City breaks are a great opportunity to experience another culture and get your art fix at the same time. These five city break destinations offer something for every culture vulture, art lover, history buff and foodie. Let’s take a look at some of the best city break destinations to soak up art and culture.
Ah, Paris, the City of Light! Art lovers will swoon at the Louvre, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Musée Rodin, the Musée Picasso, the Musée D’Orsay … the list goes on. If you’ve a hankering to see some of the world’s finest art, a city break weekend to Paris will leave you more than satisfied.
History buffs and romantics alike will enjoy seeing the sights on foot in this walkable city; a two-hour stroll can take you from the Arc de Triomphe at the end of the Champs- Élysées to the Notre-Dame Cathedral in the city’s medieval centre. On the way, you’ll pass the Place de la Concorde, the Eiffel Tower, the Tuileries Palace and the Louvre. Parisian cuisine is some of the world’s finest; for the best dining experience, get away from the tourist centres and eat where the locals eat.
If you love history, you’ll love Berlin’s Pergamon Museum, which is Germany’s most-visited museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you’ll find the Ishtar Gate and the Altar of Zeus, along with other antiquities from ancient Greece, Rome, Sumeria, Assyria and Babylon. The Pergamon’s Islamic Art wing contains pieces dating back to the eighth century.
Don’t miss the Berlin Wall Memorial and the Mauermuseum at Checkpoint Charlie. For a thorough and detailed look at German history, visit the Deutsches Historisches Museum. People more interested in art shouldn’t feel left out; Berlin has a number of art museums showcasing pieces from all over the world, including the Museum of Asian Art in the Museen Dahlem, the museums of the Kulturforum, and the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart.
For holidaymakers in search of culture, the capital city of Belgium has it all. Art lovers should definitely visit the Musée Magritte, dedicated to the life and works of René Magritte, featuring a collection of more than 200 pieces.
Beer lovers mustn’t miss the Cantillon Brewery, where the beers are still brewed traditionally. Take an architectural tour to absorb the city’s many fascinating styles. Landmarks to visit include the Atomium, the Manneken Pis and the Parc du Cinquantenaire-Jubelpark where you can get a stellar view of the city from the top of the Arc de Triomphe-Triomfboog.
The home of Mozart and Beethoven is a must-see for lovers of classical music, but everyone can find something to love in Vienna. City breaks to Vienna offer a chance to try sachertorte and sip coffee in one of its famous cafes or lounge in a lovely garden. Don’t miss the Leopold Museum, where you’ll see works by Gustav Klimt amongst other renowned Austrian painters.
History buffs should visit Schönbrunn Palace, the massive summer residence of the imperial Hapsburgs, with its vast gardens and follies. Also take in the Imperial Treasury at Hofburg Palace, where you can find the Imperial Crown, Orb and Sceptre of Austria, among the other precious jewels.
The oldest city in Australia, Sydney has it all: history, art, culture, fashion and food all on beautiful sandy beaches. Visit during the European winter, when it’s summer in Australia, for the warmest temperatures. Temperatures are still tolerably warm during their autumn, from March through May and their winter, from June through to August.
You (literally) can’t miss the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the iconic Sydney Opera House. Other landmarks include the Royal Botanic Gardens, which contain more than 7,500 plant species, and the Koala Park Sanctuary. History buffs can find some of Sydney’s oldest buildings in Parramatta or visit preserved colonial settlements in The Rocks. Check out Sydney’s museums and galleries, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
City breaks provide the perfect opportunity to dive into art and culture. Try one of these five art-and-culture city breaks the next time you’re in the mood for an enriching weekend away.