Now that Winter is almost (I say, almost) behind us, it’s that time of year when we begin to start thinking about 2016 holidays and city breaks. Some of you might already be super organised and have yours booked and some of you might be in the planning stages (how exciting!), so to celebrate – I thought I’d put together a post catering for the latter of the two. Inspiration for places to go, things to see and destinations you simply MUST visit. The city break version.
I am so excited to announce that I have two trips booked so far for 2016. In May I’ll be heading to Mykonos and in June, I’m going to explore Thailand! I also have a few other trips in the pipeline, so watch this space – and in the meantime, if you have any tips yourself on either of my next two destinations, please feel free to get in touch. TripAdvisor help only goes so far, it’s all about the personal recommendations!
Coined as the most romantic place in the world, this Italian city is built entirely on water – with flowing canals and bridges connecting the tiny, cobbled streets. It’s a place that you won’t mind get lost in, especially since it’s full of pizza and pasta. I’d recommend visiting in late June or early July if you can, as you’ll find it’s still hot and sunny – but cheaper as it’s out of school holidays. We flew into Treviso airport rather than the Marco Polo (which is the closer of the two) because it worked out tonnes cheaper – and then got a bus into the city. I’d say you could do with about three nights to explore absolutely everything – but it is a gorgeous place if you have longer. Stay off the tourist areas if you’re looking to eat out without paying extortionate prices for frozen food. And if you want your gondola picture, haggle as much as you can – they’re usually always happy to lower their prices as there’s so much competition.
Another Italian choice – but amazing if you love the city lifestyle and the option to soak up the sun by a rooftop pool. Oh, and if you love pizza. It’s an incredible place – with beautiful views across the Amalfi Coast. You can opt to stay local or take a boat to one of the neighbouring islands. We stayed at the gorgeous Hotel La Favorita (review here) but there are so many wonderful accommodations, you’re absolutely spoiled for choice. I love how chilled it was here, you really felt like you were on holiday and taking time out, yet there was the opportunity to shop, explore and walk along the coast. Whether it’s a romantic holiday or a girly weekend with friends, this is a fab option for both.
My trip to Amsterdam was short but sweet and we managed to fit in most of the attractions within just two days. The Anne Frank museum is a must-see, however I’d recommend booking online rather than waiting until you get there, as the queues were about a mile long (honestly, I’m not exaggerating) and in the pouring June rain, I can’t say I envied those there. Everywhere is so easy to get to because the trams are very reliable (bar one experience where they all got delayed) and if you really fancy getting into the local spirit, make sure you hire a bike! Food wise, we opted for budget during the day and then splashed out on a gorgeous meal during the evening at the incredible Bluespoon Hotel. It’s definitely a fantastic city break location – and so close to London too, I couldn’t believe it when we landed practically half an hour after take off!
Another wonderful city break option is Prague – as it definitely offers something different to the above and is super affordable once you get there due to the currency and exchange rate. Danielle and I chose to visit in January, for our birthdays – so it was pretty cold, however I’ve heard it’s amazing in the summer, when you don’t have to worry about bundling yourself up in various coats, gloves and scarves. I’d recommend a visit to the Dancing House, where you can enjoy a picturesque view of the city from the glamorous top floor – with a glass of champagne in hand, for just £3. There’s also an amazing riverside restaurant offering a three course meal for £9. On budget glamour, what more could you ask for?
Paris is always a good idea. And it’s true. Whether it’s shopping you’re after or culture or glamour or food, this gorgeous place offers visitors a bit of everything. Once you’ve conquered the tourist attractions, make sure you head to the Champs-Élysées and the incredible Sephora that resides there (you won’t regret it). Food wise, if you explore the streets surrounding the Eiffel Tower, there are some really pretty teeny tiny one-room-five-table restaurants. If you are visiting, make sure you pick up yourself a platter of macaroons. And send me a picture!
If you’re intrigued to find out more about any of the above, feel free to take a look at my travel section, which has day-to-day reviews of my trips.
And finally, if you’re open to ticking lots of places off your bucket list all in one go, an option I’ve heard so many wonderful things about – is a cruise. With a main hub on your ship, you can explore European cities (or somewhere more exotic) without having to pay extra to travel and stay in hotels. Viking Cruises, who sponsored the concept behind this post, are a small ship company with some tempting dining options and a really relaxed feel. It might not be your cup of tea, but in case it is, I’ve attached their recent video below – so that you can get a feel for what sort of thing they offer.
Have you planned your 2016 holiday yet? Do you have any destinations you can recommend to me?