Cultural beacon, political hotbed, nightlife mecca – the Czech capital is many things to many people. Discover one of the world’s most seductive cities on a short break to Prague from Glasgow Airport.
- Time difference : GMT +2
- Currency : Czech Crown (CZK)
- Summer avg temp : 20°C
- Flight time : Approx 2hr 30mins
Prague’s Old Town is so crowded with architectural masterpieces and iconic sights that it can leave first-time visitors feeling a tad overwhelmed. Be sure to squeeze in a visit to the instantly recognisable Týn Church (Staroměstské náměstí), with its twin Gothic towers. The Astronomical Clock and Jan Hus Statue in the Old Town Square are also must-sees. Just outside the city’s historic core, the heavily graffitied John Lennon wall (Velkopřevorské náměstí) is a more recent addition to Prague’s cultural tapestry.
Let the music play on
When Mozart feared that the people of Vienna would find his latest opera, Don Giovanni, too challenging, he chose instead to premiere it in Prague. Since then the city has been at the cutting edge of classical music, showcasing talented local composers such as Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana as well as the international greats. Its world-class venues include the Rudolfinum (Alšovo nábřeží 12), Prague State Opera House (Wilsonova 4), Municipal House (náměstí Republiky 5) and National Theatre (Národní třída 2), but there are dozens of smaller and more eclectic concert halls to discover as well.
Gone are the days when Prague’s rock-bottom prices and zingy nightlife scene made it Europe’s number one stag do destination. The city has matured culturally – but while the tackiest bars may have had their day, the quality of the beer and the cutting-edge nature of the clubs remain constant. Start your night at microbrewery U Medvídků (Na Perštýně 7), which produces some of the strongest – and most sippable – lager in the country. Classy cocktail joint Hemingway (Karolíny Světlé 26) is an alternative for non-beer drinks, while the industrial-style Cross Club (Plynární 23, Holešovice) is the place of the moment to party.
It might be the largest city in the Baltic States, but Riga retains a whimsical charm that no amount of economic growth or frenetic construction can dilute. With its UNESCO-listed Old Town, staggeringly beautiful art nouveau architecture and electrifying nightlife culture, this is a place to come back to time and time again.
- Time difference : GMT +3
- Currency : Euro (EUR)
- Summer avg temp : 19°C
- Flight time : Approx 2hr 30mins
Central Riga is one big aesthetic banquet, so it’s no surprise that this culturally minded city has something of an obsession with the arts. Get the story behind its most iconic buildings at the Riga Art Nouveau Centre (Alberta iela 12) and the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (Skārņu iela 10/20) – then head to the Latvian National Museum of Art (Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela 10a) to gorge on an impressive selection of historic Russian and Latvian paintings. The recently opened Art Museum Riga Bourse (Doma laukums 6) is the hottest new hangout for visiting culture junkies.
A short break to Riga from Glasgow Airport is the perfect chance to indulge your inner Anna Wintour. The city once dubbed the ‘Paris of the East’ is awash with quirky little fashion boutiques, including art nouveau shoe gallery Madam Bonbon (Alberta iela 1-7a) and jewellery store Tornis (Grēcinieku iela 11-2). Bookworms can lose themselves in Jāņa Sēta (Elizabetes iela 83/85), the largest travel bookshop in the Baltics.
Riga is the gastronomic centre of Latvia, with an increasingly eclectic line-up of cafés, restaurants and markets. Traditional Baltic grub is the theme at the LIDO Atpūtas Centrs (Krasta iela 76), where the buffet yields up delicacies such as cold beet soup and pork tongue, and waitresses clad in frilly milkmaid outfits serve craft beer to thirsty patrons. You won’t find a hint of such kitsch at Istaba (Krišjāņa Barona iela 31a), a funky loft restaurant floating above an alternative art gallery, with dishes dreamed up by celebrity chef Mārtiņš Sirmais. The local secret is Dorian Gray (Mazā Muzeja iela 1), where intellectuals linger over cups of hot, strong coffee.
Halifax, Nova Scotia’s capital, combines the appeal of a friendly, modern city with a close connection to the great outdoors. With the region's distinctive seascapes and stunning landscapes getting around is all part of the adventure here as you will soon discover on your holiday to Halifax from Glasgow Airport.
