5 Weekend Getaways for Summer 2011

Don't let the fact that it's a busy year at work quash your desire to see more of the world than your own backyard. Even if you can't get away for a proper holiday you can still make time for a mini break. Your boss doesn't own all your weekends remember, and with the end of wedding season approaching your friends and family don't either. With that in mind, here are some weekend break ideas. 


This vibrant city will leave you dog-tired if you try and see it all in a weekend, but it’s enough time to get a taster. There are more museums and galleries than you can see in a month so choose to see only your top one or two, and spend the afternoons and evenings of your Barcelona break taking tapas and Sangria-based refreshments somewhere scenic – preferably in plain view of something by Gaudi.


From niche theatres to tiny flea markets to art to architecture to those famous beer gardens, Berlin has many charms. Visit the Sage Club for live music, plough into some currywurst, and for breathtaking views, climb the 285 steps up the Victory Column and enjoy a bird's-eye view of the city.


City breaks don't have to be hectic – choose a smaller city like Nice and you'll see more of its highlights in your two or three days. Visit the Colline du Chateau, where the spectacular ruins of a castle come with the best vantage point in the city and wander round the old town for a taste of the city’s past, stopping for delicious bread and cheese anytime you're peckish.


City breaks in Krakow are ideal for anyone historically minded. This former royal city has stunning architecture - particularly in the old town. St Mary’s Church is a Gothic symbol of Krakow’s honour, and contains some original 14th Century stained-glass windows while Kanonicza Street gives a glimpse into how Krakow looked over 500 years ago.


Athens has both lively nightlife and historic sites. And sunshine and beaches. Wander the ancient monuments by day, including the Acropolis and the Panathinaiko Stadium, before heading to the Psyrri district in the evening. Athens has some fabulous seafood, thanks to its coastal location, and the nightclubs are usually packed but fun - though many won’t get going until gone midnight at the earliest, so you might return home tired. But that's to be expected on any weekend city break, and the rejuvenating power of being somewhere new will lift your spirits for weeks to come.

Wherever you end up make sure you do your research before you arrive – you want to make sure you get the most out of your travels, however short they are.

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