Since starting to contribute some of my travel articles to the GPSmyCity app a couple of years ago, I’ve been a bit more organised about how I write up city breaks. It’s been a really positive step in helping me develop my writing and also great to know that some of it is published and reaching a wider audience.
I like to look at why you would choose a particular city to travel to for a short break. Apart from obvious sights to visit, for me, good travel is intrinsically linked to good food. Hence, the ‘series’ has become ‘Eat, Drink, Do’. Although I haven’t used that title for all the following guides, they’re all the same format giving you a lot of information about why to go, where to stay, what to do and where – of course! – to eat.
I’m listing the cities in order of the date the article was published – not an order of preference, as that would be too difficult as I love them all!
I went back to Nice for the first time in many years in September 2015. I hadn’t taken in before the close connection to Italy – I don’t mean in geographical terms as that’s more obvious, but the language and food as Nice was once part of Italy. It’s just a fabulous destination for great food and wine, climate, art and beauty. Click here to my full article.
As regular readers of the blog will know, it’s becoming a regular thing for me to go to Amsterdam in the spring – usually January. I know the city well, am not seeking sun (though it’s nice when I get some!), but simply to soak up the wonderful atmosphere in one of Europe’s most laid-back but culturally vibrant cities. Click here to read my guide.
Vienna had been on my ‘bucket list’ for some time but it was thanks to my daughter I made it to this great city. She was going there for work and invited me to join her for a weekend. It was great to see it with her and Vienna has so much to offer the traveller that a weekend wasn’t really long enough – so sometime I’ll have to go back to see more. Click here for my guide.
I’d been thinking of going to Turin for a while as my Italian teacher suggested I’d enjoy it because of its great gastronomic heritage. Some of the best food and wine in Italy comes from Piemonte, of which Turin is the capital. I fell in love with the city immediately, went back the following year and have a third trip booked for next spring. Click here for my guide.
When I went to Florence last June, it was the first time in many years, though I had been before a few times. I loved it all over again. Yes it gets very busy – so try to avoid July and August – but there’s so much to do and plenty of places to escape the crowds, like taking a bus up to Fiesole or going to the Boboli Gardens. Click here for my guide.
I’d been wanting to go to Granada for ages and when I finally got there last September it was everything and more than I’d hoped for. Of course you just have to visit the incredible Alhambra (make sure to book well in advance or you won’t get in) and the views from there and other hills are stunning. But I also loved the vibrancy of the city with Flamenco on the streets, gorgeous food in fabulous tapas bars and the Moorish heritage still evident throughout the city. Click here for my guide.
The least touristy of these city break suggestions and, it has to be said, not my favourite, but I did like it a lot. The non-touristy aspect has pros and cons but the pros are it’s a lived in city full of locals and not tourists. You will find some of Italy’s best food here and eating out is much cheaper than other popular cities. Everyone I met was wonderfully friendly and it’s also a great base to explore the beautiful Cinque Terre. Click here for my guide.
I’d been close to Siena so many times over very many years, but had never made it there – until June this year. And I’m so glad I finally got there for it is a beautiful city, quite extraordinary because of the preservation of its medieval historic centre. Many people go for a day’s visit but do stay for at least a night or two. It calms down a little in the evening and is just the most beautiful place to be. Click here for my guide.
I’ve only been back a few days and have just published my guide to this beautiful city but I certainly couldn’t leave it out of my suggestions for a great city break. It has everything you could want from a short holiday: a wonderful city with all that a great city has to offer and then the beach and marina. Even in the winter the weather is reasonably warm so it’s a city to head off to at any time of year. Click here for my guide.
If you’re thinking about where to escape to next for a great city break, then I hope this post has given you inspiration. And do please let me know your favourite place to go for a wonderful city break.