- Time difference : GMT -3
- Currency : Canadian Dollars (CAD)
- Summer avg temp : 21°C
- Flight time : Approx 5hr 30mins
Breath of fresh air
This breezy seaside city is surrounded by natural playgrounds, from the golden sands of the Northumberland Strait to the ethereal mountains of the Cabot Trail. Spot orcas and dolphins on a whale-watching trip around the Bay of Fundy, hike through Kejimkujik National Park, explore the fertile Annapolis Valley lowlands by bike, or hire a surfboard and hit the huge waves of the Eastern Shore. Thrill-seekers can raft on the Shubenacadie River’s tidal bore; and if you’re looking for something a little less death-defying, there are more than 75 golf courses dotted around the province.
A calendar packed with cultural highlights makes Halifax an exciting year-round destination. The Halifax Jazz Festival kicks off in July, bringing the crème de la crème of the international jazz scene to the city. Autumn is enlivened by The Word on the Street (September) – a day-long celebration of the written word that encompasses every form of literacy from poems to books and magazines. The Atlantic Fringe Festival (August-September) provides a platform for edgy, up-and-coming artists, while MultiFest (June) is a long-running festival aimed at preserving cultural traditions in the province.
Bright lights of Nova Scotia
It might be best known as an outdoor adventure hub, but Halifax is also the nightlife capital of Nova Scotia. Mix with an elite crowd of actors, journalists and student trendies at tapas bar Economy Shoe Shop (1663 Argyle Street), join in the singing and quaffing at sociable hangout Lower Deck (1887 Upper Water Street), or relax with a chic cocktail at hipster hangout Onyx (5680 Spring Garden Road). The Carleton (1685 Argyle Street) hosts live acoustic music accompanied by scrumptious side dishes late into the night.
Nowhere on the planet has a good-time reputation to match that of Las Vegas. The simple reason? There’s nowhere else quite like it. Gamble, eat, drink, go wild. What happens on a city break to Las Vegas from Glasgow Airport … stays in Vegas.
- Time difference : GMT -7
- Currency : US Dollar
- Summer avg temp : 31°C
- Flight time : Approx 10hr
No one comes to Vegas for an early night. Speakers pound, corks pop, dancefloors shake. There are clubs, bars and shows of every shape and size. After a blockbuster stage performance? Catch Britney Spears at the Planet Hollywood Resort (3667 Las Vegas Boulevard South). A pool party in Prince Harry’s footsteps? Make a splash at XS Nightclub (3121 Las Vegas Boulevard South). And if you just want a great bar with even greater people watching? Head to the Petrossian Bar at the Bellagio (3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South).
Make a meal of it
If you thought Las Vegas was all buffets and burgers, think again. Its gastronomic line-up is seriously impressive, with celebrity chefs like Joël Robuchon and Wolfgang Puck – both of whom have restaurants at MGM Grand (3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South) – just two of countless examples. Meat lovers should be aware that Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel (3325 Las Vegas Boulevard South) has what some critics consider to be the best steaks in the USA.
Las Vegas built its name on glitz, glam and goodfellas, but away from the casinos and nightclubs there are some hugely rewarding alternative activities. A trip to the Grand Canyon is the obvious example – by helicopter, if you’re feeling flush – but other options include dune-buggy racing, balloon rides and the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay (3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South).
The addition of four new Polish routes takes the total to seven direct from Glasgow Airport. Fly to Bydgoszcz, Warsaw Modlin and Wroclaw with Ryanair and to Katowice, Poznan, Warsaw Chopin and Wroclaw with Wizz Air. Read more about the new Polish destinations served from Glasgow Airport...
Better known by its German name, Bromberg, this elegant riverside city is packed with museums, music venues and Gothic churches. A calendar brimming with trade fairs and several world-class conference venues draw business visitors from across the globe, but there’s plenty to do outside of office hours too. Hop on a flight to Bydgoszcz from Glasgow Airport to find out more.
The dynamo at the centre of Poland’s Upper Silesian Industrial District, Katowice is one of the fastest-growing and most exciting places in the country. Dismiss it as an industrialised backwater at your peril – today, that jumble of German Gothic, art nouveau and socialist architecture hides a cultural scene that’s developing as rapidly as the city’s powerhouse economy. With Krakow and the strikingly diverse landscapes of southern Poland virtually on the doorstep, there’s also plenty to do when urban life begins to pall.
Bursting with bars, galleries, contemporary restaurants and quirky museums, this architecturally extravagant city is one of
With an Old Town plucked straight out of the Middle Ages, a dazzlingly picturesque riverside location and a slap-up portion of traditional Eastern European charm, Wrocław is nipping at Krakow’s heels in the ‘Polish cities everyone wants to visit’ stakes. Discover a delicious combination of cultural heritage, mind-bending views and great beer on a short break to Wrocław from Glasgow Airport.
