‘Have love, will travel’ as the song goes and judging by the numbers of romantic couples leaving their jobs behind for a short getaway, this couldn’t be more true. The lovely sunsets of Santorini or the irresistible charm of Paris and Venice have long established those destinations as the go to places for lovers looking to celebrate and unwind. Instead of booking a romantic dinner at your local restaurant, booing for a small change of scenery could go a long way towards sparking the flame of your love and if you discover the following places you are about to make a gift that neither of you will forget for years to come.
Christmas is coming and along with all the cosiness there is also the dreaded Christmas shop. Give something different this year and give yourself a present at the same time. Why not head off on your travels and stock up on traditional European goods from a foreign christmas market and soak up the incredible atmosphere.
Vienna’s Christkindlmaerkt is one of the most famous, and long running in Europe and Vienna makes the perfect setting for this European Christmas Market. A lot of effort goes into the magical decorations and atmosphere and it attracts people from all over the world. Held in front of the town hall, visitors flock to Vienna to grab photos with the famous Christmas decorations, listen to the seasonal music, pick up traditional gifts and of course overindulge on sweet chestnuts. The city also offers the chance to see the glorious Schonbrunn and Imperial palaces and to stuff yourself silly with all the great cakes at the coffee houses.
Open: November 17th – December 24th
Image via: @tttaaaooo
It’s official, Trip Advisor the world renowned travel site has awarded a host of awards for best destinations 2014. The annual Traveller’s Choice Awards includes the vast city of Istanbul in Turkey which tops the poll, with Rome, London and Beijing following close behind. Each city or place earned its review through the reviews and opinions of visitors the site. “If you’re looking for trip inspiration, look no further than the Travelers’ Choice Destinations,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “Our global travelers are the tastemakers for uncovering the best places to visit around the world.” The awards in its 6th year picks out 500 of the absolute best places to visit in the world.
But what are these places really like? I’ve asked some of the Purple Travel family to share their thoughts on the top destinations 2014. Some they loved and some… well, you’ll see for yourself. We’d love to hear what you think, good or bad about the official list!
1. Istanbul, Turkey Fantastic city full of sights and culture. The people are so friendly and eager to help. This place has it all. – Gary
I think the best of the best way to taste the Turkish food, and experience the Turkish mentality, is to eat this giant hot dog with fish and cabbage at the Bosphorus coast on the Asian part of Istanbul. There are cooks on floating boats, preparing the grilled fish, that are then placed on these huge bagel and stuffed that with cabbage, fried potatoes and mustard. You cannot imagine! Also don’t miss the old guy outside the Blue Mosque who sells bagels and gives you for free La vache qui rit portion! – Soso
2. Rome, Italy What can someone say about Rome, about the Italians, their food and their language? I think my best moments in Rome were when we were walking around from the Piazza di Spagna, to the Colosseum, and the Fontana di Trevi. Suggested hotels-the newly built Caravel hotel (just two stops by bus from Piazza di Spagna) with nice big rooms and a lovely receptionist and Hotel Trevi, with its traditional style in the very centre of the city!!! loved them both, love Rome! – Soso
3. London, England Massive dump, ok for day trips but get out before it chews you up. – Gary
Treat him or her to a fantastic Valentine’s holiday with Purple Travel. We’ve got 10 of Europe’s most romantic cities for all types of couples. If It’s history that you’re mad about, incredible hotel rooms that you won’t leave for days on end or a sunshine getaway where you can relax hand in hand on a secluded beach, you’ll love our list of Europe’s most romantic cities. We threw the question out on Google + and Facebook and got some great responses. As always, anything we’ve missed, let us know in comment and already decided where you want to go on your next city break? Call Purple Travel on 02079939228 for low cost flights and hotels Europe’s Most Romantic Cities…
#1 Dazzlingly beautiful Italy’s Liguria Coast is filled with cost tucked-away romantic guesthouses and hotels. Sometimes known as the Bay of fairy tales the ancient ruins and old castles provide a stunning backdrop to sunset dinners on a terrace and balmy evenings walking hand in hand. Choose from ocean view hotels with high ceilings and don’t forget to visit the cocktail bars.
