City Break Trendy: 5 Destinations for Hip Travellers
A city break is more than a chance to get away: It's an opportunity to visit some of the most fashionable cities of the moment. Turn your friends green with envy when you take your holiday to one of the following five trendy cities.
The birthplace of modern democracy, Athens remains a tried-and-true European city break holiday destination. Athens city breaks give you a chance to see the Acropolis, the fortified town built during the Bronze Age, where you'll find the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheum. With your ticket, you'll also gain admittance to the Roman Agora, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Ancient Agora, the Kerameikos and the Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus.
Visit some of Athens's many museums and galleries, including the National Art Gallery on Michalakopoulou Street and the Benaki Museum where you can see the finest Grecian Art dating back to prehistoric times. Go hiking or cycling in Parnitha National Park or relax in the National Garden of Athens, where you can see ancient ruins, feed ducks or visit the garden's zoo. For a day trip out of the city, head for the sunny beaches to the south, accessible from the city centre by bus or tram.
The second largest city in Spain, on the Mediterranean coast, has history going back to Roman times. Barcelona is best visited during the shoulder season, when temperatures are mild and it's not too humid — although mild winters mean this is a great city to holiday in during January and February.
You'll find a casual (and sometimes nude) atmosphere on Barcelona's world-famous beaches, although you'll draw stares if you stroll through the city in that fashion. Don't miss the city's stunning architecture, including the Park Güell, the Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera/Casa Mila and La Casa Batlló. For a tour of Barcelona's best art nouveau architecture, you can't beat the Ruta del Modernisme by the Modernisme Centre.
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is the hippest new city break destination for trendy travellers. With thousands of years of history, Seoul is the political, cultural and economic heart of South Korea. Take the opportunity to tour some of Seoul's finest palaces, including Gyeongbokgung, where you can also visit the National Folk Museum of Korea and the National Palace Museum; Changdeokgung, the UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in 1405 and used as the nation's seat of power from 1618 to 1896 or Deoksugung, with Western-influenced architecture that makes it unique among Korean palaces.
Don't miss the city's many lovely gardens and Buddhist shrines. If you like theme parks, visit Everland, where you can see a liger (lion-tiger hybrid); Seoul Land, which opened in anticipation of the 1988 Olympics; or Lotte World, the world's largest indoor theme park with a fascinating Korean folk museum.
Amsterdam may be the most famous city in the Netherlands, but Utrecht is the oldest - founded in 47 A.D. by the Roman general Corbulo, Utrecht offers a holidaymaker a quaint medieval atmosphere juxtaposed with bustling modernity. Don't miss the ultramodern, De Stijl–influenced Rietveld Schröder House and the art deco–influenced Post Office.
Climb the 112 metres to the top of the Dom Tower for a breath-taking view of the city; indulge in a bike tour of the medieval city centre. You can also taste locally brewed beer at the Stadskasteel Oudaen. Take advantage of Utrecht Free Tours for an inside glimpse of the city and its history. And in nice weather, relax at Wilhelminapark, Julianapark or Park Lepelenburg.
Tallinn has everything a traveller could want - medieval city centre, fashionable shopping, even a bit of Cold War intrigue! Spend a few hours exploring Tallinn's old town centre, parts of which date back to the 1400s and grab a bite to eat at Raekoja plats. Don't miss Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a classical 19th-century Russian Orthodox Church complete with onion domes.
Image by David Cunningham From Flickr's Creative Commons
Get the best views of the city from Toompea, where legend has it the ancient king Kalev is buried or see all the way to Finland from the observation deck of the Tallinn TV Tower, the tallest in Northern Europe. Tour the infamous KGB prison Patarei Prison or the former KGB Headquarters Pikk 61, where the former Russian secret police and intelligence agency held and tortured political prisoners. In the summer, visit Tallinn's Baltic Sea beaches: Stroomi Beach, Pirita Marina and Beach, and Kakumäe Beach are among the cleanest.
About the Author: Contributing blogger Charlotte Graves is always looking for the next big craze; she's always ready to take off to a trendy city! Her favourite city destination is Barcelona and she urges her readers to look for the best deals on Expedia city breaks to Barcelona for a short holiday they won't forget.