A broad-brush makeover in the run-up to Derry’s year as UK City of Culture in 2013 transformed the waterfront into an oasis of cool, adding an edgy modern veneer to this famously warm and welcoming metropolis.
- Time difference : 0
- Currency : UK Sterling
- Summer avg temp : 17°C
- Flight time : Approx 45mins
Pull up a bar stool
The excellence of Northern Ireland’s pub scene is so widely recognised that it’s become something of a cliché – but there’s nothing hackneyed or unoriginal about the barn-storming boozers that line almost every street in Derry. Whet your lips over a pint of stout at the colossally cosy Bound for Boston (27-31 Waterloo Street), then head to the Gweedore Bar (61 Waterloo Street) and boogie the night away to live Irish music.
Dive into Derry’s history
One of the oldest continually inhabited areas of Northern Ireland and the only intact walled city in the region, Derry is a place where history accosts you at every turn. The neo-Gothic Guildhall (Guildhall Square) and St Columb’s Cathedral (London Street) are the top two cultural draws for visitors looking to immerse themselves in the past, but the Museum of Free Derry (55-61 Glenfada Park) and the Bloody Sunday Memorial on Rossville Street are perhaps the city’s most poignant sights.
Hit the Causeway Coast
The coastline that snakes between the cities of Belfast and Derry is so spectacularly otherworldly that it was chosen as one of the main settings for fantasy series Game of Thrones. From the crumbling grandeur of 12th-century Carrickfergus Castle (Marine Highway, Carrickfergus) to the ethereal steps of the Giant’s Causeway, a holiday to Derry from Glasgow Airport is the perfect opportunity to explore this iconic coastal landscape.
Crowned by a Disney-esque medieval citadel and fringed by glorious rolling wine country, Carcassonne makes a perfect base for exploring the Languedoc. Delve into the history and culture of this sleepy French city on a short break to Carcassonne from Glasgow Airport.
- Time difference : GMT +1
- Currency : Euro (EUR)
- Summer avg temp : 21°C
- Flight time : Approx 2hr 20min
Legend has it that the sprawling battlements and tall turrets of Carcassonne Citadel were the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, and this famous hilltop fortification certainly has a fairytale feel about it. The UNESCO World Heritage site is the most visited tourist attraction in France after the Eiffel Tower, so don’t expect to have the drawbridges and cobbled lanes all to yourself. Venture out to Cathar castle Château de Lastours in the nearby Haut-Minervois, though, and you’ll be able to soak up the medieval atmosphere without interruption.
The Minervois to the north of Carcassonne and the Corbières to the south are two of the Languedoc’s finest and most prolific wine-growing areas. Tours run up to the Montagne Noire foothills and visit famous wineries such as Domaine O’Vineyards (885 avenue de la Montagne Noire) and Château de Pennautier (2 boulevard Pasteur). If you don’t fancy venturing beyond the city limits then why not try the local tipple in one of Carcassonne’s chic wine bars. Le Comptoir des Vins et Terroirs (3 rue du Comté Roger) and Le Bar à Vins (6 rue Plo) are both local favourites.
Below the imposing silhouette of La Cité is a lively modern city packed with delis and boutiques. Avoid Rue Clemenceau, the main shopping thoroughfare, and head straight for edgier Rue de Verdun. Around here you’ll find an eclectic jumble of independent stores, including interior design mecca On Dirait le Sud (15 rue Auguste Rodin) and gourmet heaven La Ferme (55 rue de Verdun). The market that takes over Place Carnot on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings is also worth a garners.
East meets west in Crete’s second largest city, which is an evocative blend of Venetian and Turkish architecture clustered around a stunningly beautiful harbour. With the white beaches of Elafonissi and Balos just a short drive away, a holiday to Chania from Glasgow Airport is the perfect chance to catch up on some R&R.
- Time difference : GMT +2
- Currency : Euro (EUR)
- Summer avg temp : 25°C
- Flight time : Approx 4hr 20min
Magical history trail
The ancient mosques, Venetian mansions and charming sepia-toned streets of the Old Town all support Chania’s claim to be one of the most beautiful cities in Greece. Start your journey of discovery at the harbour, with its 16th-century fortifications and fine old lighthouse. Stop for a peek into the Mosque of Kioutsouk Hassan before strolling onto the Archaeological Museum in the Church of San Francisco (Halidon 30) for a more comprehensive insight into the area’s history.
