Travel and living

The Best City Breaks to Escape Hustle and Bustle of 9-5 Living

If your next holiday seems more like a distant dream than a possibility, it could be time to consider taking a city break to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

If you need inspiration, look no further - take the train to one of these three fantastic European cities, and find the perfect antidote to your weekend blues.

1. Bruges


Bruges is an incredibly well-preserved city with the majority of its historic and medieval buildings intact, reflecting its centre's status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Home to the striking and awe-inspiring 270ft Belfry Tower of Market Square's Church of Our Lady-which houses Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child sculpture-Bruges is positively teeming with cultural attractions.

If relaxation is what you seek, short breaks to Bruges can be just as tranquil and relaxing, particularly if you fancy sauntering through the cobbled streets, marvelling at its 13th century whitewashed houses. Why not also take a horse and cart ride through the city and enjoy a Belgian beer and a bite to eat by the canal?

2. Amsterdam


Amsterdam is a famously relaxed European city. One can pleasantly lose hours simply wandering alongside its peaceful network of canals, or watching the world go by while sipping coffee at one of the city's many quaint cafés.

Without question, the best way to see the city is by bike; it allows you to take in some of the city's most famous sights while giving you the freedom to explore at your own pace. Anne Frank's House, the tower of the Westerkerk (the tallest in the city) and the Amsterdam Museum are all essential stopping points during your weekend break, giving you an insight into the rich history of this fantastic city.

For a real sense of Dutch relaxation however, the Vondelpark is the ideal place to mingle with the locals. During the summer months, the park is bursting at the seams with locals of all ages, feasting on delectable picnics, drinking wine and enjoying live music and dance shows. It's the perfect spot to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of life.

3. Berlin


Although it was a city with a turbulent and fascinating past, it is now one of Europe's most popular weekend destinations.

Very much Germany's capital of art of culture, the city's Kulturforum is the perfect place to begin your exploration of the place. It houses a number of world-class galleries, including the Gemäldegalerie, which contains an exquisite array of English, Spanish and Italian Renaissance works from renowned artists such as Frans Hals and Rembrandt.

If you'd much rather escape the busy side of urban life, Grunewald, Berlin's largest forested area, is one of the most serene and tranquil areas of the city. Whether you decide to explore the forest by bike, foot or horseback, the freshwater lake of Schlachtensee is the perfect place to let the stresses of everyday life melt away.

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