Great Escapes

European Travel Blog

New destinations for great escapes: Amsterdam and Cologne


Last month we launched our new brochure for 2015 featuring self-drive and Eurostar breaks to Northern France and Belgium with two new destinations being featured, namely Amsterdam and Cologne. Both cities are easily reached by Eurostar, via Brussels with onward high-speed train connections and make great short break destinations.


Amsterdam is one of the liveliest and most cosmopolitan cities in Europe and its compact size means you can see most of the main attractions on foot, or even by bicycle, in just a few days.

36065_16881239_Serenity Use Only Photography credit: Kavalenkava Volha / Shutterstock

Possibly the city’s most distinguishing feature are the warehouses and elegant homes of the 17th century merchants from Holland’s Golden Age when it was the richest city in the world. These line the 165 canals which are collectively a UNESCO World Heritage site. They are spanned by over 1,000 bridges; that’s even more than Venice.

36057_17624032_Serenity Use OnlyPhotography creidt: S.Borisov / Shutterstock

The city also boasts some 50 museums and art galleries including the Rijksmseum, with its stunning collection of paintings by Dutch masters, the Stedelijk museum of modern art, not to mention the Van Gogh Museum,  as well as Anne Frank’s House, to name but a few. You’ll also find some fabulous markets, great street art as well as street food, a great range of restaurants, cafés and bars with a superb choice of beers. What’s not to love?! Packages are from £64pp. This price is based on one night’s bed & breakfast at the three star West Cord Art Hotel with two sharing a room and return ferry travel for a car and four passengers.


Germany’s fourth-largest city was founded by the Romans in 38 BC. Today it is one of the most diverse cities in Europe with a never ending list of attractions. On a walk around town you’ll discover an ancient Roman wall, medieval churches, avant-garde buildings and  a new postmodern quarter right on the Rhine.  Whether on foot, bicycle or even on a river cruise, Cologne is a beautiful city with its famous cathedral’s twin spires dominating the skyline. In fact the Dom is the country’s largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Remarkably while it was started in 1248, it was not finished for over 600 years later in 1880.

o Haake / KölnTourismus GmbHPhotography credit:  Udo Haake / KölnTourismus GmbH

Cologne, like Amsterdam, is a city for all seasons. Don’t miss the beer halls of the Altstadt (old town) which are lively anytime of year and the fabulous museums and art galleries can also be enjoyed whatever the weather. In spring join in the Carnival and in winter explore the Christmas Market.

Owner Dieter Jacobi / KölnTourismus GmbHPhotography credit:  Dieter Jacobi / KölnTourismus GmbH

Packages are available from £66pp. This price is based on one night’s bed & breakfast at the four star NH Cologne City Hotel with two sharing a room and return ferry travel for a car and four passengers.

Author: Kathryn Burrington

Travel writer, photographer and blogger for the Serenity Holidays group, including the short break experts, Great Escapes.

5 thoughts on “New destinations for great escapes: Amsterdam and Cologne

  1. I don’t think I would be able to chose between Amsterdam and Cologne. They are both wonderful locations.

  2. I went to Amsterdam in the spring and am headed to Cologne in the winter. Great choices!

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