The capital of Saxony is one of Germany's favourite destinations for a city break. The wonderfully pretty old town was largely destroyed during the Second World War and has been largely reconstructed. The classical architecture of the old town around the baroque Frauenkirche with its impressive dome invites you to take a stroll and explore - perfect for a romantic weekend for two!
The Dresden Zwinger is an integral part of every city trip to Dresden. It was modelled on the Palace of Versailles. The inner courtyard of the magnificent building with its gardens and fountains is open to visitors. Today, the building houses several world-class museums, including the Old Masters Picture Gallery. A special highlight is the extended symphony of bells that sounds three times a day in addition to the hourly chimes. The special acoustics in the Zwinger and under the archways are popular with musicians, who invite you to linger here and listen.
A visit to the Great Garden is recommended for a short break in Dresden. This centrally located park with its magnificent palace grounds is ideal for a romantic walk in a natural setting. In the summer months, a park railway takes visitors through the Great Garden, which is supervised by volunteer children and young people.
Interested? Here you can find all you need to know about a city break to Dresden!
Dresden city break checklist
✅ A city break for art lovers and romantics
✅ Highlights: the old town with its Frauenkirche, Zwinger and museums
✅ At a glance: Dresden's attractions
Hotel tips for your city break to Dresden
The Hyperion Hotel Dresden am Schloss is centrally located in the middle of the historical old city. Famous sights such as the “Frauenkirche”, the Semper Opera House or the “Zwinger” are within walking distance and you are invited to an extended exploration tour. The modern Hyperion Hotel with its stylishly furnished rooms and suites is also the ideal starting point for a shopping tour of Dresden.
Munich city break – more than Oktoberfest
Munich is known internationally for its rustic, Bavarian tradition. During your city break in Munich, you will soon realise that this image does Munich an injustice. Munich's inhabitants like to call it the "least Bavarian city in Bavaria". In fact, there is a lively student scene in this university city, and the city presents itself as young and modern. Munich has little in common with other quintessentially Bavarian cities, which cultivate the Bavarian accent as much as the Bavarian tradition.
Nevertheless, Munich also has this authenticity, which magically attracts visitors from Germany and all over the world to enjoy a city break. Munich's old town with its Viktualienmarkt and Marienplatz, the Frauenkirche and, of course, the famous Hofbräuhaus, stands for the traditional Bavaria that unites generations in Munich.
Bavarian cuisine has shaped Germany's image abroad like no other. In Bavaria, people eat hearty food - this is also true of Munich. Whether it's a roast knuckle of pork with a pint of beer or Weißwürste in the morning: a city break in Munich offers many culinary highlights. And of course there's Oktoberfest: a Bavarian folk festival of superlatives that attracts many visitors to Munich every year to toast Bavarian tradition.
Interested? Here you can find all you need to know about a city break to Munich!
Munich city break checklist
Hotel tips for your city break to Munich
Cologne city break – where the fools live
The city of Cologne is world-famous for two things: Cologne Cathedral and the one and only real German carnival. Cologne Carnival is a major event that drives a good million people onto the streets every year. Wild, colourful and exuberant, Carnival in Cologne is celebrated from Weiberfastnacht to Veilchendienstag. For local Cologne residents and short holidaymakers eager to celebrate, Rose Monday is the absolute highlight of the carnival.
Tip: With a hotel outside the city centre, you can withdraw from the hustle and bustle during your city trip if necessary, recharge your batteries and sleep peacefully.
If the hustle and bustle of the carnival season is too much for you, book your visit outside this period: you will find a historic old town of narrow streets and steeply gabled houses along the banks of the Rhine that invites you to explore. The impressive, all-surpassing Cologne Cathedral alone is worth a city break to Cologne. Romantics love the Hohenzollern Bridge with its 150,000 or so love locks.
Cologne embraces Rhenish sociability even outside the carnival season. You can experience the proverbial Cologne cheerfulness and the endearing Cologne dialect on a short trip to the small pubs and bars in the old town - with a cool glass of Kölsch.
