As we get busy planning our holidays and city breaks in 2016, I decided to write a blog to give you some inspiration on the cities you could visit across Europe. I put together a list of seven luxury city breaks which were based on popular online votes and special awards given, and a few of which I have visited and loved. Each city offers breathtaking natural landscapes, architectural marvels and exotic amenities. Visit these cities for a long weekend or for a few nights as part of an unforgettable holiday destination.

1.    Vienna, Austria

Rising from the banks of the blue Danube river, Vienna is the city of Art, Music, and breathtaking architecture. A place of exceptional living standards, it holds coveted world titles to lavishly cater to your whims and fancies.

For things extraordinary: visit the popular Danube Island, dubbed the city’s recreational mecca, where countless bars, restaurants and nightclubs serenade. Multiple sports opportunities abound along an exclusive beach that looks like a Caribbean getaway. In the summer, isles become stages for the annual music festival “Donauinfest” performed by international stars of pop, jazz, and rock. Suggest you visit Vienna in the summer when you have long summer days and warm weather to explore this beautiful city.

Vienna

City of Vienna

2.   Nice (France)–Monaco Day Trip

If your time is short, Nice to Monaco is an expedient choice for a double luxury escape. Taking a helicopter ride into Monaco from Nice airport is not only exciting but also offers more value for money.

Nice is a glamourous city to indulge the senses. You could spend the entire day wandering the Bay of Angels adorned with its boastful Promenade des Anglais. But there’s Monaco to see!

Monaco is an independent principality on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It’s everything it claims to be: a regal State of glitzy casinos, yacht-lined harbour, and carefree jet-setters. A must see is: The Monte Carlo Casino of James Bond fame and the opulent Place du Casino. Tour the royal palace in Monaco Ville and the Oceanographic Museum. Have a swanky dinner in Monte Carlo and drinks by the harbour. To see the glitz and glam of Monaco to the fullest, visit it in May to experience the excitement of a F1 Grand Prix, or in September during the boat show. May is also a good time as it often coincides with the Cannes Film Festival when many celebrities flock to the French Riviera for some red carpet action. Try to book your hotel in advance if you plan to travel during these months. Be warned – it does get really pricy.

3.   Porto, Portugal

Porto, a wine region and coastal city of Portugal, is one of the oldest settlements in Europe and truly an award-winning destination. Twice voted “the Best European Destination” it overflows in alluring culture. The landscape is the perfect fusion of modern charm and old world elegance.

City of Porto

City of Porto

In Porto, plan activities over seafood paired with the region’s best port wine and chill by its waterfront. The town has much history to unravel including the Palacio de Bolsa and the Se Catedral. The most popular annual summer event is Sao Joao Festival drawing visitors near and far. Festivities include dancing, music, food, and spirited street entertainment.

4. Island of Mallorca

Mallorca is the dominant island of the Balearic archipelago. It boasts unspoilt beaches, epic limestone mountains, and vibrant baroque architecture. The stunning island is home to the King of Spain, Boris Becker, Claudia Schiffer, among other affluent and famous residents.

Castles, ruins, and a 13th-century Santa María cathedral help tell the story of a prominent past. Sailing is a big deal on the island, and experiencing one of its multiple international regattas is a list topper. Tour the capital city, Palma, for impressive architectural displays, flagrant night clubs, and gastronomic cuisine.

5. Limassol, Cyprus

Limassol, one of the largest cities on the Cyprus island has something for everyone. Ideal for the luxury traveller, this beach-front destination boasts magnificent pine-scented mountains sprung directly from the sea. Gracefully poised on mountain peaks are world-class holiday resorts and even some ski slopes (!), balanced delicately with Old-World Byzantine monuments.

Limassol

Limassol Promenade

Tour significant sites such as the Troodos Mountains, a world-renowned geological region responsible for the formation of Cyprus’ island. Explore the sacred 11th century Kykkos Monastery, the island’s most hallowed sanctuary. Experience jazzy nightclubs and hip restaurants such as the Paliovarkar or sample a combination of Greek and Cypriot food on Ledra Street amidst live musical entertainment.

Limassol is good to visit in spring or autumn, giving you access to that much wanted sunshine when it’s cold where you are.

6.  Prague, Czech

Historic Prague, one of the grandest cities in the world, is famous for its Baroque, Gothic, and Art Nouveau architecture. Prague is the largest city of the Czech Republic and a cultural Mecca boasting several major museums, theatres, galleries, and cinemas.

Tour the Prague Castle, one of the largest and most spectacular citadels in the world. Visit the Dancing House, a contrasting architectural masterpiece. Stay for the Spring International Music Festival – the oldest, most famous, and biggest festival in the country. Dine at Villa Richter Restaurants, on charming vineyards with unforgettable vistas, and partake in modern Czech and international cuisine.

7.  Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor is a picturesque coastal city in Montenegro, comprised of well-preserved medieval towns lying on a beautiful bay. Much like finding untouched territory, Kotor’s natural panoramic landscape, Old Stone Age architecture, and historic monuments attract visitors from all over the world.

Trapped in time, Kotor’s appeal lies in its shops, cafes and piazzas, that are immersed in old stone buildings. The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon (Sveti Tripun) is one of the most recognisable symbols of the city. The Prince’s Palace and Napoleon’s Theatre are cultural treasures of Kotor. Carnivals and festivals organised each year add more charm to the city.  Wine-making is a way of life in Kotor, so if you are a wine connoisseur, Kotor is a destination you can’t afford to miss.