How To Plan The Perfect City Break

Perhaps you want to go on a romantic weekend away, perhaps you and your friends want a weekend break to look forward to or perhaps you just want a short family adventure abroad. Whatever the reason, a city break is a great way of spending time with friends or family, getting away from the stress of work and discovering the wealth of culture Europe has to offer.

Location, location, location!

The first and most important part of planning your city break is choosing the location. When making your decision, think about what you want from your holiday. If you’re a foodie, spend some time online researching which countries and cities offer the best cuisine and restaurants. Italy is an obvious option, but if seafood paella and chorizo dishes sound better to you, look into Spanish cities you could visit. When choosing a city, you may also want to consider the season and the weather. Scandinavian cities might be best visited during the winter months, when they’re covered in a blanket of snow and you have a better chance of seeing the Northern Lights, while Alicante might be a disappointment in November.

Where You’ll Sleep

Once you’ve chosen a location, you’ll need to organise accommodation. Your accommodation options will depend on your budget. Poor students travelling on a shoestring may want to opt for CouchSurfing or cheap hostels, while those of us with that bit more disposal income on our hands might prefer apartments or hotels. Consult other travellers’ reviews of accommodation on websites such as TripAdviser. Alternatively, some agencies provide houses to rent short term, which is a great option for big families or people who prefer the privacy of a private house.

The Itinerary

Deciding on an itinerary for your trip can be a tricky business. Most cities will have at least one or two ‘must-see’ attractions, but it’s worth spending time before your trip looking into attractions off the beaten track. Everyone who goes to Paris talks about the Eiffel Tower, for example, but you could experience another side of the city by taking a stroll through the Père Lachaise Cemetery where Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Molière have been laid to rest. You should also research the best restaurants and eateries in your city of choice so you can avoid being lured into poor quality, tourist traps and ensure that you get a real taste of the culture.

Expect the Unexpected

When you arrive into the city from the airport, you’ll have ideas about what you want to see and where you want to eat, but don’t make your itinerary too strict as you can’t predict what picturesque little streets, unexpected attractions or authentic restaurants you may find yourself drawn towards. There’s only so much you can research online – let yourself discover the city in situ and don’t feel constrained by pre-made plans.

This article was written by travel agent Nora Buckley on behalf of a leading provider of houses to rent short term.

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