City Breaks In Spring - Where To Explore In 2018 (Part 2)
9th March, 2018
As the 'city that never sleeps', New York is a stunning destination at any time of year. There's never a bad time to see the Big Apple, but in spring, the longer days and warmer weather mean that you can enjoy the city at its finest.
Experiences such as ascending the Empire State Building or visiting the Statue of Liberty are enhanced by the improved clarity of weather - and it's the perfect time of year for something like a private helicopter tour of the Manhattan skyline. If you're feeling even more extravagant, you could even take a day trip to Niagara Falls by plane, followed by a boat tour of the iconic landmark.
For a charming afternoon, families or couples can enjoy a bike ride and picnic in Central Park. The park looks wonderful in spring as the trees start to bloom - keep an eye out for the blossoming Kwanzan Cherry, which adds an air of Japanese magic to this iconic hotspot.
Another highlight is the annual Macy's Flower Show (held between March 25th and April 8th), replete with themed events, speciality gardens and more - a great way to enjoy the beauty of the flora of Spring.
Of a spring evening, you can take in one of the many Broadway shows (mere minutes from your Hideaway), such as the enormously popular Hamilton. If you're a Bruce Springsteen fan, you could even splash out on tickets to his one man show 'Springsteen On Broadway'. The Boss himself will be performing a live account of his career, life, and music, interspersed with performances from his iconic back catalogue, until the end of June.
If you prefer film to music or theatre, then spring is also the perfect time to visit NYC. The Tribeca Film Festival - founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff - is held between the 18th and 29th of April, and showcases many of the most exciting upcoming movies. You could visit a Q&A with stars and producers, or see awards ceremonies attended by some of Hollywood's biggest names.
'Paris in the spring'. The phrase alone is legendary, and any list of the best cities to visit during the spring months would be remiss to leave out the City of Light. With average daily temperatures steadily climbing through the double figures, and the lowest rainfall of the year, spring is the perfect time to experience the magic of Paris. With the captivating architecture of its streets along the Seine flanked by trees in full bloom, Paris in the spring is special.
The clear visibility of Spring makes it the ideal time of year to visit the Arc de Triomphe, or the Eiffel Tower, which offer the best views of the entire city. For a memorable gastronomic experience, you could even book into the world-class Jules Verne Restaurant - a journey into Michelin-Starred French Haute Cuisine, orchestrated by master Chef Alain Ducasse.
A visit to some of the city's outdoor sights, such as the Île St-Louis and Île de la Cité, is the perfect way to spend a spring day. Both of these islands on the Seine offer a respite from the busier centres of Paris, and play host to many quaint and car-free streets, replete with old-world boutiques. Other classic sights to see include the Château de Versailles, The Sacré-Cœur Basilica at the summit of Montmartre, and the Tuileries Garden.
For a memorable evening experience, late spring ushers in the start of 'Les Grandes Eaux Musicales' (The Great Musical Fountain Show) in the gardens of the Château de Versailles. Throughout the springtime, the opulence of this colossal palace is matched by its seasonal 'dancing water' fountain shows. Baroque and Classical music set the tone, as a display of light and water transforms the waters of the fountain into a theatrical marvel.
As the historical capital of Bohemia, the architecture and culture of Prague are unique, and offer a glimpse into a rich, Baroque history. As the spring rolls in, flower boxes start to emerge throughout the city to signal the start of the new season, as the capital of the Czech Republic shakes off the winter chill.
In Prague, the spring months are varied - while the city starts to warm in March, temperatures can still hover around 0, or even drop below freezing. April is renowned for its volatility, inspiring a popular Czech saying: "In April, up to nine kinds of weather can meet in a day." Late spring is a great time to visit, as May welcomes the warmest and most consistent weather, as well as the longest days.
Prague is a charming city, and is fairly quiet in comparison to some of the other destinations in our Collection, making it the perfect place in which to unwind and relax. You can enjoy a tour of Prague Castle, which towers on the hillside above your Hideaway; or during the warmer days you can stroll through the historic district, and browse the many captivating antique stores. If the sun makes an appearance, you could even delight the family with a trip to Prague Zoo.
A particular standout event in spring is 'Pálení Carodejnic' (The Burning of the Witches) on the 30th of April, which any spring traveller in Prague should aim to experience. The festival is a celebration of the end of winter, where effigies of witches (said to represent the winter itself) are burnt across the city. Parades with a carnavalesque quality are also held, making this theatrical Pagan celebration well worth attending.
Spring is an important time in Italy, as the period surrounding Easter is a time of great festivity and celebration. Combined with the rising temperatures, this makes Rome a fantastic destination through the springtime.
March begins with the 'Festi di Primavera' (festival of spring), where the Spanish Steps (where your luxury property is located) are adorned with plentiful baskets of blooming azaleas. It's a sight that many travel great distances to catch a glimpse of - and it's right on our Members' doorstep.
If you enjoy some cultural exploration, then the first weekend of spring in March is a great time to visit. Conservation charity Giornate FAI convinces the owners of private, historic buildings to open their doors to the public, in the same vein as the UK's National Trust or English Heritage. Many of these properties aren't viewable at any other time of year, so this is a great chance to see an exclusive slice of Italian history.
If you're seeking authentic experiences, then an Easter visit to Rome can provide plenty of fodder for those who value immersive local experiences. As you might expect, Easter is hugely significant in majority Catholic Rome, and celebrations are held throughout the city.
Even if you don't subscribe to the religious aspects, many of these events are great sights to see - particularly the Good Friday 'Way Of The Cross'. The Pope himself presides over this candlelit procession that begins at the Colosseum, and makes its way up the Palatine Hill.
April 21st marks the birthday of the city itself. While this might sound like an unusual thing to celebrate, Rome's birthday celebrations include festivals, concerts and events throughout the city - something to bear in mind if your stay overlaps with this date.
Due to its geographical location, Singapore doesn't experience the four seasons in the same way as many western countries. The island city-state, which is home to The Trillium apartment, has several different periods of humidity, heat, and monsoons throughout the year.
The second of the two annual monsoon seasons ends by the beginning of March, making spring the perfect time to visit to catch the drier weather, and enjoy some memorable outdoor experiences.
Singapore is known as the 'City in a Garden', with over 50% of its land covered in greenery. In the months following the monsoons, these areas are lush and in full bloom, making the spectacular Gardens By The Bay a must-visit.
An extensive, futuristic public garden project, the Gardens By The Bay maintain some of the most impressive flora in the world, in displays and installations including biomes and tree-domes that fuse technology, art and nature.
The ornithologists among you will also enjoy Jurong Bird Park, which offers 49 acres of aviaries for you and the family to enjoy together, as well as the chance to see one of the world's most impressive collections of bird life across its 7 sections.
Those with a taste for a little retail therapy can explore the city's world-renowned malls, such as Paragon or the unmissable Ion Orchard. If you prefer a little culture during your travels, then sights such as Sri Mariamman Temple - the city's oldest Hindu Temple - should be high on the list.
For something truly special, you could embark upon a night safari at the world's first nocturnal wildlife park, which is open between 7.30pm and midnight. The highlight is a walk-through bat enclosure, in which you could end up face-to-face with a giant fruit bat. For a unique experience that's a little more tame, you could also make the most of the dry, clear weather by taking a ride on the Singapore Flyer: one of the world's largest ferris wheels, at 165 metres tall.