Whether you’re a sun worshipper, die hard backpacker or lux traveller, start planning your next trip now to escape the city in style. Here are some travel tips to whet your appetite…
Chicago is hosting the G8 and NATO summits this year, but don’t let that put you off. This swinging city with plenty of attitude is a fantastic holiday destination. It boasts world-class art galleries and museums, amazing architecture and plenty of places to take in a comedy gig or jazz night. The Windy City also has the best pizza pie known to man. Stay in the luxurious Fairmont Hotel, which is perfect for exploring Downtown and taking in the views along Lake Michigan. Then shop until you drop.
Vietnam Airlines has recently started direct flights from London. So now it’s easier than ever to explore the Old Quarter in Hanoi, or gawp at Cho Quan Church in Ho Chi Minh City. Guzzle tasty street food, take boat rides along natural canals and visit the floating markets. The war tunnels in HCMC are an eye opener.
Edinburgh’s infamous new residents will bring lots of excited visitors this year. The black and white duo has cousins in other European cities, but this is your chance to see them on British soil. Whether you’re part of the ‘panda-monium’ or not, Edinburgh is full of charm and grace and only a train ride away. Head up to the castle, explore the old cobbled streets, then sample some fine ales and great food.
All eyes will be on Poland this year when the UEFA Euro 1212 comes to town. But even if you’re not a football fan, Gdansk is a great budget beach resort. Old Town has been scrubbed up and the nightlife is buzzing. Head along the Baltic Coast to explore the beaches and chill out on the cheap. There are lots of good hostels to choose from and the people are really friendly.
Iceland is an exciting adventure for travellers looking for something different. See the Northern Lights in winter or get spun out by the constant daylight in early summer. Go dog sledding, see the Gullfoss waterfalls and go trekking. Reykjavík is one of the world’s coolest cities. Visit the Perlan (‘Pearl’ in English) for amazing panoramic views. It’s a huge glass dome overlooking the city.
Hailed by Lonely Planet as the top destination of 2012, this often over-looked African gem is definitely a place to aim for. One of the fastest growing economies in Africa, the republic is putting its past behind it and welcoming wallet-wielding tourists with open arms. Mountain gorillas are the main attraction, and there are some great tours to choose from. Get involved in some conservation work or enjoy a homestay in a local community.
Image courtesy of Flickr
Next time: Wash away your cares in Bath…