Our Top 5 picks for a Spring City Break in Europe!

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.

1.Amsterdam

amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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:

Flight time from Dublin Airport: 1 hr 40 mins

2. Berlin

berlin
Berlin, Germany

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:

Flight time from Dublin Airport: 2 hrs 20 mins

3. Paris

paris
Paris, France

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:

Flight time from Dublin Airport: 1 hr 45 mins

4. Venice

venice
Venice, Italy

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

5. Budapest

budapest
Budapest, Hungary

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 ParliamentBuda CastleFisherman’s BastionGresham Palace, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Matthias Church and the Liberty Statue.

Things to do:

Flight from Dublin Airport3 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

Other Citylink blogs you will enjoy:

The History of the Ha’penny Bridge

A beautiful structure with years of history lies just outside our Citylink office in Aston Quay: The Ha’penny Bridge. The Ha’penny Bridge which is the best known and most beloved of Dublin’s bridges, was the first iron pedestrian bridge in Ireland. The bridge was built in 1816 across the River Liffey in Dublin. The Ha’penny Bridge remained the city’s only pedestrian bridge over the Liffey for over 180 years until it was joined by the Millennium Bridge in 1999. The official name of the Ha’penny Bridge is the Liffey Bridge, however the nickname of the Ha’penny Bridge stuck because of the history. Keep reading to find out more.

The History of the Ha’penny Bridge

Originally called the Wellington Bridge (after the Dublin-born Duke of Wellington), the name of the bridge changed to Liffey Bridge in 1922 when Ireland gained independence. The Liffey Bridge remains the bridge’s official name to this day, although it is most commonly referred to as the Ha’penny Bridge.

Before the Ha’penny Bridge was built there were seven ferries, operated by William Walsh, across the Liffey. The ferries were in bad condition and Walsh was informed that he had to either fix them or build a bridge. The bridge was the idea of the Dublin Corporations’ s John C. Beresford. Despite the £3,000 cost, Walsh chose to construct a bridge.

Initially the toll charge was based not on the cost of construction, but to match the charges levied by the ferries it replaced. Each pedestrian who crossed paid a ha’penny, which is where the bridge got its famous nickname. A further condition of construction was that, if the citizens of Dublin found the bridge and toll to be “objectionable” within its first year of operation, it was to be removed at no cost to the city.

The toll was increased for a time to a penny-ha’penny (1½ pence), but was eventually dropped in 1919. While the toll was in operation, there were turnstiles at either end of the bridge. When the bridge opened in 1816 it was reported that an average of between 400-500 paying pedestrians crossed every day. Fast forward to now, approximately 30,000 pedestrians are crossing the bridge daily.

The Ha’penny Bridge celebrated its 200th birthday in 2016. However, it nearly did not reach 100 because in 1913, Dublin Corporation adopted plans to demolish the beloved Ha’penny Bridge and replace it with an art gallery over the river. The proposed gallery would showcase the work of Hugh Lane. The plans to build the gallery bridge were later scrapped, leaving the Ha’penny Bridge in place.

Image result for ha'penny bridge history
Nostalgic drawing of the Ha’penny Bridge

Construction & Renovation

The Ha’penny Bridge is a single elliptical iron arch rising over three metres above high water at its peak. The bridge is 43 metres long and 3.66 metres wide. The ribs of the bridge were individually cast in 18 separate pieces by the Coalbrookdale Company and then shipped to Dublin. Once in Dublin, John Windsor – one of the company’s head foremen – oversaw construction.

The superstructure is reported to have remained remarkably sound since then, but when a survey revealed that work was needed on the railings and deck due to wear and tear, it was closed for a few months of renovation in 2001. 85% percent of the original cast iron was re-used in the renovation project.

Romance on the Ha’penny Bridge

The Ha’penny saw a spell of having its famous white railings decorated with ‘love locks’, or padlocks with lovers’ names on them. After an initial attempt to discourage couples from the practise in 2012 proved unsuccessful, 300 kilograms of locks were removed from the bridge in 2013 over concerns about damage to this protected Dublin structure.

Image result for love locks on ha'penny bridge
Love locks on the Ha’penny Bridge before they were removed in 2013

Conclusion

To conclude, there is a significant amount of history revolving around the Ha’penny Bridge. The bridge was build in 1816, over 200 years ago and was the only pedestrian bridge in Dublin for over 180 years until the Millennium Bridge was built in 1999. The original name was the Wellington Bridge, which was changed to the Liffey Bridge in 1922 when Ireland gained independence. This is still the official name, however, it is more commonly known as the Ha’penny Bridge due to the ha’penny toll charge for pedestrians crossing until 1919. The bridge was renovated in 2001 and the current bridge is 85% original cast iron. Don’t forget to like this blog if you enjoyed reading. You can also share this blog on Facebook or Twitter.

Other Citylink blogs you may enjoy:

Top 5 Beautiful Beaches in Galway

Travel to the Cliffs of Moher with Citylink & Lally Tours

3 Wild Atlantic Way Road Trips to take with Citylink

Free this weekend? Visit Athlone!

5 Hidden Gems to discover in Cork

 

How To: Manage Your Booking

We understand that life is hectic and sometimes things come up. We here at Citylink want to make your experience as pleasant and seamless as possible. A question we get asked a lot is “Can I change my booking?” and the answer is, yes! Keep reading to find out the terms and conditions of amending your booking with Citylink.

Conditions:

  • You can amend your booking with Citylink up to 3 hours in advance of the departure time of that service from the first stop.
  • Please note there are no changes permitted to promotional fares purchased online.
  • We are happy to change the time and date of your booking but we cannot change the destination.

How to manage your booking:

When you go to our website www.citylink.ie, click “Manage my Booking” in the top left corner as seen below:

manage my booking
Irish Citylink, Website.

When you click on the “Manage My Booking” section the following page will appear:

manage 1
Irish Citylink, Manage My Booking

Enter your booking reference number which can be found in your confirmation email, or if you chose to have your ticket text to your mobile, your booking reference number can also be found here. You will also need to enter the email you used to book your initial journey.

Once you have submitted these details, you can proceed to change the date and time of your booking. Your new ticket will be sent to your email.

Other Citylink blogs that might interest you:

1. What are my rights if my flight is delayed

2. Citylink’s top 5 tips for stress-free airport travel

Student Online Sale!

We have a fantastic sale for our students for the month of November. All online student single tickets between Galway – Dublin City only €10! (Return journeys only €20). All student singles from Galway – Dublin Airport on our eireagle services only €12! (Return journeys only €24)

You can even book now for future journeys months in advance and continue to save! Tickets purchased at this price are effective from the 01/11/2019 onward. Book online at www.citylink.ie to avail of this offer.

View our timetables below for the routes included in this offer:

Galway – Dublin City – Dublin Airport

Galway to Dublin Airport express website

Dublin Airport – Dublin City – Galway

Dublin Airport to Galway website timetable

For more information and to view all of our timetables click this link.

Other Citylink blogs you might enjoy:

 

Citylink Fancam: Connacht Vs Benetton

🙌 Citylink was in the stands as Connacht sealed their first win of the Pro14 aginst Benetton at the Sportsground. Outstanding performances by Caolin Blade, Tom McCartney, Conor Fitzgerald and a superb solo effort by Kyle Godwin ensured a comfortable victory.

🚌 Citylink are the official coach providers to Connacht Rugby, driving Connacht Rugby forwards in the hail rain or snow.