Modern life is stressful. It’s little wonder that city breaks have become such a popular option.  A short stay in a new city offers the opportunity to leave it all behind (albeit briefly) and immerse yourself in another culture.  So if you are planning a weekend away from the kids to explore pastures new, the cities discussed below are a few enticing possibilities.

There can be little doubt that Europe boasts a plethora of wonderful city break destinations. For a romantic getaway, Paris is the obvious choice; nevertheless, there are many excellent alternatives.  Chief among these is Barcelona, as it offers a buzzing city brimming with culture alongside some beautiful beaches.  For a luxury stay, the El Palace Hotel fits the bill. Featuring a Michelin Star restaurant, spa and fitness room, the hotel is situated right in the heart of the Catalan capital.  Art connoisseurs will be particularly interested to know that Salvador Dali and his wife, Gala, used to live in the hotel’s royal suite, which has been re-named in the great surrealist’s honour.  Highlights in the city include the Picasso Museum, Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell.

As a relative newcomer on the city break scene, Dubai has more than made its mark.  In particular, its hotels have set the standard by which all luxury hotels worldwide are judged.  However, there is more to Dubai than big, expensive buildings.  The Dubai Museum is well worth a visit to get a feel for the city’s history, whilst Dubai’s myriad world-class golf courses and horseracing venues are a marvel, considering that they have been built in the desert.  Perhaps more predictable are the luscious beaches at Dubai’s disposal, and this only adds to the city’s weekend getaway appeal.  The Jumeirah Beach Hotel offers a variety of swimming pools, luxury service and exquisite facilities; furthermore, its pristine beach is the perfect place to relax and forget it all.

For a city break in Australia, it is hard to look beyond Melbourne.  The city has a vibrant cultural scene, and the CBD (Central Business District), hosts some of the finest shopping and architecture the country can offer.  Situated at the top of Collins Street – one of Australia’s most prestigious boulevards – sits the Grand Hyatt Melbourne.  With its own spa, high-class restaurant and a sophisticated bar, there is no better base from which to enjoy all of Melbourne’s cultural delights.  Particular highlights in the city are the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Melbourne Museum.

American Express credit card holders are entitled to a Welcome Credit when staying at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne for two nights or more.  This Welcome Credit is worth between 50-100 AUD, depending on the length of the stay, and can be used on a range of local amenities and activities.  Furthermore, guests who pay with American Express credit cards earn 2,500 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points.

Guest Post By Chris