1 | BARCELONA
The food is great, and so is the weather throughout much of the year. Then there are the beaches, the bustling streets, and the singular architecture, placing Barcelona on just about everyone's "favorite cities" list. This trendy destination is easy to reach, on just about every major airline, including the low-cost ones. And if your break isn't that short, you can go from there to just about anywhere in Spain, from Valencia to Ibiza.
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2 | LONDON
It may rain from January to December, but everyone dreams of going to London at least once. And once they do, many need to go again. And again. They make it a weekend of market shopping, bar-hopping, or museum visits, and while accommodation may be expensive, many of the major museums are surprisingly free! London offers a variety of experiences, and as someone once said, "when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life."
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3 | PARIS
Paris is the city you'll want to return to every weekend. There's always a major new exhibition, a beautiful corner to discover, a café or restaurant to enjoy. It's the favorite for a romantic break, and you can devote an entire weekend to just one neighborhood -- romantic Montmartre, gay Marais, upscale St.-Germain-des-Prés...
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4 | DUBAI
Now one of the world's major hubs, Dubai can be reached on a direct flight from just about anywhere. Most go for a couple of days at the beach (there's beach weather throughout the year), others just to see all the over-the-top bling up close. And you don't have to spend a fortune at the world's most luxurious hotels or largest shopping malls. This is a city for even the average budgets, and you just may end up returning for more, especially when you know that there will be a major shiny new building that alters the cityscape to see next year.
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5 | NEW YORK
You can do a lot in 24 hours in this 24-hour city. A weekend will feel like an entire week, as you'll feel energized to get up early and go to bed late. You'll want to start with brunch in Soho or the Meatpacking District, or go for a jog in Central Park, and stand in Times Square mesmerized by the lights at the end of the day. In between you'll want to catch a Broadway musical, shop down 5th Avenue, and still squeeze in two or three museums. The Big Apple may be quite big, but you can take quite a large bite of it on a short city break.
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6 | LAS VEGAS
Las Vegas attracts thousands of weekend visitors from California and from elsewhere in the American West Coast and North America. It may not be as easy to visit over a weekend for those from everywhere else, but it's one of those cities that can offer all it has to offer in just a couple of days. Whether you try your luck at the casinos, or catch a major Las Vegas show, this "theme park city" really is the city of entertainment for a weekend of fun and fantasy.
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7 | MADRID
Whether there's a new exhibition at the Prado or you simply want some long nights out, there's always a reason to return to Madrid. Add the excellent shopping and restaurants, and you have a top city break destination. The city bustles with constant activity, and there's always something tempting around the corner, from tapas bars to lively squares and markets. It's a joyful city even in the cold of winter, and even better in the hot summers.
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8 | LISBON
Lisbon now rivals Barcelona because it has it all -- world-class cultural attractions, a laid-back village-like atmosphere in timeless neighborhoods, beautiful views, waterfront promenades, nightlife, mild weather, and beaches nearby. And it's just the right size to experience it all in one weekend -- not to mention quite accessible and affordable. It's the closest European capital to the United States, the only European capital sharing the same time zone with the British Isles, and just a couple of hours away from many other great European cities. So no matter where you are, you'll want to put Lisbon on your map whenever you need some sun, or a relaxing weekend in a major historic city. Return for the beaches of Cascais, Estoril, and Caparica, and for the fantasyland of Sintra.
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9 | BERLIN
This city is less expensive and much more fun than many believe, and that's why it's now on the city break map. Nightlife is also one of the major reasons, but above all, it's the lively streets and cultural scene that makes it such an attractive and refreshing city break destination. Whether you tour the grand restored palaces, or simply stick to the trendy shops, bohemian cafés and bars, there's a vibrant Berlin for you.
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