Halfbeach halfcity these dual destinations have it all

first_img Find hotel dealsCheck-inCheck-outGuests12345678910Rooms12345Search hotels 1. Rio de Janeiro – fly from £330 Fly to Rio de Janeiro from £330 Find hotels in Chicago Find hotels in Valencia In the city… Photo credit: Maylat Fly to Tel Aviv from £92 Where to stay: inspired by New York’s glamorous Studio 54 nightclub, 57 Hotel is a boutique hotel close to the Central Station and Chinatown, surrounded by the popular restaurants and bars of Surry Hills. At an affordable £78 a night, it’s ‘luxe for less’ at its best. Think ‘US beach city’ and LA or Miami will probably spring to mind before Chicago. But the Windy City won’t let a little thing like not being on the coast stand in its way. Perched on the edge of Lake Michigan, Chicago has 28 miles of lakefront ‘coastline’ and a whopping 24 beaches to choose from. North Avenue Beach is a popular summertime spot with seaside activities like stand-up paddle boarding, beach yoga and kayaking. There’s even free Wi-Fi so you can ‘work from the beach’. Or if peace and quiet is a top priority, tucked-away Helen Doria Beach has great views with none of the crowds. 2. Chicago – fly from £245 Tel Aviv often flies under the radar, but word about this creative, cosmopolitan city is starting to spread. Art lovers should make a beeline for the Tel Aviv Museum of Art – the building’s architecture is worth a visit alone – before discovering street art in the bohemian neighbourhood of Florentin. Next up, hunt for treasures in Jaffa Flea Market. You might need to sift through a lot of tat to unearth an antique gem, but that’s half the fun. After another spectacular sunset, Tel Aviv’s party scene sparks to life. Before you head out to enjoy the hedonistic nightlife, line your stomach with sabich: slices of fried aubergine with eggs, potatoes and salad, drizzled in tahini and wrapped up in a warm pita. You’ll thank us later. Where to stay: you can’t get much better located than the memorably-named Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel. Prices start from £110, and for that you’re close to the beach and the bustling ‘Magnificent Mile’, one of the city’s best shopping destinations. Fly to Valencia from £26 With its enviable location on the Mediterranean Sea, you’ll find designated beaches for dog walkers, segregated religious beaches and popular surf spots without wave breakers (like laidback Jaffa Beach). The most popular strip of sand is Gordon Beach, where you’ll find everything from outdoor gyms to volleyball courts. Take a break from bronzing with a game of matkot (paddle ball). The beach is filled with the telltale click-clack sounds of the local sport, so grab a racquet and sweat it out to really earn your evening sabich. All flight and prices mentioned in this article are estimates of the cheapest prices based on Skyscanner’s flight search tools. These are subject to change and were correct at time of writing on 29 April 2019. 5. Tel Aviv – fly from £92 Legendary Bondi Beach marries golden sands with a buzzy city backdrop – making it the place to be. The kilometre-long curve draws swimmers, surfers and sunbathers from all over, and it’s also the starting point of a scenic 5km coastal walk to Coogee Beach, which has plenty of quieter sandy stop-offs en route. For the best surf spot, take the ferry from Circular Quay to the pine-fringed beach at Manly. The slow ferry is cheaper and gives you more time to soak up the views on the way – so be sure to bagsy an outside seat. Find hotels in Tel Aviv 4. Valencia – fly from £26 Download the Skyscanner app On the beach… Find hotels in Rio de Janeiro Can’t decide between a city break steeped in culture or a fly-and-flop beach break in the sunshine? Well, now you don’t have to. We’ve found five of the coolest cities on the coast that promise the best of both worlds. Photo credit: BackyardProduction 3. Sydney – fly from £425 Photo credit: Carl Larson Photography Fly to Sydney from £425center_img On the beach… In the city… In the city… Fly to Chicago from £245 Dreamy Las Arenas Beach is just 2km from the city centre, but with none of the built-up resort vibes you may expect. At the northern end, it blends into La Malvarrosa Beach, another wide stretch of fine sand with a laid-back, local feel. Both beaches are within easy reach of the city by bus, bike or tram. For something a little further out, history buffs should leave time for the half-hour drive to Sagunto – an ancient port-side town, complete with Roman ruins and a beautiful beach. On the beach… Find your hire car Where to stay: five minutes from the City of Arts and Sciences, Hotel Malcom and Barret offers modern rooms, Wi-Fi, waterfall showers and great views of the city. Plus, there’s free bike hire for adults, so you can explore Valencia at no extra cost. Oh, and did we mention prices start from just £53 a night? You can’t come to Chicago without snapping a selfie with ‘The Bean’, the shiny reflective sculpture in Millennium Park. Designed by Sir Anish Kapoor is officially called the Cloud Gate