January 18, 2019 | TravelLocal
While Berlin, Budapest and Barcelona are great destinations for weekend city breaks, it can be tough to escape the crowds in these much-explored locales. Claims TravelLocal’s Joint MD and Co-Founder: “lesser-visited spots such as Yerevan, Tbilisi, Amman, Moscow or Muscat are fantastic alternatives for a winter 2019 city break.”
TravelLocal – the ‘buy local’ expert in tailor-made holidays – makes undiscovered gems more accessible to its UK customer base via local know-how. This winter, why not learn about Soviet-era architecture in Moscow, try craft beers in Armenian microbreweries, explore ancient Georgian monasteries or shop at vibrant Jordanian bazaars?
Here are TravelLocal’s five alternative city breaks, taking travellers away from the well-trodden path. These trips are just a taster of TravelLocal’s offering, and can be tailored in any way to suit different interests and budgets:
For a hipster city break, try Yerevan instead of Berlin: ARMENIA FROM £610 pp
Buzzing Yerevan is an up-and-coming city break destination, with an industrial chic aesthetic, café culture, microbreweries and art galleries to rival the hip German capital. Music lovers can dive into the city’s live music scene with a night at the ultra-cool Kami Club, where jazz and rock bands accompany dinner and cocktails. Design buffs can witness fascinating Soviet-era architecture and modern art all around the city. History enthusiasts can learn about Armenia’s past and culture at the State Museum, the twelfth century monastery of Geghard and the Megerian Carpet Museum. City-breakers will stay in a stylish new four-star hotel downtown, in the trendy heart of Yerevan. The five-day City Break in Yerevan trip costs from £610 pp.*
For rich history and thermal baths, try Tbilisi instead of Budapest: GEORGIA FROM £690 pp
On the banks of the Kura River, close to the Silk Road and awash with rejuvenating hot spring baths, the beautiful cobblestoned Georgian capital, Tbilisi, abounds in similarities to Budapest but offers charms and intrigue all of its own. On this five-night trip, learn about the city’s fascinating blend of Russian, Persian, Roman and Byzantine influences, while wandering its winding lanes and leafy squares and exploring its deserted monasteries, secret gardens and historic churches. The remnants of Soviet Georgia are all around, with 1930s bus stations and modernist structures as well as fascinating finds (including Lenin busts, vintage typewriters and iconic posters) on display at the Dry Bridge Flea Market. Fuel your explorations with stop-offs for comforting Georgian cuisine, from Khachapuri – bread and melted cheese – to Khinkali – tasty dumplings, all washed down with excellent, and very reasonably priced, Georgian wines. The six-day Classic Georgia trip costs from £690 pp.*
For grand architecture worthy of a Wes Anderson film, try Moscow instead of Vienna: RUSSIA FROM £1,430 pp
This snowy five-day getaway kicks off with an interactive walking tour around Red Square, stopping off at the imposing building that is Lenin’s Mausoleum, the magnificent neoclassical GUM Department Store, and the stunning red State Historical Museum, which houses a vast collection of Russian artefacts dating back to the Mongol invasion. A cruise along the Moskva River will reveal the old and modern faces of Russia’s capital, from the Kremlin and St Basil’s Cathedral to the iconic Moscow City skyscrapers. Cold weather lovers will delight in an evening performance by Russian figure skaters, an ice-skating lesson in Gorky Park and a visit to a Siberian husky nursery, retiring each night to a warm and contemporary five-star boutique hotel. The five-day Moscow Winter Getaway costs from £1,430 pp.*
For delicious cuisine and winter sunshine, try Amman instead of Barcelona: JORDAN FROM £750 pp
Jordan’s sunlit capital boasts fine winter weather (up to 14 degrees and seven hours of sunshine in February) and excellent cuisine throughout the city’s many great cafés and restaurants, offering a relaxed alternative to over-crowded Barcelona. Learn the skills to recreate traditional Arabic dishes at home and dine on Jordanian dishes such as mansaf (the national dish, with Bedouin roots, containing rice cooked with meat and yogurt), warak enab (stuffed vine leaves) and musakhan (a Levantine-style pizza of sorts). Visit handicraft markets to shop for colourful Jordanian ceramics, straw baskets and herbal remedies; wander around the labyrinthine downtown area; explore the remains of the Islamic Governor’s Palace and Mosque, and much more, with accommodation in the luxurious and modern W Hotel. The four-day Luxury Weekend in Amman costs from £750 pp.*
For sun-soaked souks, try Muscat instead of Marrakech: OMAN FROM £1,270 pp
The exotic waterside city of Muscat is rich in history, grandeur and friendly Arabian hospitality. With dazzling souks, fantastic food and a stunning mountain backdrop, it rivals Marrakech as a winter sun destination. The city’s many souks boast colourful ceramics, carpets, antiques, spices and fruits – a sight to behold for foodies, photographers and magpies! Meander along characterful streets lined with clean, whitewashed buildings, explore ancient mosques and venture beyond the city for day trips to otherworldly desert oasis Wadi Shab – a rocky ravine full of palms, banana trees and turquoise pools – and Wahiba Sands – the vast sea of red and white sands, traditionally home to the Bedouin tribes. The eight-day Beautiful Oman trip costs from £1,270 pp.*
* Prices are based on two sharing. TravelLocal trips include B&B accommodation, transfers, excursions and the services of a local guide. Travel to the destination is not included, giving more flexibility and allowing customers to book their flights via points schemes if preferred.
For more information, or to plan a tailor-made trip to suit your personal interests and to match your budget, call TravelLocal on +44 (0)117 325 7898 or visit www.travellocal.com.
Notes to Editors:
TravelLocal, founded by Tom Stapleton and Huw Owen in 2012, empowers travellers to create their own perfectly-tailored holidays by connecting them directly with carefully-selected, tried-and-tested local travel experts in destinations around the world. There’s also important added value and back-up from TravelLocal in the form of both financial protection via ABTA and careful vetting of these experts by its Bristol-based team.
TravelLocal currently showcases local travel companies from 49 countries around the world, across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, the Middle East, and North Africa. Just added: Russia.
Press: For further information, or to experience one of TravelLocal’s tailor-made trips (with a suitable commission), please call Lizzie Cooper or Mischa Mack at Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.