The 10 best cities to visit in the UK this year

City breaks in the UK are on the increase with more and more Brits choosing to explore all that our dynamic country has to offer.  We are pretty spoiled in the UK for places to visit and have an eclectic and varied mix of cities.  All have their own unique experiences to offer visitors but which are the best cities to visit in the UK?  Read on to find out…

1. London

Birds eye view of London and the River Thames
London is home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in the country

Best for: Everything! History & culture, entertainment

London has to be one of, if not the best city to visit in the UK.  Whether it’s your first time or hundredth time visiting London we can guarantee there will always be something new to discover in our lively capital city.  Home to some of the most popular tourist attractions and events in the country there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained! From the historical museums in Kensington to the theatres of Leicester Square, and not forgetting the shopping meccas of Oxford Street and Covent Garden; there is so much to see and do! So what are you waiting for – it is always a good idea to plan a city break in London

Where to stay in London?

We have over 500 holiday apartments in London which offer home comforts for all the family, and the flexibility of staying from 1 night to several weeks.  With serviced apartments across the city, we can find you the perfect London location and apartment for your city break. 

Well kept private gardens at Dolphin House Apartments in London
Enjoy the private gardens at Dolphin House Apartments in London

For a truly memorable stay in London, we love Dolphin House Apartments. These stylish serviced apartments are in the heart of London and perfect for exploring the city. The River Thames and Pimlico Tube Station are both only a short walk away and a range of apartment sizes are available. Onsite there are some fantastic amenities including shops, a restaurant, a fitness centre, tennis courts, a private garden and an award-winning spa.

2. Manchester

Canal in central Manchester
Manchester is the biggest city in the north of England and part of the Northern Powerhouse

Best for: Nightlife, music, shopping & sports

Manchester is a vibrant and energetic city with so much to offer visitors.  This northern powerhouse has come a long way from its industrial roots and it is now one of the most creative and dynamic cities in the UK.  With an enviable nightlife, great restaurants, world-class sporting venues and an iconic music scene, Manchester really is thriving.  It is no wonder more people are visiting Manchester each year, with many overseas tourists making the trip too! Discover some of the top things to do in Manchester here.

Where to stay in Manchester?

industrial design features at Native Manchester Apartments
The stylish Native Manchester Apartments retain some of the buildings original industrial features

We love Native Manchester Apartments. This modern aparthotel in central Manchester offers a range of apartment types and is particularly great for groups and families. Each apartment has been thoughtfully designed and contains all the features you need to relax in a true home from home.   There are a 24-hour reception and an onsite bar and restaurant guests will enjoy.  It has also been named as the best hotel in the North of England by the Sunday Times!

3. Cambridge

sunset over historic Cambridge
Picturesque Cambridge is great for exploring

Best for: History & architecture

The renowned university city of Cambridge combines impressive architecture, picturesque parklands and fascinating museums, making it a memorable city break destination.  You can take a punt on the scenic River Cam, explore the historic university buildings, embrace the pretty views from Great St Mary’s Church Tower, or browse the shops in the Grand Arcade. There is so much to do in Cambridge it really is one of the best cities to visit in the UK.

Where to stay in Cambridge?

Bright and airy living dining area at Nelson Court Apartments in Cambridge
The inviting Nelson Court Apartments in Cambridge

Nelson Court Apartments are a great choice when looking for apartments in Cambridge.  These bright and airy serviced apartments are in a great location, set in a quiet residential area close to the River Cam.  Apartment types range from studios to large 3 bedroom apartments making them a popular choice with couples and families. 

