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Charming, charismatic and picturesque, Dublin is a place that will welcome you with open arms. This unique capital city combines centuries of history and literature with a young population and contemporary entertainment. Come and walk the enchanting cobbled streets and join the locals for some legendary fun, or craic, as the Irish say.
Spend your time visiting iconic sights and immersing yourself in the rich culture before rounding off your day with a pint of Guinness in a cosy pub. Whether you’re planning a family adventure, couples’ getaway or stag weekend, there’s something for everyone here. And one thing’s for sure: whatever you get up to on your Dublin city break, you’re sure to return feeling relaxed, refreshed and inspired.
Things to do
Dublin holidays mean discovering the city’s deep‐rooted history, listening to old tales from friendly locals and sampling the best Irish beer. The Dublin of today is modern and active: take your family to the zoo, enjoy a fun night out in Temple Bar or try your hand at Irish dancing. The city is located right on the east coast, so trips to the nearby cliffs and beaches are only a short bus ride away.
Vibrant literary history
Ireland’s capital has a celebrated literary past and a history filled with rebels and revolutionaries. Famous wordsmiths such as Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and William Butler Yeats all inhabited the city at one point. Take a stroll down one of Dublin’s canals and discover heritage plaques dedicated to these famous names. Or pay a visit to the Dublin Writers Museum, where you can learn all about the city’s historic literary traditions up until the 1970s.
Although predominantly known as a city encompassed by a rich history, Dublin is also home to a thriving contemporary art scene. From smaller galleries built into Georgian houses to large, cutting‐edge spaces, Dublin’s art venues reflect some of the best modern-day works. Iconic locations such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery reflect the visual arts scene, so they’re well worth visiting.
Castles, cathedrals and historic buildings
Those with interest in architecture will enjoy discovering some of the city’s finest buildings and historic structures. From Dublin Castle, one of the most important buildings in Irish history, to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the largest church in Ireland, tour these picturesque sites to soak in the city’s history. Fans of Harry Potter can take a trip to Trinity College Library and witness the inspiration behind the ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’.
Dublin city breaks mean enjoying glorious green open spaces where you can have a picnic, feed the ducks, or relax with a good book. Set across 1,750 acres of recreational space, Phoenix Park is Europe’s largest enclosed park and a great place to take a walk. Famous for its deer population, it’s also the home of Dublin Zoo, where visitors can witness the wildlife, including elephants, penguins and much more.
Pubs, clubs, and live music
One of Dublin’s most notable features is its vibrant nightlife. Boasting a youthful atmosphere, you can be sure of a great night out in the city and become surrounded by merriment in spots like Harcourt Street and Camden Street. Whether you end up cutting shapes in an underground club or get stuck into some sean-nós dancing in a traditional Irish pub, you’re sure to have a great time. And wherever the night takes you, you’ll be greeted by cheap alcohol, chatty locals, and outstanding live music around every corner.
Besides its rich history and lush green landscape, Dublin is also renowned for its pubs. If you’re feeling thirsty after a long day of exploration, dip into one of the famous haunts across the city and experience lines of tap in a comfortable, cosy setting.
Famous pubs to enjoy a pint and some craic include O’Donoghues, The Dawson Lounge, and The Palace Bar. A second home for many Dubliners, O’Donoghues pub stands on a historical site in the city and boasts a rich heritage. Head here to sample the best of Dublin’s live music scene with events featuring Irish musicians hosted seven nights a week.
If clubs are more your thing, throw on your dancing shoes and boogie the night away in Opium Club on Wexford Street. A versatile venue spanning three floors, dance to nu‐disco and ambient techno likes until the early hours.
And if you’re lucky enough to be in town for St. Patrick’s Day (otherwise known as Paddy’s Day) on the 17th of March each year, you’re in for a real treat. During this time, Dublin comes alive for the biggest party of the year to give locals and visitors a truly memorable experience.
