In Richard Ayoade’s hilarious Travel Man television series, the comedian dissects the idea of a city break over a long weekend.
“How can anyone think 48 hours is enough time to see everything in a city”, he questions. When you think about it, it is a legitimate point but millions of us do it every year and, to be honest, they are quite exciting. You read up on all the travel books, find some restaurant recommendations on the internet, grab your passport and away you go.
With a series of bank holidays in the coming months, there is no better time to book a weekend away. Every trip may be different but here are just some of things you will definitely end up doing, no matter where you go.
You get lost on the city’s public transport
You only left the airport an hour ago, how are you lost already? It seemed a relatively simple task, just go to the airport railway station and get the blue line into the city centre. Here you are though; seemingly on a tour of the rural countryside. Are you sure this is the blue line? Oh no, this is the green line.
We’ve all been there. In our haste and excitement we’ve got on the wrong train and enjoyed an unexpected trail through the city suburbs.
You attempt to speak the language
It’s time to put your GCSE-level Spanish to good use and stroll up to the counter of the deli and deliver your order in your host’s native tongue to the best of your ability. Naturally, you’re met with a look of bemusement before the vendor puts you out of your misery and replies “two ham baguettes and two Coca-Colas?” with a ‘at-least-you-tried’ look. You nod in approval – you’ve done it, you’ve conversed in a foreign language.
You stumble upon your new favourite bar
One of the simple joys of a city break is wandering around the streets and admiring the sights. However, the pinnacle is stumbling across a bar that you instantly fall in love. It is the place you implore all your friends to visit when they go and – the best part – you didn’t even mean to find it.
You were actually looking for that cocktail bar recommended in the guide book but you’ve found somewhere better. It is a place where all the locals drink, they’ve got a delicious beer on tap and the music is perfect – you feel like you don’t want to leave but don’t worry, you’ll be back tomorrow.
You book a walking tour
You’ve learnt your lesson from getting lost on the train getting here; you’re not going to make that mistake. You’ve booked a walking tour. This is one of the best ways to get to know a European city and ensure you don’t miss a thing during your stay. Get a real feel for your home for the next couples of days – just pray it doesn’t rain.
You sample the local delicacies
You consider yourself to be somewhat of a gastronomic explorer and eagerly pick the most out of the ordinary dish on the menu. This long weekend is going to be no different. One of the best parts about this mindset is that you always stumble upon something that is so utterly delicious you want it for every meal for the rest of your life.
The only downside is that when you get back home you can’t find a restaurant that can whip up an equivalent.
You use all the vouchers possible to see the famous sights
When you checked into your hotel you were presented with a book of vouchers. It’s a thin card shape that unravels into a thousand strands of paper with a whole host of discounts. They are all here – 5% off an open top bus tour, 10% when spend €20 in the Louvre gift shop, 5% entry to the art museum and, best of all, €2.99 meal deal at McDonald’s.
We all love a bargain and there is absolutely no way we’re paying the full €24 to see the Casa Battlo, use those vouchers wisely.
You buy far too many souvenirs
You really want that a memento of your trip, something you can show off when you get back home. So naturally, you buy far too much stuff. Fridge magnet? Check. Notepad? Check. That overly expensive bottle of olive oil they only make in this corner in Spain? Check. That weird pottery bull? You better believe that’s a check.
And don’t forget to pick up that bottle of luminous schnapps that you forget about until you open at Christmas, it will be sure to put hairs on your chest.
You take a trip to countryside
Remember when you took the wrong train from the airport? Well, those little towns you passed by looked pretty nice, didn’t they? While exploring the city centre is fun, there is always a part of you that yearns for the tranquil bliss of the countryside. That’s why a little day trip out of the city can be a real winner.
Bask in the beautiful in the rural Spanish hills or maybe head to the beach – you can always swing by your favourite bar when you get back to the city.
You Instagram every second of your trip
What is the point of going on holiday if you can’t spam the life out of it? Fire up your Instagram, take the edgy picture of that monument lit up at night, slap on the filter and get ready to annoy every single one of your 78 followers. Just kidding, the days of waiting for your film to be developed outside of a supermarket are over so apps such as this provide the perfect photo album for you to look over in years to come.
You start planning your next trip the moment you return
It was a bit of a whirlwind trip and you’re probably exhausted. However, when you reach your lunch hour back at work you’re already scanning the internet for your next adventure. That is the beauty of the city break – where will it take you next?
Create your own holiday memories with a city break with Sunmaster. Choose from a range of cosmopolitan destinations and making huge savings in the process. Check out our latest offers at www.sunmaster.co.uk.