All this bad weather makes and dream of places where the sun doesn’t disappear before 9pm, where we can feel the sand between our toes and step outside in only a sundress. Where we can enjoy longer lunches and spend our afternoons beside the pool, exploring new towns or lose ourselves in a new book.
I’ll always remember a conversation I had with a lovely Australian lady who told me how lucky I was to live in the UK, with all the potential holiday destinations that lay on my doorstep. Aside from travelling around Australia, the nearest holiday spots for those living in Oz are New Zealand or Fiji. Certainly not bad destinations for a break, but when you consider the size of Europe and all it has to offer – sometimes I think we forget how lucky us Brits really are.
From vibrant capital cities to rural towns and villages, seaside retreats and relaxing river-side locations, the potential for travel, visiting landmarks and experiencing natural beauty extends far and wide.
What’s more, these often short and sweet journeys can be pretty inexpensive too. It’s never been easier to book a flight and hotel, or immerse yourself in the community with a handy B&B. Two nights, three nights or a week-long adventure, a city break gives you the perfect opportunity to experience a new destination and tick off another bucket list entry.
Sometimes a long weekend is all you need to feel fully rested and refreshed. While thoughts of a city break tend to swerve towards a busy, bustling and expensive weekend away, it needn’t be. Set yourself a few landmarks to visit over the few days, opt for walking rather than public transport and break up the days with frequent coffee shop breaks and lazy alfresco dining. It can be as jam-packed or as relaxing as you wish!
While my list for European cities to visit continues to grow, I thought I’d list a few potential favourites below that all promise intrigue, history and beautiful landscapes.
Reykjavik – Iceland’s capital city is located on the southern shore of Faxa Bay. Don’t forget to pack your thermals and head to the geothermal Blue Lagoon spa, near Grindavik, for a dip.
Dublin – Sitting on the east coast of Ireland, there’s much to explore in this famous capital – from Dublin Castle to the all-important Guinness factory.
Lisbon – An increasingly popular destination, Portugal’s capital boasts beautiful pastel-coloured buildings, delicious pastries and scenic beaches a short drive away.
Amsterdam – Another popular hot spot with its winding canals, beautiful ornate houses and tree-lined walks – it features a host of independent shops and cafes too.
Florence – The magical capital of Italy’s Tuscan region, it is inundated with breath-taking Renaissance masterpieces, including the Duomo and Michelangelo’s ‘David’.
Bruges – Pop on the Eurostar to experience this picturesque city filled with cobbled streets, medieval buildings and beautiful canals.