The ‘Black Stuff’ and Irish cuisine
Dutifully supplying both the Paddy’s Day festivities and the masses of wood-panelled pubs is the iconic ‘Black Stuff’ – Ireland’s national drink, Guinness. Here in Dublin, you can sip the best pint of Guinness and visit the Guinness Storehouse to learn about this beverage’s history and how it’s brewed. Discover seven floors packed full of exciting interactive activities before stopping to enjoy a well‐earned pint in the rooftop Gravity Bar.
If you aren’t partial to the Black Stuff, you can always indulge in a fine glass of premiere Irish whiskey instead. One of Europe’s earliest distilled alcoholic beverages, Irish whiskey is exceptionally smooth and boasts an illustrious history. Today, Irish whiskey sales are growing, as are the whiskey brands available, and there are more distilleries open in Ireland now than there have been since the 19th century. Be sure to team your drink of choice with a steaming bowl of Irish stew and authentic soda bread.
Some of the best brands of Irish whiskey include Teeling, Jameson, and Bushmills. For an enjoyable day out, head to Teeling Whiskey Distillery in the heart of Dublin City, where you can experience a tour of the site from a knowledgeable guide and quench your thirst with a selection of tasting options.
More City Breaks
Jam-packed with history, culture and those iconic urban backdrops, it’s no surprise Amsterdam city breaks are so popular. Of course, it helps that the capital of the Netherlands is just a short hop across the North Sea from the UK!
But don’t be fooled into thinking this famously chilled-out destination is only for short breaks and weekends away. There’s more than enough to do in and around Amsterdam for a longer getaway, from exploring sun-dappled canals and losing yourself in world-famous art to indulging in the lively night scene and mouthwateringly eclectic eats.
6 reasons to visit Amsterdam
The warm welcome: From its cosy pubs (aka ‘brown cafes’), welcoming gay bars and buzzing clubs, to the family vibes of Amsterdam’s super-friendly Noord district, this laid-back city has its arms open to everyone.
Museums of every stripe: Art, history and more are all in the mix – see Rembrandts at the Rijksmuseum, discover the sobering secrets of Anne Frank House, or immerse yourself in the living history of Zaanse Schans village.
Eye-candy cityscapes: Think picturesque canals lined with quaint old houses, gorgeous green parks in every neighbourhood, colourful flower gardens (visit Keukenhof in spring!) and grand Dam Square with its jaw-dropping Royal Palace.
Moreish street food: Snack your way around Amsterdam with a delectable supply of patat (Dutch fries) smothered in mayonnaise (ask for patatje met), cheesy kaassouffle pastries, beefy kroketten and deep-fried cod (kibbeling). Don’t forget the caramel-filled stroopwafels!
Independent shopping: From the intriguing little shops that line De Negen Straatjes in Jordaan to the famous floating flower market on the Singel canal, Amsterdam’s a fantastic place for a browse.
Romantic moments: Amsterdam’s such a beautiful city, it can certainly give Paris a run for its money. Top tips for couples include the spectacular views from the A’DAM LOOKOUT, candlelit dinner cruises on the canals, and leisurely bike rides in Flevopark.
Things to do
With much more to offer than just Dam Square, old paintings and pretty canals, Amsterdam holidays are a treasure trove of places to explore and things to do. Make like a local and sip coffee in a cosy cafe. Grab a tray of haring (raw herring with pickles) from a street stall for an on-the-go lunch. Head out of the centre to districts such as De Pijp, Amsterdam Oost and Zuidoost, where you can catch Ajax FC at home at Johan Cruyff ArenA. Or hop on a train to nearby Rotterdam, Utrecht or Haarlem.
Top of the must-visit list for a spot of culture is Museumplein, where you’ll find the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum (fine art), Stedelijk Museum (modern art) and the Royal Concertgebouw concert hall. Or if it’s alfresco attractions you’re after, check out the panorama from A’DAM LOOKOUT (will you dare try Europe’s highest swing?) and the tree-framed lakes and lawns of beautiful Vondelpark.
