With Europe on our doorstep, the US to the west and Asia to the east, where should you go if you’re looking for an exciting city break? It all depends on how many nights you have, who you’re travelling with and whether you’re after culture, shopping, architecture, great food or simply people-watching opportunities.
Europe is of course the obvious continent to choose if you’re only going away for a weekend or a few nights, and while it’s impossible to generalise such an eclectic continent, you really can enjoy the best of everything wherever you go – there’s culture and history in almost every country’s city, while Italian and Parisian boutiques stand out for shopping. For art, Spanish cities are a winner, with Gaudi, Picasso and Dali having lived there at different times, and cities such as Barcelona boast colourful, distinctive architecture and of course, out-of-this-world cuisine at every restaurant and side street.
However, it’s also possible to visit some of the US’s cities with just a few days to play with. Try New York for the classic city break and shop at some of the world’s most iconic stores, including Bloomingdales and Macy’s. There is also a fast-growing food scene in New York that’s transcended the city’s hotdog and doughnut reputation, so foodies will not be disappointed. While from the New York City Library to the Empire State Building, every street relates to a film you will have seen and just walking down the block can make you feel as if you’ve stepped onto a movie set!
However, for a flavour of the exotic and a feast for the senses, Asia has some of the world’s most frenetic but exciting cities, including Bangkok in Thailand and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Here you can spend hazy days floating through temples, sipping green coconut juice at street cafes and shopping at some of the world’s best (air-conditioned) shopping centres, while nights can be spent enjoying full-blown facials and foot massages on side streets and eating fire and spice-fuelled cuisine with lashings of cool beer. Diverse really is the word in Asia.
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