The Best Cities to Visit in the New Year
Winter has arrived. The heady days of summer have made way for shorter, colder days.
Inevitably, as 2018 comes to a close, we start thinking about the year ahead – or more specifically, where to go on holiday.
Well-earned breaks aren’t just about sun, sea and sand. City breaks are hugely popular with travellers, partly because you can pack a few of them into a year.
Once there, you lose yourself in a new city, exploring its backstreets, nightlife and landmarks. There’s definitely a city for everyone, so why not make 2019 the year you discover yours?
In no particular order, here are five of the best city breaks for 2019.
1. Reykjavik: Best for wellbeing
Iceland is travel’s worst-kept secret. Reykjavik, the country’s capital may be tiny, but is surrounded by the most spectacular scenery. With its lunar landscape, geothermal baths, and cosy hideaways, Reykjavik doesn’t disappoint as a wellness getaway. Its flat vistas seem to extend for miles, but this vastness is oddly calming. Iceland is home to many thermal pools, the most famous being the Blue Lagoon. With 38°C waters rich in natural minerals, silica and algae, this stunning lagoon is well worth a visit. There’s also an in-water bar – what’s not to like?
2. Amsterdam: Best for art
Not every city can boast the likes of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh. With art credentials like these, Amsterdam is a hotspot for art lovers, with many of the city’s institutions undergoing major renovations over the past few years. The refurbished Rijksmuseum now has 8,000 items on display (including 40 Rembrandts and four Vermeers). The Van Gogh Museum, exhibiting hundreds of paintings and drawings by the artist, is also worth a visit. And don’t miss Anne Frank's House. Recently reopening after a two-year revamp, the museum is teaching a new generation about anti-Semitism and the horrors of the Holocaust.
3. Venice: Best for history
Dubbed the floating city, Venice is home to historic and cultural masterpieces. With strict laws about historical preservation, most of the city’s buildings are centuries old. However good your sense of direction, Venice’s labyrinthine streets are likely to get the better of you. Luckily, this is a city crammed full of amazing art and architecture (and getting lost is half the fun). To see the city from a different perspective, ride a gondola along the canals. If you do, you probably won’t be alone, but it’s all part of the Venice experience.
4. Athens: Best for couples
If you want a romantic, sun-drenched city break, Athens is hard to beat. You can go for romantic walks around the National Garden or Philopappou Hill, enjoy mouth-watering meals served at local tavernas, and drink cocktails while watching the sun go down in one of the city’s rooftop bars. Built around the Acropolis, part of the city is frozen in time, but this blend of ancient and modern creates the perfect city break for couples.
5. Cape Town: Best for scenery
Cape Town is home to a seemingly never-ending selection of attractions that may invoke some serious social media envy. Table Mountain and Lion’s Head are both stunning backdrops for photos, the inquisitive penguins on Boulders Beach provide the cute factor, and Boomslang bridge in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens never fails to impress. The city is also easy to get around (locals joke it takes 10 minutes to get anywhere) so you’ll fill your Facebook feed in no time.
Why not make 2019 the year of the city break? Before you do, make sure you take out quality insurance with Medical Travel Compared. We work alongside 40 specialist providers and offer prices to suit your budget.
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