May 25, 2011

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Top 10 Most Popular Destinations for City Breaks

With a world of cities to choose from, these are the 10 most searched for city break destinations at TravelSupermarket.com. Read about what to see and where to go in places that are firm favourites with Brits year after year, whether you are on your first trip to see any of them or a returning visitor coming back for more.

Planning and booking a short city break is easy. You can either book cheap flights and then a hotel in your destination, or look to grab one of many city break deals from tour operators and online travel agents. Checking both out will give you the best overall options on choice and price for your arrangements.

1. Paris – The City of Light
The capital of France and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It has stunning architecture, amazing food, some of the most fashionable shops, art, museums, history and a joie de vivre unique to the city. This city is such as classic that you can come back time and time again and never get bored.

And it’s not just a city of romance. You can take a city sightseeing tour to include the Eiffel Tower, the Sacre Coeur or Notre Dame, a ride on the Bateau Mouche along the Seine, a stroll around one of the many galleries of world famous art such as the Louvre or a walk in the Tuileries Gardens.

2. Barcelona – The capital of Catalonia
Spain’s second city – although don’t let the locals here you say that – is located on the Mediterranean surrounded by hills on all sides.  A busy and bustling place famous for La Ramblas, Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia and the Nou Camp stadium – home to FC Barcelona, one of the world’s most iconic football clubs.
The city packs a punch in art galleries and shopping, and has a fabulous harbour area that was redeveloped during the Barcelona Olympics to offer restaurants, bars and nightlife to entertain you into the small hours.
You can even spend some time on the beach. The city has one just a ten minute walk from the city centre, so you can combine sightseeing, and culture, shopping with topping up your tan.

3. Rome – The home of the Roman Empire
La Dolce Vita. Rome is just one of the amazing short city break destinations in Italy – a country packed with more historic sites to visit than any other in the world. Famous for the Roman heritage of the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Forum, Rome draws crowds all year round to see its wealth of ancient history.

Rome is packed with fascinating ancient ruins such as the Colosseum

Rome is packed with fascinating ancient ruins such as the Colosseum

Another big draw is the Vatican – the centre of the Catholic Church which sits over the river Tiber from the Roman city, occasionally enhanced with regular appearances by the Pope. With the huge St Peter’s cathedral at its centre, this complex houses an outstanding collection of fine art in what is the smallest independent state in the world. Add to this the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and fabulous Italian cuisine and you have lots to pack into your Roman city break to Rome.

4. Venice – The Most Romantic City on Earth?
Venice has to be one of the most romantic cities you can visit on a short city break. Set in a lagoon in North East Italy, it is made up of 177 canals, 400 bridges and 118 islands packed full of history, art and charm.
Staying in the city is a must and once the day trippers leave you can really get a feel for the place as it transforms from hustle and bustle to a calm and romantic place. The city of Venice is centred on the Grand Canal and St Mark’s Square with its beautiful cathedral, but extends out to the Lido and islands such as Murano, famous for Venetian glass making.
This destination caters for many tastes from touristy gondola rides and expensive cafes to exploring on foot around quiet districts and discovering hidden gems. But you will leave knowing that you have visited one of the most amazing places on earth.

5. London – The world’s capital city for short breaks
We are always taking time out and jetting off in search of amazing places to visit, however, the UK is home to one of the most amazing cities in the world – London. And the home of the London Olympics 2012 showed us how much is on offer.
A city tour will take you on a whistle stop tour of historic and modern sites in the capital – Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Shard and the London Eye to name just a few. There are art galleries galore, museums for just about everything and every kind of shop you can imagine.
And London also has incredible nightlife with world class restaurants, theatres, cinemas and music of all kinds. Factor in parks galore, river trips and lots for the entire family to get involved in and you have one of the most rounded cities to visit.

6. New York – The Big Apple mini break
You will never forget your first visit to New York, one of the world’s most iconic cities. With its skyscrapers and sassy attitude, there is a real get up and go in the city and you will find the atmosphere very infectious.
Characterised by its yellow taxi cabs, hot dog stalls and steam rising from the man hole covers in the streets, you will not find this a dull city. Climb the Empire State building for city views, jump on the Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, browse through the galleries and museums and ride a horse drawn carriage through Central Park.
A city break in New York will not be complete without visiting one of the many shopping areas such as Madison Avenue, Broadway or Fifth Avenue or taking in a show in one of the many theatres.

7. Prague – Czech out the beers
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and one of the busiest city break destinations in Europe. This old town of stone buildings is a UNESCO World Heritage site and you will recognise many of the vistas from Hollywood Films such as Mission Impossible.
When you are away from the crowds this is a very romantic city with its bridges over the river such as Charles Bridge, Prague Castle on the hill, Tyn Church and Wenceslas Square. Hearty European food and Czech beers keep you on the go.

8. Dublin – Where party and culture meets
Dublin is a buzzing city to visit on a short break, it has amazing nightlife in its bars and restaurants, the famous Trinity College and the Book of Keils,the Guinness Storehouse – home to one of the world’s most famous drinks and numerous bars along the banks of the River Liffey running through the city centre.

Just a short hop across the Irish Sea, Dublin is a convenient location for a pulsating city break

Just a short hop across the Irish Sea, Dublin is a convenient location for a pulsating city break

Dublin has changed so much in recent years and now has excellent shopping, good quality eateries and some chic hotels too. And being only a short hop from the UK it is a quick and easy city to visit for the shortest of weekend breaks.

9. Istanbul – where east meets west
Straddling the Bosphorous, Istanbul makes a fantastic destination for a city break. A mixture of Europe and Asia, this city is in a beautiful setting and has an atmosphere like no other in Europe.  Mosques, minarets and markets abound within a city that has been established for two thousand years. The cuisine is a heady mixture of east meets west with kebab shops and restaurants of all types. You can even enjoy a traditional Turkish bath. Contrast this with up to the minute designer shopping malls and hedonistic nightlife in the bars and clubs.

10. Stockholm – The winner takes it all
The capital of Sweden, Stockholm, as well as being a city, is set on water, gorgeous to look at all year round and full of trendy places to eat and shop. It’s the home of the world’s largest H&M store as well as cutting edge brands such as Acne and Cheap Monday. The city has a stunning old town called Gamla Stan, great to visit at Christmas market time as well as world class heritage attractions such as the Vasa Museum. When you are not exploring the many islands of the city’s archipelago by boat, why not indulge in an ABBA walking tour of the city to capture the key places in the group’s history. The Swedes are friendly welcoming people and will certainly ensure that a weekend city break in Stockholm will be memorable.

photo credits:
Rome – http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmyharris/
Dublin – http://www.flickr.com/photos/uggboy/

  1. I’d love to spend a weekend in Stockholm! Recently read an article about weekend breaks if you want to stay closer to home: http://letsbefamous.com/travel/the-best-places-in-the-uk-for-a-weekend-break.html

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