With bleisure booming, some companies are even paying for their employees taking bleisure days, and outnumbering business days on the average business trip, we have identified some day trips around popular bustling cities. There are so many interesting cities on its own, but if you have decided to combine your business trip with some places to visit and leisure, check out the following day trips just 1 hour away from the big cities.
If you are in Dublin and taking some bleisure time go visit Ireland’s highest (121m) waterfall, Powerscourt Waterfall, which is set in one of Ireland’s most beautiful parklands. Another option is a visit to Wicklow, which is called the ‘Garden of Ireland’ with good reason. This stunning waterfall and gardens in Enniskerry was voted third best garden in the world by National Geographic. Absolutely gorgeous spot.
Bleisure time Copenhagen means that you really should visit the island Funen. The wildly romantic island of Funen (Fyn) is the home to many fairy tales and the hometown of Denmark’s legendary fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen. There is the old heritage mill town with museums, festivals, and boutique shops. The island has a green and rolling landscape covered in cycling and walking routes and sights including nice sandy beaches with calm waters suitable for swimming. Funen is also known for some of Europe’s best coastal angling spots, particularly good for catching sea trout. And if fishing is not your thing you can rent a kayak and explore the exciting maze of places surrounding the island.
Vasteras is a small city 100 km from Stockholm with higgledy-piggledy cottages edging the river that runs through its center. In summertime, the beaches that skirt Lake Mälaren are great for a swim. If you prefer some more action you can visit Anundshög, Sweden’s biggest burial mound. Some nine meters high, it dates back to around 900 AD. If you would like to see the Northern Lights you have to give yourself more time and travel to Kiruna and Abisko, both serve as excellent bases.
Positano is just the place to visit while in Rome and extending your stay for some bleisure time. Positano is a gorgeous picturesque village with multi-colored houses and quiet, pebbled beaches. To reach this beautiful oasis, you can take a train from Rome to Salerno, followed by a ferry ride to Positano. You can lounge on the beach or explore the nearby mountains to see beautiful waterfalls and rare species of plants and animals. Don’t miss out on a visit to the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, which features lovely architecture and a Black Madonna icon that is steeped in local legend. If you are up for a 2-hour train ride you can visit Pompeii. You can see what remains of 2,000-year-old shops, restaurants, residential homes, baths and brothels as well as plastered body casts of actual people who died in the catastrophic volcanic eruption of 79 AD.
When in Switzerland you are not going to visit the Swiss Alps? Not too far from Zurich, you can visit Mount Titlis. Your ascent with a cable car reveals the changing scenery in all directions. At the top are the ice boulders and deep crevasses, which you can see up close from the Ice Flyer chairlift. The trip won the Glacier Park snow slides turns the world into a big playground. For more action and views, walk across Europe’s highest suspension bridge. You can also visit Mt. Pilatus via Kriens where you board a panoramic gondola to the 2,132-meter summit. Make your return trip down Mt. Pilatus by cogwheel railway, which travels at a gradient of 48 percent, one of the worlds steepest for a railway.
Just a 25-minute ride from Berlin by train you can find the charming Potsdam. Its narrow streets with small boutiques and cafes and restaurants are worth the stroll. Especially the Dutch district is lovely with decorated courtyards and avant-garde galleries. Lovingly decorated courtyards, cafés, offbeat bars and avant-garde galleries make this the perfect place for a leisurely stroll. The city’s waterways with its many beautiful old steamboats is almost a most. The boats go as far as Glienicke Bridge, which connects Potsdam to Berlin and is where East and West exchanged secret agents and spies until into the 1980s. If you prefer some relaxing take the train to Saarow Thermal Bath, which is 75 km outside of Berlin. The thermal bath combines wellness, nature, and health. It’s direct location at the Scharmutzel Lake and its unique architecture makes the visit all the more rewarding. If you want more action, visit “the green Venice” Spreewald, where you can go hiking, rent a bike, or make a canoe or raft trip.
