At Travelzoo, we’re lucky enough to have a wealth of travel knowhow at our fingertips, from over 250 Deal Experts in 28 locations across the globe. Each week, we combine that knowledge to bring you our top weekend tips for some of our favourite cities -- and what’s more, most of the events are free (or, as you’d expect, represent terrific value).
Live the life of a starlet without a blockbuster budget, if only for a weekend. Rub elbows with movie stars over dinner at Beso Hollywood, a pan-Asian hotspot frequented by Jennifer Aniston and Victoria Beckham. Two can tuck into the Zagat-praised cuisine for £30 (US$49). We’ve also found 2-for-1 admission to the GRAMMY Museum for £8 (US$13), where you can pay homage to your all-time favourite rockers. Looking to flee the paparazzi for a few days? Book a room with views of 90210 at the legendary Beverly Hilton for £124 (US$199) per night. The 4-star hotel plays host to the Golden Globes -- royalty and presidents, including Barack Obama, have stayed there.
Three times a year the biggest fun fair in the north of Germany rolls into Hamburg -- the Hamburger DOM. As well as merry-go-rounds, tons of sweets and a big wheel with views over the city, you’ll find a unique, old-fashioned Christmas market. The highlight is a big firework display every Friday at 10:30pm. The fair starts tonight and lasts until 9 December.
After battling Hurricane Sandy last week, seize the opportunity to enjoy the city again. Catch a 1-act play at the Westside Theatre for £30 (US$49). The stage adaptation of Chaim Potok’s best-selling novel,"My Name is Asher Lev", has been praised as "excellent" by The New York Times. Release workweek stress with a 60-minute hot-stone massage at Supple Spa for £30 (US$49). Or, devote an afternoon to the ongoing hurricane relief effort in all five boroughs.
Christmas starts with a bang this year in Manchester city centre as excitable crowds flock to Albert Square on Friday, 9 November, to be entertained by some of the hottest entertainment acts before the big Christmas light switch-on. This year’s celebration welcomes "X Factor" finalist Misha B and boyband chart-toppers The Wanted. The free show starts at 7pm. If the very thought of screaming crowds tires you out, opt for afternoon tea for two in the leafy Cheshire suburb of Knutsford. Two people can enjoy a full afternoon tea for £20, saving 44%.
The largest Veterans Day Parade in Northern California is taking place this Sunday in little Petaluma, 40 miles from San Francisco. For a quiet escape, head to the Asilomar Conference Grounds, just steps from the beach on Monterey's coast. A 1-night stay at this quaint inn, including breakfast for two and parking, is £62 (US$99).
The 685th Lord Mayor of the City of London has just been appointed -- and it’s not Boris. Alderman Roger Gifford has been named as the head of the City of London Corporation and to celebrate, a 3-mile-long procession will take place this Saturday, all the way from Mansion House through the historic streets of the Square Mile to the Royal Courts of Justice. Watch out for the 254-year-old gold Lord Mayor's State Coach, which can usually be seen in a window at the Museum of London. There will also be 22 marching bands, 125 horses, 18 vintage cars, 21 carriages, an original American stagecoach, a Japanese Taiko drum band and an F-type Jaguar with Olympic winner Jessica Ennis at the wheel. The Lord Mayor’s Show 2012 is from 11am-2:30pm.
From 10-16 November, head to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Alcalá de Henares in Madrid for the Short Film Festival Al Cine, which has launched the careers of some of Spain’s most important directors, including Alejandro Amenábar, Isabel Coixet and Fernando León de Aranoa. In addition to screenings of movies, attendees can also attend workshops held by new directors as well as after parties and other events. Tickets start at 1.10€. Inbetween the festival excitement, take advantage of this offer from the central Hotel Regina in Madrid.
Spend an afternoon getting pampered at Jurlique Spa at Mayfair Hotel & Spa, with a 60-minute aromatherapy massage and a tangerine mimosa body scrub for £62 (US$99). Afterwards, sip champagne in the 4-star hotel’s rooftop pool overlooking Biscayne Bay.
Deal Experts Sandra García (Madrid), Luke Doyle (Manchester), Elisabeth Barker (US) and Gesa Rathke (Hamburg) contributed to this post.