There’s nothing wrong with a beach break, but for me there’s only so many sandcastles I can build, chip suppers I can eat, and sticks of rock I can break my teeth on before I start longing for the multiplex cinemas, proper shops and fine dining only a city can offer! With that in mind, here are my top city break destinations for this summer and a little to-do list for each to make the most of those long, hot summer days.
Worth a visit at any time of year, Edinburgh is a strong candidate for the best UK destination when summer rolls around. Not only is the city abuzz with the festival atmosphere, with the ever-thrilling and popular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe in town, you’re never far from an awe-inspiring show or spectacle when you’re in the Scottish capital. Revel in the incomparable mix of old meets new, the contemporary and the traditional that live side by side in Edinburgh. Shopping on Princes Street is a must, as is taking tea at Edinburgh Castle, and if you can catch a glimpse of those gorgeous Pandas at Edinburgh Zoo too, you’re on to a real winner this summer.
There are few finer places to be in the sunshine than our nation’s capital. The busy hustle and bustle of Oxford Street may not be to everyone’s taste, but you can almost always find a patch of ground on Hampstead Heath or in pretty Hyde Park to enjoy an ice cream and soak up the atmosphere. It pays to remember that all London hotel bookings made before the end of June include a free river cruise – the nicest possible way to see the capital’s most iconic sights bathed in glorious sunshine. Keep enjoying the great outdoors at London Zoo in Regents Park, or while away the long summer days at the stunning Kew Gardens. Why not enjoy the comfort and ease of a two night rail break to London and discover what makes the capital one of the hottest places to be whatever the weather’s doing!
If you don’t trust the summer sunshine to make much of an appearance this year, its worth considering a short break on the continent to catch some rays. Make this the year you discover how much Europe’s greatest destinations have to offer and enjoy a city break to remember.
Whether it’s for the food, the fashion, the sights or the sun, Rome is the perfect choice for your short summer getaway. Nothing beats gelato by the Trevi Fountain on a hot day, and with a wealth of fashion boutiques and buildings with endless historical charm primed for exploration, there’s an awful lot to keep you busy on a short break. You won’t want to be inside for too long though, and those long summer days offer the perfect opportunity to see all the famous landmarks – from the coliseum to the Vatican, and everything in between! The Rome by night tour is also a must; enjoy fine Italian cuisine at a traditional eatery, and spend a warm summer evening exploring the Italian capital when the Eternal City comes alive and the streets look like scenes from La Dolce Vita or Roman Holiday.
There’s a good reason Barcelona is our Destination of the Month for June. The ultimate city break, Barcelona really does have it all; spend your days shopping, sightseeing or lounging on the beach, and spend your nights at a funky Flamenco club, trying tapas in a trendy restaurant or watching the magical Montjuic Fountain. Be sure to see the beautiful and distinctive Sagrada Familia and – if you have the time – a tour of the impressive Nou Camp is a must. We thoroughly recommend a bit of retail therapy when you find yourself in Spain’s most chic city – a trip to the La Roca Shopping Village with a €50 pre-paid MasterCard in your pocket is an excellent way to get kitted out this summer.
What’s your favourite summer city break? Tell us where you’ll be heading in the comments section below!