By Simonseeks Special Features

48 hours in Berlin

Soak up Berlin's compelling atmosphere and take in countless historic sights before hitting the trendy bars and restaurants for cocktails and cabaret in this coolest of cities

Cafés, cakes and culture in Aalborg

Situated in the north of Denmark, the relatively undiscovered city of Aalborg is rich with Viking and Renaissance history, restaurants and bars, and the ubiquitous drink, akvavit

A stylish weekend in Athens

The historic Greek capital of Athens is an increasingly exciting destination, with a sophisticated restaurant and café scene to match its stunning ancient archaeological monuments

Amsterdam for first-timers

Navigate your way over and along the canals of Amsterdam, discover its rich history and creative edge, and work up an appetite for gastronomic indulgence

Bergen: scenic city by the sea

Encircled by mountains, islands and fjords, Bergen, Norway’s scenic second city, is home to a thriving port and cutting-edge cultural centre and is a seafood-lover’s paradise

48 hours in Bordeaux

Set amid vine-ribboned countryside, the regional capital of Bordeaux attracts visitors with its waterfront promenade, pretty gardens and delicious local vinous offerings

Having a ball in Brighton

With quirky boutiques, palatial aspirations and an expanding foodie scene, Brighton is a vibrant seaside city armed with an appetite for all things arty

The best of Bruges: a weekend guide

Explore Bruges, the ‘Venice of the North’, with its canals, arching bridges, historic squares and romantic medieval streets that are full of charming buildings and welcoming bars

Funchal: a weekender's guide

Clear blue waters and bountiful home-grown produce attract visitors to the Madeiran capital of Funchal all year round, but the city is in full colourful bloom during the spring months

Enjoy a boho break in Ibiza

Ibiza Town’s hippy culture and summer parties draw the crowds, but you will be equally seduced by its quiet crooked streets, stunning harbour and simple cooking

A world-class weekend in Istanbul

Mosques, minarets, mosaics and mezze make the ancient city of Istanbul one of Europe’s most alluring destinations – the ultimate east-meets-west experience on the Bosphorus

Chilling by the lake in Lucerne

Pretty as a picture, the enticing Swiss town of Lucerne is home to stunning alpine scenery, a sparkling lake, atmospheric medieval quarter and world-renowned music festivals

Palma: a foodie guide

Mallorca’s stylish seaside capital, Palma is a vibrant place for a year-round weekend away where food, architecture and fashionable boutiques are just a few highlights

The revamping of Vienna

Discover a new vibe in this old city. Forget café culture - Vienna is now dancing to a new tune where modern art, innovative music and fusion cuisine take centre stage

Foodie focus on Lyon

Once one of the richest cities in France, Lyon’s innate charm is evident in its handsome buildings, chic eateries and the narrow cobbled streets of the old town

Spending a short break in Marseille

A vibrant, sprawling multicultural hub, Marseille is home to the celebrated fish stew, bouillabaisse, one of the many Provençal culinary treasures of the region

Milan: Italy's capital of cool

Rub shoulders with the fashion pack, pay homage to Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper and marvel at the 135 towering spires of the Duomo in Italy’s most stylish city, Milan

Oslo: great culture, great cuisine

Oslo is a city brimming with cultural and artistic attractions. Explore the galleries and museums of the Norwegian capital before taking time out in one of its elegant green spaces

Seaside chic in Ostend

Situated on the Flemish Coast, the North Sea gem of Ostend effortlessly combines rustic charm with palatial splendour, as well as first-rate seafood and impressive art galleries

Split: ideal for a sunny city break

The second largest city in the region of Dalmatia, Split offers an abundance of Roman ruins, beautiful beaches and Croatian seafood dishes, fresh from the Adriatic

Essential Oxford

To really get under the skin of Oxford, hire a bike and pedal away, immersing yourself in the museums and restaurants of this fascinating and beautiful university city

The wonders of winter in Prague

Visit in December and raise a glass of Czech beer to the fairy tale city of Prague, where the romantic castle presides over snow-shrouded streets and cafés glow with festive cheer

