Over the past decade or two, more and more people have added a short city break to their annual travel schedule, and with an increasing number of urban destinations making concerted efforts to attract tourists it seems the trend will continue for some time to come.
A week or two at a sun-kissed beach often means a chance to relax, but a city break is always likely to be far more hectic. In order to get the most from one, here are a few tips.
Most travellers will understandably be against the idea of having any kind of timetable when on holiday, but if you don’t plan some kind of schedule for a short city break there is every chance that many major landmarks and attractions will remain undiscovered.
In the weeks leading up to the day of departure, it’s a good idea to make a list of which places you want to see, and when you plan to do so. It may sound a little regimented, but if you don’t do it you may regret it later on.
Travel like the locals
Sometimes it’s great to hire a car for a holiday, but there are other times when it really isn’t.
Getting from A to B and beyond in a large city is rarely much fun if you’re at the wheel, thanks to the complicated road systems and the regular bouts of traffic congestion.
In most major cities, such as Paris, London and New York, the underground railway network is fast, cheap and convenient, and should be your main method of transport.
After all, if it’s good enough for the locals it should be good enough for you.
Sample the local dishes
When you start to feel the hunger pangs on your travels, you will be faced with a huge selection of dining options in the centre of a city.
And although you might be tempted to choose a place that seems familiar, why not use this opportunity to try something different?
You could have a pizza or burger any day of the week back home, so look for something a little less generic.
If you’re in Barcelona, for example, there will be a number of restaurants specialising in delicious Catalan cuisine, so be a little more experimental.
Take a seat when you’re tired
Short city breaks are, by their very nature, rather intense and tiring for travellers of all ages, and there will be times when all you want to do is sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee.
Thankfully, every major city that caters for tourists is home to a good selection of parks and public gardens that give you the perfect opportunity to kick back and watch the world go by.
From Central Park in New York to the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, there are some truly wonderful views amid some very welcome tranquillity just waiting to be enjoyed, so when the body starts to tell you to rest, it’s always good to listen.
About the author: David Showell lives in the UK and works for a France car rental specialist.