Thursday, February 23, 2012

Top European Destinations to Hit in 2012

Got some money set aside for a holiday but don't know where to go? Some of the year's most talked about destinations are easily accessible and shouldn't require you to book way in advance. Bon voyage!
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mostar is a city best known for its ancient bridge crossing the emerald green waters of Neretva River. Set in a valley, the city boasts beautiful views across the local cliffs and crags. The region's culture and history have led to a mix of architectural styles lining its tiny streets. Visitors can tour both stunning churches and mosques. Those looking for a summer holiday will be pleased to hear Mostar has the reputation of being one of Europe's sunniest cities.
Prices are low, local cuisine is tasty and wholesome and locals are very welcoming and sincere. When in Mostar, rent a car so you can explore some of the neighbouring areas that are equally stunning.
Tallinn, Estonia
It's no surprise that Tallinn's earned itself the title of "European Capital of Culture 2012". The gorgeous capital city of Estonia sits on the hilly shores of the Baltic Sea overlooking the Gulf of Finland. Its charming old town has wowed visitors for years but has only just started receiving the attention it deserves partly thanks to the arrival of low-cost airlines to its airport.
There's nothing more enjoyable than wandering along the city's quaint cobbled streets and staring into the distance from the numerous viewing platforms. Those looking to discover the local art scene absolutely must include a visit to Tallinn's iconic modern art museum or KuMu located just outside the city centre in a leafy neighbourhood near the presidential palace. Not only are the exhibitions great, but the building itself is astonishing.
You should also venture along the city's Culture Kilometre, taking in the Soviet-built Linnahall concert hall, the spine-chilling Patarei Prison and F-Hoone post-industrial cultural quarter with its excellent café that gathers the city's hippest crowds. The city is small and best enjoyed on foot. You'll find some charming boutique hotels in and around the old town.
Birmingham, UK
You probably didn't expect this did you? But Birmingham's the talk of the town these days particularly after the New York Times deemed it a must-see destination for 2012. The city's undergone excessive regeneration in the last few years and now offers visitors plenty to do for a weekend or extended city break. From excellent shopping to a vibrant art scene, Birmingham's got it all. Home to three universities and two university colleges, the UK's second city has a constant buzz and jam-packed events calendar.
The architecturally-renowned Selfridges is a must for any keen shopper, as is the Jewellery Quarter still going strong. Foodies will enjoy the Balti Triangle where you can savour some of the best and most authentic curries in the country. Other visitor attractions include the stunning Botanical Gardens, children's paradise at Cadbury World, and the Discovery-Millenium Centre that celebrates the region's contribution to modern science and innovation.

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