Europe is the place to be this summer with an unrivalled collection of city destinations, says Stephen Wise of The Hideaways Club.


The dynamic and artistic city of Barcelona is the ideal city getaway combining culture and leisure. Whether you prefer relaxing on the beach or exploring the labyrinthine maze of narrow alleys filled with quirky cafes, restaurants and tapas bars, there are endless ways to enjoy this city to the fullest. One of the most famous boulevards in the world “La Rambla” is always bustling with artists, musicians and dancers to entertain the crowds. For an adrenaline pumping experience, book a helicopter flight to Montserrat Mountain and soak up the fantastic views over the city and wider Catalan region. One  must-do excursion has to be a guided tour of the breath-taking “Sagrada Familia”, a major basilica designed by Antonio Gaudi, and now a UNESCO World Heritage site.


This cosily cosmopolitan capital is full of life, art and history. The city’s liberal nature has long attracted aspiring artists from around Europe resulting in the creation of several ‘hip and happening’ art and music districts spanning out from the centre. From a lofty 207m, from the top of the famous TV Tower, you can enjoy a fantastic panorama of the city and its many vintage landmarks including the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island and Kurfürstendamm. For something a little different why not book a boat ride to Peacock Island, home to the beautiful and dreamy Prussian castle. The city is also full to brimming with cultural events which run throughout the year; Christmas time being especially busy with its iconic Christmas Market located at Gendarmenmarkt, an area which also has close links to Berlin's history, with Checkpoint Charlie just a few steps away.


One of Europe’s oldest and most photogenic cities, with vintage architecture around every corner, the Coliseum is the ideal starting point to explore the city’s fabled Roman remains including the Roman Forum and the Pantheon. For a truly unique holiday memory you can enjoy an audience with the Pope on Wednesday mornings at St Peter's Square, an experience that can easily be combined with a walk through St Peter's Basilica to admire Michelangelo's stunning frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.  On a clear day, a climb up to Aventine Hill offers a panorama with a difference; through the Knights of Malta Keyhole, a keyhole in the door of the hilltop monastery, and one of the capital’s best kept secrets.


Billed as the “World’s Hippest City”, and an increasingly popular destination with Members of The Hideaways Club, Istanbul is without question the cultural and historical heart of Turkey; a transcontinental Mecca bridging Europe and Asia with the sinewy Bosporus Strait wending its way through. Famous for two of the most iconic monuments in Turkish and Islamic worlds - the Blue Mosque and The Topkapi Palace, the latter boasts a treasury of exotic architectural features as well as offering spectacular views over the Golden Horn. Those looking to spend a day browsing exotic market stalls should head to the Grand Bazaar, one of the world's largest covered markets spanning 58 bustling streets. For an altogether different sightseeing experience - a private ferry or a boat cruise on the Bosporus River delivers unforgettable snapshot city views.

For more inspiration on exciting City breaks visit www.thehideawaysclub.com.

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