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February 27, 2013


Whirlwind Weekends Away

by Julianne Mooney

DSCN3629Life moves at a fast pace and generally when I’m booking a break away I’ll look for somewhere we can enjoy beautiful views, peace and quiet. However, every now and then I want to be surrounded by the sounds and smells of a new city. I want to explore and discover.

Everyone does city breaks differently. Some will create lists of the museums they will visit, places they will dine and shops they will browse. I like to pull on a pair of comfy shoes, walk the streets and get lost. The weekend tends to be a whirlwind of activities, trips to museums and quirky boutiques, dining in side-street cafes, cycling tours and always a hunt for a bit of green space to get away from it all.

Immersing yourself in a city can be tiring, but ultimately all your senses are stimulated and you feel alive. Tapas bars in Barcelona, fruit stalls in Mumbai, architecture in Rome, orange trees in Seville; each city leaves me with memories and generally a desire to return.

My last city  break, to Istanbul, was no disappointment. I was bombarded with new smells and sights and the writer in me struggled to find descriptive words I could use later to relay what I saw and how I felt. Despite all the chaos, I was inspired by the buildings, people, coffee and colours. The sound of the call to prayer resounding throughout the city transported me back to my stay in a tiny town in Kerala, India. The mosques made me curious about the Ottoman Empire and the maze of narrow streets lined with shop stalls brought the magpie out in me, making me want to spend hours hunting for a hidden treasure.

Every city offers something new and every month, thousands of people jump on flights to escape for two or three days to experience life in another city. Today, Thursday, 28th February 2013, I talked about city breaks and below is all the info!


To read all about Istanbul, click here. 

Special Offers – From €415 – includes return flights, 3 nights accommodation in 3 star hotel, taxes and charges

Travel: 15th March 

From €545pp includes flights, 2 nights at 5 star hotel, taxes and fees

Travel: Friday March 22nd – Sunday March 24th


New York is a playground for art and culture enthusiasts, shopaholics and food lovers. It is certainly the city that doesn’t sleep and no matter how long you visit for, it’s never long enough.

Top Sights and Things to Do

  • Central Park covers over 870 acres and is a maze of grassy verges, lakes, band stands and even has its own zoo and theatre.
  • Empire State Building – main observation deck ($25) has incredible views of the city
  • Circle Line Cruises ($35 for 2 hours) offer cruises around Mahattan taking in sights such as Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island
  • Rockerfeller Centre – head up to Top of the Rocks to the observation area, do a guided tour of NBC Studios and get a guided tour of the centre learning its history and legacy.
  • Located on the ‘Museum mile’ – Metropolitan Museum of Art – has three floors packed with some of the world’s finest art. The exhibitions change so you should check the website to find out what’s on when you’re there.
  • Guggenheim Museum – incredible external architecture, showcases both contemporary and modern art, film and workshops.
  • Take in a show on broadway
  • Jump aboard the Staten Island ferry 

Lower Manhattan

  • Walking across Brooklyn bridge
  • Visit the WTC memorial – there is now a memorial garden at Ground Zero, however you need a ticket to enter and it’s best to book ahead for this.
  • Walk from the WTC up the Hudson along the Hudson Walk, which takes your through the Meatpacking district.


New York City Pass

  • 3 days – $135 ($110 child pass)/ 7 days – $180 ($135 child pass)
  • Gives you access to over 70 of New York’s most popular attractions including, Empire State Building, Circle Line Cruises, Museums, Parks and Gardens, Guided Walks, Madame Tussauds, Top of the Rock and more.

High Line is in the meatpacking district – converted freight railway line, now covered with plants, grass and walking trails.

LIC (Long Island City) is not to be confused with Long Island. Just one stop on the Subway to Lexington Avenue, a crop of new hotels have emerged offering reasonably priced accommodation.

LIC (Long Island City) is not to be confused with Long Island. Just one stop on the Subway to Lexington Avenue, a crop of new hotels have emerged offering reasonably priced accommodation.

Wyndham Garden Long Island City and  Z Hotel are good options.

Downtown Brooklyn is not to be missed, it takes about 20 mins on the Subway to get from Times Square. Relax in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and try out one of the local restaurants. Check out the view over Manhattan from the Waterfront.

 Getting There

Direct to New York from €249 return – and

Accommodation – from €150 per room per night

 Special Offers

O’Hanrahan Travel 

€690pp – includes 3 nights in 2* hotel, flights, all taxes

Mention TV3 when booking they will receive a free TOP OF THE ROCK ticket


St.Patrick’s Weekend in New York
€769 –  Includes flights from Dublin to Newark with Virgin Atlantic, taxes and charges, 3 nights in a standard room at the 4-star Hudson plus a Full Island Cruise on St. Patrick’s Day!
Travel – 15 March. Book by 28 Feb.

American Holidays 

€825pp – Orlando & New York

Price includes: 10 nights B&B in 3* hotel and 3 nights at the 3* Fitzpatricks Manhattan. Return flights ex. Dublin, 13 nights accommodation and taxes and charges. Prices based on 2 adults and 2 children.

Travel: May 2013





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