It’s January, your bank account has taken a beating and the Christmas holidays are fast becoming a distant memory. That can only mean one thing – it is time to get another holiday booked into the diary to look forward to.
European city breaks are one of the easiest ways to get away from everything without spending too much money and can ‘tide you over’ until a bigger holiday in the summer or later in the year.
So, where are the top cities to go to for short stay in 2019? We asked Rob Gower of Dragonfly Traveller for his recommendations.
Prague is a fascinating city with its gothic architecture, museums and castles. It is also home to a lively nightlife. You can take in the view of Prague from the Charles Bridge and enjoy some great food such as Svickova (braised beef) with dumplings at Café Louvre, Gingerbread at Pernickuv Sen, Chlebicky (open-faced sandwiches) at Sisters Bistro and the wine at Vineyard Gazebo is just beautiful. It is really budget-friendly too. If you want to stay near to the Charles Bridge, try the Augustine or Golden Well Hotel – both great choices. For more upmarket hotels, look at the Four Seasons or Mandarin Oriental.
A federal state and the capital city of Germany, Berlin is widely associated with its World War II history. Berlin today is now a vast, unified city diverse in ethnic groups and abundant in sightseeing attractions, culture and nightlife. Many tourists are drawn to Berlin’s famous historic structures, which include the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag. Although most of the Berlin Wall was demolished, there are some portions still standing near Checkpoint Charlie and Reichstag which are well worth a visit. Berlin offers everything from luxury hotel suites to somewhere contemporary in the heart of the city with an exceptional view.
Rome makes for a wonderful weekend away as it is so rich in history, architecture and glorious food and wine. It is the global capital of art with a wealth of artistic heritage and some of the most fascinating places you will ever visit. Together with all this, you have some fantastic hotels. In terms of sightseeing, there are some obvious attractions to visit like the Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Square and Vatican City. I would recommend also going to the Villa Borghese Gardens and Via Condotti, a famous shopping street.
With its Mediterranean sunshine, buzzing nightlife and amazing seafood and tapas, Barcelona is still a popular city break destination that is well worth a visit. The city is only a ten-minute train ride away from Tibidabo Mountain too, so you can swap the lively, bustling city for a calm walk or gentle hike with views of the city. You can also visit the numerous public beaches and check out some of Europe’s best-preserved Gothic architecture in the Old City. Barcelona really does have something for everyone.
Said to be the most romantic place in the world, Paris is an obvious choice for a quick getaway. The Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame Cathedral are all great architectural sights to take in. Other spectacular places to visit include the gardens of the Palace Versailles or the Moulin Rouge. Or you could take in a boat cruise down the Seine with a glass of champagne or a stroll down the Champs-Elysees.
Rob and Lisa Gower of Dragonfly Traveller work as travel PAs, building bespoke holidays and trips for their customers.