London is one of the world’s most exciting cities, and it’s an amazing place to encounter the past, present and future all in one street. Best things to do in London: Attractions like London Eye, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben will leave indelible memories, and you’ll love sampling all the food and culture of the city. Best time to visit London: London is nearly perfect in August, when it’s sunny and dry, and you won’t need to bundle up! Where to stay in London: These days, everyone is clamouring for a room at the Chiltern Firehouse, a five-star hotel in a historic building that has become a favourite haunt of celebs and politicos both local and international.
The city enchants with Big Ben and other iconic London attractions.
Read more: London budget travel: 5 ways to save
Paris is for lovers, it’s said, but everyone can find something to love about this magical city. Best things to do in Paris: From the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre and the countless boulangeries that dot the city, you’ll continue to dream of the place long after you’ve left. Best time to visit Paris: Summer is when the city really comes to life, and a visit booked between June and August is sure to reward. Where to stay in Paris: For a world-class hotel experience, with sumptuously fitted out rooms, you can’t go wrong with the InterContinental, oozing old world charm from every corner.
Paris is known to be for lovers, but it’s a wonderful city for everyone!
Read more: Top 5 places for budget shopping in Paris
Barcelona is best for its relaxing beach vibes and Spanish attractions. See lots of quirky art and fabled architecture and satisfy your palette with lots of tasty tapas. Best things to do in Barcelona: In this enchanted city, the birthplace of Gaudi, Dalí, and Miró, just to name a few, the magic is palpable. Don’t miss out on visiting Sagrada Familia, a feast for your eyes. Watch a Barça game, or if you can’t get tickets, experience authentic Spanish fútbol in a neighbourhood bar on a Wednesday or Saturday night. Best time to visit Barcelona: May to June, as the temperature is pleasant and all you need are light summer clothes. Following this time comes the mad summer tourist rush. Where to stay in Barcelona: Stay at Hotel Majestic for proximity to two of Gaudi’s most famous buildings, La Pedrera and Casa Batllo. It has phenomenal views of La Sagrada Familia from the rooftop pool and lounge.
There’s lots to see and feel in Barcelona.
The cradle of western civilisation, Athens has given the world so much, and continues to give, with art, culture, food and excursions to the amazing isles of Greece. Best things to do in Athens: You have to visit the sites of the ancients, like the Acropolis, and the Parthenon, and no visit would be complete without a selfie in the picture-perfect village of Anafiotika. Best time to visit Athens: Spring is a wonderful time to visit, when the crowds are sparse, though you’ll need to pack a jacket. October is also wonderfully balmy, the rooms are cheaper, and the restaurants will have reopened after their summer hibernation. Where to stay in Athens: The rooms at the NJV Athens Plaza will provide perfect comfort and the views of the Acropolis are something to write home about.
Athens, the cradle of western civilisation.
Read more: Top 5 most romantic places in Europe
5. New York
The Big Apple invites you to take a bite! Best things to do in New York: While you’re at it, take in a Broadway show, see the Empire State Building, gaze up at the statue of Liberty, or just gawk at Times Square. Best time to visit New York: There’s never a bad time to go, as this city throbs with excitement 365 days a year. Christmas is really nice though, when the trees are lit up, and people ice-skate in the shadow of 30 Rockefeller Place. Shopping along 5th Avenue is a winner this winter. Where to stay in New York: For hotels that fit the bill, try the Plaza Hotel, the grand dame on the edge of the park, where royalty has rested its head for over a century.
New York is the city of dreams.
Rome the eternal city is within your grasp on Qatar Airways.
Best things to do in Rome: The Eternal City is millennia old yet remains chic and stylish as ever. How it remains so is an eternal mystery.
Best time to visit Rome: For the best weather, consider going during the “shoulder season”, immediately before and after summer’s blazing peak of July and August. Rome weather is perfect from April to June, and then September and October, with mild days and cool nights.
Where to stay in Rome: For a first-class base from which to launch your adventures, try Hotel Hassler Roma, a five-star wonderland in the centre of it all. Stroll down to the colosseum, and drop by Vatican City for a glimpse of the Pope.
Rome: the eternal city retains its stylish charm.
7. Bonus: New Qatar Airways route from Singapore to Birmingham
New Qatar Airways route to Birmingham, England’s second city, is a place full of surprises and is definitely an underrated destination off many travellers’ radars.
Best things to do in Birmingham: Birmingham attractions are world-class, complete with excellent shopping, civic amenities and a real-life chocolate factory. With so many centuries of history lining its picturesque canals and historic Jewellery Quarter, combined with its bustling modernity, Birmingham is a great place for a taste of England.
Best time to visit Birmingham: During the winter months if you’re on a tighter budget. Another advantage of visiting around Christmas-time is the ‘Frankfurt Christmas Markets’. April to June will also provide you with a mild and pleasant climate.
Where to stay in Birmingham: Try the Hyatt Regency in Birmingham. Facilities include an indoor pool, free Wi-Fi, a British bistro and other perks.
Birmingham beckons those who desire a different destination.
Upcoming Qatar Airways routes
In addition to the new Birmingham route from Singapore, Qatar Airways is expanding to five more fantastic European destinations: Pisa, Sarajevo, Helsinki, Nice and Skopje, six more African airports: Marrakech, Windhoek, Douala, Libreville, Lusaka and Seychelles.