Planning your holiday for 2014?
With just a month to go before we drink in the New Year, today we’re counting down five of the world’s top city break destinations from 2013 – giving you information on the best time of year to visit them and something unusual to do while you’re there.
So before you book, take some inspiration from this year’s favourites…
Best time to go: Paris is beautiful any time of year. Some people recommend going in August when the city is at its quietest, however the city is at its most colourful in Autumn, when you can also catch the annual arts Festival d’Automne.
Unusual thing to do: Notre Dame and The Louvre will inevitably be high up on everyone’s list, but the city has some quirkier sites too, including the Paris Sewers Museum (or “Musee des Egouts”, en Français).
Did you know? It takes 50 tons of paint every seven years to keep the Eiffel Tower looking chic.
2. New York
Best time to go: The Big Apple is buzzing in every season, but New York is easily at its most magical around Christmas time, when you’ll find everything from the Winter Village in Bryant Park to George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.
Unusual thing to do: Not only should you try a slice or two of New York’s signature style of pizza, but you can even make your own with the experts themselves at Pizza a Casa Pizza School.
Did you know? Although the island of Manhattan spans just 13 miles, the city still manages to rack up 722 miles of subway track in its underground rail network.
Best time to go: For the mass of stuff to do, London really shines in the summer (even if it’s raining – see above). From picnics on Parliament Hill to the beach on the Southbank, you won’t be short of outdoor activities to keep you busy in the summer months.
Unusual thing to do: Kick back with an organic pint (or soft drink) at the world’s first organic pub in Angel, The Duke of Cambridge.
Did you know? The name Covent Garden (in the capital’s West End) is the result of a spelling error – it once marked the grounds of a convent.
Best time to go: For milder temperatures and less crowds at the Colosseum and Vatican City, spring is the best season for sightseeing.
Unusual thing to do: Italians are said to wolf down a mammoth 60 pounds of pasta (per person!) each year, so it’s no surprise that Rome has a museum dedicated to the nation’s favourite staple – The National Pasta Museum. Well, when in Rome…
Did you know? An estimated €2-3,000 is thrown into the city’s iconic Trevi Fountain every day. The proceeds reportedly go to a local Catholic charity.
Best time to go: Nothing beats a spring break to Barcelona, as the rainy season is in the autumn and the summer sees temperatures of up to 30*C. You’ll also pick up a bargain in the winter, too.
Unusual thing to do: Not only is the city known for its iconic architecture from Catalan Antoni Gaudí’s classic work to Zaha Hadid’s modern structures, it’s also one of Europe’s street art capitals. The city offers a Street Style Tour (walking or bicycle) showing you the best of Barcelona’s graffiti scene, including works by local sensations such as Malarky, Justin Case and Pez Pescao.
Did you know? Barcelona doesn’t just have 4.5 km of beaches – it’s also home to the busiest street in Spain. Every hour, an estimated 3,500 people stroll down the city’s Portal de l’Angel.