European City Breaks for the Spring Bank Holiday | Direct Car Excess


European City Breaks for the Spring Bank Holiday

22 MAY 2015 - By Lee Tad

With so many irresistible European cities on our doorstep, there is no excuse for staying home this spring bank holiday. Whether you decide to take a short train ride or a quick direct flight, these five European holiday destinations will ensure you spend less time travelling and more time enjoying your bank holiday weekend.


Paris comes alive in the springtime and the mild weather makes it the perfect time to visit the City of Light. Easily reached from the UK by the Eurostar in just over two hours, the beauty of Paris is that you will experience something different each time you visit. For first timers, the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Louvre and Sacre Couer are must-sees, while returning visitors will want to shop, explore different districts, explore off-the-beaten-track museums and take in a show.


Another Eurostar destination, Brussels is even quicker to reach than Paris. If you have never been to Brussels, then it is time to discover what makes this elegant city tick. There are plenty of quirky museums in Brussels, including ones dedicated to Art Nouveau architecture, comic strips, musical instruments and chocolate. A walking tour of the most famous sights is recommended or, if you have a sweet tooth, simply head straight to Place du Grand Sablon known for its heavenly Belgian chocolates.


Just a two-hour direct flight from the UK, the old-world charm of Prague will delight and intrigue. Start by strolling around the Old Town Square to soak up the picturesque setting and seek out the most iconic sight, the astronomical clock tower on the Old Town Hall, which puts on a 'show' every hour. Your Prague city break itinerary could consist of walking Charles Bridge, riding the funicular up to Petrín Tower, visiting Prague Castle and shopping for souvenirs at some of the many craft stalls.


Since it is just under an hour’s flight from the UK, chilling out in Amsterdam at one of the many canal-side cafes or leisurely browsing the shops and markets is an ideal way to spend your spring city break. You may enjoy renting a bike and exploring the network of cycle paths this city offers, or seeing the sights via the hop on/hop off Canal Bus. Amsterdam’s rich history can be absorbed at the Rijksmuseum or by checking out the Van Gogh flower display at the Keukenhof garden, which is open until the end of May.


Just a two-hour flight away, Venice offers a wealth of things to do and see for a city break. The floating city's compact nature and network of canals makes it easy to get from place to place, either on foot or by water taxi. For first time visitors, Saint Mark’s Cathedral and Square is a must, as is taking a water taxi ride down the Grand Canal. A day trip to Burano and Murano might be in the cards, or perhaps exploring the restored 18th century Ca' Rezzonico, or the amazing modern art at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Be sure to spend a morning or afternoon just enjoying a stroll through the maze of cobblestone streets, and factor in a long lunch at one of the many cafes offering divine seafood dishes.


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