Belgium, Europe, France, Portugal, Spain, Travel and Tea

Ideal destinations for a city break

With summer about to start, many people are searching for holiday packages and cheap hotels abroad. People are dreaming about days spent relaxing in the sun, swimming in the sea and indulging in some shopping. If a long holiday spent on a beach on the coast of the Mediterranean sea is not too appealing and a bit out of your budget, why not enjoy a long weekend in some new city? The easiest way to start your holiday is to book a cheap flight out of London or any other city that is well connected to other countries. After that, choose the hotel in the area you are most interested in exploring, pack a change of clothes and a toothbrush, charge your camera and go! If you still do not know where to go, check out these destinations.

Brussels Town Hall by Luke Ma (Creative Commons)

Brussels Located a short flight away, this city is an ideal place to visit during a short city break. Enjoy the authentic pommes frites chips, try a gaufre waffle and do not hesitate to try some local beer. Walk around the Grand Place and enjoy views towards the Town Hall. Visit the Royal Palace and the statue of Manneken Pis, one of the city’s most famous symbols. Paris The City of Lights is a short plane ride away, and those with a fear of height can take the train. Climb up to the Eiffel Tower, visit the city’s catacombs and walk along the streets of the hip Marais district. If you want an alternative view of this city, enjoy a boat ride on the Seine. Do not miss the city’s museums, especially the Louvre and the Orsay Museum, and after take a walk around the city’s gardens. Some of the most popular gardens are the Luxembourg and Tulleries gardens. Barcelona Located farther south, this city on the coast of the Mediterranean sea is the ideal spot for some culture, delicious local food and an afternoon on the beach. Visit the Boquería market to purchase local granizados iced drinks, some fresh bread, cheese, jamón ham and fruit, and organize a picnic in the Parc Güell park. This park was designed by Gaudí and is decorated with tiled fountains and statues. The observation deck, with a semicircular bench covered in traditional trencadis tiles, has views towards the city and the sea. Hang around the Eixample quarter if you want to see more of Gaudí’s architecture, including Casa Milá and Casa Batlló buildings, and do not miss the famous Sagrada Familia, an unfinished cathedral known for its façades with carved statues. Get lost in the Gothic Quarter if you enjoy medieval architecture. This area has many attractions, including an ancient Cathedral, a cloister filled with geese and narrows streets where some of the city’s hippest bars, shops and restaurants are located.

Lisbon by Baruck (Creative Commons)

Lisbon Located on the Atlantic coast, the city of Lisbon is another destination for a city break. The main area to explore is the Alfama district, where most of the city’s famous landmarks are located. This area is located on the banks of the Tagus river and offers views towards this ancient cities. Visit St. George’s Castle. Part of the palace building is now a restaurant and several underground chambers have been converted into an archaeological museums. If you want to try some traditional food, head to one of the city’s many pastry shops and buy a box of pasteis de Belem, custard-filled pastries.

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