Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Be Spontaneous! Grab a Last Minute Getaway

I don't know about you, but I'm no good when plans are up in the air. At the end of August, I might have the chance to hop on a plane and visit my best friend in Belfast but only if her work commitments come through. So I'm stuck - I can't book flights and I don't know what to do with my time off if plans fall through. I'd better think of some last minute ideas, just in case...

Warsaw, Poland

Visitors during the summer months absolutely must take in the free (yes free) piano concert held every Saturday and Sunday next to the statue of Chopin in Lazienki Park. This tradition has been going for more than 50 years and is perfect for travellers who are keeping to a tight budget.

Warsaw’s most historic part, Old Town, was heavily damaged during the Second World War but nowadays enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status due to its extensive restoration. Furthermore, visitors can take in the ambiance of Old Town in one of its many cafes and restaurants – all of which offer traditional pierogies at extremely reasonable prices.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is a truly magical place and the perfect destination for a last-minute getaway from the UK. And Turkey’s economic, cultural and historical heart has much to offer the last-minute getaway visitor.

Spice-scented bazaars are what makes this capital city so special and visitors will feel as though they are in a scene from a book whilst walking through its busy streets. Add to this traditional Turkish baths and you’ve got yourself a very exciting, yet relaxing place to visit.

A neat fact for travellers is that Istanbul, historically named Constantinople, is the only city on earth that straddles two continents – Asia and Europe.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam may have a reputation as the red-light capital of the world but this only adds to its charm. With intimate streets, beautiful squares and fantastic canals, Amsterdam is truly a city of wonder and intrigue

Some people might think that Amsterdam lacks history and culture but the truth is that this city has the highest museum density in the world and houses such iconic establishments as the Van Gogh Museum, Hermitage Amsterdam, Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum with Rembrandt’s world-famous Nightwatch.

Visitors to Amsterdam – especially those on a brief getaway – should experience the historic canal district and indulge in a canal tour. After all, this area was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2011 and is therefore an area that is particularly special. Although, to afford the total Amsterdam experience a bicycle is the order of the day.

Can you recommend any last minute getaways? Where have you travelled on the spur of the moment before?

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© 2008 - Mandy Southgate | Emm in London

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