select - European Breaks
Written by Gregg Henglein Illustration by Andy Pratt
While Europe is a collective, each country contains its own aura. Its major cities are distinct in their allure, from the diverse nature of artistic expressions, to the difference in nightlife, to their individual places in history.
German poet Heinrich Heine once wrote that ‘Munich nestles between art and beer like a village between hills’; and one day in the Bavarian capital will make you feel the same. For a short stay, the city is best seen on a bike tour. Munich is easy to walk
as well, and if you’re not on
a one-day in-out, take your time. Let’s tackle beer first, and while the Oktoberfest festival is the ideal experience, the city’s Hofbräuhaus am Platzl is the world’s most famous beer hall. But scenic adventures include the array of art galleries at the Kunstareal museum quarter
in the city, while the Munich Stadtmuseum offers a thorough glimpse of the brilliant city’s history. Car enthusiasts should visit the BMW headquarters and its new museum, built in 2008
at five times the size of the former facility.
Few cities blend history, arts, and nightlife as well as Munich.
Munich is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps.
HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily flights to Munich.
One of the world’s most thrilling cities, scenically invigorating Madrid offers something for everyone. The Royal Palace is overwhelmingly impressive, not only for its majestic size but also for the royal collections within, including weapons from the 13th century and the world’s only complete Stradivarius string quintet. Spanish art is amongst the most striking anywhere, the Prado Museum and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia encompassing historic pieces and modern works. Families will love Madrid, with its many zoos, amusement parks, and excursions to entertain children. But Madrid also invites romance like few others, its nightlife overflowing with music and passion, while tranquil parks and gardens offer peaceful breaks. Before leaving, stop at El Rastro, a tremendous, colourful outdoor market.
Fitting for whatever you seek, be it family fun or a romantic getaway. It is impossible to be bored here.
Located almost perfectly in the centre of Spain, on the Manzanares River.
HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily non-stop flights to Madrid.
Internationally, Manchester is mainly synonymous with its football (soccer) clubs. But taking the opportunity to look deeper into this historic and ever-expanding city is a worthwhile endeavour. The world’s first industrialised city, Manchester emerged during the Industrial Revolution and remains among the world’s fastest-growing metropolises. Manchester Town Hall is a Victorian Gothic masterpiece blending medieval appearance with more modern technology, the latter from its 19th century construction. Elsewhere, the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library boasts architecture as riveting as its tomes. Music has flowed through Manchester,
with successful acts emerging from a nightlife scene that has prompted local authorities to fund its development since the early 1990s.
A burgeoning nightlife provides an entertaining wind-down to an artistic and architecturally riveting experience.
Manchester is situated in the south-central part of North West England, its north and east bordered by the Pennine Hills.
HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily non-stop flights to Manchester.