If you’re visiting the European hub of futuristic art and cutting-edge design, take a romantic break from the thrill of the bright lights at one of these cosier destinations just a stone’s throw away. Rotterdam is home to Europe’s biggest port, making it the perfect base for a starry-eyed long weekend in South Holland. And with excellent connections to some of some of the most quixotic locations in the Netherlands, you’re just a ferry ride away from an unforgettably idyllic adventure. All of these suggestions are under and hour away from the city by train or car – making them ideal locations for a day trip, or even a long weekend if your schedule is more flexible. The only question is, where first?
Located in the predominately French-speaking Walloon region of Belgium, Mons is renowned as a cultural centre, especially after receiving the title of European Capital of Culture in 2015. UK visitors, however, might know it best for the momentous Battle of Mons during World War 1. Though a small city with only 100,000 inhabitants, Mons is a fascinating place to visit, full of art, architecture and history – with a side reputation as the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Belgium thanks to the nearby Google headquarters. Check out our guide to visiting the delights of Mons in 24 hours.
The Netherlands is easy to explore by car, but the best way to experience it like a local is by hopping on a bicycle. As well as being one of the most convenient ways to get about the country, the extensive cycle network gives you a chance to see plenty of scenic sights along the way. If you’ve already biked around Amsterdam‘s famous Vondelpark and pedalled past the waterfront, check out these awesome cycle routes near the Dutch capital and start your own two-wheeled adventure.
There are some stunning expanses of nature to be found just a short venture from Rotterdam. Boasting everything from sand dunes, forests and lakes, these beauty spots contain a large variety of flora and fauna to discover. There are 20 Dutch national parks dotted across the country, so wherever you stay, there are plenty of idyllic settings to choose from. Here are just a few of the most popular.
With some of the Netherlands‘ most beautiful spots less than an hour’s train ride away from Amsterdam, it’s the perfect base from which to discover some of the country’s most famous historical sights and national delicacies. Start your journey at the capital’s Centraal Station and set off to enjoy a slice of Dutch culture. We’ve put together a few of our favourite day trips outside Amsterdam.
Located along the southeast corner of France, the Principality of Monaco is steeped in sophistication and intrigue. This tiny country might be the second smallest in the world after Vatican City, but it’s still renowned as a billionaires’ playground and home to A-list celebrities. Monte Carlo’s picturesque harbour of mega yachts and world-famous casino have made it a hotspot for visitors seeking a slice of Mediterranean charm. For anyone hoping to visit on a day trip from neighbouring city of Nice, here’s what you can get up to during a day in Monaco. Continue reading A Day in Monaco: Glitz and Glamour Along the French Riviera
The 2,000-year-old city of Cologne is West Germany’s cultural heartland, with a world-renowned carnival, cruises along the Rhine and the famous Kölner Dom just a few of the incredible things you can experience here. As well as being one of Germany’s most popular cities to visit, Cologne offers the perfect basecamp to explore the surrounding area. From fun theme parks to musical heritage, here are some of the best day trips from Cologne.