Combining business and leisure: the top five bleisure destinations

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Combining business and leisure: the top five bleisure destinations

Some people travel for pleasure. Others travel for business. Sometimes, business travellers make time to explore the town where their work has taken them.

Bleisure, a portmanteau of business and leisure, is winning over more and more professionals with a flexible schedule. Once your meeting is over, why not extend your stay by putting back your return flight by a few hours… or even until the end of the weekend?

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Combining business and leisure: the top five bleisure destinations

Alternative things to do between meetings in Berlin

In less than ten years, Berlin has become a tourist hot-spot and the European start-up capital. This transformation places it at the top of the list for bleisure destinations. Walk out of your hotel in Potsdamer Platz, the crossroads of business and commerce in Berlin, and discover all this vibrant, arty, working-class city has to offer. Head down to the canal in Kreuzberg; Berlin's hippest district comes alive at night with covered markets where street food and DJ sets come together in one big party, such as at the Bite Club. Further on, visit an astonishing contemporary art gallery housed in a bunker at the Boros Foundation. This unexpected building was used to store Cuban bananas, amongst other things, sent to the former GDR. Round off your trip with a visit to the Mauerpark flea market, the oldest in Berlin.

Bite Club
Eichenstrasse 4
12435 Berlin
biteclub.de/

Fondation Boros
Sammlung Boros
Bunker, Reinhardtstrasse 20
10117 Berlin
www.sammlung-boros.de/

Mauerpark
Gleimstraße 55
10437 Berlin
+49 30 60980018
www.mauerpark.info/

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Combining business and leisure: the top five bleisure destinations

Leave the skyscrapers of Dubai behind

For young entrepreneurs, Dubai provides a conducive business environment. Time flies by in this emirate which is sometimes seen as a giant amusement park for grown-ups. While you are there, why not stay a while longer and recharge your batteries, discovering the city from a different angle. Set sail from the water's edge, near to Al Ghubaiba metro station, in an abra, a traditional wooden boat which will ferry you through Dubai's meandering waterways.

Watch the sun set over the desert from a hot-air balloon in the evening or the sun rise in the early hours of the morning. The sight of the glowing sun appearing over the sand dunes will take your breath away. It is the perfect metaphor for this metropolis built right in the middle of the desert.

Balloon Adventures
1303 Control Tower
Motor City
Dubaï
+971 4 440 9827
www.ballooning.ae/

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Combining business and leisure: the top five bleisure destinations

Business in London and pleasure down by the Channel

You only just have time to sort your paperwork and you are already landing at Heathrow. The best-connected destination for other capital cities, London has a knack for attracting business travellers. Once your business obligations are over, leave the bustle of the British capital behind and breathe in the clean air of Brighton, nicknamed “London by the sea”. Just 50 minutes away by train, the famous seaside resort reveals its iconic pier jutting out into the Channel, its Royal Pavilion with its Indian architecture and its British eccentricity. Why not indulge in a brunch on the promenade? The New Club café offers traditional English breakfasts in a cosy atmosphere, but also Mexican eggs with a kick of fresh tomato chilli sauce for the more adventurous.

The New Club
133-134 Kings Road
Brighton, BN1 2HH
+44 (0)1273 730 320
thenewclubbrighton.com/

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Combining business and leisure: the top five bleisure destinations

Marrakech: a green oasis after a hard day's work

The dynamic Marrakech market is beckoning… In the Gueliz quarter, meet up with investors at Fraktal Coworking, a co-working space with futuristic decor which serves up a delicious fruit salad every day at 4 p.m! After establishing promising contacts, pop round the corner to Majorelle Garden and have a peaceful break in its enchanting surroundings. A sumptuous blue Art Deco villa, once owned by designer Yves Saint Laurent, appears out of the oasis of palm trees and cacti. In the evening, book a table at Foundouk, a restaurant in the middle of the maze-like medina, for a traditional Moroccan dinner. Couscous, lemon chicken tajine and a scrummy mille-feuille are served in this historic building, a former dress-making workshop well known throughout the Moroccan capital.

 

Fraktal Coworking
Boulevard Oued Al Makhazine,
40000 Marrakech
+212 5244 30447
www.coworkspace.com/space/4075

Le Foundouk
55 Souk Hal Fes
Kaat Bennahid, Medina
40000 Marrackech
+212 524 378 190
www.foundouk.com/

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Combining business and leisure: the top five bleisure destinations

Amsterdam: business capital and lush greenery

Capital and financial centre of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is one of the European market's big hitters. After a string of business meetings, you will be wanting to make the most of your free time. If you have already discovered the canals and art museums of Amsterdam, take a trip to Utrecht. Located just 30 minutes away by train, it is one of the country's most charming cities. Why not explore its medieval centre by bike? Or if the weather is fine, hire a kayak and discover the centre from the water. Feeling peckish and fancy something sweet? Try local speciality appelbol – an apple bursting with caramel and raisins, wrapped in crispy puff pastry, and the perfect accompaniment to a coffee. The best can be found in Vismarkt street. After this pastry pause, head over to the botanical gardens at the University of Utrecht which were first laid out centuries ago. You will find rare plants from all four corners of the world which were brought there primarily for scientific research. This place will help you forget all about your busy work schedule for a while as you contemplate nature in all its diversity.

Botanical gardens
Budapestlaan 17
3584 HD Utrecht
+31 30 253 1826
www.uu.nl/en/utrecht-botanic-gardens