2017 has barely begun but most of us are already eagerly waiting for the next long vacation. What can we say, it’s hard to recover from post holiday blues ☹️  But for those living in Singapore and Malaysia, we have quite a number of long weekends to look forward to. Hooray! You don’t have to take thaaat many off days when the long holidays are more than enough to cover your absence 😉


Credit: giphy

And where else to spend the holidays away than in the lovely continent of Europe? From living out your winter wonderland dreams, soaking in cultural vibes to witnessing the colorful blooming of the most exquisite fauna, the magic of Europe will draw in any traveller. Here’s 9 European itineraries for your extended weekend getaway in 2017!

1. Chinese New Year: Amsterdam – Oslo

Amsterdam

While Suzana and Elaine were in Amsterdam, they fell absolutely in love with how tranquil and scenic the city is. While it gets a little chilly around December – February (nothing a warm coat and thermal wear can’t fix!), even blankets of snow can’t hide the beauty of Amsterdam, especially their long, winding canals.


Credit: @briannguyen on Instagram

Things to do:

  • View colorful flowers on National Tulip Day (21 Jan)


Credit: @unleashley on Instagram

  • Attend the Amsterdam Light Festival (now till 22 Jan)


Credit: @view_reflex on Instagram

  • Join in the CNY celebrations at Dam Square (28 Jan)

#HHWT Tip: Prepare to drool with the variety of Muslim-friendly street food available in Amsterdam!

Oslo

1 hour and 50 minutes away by flight from Amsterdam, Oslo is surrounded by nature (forests, hills, lakes.. you name it, Oslo has them!). When the winter comes, lakes freeze over and hills are covered in a blanket of snow. This provides ample opportunities for activities like skiing, sledding, snowboarding or even a simple hike up the hill.


Credit: Tore Bustad on Flickr

Being well known as the city of winter sports, eager sports enthusiasts flock to the snow white mountains of Oslo. The daylight hours are short from September to April, which is great for those perfect silhouette photos!


Credit: Leo Hidalgo on Flickr

Things To Do:

  • Visit the Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower (open from 1 Jan – 30 Apr)
  • Master the art of skiing at Oslo Winter Park


Credit: GU-JO on Flickr

  • Go sledding at Korketrekkeren, Oslo’s most popular sled run


Credit: @inalunaa on Instagram

Singapore PH: 28-30 Jan (Sat-Mon)
Malaysia PH: 28-29 Jan (Sat-Sun)
Recommended travel dates: 20 Jan – 30 Jan

2. Good Friday/Labour Day: Athens – Santorini – Rhodes

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Greece? Towering ancient architecture that have withstood the test of time, rich Greek culture engulfing you with every step you take and of course, idyllic islands that look like they’re straight out of paradise!

#HHWT Tip: Travel during Greece’s low season (Nov-April)! This way, you’d avoid the inflated prices and crowds of tourists that come with the summer high season.

Athens

The capital city of Greece is famous for its’ vibrant cultural scene, flavorful traditional cuisine and friendly locals. With such a harmonious mixture of modernity and ancient history, there’s no denying Athens’ position as a top travel destination!

Things To Do:

  • Check out the local festivities on Easter Sunday/Orthodox Easter (16 April)


Credit: @robert.dragan on Instagram

  • Brush up on your Greek history at the Acropolis Museum
  • Step back in time and visit ancient archaeological spots that’ll leave you breathless
The Oracle of Delphi

Santorini

Possibly one of Greece’s most famous islands, Santorini is home to vibrant historic towns spread out along cliff tops. Surrounded by the turquoise Mediterranean sea, this luxurious city is truly a sight to behold!

Things To Do: 

  • Test your courage by cliff jumping at Amoudi Bay


Credit: @ryanbobier on Instagram

  • Go Greek island hopping
  • Spend the night in Caveland


Credit: caveland

Rhodes

Looking for a place to kick back and relax but still having the option of an action packed holiday? Rhodes is the ideal holiday destination for you!

Things To Do: 

  • Take a dip in the beautiful Anthony Quinn’s Bay


Credit: Savvas Savvaidis on Flickr

Singapore PH: 14-16 April (Fri-Sun) / 29 April – 1 May (Sat-Mon)
Recommended travel dates: 14 April – 24 April

3. Vesak Day: Stockholm – Bergen

Stockholm 

Most, if not all, Scandinavian cities, have an irresistible allure to it and Stockholm is no exception. May is the warmest of the spring months, but night time can get pretty chilly so don’t forget to pack a warm winter coat!

