City Breaks

Go Bargain Hunting in Paris’ Vintage Stores and Flea Markets

When boho-chic style hit the catwalks, prices in Notting Hill's second hand stores soared - and they never came back down, crippled vintage shopping and forcing those looking for that particular to look elsewhere. So, when the affordability of weekend break to the other side of the Channel you can say 'bonjour' to Paris's Le Marais district - your wallet and wardrobe's new best friend.  Here taffeta cocktail dresses are in abundance, leather satchels are aplenty - and price tags are rock bottom. Read more about Go Bargain Hunting in Paris’ Vintage Stores and Flea Markets

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Enjoy the Sounds of Summer: Murcia Spain

Aquietude is cast over Murcia at around midday. The capital city, in the province of the same name, pinched between the trodden beaches of Almeria to the south and the heaving resorts of Valencia's Costa Blanca to the north, is dozing. Even the trees that line Paseo Alfonso X El Sabio, one of the sweeping pedestrianised avenues, seem in a state of repose. Al fresco cafe tables groan under the weight of chairs piled atop. Read more about Enjoy the Sounds of Summer: Murcia Spain

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Malaga: The Art of Extending Summer

Ancient meets the modern in this city.  Home to the only Pompidou Centre outside Paris and birthplace of one of the most celebrated artists in history, Malaga is more than just the gateway to the beaches of the Costa del Sol and Andalucía in the south. A compact and richly cosmopolitan city, it delivers on culture, tantalising tapas, new hedonistic hotspots that could give Barcelona a run for its money and fine weather, with more than 300 days of sunshine a year. Read more about Malaga: The Art of Extending Summer

Amsterdam Weekender

Delicate bridges and waterways weave in and out of old brick and glass buildings, and outdoor cafes line every road. There are hen and stag dos a-plenty, and hitting the main drag in Old Centre to party hard is definitely part of the experience, as is strolling through the infamous Red Light District where purring women push themselves up against windows beckoning in paying customers. When you're looking to chill out, visit the mesmerising Van Gogh Museum or kick back with a spliff. Yes, it's legal here - and all part of the, er, cultural experience.  Read more about Amsterdam Weekender

City of Seattle: The Great West Coast Adventure

Few places can offer such a unique city break as Seattle. If New York is about polished, high-octane energy and glamour, then creative Seattle is its Hipster young sibling. Known for being the birthplace of Kurt Cobain and the early grunge scene and home to the very first Starbucks, Seattle also gained fame as the setting for 90s sitcom Fraiser and the movie, 10 Things I Hate About You. But there's so much more to this city, which buzzes with culture and hidden gems. Read more about City of Seattle: The Great West Coast Adventure

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Explore the Bazaars of Istanbul

On holiday I want to recharge my batteries, turn off my mobile and leave work at home. It's all about sun, books, swimming and eating. Out of summer, I enjoy short city breaks in small boutique hotels where the museums, galleries and public places are a walk away. Seville, Paris, Tallinn and Prague are great cities with good public transport - less hassle than hiring a car. Istanbul has long been a place I wanted to see, so I decided to head over and spend a few days exploring the city.  Read more about Explore the Bazaars of Istanbul

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