Spring breaks - short trips abroad

Maya Driver

After a long hard winter isn't it time you got away from it all? A short Spring break abroad may be just what you need to shake off the doldrums. From the gastronomic delights of Bruges, to the stunning renaissance of Rome, here are five of the best destinations for your perfect trip.

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Saunter down cobbled streets and take in the Gothic architecture or relax with a drink in a one of city's medieval squares. Bruges has something to suit all tastes. Sample a tipple from its unique range of Belgian beers or, if alcohol isn't your scene, perhaps something sweeter from one of its many chocolatiers. Bruges is small but packs a punch and can be explored on foot or by its famous canal system.

Spain's capital is like several cities rolled into one. It may lack an Eiffel Tower or a Coliseum but it makes up for it in the sheer variety of its food, culture and nightlife. Whether you want to taste tapas in the streets around Plaza Santa Ana or hit the clubs along the Gran Via, this is a city with a heart. If you fancy something a little more leisurely then it has some of the best art collections in the world. Visit the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza or Reina Sofial and see three of Madrid's best museums. From Flamenco to flea markets, a weekend in Spain's sunniest city will be one to remember.

New York
If you really want to recharge your batteries then America's most famous city is sure to give the lift you need. The list of things to do is almost too long to mention but try visiting some of the most famous landmarks in the world like the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty. Stroll through Central Park or grab a coffee in Greenwich Village, book a show on Broadway - there simply won't be enough time for you to enjoy all the Big Apple has to offer but a few days there will be enough time for you to take a bite.

A weekend break in Rome will allow you to experience a modern, vibrant city with all that has to offer as well as 3000 years of history. Ancient monuments, breathtaking art and a city within a city. Rome has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to tourist attractions from the Sistine chapel to the Vatican City. There are also superb restaurants, bars and boutique shopping to be had in one of Europe's greatest capitals

Spain's second city and capital of Catalonia, is one of the most dynamic in Europe. Its bustling café culture exists happily alongside gothic architecture, eccentric art and the space-age buildings of the 1992 Olympiad. It's known globally as a centre of business, and culture as well as boasting some of the finest dining in Spain. You will have no problem staying out all night in this city with its myriad bars and nightclubs but if you prefer to chill on the beach then you are in luck, Barcelona has over four kilometres of sandy beaches to choose from.