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Bank Holiday Breaks

Date Posted: 12/03/2018

It's almost Bank Holiday and with a couple coming up in May too, a break is well needed! Whether it's Berlin for sightseeing or Prague for drinking, there is something for everyone!

Prague


Home to picturesque rivers, stone bridges, colourful buildings and Gothic churches; Prague certainly packs a punch in terms of scenery. Once you hit these cobbled lanes, you’ll be able to aimlessly wander for hours, exploring a plethora of chapels, cafes, gardens and bars. The beer here is world famous, so it’s no wonder that the Czech Republic is the number one beer drinking country in the world! Light, nicely chilled and with a tall head, it’s available everywhere… even in breakfast cafes! One of the best things to do is to head out on a beer tasting tour. With over 200 breweries (many of them falling into the small or micro category), you’ll taste some of the most unique and uncommon beers in all of Prague.


If you want to take in the sights of Prague in style, hop on a Segway or fat tyre scooter and sample some of the delightful views as you ride through Ladronka Park and the Strahov area. The great thing about these tours are that you can choose between a classic route or a customised itinerary. You can discover the former vineyards and the Strahov Stadium, home of football club AC Sparta Praha. Roll past the Prague Castle and you’ll be astounded; it covers an area of almost 70,000m² making it the largest castle complex in the world. Pass by The Lennon Wall, a John Lennon inspired graffiti wall filled with lyrics from Beatles’ songs. If you’re after a bit of beer and culture, we’d definitely recommend heading to Prague.


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Krakow


Five hours east of Prague is Krakow, known for its medieval core and Jewish quarter. The city dates back to the 7th century and is virtually unchanged. Cosy cellar bars, market stalls, grand castles and a dramatic past make Poland’s second largest city a must. Walk around Kazimierz, a historical Jewish district, and experience quirky shops, vintage clothes stores and indie galleries. Visit the Oskar Schindler factory where you’ll discover his life, his factory and the fate of his Jewish workforce in the museum. Roughly a sixth of the museum is dedicated to them. Photos, documents, artefacts and multimedia arrangements attempt to create a fully immersive experience. The Auschwitz Memorial museum is also just a short drive away.

One of the largest tourist attractions in all of Poland is the UNESCO listed Wieliczka Salt Mine. The beautiful undergrounds are exceptional to walk around and there are 20 chambers to visit. You’ll need around three hours to complete the magnificent chiselled underground tunnels. Just be aware that if you want to take photos, you’ll have to buy permission at the entrance at the Chapel of St. Kinga. Back at ground level, there’s a lot of street art to be admired. Poland has a long history of graphic art and is filled to the brim with large and small works of art.  One of Krakow’s most talked about murals is the Ding Dong Dumb, painted by famous Italian artist Blu. The reason why it’s most talked about? It explores the relationship between the Polish culture and the Catholic Church. Most of these murals were created during a festival called ArtBoom, while others grace the streets illegally.

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Berlin


Berlin serves up a reminder of the German capital’s turbulent history. The Berlin Wall separated the city from 1961 to 1989 and part of it still stands, after mainly being destroyed by demolition in November 1989. There’s barely anything left, however, these are very popular attractions and can be found in a selection of places. The East Side Gallery is the longest section of the wall and runs for 1.3km. It was painted back in 1990 by 118 artists from 21 countries, meaning it is now the longest open air gallery in the world.  Much like Krakow, Berlin is known for its art scene and is home to 440 galleries.

If you fancy a bit of relaxation, the Liquidrom offers just that. With four saunas and the sensational centrepiece of the dimmed hall and thermal bath, you can kick back and experience the weightlessness you deserve. A special feature of the pool is that you can take in classical or electronic music underwater. Berlin Zoo is home to the world’s largest variety of species. There are over 20,000 animals and 1,400 species living in the 33 hectare zoo. You’ll get to see Germany’s only giant pandas!

The Olympiastadion was built for the 1972 summer Olympics and is certainly something you should think about visiting whilst your there. Its capacity is a huge 74,475 and it has held the 2006 World Cup final and the 2009 Athletics World Championships. At the moment it is the home of Hertha BSC in the Bundesliga and the Germany national football team. If you like running, you can have the chance to run through this stadium in events such as B2RUN and the BIG25.  Summer is when the stadium changes to an open air stage and you’ll be able to see some of the world’s most famous acts. This summer you could be seeing The Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses or Ed Sheeran!

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Amsterdam

Another capital city, Amsterdam offers plenty to explore if you’re wanting a good bank holiday break.  The GVB transport in Amsterdam makes it simple to get around too; just hop on a tram! Jump off at museum quarter and there’s a cluster of museums for you to look around. Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art and the Van Gough Museum offer a mix of culture and interests. If you’re not feeling paintings or history, the NEMO science museum gives a fun and interactive insight into the world of science. Learn about life in the universe, work on your own experiments in the lab or learn about the technological advancements over the years. It is a great place for children!

Somewhere that isn’t so good for kids, but definitely for adults, is the Heineken Experience. Learn the story of Heineken, the brewing process, innovations and sponsorships in this one and a half hour self-guided tour. During the tour there will be chance to get your name imprinted on a bottle and you’ll learn how to properly drink the beer. At the end of the tour, put it into practice and enjoy two Heinekens!

Across the city is an astounding piece of history; the Anne Frank House. Visit the place where Anne Frank wrote her world-famous diary while in hiding from the Germans. You’ll see the bookcase which hides the entrance to where Anne and her family stayed hidden. Climb up the stairs and see each room, complete with photos and posters which Anne decorated her walls with. Step inside the museum at the back of the house and see family portraits dated from 1920-1942 and the world famous diary itself. A very eye opening experience indeed.

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Nice

The pebbled shores of Nice are a beautiful place for a quick getaway. The Promenade des Anglais is a great way to take in the sea views; walk, ride, skate or Segway, the choice is yours! This famous stretch of sea front sweeps for 4km and has landmarks you’ll need to keep your eye out for! Promenade des Anglais is a candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage status, but it can take up to 10 years to complete and was only submitted back in 2015. If you fancy taking on the promenade in style, rent a Ferrari and jump in with an experienced instructor, who will teach you all the tips you need to master the car’s immense power. Power along in this exceptional motor and hear the magnificent roar of its powerful V8 engine. You can opt out of driving and just enjoy the ride, taking in the stunning views.

The Old Town (Vieille Ville) is a must for anyone. There are lots of things to do, day and night, which makes it ideal to walk around. Enjoy a drink or traditional meal in one of the many restaurants and bars or grab yourself a bite to eat in the food market. The long, winding alleyways make it great for exploring and once you hit the massive market square you’ll be amazed. There is a flea market, food market, fish market and flower market on selected days. Nice has everything for a comfortable break.

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