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Five places you have to visit in 2015

The popular summer coasts of Spain and Greece are getting some tough competition this year from their next door neighbours, as the rising stars of Europe are now offering scenic destinations enriched with culture and picture perfect landscapes at fraction of the price.

Although many of us fly away to find summer sun in far flung destinations, short city breaks are on the up, as the need to experience culture and get out of the day-to-day bubble lures us in to destinations where leisurely lunches and unique boutiques can be found.

Nessebar, Bulgaria

Described as the ‘Pearl of the Black Sea’, Nessebar is a Balkan treasure that offers up a historic old town adorning a pristine beach.

Attached to Bulgaria by one narrow strip of land, Nessebar is a destination that can cater for both families and those looking for a hide-away, combining a rich tapestry of history with its 44 churches and roman ruins, as well as the stunning traditional Bulgarian houses.

Listed here on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, the relics that span the centuries are ideal for those who love a holiday with plenty of sightseeing and a sense of discovery.

Combining days spent lounging on the beach or wandering the maze of streets, it fast becoming the destination of the year.
Krakow, Poland

One of the oldest Cities in Poland, Krakow is littered with architecture and beautifully restored buildings that keep to the history of the city.

The painted floral walls of St Francis Basilica are one of the many tourist attractions that draw in those with an eye for design.

However aside from enjoying a coffee or two in the various cafés, the outdoor market is a must visit for those that love to purchase unique items that have been traditionally made by the people of Poland. Friendly and passionate about their craft, attempting to talk polish will go a long way in showing your respect.
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Since the movie adaptation of the novel ‘Fault in Our Stars’, Amsterdam has had a resurgence in popularity, and is doing all the better for it.

You won’t be stuck for places to eat, and the increase of seasonal events has meant that there is always something to do or watch when navigating the city streets.

Hiring a bicycle is the best form of transportation as the city is so visually appealing that you’ll be stopping to Instagram more than one postcard perfect shot.

With lots to do, spending lots of money on a hotel rooms is not advised. Instead take advantage of Airnb apartments that you can hire for a few days or a long weekend, as you can end up staying in a true Netherland treasure.

As its rise continues it’s no surprise that this is now becoming a strong place to invest in a holiday home, but before you pack up your bags and purchase that modern studio apartment ensure to read guides such as this one, on what a move will entail. It may include more paperwork than a city break.
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Before you even consider visiting Ljubljana you might want to learn how to pronounce it.

But aside from being a tongue twister, Ljubljana one of the prettiest and most underrated cities in Europe.

Home to a breath taking cathedral and Lake Bled, it is a scenic icon that will leave your camera running out of space in no time.

For any of those with a taste for adventure there is the opportunity to climb Mount Triglav, which is the highest mountain in Slovenia, however if you’re more into your tea and cake, ensure to take a trip to the renovated warehouses in the city centre which have been transformed into patisseries and pretty boutiques.
Florence, Italy

If you’re looking to take a trip closer to home, but in the need of just as much history and fine food, Florence is the ideal destination.

Despite often being overshadowed by Rome, Florence has a slower pace and is much easier to walk around. And based in the Tuscany region of Italy, it’s the ultimate combination of sunshine and city travel.

Looking down on the Terracotta Roofs as you climb the Duomo is an activity on everyone’s to do list, but for the food alone it is well worth the little occasional exercise.

Hidden streets with traditional ice cream parlours are just some of the treats that can await you on any corner.
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.

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