Making the Most of Europe
Europe is a continent of powerful personalities. From the charming French, to the confident Italians, down to the wild British – no two cultures are the same. And the cities follow suit.
To truly uncover the idiosyncrasies of Europe, it pays to plan ahead. And that means more than marking pages in a guide book. It means timing your visit just right, to make the most of every place you see…
Morning coffee in Paris
Some cities don’t get going until noon, but in Paris, boulangers across the capital will be coaxing loaves from the oven as early as 3am. By the time city workers rise from their beds and tourists spill into the streets, the smell of freshly baked bread is ubiquitous.
In recent years, the Parisian coffee scene has also taken off. So, arrive early, drop your bags at your hotel, and start to explore.
The perfect arrival time: 9:00AM
For an early morning pick-me-up, coffee connoisseur and travel blogger Giulia found the ideal hidden spot.
‘My favourite discovery has been Fragments, a stripped-back cafe in the east end of Le Marais. It’s a small shop in a tiny street and there’s no way you will just stumble upon it, you have to be looking for it.’
[Credit: Giulia Mulè]
Medieval Le Marais is one of Paris’s most picturesque areas. Half an hour’s stroll away from the Paris Opera Millennium Hotel, it’s also a dreamy place to soak up a little modern Parisian culture.
Explore Rome in the afternoon
When visiting Rome, it is easy to be overwhelmed. Here, in one of the most historically celebrated and culturally rich cities in the world – a tourist can become lost.
Do you scoot from monument to monument, cramming as much into each day as possible? Or take one look at the queues of tourists, sweltering in the midday sun, and opt to go somewhere air-conditioned instead?
The perfect arrival time: 2:00PM
The simple answer is: do neither. While the Colosseum is a bucket list essential, to capture the real magic of Rome, arrive in the afternoon and avoid the crowds.
In her guide to 48-hours in Rome, Peeking Duck recommends getting off the beaten track.
[Credit: Yasmine from Peeking Duck]
‘While the main streets are busy, if you stick to the quieter alleys you'll pass little cafes, bookshops and boutiques. [In the evening] Go for an aperitivo in Piazza del Fico, a small laid back square. Or if you're tired from walking all day, have snacks on your hotel balcony and watch the sunset.’
The Grand Hotel Palace Rome sits on the central Via Veneto, a flawless location for a pre-dinner aperitif.
The UK, when the sun goes down…
If there’s one thing the British do well, it’s nightlife. Whether you’re savouring a local gin in Plymouth, enjoying an ale in Glasgow, or supping on a mocktail in Manchester – you’ll feel right at home. From the drinks, to the décor, to the ambience – the UK truly comes alive at night.
So, forget early morning travel, and aim to arrive at your UK destination just in time to enjoy supper at your hotel, and get ready to hit the town.
The perfect arrival time: 6:30 PM
[Credit: Stephi LaReine]
Blogger, Stephi LaReine, recently reviewed Red Door in the thriving Berry Street area – an excellent starting place for a great night out.
‘It's truly a grand place filled with character and beautiful decor. They also have an exclusive list of prosecco and champagne to try out, which must be a must for the future of me going back.’
Just a 10-minute journey from our Hard Day’s Night Hotel, Berry Street will give you plenty of walkable options for delectable dining, refined drinking and musical entertainment.
A good night’s rest
Whether you arrive in Europe looking to make the most of the morning, afternoon or evening – relax in the knowledge that breakfast and late checkout are all included in the price, with Your Weekend, Your Way.