Thursday, January 19, 2012

Guest Post: Europe’s best cities for a winter break

European city breaks in winter differ dramatically from those in summer. If you’re looking to explore gardens, relax in street cafes or stroll along river banks, a city break in winter may not be for you. But if your ideal trip involves visiting museums, galleries, enjoying cultural events or sheltering from the weather in a spa then there really isn’t a better time to get out and explore some of the most stunning cities Europe has to offer.

Here are four favourite European cities for a winter break; some with the Euro and some without. Either way, before travelling it’s important to keep up to date with exchange rates when changing money at a bureau de change. With your money sorted all you need to consider is the sights you’ll see.

Berlin is great for exploring. You can get out and see the historical past of the city by visiting sites such as the Berlin wall, Checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburg Gate. If you’re looking for some winter partying, Berlin has it all. Renowned as one of the biggest and best party cities in the world, there are numerous buzzing clubs dotted all around the city. It’s certainly something not to be missed.

You may think Rome is more of a summer destination. But it shouldn’t just be the weather that’s the real draw for this historic city. In the summer months, visitors flock to the Vatican museums to see such sites as the Belvedere Courtyard, the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, but the number of visitors and the length of queues can have a negative impact. Visiting these sites in winter, they’ll be almost deserted and you can enjoy them in peace. The same can be said for the Colosseum and other famous sites of historical interest. Winter really can be the perfect time to visit Rome.

A city break doesn’t necessarily mean heading out to continental Europe. Edinburgh is one of the most popular destinations in the world, so you’d be foolish to ignore it just because it’s close to home. In winter, visitors can see the sites of Edinburgh castle and the Royal Mile as well as partaking in the famous celebrations for Hogmanay.

The city of Poprad in Slovakia may not be the first place that springs to mind when thinking of a European city break, but it’s the perfect place for those looking for a little relaxation and a break from it all. Visitors can sit outside in a thermal spa while gazing at the impressive snow capped High Tatras Mountain peaks. After you can move inside to one of the Aqua bars and sample warming liqueurs while you soak in the water.

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