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A city break to Tokyo promises history, culture and tons of adventure. Explore the city’s gardens and parks, take part in a karaoke contest, eat authentic Japanese sushi or just do some people-watching to get a sense of what life in Tokyo is really like.
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A city like no other, Dubai holidays effortlessly combines traditional Middle Eastern charm with seven-star glamour. This record-breaking hotspot is one for the bucket list, after all, it’s home to the world’s tallest building, luxury seven-figure yachts and the world’s largest mall.
And if the city’s skyscraper vistas haven’t won you over, its exotic desert backdrop will. Take on its colossal dunes via a 4x4 safari, camelback or quad bike, before stopping off for a cup of traditional Bedouin tea. Or, you can always explore its epic terrain from above with a hot air balloon adventure. But if you prefer your sand gently sloping into the Persian Gulf, then Sunset Beach should be your go-to.
Travelling with kids in tow? Dubai city breaks are perfect for families too. From LEGOLAND® to Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark. MOTIONGATE™ is another must-visit for avid Shrek and Hotel Transylvania fans. And when you want to taste gourmet flavours in the shape of super-size gummy bears, Candylicious has your sugar rush covered.
Things to do
From action-packed skiing sessions to haggling at souks and relaxing spa days in fancy five-star hotels, there’s plenty to take your fancy here. Whether you’re enjoying the city’s opulent shopping scene or sampling its outstanding spice-filled cuisine 50 metres above the ground at Dinner in the Sky, Dubai city breaks are made up of world-first experiences.
Camera on standby! The views from the Burj Khalifa’s highest observation deck are unforgettable to say the least. Think colossal ultra-modern architecture, sweeping sea vistas and a bird’s eye view of the world’s tallest performing fountain. Top tip: head here at night and watch the city glow under the moonlit sky. All that sightseeing can work up and appetite, meaning your next stop should be Burj Al Arab for a stylish brunch.
Middle East holidays are famed for their glimmering skyscrapers. But futuristic cityscapes aside, Dubai is also home to many incredible beaches. Every sand spot across the city is glistening clean, well-maintained, and packed full of superb facilities.
Sunset Beach, often referred to as Umm Suqeim beach, offers a peaceful retreat to relax, unwind and bask in the glorious sunshine. It’s one of the quieter coastal spots, making it perfect for an undisturbed morning jog and the ideal place to watch the sunset (like the name suggests). And the scenery is just as impressive with the Burj Al Arab decorating the backdrop.
For somewhere a little livelier, pay a visit to The Beach by JBR. Here, the soft, golden sands are framed by outstanding restaurants and bars where you’re invited to overindulge throughout the day. Take in the bustling cosmopolitan atmosphere and watch the Arabian Gulf shimmer in the distance.
From grandiose mega malls to traditional bazaars located on the Deira side of Dubai Creek, Dubai holidays offer a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. Whether you want to snap up a souvenir from an open-air market or update your wardrobe with glamorous designer labels, there’s no better place to get your retail fix.
Located next to the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping destination and is a paradise for big spenders, boasting over 1,200 stores and hundreds of eateries. Avid shopaholics can also pay a visit to Bloomingdales, one of America’s most famous department stores. Besides its vast range of designer boutiques, Dubai Mall is also home to an ice rink and aquarium!
For a truly enriching day of retail therapy, head to Gold Souk in Old Dubai. Here you’ll find a mesmerising labyrinth of walkways teeming with handcrafted goods and beautiful jewellery. From authentic Arab designs to glistening bespoke pieces, pick up a dazzling souvenir from one of the most enchanting souks across the city. And if you visit, be prepared to haggle!
Food and drink
Dubai’s cuisine consists of a rich fusion of Persian, Indian, and Bedouin influences, to name a few. One of the most popular dishes is Margoogat. This flavourful tomato-based stew is cooked with turmeric, bezar, and cumin. It’s well-loved for its delectable blend of Arab spices and is typically made with chicken or lamb. Wash this delicious recipe down with a traditional Turkish cocktail concocted from pomegranate, citrus, and mint. Other dishes to taste include samboosa (a hot pastry appetiser) and luqaimat (a sumptuous dessert of warm dumplings).
For an unforgettable dining experience, head to Al Hadheerah, a restaurant that flaunts 14 live cooking stations and authentic cuisine from the Middle East. Or, sample delightful dishes prepared by award-winning chefs at Zheng He’s, which offers a beautiful dockside setting and a relaxed atmosphere.
This futuristic city is continually evolving and has lots to offer in terms of nightlife. From trendy rooftop bars to mega discotheques, Dubai boasts a captivating atmosphere and plenty of places to kick back after the sun goes down.
