When you’re there: Book an Airbnb that looks like a design shop.
Voice of experience: “Once you’ve admired the Danube, eaten flatbread in the Grand Market Hall and snapped some communist-built car parks, add a spot of underground exploration to your city break. The Hungarian capital is built on a labyrinth of caves, with warm waters weaving their way through sculpted chambers. It’s like being on the moon but with hip coffee shops closer by.” Andy Torbet, adventurer and extreme diver.
Why it’s better than Prague: Less gentrification and more Soviet architecture makes for significantly stronger Instagram pictures.
When you’re there: Head to the hills, and the 110-year-old Casa Amarelo hotel.
Voice of experience: “Every Friday there’s a massive street party in the historic Lapa neighbourhood of the city. First line your stomach with pão de queijo (cheesy bread rolls the size of your fist, sometimes stuffed with more cheese just to be sure) to soak up all the caipirinha cocktails. Then just drink and grind into the early hours with the locals. Just be careful you don’t get robbed.” Mark Oliver, actor.
Why it’s better than Vegas: It’s preferable to have your cash stolen by a street urchin than a slot machine.
When you’re there: Opt for St Mary’s over the more obvious Tresco.
Voice of experience: “I was as surprised as anyone to find warm seas and empty Caribbean-style beaches just south of Plymouth. You think it’ll be a bit twee, and then you see a Hollywood film star or two at the Summer Fayre smashing marbles through a Quality Street tin lid with a big spoon. And you can get there by chartered chopper or the boat for £40.” James Brown, media entrepreneur.
Why it’s better than the Caribbean: The number of times someone has shouted “Spppprrriing Break” on Scilly: zero.
When you’re there: Soak in the – occasionally questionable – history in Charleston old town.
Voice of experience: “If you want the beach (and miles of it), great weather, old colonial buildings which give the feel of Cuba but with the comforts of home, head to Charleston. Be sure to go well off the beaten track to Lone Star BBQ & Mercantile too, it’s some of best food I’ve ever had. And it’s $12.95 for all you can eat. Nuts!” Christian Stevenson, globe-trotting BBQ chef.
Why it’s better than New Orleans: In the Big Easy it’s Quite Easy to get murdered – it has the highest homicide rate in the US.
When you’re there: Stay in an old-town town house in the oldest inhabited city in Europe.
Voice of experience: “Sitting essentially on an island, this city is best enjoyed wandering aimlessly from tapas bar to tapas bar. Find your spot, then immerse yourself in the distinctly Andalusian culture, and your sorry liver in the local sherry. Plus, meander 10 minutes in any direction, and you’ll hit a beach.” Joe Barnes, magazine editor.
Why it’s better than Barcelona: Less street theatre and less of those scruffy Yodas up sticks.
An international festival of light
Dinner in a decommissioned 1967 underground carriage
Half-price brunch and a HUGE fried chicken burger