City break 101: top tips for urban adventures - Mundana



Are you planning a city break this year? Whether you have Cape Town, Chicago or Copenhagen in your sights, before you leave home it’s worth giving some thought to what you might see and do while you’re there. Mundana’s experts have some great tips for urban adventurers, so take a look at this before making too many decisions.

Work out when’s the best season to visit

Unsplash/Roan Lavery

Some of the world’s best cities are great year-round destinations, but others shine more during a particular season. Figure out if there’s a rainy season and avoid it, unless you plan to spend the majority of your time indoors. Nordic gems such as Reykjavik, Stockholm and Oslo look especially pretty under a dusting of snow, especially if the Northern Lights show up after dark. In Spain, Sevilla is insufferably hot in August, but dreamy in spring or autumn. In Peru, Lima’s drizzle is dismal in the southern hemisphere winter, yet dry sunny weather in Cusco during the same months makes this the ideal time to visit Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Finally, perhaps there’s a particular event you’re keen to experience, such as Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the Monaco Grand Prix or Vivid in Sydney?

Choose an accessible base

Pixabay/Michael Siebert

When choosing a resort hotel, it makes sense to look for a luxurious base with spacious rooms and plenty of on-site facilities. While those things are tempting, when booking a hotel for a city break, they’re much less unimportant. That’s because you’ll have plenty on your doorstep, from cafés and restaurants to hair salons and nail bars. Instead, concentrate on accessibility. If you’re in the city to see the sights, then the closer they are, the better. Make sure you aren’t going to waste hours of your precious vacation looking at traffic from the back seat of a taxi. Also consider lifestyle choices. If you’re a keen early morning jogger, look for a hotel opposite a park, while if you’re a night owl, a cool rooftop bar will be just the ticket.

Plan to go back

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In our haste to see everything, it’s all too easy to lose track of what makes us happy. Think about how you spend your time in the city nearest to your home. Do you rush from place to place, cramming in visits to palaces, churches and iconic eateries? Of course you don’t. Now clearly one reason why that’s the case is because you know you can go back some other time. That’s a little trickier when the city is more distant, but some places warrant multiple trips. If there’s a good chance this won’t be your one and only visit to Paris, Singapore or New York, take the pressure off. One of our top tips for urban adventurers is to make a conscious effort not to see everything. Think about what you’d be most upset never to have seen and treat the rest as optional – for now.

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Create a balance between seeing and doing


The trouble with city sightseeing is that it can all merge into one big blur. Unless you’ve meticulously documented your trip with photos, you might have trouble remembering. Which temple was it that had that amazing Buddha? Did you see that incredible exhibit in this museum or that one? Another of our tips for urban adventurers, to prevent this happening, is to balance out your itinerary. Seek out experiential activities, such as attending a mosaic-making workshop in Barcelona or enjoying a traditional tea ceremony or geisha experience in Kyoto. Most cities offer cookery classes. Another good idea are themed walking tours which give you the chance to focus on a particular aspect of the area’s culture with an enthusiastic local guide.

Think about your itinerary up front

Unsplash/Calvin Craig

It’s fun and exciting to be spontaneous. However, if that means missing out on a world-class museum or attraction, it’s going to put a downer on your trip. Imagine visiting Vatican City and not being able to take a look at the Sistine Chapel, or finding yourself in San Francisco without a ticket to Alcatraz. Mundana’s experts can help you identify which sights are likely to be most crowded. That enables you to book for a quieter time or to purchase skip the line tickets in advance. We can also help you build in some much-needed down time. You can take a breath and absorb what you’ve seen before moving on to the next sight. Experience helps us create a logical route each day, too, so that you won’t needlessly cover the same ground twice – unless you want to, of course!

Double up

Unsplash/Eduardo Sanchez

If you love a good two for one deal, why not extend that principle to your city break? There are numerous places in the world where two great cities sit a stone’s throw from each other. For example, you might pair the elegant Austrian city of Salzburg with the excellent museums found across the border in German gem Munich. Tallinn and Helsinki work beautifully if you have your sights set on the Baltics. Experience Argentina’s vibrant capital Buenos Aires before catching a ferry to the sleepy, historic town of Colonia del Sacramento on the Uruguayan side of the River Plate. In Spain, the high speed AVE train network makes it easy to combine Madrid and Cordoba. Italy’s rail network is equally tempting if you can’t decide between arty Florence and the glorious canals of Venice. In Asia, there’s no need to choose between exciting capitals such as Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur when you can have them all. Stateside, why not consider a California road trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco, or a multi-centre holiday with time in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC?

The possibilities are endless – why not give us a call?

City break 101: top tips for urban adventures

written by Julia Hammond

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