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The Easter break is a great time to take a short trip and make use of the office holiday with some time out. While prices generally go up during this period, don’t be deterred, last minute deals are still there to be had especially if you avoid over saturated capitals in favour of lesser traversed cities.

Strasbourg, France

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Straddling the borders of Germany and France, Strasbourg brings together flavours of both countries and settles as a picture perfect town. A suitable escape for couples, friends and families’, Strasbourg’s culinary delights are well paired with the charming riverfront timbered buildings. “Le petite France” as it is know, is laden with typical French-style eateries serving up delicious treats including oven fresh pastries and an array of cheese based delights. If it’s a good wine you are looking for, rest assured you are in the right place. Alsace is home to many vineyards that are open to tours on both foot and bike.

Ghent, Belgium

Graslei in Ghent, Belgium

Often described as Belgium’s best kept secret, Ghent strikes the perfect balance between being small enough to access stuff and big enough to seem vibrant. Well discovered by bike, distinctive features of the lesser frequented Belgium town are the fantastic medieval architecture lining the canals, a quirky bar scene, art house cinemas and a number of museums and galleries. Top tip for Cocktail enthusiasts, drop by to Jigger’s, a cosy speakeasy-style bar ran by one of Belgium’s most famous mixologists.

Linz, Austria

Linz Cityscape with New Cathedral and Church of the Ursulines, A

The 2009 European capital of culture makes well of the title bestowed upon it. Over the past decade Austria’s third city has increasingly become a destination worthy of a spot on Europe’s contemporary cultural trail, with a burgeoning modern art scene nicely complemented by the historic musicality of the city. Linz is probably most famous as the place Mozart wrote his Linz Symphony (No 36) in just four days on a 1783 stopover here. Conveniently, the city’s cultural hotspots are dotted around the old medieval old town, centred on the vast central Hauptplatz. Evenings are well spent eating and drinking in any one of the many bars and restaurants, some housed in the fabulous baroque buildings that occupy the city.

Leipzig, Germany

Augustusplatz, Leipzig

Residents proclaim it as being “better than Berlin”, while this is certainly up for debate it is definitely one of Europe’s hippest cities. Attracting the young creatives who have been priced out of the German capital, there is a distinctly fresh and fun vibe about the place. The sites of the city are well explored over a day or two, with ample time to drink beer on the Karli, peruse antiques in Plagwitz and sample the various coffee shops on offer in this caffeine-loving city.

Córdoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain at the Roman Bridge and Mosque-Cathedral

Córdoba’s rich history is as fascinating as the city is beautiful. Situated in the southern Spanish province of Andalusia, this former Islamic cultural centre is home to one of the world’s greatest Islamic buildings, Mezquita. Mezquita is considered to be a unique architectural achievement, evident by its sheer size and height. What’s more, the existence of Mezquita is thought to represent a time in history when Christians, Jews and Muslims existed side by side during a period of harmony. The Guadalquivir River, flows below the Mezquita, making the riverfront streets a great place to make the most of the view at one of the many lively bars or restaurants.

 

 

 

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