Weekend breaks are great for when long term travel just isn’t an option. Maybe you’ve not got any more holidays from work left or maybe your budget won’t allow for a weeks holiday somewhere. Whatever the reason is, you’re going to want to make the most of your short time away and see as much as you can. I would always say that 3 days is an ideal amount of time to see all a city has to offer, but I realise that sometimes you’ve only got two days to spare so I’m going to share with you some tips on how you can squeeze as much as you can into 48 hours.
- Public Transport
Public transport is efficient, budget friendly and if you’re in a city it’s everywhere, wether it be trams, trains or buses. You’re going to want to get the hang of it and get the hang of it quickly, so I suggest you prepare by either downloading the appropriate app for your chosen mode of transport or just having a look at what the options are and what is the best way to get around before you go.
- Do Your Research
This is a no-brainer to most, but it is absolutely essential if you want to hit up the best attractions and find those off the beaten track spots, you wouldn’t otherwise know about or have the time to just stumble across. I always like to have a look at some blog posts and watch some YouTube videos on where I’m going so I can get a feel for it and make sure I know exactly what I want to do when over there. You want to make sure you’re not missing the best bits and avoid the things that are not worth the hype!
- Location, Location, Location!!!
If you’re only going to be somewhere for 2-3 days you’re definitely going to want to make sure that the place you’re staying in, is as central as possible. This means that you will have all the main attractions nearby and won’t be wasting precious time and money getting to and from them. I would always ensure that there is some form of public transport close by as well.
- Use Apps
There are many apps available now to help travellers get the most out of their trip. Ones that I have personally used and find helpful are aroundme app (kind of like google maps), which lets you search for restaurants, supermarkets and ATM’s nearby and tells you exactly how far away it is from you. Also in relation to public transport city mapper is fantastic and will save you a lot of confusion when trying to navigate another city’s transport system. It offers more detailed journey planner information than google and even includes disruption alerts and alternative routes, although not available everywhere it covers 30 cities worldwide including the main “city break” destinations. Just remember to look up from your phone and take in where you are!
- Ask a Local
No one knows a city like a native, so don’t be shy to ask them where the best places to eat, drink and relax are, chances are they’ll know where to give a miss as well so you’ll avoid the tourist traps. Sean and I stayed in an Airbnb in Berlin, which is great because they are usually owned by a local who lives there and they can advise you on what to do, we got recommendations on bars and restaurants that we wouldn’t have looked twice at otherwise. (Use this code to get £30 off your first Airbnb).
- Walk Around
This might seem contradictory to what I said on public transport, but the best way to see a city is on foot, you will literally see so much more and you’re likely to stumble across some hidden gems or come across a great photo opportunity, plus you’ll walk off all the eating and drinking you’ll undoubtedly be doing.
So now you’ve got all the info, the only thing left to decide is the destination. Europe is the prime place for city breaks in my opinion, especially for us Brits as it’s on our doorstep. There’s sooo many to choose from, each one unique and culturally diverse from the last, here are some of my top picks..
- Berlin – so much to do and great transport system to get around (if you can get the hang of it)
- Dublin – small and great atmosphere
- Paris – amazing sights and easy to get around (I spent just a day in Paris and managed to see all the main sights)
- Amsterdam – good size to explore in a short time
When choosing a city break destination, always consider how big it is, somewhere huge like NYC isn’t ideal because you won’t have enough time to experience it all in a short period.
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