Angela Mayall, from Designer Travel, looks at top places to spend a short break.
SHORT BREAKS are becoming increasingly popular both for cities and luxury worldwide destinations, with Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, New York and Vegas as popular as ever.
But if you are looking for something a little different here are a few locations you might like to consider:
Istanbul, Turkey: A must-see city that should be on everybody’s hit list. Rich in culture, architecture, and boasting some fabulous boutique hotels, rooftop bars and gourmet restaurants. Wander along fashionable Istiklal Caddesi, crammed with shops and galleries and relax in a traditional hammam – incredible energy and buzz about this place that won’t disappoint.
Ljubljana, Slovenia: Looking for a European holiday with a difference? Then Slovenia is the one for you. Underestimated to say the least, Slovenia is quite simply beautiful – take the funicular up to the Ljubljana Castle, cycle through the park and treat yourself to a coffee at one of the many cafes and bars that pack the main square. Top all year round City Break.
Dubrovnik, Croatia: This city has seen a soar in popularity in the last few years as a tourist destination and for good reason. Not only are there stunning blue seas but be prepared to be enchanted by this well-preserved baroque town dominated by encircling walls. Stroll along the narrow streets of the Old Town and spend time in the Grand Dominican Monastery.
St Petersburg, Russia: One of the world’s most romantic cities. Well-known for its rivers and canals, getting around here by boat is a popular choice. Floating restaurants provide a unique feature with a whole host of cool and eclectic new bars and art spaces giving an interesting and curious appeal. It’s also stunning if you can brave the cold snow; frozen St Petersburg is a romantic gem.
Budapest, Hungary: Few European cities can rival Budapest’s glorious setting astride the Danube river. Strolling along the riverbanks is a perfect way to soak up the romantic atmosphere. Two cities in one – the romantic ‘Buda’ hillside with its castle, churches and the ‘Pest’ side full of majestic buildings, museums and theatres. Fabulous hotels, great food markets, fine dining and coffee houses in abundance, this is a city with not only a rich past but also a flourishing future.