As fantastic as it is to get away in the warmer months, a winter city break is just the ticket for the post-festive lull. If you are looking for an urban retreat to liven up dreary old January or freezing February, here are three of the best:
Budapest is really a city of two halves. To the west of the river lies Buda, home to Castle Hill. This ancient part of the city is home to the Fisherman’s Bastion, a Neo-Gothic fortification overlooking the eastern part of the city, Pest. It offers some of the most breath-taking views of any city in the world, and to watch the winter sun rising over this historic city, as steam rises off the rooftops is magical. Pest is the commercial heart of Budapest; and in colder months is home to winter markets, selling warming plates of Hungarian sausage, strudel and mulled wine.
London, United Kingdom
London can often be a wet and dreary place to be in the winter months, but this should not be used as an excuse to avoid the city; rather, to go and enjoy the many undercover places of interest dotted around town. Many of the best museums in London are free, such as the remarkable British Museum in Bloomsbury and the Tate Modern on South Bank. The London Underground offers a convenient (and warm) way of moving around town, and if it is only shopping that you are after, the Tube can drop you almost directly into the massive covered mall at Westfield Stratford City in the East End.
New York City, USA
Winters in the Big Apple are nothing short of iconic, with crowds descending upon the Trump-Wollman Skating Rink at the southern end of Central Park, as well as visiting the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. As a result, as the nights draw in, the city can get very busy, and it is worth exploring off the beaten track, towards Lower Manhattan, and the lively-yet-laid-back neighbourhoods such as TriBeCa and Gramercy Park. A winter’s trip to Staten Island affords the adventuresome tourist with a very different perspective to this great city.
Budapest, London and New York offer three very different takes on a winter city break, however they all have one thing in common; they reward those who brave the cold with three magical and special experiences. Just don’t forget to pack a warm coat.