#2 Paris is perfect for traditional romantics. An obvious choice but that’s because it’s so good! We’re talking freshly baked croissants for breakfast in bread, the views from the top of the Eiffel Tower and long meals accompanied by the best red wine. Paris is filled with amazing hotels so you can treat him or her to a Valentine’s they’ll never forget.
#3 Just a couple of hours away, Rome is a hot choice for history and art lovers for couples who want to discover the Sistine Chapel or the Coliseum together. Stay in the The wide streets and incredible selection of restaurants make this one of Europe’s most romantic cities.
#4 It might not be the first city that pops into your head, but Copenhagen in Denmark makes a gorgeous romantic weekend away. The city renowned for its links to fairy tale writer Hans Chrsitan Andersen is a jusst 90 minutes from the UK. Stop for hot chocolates and a heart shaped cake in one of the city’s famous cafes after a visit to the Winter Garden, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. In the evening cinema is one of the most popular things to do in Copenhagen and it’s easy to see why. Cinemas like the Empire and Falkoner have specially made seats just for two. Copenhagen image via @ Visit Denmark
#5 One of the most popular cities in Europe right now the Portuguese capital has it all. Lively Lisbon is all cobblestone streets, cosy cafes and bars and incredible hotels. All of those overlooked by an ancient castle. It’s hard to top Lisbon for most romantic cities. Lisbon image via @ Luca Sartoni
#6 The magical kingdoms in Game of Thrones might be familiar when you set foot in Dubrovnik. The hazy sun soaked pottery tiled roofs and shiny flagstoned streets are not only beautiful, but world-famous now too thanks to the filming of the George RR Martin books. The city’s old walls doubles as Kings Landing and the view from the top shows off Blackwater Bay. Dubrovnik is top of the romance charts as far as we are concerned. Dubrovnik via @ Branimal!
#7 Venice. A long established romantic hot spot, Barbara Hopley on our Google + page shared her thoughts about her favourite romantic city in Europe: “Venice definitely, a nice dinner then a Gondola ride – perfect! Highly recommend, I love Venice.”
#8 A stunningly well-preserved city, Prague is made for walking around hand in hand with the one you love. A sea of spires and statues awaits you by day, while at night, the famous Prague nightlife is sure to impress any party-loving couple. Sunset dinner in Prague via @ MadebyMark
#9 Holidays in Marrakech are made up of a couple of essentials: discovering the sights and sounds of the Medina, testing out your shisha smoking skills, eating incredible local food and maybe a bit of sunbathing thrown in. Marrakech couples city breaks are all about adventure and who better to share that with than your other half.
#10 Santorini has all the elements for the perfect couple’s holiday. Those incredible sunsets, the winding white washed streets where it feels like it’s just the two of you alone in the world. Book a room with a sea view and your own private swimming pool, just don’t blame us if you never want to leave.
Have something special in mind for Valentine’s Day? Call the expert travel team at Purple Travel on 02079939228 and surprise the one you love this year.
If it is sun-soaked beers on the beach, boozing up on a city break, or shaking your booty all night long, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for with our Purple Travel top 10 Clubbing holidays 2014.
1. Ibiza When it comes to clubbing holidays, Ibiza is like a wise, old friend. It has them down to perfection. Boozing, dancing, beach parties and Ibiza clubbing holidays offer instant gratification. Head to Space, Amnesia and Manumission by night. By day, go straight from the club to Bora Bora, where you can keep your party spirit going.
2. Ayia Napa, Cyprus Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa is easily the most famous party location on the island. With soft, white sand, all night parties, booze, bikinis and the biggest name DJs, it ticks every best clubbing holiday 2014 box.
3. Sharm el Sheikh A night out in the Red Sea Resort usually includes shisha smoking, trendy lounges, cocktails and dancing all night. Basically anything can happen during clubbing holidays in Egypt. Head for Little Buddha in Naama Bay, famous for its cocktails and coolness.
