European City Breaks

Collect moments, not things.” Unknown

Ramadan is just around the corner and this calls for the perfect time to start planning an Eid getaway. What better way to escape the desert heat than a European city break, and with the UAE being a hub for travelling, the world is your oyster. National airline Etihad Airways and its codeshare partners such as Air Berlin offer daily flights from Abu Dhabi to all the top European destinations.

Living on the beach has given us a taste for exploring cities and I have been lucky enough to visit London many times as well as Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Istanbul. Berlin and Rome are currently my top two ‘must sees’ closely followed by Prague, Vienna, Venice and Budapest. If you are looking for the perfect city escape this summer here’s my guide to the top two cities on my European wishlist.

Neues MuseumAs the capital of Germany, Berlin attracts hordes of visitors keen to explore the city’s galleries, museums and famous historical sites. With a buzzing art scene and jammed pack with modern architecture Berlin is a diverse metropolis offering its visitors both modern day attractions along with a glimpse of its turbulent past at sites such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial and the gratified remains of the iconic Berlin Wall, all reminiscent with documenting its history. The summer sees the street music and festival scene in full swing, foodies will delight in the market halls packed with gourmet fare as well a delightful cafe scene. Explore the city on two wheels via a cycling tour or take to the water on one of the many boat trips on the canals and rivers.

ROMA COLOSSEO. FOTO © MARTINA CRISTOFANI 

I have heard that a good sturdy pair of walking shoes is a must when visiting Rome; exploring on foot is the way to experience everything this city, which oozes history and heritage from every pore, has to offer. The to-do list is long with architectural and religious sites The Vatican, the Colosseum, the Pantheon and St Peter’s Basilica all must sees. The Spanish Steps and the Trevi fountain are more tourist haunts and of course alongside all the city’s well documented historical stops is the amazing Italian food, culture and people. I can almost smell the aroma of coffee from the street cafes as I write this article, taste the gelato and I’m dreaming of indulging in the fabulous pizza and pasta with a glass of Italian red grape in my hand.

Both Berlin and Rome are ideal locations for a weekend city break or a short stay to get your fix of European culture, heritage and food. An abundance of fabulous hotels are on offer ranging from the new ultra-contemporary to those more traditional establishments seeped in history.

All views are my own.Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved. Berlin and Rome photos used courtesy of mauer.visitberlin.de and www.turismoroma.it respectively. Featured image used courtesy of www.lonelyplanet.com