Santiago de Compostela: a great weekend break

Thousands embark on a pilgrimage to the medieval city-shrine of Santiago de Compostela every year, but behind the religious fervour is a beautiful and engaging destination that demands exploration

Swede and lovely: a guide to Stockholm

Surrounded by water, a sprawling network of islands make up Sweden’s grand capital, Stockholm, where medieval character meets modern dynamism on the edge of the Baltic

Siena: a medieval masterpiece

Siena is one of Italy’s most enchanting Tuscan cities, with a medieval centre that's filled with majestic buildings and a grand piazza – the setting for the biannual world-famous Palio

Weekending in Warsaw

Despite a turbulent past, Warsaw's restored old town and wide green spaces exude a sense of beauty that undermines the stark severity of the city’s communist structures

Bucharest: Paris of the east

With centuries-old churches and modern steel-and-glass buildings, the Romanian capital of Bucharest is on the brink of change – there is no better time to visit than the present

Helsinki: spend a weekend by the water

Soak up Helsinki's Nordic charm on foot or venture further afield – the city is surrounded by water on three sides, and it is easy to visit some of Finland’s attractive offshore islands

Sunshine and sherry in Jerez

The birthplace of sherry and flamenco, Jerez is a jewel in the heartland of sunny Andalucía, full of baroque grandeur, cosy bodegas and historic Moorish beauty

Nimes: Roman ruins and first-rate restaurants

Filled with an array of ancient Roman architecture and bursting with vibrant Mediterranean life, Nimes, the historic capital of France’s Gard region, is a great place to soak up some sun

Spotlight on Rimini

Golden beaches, sparkling Adriatic waters and a rich Roman history. No wonder home-grown director Fellini immortalised the popular seaside resort of Rimini in his films

A weekend guide to Rome

Uncover Rome's ancient treasures, grand piazzas and tasty gelaterias while roaming the city’s cobbled streets and you’ll be hurling coins in the Trevi Fountain to ensure a return visit

Falling under the spell of Salzburg

With its hills alive with the sound of Mozart, baroque grandeur, white gleaming spires and a warming winter atmosphere, the enchanted city of Salzburg is an Austrian gem

Soak up sun and culture in Valletta

Bursting with baroque architecture, Valletta, the beautiful and compact capital of Malta, offers rich Mediterranean cuisine and a unique mix of Arab and European influences

The buzz of Barcelona

From experimental art and architecture and sandy urban beaches to an enticing late-night dining scene, you can feel the energy coursing through the streets of Barcelona

Highlights of Budapest

Budapest, the once overlooked Hungarian capital, has reclaimed its place as the cultural heart of Eastern Europe – the historic city fizzes with energy and creative renewal

Dublin for foodies

From Dublin’s elegant Georgian squares and buildings to its teeming pubs and sociable pavement cafés, the electric energy of this lively metropolis is everywhere

The lazy beauty of Lisbon

A mix of medieval and modern, Lisbon proudly exhibits the enduring legacy of its Moorish past alongside a thriving café scene and distinctive cuisine

Naples: a weekend guide

Noisy, proud and stylish, Naples boasts archaeological and cultural riches, frenetic street life and food that is an art form. Here is the riotous home of pizza and pasta

Top tips for a Paris trip

Leave the tourist crowds behind and seek out the Paris of the Parisians in the lesser-known corners of this atmospheric city, which still has the capacity to surprise

Finding hidden gems in Rhodes

Walk the quiet backstreets of the medieval city of Rhodes and you are guaranteed to happen upon architectural wonders, hidden terrace cafés and beautiful Byzantine churches

Off the tourist trail in Zagreb

Walk the cobbled lanes of the Croatian capital, Zagreb, to discover unexpected pleasures, from baroque buildings to fascinating museums and restaurants serving great food

Cannes without the crowds

Chic pavement cafés, markets bursting with fresh local produce and evocative historic haunts - there is more to the seaside city of Cannes than the summer dazzle