With online searches for city breaks doubling during the winter months and with City Breaks being one of the most popular travel searches in recent weeks, Cresta Holidays has put together a guide to the best cities to visit each month of the year during 2013.
January - Reykjavik Hauntingly beautiful, visit Iceland’s capital city in January and you are most likely to see the northern lights. While you’re there make sure you visit the Hallgrimskirkja Church, Iceland’s tallest and most spectacular building, or spend a relaxing afternoon at the Blue Lagoon. Also taking place in January is Reykjavik International Games with athletes competing at a high level in various sports.
Cresta - 3 nights in Reykjavik from £368 per person - Staying at the 4-star Plaza Hotel in Rekjavik on bed and breakfast, flying with Icelandair from London Heathrow – 7 January 2013.
February - Marrakech February is the season for love, it’s also the perfect time for some romance in the desert, hotel rates are good at this time of year and the weather is perfect. Many hotels offer packages with unique experiences like hot air balloon rides in the Atlas Mountains, romantic picnics, and couples’ hammam experiences. While you’re there make sure you visit Djemma el Fna the city’s main square, particularly in the early evening when it comes alive with snake-charmers, street entertainers and food sellers.
Cresta - 3 nights in Marrakesh from £307 per person - Staying at the 3-star Ibis Moussafir Marrakech in Marrakesh on bed and breakfast, flying with Easyjet from London Gatwick – 10 February 2013 2013.
March - New YorkThere’s nothing quite like New York in Winter both the Rockefeller centre and Central Park have their annual ice rinks still running in March and weather to crisp and dry. New York’s always busy but it’s not peak tourist season so attractions will be less crowed and hotels slightly cheaper (accept during St Patricks Day). Visit during St Patricks Day and you will be able to experience the biggest Irish celebration outside of Ireland.
Cresta - 3 nights in New York from £659 per person - Staying at the 3 star The Wellington in New York on room only, flying with British Airways from London Heathrow – departs 4 March 2013.
April - VeniceIn April Venice is glorious, fewer crowds, pleasant weather and plenty of festivals. Visitors may also wish to attend mass in Saint Mark's Basilica on Easter and take in the many pageants and classical music concerts during Holy Week. You can choose to embrace or avoid Easter time - it’s up to you. To get away from the celebrations visit towards the end of April and make sure you’re there for the Festa di San Marco on the 25 April, a fabulous day of festivity and tradition.
Cresta - 3 nights in Venice from £298 per person - Staying at the 4 star Ruzzini Palace Hotel in Venice on bed and breakfast, flying with British Airways from London Gatwick – 14 April 2013.
May - Marseille This year’s European Capital of Culture, Marseille has been busy rejuvenating itself, starting with the opening of a new Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations. Hotels have been refurbished and new bars and restaurants have opened.
May is a great time of year to visit while the crowds are not too large and the weather is mild.
Cresta - 3 nights in Marseille from £395 per person - Staying at the 3 star Newhotel Bompard in Marseille on bed and breakfast, flying with Easyjet from London Gatwick – 16 May 2013.
June - Barcelona With the first real hot days and the trees in full leaf, June is one of the prettiest months to visit Catalonia’s capital as beaches are officially declared open and the world famous Sonar Music Festival kicks off. While you’re there take a cable car up to Castell de Montjuic for the best views over the harbour or visit famous La Sagrada Familia.
Cresta – 3 nights in Barcelona from £298 per person - Staying at the 3 star Catalonia Aragon Hotel in Barcelona on bed and breakfast, flying with British Airways from London Gatwick – 15 June 2013.
July - AmsterdamJuly is chock full of some of the year's most anticipated summer festivals and events, July is one of Amsterdam’s most anticipated months. The weather is fine and there's a real festive atmosphere throughout the city. Music festivals are plentiful in July from Jazz and Reggae to Rock and dance, with the month ending with one of the world’s most famous Gay Pride weekends.
Cresta – 3 nights in Amsterdam from £259 per person - Staying at the 2 star The Nadia in Amsterdam on bed and breakfast, flying with British Airways from London Gatwick – 15 July 2013.
August - DublinIn the month of August, you can expect daily sunshine to last for about five hours in Dublin and it hardly ever rains. Events are widespread during August including Dublin Guinness Storehouse 250 Summer festival, the Celtic Music Festival, National Heritage Week and the Dublin Horse Show to name a few. Take a stroll over Ha’penny bridge on your way to the Winding Stair Book Shop or explore the art galleries, pubs and restaurants of the vibrant Temple Bar.
Cresta – 3 nights in Dublin from £211 per person - Staying at the 3 star plus Paramount Hotel in Dublin on bed and breakfast, flying with Air France from London City – 12 August 2013.
September - Florence Tuscany’s renaissance city is bathed in sunshine and the smell of ripe grapes during September, with less crowds and a perfect atmosphere, Florence is a pleasure to visit during this month. The Rassegna del Chianti Classico takes place in Chianti in the second week of September; the biggest Tuscan celebration of local wines all year and a must for all red wine lovers. As well as wine, the magical ‘Festa della Rificolona’ also takes place in Florence, a festival of candlelit lanterns in honour of the birth of the Virgin.
Cresta – 3 nights in Florence from £299 per person - Staying at the 3 star Galileo Hotel in Florence on bed and breakfast, flying with British Airways from London Gatwick – 15 September 2013.
October - Munich The world famous Oktoberfest takes place in Munich this month so it’s best to book early and make sure you have somewhere to stay. Live it up and taste some of the world’s best beers at the festival, which is popular with those looking for a bit of fun while discovering a great European city. The event attracts people from all over the world so early booking is advised.
Cresta – 3 nights in Munich from £287 per person - Staying at the 3 star Kings Hotel Center in Munich on bed and breakfast, flying with Lufthansa from London Heathrow – 21 October 2013.
November - Stockholm Many of Stockholm’s ice rinks open in November as the weather gets colder and snow becomes more likely, but that’s not the biggest reason to visit Stockholm this month. With loads of festivals, such as the international Film Festival and the obscure one’s such as the Belly Dance Festival, as well as the Skansen Christmas Market, November is an exciting month to visit Sweden’s capital.
Cresta – 3 nights in Stockholm from £292 per person - Staying at the 4 star Birger Jarl Hotel in Stockholm on bed and breakfast, flying with British Airways from London Heathrow – based on departures during November 2013.
December - Berlin One of the top five cities to visit in December, Berlin is famous for its huge Christmas Markets and holiday atmosphere. The city’s Christmas markets are world-renowned and they range from the big hitters such as Gendarmenmarkt, Schloss Charlottenburg, Gedächtniskirche, Alexanderplatz and Opernpalais to smaller, more local versions such as Lucia in Prenzlauer Berg and Neukölln’s Alt-Rixdof usually run until at least Boxing Day, though some also run into the new year.
Cresta – 3 nights in Berlin from £217 per person - Staying at the 3 star Berlin Plaza Hotel in Berlin on bed and breakfast, flying with British Airways from London Heathrow – based on departures in December.
Which cities are you most looking forward to visiting in 2013? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us your travel pics to @FemaleFirst_UK