4. Kavos, Corfu This one hardly needs an introduction, we’ve all seen that TV show. Kavos is possibly the most famous, craziest and hedonistic party town in Greece… maybe in the entire world, we reckon it could certainly rival Vegas in terms of debauchery. There are hundreds of bars and clubs where you can go shake your glow sticks all night long.
5. Barcelona Barcelona’s a cheap and cheerful choice for clubbing holidays 2014. There are tonnes of flights that’ll have you over in BCN and ready to party in no time. And thanks to the all-night attitude of the Spanish, there’ll be plenty of time to pub crawl, party and soak up the atmosphere. Head for the Ravel area for cool bars, hip restaurants and Barcelona’s cool kids.
6. Laganas, Zante The town on the Greek Island is practically world renowned for the antics of visitors every year. The so-called Golden Mile has a choice of bars and clubs with the likes of fire breathing bartenders, bartop dancing and an ‘anything goes’ attitude. Amnesia and Medousa are hot ticket clubs for 2014.
7. Prague, Czech Republic The gorgeous city of Prague is ideal for couples looking for clubbing ideas combined with a little culture too (!) There is a very hot underground scene with whiskey bars, cocktail lounges and all night DJs. Of course no trip to Prague is complete without knocking back a couple of pints of local ale. That’s the cure for the morning after the night before.
8. Magaluf, Majorca For cheap clubbing holidays 2014, Magaluf is a complete no brainer. There are serious dance nights, cheesey 80s bars, and Europe’s biggest club, BCM. It is home to some of the best party venues in Europe and has become an epic hen and stag do destination. If you go, get your hands on a Magaluf Club Pass. It’s one ticket for five of the hottest clubs in town.
9. Malia, Crete Think 18-30 clubs, foam parties, dancing on tables, pure indulgence. Get some sleep now, because you certainly won’t get any on a clubbing holiday in Malia 2014.
10. Berlin, Germany 24 hour techno clubs, old buildings transformed into dance warehouses and quirky, weird and unusual nights out are what Berlin is famous for. No wonder you can head out at 4pm on a Thursday and not get home until Monday afternoon.
Fancy shaking your booty with the best clubbing holidays 2014? Then call our disco ball-lovin’ team on 02079939228 or visit our website.
Looking for some KICKASS NEW YEARS EVE PARTY CITIES? Us too. Why not make this one the year you finally do something cool for New Years Eve instead of just talking about it. Got more ideas? Let us know in comments below.
Image via @ NigelHowe
- Amsterdam Dutch folks certainly know how to party. Amsterdam plays host to large-scale dance parties, quirky costume flings and family friendly gatherings. The organised fireworks display is best seen at Leidesplein or Dam Square, but get there early to grab a spot. Otherwise head for trance spectaculars, a touch of Vegas or a raunchy New Year celebration you won’t forget. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Gelukkig Nieujwaar!’
- Barcelona Head for Placa Catalunya in Barcelona to join the crowds of party goers who gather to ring in the New Year. The main traditions are to wear red undies, and eat 12 grapes. The grapes are consumed once per chime of the midnight bells, it’s harder than you might think! After that grape balancing act, the clubs fill up and the party continues well into New Years Day. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Bon any!’
- Prague Beautiful, especially in winter, Prague makes an ideal choice for a New Years Eve city break. Book a restaurant for a sumptuous dinner, before heading to the King Charles Bridge to watch the fireworks over the historic castle. Worth it for a few days away. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Šťastný Nový Rok’
- Paris For a chic New Years Eve Paris is a good choice. Stroll around the artistic Montmarte neighbourhood and drop by the Sacré Cœur to admire the view or join the ‘official’ part at the Eiffel Tower where crowds sip on champagne as the festivities get underway. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Bonne année!’
