Hubby and I are looking ideas for a quick weekend getaway from London in November. We like to visit places (the more unusual the better) that have an interesting history and good food/drink.
We don't have a big budget and we want to go somewhere we have not been that is quick and easy to get to from London. Last December we really enjoyed 3 nights in Trondheim, Norway - so perhaps something similar to that?
Open to ideas and suggestions!
I went to Hamburg a couple of years ago with two friends of mine and can really recommend it. Lots of thing to see and do! This is the second biggest city in Germany but not at all touristy as one could expect. It's an old city with lots of history but large parts of Hamburg was destroyed during World War II. The city has been rebuilt and of course there are parts that survived the WWII as well. Visit HafenCity (the old harbour, now filled with cafés and housing with interesting architecture), catch a riverboat (lots of water and canals in Hamburg), visit the district St. Pauli (bars and musical venues), go shopping or head over to one of the city's many museums. I personally enjoyed Kunsthalle. Since you're going in the winter you might not enjoy Planten un Blomen (botanical garden) but other times of the year this is a really pretty place. Also, be sure to visit Monkey Donuts for a sweet sugar rush when you grow tired of classic German pastry.
You might also enjoy the island Gotland in Sweden. The main city Visby is really cute and romantic. Several nice restaurants like Bakfickan and Strykjärnet Crêperi & Logi. If you want history, this town has plenty! It's surrounded by a town wall and is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Scandinavia. With access to a car, there is much more to see in Gotland but just staying in Visby is a great option for a weekend getaway. I doubt that there are any direct flights from London to Visby but you can transit in Stockholm. Also, you can take a ferry to Visby from Stockholm but that takes about three hours. So a plane is your best bet for a weekend. :) Have a great time!
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Prague is always a good idea :-) Cheap & direct flights from London, accommodation prices reasonable, easy walkable, crowds are light and you'll really appreciate warming up in all the cozy restaurants and cafés...
Should you need any further tips, just let me know.
As other travelers have suggested I agree on Bruges in Beligium its a wonderful city to get lost in. Yummy food and great little pubs and brewery's. We went here several times and as long as you stay away from some of the tourist traps you will have a great time. Its romantic and easy to walk everywhere. We also really enjoyed BergamoItaly friends from London met us there as this was a cheap flight from Ryan Air we rented a wonderful Villa on one of the lakes and loved it. It was one on HomeAway. Enjoy!
I recommend Bruges in Belgium. It is a lovely old town; used to be a commercial hub with canal feeds to the trading halls. The canals are still there but not used for commerce. Many of the old trading halls were built in ornate styles; some of them have become museums.
I was studying in Belgium and i currently live in Copenhagen so i can give more suggestions if you want ;)
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You can get cheap flights from London to either Valencia or Alicante. Both are great Spanish cities by the beach so you can visit their historic old towns, museums, art galleries and the beaches. Alicante also has one of the finest castles in Spain.
Food to try includes paella, Denia red prawns, puchero (also spelt putxero) which is a meat and veg stew and drink craft beers, local wines or the soft drink horchata.
For more information on Alicante you can visit www.mydestination.com/alicante
Last year I visited the capitals of the Baltics, and I really enjoyed Tallinn the most. Its definitely cheap, there is a lot of history and we found some excellent restaurants and bars.
Take a flight to Bergamo and book 2/3 nights accommodation there. This is a lovely apartment that we regularly stay in: http://www.lacortevecchia.it/en/ I can vouch that it's really nice and great value. Take a bus from the main bus station to San Pellegrino Terme (about 40 mins journey and in the mountains with fab scenery) the home of the spa and spend a day in: http://www.qctermesanpellegrino.it/en/ It costs about €40 for a whole day and about €16 for a buffet lunch. You can also have happy hour drinks under the stars in a thermal pool. You'll return to London feeling so refreshed that it'll be like a week's holiday! Bergamo is full of beautiful buildings and history, amazing restaurants, museums and Art galleries and San Pellegrino Terme will not disappoint. Ryanair flies directly into Bergamo from London and flights are cheap right now.
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Probably to late now, but last November we (two students from Holland) went to Alghero, A town in Sardinia. It was absolutely amazing, we even rented a car for two days, and had quite amazing weather. The town itself has so much character, and it is nice and relaxed in November. We had 20 degrees celsius for the 3 days we were there (20-23 November).
Can't recommend it enough!