I have always enjoyed a city break, both in my life ‘before kids’ and even now though they are pretty young. We haven’t braved bringing them with us, but thanks to very accommodating grandparents we have been able to have a couple of breaks by ourselves and are in the process of planning our next trip.
There’s something so exciting about planning a holiday, even if it’s only for a couple of nights. With city breaks, there are so many opportunities to discover new things and experience different cultures, compared to a regular beach holiday. Here are my other top four city breaks destinations:
We visited Paris long before having kids. I was living in Ireland at the time and my (now) husband was living in the UK so we thought, why not meet in Paris? As cliched as it might seem, this is one of the most romantic and appealing cities to visit in my opinion. Not only is there beautiful food and drink to indulge in, there are so many fascinating attractions including The Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe and of course The Eiffel Tower – all of which we enjoyed when there. Check out the Ultimate Paris Travel Guide on Volumes & Voyages for the full low-down on what to do there.
We stayed in the Latin Quarter of Paris and had a loose plan of the places we wanted to visit. We sampled snails, took the train out to Versailles and generally just enjoyed the ambience while relaxing in little french cafes after a long day of being a tourist – it’s a tough life! I would go back there again in a heartbeat. When we do visit, I’ll be checking out these hidden gems in Paris.
Another option is to take the kids and combine it with a trip to Disneyland Paris. If you are planning to take your kids, ‘Kids are a Trip’ have written about the best places to stay with kids in Paris. Or if you fancy getting out of the city and discovering some of the stunning smaller towns, ‘Our Escape Clause’ has featured 25+ of the prettiest small towns in France to explore!
Oooh lovely London! Even though London is only an hour away from Tunbridge Wells, it is still one of the most perfect places for a city break. The shopping, the sightseeing, the gastronomy and the fun! London has it all.
I used to go there for work every day and never fully appreciated the city, but now that I visit far less frequently, I alway enjoy arriving in to London Bridge and seeing some of the iconic London sights. The Travel Scribes has written about some lovely London hidden gems which I am looking forward to working my way through.
If I had to choose three of my top things to do in London (as a tourist) then it would probably have to be going to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, a trip around London Dungeons and a walk along South Bank followed by going on The London Eye. A visit to London’s Chinatown is a must too, especially if you love Chinese food like I do. I always love to wander around Soho which is nearby. I used to work there before having kids so it feels quite nostalgic when I stroll around Soho too.
If you are planning to spend a few days in London, you must check out this 4 day London itinerary by Emily at London City Calling. She knows everything there is to know about London, including lots of little gems as well as the essential sites to see too.
Or how about exploring some of the beautiful places in London that you might have heard of before? There are some cool things to do in Notting Hill which I’m sure you’ll have heard of if you were a teenager in the 90’s? This place is so quirky and cool and definitely worth a visit.
Bangkok seems to be a bit like marmite – you either like it or loathe it. In my case, I like the constant buzz which encapsulates this city – the humidity hits you as soon as you leave the airport and the sound of traffic never seems to stop, however there is so much to discover in Bangkok and it feels like another world away from Tunbridge Wells.
I have been to Bangkok several times both with and without my Husband. I still like going back to the Banglamphu area and ‘backpacker paradise’ known as the Khao San Road, where I first experienced Bangkok at the beginning of a one year trip around South East Asia and Australia / New Zealand in 2005. The Chatuchak Weekend Market is a must-see, as well as sampling some street food and thai massage.
A cruise along the Chao Phraya River is an eye-opener and exploring Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) is interesting too. Hire a tuk-tuk driver for the day or flag one down and hope that he’s a good one! And make sure you tick off at least one of these things to do in Bangkok at night. Next time I’m there, I will definitely be visiting the Mahanakhon Bangkok Skybar.
Amsterdam has so much to offer – it’s such a chilled out city and seems to get the balance of culture and fun just right. We hired bikes for the weekend and although it was in February, the weather was crisp but sunny, perfect cycling weather for a novice like me.
The Van Gogh Museum was fascinating and visitors could easily spend the day in this sprawling building hosting the world’s largest Van Gogh collection of paintings including the infamous Sunflowers, The Potato Eaters and The Bedroom. The Anne Frank Museum was poignant and emotional, especially for anyone who read the book as a child and a Canal Boat trip is the perfect way to see the beautiful architecture of this super city. Amsterdam is also known for its Indonesian cuisine, a by-product of Dutch colonialism in Indonesia – my most memorable meal there was a Rijsttafel (Rice Table). Try it if you go!
Looking for some unique hotels to stay in? Wander & Luxe has written about 15 of the Best Unique Hotels in the UK. Check it out!
Have you been on many City Breaks before? I would love to hear any recommendations in the comments box below…