- Rio de Janeiro New Years Eve in Rio is like the party to end all parties. A huge fireworks display lights up Copacabana Beach, while Brazilian samba bands get the crowds going. It’s traditional to wear white on New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro, just bring something old as you’re likely to get drenched in champagne. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Feliz ano novo!’
- Dublin You’ll have your pick of the parties in the Irish capital. A people’s procession of light with glowing lanterns winds its way through the streets and a huge countdown concert will take place in the city centre at College Green. Just make sure to pair your party with a legendary creamy pint of Guinness. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Bhliain nua sásta’
- Madeira Go for a package holiday to Madeira for an incredible New Years Eve holiday that includes the largest fireworks display in the world. Glittering over the streets of Funchal, fireworks are lit from 50 locations to offer a feast for the eyes. It’s warm too so you can get a tan before the big party night out. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Feliz Ano Novo’
- New York You’ll have to fight tooth and nail to get to Times Square, but watching the famous ball drop, sipping beer from plastic cups, and a jaw dropping fireworks display give the Big Apple the edge over Vegas for a New Years Eve to remember in the US. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year!
- Goa Ringing in the New Year with sand between your toes, stars twinkling overhead and a warm breeze. New Years Eve has never sounded better. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Bhagi novem voras’
- Berlin the biggest New Years Eve parties in hipster heaven are at the Brandenburg Gate and Viktoriapark. Light shows, a live TV show, rowdy crowds, and fireworks at midnight. Hop on a cheap flight to Berlin now for a New Years Eve party you’ll never forget. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Glückliches neues Jahr’.
Image via @ Dave_b
Prague, Czech Republic – Couples Christmas Markets
Two of the most popular Christmas Markets in Prague are held at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Both markets are just five minutes’ walk from each other, creating a magnificent festive atmosphere around the city centre. In both markets you’ll find the usual traditional sweet treats, like Trdelník, a hot sugar coated pastry, lots of local beers, such as the famous Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budvar, and warm drinks including the infamous Glühwein. If you’re hungry, there’s plenty to feast on from large spit roasted hogs to tasty BBQs sausages. The Prague Christmas market includes lots of stalls selling cute handicrafts and decorations and real animals in the crib scene.
Opening times: 30 November 2013 – 12 January 2014. The Prague Christmas markets are open daily, including on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Find out where to let loose, let your hair down and go wild in our Purple 10 World’s Best Party Towns. If we’re missing something, head for the comments and let us know what it is and why.
- Phuket, Thailand. Thanks to its ‘anything goes’ reputation, Phuket has become a must-stop destination on the backpacker trail. There are cabaret shows, go go bars, Thai boxing and plenty more. Just remember: what happens in Phuket stays in Phuket! Madness level: 8.9.
- Las Vegas, USA. Strippers, gambling and a getting totally wasted. No wonder The Hangover was filmed in Las Vegas. If you want to go to crazy partying, this is a city that will go crazy with you. Madness level: 8.
- Barcelona, Spain. Get off the famous avenue Las Ramblas and head for the late night parties in the north of the city that don’t start ’til 1am. Stick with the locals who’ll guide you the best clubs of your life. Madness level: 7.1.
- Berlin, Germany. Seriously, Berlin is mad. If you’re committed to partying like a maniac, then the hipster capital of the world has leather themed clubs, converted warehouses made for industrial nights out and everything in between. Madness level: 7.8.
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates. If you’ve recently won the lottery you might want to head for the gold plated chic of Dubai’s clubs and bars. The city is packed with champagne serving waiters, beautiful people and the most decadent of party experiences. Madness level: 5.9.
- Thessaloniki, Greece. Not the most famous, but one of the best on mainland Greece for nightlife, Thessaloniki’s a student city that offers great nightlife all year round, not just in the heady summer months. And, it’s no distance really from the UK. Madness level: 7.1.
- Miami, USA. Go to South Beach, relax in plush lounges or party in your bikini for hours on end. The clubs that line Miami’s art-deco streets are made for blinged out clubbing. Just beware: it can add up! Madness level: 8.6.
