Pack your bags and go on a city break from Glasgow

There's a lot to discover in Glasgow, from the wealth of Victorian architecture to the lively art and music scene. If you've got the time and inclination, though, there's also a fantastic array of places you can explore outside Scotland's largest city. Here are some of the best city break destinations you can reach by plane or train from Glasgow.

Top destinations for a quick getaway within the UK

Whether you're keen to explore a restored 19th-century steamship or check out the world's largest and liveliest arts festival, the wide array of UK city breaks from Glasgow means there's always someplace that will fit the bill.

London leaves nothing to be desired

You'll never run out of things to do and see in the buzzing British capital, whether it's ticking the most iconic London landmarks off your itinerary – in that case, Westminster makes an ideal first stop – enjoying an acclaimed West End musical or finding tasty treats in Borough Market. If you've tired of the usual touristy things, check out the alternative scene in eclectic Camden or head farther afield to meet sprawling Richmond Park's hundreds of resident deer.

Make the most of a city break in Manchester

The unofficial capital of the North takes it name from the Roman settlement of Mamucium, the ruins of which you'll find in the laid-back Castlefield area, along with canals lined by restaurants and bars. Medieval landmarks and contemporary buildings stand side by side in the Millennium Quarter, while Canal Street forms the heart of The Village, one of Europe's oldest and best-known gay communities. Having a self-catering holiday home is always convenient, but if you're eating out, try one of the South Asian eateries along Wilmslow Road's Curry Mile.

Dublin's pub culture is anything but pint-sized

With a long list of attractions, including centuries-old cathedrals, remarkable libraries and 3 branches of the National Museum of Ireland, a city break to the Irish capital will no doubt keep you busy – though there's always time for a pint when you're in Dublin. It goes without saying that experiencing the city's pub culture is a must, and you can even visit the Guinness Storehouse to learn more about the Irish's favourite drink.

Find city thrills and stunning nature in Bristol

Culture and creativity certainly abound in Banksy's hometown. In this vibrant southwest England city, families and history buffs will enjoy exploring the SS Great Britain, a handsomely restored 19th-century steamship, and the hands-on exhibitions at Bristol's inventive museums. For a dose of nature, you can drive or walk across the 249-foot-high Clifton Suspension Bridge, which spans the stunning Avon Gorge. Those looking for varied shopping, dining and drinking opportunities won't be disappointed either.

Edinburgh is awe-inspiring at every turn

You could argue that Edinburgh hardly counts as a city break, seeing as it's less than an hour away from Glasgow by train, but that's also the draw of a weekend jaunt to the hilly Scottish capital. Edinburgh Castle dominates the cityscape, which includes medieval cobbled lanes and neoclassical architecture. If you want to see the city at its liveliest, visit in August during Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world's biggest arts festival.

Go on a European city break from Glasgow

Thanks to Glasgow Airport and the Eurostar, your city break choices aren't limited to the UK. Why not head farther afield for beach time in Alicante or a slice of the famed Berlin nightlife? Whether you're travelling with a partner or the entire family, ensure a cushy, convenient stay by booking a holiday letting near the top spots on your to-see list.

Amsterdam offers amazing art and canalside bike rides

City breaks in Amsterdam are packed with culture, coffee and yes, cycling. Hopping on a bike is the best way to navigate this chilled-out capital and its charming canals, whether you're headed for the Museum Quarter to see masterpieces by Rembrandt, van Gogh and Vermeer, or just weaving through the cobbled streets with no destination in mind. Stop for a beer in one of the 'brown cafes', the name given to traditional Dutch pubs because of their dark-wood interiors.

Enjoy some sun and sea in Alicante

Alicante's airport and railway station make it an ideal destination for a sun-kissed holiday in Spain's Costa Blanca. Take the lift to the hilltop Castillo de Santa Barbara for panoramic views over the city and the coast, then stroll along the Explanada de Espana promenade or wander the narrow streets in the old city's Barrio de la Santa Cruz. Ditch popular Postiguet Beach for the smaller, less crowded La Granadella Beach, set in a cove backed by pine trees.

Berlin is exciting either by day or by night

Holiday rentals are a great base for visitors to Berlin – for instance, you can enjoy home-cooked dinners after a day of seeing the art and archaeology exhibitions on Museum Island. Or, if you're in Berlin to party, the spacious, comfy digs will let you lie in and get ready for an all-nighter in one of the city's legendary nightclubs. Visit the iconic 18th-century Brandenburg Gate, or learn more about the German capital's troubled past on bunker tours or at the Holocaust memorial.