Top City Destinations
"Hot town, summer in the city....." so go the lyrics of the Joe Cocker hit. Summer city breaks are big business for travel companies, as more of us than ever before forego the delights of a two week beach break in Tenerife for a spot of shopping and culture in a European city. But where should you be jetting off to this summer? Here are the top 5 summer city destinations to consider next year.
This up and coming Eastern European city is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, thanks to its old buildings which have been part of a large-scale restoration project. Explore the Old Town (on the east of the river) and the city centre - most areas are accessible on foot. Don't miss the Town Square with its historic buildings, Riga Cathedral and the Freedom Monument. Enjoy haggling at the local markets, or head for some traditional Latvian cake at Sweetday Cafe in the Old Town.
2. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Another gem of Eastern Europe, the city of Dubrovnik is a great choice for families, couples and solo travellers. Stay for at least a week, so you'll have time to soak up the Mediterranean sun, set sail on a cruise to the Elafite Islands and stroll around the medieval city of Korcula. After all that, rest and relax on one of Dubrovnik's beautiful beaches!
The city of Prague has plenty to tempt both repeat visitors and those new to its charms - renowned for its reasonably priced beer, delicious food and art nouveau buildings, you won't be bored for long here. The Old Town Hall with its astronomical clock is a must-see, as is the Powder Tower at the entrance to the Old Town itself - its gothic style makes for stunning photographs!
Avoid Rome and Paris this summer and take off to Austria instead. This underrated country is home to Salzburg, the birthplace of the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the old town is a delight to behold, with its original baroque buildings. Visit Mozart's birthplace, chill out with an ice-cold Austrian beer and enjoy a breakfast of local sausages and sweet mustard - you'll be glad you came!
5. Marrakech, Morocco
For a taste of the exotic without the long-haul flight, Marrakech should be your first choice. Expect to be wowed by the sights, sounds and smells of the ancient medina, haggle for spices and jewellery in the souk and perhaps even come across a snake charmer or two on your travels. Enjoy camel rides across the desert, sample tapas and traditional Moroccan tagine with its blend of fruit and spices, or head for Dar Cherifa Literary Cafe for some Moroccan mint tea and a potent blend of exhibitions, sculptures and live music.
No matter which city you choose this summer, make sure you have travel insurance in place to cover yourself and your travel companions - now get packing!