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City Breaks holidays

Iconic streets and shopping on repeat: City break highlights

Sometimes we need a beach getaway, but sometimes it’s the excitement of exploring a new city that appeals to us.

So, what's the great thing about cities? Everything you’ll need to see, do and eat is right there on your (hotel) doorstep, so your holiday starts as soon as the plane touches down.

Whether it’s a relaxing weekend excursion you’re after, or you’re looking to escape on a last minute romantic getaway with a loved one, city breaks are ideal. Cram in as many attractions as possible or simply soak in the atmosphere of a new city as you hop between its coffee shops, and, later, bars. Whatever your style and wherever you want to go, our city break packages are here to help you do it.

City break destinations

Need to get away in the colder months? Winter sun escapes aren’t just about beaches: luxury city breaks can be even more exciting, and they’re totally do-able for shorter trips, too. Cape Town, South Africa is perfect for a long weekend away– it’s only a few hours ahead, and there’s no limit to the adventures to be had and beautiful scenery to be explored.

A little further from home, Hong Kong is the ultimate city break destination. Sample traditional cuisine, marvel at towering skyscrapers and hike some seriously breathtaking trails, all in one place. Better yet, relax after a day of sightseeing in one of our first-rate hotels. You couldn’t ask much more from a city break package.

Even in the colder months, Dubai is still relatively hot, making it a perfect destination for winter sun city breaks. From a whole host of exciting theme parks, the largest shopping mall on Earth and some of the best beaches in the United Emirates, the city has so much on offer for every kind of solo holidayer, group or family. Sold?

If not, all-inclusive city breaks to the USA might be more your thing. Popular American destinations like New York and Washington DC are perfect for family holidays, friends, couples and if you’re going solo, too. For a different side of America, head to the West Coast and experience the various vibes that Las Vegas, Los Angeles or San Francisco have to offer. Note: if you happen to be in America for Black Friday during your city break, expect deals on deals on deals. Did someone say “Christmas shopping”?

For some extra excitement, why not plan your city break around specific events? See below for a list of the highlights across our many destinations. You can pre-book many holiday experiences through us to ensure the smoothest possible trip. After all, it’s meant to be a stress-free escape!

Check out our luxury city breaks and all-inclusive packages for world-class hotels and incredible city break deals. We’ve done all the planning, so you can skip right to making travel memories.

Browse, book, aaaand... holiday mode.


USA city breaks


Some of the best city breaks are in the USA — with no language barrier, short flights, endless attractions and a variety of cuisines, city breaks to New York and Washington DC are perfect for family holidays and couples alike. You can even fly direct to the west coast to sample the delights of Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

All major US cities host the annual shopping event of Black Friday, where retailers offer deep discounts in order to clear stock — the perfect opportunity to bag yourself a bargain.

Cape Town city break

Cape Town

For some winter sun you don’t have to visit a beach: flying further afield can be even more rewarding. At only 2 hours ahead of GMT, Cape Town in South Africa not only provides guaranteed winter sun but won’t leave you jet-lagged, making it perfect for a weekend away. 

Long-haul city breaks


Dubai averages 19C even in the depths of winter, and hosts a number of theme parks, including Legoland and the Hollywood-themed Motiongate. With the largest shopping mall in the world just minutes from beautiful wide beaches, it’s like three or more holidays in one.

For a city break further afield, try Hong Kong — British citizens can go there without a visa, and the historic city has an eclectic mix of western-style skyscrapers and fine cuisine on Hong Kong island; traditional Chinese districts in Kowloon; and miles of hiking trails in the surrounding countryside.

For a unique experience, we’ve listed a few of the standout annual events below to time your city break for best effect — click through on any city to find your perfect hotel deal, then once you’ve booked, contact your Virgin Holidays Concierge to pre-book the best tickets and find out more about events.

Calendar of events


Los Angeles - Rose Bowl Parade

Park City, Utah - Sundance Film Festival

Hong Kong - Chinese New Year 2017


Hong Kong - Chinese New Year 2018

New Orleans - Mardi Gras

Miami - Spring Break


New York, Boston - St Patrick’s Day Parades


New York - Tribeca Film Festival

Washington DC - National Cherry Blossom Festival

New York - Pride Week


Los Angeles - LA Comedy Fest

Hong Kong - Dragon Boat Festival

San Francisco - Bay to Breakers Costumed Footrace


New York - Museum Mile Festival

San Francisco  - Family Day Kite Festival

San Francisco  - Gay Pride


USA - Independence Day


Chicago - Lollapolooza


Chicago - Oktoberfest


New York, San Francisco - Halloween Parades

USA - Black Friday


New York - Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

Hong Kong - Great November Feast


New York - New Year’s Eve celebrations

Top City Break Destinations