Life is to be lived, the world is meant for exploring and for those living in the Northern Hemisphere Christmas is the perfect opportunity for a well deserved city break.
Having travelled more than my fair share I wanted to share my top tips for a winter city break.
Location is everything when it comes to a short break but recommending somewhere to go is very hard. It all comes down to personal taste. If you intend on travelling between November and Christmas I would suggest choosing somewhere with a good selection of Christmas markets. These are the kind which pop up for 6 weeks every year and specialise in selling gifts, food and drink. As the nights get shorter they are a lovely way to spend the evening, especially if you are travelling with a partner. Consider cities like Barcelona, Edinburgh, Munich or Kraków. These cities get my thumbs up and have a great mix of culture and nightlife.
Sight seeing is all about being able to pack as many activities into three days as possible. With these time limitations planning is key. Spend a few hours on TripAdvisor before departing, noting the places you would most like to visit. When I travel I tend to mark places on a map so I can draw a rough route. Most cities have hidden gems and pieces of history which you will miss unless you know what to look for. If your trip is centred around education find yourself a local tour guide. Someone who will take you around the city talking you though it’s history. Pricing for such tours can vary massively but most cities offer free walking tours. A local guide who works on a tip basis.
Navigating a foreign city can be confusing so my top tip would be to always have a backup. I love walking around cities and have found so many treasures by wandering around. Just remember getting lost in an unknown city isn’t always safe so keep a phone nearby so you can call an Uber if necessary.
Winter city breaks are usually jammed with activities and time seems to go on forever. Pack your case with enough variety and prepare for the weather. Comfortable footwear should be taken to protect your feet from all the walking. Other necessities will depend on your itinerary and chosen location and things to consider are:
- Warm coat
- Evening shirt
When packing be sure to consider your mode of transport. If you choose to fly your bag will need to be either; small enough to fit as carry on luggage or be durable enough to withstand the aeroplane cabin.
Most European cities have a high safety rating but it is always best to be cautious. Store personal belongings inside a backpack, remember ‘out of sight, out of mind’. A high proportion of theft occurs because of opportunity rather than intent and a little caution goes a long way. Using a backpack also means you can spend all day sightseeing without having to go back to the hotel to collect additional items. Fill your rucksack with a jumper, camera and any other items you may need throughout the day.
We hope you make the most of your winter holiday. Our range of leather and canvas bags are perfect for travelling, travel in style with Kurtis Paul.