Nothing beats the post Christmas blues like a quick Spring getaway to look forward to. There are a multitude of amazing destinations at our doorstep in Europe, waiting to be explored. Keep reading to find out about our Top 5 picks for a Spring City Break in Europe.
The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, is well known for it’s artistic heritage, narrow houses with gabled facades and being the world’s 2nd most bicycle friendly city in the world. Amsterdam’s nickname is “Venice of the North” attributed by the large number of canals which form a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Originating as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world in the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century and became the leading centre for finance and trade.
Exploring the cities canals by foot, enjoying a walk on Blijburg beach and learning about Amsterdam’s history at Stadsarchief (City Archives) are a few of the many amazing things you can do to make the most of your time in this wonderful city.
Things to do:
- Van Gogh Museum– World’s largest Van Gogh collection
- Anne Frank’s House – World War II diarist’s house
- Rijksmuseum – Art museum housing European masterpieces
- Dam Square – Palace and monument
- Vondelpark – Huge park with open air theatre
- Heineken Experience – Interactive beer museum and tour
Flight time from Dublin Airport: 1 hr 40 mins
Berlin is a world of culture, politics, media and science. It is the capital and largest city in Germany bursting with fascinating history. It’s 3,748,148 inhabitants make it the second most populous city of the European Union after London.
Among the city’s main features are the many lakes in the western and southeastern boroughs formed by the Spree, Havel, and Dahme rivers. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. About one-third of the city’s area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers, canals and lakes.
The city has numerous orchestras, museums, and entertainment venues, and is host to many sporting events. It’s Zoological Garden is the most visited zoo in Europe and one of the most popular worldwide. The city is also well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts and a very high quality of living.
Things to do:
- Brandenburg Gate – Grand classical archway and city divide
- Reichstag Building – Historic, glass-domed home of Parliament
- East Side Gallery – Section of Berlin Wall for street art
- Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe – Columns commemorating the Holocaust
- Checkpoint Charlie– Cold War and East/West border landmark
- Museum Island – Art museum and Cathedral
Flight time from Dublin Airport: 2 hrs 20 mins
The “City of Love” as it is well-known globally is the perfect place to visit with your loved ones to overcome the Christmas blues. Paris, France’s capital city, is a major European city and global centre for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture.
Paris is especially known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was among most visited art museums in the world in 2019, with 9.6 million visitors. The historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site, and popular landmarks in the city centre included the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, now closed for renovation after the April 15, 2019 fire.
Paris received 24.5 million visitors in 2018. It was ranked as the second most visited travel destination in the world in 2018, after Bangkok. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris. The 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis.
Things to do:
- Eiffel Tower – 324 m high 19th Century Tower
- Arc de Triomphe – Triumphal arc and National Monument
- Louvre Museum– Landmark Art Museum
- Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral – Iconic Gothic Church
- Champs Élysées – Iconic sites of shops, dining and landmarks
Sacré-Cœur – Landmark hilltop white basilica
Flight time from Dublin Airport: 1 hr 45 mins
Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. It was a major financial and maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as an important centre of commerce – especially silk, grain, and spices, and of art from the 13th century to the end of the 17th.
The lagoon and a part of the city are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Parts of Venice are renowned for the beauty of their settings, their architecture, and artwork. Venice is known for several important artistic movements – especially during the Renaissance period.
Although the city is facing some challenges (including an excessive number of tourists, problems caused by pollution, tide peaks and cruise ships sailing close to the buildings), Venice remains a very popular tourist destination, a major cultural centre, and has been ranked many times the most beautiful city in the world. It has been described by the Times Online as one of Europe’s most romantic cities and by The New York Times as “undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man”.
Things to do:
- Grand Canal – Canal, basilica and palace
- Rialto Bridge – Ornate footbridge over the Grand Canal
- St. Mark’s Square – Landmark basilica dominated square
- St. Mark’s Basilica – Landmark cathedral with gilded domes
- Burano – Island of lace-making and colourful fishermen’s homes
- Murano – Museo del Vetro and glass souvenirs
- Bridge of Sighs – Iconic white-stone enclosed bridge
Flight time from Dublin Airport: 2 hrs 40 mins
Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is bisected by the River Danube. The Széchenyi Chain Bridge connects the hilly Buda district with flat Pest. Budapest is a global city with strengths in commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. It is Hungary’s financial centre, and was ranked as the second fastest-developing urban economy in Europe.
Among Budapest’s important museums and cultural institutions is the Museum of Fine Arts. The central area of the city along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has several notable monuments, including the Hungarian Parliament, Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Gresham Palace, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Matthias Church and the Liberty Statue.
Things to do:
- Buda Castle – Castle home of Hungarian art collection
- Hungarian Parliament building – Gothic revival style government building
- Fisherman’s Bastion – Turreted fortress & city views
- Széchenyi Chain Bridge – Iconic 1800’s stone suspension bridge
- Heroes’ Square – Major square with landmark statues
- Matthias Church – Late Gothic Roman Catholic church
- Széchenyi Thermal Bath – Grand spa with in & outdoor pools
Flight from Dublin Airport: 3 hrs
No matter where you decide to travel in Europe, you are guaranteed to find some delicious cuisine, historic landmarks, fantastic nightlife, beautiful scenery and much more!
Travelling to Dublin Airport? Travel in luxury with Citylink. Our coaches offer on board toilets, Free WiFi, charging points, generous luggage allowances, comfortable seats and friendly and helpful drivers. Have any queries about our services? All information about our services can be found on www.citylink.ie
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