Whether you’re looking to beat those January blues or keep to your 2016 travel resolutions, a European city break is the perfect way to start the new year in style. From the vibrant colours of National Tulip Day in Amsterdam to the cobbled pavements of Bruges and the cosy pubs of Dublin; if you’re wondering where to go in January, this is the perfect inspiration for your early 2016 trip.
The cobblestone streets of this Belgian city are not only famous for appearing as the backdrop in a well-known Hollywood movie, but for all their hidden treasures too. At the Choco-Story museum, you can learn about the history of the cocoa bean and how it is transformed into the chocolate we all love to devour. As part of this popular tour, you will also be gifted a chocolate taster, made fresh before your very eyes. Still a little peckish? Waffles are a must-try and the local vendors offer the best value for money when choosing all of those delicious toppings. To soak up the history of this medieval city, take a boat ride along the canals and admire the stunning scenery, before heading to the iconic Markt, home to the 83-metre Belfry tower. If you’re feeling energetic, you can even climb the tower’s 366 steps; the panoramic views are well worth the effort.
This gorgeous Dutch city is perfect for a weekend getaway, with its offerings of tasty food, stunning sights and longstanding traditions making it one of the world’s most popular destinations. The annual light festival continues in the new year and sees Amsterdam and its canal decorated with illuminated artwork up until January 17th, while National Tulip Day takes place on the third Sunday of the month each year, bringing a rush of colour to the city’s Dam Square. With over 200,000 tulips grown especially for the occasion, everyone is invited to pick their own free flower in celebration of this longstanding tradition. At the end of the month the Food Soul Festival transforms Kromhouthal in Amsterdam Noord into a restaurant, with mobile kitchens providing a huge range of delicacies from all over the world, along with an assortment of the best craft beer and wine.
Famed for its high Gothic architecture, Cologne‘s magnificent cathedral is the centre point in this 2,000-year-old city, and the cultural hub of West Germany. Climb the 533 steps up to the south tower platform of this 13th century church to enjoy stunning views across the horizon. After reaching solid ground again, take a wander to the Hohenzollern bridge. Inspired by the Pont des Arts in Paris, lovers have taken to attaching engraved padlocks to the structure, throwing the keys into the depths of the River Rhine as a symbol of their commitment. After taking in all the sights, spend your evening sampling Kolsch, the city’s famous local beer. With 26 different brands to be enjoyed at one of the main breweries surrounding the cathedral, this spot is the perfect thirst quencher after climbing all those steps.
Take your first sip of the black stuff in 2016 at the Guinness Storehouse and learn all about the origins of this distinctive drink on the official tour of the factory, before heading out to explore this beautiful city. Trinity College is an iconic building in the heart of the city centre, and with over 500 years of education under its belt it’s a popular destination for those looking to learn more about the area’s rich history. Wander through the ornate courtyards and brilliantly green grounds while admiring the architecture of a building that has seen many important figures walk through its doors. After a long day of sightseeing, Stephen’s Green is perfect for a picturesque stroll, coffee in hand as you decide which one of Dublin’s excellent restaurants to choose for a well-deserved dinner.
Start your own adventure this year by checking our our adventure page.