If you decide to take some bleisure time in Paris, there is so much to do that there is really no need to go out of the city. Paris holds so many gems that are unknown to the visitors from abroad. There are the Sewers of Paris (just 1300 miles of it), for an alternative view of Paris, and to cool off when there is a heatwave. The notorious cemetery Pere-Lachaise Cemetery with where the likes of Oscar Wilde, Edit Piaf, Jim Morrison, Chopin and many more. And if you are already wandering among the dead, continue to the underground stone quarries, The Catacombs, that hold since 1786 the skeletons of six million Parisians removed from the suppressed cemeteries. One of the best-kept secrets in Paris is the Musee Marmottan-Monet, with a fantastic collection of Monet’s paintings.
For some hideaway shopping, traditional craftsmen have opened their trendy boutiques under the arcades of a former viaduct going from the Place de la Bastille to Gare de Lyon and well beyond, on the Avenue Daumesnil. You will discover a long and thrilling pedestrian promenade called “Promenade Plantée” or “Coulée Verte”.
#3 The Netherlands
Utrecht is one of the cutest cities in the Netherlands. It looks like Amsterdam, except smaller and more intimate and is only 30 minutes by train from Amsterdam. The medieval center is set around canals with lower level warehouses, meaning that you can shop, dine and wine down at the water level. You’ll arrive at the bustling train station and walk out through the shopping center into the middle of town. If it is a nice day, you can rent a kayak and go for a short paddle around the canals. If you want some sightseeing you can visit the highest church tower in the Netherlands and climb the 465 steps for amazing views over the city. Another church worthwhile the visit is Olivier Cafe, which is a popular Belgian beer bar within a church. Trains to Amsterdam go all night, but after midnight they only leave once per hour. So don’t miss it!
#2 United Kingdom
Royal Tunbridge Wells is an ancient spa town surrounded by beautiful parks, landscaped gardens and listed buildings and perfect for some bleisure time. If you are not that much into walking, the high street with designer shops and the tea-rooms are great fun too. Just 50 minutes from Charing Cross Station. Brighton has earned the nickname ‘London by the Sea’ not for nothing. Just 56 minutes from Victoria awaits you a beautiful beach, the iconic Brighton Pier, an outlandish Royal Palace and breathtaking ocean views. Brighton is a great base for exploring the South Downs National Park with the dramatic Seven Sisters cliffs and some of southern England’s most charming villages. If you haven’t been at Windsor Castle, it is worthwhile seeing the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. And who knows, you might even meet the Queen if you’re lucky.
Just 1 hour by train from Barcelona you can visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tarraco. This city has a wonderful amphitheater overlooking the sea, and numerous other fragments of the once bustling Roman city can be found all throughout the city. Tarragona’s 15 km coastline provides sparkling coves and sandy shorelines. Personally, I highly recommend visiting the lovely bohemian town of Sitges, which is only a 35-minute train ride away from Barcelona. It’s famous for its open, welcoming and tolerant attitude to people of all races, religions and sexual orientation. For rugged landscapes, geological curiosities and Catalonia’s first Buddhist temple, a walk through Garraf National Park nearby is highly recommended. There are marked trails for walking and biking. This city has over 17 beaches with fine sand and blue water waiting for you. If you are up for a 2-hour ride go visit Empuriabrava with its almost 24 kilometers of canals and 5000 private jetties, it’s the biggest residential marina in the world. It is also home to Europe’s biggest skydiving center, suitable for everyone from the first timer to the experienced diver. Empuriabrava also is the home to over 320 different species of birds and offers a large amount of hiking and biking trails in the Natural Park of the Aiguamolls de l’Empordà.
Disclaimer: Material based on VAT invoices processed and recovered via VATBox, a cloud-based automated VAT recovery platform that streamlines the VAT recovery process through intelligent knowledge-based automation.