While the travel-rule landscape changes before our eyes, worldwide booster and vaccination rollouts continue apace. This means that stress-free holidays should return with a bang in next year.

And with that in mind, Time Out has ranked the 16 best city breaks in Europe for 2022, these emerging destinations picked ‘because of their excellent food, culture, nightlife and community spirit – the things that have always made Europe’s cities such great places to be’. Time Out also states that this list is limited to places accessible by public transport and trains, as climate change has made it difficult to find these destinations.

Arles, France takes the No1 spot on the list. Brno in Czech Republic is second. Sheffield in England is ninth. Scroll below to see the details about all 16 destinations.

1. France: Arles

A street in Arles. The city ranks number one in Time Out's guide to the best city breaks in Europe for 2022

A street in Arles. Time Out’s 2022 guidebook to Europe’s best cities for a vacation ranks Arles as number one.

Time Out revealed that Arles was the home of Vincent van Gogh’s famous sunflower series, winning the Gold Medal.

Today, it’s home to the largest street market in Provence, and is the region’s Capital of Culture for 2022.

According to Time Out, the city’s highlights include Luma, ‘a buzzing new arts district packed with multimedia exhibitions and art installations’, Les Rencontres de la Photographie festival, and the Carrieres des Lumieres, which is ‘an immersive art experience in a quarry’.

2. Brno, Czech Republic

A view of the hilltop Spilberk Castle in Brno, which was voted the second-best European city to visit next year by Time Out

View of Brno’s Spilberk Castle, located on the top of the mountain. This castle was named the best European city next year by Time Out.

Time Out reports that Brno has’repositioned itself as a Post-Industrial Science and Tech Hub with a reinvented Food and Drink Scene featuring everything contemporary at Element to Vycep na Stojaka and a modern interpretation of a trad Pub’.

Those planning a visit next year are in luck – in 2022, ‘The Industrial Project’ will celebrate Brno’s manufacturing tradition, with several former industrial buildings opening to the public for the first time, the guide reveals.

The article also mentions that Kaznice (a Habsburg-era prison) is being renovated and will be hosting events during the summer.

3. Kaunas (Lituania)

Pictured is the Pazaislis Monastery and the Church in Kaunas, which has been named the European Capital of Culture

Pictured is the Pazaislis Monastery and the Church in Kaunas, which has been named the European Capital of Culture

Time Out reports that there is “no better moment” to visit Kaunas bronze medal winner than 2022. It has been named European Capital of Culture.

According to the guide, more than 1000 events will be held in celebration of the yearlong event, which includes exhibitions by William Kentridge, Yoko Ono and Marina Abramovic. 

The sign says, “Make sure you discover all the other delights that the city has, such as its hundreds of modernist masterpieces and the M.K. Ciurlionis Museum of Art (dedicated to the musician and symbolist painter) and the frankly bizarre Devils’ Museum.’

4. Odense, Denmark

A street in the old quarters of Odense, which Time Out describes as a 'perfectly formed' city

One street located in Odense’s old neighborhoods. Time Out calls it a “perfectly formed” city. 

 ‘Just 90 minutes by train from Copenhagen, Odense is small but perfectly formed.’

Time Out Denmark’s Danish capital declares that it is “home to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum”, an architectural marvel that brings to life the tale of the fairytale writer and the worlds that he has created.”

The guide adds: ‘A new light railway is under construction and due to open in spring 2022, connecting the city’s beautiful old quarters and vibrant newer neighbourhoods.’

5. Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Ljubljanica River runs through Ljubljana. Visit next July to soak up the atmosphere at the city's annual jazz festival

The Ljubljanica River runs through Ljubljana. Visit next July to soak up the atmosphere at the city’s annual jazz festival

Time Out has revealed that Velo-City will be held in the Slovenian capital in 2022. It is an event aimed to ‘encourage cycling across Europe’. The city’s centre offers bike rental for casual cyclists, which is also free. 

Music fans will also find plenty to enjoy. Time Out claims that Festival Ljubljana, which features world-renowned classical musicians, will resume its activities after an absence caused by Covid. The guide adds that there’s also a jazz festival every July, and ‘the city is turned into a stage’ during the Ana Desetnica street theatre festival.

Time Out also notes that restaurants are encouraged to use locally grown ingredients. This means meals include fresh vegetables and products from local farms. 

