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Spa Guide

The Best City Breaks In Europe For A Skin Detox

Skin improvement really can be a short city break away, as Europe increasingly emerges as a trending destination for skin detoxing – while also offering some culture-rich locations to tick off your travel bucket list.

Due to (often high levels of) pollution, and lots of hurrying around through tourist-crowded streets, city breaks aren’t conventionally seen as a a trip to boost our skin.

But, with the help of new research looking into factors such as air quality, the number of spas, and the UV index on offer across Europe, you can embark on a skin-detox journey through some of the continent’s top destinations. From the City of Lights with its cutting-edge spas to the traditional bathing experiences of Budapest, these are the best city breaks in Europe for a skin detox.


With almost a thousand spas and baths (983 in total), the capital of France offers an incredibly wide range of choices for a skin detox holiday – and it helps that you can also nip into the multitude of well-known French pharmacies during your visit for a wealth of skincare essentials. Notably, Paris has seen some of the most exciting spa openings in the past year, including The Dior Spa at Hotel Plaza Athénée, which offers skin and wellbeing-boosting treatments in the glossiest of settings. However, to skin detox like a Parisian, you can also head to one of the city’s traditional Turkish hammams – truly one of Paris’s best-kept secrets and where rejuvenating head-to-toe scrubs and warming therapies will leave you glowing.


Helsinki in Finland isn’t just a detox for your skin – it’s a detox for the soul (and your lungs). The capital city has some of the best air quality in Europe and a low UV index, meaning you can explore the streets and the statement cathedral knowing that your skin isn’t experiencing a battle with the pollution you’ll often find in other big metropolises. Once you have had your fill of (skin safe) culture, there’s also Helsinki’s host of classic Finnish saunas, which are known for their exceptional views and services. Löyly is one of the best-known saunas in Finland, offering three wood-fired saunas and an outdoor pool that overlooks the Baltic Sea; the perfect way to unwind while improving your skin’s health.


Surrounded by mountains, fjords, forests and the sea, and with a cultural hub that’s especially appealing to art lovers, Oslo in Norway offers a city escape with clean air, natural beauty and a focus on work-life balance in general; all of which can be of great benefit to your skin and wellbeing. Don’t miss your opportunity to enjoy the Nordic twist on a spa day either. Stunning natural sights can be enjoyed from all angles, along with saunas inspired by the Northern Lights and plenty of pools for a well-earned dip. A not-to-be-missed highlight is The Well, which is the largest bathhouse and spa in the Nordic region.


If you want to be ahead of the travel trends (and away from the European tourist hubs) a trip to Riga in Latvia should be top of your skin detox list for 2024. With fewer crowds to contend with, enjoy beautiful green spaces, Baltic Sea air and historic architecture with none of the usual city break stress – which is good news for your skin too. Plus, among its range of spa and wellness facilities, Latvia is known for its therapeutic mineral springs. This provides a fairly unique opportunity to try balneotherapy treatments, which involve the use of mineral-rich water and mud for the soothing and detoxifying of your skin from head-to-toe; again without the tourist melee.


Arguably one of the most sustainability-conscious countries in Europe, Stockholm is committed to keeping air quality high, meaning this is a city break without skin-dulling pollution accompanying you. Built on an archipelago, you are surrounded by water in Stockholm, which only adds to its calming atmosphere. There’s plenty to do culturally too, including world-class science museums. As you’d expect from a Scandinavian country, you can enjoy traditional saunas in the city; a visit will ensure you can benefit from the practice’s ability to improve circulation, to detox your skin and to promote relaxation, all in less than 30 minutes.


A trip to Budapest really isn’t complete without a visit to the historic thermal baths, where sprawling complexes make for a full-day (or even multi-day) pampering experience. It’s for that reason Budapest actually ranks within our favourite skin-boosting destinations worldwide. This is a city well-worth considering for your next European city break, especially if you want to consider the health of your skin alongside a hefty dose of culture. The famous baths are fed by natural thermal springs that have been used for centuries to help heal skin ailments and to detoxify your body, thanks to their mineral-rich qualities.


Out of all the European destinations researched, Amsterdam came out in top spot for the number of spas you can find in the city. With a truly impressive 1,122 spas, the Dutch capital has so much to offer away from the less complexion-friendly smoky coffee shops – firmly earning its place as one of the best cities in Europe for a skin detox. The outdoor air quality is also relatively good – mainly because there are reportedly more bicycles than people in the city – and you can trust the quality of each wellness establishment too. The Dutch are known for their results-driven, good-value mindset, and this reigns true in their spas, too,

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