The gurus • October 2017
Looking for a city escape that breaks the mould? Claire Bentley, managing director of British Airways Holidays, suggests five alternative destinations that will satisfy everyone, from adventurers to architecture lovers
Copenhagen has it all: a vibrant art scene, effortlessly cool architecture and delicious gastronomy. Sister restaurant of Noma, Michelin-starred 108 (pictured) pushes the boundaries between modern and classical cooking, delivering the finest Nordic cuisine at a reasonable price.
Where to stay: The stylish Tivoli Hotel – one of our top customer picks – has a 12th-floor cocktail bar with views over the Old Town.
Nature lovers and thrill seekers will adore action-packed Reykjavik. The dramatic landscape around the city includes glaciers, hot springs, ice caverns and geothermal pools – the toughest decision you’ll have to make each day is where to venture to next. After all that action, head back to town to drink unpronounceable local whiskies and ales. With endless summer days and long winter nights, Icelanders know how to throw a good party.
Where to stay: CenterHotel Arnarhvoll is a sleek and stylish hotel in the heart of the city. After exploring the sights, finish your evening with a nightcap in its Sky Lounge bar.
Compact, rich in history and famous for its flamenco dancing, the Andalusian capital has something for everyone. Founded in the eighth century, the city is a melting pot of Spanish and Arabic culture. Be sure to sample a traditional Spanish breakfast of toasted bread, olive oil, garlic, tomato and jamon at El Rinconcillo, the oldest bar in Seville.
Where to stay: The popular Casas de la Juderia is comprised of beautifully restored houses in the historic Jewish quarter, close to the Giralda and the Royal Alcazar.
Famed for its eye-catching azulejos tiles and terracotta rooftops, Lisbon is a treat for the eyes. Kick off your trip by climbing the hilltop fortifications of Castelo de Sao Jorge. Tram 28 will take you to the top, giving incredible panoramic views across the city and its skyline.
Where to stay: Five-star Porto Bay Liberdade is on Avenida da Liberdade – Lisbon’s most luxurious shopping street – and has a decadent spa.
Renowned for delicious beer and dark, intense coffee, Bavaria’s second-largest city comes to life at Christmas with spectacular festive markets. But it’s not all about the mulled wine and roasted chestnuts – once the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire, the city is packed with architectural wonders.
Where to stay: Four-star Le Meridien Grand Hotel is an elegant contemporary building by the entrance to the historic town, with breathtaking views of the city.