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After the celebrations and festive buzz of Christmas, January can seem like a bit of a dull and never-ending month. With money in short supply, and not a holiday in sight for months, the January blues arrive on your doorstep. However, it needn’t be that way — break the routine or boredom with a cheeky short escape! 

Discover Rome

Rome, Italy: The Roman Forum in the sunrise

A firm favourite on the short-break destination list, Rome is a city that won’t fail to cheer you up, even if it’s the glummest January afternoon. Rome truly has something for every visitor: couples will find plenty of romantic hideaways with glorious food and spectacular views; shopaholics and trendsetters will be kept busy with some of Europe’s best and trendiest shopping haunts; history buffs can spend hours exploring the city’s remarkable historic sites; while families with children will never be short of museums to discover and delicious gelato to enjoy… yes, ice cream in January — why not!

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Lose yourself in Lisbon

View over the central Baixa district and the pedestrian street Rua Augusta in Lisbon, Portugal.

If a grey, rainy and dreary January is getting you down, the colourful, cheerful and (relatively) warm Lisbon will sort you out in no time! Just under three hours on the plane and you are transported to Portugal’s vibrant capital. Here, lose track of time meandering up and down Lisbon’s winding streets, taking in the views from the top of the city’s famous hills and soaking up the glorious atmosphere. The intermingling Hispanic, Arabic and African influences will revive your ears with beautiful music, your taste buds with exciting new flavours and your tired eyes with stunning colours and patterns.

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Restore in Valencia

Square of Saint Mary's and Valencia cathedral temple in old town.Spain

Fed up with dark and cold wintry days? Warm up in Valencia! A Mediterranean destination that is within easy reach, Valencia will restore your soul with long beach walks, blue skies and fresh sea air. Numerous restaurants, with food that is both delicious and beautiful, will nourish your body, and a cheeky evening cocktail will fire up your soul. You will also find plenty of opportunities to liven up your wardrobe, with this city’s many designer shops. With this retail therapy, your January won’t feel so rubbish anymore!

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Escape to Venice

Photo of Venice at Sunset. Some traditional gondolas, tied up to the quay in Saint Mark's square, are in foreground while Saint George Island, one of the island of Venice, is visible in background.

While Venice might not be the first destination you’d think of visiting in winter, you will be pleasantly surprised, because despite it being January, there’s lots on offer here. Head out for a stroll around the island of Torcello — atmospheric and extremely scenic, you’ll have it almost all to yourself to explore. At the famous St. Mark’s Basilica enjoy some stunning mosaics in absolute tranquillity. Evenings are great for art and music, or get cosy with a hot chocolate and a slice (or two) of cake. Isn’t that the best way to beat the winter blues?

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Lighten up in Paris

Beautiful sunrise at the Pont Alexandre III and Les Invalides in Paris

Paris is often referred to as the “City of Lights”, and January offers the perfect opportunity to really appreciate its stunning illuminations. Spend the morning strolling through museum halls and art galleries before indulging in some shopping in the afternoon. Then, come night-time, be sure to head outside to the Champs-Elysées, which is beautifully lit at this time of year. If you have another day to spend here, walk along the Seine or sip some wine while taking in the stunning views… and soon enough, you’ll feel your spirits lifting.

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Tagged: City, Culture

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