6. Oslo, Norway

Pictured above is the historic harbourside Bjorvika district in Oslo, which is currently undergoing a revitalisation

Pictured above is the historic harbourside Bjorvika district in Oslo, which is currently undergoing a revitalisation 

Oslo ranks sixth. There, the’revitalization’ of Bjorvika harbourside is in full swing.

Time Out reports that the new Munch Museum will be open for visitors. The ‘world-famous Opera House,’ complete with its own urban beach and Operastranda, is also available.

‘For foodies, Oslo’s dining scene now features Via Village, a buzzing new food court, just a few minutes from the Aker Brygge area,’ the guide notes, adding: ‘For those visiting in the summer and beyond, the long-awaited new National Museum will open in June and take the crown as the largest museum in the Nordics.’

7. Turku (Finland)

Above is Ruissalo island in Turku. The city - nicknamed the 'Paris of Finland' - is Finland's oldest city

Ruissalo Island in Turku is seen above. This city, also known as the “Paris of Finland”, is Finland’s oldest.

According to Time Out, Turku – Finland’s oldest city and historic capital – is often referred to as the ‘Paris of Finland’ for its abundance of cafe terraces.

According to the guide, festivals like Ruisrock or Archipelago Sea Jazz are returning next year.

Time Out says: “The city is also an innovator in sustainable tourism. The city offers electric boat tours, nature excursions, food tours and other activities that highlight the best local produce. That all forms part of Turku’s plans to become carbon-neutral and “zero waste” by 2040.’

8. Valencia, Spain

Plaza de la Virgen in Valencia. Time Out says: 'This year, Valencia has been designated not only European Capital of Smart Tourism but also World Design Capital'

Plaza de la Virgen in Valencia. Time Out states that Valencia is now not only the European Capital of Smart Tourism, but also the World Design Capital.

Time Out states that Valencia will again be hosting the Las Fallas festival in order to welcome Spring. There will be bonfires, fireworks, and other celebrations throughout March.

On top of that, La Tomatina, the ‘world’s biggest food fight’, will also return for the first time in two years, the guide adds.

“This statement also states that Valencia is now not only European Capital of Smart Tourism, but also World Design Capital. More than 100 events have been lined up to celebrate the former.

9. Sheffield, England

Sheffield is flying the flag for England in ninth place in the Time Out ranking. Pictured is Sheffield Town Hall

In ninth place on the Time Out Rankings, Sheffield has the England flag. The Sheffield Town Hall is shown in the picture. 

Sheffield is the ninth-ranked UK city in this top 16. Time Out says that the South Yorkshire hotspot was recently crowned ‘the greenest city’ in the UK, thanks to ‘its 4.5million trees (more per person than any other city in Europe), 250 public parks and 52 square miles of national park’.

The guide reveals: ‘Combine the lush greenery – and proximity to the Peak District – with a vibrant city rich in culture, food and drink, and you have two kinds of holiday wrapped into one.’

And, football fans have something to look forward to, the guide adds – Sheffield is hosting three group matches and a semi-final of the 2022 UEFA European Women’s Football Championship in July. 

10. Trikala in Greece

Trikala, pictured, is described as an 'under-the-radar city' by the travel experts at Time Out

Time Out’s travel specialists describe Trikala as an “under-the radar city” 

Trikala, in north-western Thessaly, is Greece’s first official ‘smart city’, according to Time Out. This ‘under the radar’ city is described as green, ‘in every sense of the word’. The tree-shaded area is topped with the Byzantine castle and cross-linked by the Lithaios River.

The guide reveals: ‘It’s easy to get around with a bike-sharing scheme and a slew of new cycle paths – and when summer temperatures soar there are pit stops where you can pick up (free) water. It also has the country’s first driverless buses.’ 

Time Out recommends planning your visit for August when the three-day Ziria music festival ‘takes over Trikala’s ski slopes’.

11. Bihac in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The 'magical' Una River cuts through the city of Bihac - which Time Out says is a haven for nature lovers

Bihac is cut by the’magical Una River’ – Time Out describes it as a sanctuary for nature-lovers 

Bihac is nestled on the banks of the ‘magical’ Una River, which Time Out describes as ‘Bosnia’s most beautiful river’.

