Tag Archives: city break

Ramping up the romance factor in fair Verona

Few cities have romantic legend in the bag as much as Verona. Sure, Paris is still the capital of Lurve with a capital L and New York is the home of cinematic lovefests from An Affair to Remember to Sleepless in Seattle, but Verona has Romeo & Juliet and no rom-com can trump that.

As well as being the stomping ground for Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, Verona is actually a beautiful, lesser-spotted Italian city that’s well worth a visit, whether you snoozed through Romeo & Juliet at school or not.

Here’s my tips for what to see and do in Verona, with a little sprinkle of romance along the way:

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The Frankfurt Five: my 5 favourites in this city

Unless you’re a business traveller, I’m guessing most of you have never set foot in Frankfurt, never mind considered it for a German city break. Poor old Frankfurt tends to get left behind in favour of the Berghain beats of Berlin or Oktoberfest madness of Munich. Well, for Irish tourists at least. But the oft-overlooked Frankfurt has lots to keep you entertained if you’re there on business or just passing through.

Despite the stuffy financial hub image, Frankfurt has plenty of pluses in its favour. With a population of just 700,000 people you’re never thronged by crowds on the streets, and, even though it has a highly efficient public transport system, you can pretty much walk everywhere. The city mixes old-style architecture with slick skyscrapers and, despite the cosmopolitan spirit, you won’t have to search far to indulge in a traditional apple wine or schnitzel.

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See the best of Belfast in 6 steps

Guess which city I’ve been to most in the last two years. Clue: it isn’t London, it’s not New York (I wish!) and it’s not Paris. Give up? It’s Belfast. Yes, really. Much as I love Belfast I think you need to plan what you’re gonna get up to before you arrive or else you can end up flailing about and wondering what the big deal is. With this in mind, here’s six of my favourite things to do in Belfast to guarantee you see a sizable chunk of what this city has to offer in one fast-paced weekend. FYI it’s mostly for people who’ve never been so if you’re a local and my choices disgust you…I don’t want to know! (Joke – tell me your picks!)

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City breaks: Where to eat, sleep and act like a tourist in Bristol

I visited Bath years ago and, even though I flew into it, I barely glanced in Bristol’s direction (I hang my head in shame, Bristol). After two days in the city, I see the error of my ways. In short, Bristol has a lot going on. It feels creative and very now yet historic and grand at the same time.

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If you’re thinking of visiting Bristol, here are my top tips for what to do:

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5 favourite things in Lisbon

For a city break that packs a surprising cultural punch, the often overlooked Lisbon could be just what you’re after. The Portuguese capital has super shopping, affordable places to stay (including some of the best hostels in the world), bustling nightlife and historical landmarks galore. Here are a few things I loved in Lisbon, in no particular order. Drumroll, please!

1. Praça do Comércio (or Terreiro do Paço as it’s still called)

A few days is all you need to get to know Lisbon’s streets and a good place to start exploring the city is this historic square. With its timeless buildings, vivid yellow colour and views across the wide Tagus river, the famous square is gloriously European and just the spot for people-watching. I just adore this architecture.

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