Cheapflights.co.uk recommends European capitals of culture
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With the May bank holiday approaching, now is the time to book a great escape. Cheapflights.co.uk, online leader in flight deals publishing, guides travellers through some of Europe’s capitals of culture.
“May is the perfect time to be strolling around a city, exploring it’s architecture, history and soaking up some old world beauty,” says Nadine Hallak, Travel Expert for Cheapflights.co.uk.
“Ditch the hunt for a beach break this May bank holiday and opt for culture in some of Europe’s most stunning cities instead,” adds Hallak.
Rotterdam in the Netherlands is a centre for architectural culture, music and the arts. A less obvious choice than Amsterdam, it has a more-cutting edge vibe. Skyscrapers and a bustling art scene welcome visitors to the city. Among the long list of must sees are the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Het Park and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Music lovers will also find plenty to draw their attention in the way of live music and an endless number of festivals. Flights to Rotterdam start from just £200 return.
Istanbul, Turkey boasts a wealth of attractions including the Hagia Sofia, the notorious Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace that served as the primary home of centuries worth of Ottoman Sultans. The Grand Bazaar is the mother of all markets serving up everything from carpets and Turkish ceramics to jewellery and clothing. Visitors should be sure to pick up an evil eye for protection. Flights to Istanbul start from just £165 return.
Those who’d rather not venture far from home should head to the cultural centre of Cork in Ireland. It makes a change from Dublin and is well suited to those with families. While there’s plenty to see in the way of architecture and natural sights such as Elizabeth Fort, Fitgerald’s Park and University College Cork, the city has more recently gained acclaim for its gastronomic prowess. Foodies can enjoy excellent local produce and eateries like Shanagarry’s at Ballymaloe House, which serves up some of the world’s finest Irish cuisine and has been internationally recognised for it. Flights to Ireland start from just £38 return.
Sibiu in Romania was crowned the European Capital of Culture in 2007, enabling it to refurbish its medieval buildings with breath-taking results. Must see cultural sights include the well preserved Citadel of Sibiu, Huet Square and the Old Town, which offers a mix of historic sights and cobbled streets lined with restaurants, shops, bars and cafes. Flights to Romania from just £167 return.
Tallinn, Estonia is another great destination for an intrepid cultural escape. Having gained its independence after the collapse of the USSR just over 20 years ago, the city is an up-and -coming travel destination and has recently become a British favourite for hen and stag weekends. However it is most famous for being one of the world’s best preserved cities and comes complete with an Old Town, cobbled streets and Gothic churches. Local specialties to look out for include big open air markets, famous Estonian lace, leather, ceramics and Stalin Russian dolls. When strolling through the Old Town, a visit to the Hessburger fast food restaurant, a 1950’s style chrome caravan, is a must.
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