Let’s be honest: who doesn’t like jumping on a plane and getting away from it all for a few days? And now that flights and accommodation are more than affordable than ever, courtesy of the internet, it’s incredibly easy to do. High five for that one! In some cases, you can book online, go to the airport the very same day and jet off to somewhere for a long weekend. Lots of people do it. Here are a few places you should consider if you want to get away with the special someone in your life or even just solo travel for a few days after a hard working week.
Iceland’s quaint capital city is small enough to explore in one day. But what’s the rush? This is a capital to be savoured, so relax. Take it easy and make the most of your time in the city to soak in Reykjavik’s geothermal pools. Learn about the city’s history at the National Museum of Iceland and, having seen plenty of Reykjavik, transform the city into your starting point to explore Iceland more widely. The famous Thingvellir National Park is just to the east of the city.
Monte Carlo is one of the four quarters of the glamorous principality of Monaco, located along the Mediterranean Sea in the resort area of the French Riviera. Of course, you can’t visit Monte Carlo and not peek inside the Place du Casino, the centre of social life in Monte Carlo. But if the thought of stepping inside this casino and competing against more seasoned players visitors daunts you, sharpen your skills at an online casino first so that you feel more confident when you sit down at the table.
The capital of Catalonia is perfect for a long weekend. Whether you’re looking for sun and sand, clubbing or culture, you’ll find it here. Culture-wise, you can admire La Pedrera building or go for a sit down in the city’s famous Park Güell, both designed by the legendary architect Antoni Gaudi. Or you could go on a day trip and head on a train out of the city to Figueres, where you can visit a museum of one of Catalonia’s other favourite sons, Salvador Dalí.
Beach-wise, Barceloneta is one of the city’s best sun and sand spots. Meanwhile, you’re never far away from somewhere to eat or drink. As the day draws on, you’ll discover the city’s drinking spots and nightclubs are in no major hurry to close, so you can party well into the early hours.
This jewel of a city in Tuscany, Italy, is packed with galleries, museums and medieval churches. The most well-known of its buildings is, of course, the Duomo Cathedral, built by Filippo Brunelleschi, who won the commission to build the cathedral in 1418. If you’ve got a head for heights, you can climb the 463 steps to the top of the building— there’s no lift, unfortunately, so make sure you’re in shape! — and admire the view. Alternatively, you can look on at the cathedral and the rest of the city from the top of the Giotto Belltower, one of the most unmistakable features of Florence.
San Sebastián, which is around 45 minutes from the Basque Country capital of Bilbao, is the destination for the foodie in you. The best way to experience this autonomous community’s food culture is to immerse yourself in the pintxo bar scene. The finger foods served in the bars are quintessentially Basque and form the backbone of its local food culture. Wash them down with a txakoli light sparkling wine.
After feasting on all those culinary niceties, you might want to get active during your stay and hike up to Monte Urgull to visit the 12 century fort. Still not quite active enough? Try paddleboarding across to Santa Clara Island. The waters that lap the shore will help to cool you down during the long, hot Basque summer.
Renowned for being opulent, Dubai is another fantastic location for upping sticks to for a few days if you get the opportunity. Get that credit card ready because Dubai is hugely tempting for fans of shopping, the large Dubai Mall being a cornerstone of the Dubai Shopping Festival.
If you fancy something a little more traditional, you may prefer to browse one of the emirate’s many souks, the Spice Souk being one of the most entertaining. The smells and sounds are invigorating. On the stalls, you’ll find ingredients such as rose hip, Persian dried lime, saffron, barberries and lots of Middle Eastern spices.
In terms of sightseeing, there is, naturally, the stunning Burj Khalifa. If you can handle the heights, zoom up the 160 storeys on the high-speed lift up so you can venture out onto the observation deck and take in the view of Dubai. You’ll need tickets to do this.
There’s nothing quite like getting away for a long weekend, whether you’re browsing the spice market of Dubai, indulging in the gastronomic culture of San Sebastián, trying your luck at a gaming table in Monte Carlo, soaking up the sun on a Barcelona, admiring views from a tower in Florence or relaxing in a geothermal bath in Reykjavik. Book a weekend trip to one of these fabulous destinations. You’ll come home feeling like new and ready to tackle once more whatever the week ahead has to throw at you.
Six Superb Destinations for a Long Weekend is a featured post