Fruits of the sea
After all that sightseeing you’re bound to be hungry, and Chania is fast building a reputation as Crete’s foremost foodie city. Gorge on fabulously fresh local seafood at small but perfectly formed taverna Antigoni (Akti Enoseos & Deukalionos Corner) or discover a jealously guarded local secret at the Well of the Turk (Sarpaki 1). For authentically local cuisine with a sophisticated edge, you can’t do better than Portes (Portou 48), an upscale fine dining restaurant with everything from meatballs to wild snails on the menu.
With temperatures hovering in the sizzling 20 degrees for most of the year, Chania is a haven for sunseekers. Nearby beaches include Nea Chora and Agii Apostoli, but it’s worth hopping in your car and driving a few kilometres further to discover the crystalline sand and exotic emerald waters of Elafonissi. Balos Beach, spanning a lagoon blue enough to rival the sky, is another gem just a short journey from the city, while the popular watersports venue of Falassarna is an hour’s drive away.
An exotic blend of tradition and modernity, Marrakech is one of the world’s most intriguing cities. This is a place where donkey-drawn carts share the road with Rolls-Royces, centuries-old souks squat in the shadow of luxury hotels and snake charmers rub shoulders with be-suited businessmen.
- Time difference : GMT +1
- Currency : Dirham
- Summer avg temp : 29°C
- Flight time : Approx 3hr 30min
There’s only one place to start exploring Marrakech, and that’s in the main Djemaa el-Fna square. A UNESCO World Heritage Site at the heart of the old medina, it’s a whirlwind of acrobatics, storytelling, belly dancing and street theatre. But the best time to come is in the evening, when hundreds of chefs descend on the square to create one of the greatest alfresco dining experiences on the planet.
Souk up the atmosphere
The labyrinthian souks behind Djemaa el-Fna are packed to bursting point with craft stalls, fresh food stands, traditional fashion shops and pop-up stalls selling almost anything you can bring to mind. Keep an eye out for ancient herbalist shop Herboriste Avicenne (172-174 Souk Laghzel), gorgeous jewellery boutique Atelier Moro (114 place de Mouassine) and Aya’s Where (11 bis Derb Jdid Bab Mellah), a favourite with celebs including Sarah Jessica Parker.
Relax and unwind
A holiday to Marrakech from Glasgow Airport is the perfect chance to chillax. Start by wandering around the glorious Majorelle Garden (Rue Yves Saint Laurent), then make a beeline for a hammam such as Dar Karma (51 Derb El Mennabha) near the Royal Palace. With modern bars springing up like mushrooms around the city centre, there are plenty of places to unwind on a hot evening. Try the secret roof terrace at Kechmara (3 rue de la Liberté), where you can sip on a chilled cocktail while admiring the panoramic urban views.
Croatia’s cultural capital and the diamond of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik combines a glorious ancient citadel with airy sea views and brochure-ready beaches. Its ubiquitous charm draws hordes of visitors during high season, including a glittering army of celebrities, but there are still secret to be discovered within those medieval city walls.
- Time difference : GMT +2
- Currency : Croatian Kuna
- Summer avg temp : 24°C
- Flight time : Approx 3hrs
Soak up the history
A weekend away to Dubrovnik from Glasgow Airport is nothing short of a cultural odyssey. The UNESCO-listed Old Town is ringed by weathered stone fortifications, built between the 13th and 16th centuries and rising to 25m high in some places. Take a day to explore the walls and their medieval forts by foot, stopping off to see the crumbling Pile Gate and the shell-pocked beauty of St Saviour’s Church (Od Puča 8). Then enjoy a taste of the city’s secret history by wandering down sleepy Iza Roka Street and hunting for a piece of 16th-century graffiti that warns boys against playing football in the area.
Pull up a sunlounger
Ranging from elegant crescents of icing sugar sand to hidden rocky coves, Dubrovnik’s beaches are the wonder of the Adriatic. Banje Beach is just a stone’s throw from the Old Town, but venture out a little further to Sveti Jakov and you’ll discover the locals’ favourite coastal hangout. For tropical-style strips of sand, take a Jadrolinija ferry from the port and hop off at Lopud Island with its fragrant cypress parks and white-sand bay. Saplunara Beach on the eastern side of Mljet Island is another secluded gem.
The narrow, pedestrianised streets of Dubrovnik’s Old Town are scattered with top-class seafood restaurants. Tuck into exquisitely crafted Dalmatian dishes at Proto (Široka 1), where fresh oysters and garlic shrimps are served against the backdrop of a romantic first-floor terrace. Restaurant Nautika (Brsalje 3) might be costly, but you can’t put a price on those spellbinding views over the Adriatic or on the famously warm service. Working to a budget? Lokanda Peskarija (Na Ponti bb) is a bustling seafood restaurant with reliably delicious food.