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August bank holiday: the best last-minute European breaks

Bag yourself a last-minute break on the last summer bank holiday weekend of the year

Joanna Whitehead@MsWhitehead100
Tuesday 21 August 2018 12:42
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Make the most of the last bank holiday of the summer with our pick of the best last-minute European breaks.

Luxembourg

Enjoy a stroll next to the Alzette River

This historic capital is often overlooked in favour of bolder and more established European destinations, but to ignore it would be a mistake. The fortifications of the city’s Old Town have been Unesco-listed since 1994 and incorporate over 10 miles of underground tunnels for visitors to explore. Ancient buildings sit cheek-by-jowl with modern structures such as the Luxembourg-Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (Mudam), the city’s modern art museum, which was designed by Chinese-American architect IM Pei. Art lovers are spoilt for choice in this diminutive city, which also boasts The Villa Vauban and Am Tunnel, making this destination an ideal one for culture fans.

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Menorca

Take a dip in one of Menorca's idyllic coves

The Balearic Islands have an unfair reputation as seedy hotbeds of excess and debauchery, but those in the know have long recognised these islands’ hidden treasures. Beach bums will be well served on verdant Menorca, where turquoise sea and white beaches are the order of the day. Some of the best coastal areas to explore include Cala Trebalúger, Cala D’Algaiarens and Cala Pregonda. Don’t forget your snorkel mask and suncream.

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Copenhagen

Take a deep breath of clean air in the Danish capital, where bicycles outnumber cars (iStock)

The best way to see the Danish capital? On two wheels. Those seeking a more active weekend can catch the end of the Scandinavian summer on one of the many cycling routes around this green city. This progressive destination has the ambition of becoming the first carbon neutral capital by 2025 and is overflowing with green spaces, including Frederiksberg Gardens, Rosenborg Castle Gardens and the Vestre Cemetery, which is also a lovely public park. Scandinavian design fans can also get their fix at the Design Museum of Denmark.

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Dublin

Enjoy a pint of the black stuff in Dublin's Temple Bar (iStock)

This weekend sees the fourth annual Blues, Roots and Brass Festival taking place in one of Dublin’s most beloved music venues, Whelan’s. Entry is free to this celebration of blues, country, folk and bluegrass music, which takes place over three days. Those looking for a more sedate experience can explore the city’s castle, National Museum of Ireland and Little Museum of Dublin for an insight into this country’s remarkable history.

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Mallorca

Take a stroll through Pollenca's honey-coloured streets

There’s so much more to this beautiful island than Brits abroad and English breakfasts. Mallorca’s capital Palma has a city beach, a magnificent Gothic cathedral and the superb Es Baluard Museum of Contemporary Art. That's just for starters. The town of Pollenca in the north of the island is an idyllic spot for strolling around the boutiques and stopping for a glass of wine, while sun-worshippers won’t be disappointed by a trip to Playa de Formentor, one of the island’s most picturesque beaches.

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