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Top Worldwide City Break Destinations

Published on: September 11, 2014

Following on from our Top European City Break Destinations and Top US City Break Destinations posts we’ve taken a look at the top city break destinations elsewhere in the world.

If you’re looking for a destination a little further afield for a city break or you’re heading off travelling make sure to check out these amazing cities.

Bangkok, Thailand
With a flight time of around 12 hours from London, Bangkok is best visited between November and February – after the monsoon season and before the heat rises too much. Bangkok is a striking clash of tradition and modernity.

Must see sights include:

  • Wat Pra Kaew and Grand Palace Complex – this royal complex is located on an artificial island by the Chao Praya River. Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, houses the sacred statue in a richly decorated hall. The temple walls are covered in exquisite murals of the Ramakien – Thailand’s national epic. The Grand Palace is an unusual mix of Italian Renaissance and Thai architecture
  • Wat Po – the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand with a 150ft-long reclining Buddha. Wat Po offers traditional massages
  • Tha Pra Chan – a fantastic place to pick up a souvenir, this riverside market sells religious amulets and carvings. Good local food is on offer at several small restaurants around the market

Tip: Carry a photocopy of your passport – proving who you are is a day-to-day formality in Thailand and to avoid worry about losing your passport take a photocopy to carry instead.

Currency: Thai Baht

Sydney, Australia

This city has everything you could desire as a visitor – amazing beaches, fantastic cuisine, lively nightlife, great art galleries and museums and high-end shopping. The flight time from London is around 22 hours (via Singapore).

Must see sights include:

  • Sydney Opera House – This iconic building defines the city with its famous white scallops. Visitors can take a Backstage Tour to really gain an understanding of the building
  • Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk – this recently renovated 5-mile walk has been updated with new wooden walkways, stretching areas and information plaques
  • BridgeClimb – no abseiling skills are required for this adventure which is not to be missed. A great way to learn the history of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Tip: If you’re dinning on a budget in Sydney Asian restaurants tend to offer good quality food for affordable prices.

Currency: Australian Dollar

Budapest, Hungary
With a flight time of just 2 and a half hours from London, this striking city makes a convenient weekend city break destination. Divided by the Danube and reconnected by a series of bridges, Buda and Pest are distinctly different from one another. With a rich history the city is full of unexpected treats and stark contrasts.

Must see sights include:

  • Buda Castle Hill – easily visible from all over the city, you could spend an entire day exploring this World Heritage Site’s buildings and cobblestone streets
  • Chain Bridge – this was the first bridge to permanently connect Buda and Pest and was completed in 1849. It offers beautiful views of the city
  • Royal Palace – home to the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum and the National Library, the current Baroque style palace was built in the 18th century following the destruction of the original medieval palace during the liberation of Buda from the Turks

Tip: The ground under Budapest is rich with thermal water and there are a number of places to experience its healing properties. Each bathhouse has its own unique entrance procedure and changing room system – the best tip to get it right is the follow someone who looks like they know what they’re doing!

Currency: Hungarian Forint

Prague, Czech Republic
Another great option for a weekend city break with a travel time of just under 2 hours from London, Prague blends the modern with Baroque architecture and cobbled lanes.

Must see sights include:

  • Prague Castle – this large castle complex consists of St. Vitus’ Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, museums, galleries and the Story of Prague Castle exhibit. It’s great to explore after dark
  • Astronomical Clock – this clock has chimed since 1410 and is a focal point of the Stare Mĕsto district. It’s surrounded by ruins of the Old Town Hall which was blown up by retreating Nazis
  • Charles Bridge – complete with buskers, lovers and 30 saints standing watch, Prague’s signature stone bridge frames Prague Castle above. Since 1357 it has lined the Old Town with Malá Strana

Tip: The tram is a great way to get around and see parts of the city. It runs from early morning to late night. Make sure you understand the ticketing system and buy your ticket in advance.

Currency: Czech koruna

Dubai, UAE
A little further afield than our last two choices, Dubai is around a 7 hour flight from London. Dubai has a futuristic appeal and offers an abundance of western entertainment. Outside of this there are many more traditional pleasures available – haggling for gold and frankincense in a bustling souq, taking in the sunset on the back of a camel…

Must see sights include:

  • Bastakiya – this Persian quarter is home to some of Dubai’s oldest buildings. This atmospheric area is home to art galleries, cafes and boutique hotels
  • Burj Khalifa – pay a visit to one of the world’s tallest buildings, check out the view from the observation deck for fantastic views of Dubai or admire the tower from the cafes outside the Dubai Mall
  • Dubai Museum – this museum is located beneath Al Fahidi Fort which was constructed in 1887 and is Dubai’s oldest building. It details the history of the city which dates back to the Bronze Age

Tip: The weekends in Dubai are Friday-Saturday. Shops tend to be busy on a Friday.

Currency: Emirati Dirham

Other city break destinations to consider:

  • Hanoi, Vietnam – this city has transformed over recent decades into a sophisticated destination with high-rises, amazing food and leading art. It offers travellers the opportunity to absorb the historical cultural influences that shape the city today.
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia – overlooking the calm blue waters of the Adriatic, this walled city is a Unesco World Heritage Site that attracts many travellers with its charming pedestrianized old town filled with Baroque churches, aristocratic palazzi and medieval fortifications.
  • Toronto, Canada – best explored on foot, this city has been transformed by an influx of young immigrants from a sober destination to one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities and a creative hub.

With so many amazing cities across the globe you’ll be hard pushed to decide where to visit next! One thing you don’t need to worry about is currency – a my Travel Cash Multi-Currency Card can be used for purchases and to withdraw cash anywhere in the world where MasterCard cards are accepted no matter what currency is in use. You’ll always get a great exchange rate as well as 1% cashback on purchases and no ATM fees for withdrawing cash*, plus other great benefits.

Plus you could get up to £10 extra travel money when you order or top up before 21 September 2014 – find out how to claim your cashback.

*Some ATM providers may apply additional surcharges. Withdrawing GB Pounds using the Multi-Currency Card incurs a 2.99% fee.