Things To Do:

  • Visit Södermalm, the island where hipsters roam

  • Check out the parades on Första Maj/May Day (1 May)


Credit: @vara.gator on Instagram

Bergen

Located on Norway’s southwestern coast, Bergen is surrounded by majestic mountains and spectacular fjords. Though it’s a rather large Norwegian city, it still retains a small-town charm and atmosphere which is further amplified in the spring.

Things To Do:

  • Ulriken Opp – uphill mountain race (6 May)
  • Catch classical/contemporary art performances at the Bergen International Festival (24 May-7 June)


Credit: visitbergen


Credit: visitbergen

Singapore PH: 10-14 May (Wed-Sun)
Malaysia PH: 10 May (Wed)
Recommended travel dates: 5 May – 14 May

4. Hari Raya Aidilfitri: London – Manchester – Glasgow

The celebration of Eid is always a lively and heartwarming occasion. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to experience Eid in other countries? With the UK having a Muslim population of around 2.7million, there are tons of fun events and festivals held across multiple cities to mark the end of Ramadan.

London 


Credit: London Gov on Facebook

An Eid Festival is held every year in Trafalgar Square, a celebration not just for the Muslims but for non-Muslims to learn about the Muslim communities as well.

Things To Do:

  • Sample cuisines from all around the world

#HHWT Tip: Want to try authentic British grub? Check out these Muslim-friendly fish and chips in London!


Credit: London Gov on Facebook

  • Enjoy live music performances throughout the day
  • Try face-painting and calligraphy

#HHWT Tip: If you’re hoping to land at London City airport, KLM passengers will be able to choose from arriving at London City airport or Heathrow airport from February 2017!

Manchester 

Similar to London, Manchester Eid Festival is held at one of the city’s most iconic venues, the Old Trafford Stadium!


Credit: Manchester Eid Festival

Things To Do:

  • Feast on yummy international dishes
  • Have a dodgem race


Credit @manchestereidfest on Instagram

  • Check out the rest of the funfair rides!

Glasgow (Eid In The Park)

Don your favourite Eid outfit and head down to Maxwell Park for Eid in the Park! Organised by The Ark, an innovative hub for Glasgow’s Muslim community, Eid in the Park celebrates the end of Ramadan with music, dance performances, a bazaar and delicious Asian fusion food.


Credit: @superfastgunner on Instagram

Things To Do:

  • Check out the fun rides


Credit: @naveed.syed on Instagram

  • Shop for knick-knacks at the bazaar
  • Take part in the outdoor prayers with the local Muslims

Singapore/Malaysia PH:  24 – 26 June (Sat-Mon)
Recommended travel dates: 24 June – 2 July

5. National Day: Copenhagen – Gothenburg

Copenhagen

Fast becoming one of the must-visit destinations in the Nordics, Copenhagen is buzzing with friendly locals, amazing attractions and beauty found on every street.

Things To Do:


Credit: @kulturhavn on Instagram

  • Let out your inner child at Tivoli Gardens amusement park
  • Explore the green and car-free neighbourhood of Freetown Christiania


Credit: Kieran Lynam on Flickr

Gothenburg

Gothenburg draws in travellers from all over the globe like bees to honey with its world-class seafood, cutting edge minimalist fashion and characterful boutique hotels.

Things To Do:

  • Catch live music acts at Way Out West (10 Aug – 12 Aug)


Credit: @ernstlilja on Instagram

  • Have a short arts and crafts session at Gothenburg Culture Festival 2017 (15 Aug – 20 Aug)


Credit: @bildlek on Instagram

  • Browse through the Gothenburg International Book Fair (28 Sep – 1 Oct)

Singapore PH: 9-13 Aug (Wed-Sun)
Recommended travel dates: 9 Aug – 17 Aug (SG)

6. Hari Raya Haji: Dublin – Belfast

Dublin

Sure, you won’t be finding any leprechauns or pots of gold at the end of a rainbow in Dublin. But this city’s filled with other adventures just waiting to unfold!


Credit: Dyn Photo on Flickr

Things To Do:

  • Be an arts enthusiast for a day at the Dublin Fringe Festival (9 Sept – 24 Sept)


Credit: @catalinasinger on Instagram

  • Attend an experimental play at the Dublin Theatre Festival (28 Sept – 15 Oct)


Credit: @dublintheatrefestival on Instagram

  • Immerse yourself in the exhibitions at the National Gallery of Ireland

Belfast

A bustling city with stunning scenery, historical landmarks and a vibrant city center, Belfast is the island of Ireland’s second largest city.

