A dreamy romantic city
Grand squares, churches and palaces set across 118 islands with no roads, just canals connected by more than 400 bridges – Venice is simply exquisite
On Venice holidays you can spend days just swooning over its ornate bridges, and romance is just about everywhere you look, from its pretty squares and canals to its beautiful art collections.
A real visual feast, just wandering and taking in the sensational architecture of the Rialto Bridge, St Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the vistas of the Grand Canal, is a wonderful experience.
That’s not to say that city breaks to Venice are just for architecture fans – both the ancient city’s narrow streets and Venice’s outer islands are full of offbeat attractions.
There are contemporary art festivals and scores of talented artisans, such as gondola makers, keeping age-old traditions alive. And, best of all, on holidays to Venice you can even have a go yourself – there are opportunities to try glass blowing, mask painting or a paper-making class. That’s before even mentioning the city’s excellent restaurants, bustling fish markets and world-class ‘gelaterias’. Venice has it all, and each new discovery will draw you deeper into its opulent, enchanting world.
Enjoy Venice’s legendary views when they’re floodlit – somehow attractions like the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge look even prettier and more romantic than they do by day.
It’s a good thing the sun shines on Barcelona, as it’s likely you’ll spend more time admiring the brilliantly ornate exteriors of the city’s buildings than wandering around inside them. And with Antoni Gaudi’s unique architecture around every corner, who can blame you?
Barcelona is perfect for those seeking a cultured getaway – the city features everything from bijou art galleries to ancient markets, where traders beckon with authentic dishes and antique treasures
But those looking to relax are catered for, too. Unwind with your love on one of the many sandy beaches or catch the funicular up the mighty Montjuic mountain, where you can enjoy sweeping vistas of this exceptional region.
And of course, trips to Barcelona wouldn’t be complete without a stroll up Las Ramblas before making the most of the city’s thriving restaurant scene. Whether you’re there to eat your weight in tapas, prop up the bar during ‘vermouth hour’ or to spend your days soaking up the city’s rich artistic heritage, it’s easy to see why visitors to the colourful Catalan capital struggle to put their cameras away.
A Cultured Capital
With a vibrant combination of old and new, and many stories to tell, trips to Prague are an enticing prospect.
Prague has Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture that’s as varied and inspiring as its history is eventful. Beyond the buildings, time in Prague can be spent exploring the cobblestone streets that will turn up a wealth of historic sites, and contemporary innovation in culture and cuisine.
Small and cheap to travel around, Prague has a wealth of interesting districts.
The beautiful Old Town is a great place to start, but check out some of the more up-and-coming areas, too – Prague 7, a district that includes the Holesovice quarter, is fast becoming known as a cultural and artistic hotspot, with trendy galleries, cinemas and more.
The former industrial districts of Smichov and Karlin are now home to chic restaurants and boho cafés and Zizkov remains famous for its bars and nightlife.