When it comes to city breaks, I love nothing more than exploring new places. Don’t get me wrong, I have been to, and love all the classic city break destinations such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, and even New York. But I also enjoy exploring somewhere a little less popular and off the main tourist trail.
I first sampled the bohemian splendour of Budapest a couple of years ago on a birthday getaway with friends. This grand bohemian city has a strange but unique feel to it. I don't quite know how to explain it but there was something drawing me in. I have visited many cities since my first trip to Budapest, but I have not experienced this feeling again. I knew that before long I would return to sample more of the bohemian capital.
I love nothing better than taking a couple of days out to explore one of Europe's beautiful cities. Last summer I enjoyed my first city break to Portugal; I spent an amazing few days in the capital city, Lisbon. From getting lost in the picturesque district of Alfama, to sampling some local cuisine in Bairro Alto, to just relaxing with an ice cold drink at one of the cities many miradouros whilst taking in the breath-taking views. I had enjoyed Lisbon so much that after only being home a matter of days, I had already booked another trip to Portugal, but this time to the city of Porto. Porto is located on the banks of the River Douro, to the north of the country, and is most famous for being the home of Port.
After our scenic drive up to Miami Beach from Key West, we dropped off our hire car at Miami airport and caught a taxi to our new home for the remainder of our trip - the Grand Beach Hotel Surfside. This hotel is located in the town of Surfside, about 8 miles north from the famous South Beach.
After 6 amazing days in Walt Disney World, we checked out and left our hotel early to start our 500 mile journey to Key West. We looked at a few different routes online, but settled on the west coast route allowing us to visit Naples and the Everglades before reaching the famous U.S. Route 1, the highway to Key West. Starting in Maine, on the Canadian border, and ending at Key West, this is the longest north-south highway in the United States.
One of my favourite things about this time of year is making a visit to one of Europe’s beautiful Christmas Markets. Each year I try and visit at least one destination, sometimes more. Having previously visited markets in Germany, Croatia, Spain and Sweden, I decided on the Christmas Markets of Basel for this year’s trip.
This year I visited Scotland for the first time in almost 10 years. Although it was just a short 24 hour trip it made me realise just how long it had been since my last visit. This prompted me to plan a longer trip up to the Scottish Borders for a weekend break with my family, over one of the May bank holiday weekends.
The typical British weather, especially during the long winter months, is enough to make anyone want to escape to warmer climates. Last winter I decided to book an impromptu weekend break to Barcelona to get away from the rain and cold. I had been to Barcelona many years before, but as this was such a long time ago I felt it was time to refresh my memories and review what this beautiful Catalan city has to offer.
The latte and smoked salmon and scrambled egg bagel we grabbed at St Pancras somewhat compensated for the rude awakening at 05:00 on Saturday morning. Getting on the first train to Victoria, then the London Underground to St Pancras allowed us to board the 08:58 Eurostar service to Brussels. After a quick journey through the garden of England, and under the English Channel, we were soon flying through stunning French and Belgian countryside, whilst sipping champagne and enjoying a snack of saucisson. We arrived at Brussels Midi station just two hours later, a few minutes after midday.
Lisbon, the city of seven hills, has a unique character and charm, different from most European capital cities. One afternoon a few weeks ago I stumbled across a deal to a top hotel in central Lisbon, that really was too good to miss. It did not take much persuasion for me to quickly book some flights. I had long yearned to visit Lisbon and here was an ideal opportunity.
Earlier this year I spent the perfect weekend in Prague - a belated birthday present to myself as I have always wanted to visit Prague. By researching online before my trip, I ended up with a list of places I wanted to visit and things I wanted to see and do during my short stay in Prague. As always, my list was far too long for a mere two night stay, so some things had to be cut out for this trip or I just wouldn't have had time to stop, let alone sleep. So here is my list of 5 must-do things for a short stay in Prague - you won't be disappointed!
I have travelled to Spain many times, probably more so than any other country, the reason being that my family have a home in Andalusia. I have driven to Andalusia from the UK many times, either passing through or around Madrid, but I have never yet had the chance to stop in Madrid and discover what the Spanish capital has to offer. I thought it was time to change that….