Our friends at Triumph have selected a handful of European gems – simply because 2018 should be the year filled with long weekends away.
1 Berlin, Germany
The beat drops down on the pavement lining the water’s edge and the people begin to dance. Berlin woos. It’s not simply the grand, imposing architecture, the memorials paying homage to an oppressed community or the fresh, chic vibe it now exudes. Berlin is alive. It does not attempt to cover the blemishes of its past but instead exposes them saying, ‘look at us now’. And we do.
2 Bergen, Norway
A mismatch of colour on the harbour front, the smell of fish crisp on the fresh air, the gentle chatter of daily life. While tourists stomp up the hundreds of steps of Mount Floyen, Norwegians glide with their endless legs grazing each stone, never stopping. It is certainly a good place to gain aspirations. The train ride from Bergen to Oslo is, deservedly, heralded as one of the best in the world.
3 Marseille, France
France’s second largest city – it’s gritty but not always pretty. This edgy, bustling city boasts 1,500 years of history. A night at Hotel Le Corbusier not only offers a modern architectural experience but also views that’ll leave your jaw slack. Completed in 1952, the hotel embodies Le Corbusier’s mantra of a house being ‘a machine for living in’ – a mantra applied to an entire community.
4 Lisbon, Portugal
Graffiti gallivanting, mural meandering, street art sightseeing… Lisbon answers your call with Underdogs – a project celebrating contemporary art in urban spaces. Commemorating the evolution of the Portuguese street art scene, Underdogs offers an insight into an oft bypassed cultural attraction. It shrugs off the shackles of tradition from the creatives’ wrists, revelling in the now.
5 Ljubljana, Slovenia
It is a rare find when you come across a capital city where buildings do not exceed five floors. The distinct lack of hustle and bustle is what makes this place so special. From meandering through the paved streets to driving along winding mountain roads that open up to expose vast expanses of green, Slovenia enchants.
6 Hvar, Croatia
Croatia, rightly so, has a reputation for having the clearest water in Europe. This coastal destination offers a unique fusion of nature, culture and heritage. Brimming with bars and cafés where you can sit and sip, watching the world go by, this medieval town is a wonderful place to simply be. Hvar’s marbled streets and distinct architecture adds to its Mediterranean charm.
7 Llangollen, Wales
Whisperings of ‘lesbian’ surrounded this town, nestled in some of Wales’ finest countryside, in 1778 when two Irish women arrived for a new life. What is remarkable about The Ladies of Langollen’s house, now open to the public, is not this however, but the sheer quantity of wood. The walls, stairway and doors are made up of gifted intricate carvings that were once everyday items such as wardrobe doors and boxes. Not only this, the town is also home to Dinas Bran – a ruined castle that sits atop a steep hill, offering views that expand for leagues.