Planning a girls’ getaway? Whether your group of girlfriends is interested in art and culture, beautiful fairytale cities, bucketlist-worthy adventures, or the finer things in life, here’s our pick of where to go.
1. THE BUDGET-FRIENDLY GETAWAY: TAIPEI
Go for the… art, culture and shopping.
Not many travelers think of Taipei when they think of a girls’ getaway, but considering how interesting, beautiful and safe the city is, how considerate, polite and friendly its people are, how much art and culture there is to see, and how kind all of this is to your travel budget, that is a real shame. With fascinating tourist attractions, oh-so-delicious food, cool neighborhoods, great nightlife and enough shopping to keep you busy for days, Taipei is perfect for a girls’ getaway.
Taipei is unique in that it has none of the chaos that you might expect from an Asian capital. Instead, what Taipei does have in copious amounts is art, design and culture – which you’ll find in one of the city’s infinitely cool cultural districts and creative parks. These art and culture venues showcase the city’s creativity through exhibits, pop-ups, galleries, murals, installations, and boutiques related to art, sculpture, photography, design, film, music, and more. Many of these, such as Huashan 1914 Creative Park and Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, are housed in abandoned industrial buildings, such as tobacco factories that are now being repurposed, all for the love of art.
After you’ve visited Taipei’s many art galleries and museums, such as Tina Keng Gallery and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, take a wander around Ximending Walking Street, a bustling pedestrian shopping street home to bright neon signs, shops, and themed cafés (including a toilet-themed café!). The area is also popular for its outdoor bars, karaoke clubs and nightlife. If you’re in for more shopping, head to one of Taipei’s many night markets, such as Shida Night Market, Shilin or shopping districts like Wu Fen Pu, that are a shopper’s delight. Stay at the slick W Hotel Taipei that offers views of the iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper from its trendy rooftop bar (best rates available on Agoda).
2. The Luxury Getaway: TUSCANY
Go for the… wine tasting.
Who says you need to bring along a significant other to enjoy a wine-tasting trip in Tuscany? It might be just as much fun (if not more) to explore charming medieval Tuscan villages and towns, visit beautiful wineries, and enjoy endless aperitivos and delicious Italian food with your girlfriends.
After visiting the famous cities of Florence and Siena, make your way to your home in Tuscany, the grand Como Castello Del Nero , a luxurious hotel set in a 12th century castle on a 740-acre estate in the hills of Chianti, complete with Renaissance frescoes, contemporary amenities, a medieval wine cellar for tastings, and restaurants, such as the Michelin-starred La Torre. Opportunities to relax abound at the hotel’s wellness retreat Como Shambhala Retreat, with massages and spa treatments.
There are a whole bunch of activities that are ideal for reconnecting with your girlfriends: classes that teach you to make gelato, cocktails and Tuscan dishes using local produce; hiking around forests and lakes; cycling around olive groves and vineyards; and visiting local olive oil, cheese and wine producers for leisurely tasting sessions. In the right season, you can even go on a truffle hunting tour with a professional truffle hunter – a one-of-a-kind experience.
3. The City Getaway: PRAGUE
Go for the… medieval charm.
Prague is one of the most charming cities in Europe, if not the world. If the idea of fairytale-like cities appeals to your group of girlfriends, then look no further than Prague.
Tucked away on Prague’s cobbled streets, among castles and cathedrals with glorious spires that rise up above the city, are interesting sights, museums (of which there are many), historic cafés, breweries and nightlife. Prague isn’t too expensive, and it’s easy to navigate the city thanks to an excellent pubic transportation system. If you’re visiting in winter, Prague takes on a different kind of charm as the city comes alive with Christmas markets, held at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square (from 30 November 2019 to 6 January 2020).
Your first stop to get acquainted with the city should be the Old Town, which is home to the Old Town Square, the center of important social and cultural events and festivals, the Prague Astronomical Clock, the 14th century Tyn Cathedral, the Old Town Hall and the Prague Jewish Museum. The Charles Bridge is one of Prague’s busiest attractions – so if you want to take good photos, it’s worth waking up early and visiting between 6 and 7am to beat the crowds. The hilltop Prague Castle, with its palaces, churches, museums and heritage streets, should also not be missed.
In Prague, you’ll find both local and international restaurants. To experience the nightlife, head to beer gardens (some with live music) and beer pubs such as T-Anker and U Fleku, bars such as Hemingway Bar, and Bar and Books, and jazz clubs such as Ungelt Jazz and Blues Club.
Stay at The Emblem Hotel, a smart luxury lifestyle hotel with a lounge, steakhouse, spa and rooftop terrace, and contemporary rooms in the heart of the Old Town.
4. The Adventure Getaway: JORDAN
Go for the… epic adventures.
Got yourself an adventurous bunch of girlfriends? Then head to Jordan, an epic adventure destination in the Middle East, packed with bucket-list experiences, that is also home to some of the region’s friendliest people. Jordanian hospitality is legendary and makes traveling through the country a breeze for tourists.
Begin your adventure at the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth and a place you should most definitely check off your bucket list. Stay at the luxurious Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea that has comfortable modern rooms set among landscaped gardens and lagoons, an infinity pool and its private stretch of beach along the Dead Sea, where you can float at leisure. The hotel’s renowned Resense Spa has the largest hydro-pool in the Dead Sea.
Visit the ancient Nabatean capital of Petra, one of the New7Wonders of the World and also one of the most spectacular Unesco World Heritage Sites on the planet. Exploring the monuments of the rose-colored city, carved into sandstone as one of the finest examples of human creation, is like traveling through time. Hike to sights within the city such as Al Khazneh, or the Treasury, with its intricately carved facade.
Get your adventure fix on a canyoning trip in Wadi Mujib, the lowest nature reserve in the world. Choose from various options depending on your fitness but expect to hike through deep gorges, rocky terrain, wade through rivers, and rappel down waterfalls.