Can’t wait till Friday? Rather than watching telly and sleeping in this weekend, how about heading out straight after work for an exciting city break? Go for a destination you know and love, or how about trying a new city? We pick our favourite five easy to get to escapes.
Paris is the top destination for lovers of romance and it’s easy to see why. There are plenty of opportunities for classic fine dining and experiencing traditional French cuisine. Book a Michelin starred restaurant in advance for a special treat.
Otherwise, if you want to simply wander around, taking in the boutiques, street entertainments and sights, there are plenty of cafes to pop into for a sandwich and some people watching.
Amsterdam is great for lovers of art, as there are so many galleries to visit, and so many of them show works by well-known artists you can play “spot the famous artwork” as you go. Amsterdam is also known for its canals, easy cycle routes through the city centre, and great shopping. To explore the canals, you can walk, or cycle alongside, or cruise right down them on canal boats, many of which have been converted to dinky restaurants.
Venice is amazing if you like exploring. The whole city is based on a system of canals, and there is a good transport system of water buses and water taxis. Check out splendid old palaces, many of which have been made into art galleries, restaurants and hotels. Eat ice cream and enjoy espresso to your heart’s content (ordering both together is our top tip for the perfect pick me up after hours of touring the tiny streets) and sample traditional Venetian cuisine, which is based on very special ways with seafood.
Berlin is great for many different reasons. The clubs and bars are fantastic and varied for those looking for a good night out, and you can spend your days walking around museums or taking a city tour, of which there are several excellent ones. Find out about Germany’s war-time history or all about the Berlin Wall, or just go shopping or join a pub crawl to sample every flavour of fruit beer Germany has ever made! They’re all delicious.
Madrid is the Spanish capital and is a buzzing, friendly hive of activity. Explore the city’s Art Triangle—three great museums and art galleries all in the same square, the Paseo del Prado. There are plenty of shopping opportunities and green parks to sit for a while when you need to rest your feet. Bars and taverns abound, and in nice weather the terraces are opened so you can have a drink and some snacks in the open air. Football fans can treat themselves to a game at the Real Madrid home ground.
Flight times to all of these cities are so short that it makes them a quick and easy option. These are just five suggestions, but there’s plenty more cities within easy reach of the UK—you’ll never run out of a trip to look forward to at the end of the week.