- Ibiza, Spain. It wouldn’t be much of a list of party cities if Ibiza wasn’t included. Despite the high price of drinks and clubs, party animals flock to the island and for party people, it’s a must visit at least once in your life. There are beach parties all day, and the best DJs in the world all night. Madness level: 6.9.
- Albufeira, Portugal. Thanks to its dedicated strip of bars and clubs, there are cheap drinks, all night dancing and loads of places to stay boozing all night, Albufeira’s a good, handy choice from the UK for epic partying. Also makes for a great stag or hen do. Madness level: 8.3.
- Prague, Czech Republic. Although not quite as cheap as it once was, the free flowing beer of Prague make it a consistently good choice. There are bars, pubs, locals, clubs, kiosks and restaurants, basically anything where you can buy beer they have it. Get detoxed now, so you’ll be ready. Madness level: 8.0.
You should read… Purple 10 budget stag and hen dos
To find out more about flights and hotels in the worlds best party towns, talk to the expert team at Purple Travel on 0207 993 9228.
Buckle up! The experts at Purple Travel have put together this list of the best budget stag and hen do ideas. Call our dedicated stag and hen do team on 0207 993 9228 for more.
For the stag
1. Prague Home to a weird, wacky stag party with the best in cheap beers, beer bikes and beer baths. The Czech capital is one of the hottest stag destinations, it’s not only a beautiful city, but is a good laugh and great value too.
2. Benidorm The classic Stag do, Benidorm holds its own with lap dance clubs, some of the best superclubs you’ll visit in your life, and days of karting or boozing on the beach all at decent prices.
3. Amsterdam It’s hard to pick a more classic stag do choice than the Dutch city of Amsterdam for a stag party to remember (or forget.) The Red Light District is filled with beautiful women, the bars are great and there’s plenty of culture if that’s your bag too.
4. Barcelona A bit of footie at the Nou Camp, a few cervezas on the Ramblas por favor and the hottest Spanish senoritas, Barcelona ticks all the boxes for a great cheap stag party.
5. Budapest Cheap beer, all night parties, strippers or tank driving, Buda and Pest, the city of two halves has everything you could possibly want on a good value stag do.
Get the best cheap stag do from the expert team today at Purple Travel.
For the hen
1. Magaluf Oh come on! Magaluf or Shagaluf is the ultimate last hurrah to single life. 24 hour partying, knocking back cocktails, great cheap hotels, buckets of sunshine and lots of like minded people. A cheap hen party in Magaluf is our top choice for summer 2013.
2. Albufeira, a sunshine favourite, Albufeira, is a quick transfer from Faro airport and has a strip over a mile long of the most wicked clubs and bars with cheap drinks, dancing music and hot guys. In the daytime you could head for the famous beachfront to recover and get ready for more.
3. Ibiza C’mon, is there a more ultimate party destination than Ibiza? All night dancing in some of the best clubs in the world, we’re talking Pacha, Space or Amnesia. For the indie hen there’s a nice alternative in Ibiza Rocks. The beaches are the ultimate balm for the morning after the night before and there are great value hotels or apartments all over.
4. Amsterdam Away from the Red Light bits that keep all stag parties interested, Amsterdam is actually a great city. It’s only a short flight away, you can grab a bike to discover the city by day, head for a cafe in the early evening and kick off your night out with a pole dancing lesson, or cocktail making class.
5. Barcelona who wants a rainy spa weekend in the Lake district, when you could go all out in the bars, clubs and beaches of Catalonia’s favourite city. Stock up on tapas, soak up sangria by the jug and get up close and personal with all those sexy Spanish men.
Get the best cheap hen do from the expert team today at Purple Travel.
Some just an hour or two away, some a little further afield, all made with couples in mind for the ultimate in romantic, here’s our last minute Valentines escapes. Whether you’ve got money to burn or want a wallet friendly treat for your other half, get sorted now with our Purple 10 last minute Valentines ideas and give the gift of love this year.