Image via @melissaswardrobe
When we need an escape from the mundane reality of life, we often dust off our search engines and start looking for a change of scenery. If like me your working week keeps you on your toes; work commitments, personal passions, gym and family time. Making the most of my weekends is something I love to do, especially when it involves travelling, so how about an escape to the city for a quick little break, so you can bask in new experiences, learn new things and even find some peace.
Not only is Milan famous for being a fashion capital but it’s also famous for art, architecture and history.
The Duomo is the centrepiece of the city, designed at the height of gothic architecture. It is one of the world’s oldest cathedrals, telling a story of faith and art that spans over six centuries.
Close by is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II with its glorious glass vaulted ceiling. The arcade is full of luxury brands perfect for a shopping spree, grab a bite to eat and indulge in some gelato.
After, head to the Santa Maria delle Grazie to visit Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ mural, which is the original painting. For this experience I highly recommend booking in advance as it’s very popular amongst tourists.
If you are still looking for things to do, the perfect way to end the day is to book yourself into QC Termemilano, which offers 28 wellness practices, including immersive multi-sensory rooms, massages and much more.
Amsterdam, best known for its vibrant nightlife, is also rich in art, history and architecture. With 24 hours in the city, where is it best to start?
I highly recommend starting your trip with a small group canal cruise, a great way to experience the sights of Amsterdam’s Canal Ring whilst avoiding the crowds. The vessel is cosy, offering blankets and heated cushions for passengers, whilst on board they also offer a selection of beverages and snacks whilst on the cruise. This will definitely need a booking to be made prior to booking for the best price.
If immersing yourself within art is something you enjoy, I highly recommend visiting a gallery or museum, some I recommend are MOCO Museum; showcasing modern contemporary art. Ripley’s believe it or not, a weird and wonderful experience in Amsterdam’s city centre; it’s a quirky attraction that gets you thinking. Rijksmuseum which showcases 800 years’ worth of Dutch history, close by is the Van Gogh Museum.
Another way to spend your time in Dam is to explore your taste buds, Van Wonderen for Stroopwafels, Van Stapele for cookies, Fable Friet for fries and there are so many more places for the foodies.
There is a difference between cafes and coffee shops, one you will be able to order coffee and the other will offer different delicacies, both are places you can step inside and have some down time.
The Dutch are well known for their love of cycling, with nearly 15,000 bikes being pulled out of the canals, a word of advice from me is “avoid walking in cycle lanes.”.
Spain’s capital, Madrid. Another city known for its art and architecture but also its tranquil parks. El Retiro, covering 125 hectares, the immaculate park has a scenic lake where you can rent row boats to explore the waters and take in the ambiance of nature. The park is full of flowers, monuments, statues and gorgeous galleries, one of which is The Crystal Palace, a greenhouse which holds a number of contemporary exhibitions.
Close by is Museo del Prado, with an art collection dating back to the 16th to 19th centuries. Moving close to the centre of the city is Puerta del Sol, which is one of the most famous squares in Madrid, three sights to see here are, Kilometre Zero, which is the starting point of every road in Spain. Real Casa de Correos, a post office, best known for its clock and Oso y el Madrono which is a statue that represents Madrid’s coat of arms.
Not too far from is Gran Via, the most famous boulevard of Madrid, full of iconic buildings, shops, restaurants and bars. A great place to watch the sun set from a rooftop bar like Picalagartos, Pestana CR7 and so many more.
If you’re a football fan or travelling with a football fan, a visit to Santiago Bernabeu stadium is also a suggestion, home to Real Madrid FC, it’s stadium that has been a stage for footballers like Zinédine Zidane, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and many others.
Other notable places to visit are the Royal Palace, Mercado de san Miguel (a fresh food market) and so much more.