48 Hour City Breaks

By NH | 13:10

We love to travel but the reality is that, sometimes, we don’t have the time (or the budget) to just take 3 weeks to wander off and discover that distant tropical heaven off the coast of New Zealand, or Canada’s best-hidden secrets. That is why today we’ve made a short list of 48-hour city breaks in Europe and South America. Are you ready for some travel inspiration?

Barcelona

The Catalan capital is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, thanks to its incredible architecture, magic parks, the gorgeous beaches around the city, and its unique cultural offerings. Even families will find plenty of adventures to embark on with the little ones.

So, what to see and do in Barcelona for 48 hours?

A great place to start your tour is the colourful and buzzing La Boqueria Market, located on Las Ramblas. Full of life, you can just grab a bite and walk around or sit at one of the small bars that line the inside and take in its great atmosphere.

From there, keep strolling down las Ramblas until you reach the Barceloneta Beach, and admire the beautiful seaside. In the summer and early Autumn days it can get crowded but, during the rest of the year, it is the perfect place to sit back and relax while enjoying a drink to the relaxing sound of the waves.

Barcelona is also known for being a true shopping paradise. If you don’t mind spending your entire month’s salary on a single and spectacular outfit, head for one of Barcelona’s fanciest and most exclusive streets: Passeig de Gracia. During your shopping spree, don’t just look down at the price tags, why not look up and enjoy Passeig de Gracia’s architecture? Don’t miss Casa Batlló and La Pedrera, some of the famous buildings designed by Gaudí.

You can’t really say you’ve seen Barcelona until you visit the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, another example of Gaudí’s inimitable style. Different to anything else, the cathedral is a masterpiece of architecture (still under construction after 135 years) with incredible craftsmanship and ornate details. Just make sure you book your tickets online, otherwise, you’ll have to join a long line to go inside.

For a breath of fresh air, nothing better than exploring Parc Güell. And yes, Gaudí again! The park is like a magical garden with benches made of colourful mosaics and surrounded by nature. It’s a great place to enjoy stunning views of Barcelona and take incredible photos of the city.

Looking for more breathtaking views in Barcelona? Then you must visit the Montjuic Castle. Located on a hill overlooking both the city and the commercial port, the fortress breaths history on every corner: it served as an old military fortress first and as a prison during the Spanish Civil War.

If you want to taste typical dishes in Barcelona, the best option you have is to get out off the beaten path. One of the best restaurants in the city is Don Giovanni, fronted by Sicilian chef Andrea Tumbarello. Putting the delicious food aside, just the impressive decoration of the place justifies a visit!

Save The Date!

12th March – 39th Edition of the Zurich Marató de Barcelona
25th Abril – Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week
31st May – Barcelona Primavera Sound
6th June – European Balloon Festival
21st September – Festival of La Mercè
Your hotel in Barcelona 

London

Only two days in London? Don’t worry, 48 hours is enough time to explore the main must-see attractions, you might even have time to explore some of the lesser-known areas of the city!
You’ll need to start the day with the right kind of energy, and for that, a typical English breakfast will be a perfect choice. Do yourself a favour and head off to the cosy Hawksmoor Guildhall, where the attentive staff is an added bonus to the top notch breakfast they serve hash brown, pork trotter beans, scrambled eggs, Greek yoghurt, super coffee… Need any more convincing?
Now that your batteries are charged, you’ll be ready to explore the amazing exhibits at the British Museum. It is a beautiful and educational place that both adults and children will enjoy, especially the section on Egypt! And the best part? This world class museum offers free entry all year round!

Hundreds of years of history are concentrated in one place: Tower of London. Did you know it was the first Norman building in England? The whole place is incredible, from the Knights Room to the collections of armour and medieval artifacts, and the phenomenal Crown jewels. Visually stunning, it is a good place to visit with the family!

Another incredible place to see in London is Westminster Abbey, home to some of the most famous tombs in British history (like William Shakespeare), beautiful stained glass windows and breathtaking chapels. The architecture and the history that surrounds the site are awe-inspiring. Get the audio guide, it is 100% worth it!

After, cross the Westminster Bridge and walk along the Thames to Tower Bridge. Along with this two and a half mile stroll, you’ll be able to take some amazing pictures of London’s major sights, such as the London Eye, the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Houses of Parliament, and St. Paul’s’ Cathedral.

London hides a little bit of paradise, perfect to catch a breath of fresh air and rest, you’ll need it after all the sightseeing! The place we are talking about is none other than Hyde Park, located in the heart of the city. Big green areas perfect for a picnic in the summer or walk by the river and feed the ducks by the Serpentine Lake. If you ever wondered what an English park looks like, this is the epitome!

Once you exit Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace will be within walking distance. We recommend to book a guided tour of its interiors, the only way to really take it the splendour and truly feel like a royal. The highlight of the trip is champagne toast in the foyer, at the end of the tour!

Save The Date!
26th February – Magic Lantern Festival
13th March – London Beer Week
17th March – St. Patrick’s Day
23rd April – London Marathon
24th June – West End LIVE
8th July – Pride in London
6th August – IAAF Marathon
Your hotel in London

León

The colonial city of León is located in the State of Guanajuato, and is known as the “Shoe Capital of The World”. You can guess why. It is, without a doubt, a great shopping destination and conveniently located close to other major cities and airports. If 48 hours is all the time you have to spend in this charming part of the world, we recommend you to travel to Guanajuato, just 30 minutes away and well worth the visit.
Guanajuato is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Mexico’s most picturesque places, thanks to its brightly coloured buildings, historical architecture and friendly atmosphere.

A great way to start exploring Guanajuato is to ride the short cable car that takes you up to the city’s scenic viewpoint. You can see the whole historic district from above and is an easy way up to visit the Pipila Monument, a monument of recognition for the miners that worked in the silver mines that once dotted the town.

Another lovely visit is the elegant Juarez Theater, designed by architect José Noriega and inaugurated in 1903 by President Porfirio Díaz. Touring this classical landmark is well worth a trip to see, but try to get tickets to a symphony’s live performance… Incredible!

Juarez Theater, Guanajuato

As in many other Mexican cities, the main square in Guanajuato is surrounded by gardens, great places to relax and admire your surroundings. The Jardín de la Unión must be one to the nicest squares in Mexico, with great views to the San Diego temple. Just sit back and soak in Mexico while listening to the mariachis!


Overlooking the lovely square we just mentioned, the beautiful and impressive Our Lady of Guanajuato Basilica stands out for its bright yellow colour, elegant facades and its exuberant Mexican Baroque style. It is the most important church in the city! The interior of the basilica brings you to an ancient time and at night, the building is illuminated. Time to take your camera out!

Save The Date!

9th March – 14th Rally Guanajuato Corona México
31st March – Medieval Festival
1st April – Holi Dance of Colours Tour 2017
1st June – Gastronomical Fair “Guanajuato Si Sabe”
21st July – Guanajuato International Film Festival
October – XLIV International Cervantino Festival

Your hotel in Leon

 

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