Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Double up on City Breaks

St Pancras International Station, home to the Euro Star

DOUBLE city breaks are becoming a new way to holiday as train links and ferry runs offer tourists the opportunity to visit two cities within a few hours’ distance of each other. The Eurostar train made visiting two cities in the one trip possible since it’s establishment in 1994. As the high-speed train takes passengers from London under the English Channel via the Eurostar to European destinations such as Paris and Brussels in a journey less than two hours.  St Pancras International station is home to the Eurostar train terminal in London where people of all nationalities meet as they leave or arrive in London. The Victorian and Gothic architecture of St Pancras International Station is stunning yet misleading as it does not look like a train station from the outside. The burnt orange brickwork of the station is distinctive and once inside you will see that it is a station and sounds typical of any busy train station; bustling people, train horns and whistles will be sure to convince you. One of the benefits of travelling by Eurostar is it is a more efficient alternative to flying as the dreaded airport experience is replaced by a half an hour wait and a quick, no hassle, check-in. There is also the added bonus of no weight restrictions on luggage and a maximum of two bags and one hand luggage per journey, so you can avoid paying extra money expected by Airport restrictions if you exceed your baggage allowance. Tickets for the Eurostar usually cost from £69 up to £309 for a return however if you book them before April 2014 you will be able to receive them at a cheaper price of £59 or £29.50 for a single. As the Eurostar departs from London it would be ideal to choose the ‘Big Smoke’ as your first city break as it is one of the most popular city breaks in the UK.
London is known as one of the leading shopping destinations in the World and when you explore Regent Street and Oxford Street, which is home to Selfridges Department Store, you will realise why. Eurostar travel regulations require that you check in half an hour before any departure time. Paris is an hour and forty minutes away from London onboard the Eurostar which goes directly to the Gare du Nord train station in Paris. Once you arrive inthe Gare du Nord, head to a shop or ticket machine to buy a carnet, which is a group of ten metro tickets. When in Paris, checkout the cities famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triompheand Notre Dame Cathedral. Lose yourself in the rich and cultural ambience Paris has to offer, Boulevard Haussmann is a must visit where you can see the Opera house and shop til you drop in the Galeries Lafayette department store. If you have already been to the city of Love then why not give Brussels a go, which has a Eurostar terminal too, Brussels Midi/Zuid that is a five-minute metro journey from the heart of the city. There is much more to the city than being the Belgium capital and home of the EU bureaucracy, as you will find historical sites such as the Grand Palace and the Waterloo Battlefield. The city calls out for chocolate lovers around the Globe. Head for the Place du Grand Sablon area of Brussels where you will find yourself a haven of chocolate shops, it has a Leonidas shop there so you can taste some original Belgium chocolate.

Not to confuse you with Paris but Brussels has a rival cathedral known as the Englise Notre-Dame du Sablon, which is a 14th century building.Double City Breaks are not overly expensive, you can get a Superbreak deal for around £450 with Thomas Cook, which includes Eurostar train tickets, and bed and breakfast stays in two hotels - one for each city.

Take advantage ofthe other double city breaks on offer:

Take a Gondola Ride up the Grand Canal in Venice

Take advantage of the other double city breaks on offer:

Venice to Milan
If you are making a trip to Italy why not visit two oftheir stunning cities, by using Italia Rail you can get a train from VeniceSanta Lucia station to Milan Centrale or vice versa, cheapest fare is 41 eurosfor a journey of up to three to four hours.
Both cities in Italy are steeped in amazing architecture; you can see the Cathedral Duomo or Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping mall in Milan. In Venice you can take a gondola ride along the cities iconic Grand Canalor go for a coffee in St Marks square which is a great spot if you like people watching.

Newcastle to Amsterdam
You can now travel to Amsterdam from Newcastle using the DFDSferry service. DFDS ferries run from North Shields port seven days a week .The journey entails an overnight stay on the ferry where you will dock in Amsterdam the next morning. Newcastle is a City within the Tyneside area of North England and is home to the Metro shopping centre, which has 340 shops. If you're staying in Newcastle before you embarks on the ferry journey, why not stock upon some extra holiday clothes at by squeezing in a visit to the Metro centre. Amsterdam is the capital of Holland and is famous for its picturesque canals and bridges all 1,500 of them. You will see a lot of people driving around the city in bikes or sitting at a cafe drinking coffee.

DFDS SEAWAYS ferry service