You should also lose yourself in the quaint alleyways of the Jordaan district, dip into Amsterdam’s history at spots like the Joods Historisch Museum and Anne Frank House, and stroll the cobbles of De Wallen, the oldest part of the city. But be warned, De Wallen is not a place to take the kids, as it’s also Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District.
And of course, for the quintessential Amsterdam sightseeing experience, you have to book a canal tour.
Get a taste of city life
Foodies, music lovers, shoppers and beer drinkers alike are in for a real treat on Amsterdam city breaks. The Dam’s social scene is an eclectic mix of live music venues, buzzing restaurants and inviting pubs, bars and cafes, while shopping ranges from fascinating flea markets to the luxury retailers in Oud Zuid.
Try homely dishes like suddervlees (beef stew) from a traditional Dutch eatery, such as Moeders in the city centre. Go beer tasting at a craft brewery or immerse yourself in the Heineken Experience. Pick a cocktail joint to suit your style, from the chilled vibes of Bar Mokum to the super swish Twenty Third. Throw yourself into the famous nightlife of Rembrandtplein, Leidseplein and the LGBTQ+ focused Reguliersdwarsstraat. Or check what’s on at one of the city’s hugely popular gig spots, led by the famous Paradiso and Melkweg – which is basically three live music venues in one!
As for shopping, classic Amsterdam souvenirs include wooden clogs, tasty local cheeses (there are tons of specialist shops, or you could visit a cheese farm!), and pretty Delftware porcelain. You can also pick up vintage bargains at the Waterlooplein market, hop between record stores and designer boutiques in De Negen Straatjes (The Nine Streets) and buy flower bulbs from the barges of the floating Bloemenmarkt.
Explore outside Amsterdam Centrum
If you’ve got more than a couple of days for your Amsterdam city break, or if you’ve been before, make sure you head out to some of the neighbourhoods outside the city centre. De Pijp’s perfect for free spirits, Amsterdam’s answer to Paris’ bohemian Latin Quarter. It’s home to the huge Albert Cuyp street market and all sorts of lively bars and cafes. Over to the east, explore the refined boulevards of De Plantage, tuck into melt-in-the-mouth Turkish pastries in Amsterdam Oost, and soak up the classy vibes of the city’s newest neighbourhood, IJburg.
Zuidoost is the place to go for big-name entertainment, from football to arena shows in venues like AFAS Live and Ziggo Dome, and sailing on tranquil Gaasperplas lake. And then there’s Amsterdam Noord, with its combo of cutting-edge architecture, waterfront terraces, flea markets and the NDSM Wharf culture hotspot.
Plus Amsterdam holidays are perfect for bike rides to rural villages, such as Ransdorp, a day trip to the idyllic Zaanse Schans living museum (windmills, clog makers, and more), and train rides to Rotterdam, Utrecht and Haarlem. Planning Amsterdam holidays for the summer? Pack your beach gear for a day in clubbers’ favourite Bloemedaal aan Zee or chilled-out Zandvoort, an old fishing village (you can get to both by train). And don’t miss your chance to visit the incredible Muiderslot castle!
More city breaks
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Edinburgh has a rich heritage and a contemporary feel, making it a great city break destination. Stand in awe of its cliff top castle as the sound of bagpipes fill the streets or spend a day trying to catch a glimpse of the famous giant pandas which call its zoo home.
Things to do in Edinburgh
The famous Edinburgh Castle rises above the city on Castle Rock, with plenty to see inside, including the Scottish crown jewels. For the best of the city, head up to the extinct volcano Arthur’s Seat, armed with your camera of course. From here, you’ll be able to gaze down over the Medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town.
