A prompt start is required, for the sun rises early in Edinburgh in summer, and you’ll need to be atop Arthur’s Seat to see it. With the ascent of a volcano under your belt by breakfast, you’ll be well up for a full Scottish, cheek-by-jowl with the locals at gloriously unglamorous Snax Cafe. You won’t want lunch after that. Risk reconciliation with your black pudding with a ride in the Vortex Tunnel at Camera Obscura, followed by a stroll down the Royal Mile, taking in the sights. Tourist desires satisfied and appetite regained, head down to gentrified Leith for gastropub greatness at The King’s Wark.
Start your day the classic French way with croissants and chocolat, or just a short, sharp café, or a brandy. Anywhere will do – it’s Paris, they do atmospheric quite well here. You could of course spend a week shopping, but leave retail for another day and spend a cultural morning at Musée d'Orsay (get there very early to avoid the queues!). You don’t have to be catching a train to lunch at Terminus Nord, after which a restful afternoon is called for. Take a Bateau Mouche on the Seine and laze with a bottle of vin rosé in the Tuileries Gardens until it’s time for dinner at magical Moroccan Chez Omar.
Of course it’s touristy, but you’ve got to do La Rambla. When you’ve taken all you can of tat, branch off to La Boqueria food market to marvel at artichokes, make faces at fish and grab a bocadillo before hop-scotching back over La Rambla to lose yourself shopping and or bar-hopping in the Barrio. Save energy for the evening by spending the heat of the day snoozing under palms being serenaded by wild parrots in Parc de Citudella. Dine on seafood at La Bombeta down in Barceloneta, and dance into the night, and possibly the following day, at Mac Arena Mar.
Take a walk on the Wall side. History is everywhere in Berlin, so immerse yourself at the Jewish Museum or the eerie Berlin Wall Memorial. Refuel at Marienburger before taking a tour with a difference – forget conventional sights for an afternoon and instead see street art, squats and lots of cool stuff on the Alternative City Tour. Chill with a beer in Görlitzer Park or sip a sundowner on a Spree-side beach bar before stocking up on classic German stodge at Spätzle Express in down-at-heel Kreuzberg. Then it’s as much merry-making as you can stay awake for at Kater Holzig.
Start your day with Eggs Benedict at Greenwood’s to fortify you for a moving visit to Anne Frank House (get your tickets online in advance). Top up with a hot kroket from a Febo snack slot machine outside Centraal Station, munched on the short free ferry trip across the Ijmeer and back. Spend the afternoon window-shopping (and nosing in people’s windows) in the Western Canal Belt or bargain-hunting at Albert Cuypmarkt, where you’re well-placed for dinner at tremendous Turkish, Bazar. Round off a perfect day with a beer in a brown café in the Jordaan, and it’s early to bed for you.
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