Interested? Here you can find all you need to know about a city break to Cologne!
Cologne city break checklist
Hotel tips for your city break to Cologne
Our 4 star hotel is located in Brühl, a charming town with a historic cultural heritage offering “fun for young and old”, and is easily accessible, situated between the cities of Cologne and Bonn. There are 157 comfortably appointed bedrooms, including non-smoking and family rooms. Gourmets will love our restaurant with its local and international cuisine and our hotel bar is a great place to see.
Feel good in Cologne: Our modern conference and business hotel is centrally located in the media city of Hürth. Visit the cultural highlights and wander along the Cologne shopping miles. In the “Theresienhöhe” restaurant you can choose from local and international dishes and in the hotel bar there is everything from beer to cocktails; whatever you fancy.
Vienna city break - Baroque, culture, and plenty of coffee
Vienna is the metropolis of Austria and is bursting with cultural heritage. The old town is characterised by magnificent historical buildings and imposing monuments, romantic alleyways, and extensive parks. This city is made for city breaks! The city's palaces and castles, such as Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere Palace, and the Hofburg Palace, are absolutely worth seeing and a destination for many city trips.
The city of Vienna is characterised by a multitude of museums, exhibitions, and concerts that celebrate the great characters who once lived here. Cultural events are often dedicated to the classical music of Mozart, Beethoven, and Mahler and offer visitors a truly delightful cultural experience during their city break. The Vienna Opera Ball, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra are part of Vienna's musical heritage and are internationally renowned.
In addition to cultural highlights, culinary delights are also part of Vienna. Viennese cuisine offers not only hearty home cooking but also many sweet temptations - first and foremost the original Viennese Sachertorte. You can experience the renowned Viennese coffee house culture in the numerous cafés of the city centre. A visit to the Vienna Prater - the famous fairground with a giant ferris wheel as Vienna's landmark - is the perfect way to round off a city break in Vienna.
Interested? Here you can find all you need to know about a city break to Vienna!
Vienna city break checklist
✅ A city break for culture vultures and those with a sweet tooth
✅ Highlights: the old town, castles and palaces, coffee house culture, classical music, Prater
✅ At a glance: Vienna's attractions
Hotel tips for your city break to Vienna
H+ Hotel Wien is located two kilometres northwest of the city centre with great transport connections. 75 rooms with modern furnishings await you, offering everything you need to relax after a long stroll through the city or a business meeting. After a delicious breakfast from the buffet, you can start you day feeling invigorated. You can reach the famous sights in the city centre on foot or by tram.
Welcome to H2 Hotel Wien, the perfect base for exploring Vienna! Our budget-friendly double and four-bed rooms are a stone's throw away from Schönbrunn Palace. Plus, the underground is right on our doorstep. Experience comfort at its best! All rooms have air conditioning, satellite TV and a bathroom with a vitality shower. In addition, the 24-hour-hub offers round-the-clock dining and beverages.
City break: FAQ
1. Where can I enjoy a worthwhile city break?
Almost every major city is suitable for a city break. The decisive factor here is your own interests. If you don't have much time and want a short trip over the weekend, a city break within Germany is a good option. This way, you don't have to spend too much time travelling to and from your destination. The most popular cities for a city break in Germany are Hamburg, Berlin, Dresden, and Munich.
Various events, such as the "Documenta" in Kassel, or the "Comic Con" in Dortmund, are a good anchor point for a city break.
Art lovers might choose the destination of their city break based on the museums on offer. Excellent museums include the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, the Pinotheken in Munich, the Old Masters Picture Gallery in Dresden, and the House of History in Bonn.
Many cities have a charm all of their own, often derived solely from the picturesque architecture of the old town and the sights of a city. You can stroll through the narrow streets and admire the magnificent facades in Dresden, Lübeck, Stade, and Münster. Here, a weekend spent strolling and drinking coffee can be as relaxing as a short holiday.