According to the guide, “This is the ideal city break for nature-lovers who wish to enjoy scenic views of the valley: The bike route that runs from downtown to Sokolac Fortress remains is now available and eco-friendly accommodations such as Japodski Otoci or Eko–Selo Natura Art provide adventure and restoration.” 

12. Liverpool, England

Time Out declares that the nightlife scene in Liverpool, pictured above, is 'one of a kind'

Time Out declares the Liverpool nightlife scene (pictured above) to be ‘one of kind.

Liverpool was 12th, making it the 2nd UK city in this ranking. Time Out says that the city’s nightlife scene is ‘one of a kind – so it was no wonder the city played host to the UK’s first club night in a year, with footage broadcast across the globe’.

The guide adds: ‘Now it’s time for everyone else to discover it too, for either a night out at a “Baltic Triangle” club, or something bigger like Creamfields or International Beatle Week in August.’

As for upcoming events, according to the guide, 2022 will see the ‘welcome return of DaDaFest International, one of the world’s leading festivals of work by disabled, deaf and neurodiverse artists – a welcome reminder of what an inclusive place this really is’.

13. Rotterdam in the Netherlands

Droves of tourists are predicted to visit Rotterdam next year, exploring its 'incredible art museums and architecture'. Pictured is the city's Oude Haven area

Rotterdam will be visited by a large number of tourists in the coming year. They are expected to explore its incredible art museums, architecture, and other attractions. Pictured is the city’s Oude Haven area 

According to Time Out Rotterdam has felt a renewed lease of life following the Eurovision 2021 success. The city had undergone extensive renovations in preparation for the event.

According to the guide, many people will flock there by 2022 in order to see its incredible art and architectures as well as top-class food and nightlife.

It says: ‘Top of the list should be the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, the world’s first publicly accessible art storage facility housing 151,000 objects. Next, marvel at floating buildings including an office, a farm and even an entire street – all developed in response to the fact that 90 per cent of Rotterdam is below sea level.’

14. Milan, Italy

Milan is trying to shed its 'industrial image', according to Time Out. Pictured is the city's historic Duomo di Milano cathedral

Time Out reports that Milan wants to get rid of its industrial image. The historic Duomo di Milano cathedral is shown in the picture

Time Out reports that Milan will have plenty to offer in 2022. The Salone del Mobile furniture show returns in April. Time Out also revealed that Milan will be host to a variety of events, including ‘lively art installations’ and public events.

Time Out states that music will also be on the agenda. In June and July Stromae, Chemical Brothers, and Green Day will perform at Milano Summer Festival.

It also has eco plans. The guide says: “In an attempt to get rid of its industrial image and make it a more sustainable city, this northern Italian capital continues to increase its parks and bike trails to create a green lung around the center.

15. Freiburg, Germany

Freiburg, pictured, is described as a 'long-standing champion of conservation and sustainability'

Freiburg (pictured) is described as “a long-standing champion in conservation and sustainable development”.

Time Out states: “Taking the title of the sunniest, warmest German city, Freiburg also serves as the gateway to the Black Forest. This well-known natural wonder can be reached just a short walk from the centre.

Freiburg has been described as a long-standing champion of sustainability and conservation by the guide, who also said that Freiburg was a remarkable example of how green living and urban sprawl can coexist.

The report states that recent initiatives included a million-euro effort to plant trees, and Dietenbach (a climate neutral eco-district currently being constructed).

16. Inverness, Scotland

Inverness, pictured, is an ideal base for travellers that are keen to explore the Highlands, according to Time Out

Time Out says Inverness (pictured) is the ideal base to travel to the Highlands.

Time Out’s travel specialists laud Inverness for being a ‘perfect base’ to start a Highlands trip. Visitors can visit nearby Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle, as well as Culloden Battlefield.

Outlining the cultural events on the city’s horizon, the guide says: ‘If you want a side of culture, in 2022 the Eden Court theatre will host some of the UK’s top comics, along with productions of the “Jersey Boys” and Emma Rice’s “Wuthering Heights”.’

It adds: ‘On the music front, July sees the return of the mighty, family-friendly Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, with a line-up including Nile Rodgers & Chic and Ibibio Sound Machine.’

You can find more information on this list at timeout.com/europe/things-to-do/best-city-breaks-in-europe.