4. Birmingham

Hall of Memory and the Library of Birmingham
Birmingham has seen extensive regeneration over the years

Best for: History & culture, nightlife

Sometimes overlooked as a city break destination, Birmingham has undergone extensive regeneration over the years and now has a lot more to offer than Cadbury World, and the Bullring (although don’t get me wrong – these are pretty impressive).  The industrial roots of Birmingham are still evident and have been embraced to add to the charm and feel of the city. The Jewellery Quarter, Back to Backs Museum and Steelhouse Lane Lock-up are just a few of the places worth visiting to get a feel of Birmingham’s past.  Not forgetting the intricate canal system which was integral to the industrial revolution.  This has seen a lot of improvement over the years and areas such as Brindley Place, Gas Street Basin and the Mailbox are now destinations in their own right. Filled with trendy waterfront bars, boutique shops and renowned restaurants they are worth exploring and help make Birmingham one of the best cities to visit in the UK.  For more ideas of what to see and do in Birmingham, read our Birmingham area guide.

Where to stay in Birmingham?

Relaxing bedroom at Staybridge Suites Birmingham
Staybridge Suites Birmingham provide a relaxing space in the city

Staybridge Suites Birmingham is perfectly situated in the centre of the city making them a terrific choice for exploring Birmingham.  These high specs serviced apartments have well-equipped kitchens, inviting Queen Size beds and built-in air conditioning.  Guests can also enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast, communal lounge area and an on-site fitness centre. 

5. Cardiff

John Lewis and Cardiff Library in the centre of Cardiff
Cardiff city centre is great for shopping and entertainment

Best for: family fun, sports & the outdoors

Cardiff is next on our list of the best cities to visit in the UK.  The capital of Wales, it is a warm and welcoming destination and has a mix of sights and attractions to entertain visitors.  The impressive waterfront at Cardiff Bay has an abundance of things to see and do from boat trips and water sports to remarkable buildings, and tempting restaurants.  In the centre of the city, you can also discover the historic Cardiff Castle, picturesque Victorian shopping arcades and the iconic sporting venue Principality Stadium (formally known as Millennium Stadium).  Cardiff is a popular destination for families and offers a range of things to do with kids.

Where to stay in Cardiff?

Bright living area at Century Wharf Apartments in Cardiff.
Century Wharf Apartments in Cardiff provide a home from home

There is an assortment of serviced apartments in Cardiff to choose from, perfect for a city break. One of our favourite options is Century Wharf Apartments which is conveniently located between Cardiff Central Station and the chic Mermaid Quay area.  Overlooking the River Taff some of the apartments boast balconies providing views of the city. Onsite there is a gym and swimming pool and you’ll find some fantastic bars, shops and restaurants in the vacuity.

6. Edinburgh

Views across Edinburgh from Caton Hill
Stunning views from Caton Hill in Edinburgh

Best for: history & architecture, family fun

Arguably one of the prettiest cities in the UK, Edinburgh is a must-see destination.  Architecturally striking, the city has an unrivalled combination of stunning historical buildings, scenic landscapes and impressive vistas.  Edinburgh boasts an array of attractions and there’s so much to see and do in Edinburgh for all the family. You can shop till you drop on Princes Street, discover the National Museum of Scotland, and explore the cobbled streets in Edinburgh’s Old Town and Grassmarket. For memorable panoramic views of the city climb Caton Hill or Arthur’s Seat. Here you can see from Edinburgh Castle standing proud in the centre of the city, down to the rugged coast and Firth of Forth.

Where to Stay in Edinburgh?

stylish and modern Wilde Apartments in Edinburgh
The stylish and modern Wilde Apartments in Edinburgh

Recently opened, Wilde Apartments in Edinburgh are the perfect choice for those wanting to explore the city and enjoy a little luxury at the same time.  Set in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh’s historic old town some of the cities key attractions are pretty much on your doorstep.  These popular Edinburgh apartments have been thoughtfully decorated and include features such as timber floors, rainfall showers, smart TV and appliances from Smeg and Nespresso. Onsite there is a 24-hour reception, a relaxing bar, fitness centre and a pretty garden area. Some of the apartments even boast views of Edinburgh Castle.

7. Bristol

Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol
Bristol offers a great mix of city life and outdoor activities

Best for: Art & culture, food, outdoors

Beautiful Bristol has to be one of the best places to visit in the UK.  This pretty harbourside city has an interesting history, inspiring culture and boasts some of the best cafes and restaurants in the UK.  Whether it is a romantic break you are after or a fun-filled family weekend, Bristol has it all.  If you’re still not convinced, 16 reasons why you have to visit Bristol should help persuade you. 

