The Countryside Versus City Breaks

An image of tourists in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany
Lucy Tombs

Most people fall into one of two categories, those who love the hustle and bustle of a city break and those who enjoy relaxing in a quiet, picturesque countryside scene. Despite the fact that people are often set in their ways, there are real benefits to trying out something new!

This article will be discussing some of the benefits and pitfalls of each holiday type so that you can decide on the perfect vacation for you this summer, whether that be domestic or international.

City Breaks


  • One of the best things about a city-break is that you will never be short of activities! Cities have tonnes of options for dining, drinking, shopping, and site-seeing, most within walking distance. All of these options provide any tourist with a jam-packed schedule where they will never find themselves becoming bored. These choices also lend your holiday a level of flexibility in case of poor weather, cancellations of events, or if you find yourself having a spare hour here or there.
  • Cities are known for being populous, and with this often comes enormous diversity and unique cultural experiences. Cities are brilliant places to get to know the locals and meet new people. Whilst the countryside may get lonely, in the city there are hosts of individuals from all walks of life and it can be extremely refreshing to get to know some of them!

Lots of sites are within walking distance of each other

  • Cities are a lot more connected than countryside spots, with most cities having extensive bus, train, and even tram systems. Equally, if you don’t fancy using public transport there is no shortage of Ubers and taxis available in the city for private trips. If you fancy being a more environmentally conscious traveller then cities are also great because lots of sites are within walking distance of each other. Moreover, exploring the city in this way ensures you see a lot more of your surroundings.


  • Choosing a city-based holiday is going to cost you a considerably larger amount than if you went to the countryside. You will definitely find yourself forking out more for your accommodation, parking and dining. The strong presence of consumer culture in cities will also mean that shopping is more likely, and the cost of goods can often be increased due to the larger consumer base.
  • Cities are definitely not the sort of holiday where you can simply relax and take it slow. They are known for their fast-paced way of life and when holidaying there, you will quickly be swept up in this speed. You may also find it difficult to escape the crowds in cities, especially during peak times such as Christmas. I would definitely not recommend heading to the city if you are looking for time to reset and rejuvenate from a busy work week.

An image of Multnomah Falls, a waterfall in Oregon, USA

Countryside Breaks


  • The countryside is definitely a far less mainstream holiday, and this provides the great benefit of being able to explore new, less conventional areas. It is also an excellent way to discover more about any country and allows you to unearth some real gems.
  • Today we all live extremely fast-paced lives as we are constantly on the go and perpetually striving for perfection in our careers. By taking to the countryside for a few days, we allow our minds and our bodies to recuperate and regenerate. It is also a fantastic way to gain some perspective and just think outside of all the craziness of city-life.
  • Countryside breaks are often far more affordable than heading to the city. There are fewer opportunities to fork out the cash due to the shopping culture being far more subdued and restaurants not charging inflated city prices. Expenses can be reduced even further if you go during off-season as hotel rooms or rentals may have lowered rates.
  • The beauty of staying in the great outdoors is that it provides you with an escape from the pollution of the city. Whether that be noise pollution from building works and traffic, or air pollution, the countryside is a fantastic way to boost both your mental and physical health.


Narrow choices for restaurants and bars and those that are there, may offer limited types of cuisines (which is not great for vegans or those with diet restrictions!).

  • Countryside breaks are very weather-dependent and if you have been on a rural break when the weather is appalling, then you will know what I mean. Most activities on this sort of holiday are outdoors, such as hikes, beach-going or exploring local woodlands, and if the weather is poor then this can cancel a lot of your plans.
  • If you love having abundant options for drinking and dining, then going to the countryside may not be for you. A lot of rural spots will have narrow choices for restaurants and bars and those that are there, may offer limited types of cuisines (which is not great for vegans or those with diet restrictions!). Moreover, if you go in off-season, then many of these restaurants and cafes will not even be open for service!

Lucy Tombs

Featured and in-article images courtesy of Charlotte Smith. No changes were made to the images.

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