Frankfurt, 21 March 2019 - With Easter just around the corner and a long weekend ahead, here are six ideas for the first short trip of the year. All destinations can be reached by car, train or a short-haul flight.
Ancient buildings, Byzantine art and Ottoman splendor - Istanbul has many faces. In the city that lies on two continents, tourists can spend a weekend, two weeks or two months without getting bored. A cup of coffee in the Pierre-Loti-Café in the Eyüp district is a good way to start the Easter holidays. The cable car gets visitors to the top of the Pierre Loti hill that offers a great view over the Golden Horn. Traditional cafés next to cosmopolitan bars, meze restaurants and fish stalls next to modern fusion cuisine - the culinary offer of Istanbul reflects the balancing act between tradition and modernity and leaves nothing to be desired. Delicacies and souvenirs are available at the Great Bazaar, whoever comes here must be able to bargain - really well. High above the bustling Taksim Square, The Marmara Taksim offers rooms with the best panoramic views of the Bosporus and the Golden Horn.
It doesn't always have to be the big cities, sometimes you should also give the underdogs a chance. Everyone knows the clichés about the Ruhr area, but none of the prejudices still apply today. In 2017, Essen was awarded the title of European Green Capital for its role as a pioneer for European cities undergoing structural change. Today, the former industrial stronghold surprises with numerous highlights. Between steel, coal and miners, visitors can expect not only industrial monuments, but also art and culture in all its forms and a pulsating nightlife. The UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein, a listed former colliery, is a must-see in the Ruhr area and due to its diversity, a worthwhile destination for excursions. The Atlantic Congress Hotel Essen is located in the middle of the lively "Rüttenscheid" district with its popular gastronomy and boutique mile. The perfect starting point to discover the Ruhr metropolis.
Luxembourg is not even 3000 square kilometers in size and one of the smallest states in the world, but it is a hidden jewel and worth a trip. Luxembourg is home to 170 different nationalities, which give the city its special charisma: creative, diverse, multicultural and multilingual. There are museums, theatres and event halls all over the city. Tourists should pay a visit to the Chocolate House of Luxembourg opposite the Grand Ducal Palace. In a medieval building, delicacies made of chocolate are served, a must for every sweet tooth. The Grand Hotel Cravat, the only four-star hotel in the city center, is just a few minutes' walk from the Chocolate House. To reduce the extra kilos, there are varied hiking routes that extend over the entire Grand Duchy.
It doesn't always have to be Vienna; Austria's number two is also worth visiting. Graz is an insider tip among globetrotters. Especially when it comes to architecture, the city has a lot to offer. Right next to medieval buildings, there is spectacular modern architecture, such as the Kunsthaus, also known as the "Friendly Alien." Graz also offers street art as the most interesting graffities are spread across the Mur at the "Citybeach" and in the Puchstraße. Cultural heritage and a diverse and lively creative scene distinguish Vienna's little sister. That is why Graz has been named a UNESCO City of Design. Cuisine on uppermost standard, regional specialties, farmer's dishes - Graz's cuisine is diverse. It is not without reason that Graz was the first Austrian city to be awarded the title of Capital of Delight. The Grand Hôtel Wiesler in Graz's old town is a stylish place. Between Soul and Art Nouveau, the hotel offers not only comfortable beds, but also fantastic food in its restaurant, Speisesaal.
From an industrial city to a cultural metropolis: Bilbao is not yet overcrowded and therefore a great place to visit. The landmark of the largest city in the Basque Country is the Guggenheim Museum with its futuristic architecture of titanium, glass and limestone. The old town of Bilbao is small and the perfect place for pintxos hopping. In Madrid they eat tapas, in Bilbao they eat pintxos: sandwiches and skewers in miniature format. Architecture fans and lovers of good cuisine will feel at home in the Basque metropolis. Hotel Ercilla is close to the museums Guggenheim and Fine Arts. On the top floor with a magnificent view of Bilbao, its roof terrace is the perfect place to enjoy a drink.
Paris mon amour. The French capital is not only made for romantics and lovebirds: it is much more than the city of love, it is the city of fashion, it is a way of life, it stands for art and artists, is a center of pleasure and the heart of France. Paris can be rediscovered again and again: while strolling on the Champs Elysees, or while taking a stroll in the hidden alleys of the Marais quarter. Around 160 museums, 200 art galleries and 100 theatres, numerous shops, squares, artists and showmen - there is always something new to discover.It is not without reason that Paris is one of the most popular metropolises in Europe. Its charm is unique, and this is where the magic lies that attracts many Paris visitors again and again. The chic and elegant Hotel Saint James Albany offers luxurious comfort; a five minutes’ walk from the shops and boutiques of the stylish Avenue de l’Opéra, and ten minutes by foot from the Louvre Museum.