Looking for a short break in Europe this year and looking for some inspiration? Well look no further, we've compiled a list of our top 10 destinations for 2017!
Iceland's enchanting capital of Reykjavik has so much to offer with interesting attractions and breath-taking nature in its surroundings. Even its name was inspired by the natural wonders in its proximity: Reykjavik is the "Smoke Cove", due to the many hot springs that can be found close by. But not only nature will keep you busy here, Reykjavik will also satisfy your inner shopaholic - you can find anything from quirky boutiques to big brand stores. After all that sightseeing and shopping if you don't quite want to call it a night, the Icelandic capital is also famous for its nightlife. Dance the night away in one of the many clubs and see if you can keep up with the locals!
The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is famous for its stunning buildings. This historic architecture plays a key part in the city’s World Heritage Site status. Key features of Prague to be seen on any city break include the picturesque St. Vitus Cathedral with its towering gothic design; the oldest working Astronomical Clock in the world, located in Old Town Square; and bustling Wencelas Square.
Prague is also easy to navigate with metro, tram and bus services used by a majority of locals to travel around the city, making it easy to take in all the sights during your short break here. While the Czech Republic weather is often unpredictable, late spring-early autumn provides greatest chance of sun and comfortable temperatures to enjoy the sights the city has to offer. At Christmas time, visitors may be keen to experience Prague’s wonderful markets which appear towards the end of November right through to the New Year.
A popular tourist attraction right in the centre of the city is Tivoli Gardens. Open year-round, this is a must-see on any city break. With beautiful scenery, old buildings and of course some of the most thrilling rides in Europe at the amusement park, there really is something for all ages and tastes. It could be seen as a small village within a city as there are a wide range of restaurants within the park and concerts and theatre shows take centre-stage on various dates throughout the year. Be sure to pay a visit to the Carlsberg factory and take a trip to see the Little Mermaid statue.
Rome was once the capital of the Roman Empire and today is one of the largest European capitals which tourists travel to in their numbers to see the ancient sights for themselves.
Sightseeing in Rome is both exciting and exhausting. The city is best seen by foot, in order to avoid missing any of the thousands of architectural gems. Spanning from basilicas, piazzi, churches, and museums all the way to the Vatican City, seeing all of the sights in Rome could take more than one visit.
With numerous festivals beginning during Holy Week, the peak tourist season runs from Easter through to October. During the winter the weather is relatively mild, add the much smaller crowds and it makes the season a great time to visit Rome.
Dubrovnik is an old city on the Adriatic Sea coast in the extreme south of Croatia. Today Dubrovnik is one of Croatia most popular destination for tourists; and rightly so! It is steeped in stunning architecture and sculptural detail, and boasts spectacular churches, monasteries, museums, and fountains. These days it also acts as the backdrop to HBO’s Game of Throne’s King’s Landing. A definite must-see is the Old City Walls that still surround the Old Town, if you’re visiting definitely take the time to walk the 2 kilometres long the wall and absorb the breath-taking views. You can even get away from the City for a while and go Island hopping among some of Croatia’s most beautiful offerings.
Slovenia is home to many breath-taking settings, and in the winter months offer some great skiing. Away from all of that, Lake Bled in northern Slovenia is on our hit list for 2017. The lake offers many opportunities for sport and relaxation, from watersports on the lake, to hiking, cycling, fishing climbing and much more there is something for everyone, including an adventure park for younger guests. Not only is there lots to do, it’s picture perfect. The lake is framed by the Julian Alps and in the foreground, a church perches on top of a small islet. A fab place to watch the sunset. Even better, Ljubljana airport is only 30minutes away by car, making it a perfect place for a short getaway.
Hungary’s capital, Budapest, is made up of two disparate regions – the hilly Buda district and flat Pest, separated by the river Danube. Budapest can be explored easily on foot, but a must see for us is a cruise down the Danube. You can’t go to Budapest and not visit the thermal baths! There are so many natural warm spring waters that the city has the nickname, “The City of Spas” – there’s an estimated 1000 thermals baths! From spa waters and fun bath complexed to Aqua therapy pools, there is definitely a thermal bath for everyone. We want to go…
Berlin is a bustling metropolitan city that hasn’t forgotten it’s past. It’s fascinating history is on show for the world to come and see. The contrast of the crumbling Berlin Wall and vast Holocaust Memorial demonstrate the span of the city’s history. The Reichstag building is definitely worth a visit to see the city from the glass globe, then relax on the lawns out the front for a picnic. The Brandenburg gate is situated on a plaza buzzing with tourists and street performers. Not only is the culture and history dominant in Berlin, they also have a great nightlife scene with fantastic clubs, pubs and bars. Although, techno is big in Germany so that the music choice with a pinch of salt if that’s not your thing!
Istanbul has over 2,500 of history, architecture and traditions making it a fantastic destination for culture lovers. The city has been the capital of four empires over the years, and it sits on two continents; Asia and Europe. This means it embraces both cultures and has a real individually eclectic atmosphere. This mix isn’t just seen in traditions and architecture, it can be tasted in their cuisine, which is the perfect mix of Eastern and Western Food. Of course, you can’t go to turkey and not experience the Turkish Bath! Get massaged and cleaned in one of Turkeys many baths – relaxation bliss!
Edinburgh has always been a tourist hotspot and it’s just getting more popular. The city is quaint, easy to navigate on foot (though it is very hilly) and has amazing architecture. Edinburgh castle sits on top of the hill in the city and can be seen from almost everywhere in the centre of town, and the public park in the centre of the city acts as a great stop to sit and relax for a short space of time. With some great places to eat, and plenty of places to vist – you definitely won’t be disappointed with a trip to Edinburgh.
Cover photo courtesy of Iceland Tourist Board, (c) nordurljos-vid-jokulsarlon-fon-130-1