Those who like to party or spend the weekend shopping are often better off in the larger cities. A vibrant club scene and a wide selection of shops, boutiques and exclusive shops can be found in Germany's metropolises: first and foremost Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main, and Munich, but also Düsseldorf and Cologne.
If you want a city break that involves a flight, Vienna, Zurich, or Budapest are also worthwhile destinations for a spa holiday in addition to the well-known European cities, which you may not yet have on your list.
2. How long does a city break last?
City breaks are usually shorter getaways, the aim of which is to discover a particular city. Whether the focus of your trip is on culture, relaxation, partying, or shopping is a matter of personal preference. Usually a weekend of long weekend is ideal. This gives you enough time to get a feel for the city without the city trip becoming too exhausting.
If you combine a city break with a short holiday, a week can also be a suitable period. In this case, cities near the North Sea or Baltic Sea - such as Lübeck, Hamburg, or Bremen - are ideal. Cities near natural parks or mountains are also suitable for combining a city break with cycling or hiking tours. Cities such as Dresden (Elbe Sandstone Mountains), Munich (Alps), or Goslar (Harz Mountains) are ideal for this.
3. What time of year is best for a city break?
Unlike a beach holiday or activity holiday, a city break is largely independent of the weather, as many activities such as museums, exhibitions, shopping, and going out take place indoors. You can sit out any rain showers during your sightseeing tour in a café or bar, often providing a welcome respite.
This makes every season suitable for a city break. The holidays over Christmas, New Year's Eve, Easter, and Whitsun in particular are popular for city breaks. At these times and during school holidays, however, you should expect higher room rates in hotels. With a long weekend in spring or autumn outside the holiday period, you can't go wrong.
4. What should I take with me on a city break?
City breaks are usually short trips. For this reason, it's worth travelling light. Especially on a city trip with a flight, it makes sense to only take hand luggage to save costs for checked luggage and waiting times.
These things are essential for your city break:
- Day backpack
- Water bottle
- Snacks for the journey
- Purse, bumbag, chest pouch or securely lockable handbag to prevent theft
- Identity card, driving licence (if applicable), health insurance card and other forms of identification such as student card, or disability card
- Girocard, credit card, and cash; telephone number of your bank to block your cards if necessary
- Train or plane ticket or navigation system or route description. Directions from the motorway or railway station to your hotel
- Accommodation documents: voucher or printed booking confirmation, address and telephone number of accommodation
- Toiletry bag with toiletries and cosmetics
- Small first-aid kit
- Clothes for different weather conditions, only the essentials!
- Pyjamas / nightgown
- Sturdy, comfortable shoes
- If required sun glasses / sun hat
- If required rain jacket / umbrella
- mobile phone and charging cable
- Camera, charging cable, replacement battery and second memory card as required
- Travel guide / map
5. Where can I book a city break?
Many providers offer city break packages that include accommodation and admission to an attraction or event. However, you can enjoy more flexibility if you put together your own city break. Select your hotel depending on what matters to you. You can do this conveniently online - e.g. at H-Hotels.com.
Are you travelling by car? Then a free parking space at your hotel would make sense. Are you travelling by train or flying? Then a central hotel near the train station and public transport would be advisable. Choose whether you want to stay in the city centre or in a quiet location on the outskirts. Design your city trip spontaneously: this way you can flexibly adapt your destination to the weather conditions and your fitness.
6. Who should I enjoy a city break with?
City breaks are little adventures to discover a new city. Who you invite to join you on a city break depends on what you want to do.
With your partner
Spend a romantic weekend with your partner exploring a new city: it creates great memories and is an excellent way to get away from everyday life. You will probably share interests in certain things (such as art, technology, architecture, eating out, or partying) with your partner. This should make it easy to agree on shared activities during a city break.
