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Top 5 City Breaks In 2011

Paris

Paris is a city of romance, stunning beauty, fascinating history, nouveau art and simple pleasures. Whatever your reason for visiting the capital city of France you will surely not be disappointed.

The Eiffel Tower has to be one of the world’s most famous landmarks; however city breaks to Paris have so much more to offer. The stunning Cathedral of Notre Dame located in the very heart of the city is actually the most visited tourist attraction in Paris and greets over 10 million visitors every year. The romantics will enjoy a boat ride along the magical River Seine and then of course there’s the shopping. Whether it’s designer labels or shabby chic you are looking for, you will most definitely find it somewhere in this city.

Don’t try to squash too much into your visit, make sure you take the time to wander along the many pretty boulevards and rest for a while at a pavement café, sip a cappuccino and watch the wonderful Parisian world go by.

New York City

Affectionately known as the ‘city that never sleeps’ your city break to New York will be filled with a million things to see and do from an early morning buggy ride round Central Park to a late night show on Broadway. Favourites with most tourists include The Empire State Building, Times Square and the Statue of Liberty; however why not visit the Rockefeller Centre in Midtown Manhattan which offers panoramic views across the Big Apple and is the best place to get snaps of the skyline which include the iconic Empire State building.

The most filmed building in New York City is the Plaza Hotel which overlooks Central Park. Home Alone 2, Crocodile Dundee and Brewster’s Millions are amongst the films that used this famous location and the hotel’s Oak Room Bar was also used in Scent of a Woman and Arthur, with Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli.

Re-enact your favourite ‘Friends’ moment at the Pulitzer Fountain or watch out for Ugly Betty at Mode Magazine. Star spotting has to be on every itinerary when enjoying New York City breaks.

Rome

Possibly the world’s largest open air museum, Rome city breaks simply ooze history and culture with the biggest problem perhaps being….where do you start? The Vatican, St Peters Square, the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, and Trevi Fountain are all vying for your attention and are all just as equally beautiful and special in their own ways.

Art plays a huge part in life around Rome and classics by Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli and Da Vinci inspire and enthral all who witness their work

Time must also be spent relaxing on a shady terrace, sipping cappuccino and soaking up the atmosphere of years gone by. You really wouldn’t bat an eyelid if a Roman Centurion were to march past; such is the historical ambience that still engulfs the city today.

As evening falls, enjoy a dish of freshly made pasta washed down with a refreshing Pinot Grigio, and followed, of course, by the obligatory Italian ice cream.

London

Most certainly boosted by the recent royal wedding and the forthcoming 2012 Olympic Games, London has quite rightly sealed its place in the top 5 city breaks for 2011. The Royal family are a huge attraction for people visiting England’s capital city with Buckingham Palace high on their list of ‘must sees’. The Tower of London, St. Pauls Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and the London Eye all attract millions of visitors every year. The British Museum has so many artefacts it’s impossible to show them all at once and the Tate Modern is a haven for art lovers world wide.

One of the best ways to get the most from a London city break is to take an open top bus ride on a traditional red double decker bus. Experienced guides will make sure you don’t miss a thing and you can hop off and back on again to your hearts content.

Barcelona

A city that really does have it all, from ancient history to modern chic, from narrow cobbled streets to soft sandy beaches and gothic architecture to modern galleries, city breaks to Barcelona will keep you busy from start to finish.

Head for the bustling Las Ramblas and explore the delightful shops, bars and restaurants that run its length. The fascinating Temple de la Sagradia Familia, started in 1882 and with no completion date in sight, is one of the ‘must sees’ on all Barcelona city breaks.

Football fans will head straight to the city’s Camp Nou, home to the mighty Barcelona Football Club, where a guided tour will give you a glimpse into the enviable lives of players such as Lionel Messi, David Villa and Carles Puyol.

Then it’s time to relax on the beach or around the harbour where you can take the time to simply watch the world go by.

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