Where to stay in Bristol?

Cosy living area and sofas at Premier Suites Plus Cabot Circus in Bristol
Premier Suites Plus Cabot Cirus is in an enviable location in the heart of Bristol City Centre

We love Premier Suites Plus Cabot Circus.  These inviting Bristol apartments are centrally located in the city centre and are only a stone’s throw away from Cabot Circus shopping centre. Here you’ll find a range of shops, bars, restaurants and a cinema complex.

8. Glasgow

Glasgow Cathedral
Stunning architecture in Glasgow

Best for: culture, music & nightlife

The largest city in Scotland, Glasgow is vibrant and exudes personality.  From the intricate Victorian sandstone buildings to the dramatic River Clyde, it is one of our favourite cities to visit and explore.  Recently named the culture and creative capital of the UK, Glasgow has a wealth of museums, art galleries and entertainment venues to visit.  Some of our favourite Glasgow attractions include the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and Glasgow Cathedral.  The city also has some acclaimed restaurants and a renowned music scene.

Where to stay in Glasgow?

Large windows and living area at Blythswood Apartments Glasgow
Blythswood Apartments are within a Victorian Townhouse

Blythswood Apartments in Glasgow are housed within an attractive Victorian Townhouse in the centre of the city.  With large windows and high ceilings, the apartments are spacious and inviting.  Great for couples and families, these Glasgow apartments are only a short stroll from Glasgow Central Train Station, and there’s a range of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants nearby.  

9. Liverpool

Liverpool waterfront
There are lots to see and do at Liverpool Waterfront and Dock

Best for: culture and nightlife

This eclectic northern city is known for its maritime history and for being the birthplace of one of the most successful bands in the world – The Beatles.  Liverpool has been captivating tourists for years and has a wealth of sights and attractions to explore. Some of the top things to do in Liverpool include visiting the Royal Albert Dock, taking a ferry over the iconic River Mersey, and discovering the rich history of the city at the Museum of Liverpool. Liverpool is often said to be one of the best cities in the UK for a night out and one of the friendliest too.

Where to stay in Liverpool?

Opulent bedroom area at Richmond Liverpool Apartments
Relaxing space at Richmond Liverpool Apartments

We rate Richmond Liverpool Apartments which provide the perfect escape in the city.  These striking apartments are well equipped, tastefully decorated and feature high ceilings. A range of apartment sizes is available making them suitable for everyone from solo travellers to large families and groups.  Situated within the historic Richmond building guests staying here can also enjoy an onsite bar and restaurant as well as being only a short walk away from some of Liverpool’s most famous sights.

10. Newcastle

Birds eye view of Newcastle and the Tyne Bridge
The River Tyne running through Newcastle

Best for: Nightlife & family fun

Newcastle has been named one of the friendliest cities in the UK and after visiting here you will see why. Warm and welcoming, Newcastle is a lively social city and hospitable to all visitors.  There’s a wide variety of things to do in Newcastle from exploring the scenic Quayside and River Tyne, to the Life Science Centre and historic Newcastle Castle. In the summer months, you’ll even find a pop-up beach by the Quayside too. The city is compact enough to explore easily but has a lot to offer visitors, making Newcastle a great city break destination.

Where to Stay in Newcastle?

Whether you want to stay in the city centre or by the scenic Quayside, we can find the perfect serviced apartment in Newcastle for you.

Living area Dream Apartments Newcastle Quayside

Inviting living/dining area at Dream Apartments Quayside, Newcastle

Dream Apartments Quayside is a popular option and offers a range of apartment types.  Tastefully decorated and with modern furnishings, these welcoming apartments are in a superb location for visiting Newcastle’s most famous landmarks.

With such an extensive range of cities to choose from, it is no wonder more people are taking staycations and city breaks in the UK.  For help planning your next trip visit Citybase Apartments, and read our travel blog for more ideas and inspiration.

Lorraine Evans

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