HERE AT PDM, we know that not everyone has time to take the traditional two-week holiday, but the good news is that a well-planned short break can recharge your batteries just as effectively. The key factors to enjoying your few precious days away are to make sure that your chosen destination is easy to get to, has lots to see and do, great places to eat, fantastic shopping and inspiring cultural events. Here are some suggestions:
A former cultural capital of Europe, the little heard of town of Lille offers a great mix of designer shops on cobbled streets, Flemish façades, fine paintings at the Musée des Beaux-Arts and brilliant restaurants. Gourmets will love Lille’s fabulous Belgian beers, standard in most bars, and the mussels, oysters and rich sauces, which form the basis of the local cuisine. The town comes alive at night, when buildings light up and the numerous bars and restaurants open their doors. Pull up a chair, order a beer and do some serious people-watching, Lille style!
Set aside the clichés about clogs, windmills, red light districts and smoking funny substances, because there is so much more to Amsterdam. A city of canals, crossed with wonderful bridges and lined with tall, gabled houses, Amsterdam has something for everyone, whether you want to indulge in the great nightlife or simply soak up the atmosphere chilling out during the day. The Van Gogh museum, Rijksmuseum and Rembrandt’s house will add some classy culture to your trip.
Stunning sights, like the Rialto Bridge, Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Square make a trip to Venice unforgettable. Exploring the quaint shops and sampling the local delicacies in enticing restaurants should also be added to your ‘to do’ list. And, do not forget to take a ride on a waterbus and taste an ice cream from the numerous gelateries of the city. Totally unique, Venice is ideal for a short break.
Fairytale Prague is a very popular short break destination, and it is easy to see why. Whether you are after romance in a candlelit restaurant or you fancy letting your hair down in a lively bar, this enchanting city is guaranteed to deliver. Stroll across 14th century Charles Bridge, up to the green and white Prague Castle, and take in numerous palaces, tiny mediaeval cottages and the spectacular St. Vitus Cathedral.
Brussels is the ultimate well-kept short break secret. Culture vultures will fall in love with its architecture and the wealth of weird and wonderful museums, while fans of gourmet cuisine will adore the fact that there are more Michelin star restaurants per square kilometre than in any other city in Europe. Sample local beers and specialities at the superb Grand Place and make your way to Place du Sablon for a bargain-rich weekend antiques market.
This amazing place has everything you would expect from a capital city and, although vibrant and modern, still maintains its historic charm. Clear, clean water is ever present in Stockholm, as it is situated near the beautiful Lake Malaren and built across 14 islands. So, do not be surprised if you see people swimming and fishing in the middle of the city. Be sure to take a walk down the cobblestone streets of Gamla Stan (the old town), explore the Royal Castle and do not miss the open-air museum and zoo.
East meets West in Berlin, which has a fascinating history and plenty of places to explore. The zoological gardens, observatories and museums will keep you entertained all day. The city has fantastic cafés, pubs and restaurants pretty much everywhere you turn, and there is something for every budget, whether you are on a shoestring or can afford to splash out. The same goes for the impressive nightlife, which reflects the cosmopolitan vibrancy of this fascinating city.
If you are after a bustling, lively and fun short break, then Barcelona is for you. Built on the shores of the Mediterranean, the climate is fantastic and there is some pretty impressive Gaudi and Gothic architecture about to wow your eyes. The nightlife of the Olympic area is legendary, but for a more sedate experience, do not miss Barcelona’s impressive modern art museums.
For a break with a difference, Strasbourg is not to be missed. This cosmopolitan, bustling French city has lots to see and do, from its canals and mediaeval bridges to La Petite France, a beautiful quarter of the city boasting a collection of half-timbered houses in various pastel shades. Fancy some exercise? Climb to the top of the impressive Notre Dame cathedral with its kaleidoscopic rose window. The spectacular views from the top are well worth the effort.
You can’t get much more stylish than Milan, which is known throughout the world as a leader in high fashion and design excellence. If this is your bag, you will love Via Montenapoleone, a famous street where many of the world’s leading Italian and international fashion designers work. Many great festivals and events are held in and around the city throughout the year, and the excellent nearby lakes offer superb facilities for visitors. Don’t miss the enormous Milan Duomo, the third largest cathedral in the world, or the numerous art galleries and museums either.
So what are you waiting for? Contact PDM today to find out more about short breaks at great prices and get ready to re-charge!