As we say goodbye to the season, a short getaway becomes almost a necessity. A few days away from work, perhaps wandering the streets of a new city, only using your phone for Instagram, and not answering emails. It certainly is possible. All you need is a bit of planning, together with the desire to getaway. We have selected three popular destinations perfect for a city break. As a bonus, we give you some ideas for choosing souvenirs full of local flavours, ideal to bring a piece of your holidays back home to your kitchen.
The Spanish capital is a dreamy location for both art lovers and foodies. Madrid is perfect for those who love to walk. Most of the city’s major attractions can be reached by foot, helping you organise a great itinerary. Some of the unmissable sites include Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, and the Gran Via. Each of the city’s neighbourhoods possesses both history and an individual personality. Please take note of the following recommendations. Some of our favourite neighbourhoods (barrios) are Malasaña, Chueca, La Latina, Lavapies, and Barrio de las Letras.
If you are interested in visiting museums, you will find some of the most spectacular art collections in the world, such as the Reina Sofia, El Prado, and the Thyssen.
Tip: every museum offers free entry a few hours a week.
Of course, Madrid is also distinguished by its cuisine. Iberian ham, octopus, paella, and famously tapas! The tapas tradition demands to go from bar to bar tasting different versions of tapa (bread with different toppings), best accompanied by cold Cerveza!
Local souvenir: Fleur De Sel 125g Sal de Ibiza.
This table salt is obtained through the natural evaporation of seawater. It contains no additives or preservatives. It contains more than 80 minerals and has a unique taste which is perfect for seafood dishes. Presented in a ceramic container, this salt is a wonderful present for family and gourmet friends.
Cosmopolitan, vibrant, brilliant. London is a synonym for cultural life and global trends. Of course, you will also find centuries of history, royalty, and some of the most meticulous traditions. London is a city that deserves to be visited at least once in your life.
Those travellers who want to experience Royal London should make Westminster their first stop. There, you can visit Westminster Abbey, and then visit Buckingham Palace wondering if the Queen is at her official residence, whilst observing the traditional Changing of the Guard.
A more parliamentary option includes, of course, the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street (the Prime Minister’s residence), and Big Ben.
People more interested in cultural London should visit Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Soho, or Camden Town, all famous for their nightlife, bars, and restaurants.
Gourmet highlight? Try Borough Market, London’s best-loved 250-year-old food market. These days, it is the main attraction for “foodies”.
Local Souvenir: London Tea London Earl Grey 15x2g.
An exclusive item available at World Duty Free stores. The set contains 15 teabags of this British classic. A delicacy that deserves to be compulsorily enjoyed at 5 o’clock! The tin is so lovely that it will probably be used to keep spices in the kitchen for long after the tea has gone.
More than 3000 years of history are alive in one of the most charming European cities to visit. Therefore, it makes sense to start touring Athens from its most recognisable feature. The Acropolis and the Parthenon, both located on a hill about 150 metres above sea level. Both sites have been witness to the looting, destruction, then rebuilding, and glory of this great city.
Other main attractions of Greek culture are the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. You can wander the narrow streets of the Monastikari and Plaka neighbourhoods, and enjoy the 19th Century facades, where the traditional Greek atmosphere is kept alive to this day.
Tip: Use the opportunity to sample moussaka, a gyro, some olives, or the typical Greek yoghurt.
Enjoy the sunset from the top of Mount Lycabettus, reached on the funicular or by walking, and enjoy awesome views of the city. You will need patience as this site is very busy with tourists looking for the best panoramic views of the city.
If you become citied-out and want to disconnect, you can always get on the bus to reach the beaches close to the city. Glyfada Beach is well known for its calm and clear waters. A more exclusive option might be Lake Vouliagmeni, encased in the remaining walls of a cave, and famous for the clean, turquoise waters.
Local Souvenir: Gaea - Pitted Mixed Olives 150g.
The heart of Mediterranean cuisine, olives are synonymous with Greece. This exclusive pack is now available at Hellenic Duty Free. Each contains different olive varieties in a mix of local flavours. Green, Kalamata, and blond olives packed in a protected atmosphere, in resealable packaging that keeps the olives fresh and full of flavour.