Things To Do:

  • Spend the day at Belfast Mela (27 Aug)


Credit: @cu_oiriail on Instagram


Credit: @nancy.b0y on Instagram 

Singapore PH: 1-3 Sep (Fri-Sun)
Malaysia PH: 1-3 Sep (Fri-Sun)
Recommended travel dates: 27 Aug – 5 Sep

7. Deepavali: Prague – Warsaw

Prague

Prague’s beauty is said to rival that of Paris and while we agree that both cities are just as equally enchanting, the city’s maze of endless cobbled lanes and hidden courtyards is a paradise for the aimless wanderer.

Things To Do:

  • Be in awe of the light installations at the SIGNAL Light Festival (12 Oct – 15 Oct)


Credit: @littlejoybook on Instagram

  • Listen to famous classical masterpieces at Municipal House (26 Oct, 1 Nov)
  • Treat yourself to a classical performance at the Prague Opera


Credit: @vin_1406 on Instagram 

Warsaw

Poland’s capital city, Warsaw, is a vastly underrated travel destination. Rich in culture and history, the streets of Warsaw are filled with creatively drawn murals and scrumptious Polish cuisine.

Things To Do:


Credit: @warsawiff on Instagram

  • Enjoy a light and baroque music show at Royal Garden Of Lights (22 Oct-12 March 2018)


Credit: @aurelya.affene on Instagram

Singapore PH: 18-22 Oct (Wed-Sun)
Malaysia PH: 18 Oct (Wed)
Recommended travel dates: 13-25 Oct

8. Christmas: Helsinki – Saariselkä

Helsinki

Need a break from Singapore and Malaysia’s humid tropical weather? Escape to Helsinki, also known as the Christmas city!


Credit: @paavopenttinen on Instagram

  • Watch all the festive lights switch on at Aleksanterinkatu Christmas Street


Credit: @tandee11 on Instagram

  • Check out the Christmas window in the Stockmann department store

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Credit: @rara_eneeeeee on Instagram

  • Go ice skating at the Ice Park in Railway Station Square

Saariselkä

Saariselkä is truly a winter wonderland. Did you know that since the city is so far up north, the sun rarely rises in December?


Credit: @rezphotography on Instagram

  • Tick seeing the Northern Lights off your bucket list


Credit: MoneLeo on Flickr

  • Try your hand at ice fishing
  • Visit a reindeer farm


Credit: @jianyunhe on Instagram

Singapore/Malaysia PH: 23-25 Dec (Sat-Mon)
Recommended travel dates: 20 Dec – 31 Dec

9. New Years Eve: London – Paris – Colmar

London

No better way to ring in the new year than by travelling! London is one of the top cities around the world to countdown in and though it’s colder in winter, you’ll still be able to fully enjoy the city – just make sure to bundle up!

2-london-england
Credit: 99bestquoteswishes

Things To Do:

  • Catch the stunning fireworks display along River Thames, Waterloo Bridge, and Westminster Bridge
  • Visit the January sales (which start right after Christmas!)

#HHWT Tip: Tickets for London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display are on sale as early as October until the first week of December. Each ticket is priced at £10 each.

Paris 

There’s something about the city of love that just tugs at your heartstrings…  To quote the wise words of Audrey Hepburn, “Paris is always a good idea”

Things To Do:

  • Mandatory visit to the Eiffel Tower
eiffel-tower-view-from-trocadero-paris

paris-disneyland-sleeping-beauty-castle

Colmar

The charming, pleasant city of Colmar looks like it’s straight out a fairytale. With numerous museums, shops and cultural heritage, you will be spoiled for choice!


Credit: Office de Tourisme de Colmar on Flickr

  • Head down (see what we did there?) to the famous House of Heads
  • Have a look at the exhibitions at Musee d’Unterlinden

Credit: @museeunterlinden on Instagram  
  •  Visit Maison Pfister, the most famous house in Colmar


Credit: @chicpassenger on Instagram 

Singapore/Malaysia PH: 30 Dec-2 Jan 2018 (Sat-Tue)
Recommended travel dates: 23 Dec – 2 Jan

With so many long weekends in 2017, we can’t stress enough that you take advantage of these dates and plan for your next extended vacation! Don’t say we didn’t warn you 😛 Since you’ll be visiting multiple cities in a trip, KLM would be the perfect carrier with its large network in Europe!

If you can’t wait to get on the plane to Europe already, check out KLM’s special deals:

KLM Dream Deals offers from Malaysia: klmf.ly/2immbxG
KLM Dream Deals offers from Singapore: klmf.ly/2immdWe

Remember to book your tickets by end January for travel from 01 February to 30 November 2017!

P.S. Did you know KLM was named the most punctual international airline in 2016 with the best on-time performance records by FlightStats? So you don’t have to worry that your itinerary will be messed up due to a late flight!

Happy travelling! 😊

This article was brought you to by KLM.

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