Living in the UK means I have access to a huge number of options for city breaks within just a few hours of travel. This year I’ve been on three; Budapest, Barcelona and Brussels. 2016 has been the year of B, clearly!
This month’s travel linkup is all about “A perfect…”
Having just returned from a long weekend in Brussels it got me thinking about how much I love a city break. Everyone will have different aspects that will create their perfect weekend away, I know I have come to the conclusion that there is a definite tick list when it comes to planning my perfect city break!
So, what makes the perfect city break?
Are you a cultural fiend, creating a long list of art galleries and exhibitions to visit? Do you hunt out the best places eat and the local hidden gems? Do you look for adventure!? Is finding the most luxurious and unique shops your thing?
I have been on many a city break and I have come to realise everyone likes something different and I definitely have a city break ‘style’. I like to explore as much as possible on foot to get a real feel for a city. It’s possibly one of my favourite things to do, except for eating my way around too, of course!
My recent city break to Brussels was very different though to my trip to Barcelona in August. They are very different cities indeed, however, my weekend did include many of the same elements. Each city has it’s own unique make-up, but I usually apply a similar formula to each one I visit.
What makes my perfect city break?
1. Staying centrally
This is crucial in my opinion. You only have limited time with normally just a couple of days so you want to maximise it. You don’t want to spend all your time travelling in and out of the city. Obviously this affects the cost but that is why I think airbnb can be a great option. Or if you plan far enough in advance you can find some little gems if your looking for a hotel. Also, by staying centrally it meas you should hopefully save some money on transport.
2. Being able to walk for hours, exploring
I love to explore by foot and soak in the local area. This also links back to Number 1 – if you’re central it allows you to explore more by foot and you can usually return easily during the day for naps etc. I do like a siesta to make sure I’m ready for an evening of eating and drinking! I usually make a plan for the day including the areas I want to visit or particular monuments, galleries etc, then plan my walking route!
3. Finding the best food
For me finding the best food is finding a mixture of local food, where locals eat and the top rated restaurants. It doesn’t always have to be 5 star, a hole in the wall can sometimes be the best food in a city! Ahead of a weekend break I will research where the best places to eat are, and find out what is the best local dish to try.
I may book one or two places, but then have a list to hand of other places so that if we’re in the area at the right time I know whats good. Also, the internet is a wonderful thing… if somewhere looks good but you’re unsure, a quick google search and you can usually see in a moment whether it’s a dud or not. I’m only there for such a short period of time, I hate having a disappointing meal.
4. Cultural gems
I love architecture. I don’t pretend to know anything about it, but I love to just look at all the different buildings for housing, offices and galleries and finding pretty churches, monuments and squares. It tells the whole history of the place you are in. I don’t do this enough in London but I love it on holiday. Annoyingly to whoever I’m travelling with, I stop and start all the time snapping away on my camera.
5. Taking time to relax
It’s a break after all! This usually comes in the form of naps or cocktails and people watching. I find those rather relaxing too. Drink pit stops with a good glass of bubbles are my favourite for people watching ! And a great opportunity to rest your feet before wandering onto the next place.
I just love a weekend away somewhere new. I always come back feeling energised, even if that late flight back on Sunday evening made you feel a little sleepy on Monday morning. I still return feeling enthusiastic about life. Never a bad way to feel.
What does your perfect city break look like? Or do you prefer to spend a weekend away in the countryside!?