What about taking on the clubbing scene or embarking upon a long shopping trip with your girlfriends? Sounds like a very successful weekend! Travelling with one or two friends is great for exploring museums and exhibitions, undertaking a sightseeing tour, and enjoying a lively evening in a bar. Make sure that you clarify your respective intentions and expectations ahead of your trip, to ensure that nobody is disappointed after your city break.
As a group
A city break can be a good idea for a group trip and offers a great setting for a reunion. However, if the group size exceeds 5 people, it can become difficult to make decisions spontaneously. In this case, you should determine the itinerary and activities for your city break in advance and hand them out to each participant as a guide schedule.
With children / family
A city break with children can be a great experience. If you are visiting a city with a child or grandchild alone, you will be able to create unique memories.
But a city break is also possible with the whole family. To accommodate all family members on a short trip, a little more preparation is needed. Make sure that the journey is suitable for children and does not involve too many hours in the car. Travelling by train can be a good alternative. When choosing a hotel, you should also look for family-friendly facilities. Family rooms or flats are particularly suitable.
Plan your activities before arriving. Sightseeing and visiting museums should alternate with child-friendly activities such as visiting a playground or park. Plan time for this - and your city trip with children will be an unforgettable experience!
7. What can you do on a break trip?
Choose the destination for your city break according to your interests. Here are a few ideas for how to organise a short trip:
The most popular activity for a city trip is sightseeing. Visiting famous buildings and monuments in a big city by yourself is a fascinating and enriching experience. Many cities offer guided sightseeing tours or even hop-on hop-off buses that go to the most famous sights.
Museums, musicals, fairs, and events
Many major cities have great museums, exhibitions or musicals and other events to offer. Take the opportunity to incorporate one of these into your visit. It's best to check opening times and entry fees beforehand. Even on days with bad weather, a city break can be a successful experience.
Take the opportunity to enjoy some shopping if you organise a city break in a major metropolis. Alongside the large chain stores that can be found in every city, you will also find smaller local shops and boutiques to browse through. With a little luck, you will stumble across a new favourite piece that will always remind you of your city break.
Eating & partying
Make sure you save a little of your energy so that you don't collapse into bed exhausted at the end of an eventful day in the city. Go out for dinner and find out what international cuisine the city has to offer. If you want to go out in the evening, find out about the local club scene. The best clubs are often slightly hidden. You can find out some secret tips by talking to people on the street or simply asking at your hotel reception.
Sightseeing and visiting famous museums during the day, relaxing in the sauna in the evening and getting in the mood for the evening with a soothing massage: how does that sound? City breaks can be perfectly combined with a Wellness holiday Many hotels offer their own small wellness area. The H4 Hotel Leipzig is even located right next to the Saxony Thermal Springs and offers discounted admission.
8. Should you travel by car, train, or plane for your city break?
That depends where you want to go and how far away this city is.
Cars are suitable for trips to cities that aren't too far away or too big. The longer the journey, the higher the risk of spending a large part of your trip in a traffic jam. This is especially true if you are travelling during the holidays or on a bank holiday. In addition, a car is often not usable in larger cities, as the dense city traffic and lack of parking make driving difficult.
On the other hand, for a city trip to a smaller town or to a hotel in a suburban location, travelling by car often makes sense. This is especially the case if you plan to do excursions in the local area.
The train is a good alternative to travelling by car. You can travel in a more relaxed way and without having to worry about traffic jams. You can then reach your hotel by public transport from the main station of your destination city. Explore the city on foot or by bus, and train. This saves you the hassle of looking for a parking space and allows you to experience the city much more directly and intensively.
Remember to find out in advance which lines will take you from the main station to your hotel.
For destinations that are further away, travelling by plane is a good idea for your city break. Flights can be surprisingly cheap, especially if you travel out of season. However, many cheap flights include hidden costs for luggage (including hand luggage), seat reservations or fast boarding. Find out about the airline's pricing structure. Factor in waiting times before and after your flight to find out whether a flight is really the fastest and cheapest alternative.