You’re turning the big 3-0, you’ve been offered your dream job, your best friend is getting married, you’ve just signed the biggest deal of the year…

Where and how are you going to celebrate?

Weekend getaways for groups

Celebration is multifaceted. For some it’s the comfort of a warm bath and undisturbed night in, for others it’s the thrill of going out and letting loose, for the adventurous it’s the joy of an affordable weekend getaway with friends, spent wining-and-dining.

 To help you choose your weekend getaway destination, this article highlights four cities that should be top of your list for group travel with friends. Perfect for a short visit, we recommend Valencia, Dublin, Berlin, or Milan for a quick escape from your daily routine.

A vacation in Valencia

Valencia is often overlooked when it comes to trips in Spain but, after a couple of visits, I can vouch for the fact that Valencia is 100% worth visiting. It’s Spain’s third largest city, situated on the South coast with gorgeous weather, a vibrant nightlife, and is bustling with young people and energy. I’d say it shares many similarities with Barcelona,  though it’s more modest and kinder to your wallet!

Valencia is the birthplace of paella. Paella Valenciana is served with rabbit meat and is a must try when in the city. I’d also recommend it as the perfect meal to share with friends before heading out for the night. Book your table in advance or, better yet, learn to make traditional paella in Valencia at a hands-on paella cooking class. As you sip on sangría, doing a cooking class abroad is a great group activity and a unique way to learn about Valencian culture and food!

Paella cooking class in Valencia

What to do after dinner in Valencia? Watch the sunset at La Albufera, then go to a gig at La Fábrica de Hielo.

Where to party in Valencia? In El Carmen and Ruzafa you’ll find trendy cocktail bars, underground clubs, and rooftop terraces.  Iconic spots are Jimmy Glass jazz bar or Beer & Travels for live music and great drinks. You can also find beach parties along the Playa de Malvarrosa if you’re looking to boogie.

Let the sun soak up all of last night’s sangría as you lay on the beach or under a tree in the gorgeous Túria park.

To avoid the overbearing mid summer heat, the ideal time to spend a few days in Valencia is in spring until early summer. Plan your trip in time for the famous Fallas de Valencia at the start of March for a real, traditional, and unique celebration!

Drink and dance in Dublin

Dublin is a fun and picturesque capital city that should be top of your list for a group holiday or weekend break with friends.

Planning your stag in Dublin? You're in for a weekend of pure craic! Dublin is a huge party city and you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to pubs and pints. For a more unique group activity in Dublin, take your mates on a Guinness Factory tour, explore hidden whiskey bars, or try some Irish craft beer.

Bread baking and craft beer tasting in Dublin

If you’re spending a weekend in Dublin this spring, try to time it for St Patrick’s Day in March. It’s a fantastic way to jump in the deep end and discover Irish culture and heritage – there’s the Saint Patrick’s Day parade or, if you’re really up for some craic, get your ticket to the St Patrick’s Festival for an incredible experience!

Know that you’ll be able to replenish your energy with a strong Irish coffee and typical Irish breakfast or tea the next day.

If the drinking takes it out of you, or you’re looking for cultural things to do in Dublin, there are numerous alcohol-free, unique group activities in Dublin. For example, you could visit the Leprechaun Museum, explore the The Little Museum of Dublin or learn to bake Irish apple cake and scones.

Berlin after dark: Bars in Berlin

Berlin has been an influential music hub for centuries, with millions of tourists visiting just for the nightlife. It’s no secret that the Berlin nightlife is hard-core and exclusive. I remember the mix of excitement and nerves when queuing for an exclusive Berlin nightclub with friends. We dressed in all-black and wore our most serious faces as we anticipated being cool enough to deserve entry.

Wanting to listen to electronic music and party like a Berliner is often what attracts young people to Berlin. So, if you’re looking for the party scene in Berlin, you don’t need to look far. 

However, weekend breaks in Berlin can cater to everyone as it’s such a diverse city. You might be more interested in jazz and the sweet sound of the sax, the rich-laden history of Berlin, or the capital city’s art galleries.

Host and guests drink wine in Berlin home

Berlin is an international melting pot which also makes it a great culinary destination. You’ll find a delicious mix of local German cuisine and international cuisine that reflect the city’s demographic. Getting to know the local culture and people through food is what I look forward to most when traveling!

When to visit Berlin? Berlin is great all year round, but I’d suggest booking your trip before summer to escape large crowds and soaring prices, and to avoid high temperatures in the city.

Culinary adventure in Milan

There’s no better way to celebrate than with friends, good food, and drink, in my opinion. The more, the merrier.

Milan is Italy’s most stylish city and, as well as its striking architecture, fashion boutiques, and design stores, Milan has some delicious signature dishes that alone make a visit worthwhile. Traditional Milanese dishes include saffron risotto, cotoletta alla milanese (breaded veal cutlet) and the infamous panettone. To feel like a local, make sure to enjoy a Milanese aperitivo before indulging in a traditional Italian dinner.

What else to eat in Milan? Before shopping at the Quad d’Oro or after visiting the Duomo, why not order yourself a warm bowl of Milanese minestrone for lunch at Trattoria Mirta or pick up a piadina at the Piadineria Artigianale Pascoli.

My favorite ways to mark a special occasion are unique and privatized group activities. In Milan, you can learn to make a real family-style Italian meal in a beautiful 17th century farmhouse, or sip on natural wine with an Italian sommelier in his Milanese home. For groups looking for exclusive dining events and gourmet travel destinations, Milan should be your next city break.

Private dining in Milan

So, let Milan's culinary scene be your guide as you gather your friends for a gastronomic celebration. After all, for me, good food is reason enough to travel.

Gather your friends, the best party destinations await

Every now and then I try to do something new, to take a moment to really celebrate a milestone in life, and to escape routine. And while you don’t need to travel far, sometimes nothing says kick back and relax better than a group trip with friends and a couple of cocktails on the beach.

Whether you want to dance the night away, eat and drink to your heart’s content, or spend quality time with your nearest and dearest, there’s no shortage of ways to celebrate during your next city break in Valencia, Dublin, Berlin, or Milan.