and, since it launched in 2006, it’s fast become one of the city’s most-photographed sites. Afterwards, head to a different kind of park to catch a Cubs game. Stock up on merch and grab a hot dog at Wrigley Field – one of the oldest ballparks in the US. If rain stops play, you’ll be spoiled for choice with indoor activities too, as Chicago rivals even New York with its choice of museums and galleries. For culture seekers, the downtown Art Institute of Chicago should be top of your hit list. For the best views of Rio, choose a cloudless day and head high. You’ll meet the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue at the top of Corcovado mountain, while a cable car (or a hike, if you’re feeling spritely) up to the granite peak of Sugarloaf Mountain will reward you with panoramic views from the mountains down to the sea. Refuel at trendy Oro in Leblon for a dinner inspired by Brazil’s foodie heritage, then shimmy over to the edgy Lapa district for dancing, live music and the toe-tapping rhythms of samba spilling out into the streets. And, just in case you need more of an incentive to start planning your trip, Norwegian have just launched new, low-fare, direct flights from London Gatwick to Rio, from £170 (one way), meaning it’s never been easier or cheaper to get there. ‘Been-there-done-that’ in Barcelona? Valencia should be the next urban beach destination on your Spanish bucket list. Wander the tree-lined and fountain-speckled plazas to soak up all the history and architecture, from a vast Gothic cathedral (claimed to be home to the Holy Grail) to the sleek, futuristic buildings of the City of Arts and Sciences. As the birthplace of paella, it would be sacrilege to plan a trip here without including at least one dinner of the traditional rice dish. Restaurant Levante is a favourite with the locals – just check the opening times carefully and book in advance to avoid a long wait. Get even more travel goodness straight to your inbox.Sign up  On the beach… Photo credit: Alexander Spatari In the city… In the city… When you’re done with city sightseeing, it’s time to don your skimpiest swimwear and join the bronzed brigade along the glorious curve of Copacabana Beach. The 4km stretch of sand is jammed with locals (known as Cariocas), football fans, kiosks, food vendors and admiring visitors alike. Ipanema Beach, a little further south, is slightly quieter and cleaner, but both world-famous beaches will be busy at the weekend. If you really want to escape the crowds, jump in a car and head for Praia da Reserva Beach. It’s in a protected area, so expect fewer people and more nature in exchange for an hour’s drive out of the city. Where to stay: for an affordable stay close the beach, Américas Copacabana Hotel delivers on both counts – it’s only £44 a night, and it’s a caipirinha’s throw from the sand. It even has a swimming pool, so you can skip the short walk to the sea for a pre-breakfast swim. On the beach… Are you ready to find your half-beach half-city destination? Search for flights below: ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map We all know that a trip to Sydney goes hand in hand with a visit to the Sydney Opera House. Admire the World-Heritage-listed architecture from the steps, then mooch around the inside foyers for free. If money’s no object and you’ve come with an empty stomach, foodies can take a four-hour ‘Taste of the Opera House’ tour, which includes a poke-bowl making masterclass, lunch and a decadent dessert at the fancy Bennelong restaurant. Next on the sightseeing checklist – and handily just next door to the Opera House – is the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You could walk or cycle across, but the best way to experience it is to climb the steel arches for yourself. BridgeClimb offers experiences with all the kit – book their ‘twilight’ climb for memorable sunset photos. Afterwards, head to Glenmore Hotel’s rooftop bar to admire the twinkling harbour views with a cocktail in hand. Photo credit: Dabldy Where to stay: feel like a local with an apartment at B House for £91 a night. You’ll find the light, airy studios in the historic centre of Tel Aviv, close to Old Jaffa and Carmel Market. And they’re just a five-minute stroll from the beach, too. Find hotels in Sydney RelatedOne world, 20 very special destinations (for a very special occasion)Anniversary? Big birthday? Honeymoon? Or hen do? To mark oneworld’s 20th, we put together a list of destinations worthy of a special occasion.11 secret TUI destinations for your next adventureCheck out this pocket-sized surf town in Morocco, the best places to holiday in Portugal and the new Vietnam hangout you need to see before your friends do.5 stunning cities with hiking trails  Can’t decide between a city break and a hiking holiday? Now you don’t have to. Lace up your walking boots, leave the city behind and savour those bird’s eye views with five of the best urban day hikes. 1. Los Angeles to the Griffith Observatory – fly from £234 Photo…last_img

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