City breaks are the best kind of mates’ holiday. Grab some pals, jump on a plane and squeeze as much fun as possible from a place in just a few days.
You can take one of two routes with city breaks. You can go with the gentle, cultural option, seeing sights and enjoying great food in somewhere like Barcelona. The Catalonian capital has some of the best restaurants in the world, and if you’re in the mood for high-end, try somewhere like the double Michelin-starred ABaC. For a casual plate of tapas, get off the tourist thoroughfares, venture into the winding backstreets, and you’ll find superb options. Seafood is also spectacular across the city – not surprising given its waterside location.
The other option is the ‘no sleep ‘til home’ city break, in places such as Las Vegas or Berlin. The latter is only a short flight away and guaranteed fun. Sisyphos is one of the most exciting clubs in Berlin, with its labyrinth of dance floors and huge chill-out area. Nobody in Berlin really goes out until about 11pm, so don’t peak too early. There are cool, quirky bars – such as Le Croco Bleu or Dean – everywhere you turn.
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If you’ve already done New York, try heading a couple of states over to Boston. The travel time from London is about the same as The Big Apple, and it’s perfect for a trip with your boys. It’s a city that loves its outdoor pursuits, and of course it has plenty of internationally famous teams in various sports. Try to make it along to a Boston Red Sox baseball game, if you can, for some concentrated Americana. There’s great nightlife too. Take it high class at sleek cocktail bars like Highball Lounge or keep it casual and try some local brews at pubs like Lord Hobo.
The best city in Europe for people who love a big night. Berlin parties most nights of the week and it doesn’t all kick off until well after midnight, so don’t come here expecting to get any early nights. However, do make sure to experience at least some daylight because there are plenty of sights to see and fantastic restaurants to enjoy. Places like Cordobar on Grosse Hamburger Strasse are doing exciting things. Head for Prenzlauer Berg for a collection of excellent clubs and then don’t set an alarm for the morning.
You won’t find many cities that look more dramatic than Dubrovnik, the pale walled city with its orange roofs that juts out into the blue waters of the Adriatic. If you recognise it when you arrive it’s probably because it’s a key filming location for Game Of Thrones. It has fantastic beaches, and all the top-notch watersports you’d hope would go with that, and in the pedestrianised old town there’s an array of casual restaurants selling superb seafood, where you can wile away many a happy evening.
Sometimes, city breaks can feel a bit hectic, but not Barcelona. While there is no end of bars, clubs and excellent restaurants, it has a permanently laid-back vibe. It’s a city that invites you to have as much fun as possible, but to do so on your own schedule. There’s history galore, of course, with all those Gaudi buildings dotting the city, but it’s also bursting with Michelin-starred restaurants and turn just about any corner and you’ll find a perfect little tapas joint for a few dishes and a glass of something red.