With summer finally upon us, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the world’s best city break destinations. A trip to any of these spots will not only open you up to a world of culture and fantastic sights, but also the unique style of the people who live there.
To help you fit right in if you’re planning on heading to one of these trend-setting cities, we’ve put together this city-by-city guide to what to wear on a trip to three popular destinations: Madrid, Nice, and Berlin. Read on to find out everything you need to know before you set off.
Madrid is coming to the end of a decade-long renovation project in which the city centre has been transformed into a hub of style and culture. Visit the Spanish capital today and you’ll find a city jam-packed with quirky boutiques, beautiful architecture, and high-end gastropubs dishing up some of Europe’s most forward-thinking food.
On top of all that, Madrid may well have a claim to the most bars of any city in the world, so you can expect to enjoy plenty of nightlife on your stay in the sprawling metropolis. On the morning after a big night, you can soak up some culture in the city’s three fantastic museums: the Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen-Bornemisza. Of course, no trip is complete without sampling the famous tapas — enjoy yours on a table outside one of the city-centre bistros for the chance to spot the marvellous Madrid street style.
What to wear
In Madrid, on-trend men tend to dress quite formally and conservatively, although the same can’t be said of the bohemian crowd you’ll find at the Rastro street market on Sundays. To emulate the former, wear some slim-fitting jeans — never shorts — with a sleek polo or button-down shirt.
The locals let their personality shine through the careful use of accessories, so follow suit with a nice watch alongside bracelets, necklaces, and rings if that’s your style. You don’t want anything too gaudy here — something from the collection of men’s watches from Daniel Wellington would be perfect.
If you do want to make like the city’s lively student population and unleash your inner hippy, stick to the tips in our guide to festival fashion and you’ll fit right in.
If you’re looking for a beach holiday with a difference, head to Nice. So much more than just sun and sand, the capital of the Côte d’Azur is one of Europe’s most glamourous destinations and a must-see for anyone who loves sunshine and culture in equal measure.
Once you’ve had your fill of soaking up the sun on the famous Bay of Angels, head into the picturesque city centre to feast on some fabulous French cuisine. If you still want to enjoy the fresh air, take a leisurely stroll back into town through the Promenade du Paillon: a 30-acre stretch of park that runs from the city centre all the way to the bewitching blue sea.
On top of all this, the city is also one of France’s cultural hotspots, with only Paris boasting more museums than Nice’s 20. If you’re only going to visit one, make sure it’s the Musée Matisse, which documents the painter’s development from his early sketches to the vibrant later works that made him one of the most famous artists of his time.
What to wear
Nice really is a cut above other seaside towns, and if you want to fit in with the locals, a Hawaiian shirt and the flips flops you picked up from the airport aren’t going to cut it. Keep things classy with high-quality tees in neutral tones, and pair these with tailored trousers and some boat shoes or loafers. For days on the beach, pick some luxe trunks — these men’s designer swim shorts from Pritchards are a good shout — and don’t forget the on-trend pool sliders. Complete the stylish summer look with a timeless pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses.
Berlin really is the city that caters to every taste: history buffs, hedonists, and hipsters will all find the city captivating in equal measure. On a trip to the German capital this summer, you can enjoy a day at the zoo, an evening devouring Michelin-starred food, and a night of debauchery in some of Europe’s most iconic nightclubs.
What’s more, the city is drenched in history, and anyone with even a passing interest in the turbulent 20th century will be capitated by Checkpoint Charlie, the remains of the Berlin Wall, and the bullet holes that scar the capital’s oldest buildings. The city even has an entire island dedicated to museums, and art lovers will find paintings by heavyweights like Manet, Renoir, and Monet at the UNESCO world heritage site.
What to wear
Berlin gets the kind of weather we’re a lot more used to in the UK: you’re not guaranteed sunshine in the German capital even if you arrive in the height of summer. It’s therefore a good idea to pack some jumpers for the trip, as well as a raincoat like this fetching canvas anorak from Acne.
Sport jeans and a T-shirt and you’re sure to fit in with most of the locals, especially if you don a pair of Adidas men’s Originals. Anything goes in cosmopolitan and free-spirited Berlin, but you can add instant street cred to an outfit by picking up something from one of the Guardian’s pick of Berlin’s top 10 vintage fashion stores.
So, there you have it: our pick of three must-see cities to visit this summer alongside all the style rules you need to fit right in with even the most fashion-forward of locals. Stick to these rules and you’re sure to look the part on your trip to any of these magnificent destinations.