Spring breaks in chic city pads; the perfect post-winter pick-me-up

Private apartments in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Jerez, Paris & Venice from HomeAway.co.uk

After the long, cold winter, a spring city break offers the perfect pick-me-up, with the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing few days of shopping, eating, drinking and discovering the sights, smells and culture of somewhere new. With thousands of private apartments available to rent worldwide on HomeAway Holiday-Rentals, a short city getaway is more affordable and accessible than ever before. Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris and Venice are classics, but trips to lesser-discovered cities such as Jerez can provide an equally rewarding experience.

A favourite spring destination, Barcelona offers exceptional variety, combining historic treasures and traditional bars with fashionable boutiques and cosmopolitan nightlife. Alternatively, for a slightly different experience, try the lesser-explored and smaller city of Jerez in south-western Spain, situated midway between the mountains and the sea. Best known for its Andalusian horses, sherry and flamenco, Jerez is a fantastic option for those looking for a taste of the real Spain.

For inspiration on getting the best out of Barcelona and Jerez and discovering those secret spots off the beaten trail, visit http://grantourismotravels.com/, which chronicles the tales of two writers travelling around the world in holiday homes.

For those looking to get a bit more out of their holiday, renting a private apartment provides the opportunity to sample local life, living in real neighbourhoods and enjoying local delicacies ‘at home’. On HomeAway.co.uk, there are over 10,000 city centre properties worldwide, including more than 6,000 in Europe alone.

Below are details of three affordable apartments in Barcelona and Jerez, as well as a couple of chic pads in Amsterdam, Venice and Paris.

* Prices quoted are per property per night, and all had good availability at the time of going to press.

Beautiful apartment in the city centre
1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4. From £84 per night

The is a brand new apartment located on the fourth floor of an old classical building, nicely decorated with exquisite ornaments, high ceilings and beautiful antique mosaic floors. Ideal for a city break, the property is situated within walking distance of the city’s well known attractions, Plaza Cataluña and Las Ramblas.

Stylish apartment, very close to main Barcelona attractions
3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6. From £128 per night

A lovely, chic and bright apartment ideal for families or a group of friends, featuring three spacious bedroom, a totally equipped independent kitchen with cleaning room, two complete bathrooms, a large living area and a nice terrace with table and chairs.

A luxurious apartment in an 18th century townhouse in Jerez historical centre
2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4. £83 per night

This is a first floor two bedroom apartment in a recently refurbished 18th century townhouse that has retained its original stone arches and high ceilings. The property has a modern kitchen leading to a large dining area and two bedrooms, both with fitted wardrobes and one with an en-suite bathroom. The apartment has everything you need for a comfortable stay, as well as a well-equipped private roof terrace.

Large retro apartment with incredible views over Amsterdam
2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6. £183 per night

Although situated on the top floor, this luxury apartment can be reached by an elevator. With one big bedroom, two sleeping-couches in the living room and a third small room with a big wardrobe, this is the perfect place for a group or family.

Lovely romantic apartment few steps from San Marco Square
1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4. From £115 per night

This is a lovely and charming apartment on the second floor of a typical Venetian building located in the town’s heart, less than 100 meters from the well-known San Marco Square. Recently restored and well-appointed, the apartment’s location and its characteristic Venetian furniture allow guests to live in the funky Venice heart and to feel its old flavoured atmosphere.

Quirky St Germain apartment
3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8. £266 per night

Unique features such as a secret Moroccan grotto and a sauna spa area, give this amazing Paris duplex apartment its unrivalled appeal. The spacious main floor, with its original exposed beams, cosy furnishings and an assortment of eye-pleasing décor features in spicy shades, create a certain quirky character. Meanwhile, the exotic cave-like lounge and full sauna room offer ample space to relax and get away from it all.