To experience its bustling nightlife scene in full glory, pay a visit to Madinat Jumeirah, where you’ll find vibrant drinking spots and nightclubs that offer a glamorous evening out. To party on the sand, make your way to Nasimi Beach and join one of many lively cocktail parties.
Located at Meydan Racecourse Grandstand, WHITE Dubai is the biggest club in the city centre. As the world’s first outdoor rooftop venue, expect an impressive music scene and a party all-night-long vibe. Club Boudoir is another popular haunt with its electrifying atmosphere and luxurious interiors made up of red sofas and crystal chandeliers. Wherever you choose to spend your evenings, Dubai’s nightlife will make your city break one to remember.
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New York holidays are full of bucket list adventures, from its panoramic skyscraper views to its Fifth Avenue shopping sprees and horse drawn carriage rides in Central Park. Split into five boroughs, there’s plenty to explore in the ‘City that Never Sleeps’. First up is Manhattan, which you probably recognise from big-screen hits, Elf and Spider-Man. It’s also home to unmissable attractions such as Times Square, the American Museum of Natural History and the Empire State Building. Over in the Bronx, you can catch the legendary Yankees in full swing before heading over to Coney Island in Brooklyn for fairground fun. But that’s not all this hotspot is renowned for. A taste of its famous deep-pan pizza will have you running back for more.
Speaking of food, Queens boasts some of the finest Asian and Greek restaurants in the Big Apple. For dessert, grab a Cronut (a glazed pastry filled with cream and rolled in sugar) and take a stroll around the innovative art at Socrates Sculpture Park. Lastly, while on your way to greet Lady Liberty, make a pit stop at Staten Island. Here you can visit the historic Richmond Town before indulging in a picnic at one of its picturesque parks. Some of New York’s diners are open 24/7 - ideal if you’re a bit jet lagged and want a 5am breakfast or 3pm dinner.
Weekend breaks to New York
Wondering how to cram in all of the city’s biggest allures with a weekend break to New York? It’s easy! Whether you’re travelling for three to four or even five nights, you can tick off world-famous sights such as the Top of the Rock, the Metropolitan Art Museum, and a Broadway show all in one go, thanks to their close proximity.
After all, it only takes 45 minutes to walk from the Empire State Building to Lower Manhattan. Along the way, you’ll discover SoHo’s designer boutiques, including Alexandra Wang and French fashion house Chloé. That’s when you’re not taking in the scenic vistas of the Hudson River, of course.
And New York city breaks aren’t complete without Instagram-worthy snaps of its skyline. Make your way up to the 102nd floor of the One World Trade Center for unforgettable panoramic views. Top tip: Head here on a Friday or Saturday evening when the observation deck is open until 9pm to witness the city light up under the stars.
Things to do
As America’s largest city, the Big Apple has plenty going on (hence its nickname, the City that Never Sleeps). Food fanatics, in particular, will appreciate Time Out Market. Here, you can make your way through street food-style stalls sampling culinary treats from the area’s greatest chefs and biggest restaurants. But if corndogs and cotton candy are more your cup of tea, Coney Island is a must. And don’t forget to ride its jaw-dropping Cyclone rollercoaster (maybe not after filling your face at Time Out Market)!
Superman fans can marvel at movie hotspot Grand Central Station and its awe-inspiring architecture. But for rare artefacts, paintings and books dating back 4,000 BC, The Morgan Library and Museum is a time capsule of historical relics. When evening falls, it’s all singing and dancing over at Broadway with all-time favourites Phantom of the Opera and Beetlejuice hitting the stage. Or, you can catch a Knicks’ game at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden.
The first time you visit NYC it almost feels like you’ve been there before due to its cinema screen fame. From the Statue of Liberty in the Day After Tomorrow to the Chrysler Building in Men in Black and Central Park Zoo in Madagascar, New York city breaks are packed with familiar sights. And if you want a sneak peek of where these blockbuster hits were filmed, a movie tour is the answer.
Whether you’re tucking into a hearty stack of American pancakes, downloading the latest hip-hop, jazz and soul tunes to your Spotify playlist or building your knowledge on Harlem’s Renaissance movement, New York holidays are rich in culture. And the best place to soak up its heritage is through lectures at the New York Public Library. Or at events such as its iconic St. Patrick’s Day parade.
For those of you who’ve watched Home Alone: Lost in New York or a Miracle on 34th Street, you’ll know how magical the Big Apple can be over winter as it gears up for the festive season. From Macy’s Thanksgiving street processions to the Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony and Christmas shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue. But summer is just as impressive as you swap ice-skating in Central Park for picnics by the Green Lawn duck pond and rooftop cocktails on soaring skyscrapers.
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