Alternative city break destinations for 2019 – our top picks

by Sylvia Pownall

It’s that time of year when most people start to think about their next city break.

Maybe somewhere you can disappear to for a weekend getaway that isn’t inundated with tourists?

Or perhaps you want to discover the next ‘go-to destination’ before your friends? Here’s a list of alternatives you probably haven’t thought of but really should…

Been to Krakow? Try Wroclaw

If you want an Eastern European city that isn’t swarmed with thousands of visitors then you won’t find better.

Fewer tourists mean more snaps of this stunning medieval city which was named the European Capital of Culture in 2016.

Rynek, the main market square, is one of the most beautiful in Europe. Wroclaw also homes an exceptional flower garden which hosts open-air concerts and events and is the ideal space for relaxing on a summer’s day.

The Old Town is one of the city’s top tourist attractions but don’t forget a visit to Ostrow Tumski (Cathedral Island).

And watch out for the Dwarves of Wroclaw – small, bronze, ornamental gnomes dotted cleverly around the city.

Not forgetting the Wrocław Multimedia Fountain; a light show which has to be seen to be believed.

Been to Prague? Try Riga

Riga is ideal for your next Eastern European adventure. It’s the largest of the Baltic region and has been referred to as the ‘Little Paris of the North’, due to its magnificent buildings and little-cobbled alleyways.

Riga’s stunning Art Nouveau infrastructure has won itself a place as part of UNESCO World Heritage. Since the fall of communism, most buildings have been renovated giving the city a strong blended theme where modernity meets medieval.

St Peter’s Church in the Old Town is the place to go to get panoramic views of the city where your view is be dabbled with red rooftops and cobbled streets.

Fun fact: Just outside St Peter’s Church lies a charming statue with stacked animals (a donkey, dog, cat and rooster) called the “Town Musicians of Bremen” from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale.

People say that rubbing the noses of each animal on the statue will bring you good luck!

Been to Budapest? Try Istanbul

Istanbul has been described as a city where Europe meets Asia.

The city is spread across both continents and separated by the Bosphorus River – you will see the contrasts of both continents every corner you turn.

With endless possibilities of what to see and do, Istanbul will soon become your favourite city break destination.

Discover the buzzing Grand Bazaar, a shopping experience which is unique to Istanbul.

This place will hit you with a unique sensory overload.
Somewhere you’ll find treasure troves of gold and silver jewellery, aromatic spices and chic fabrics in a bustling setting.

A visit to the Haggia Sophia has to be on your list. It has been considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and the eighth ‘Wonder of the World’.

It’s located near the Sultan Ahmed Mosque aka The Blue Mosque because it’s adorned with beautiful blue tiles throughout the building.

Been to Berlin? Try Hamburg

Hamburg has one of the biggest and busiest ports in Europe. They also have a Maritime Museum, a very famous fish market, and harbour cruises for visitors to enjoy making it a seafaring city.

St Pauli’s district is known for its football club and its insane night life but it also has a strong historical background.

It was known as the sailor’s area and where The Beatles really strengthened their reputation and made a name for themselves back in the 60s.

Pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants surrounded by neon lights, striking graffiti and eclectic music adorn the streets and it is definitely worth a stop off on your trip.

Fun fact: There are more canals in Hamburg than in Amsterdam and Venice combined!

Been to Barcelona? Try Seville

Seville is most commonly known as the birthplace of tapas and flamenco dancing.

It was voted the top destination to visit in 2018 and it has a great mix of something for everyone, with amazing monuments and palaces to explore, a wide range of entertainment and leisure activities and a plethora of tasty cuisine to devour.

The biggest landmark in Seville is the Alcazar of Seville, one of the oldest palaces still in use and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You may recognise it from productions such as Game of Thrones and Star Wars.

If you need another reason to go to Seville it has to be their festivals.

The Semana Santa de Sevilla takes place before Easter and celebrates Holy Week.

Another major festival in Seville is the Feriade Abril which takes place in April after Easter.

There are fairs which are adorned with lights, tents and people in traditional Andalusian costumes with activities such as bullfights and a large firework displays to mark the end of the week and its celebrations.

Click and Go offers great deals on city breaks to all of the above destinations and many more, with a three-night stay in four or five-star accommodation from as little as €249pp.

Visit for details.

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