When you think of the Scottish capital, there’s one sight that springs to mind - the famous Edinburgh Castle. Rising above the city on Castle rock, you can reach the castle by walking up Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano with an elevation of 250m. From here, you’ll be able to gaze down over the city’s Medieval Old Town as well as the graceful Georgian New Town. Make sure to check out the Scottish crown jewels at the castle before heading back down.
Once you’re back on ground level, spend an afternoon browsing the fascinating Scottish National Gallery or go on a tour of a gin distillery. Sit down for a traditional meal of haggis before you spend the evening sampling some beautifully-aged Scottish whisky.
Make sure you check the events calendar before your trip to Edinburgh, as you might be in for a treat. From the Edinburgh International Festival to the Fringe and Royal Military Tattoo, there are some fabulous celebrations across the city. If you’re going for New Year’s Eve, then Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is one of the best places to party the night away as you sing Auld Lang Syne at the top of your lungs.
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Holidays to Milan whisk you away to one of Northern Italy’s most captivating cities. Synonymous with elegance and sophistication, Milan is among the most fashionable places across the globe, home to iconic brands such as Prada, Gucci and Versace. Here, the streets are lined with trendy boutiques filled with everything from designer clothing to vintage jewellery – every shopaholic’s dream.
Aside from being the style capital of Italy, this trendy city is also renowned for its impressive art, fascinating architecture and luxury dining scene. Stroll around the Pinacoteca di Brera and marvel at the works in the Museo Novecento. Or explore the city’s extraordinary Gothic cathedral before heading over to the Navigli district to enjoy a delicious meal. While Milan holidays are ideal for avid fashionistas, there’s something to delight everyone in this Italian powerhouse.
Milan is one of the most important fashion capitals in the world, along with Paris, London and New York. It’s particularly famous for its role within the prêt-à-porter clothing category (clothes that are sold ready to wear instead of made to measure). Milanese style denotes charm and glamour, and the city is the birthplace of many of the world’s most influential brands.
Milan hosts its famous Fashion Week twice a year, where fashion lovers come to witness catwalk shows and presentations of the latest trends. The city also showcases other important fashion events, such as the Milano Unica Event. This takes place annually and allows up-and-coming designers the opportunity to showcase their work.
Naturally, there are plenty of places to shop in this vibrant city. The Quadrilatero della Moda is one of Milan’s most popular shopping streets, dotted with high-end shops and local and international brands. Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is home to other fashion stores, such as Zara and H&M.
Milan city breaks are an opportunity to visit fascinating landmarks. This cultural haven is full of awe-inspiring buildings and monuments that tell the tale of Milan’s rich history.
Its most famous structure is the Duomo di Milano, the third-largest cathedral in the world. Complete with 135 spires and 3,400 statues, this Gothic building stands proudly in the Piazza del Duomo, the main city square of Milan. The Duomo di Milano took nearly 500 years to complete and required thousands of artists and sculptors for its construction. Here, visitors can climb up to the roof terrace to enjoy stunning panoramic views across the city.
Another of Milan’s must-visit landmarks is Santa Maria delle Grazie, a unique church and symbol of the city’s Catholic tradition. It's at this outstanding building that you can see Leonardo da Vinci’s unrivalled masterpiece, The Last Supper, displayed across the north wall.
If you’re looking for places to relax after the sun sets, Milan has it all. Its Navigli district is one of the most-loved places to enjoy an evening of merriment, home to a plethora of restaurants, nightclubs and cocktail bars.
As well as a range of picture-perfect eateries and delightful waterside bars boasting a lively atmosphere, you'll find a choice of high-end restaurants, including Al Pont de Ferr and Carlo e Camilla.
To soak up the party atmosphere, head to Apollo Club, a popular venue that offers a combination of a disco space, a cocktail bar and a restaurant. Or for something truly unique, spend an evening at Nidaba Theatre, where you can enjoy live music performances. Whether you’re after a refreshing tipple or want to dance the night away, look no further than this fabulous canal district for an unforgettable night out.
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