Check in: Travel buddies, walled cities and Cork jazz

A quick round up of this week’s travel news and deals at home and abroad


Best Buddies: Living up to its reputation as the world's friendliest airline, Icelandair has launched a new Buddy service, a free concierge offering via a selection of locals who will help you with your every need while you are visiting Iceland. Plan the perfect engagement, visit the insider hotspots or simply seek advice on where best to dine. For more on Icelandair's Celebration Stopover Buddy service see Campaign trails: Fáilte Ireland has launched a new advertising campaign aimed at British holiday-makers. Entitled 'Dublin is what happens in between', it is aimed at culture vultures, and hopes to highlight that even the most simple of plans can turn into something unexpected and wonderful in the unique city. For more, see

Lighting up Lisbon: This month sees the opening of Lisbon's new Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Maat). London-based designers Amanda Levete Architects are responsible for the innovative build, complete with a tile-covered surface which will allow visitors to walk over it to view a waterside promenade. The new museum is expected to rejuvenate the area around the Tejo power station, while incorporating the power station into the new campus.

If you're planning to visit, stay at the AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado boutique hotel, which is offering guests who book online free entry to Maat along with a 10 per cent discount on their room and a 20 per cent discount on meals at the hotel's Delfina restaurant, in celebration of the new opening. See and for details and bookings.



Derry: Stay at the four-star Beech Hill Country House Hotel from £109 (€122)pps, and explore the former City of Culture, bordered by walls dating back to the 17th century,

Prague's Old Town: With direct flights from Dublin to Prague starting from €148 at, a weekend spent uncovering this picturesque Medieval settlement's landmarks is a journey back in time.

Montreal: As one of the oldest urban areas in North America, the Canadian city's unique blend of French and British heritage is visible everywhere, from its pretty Bonsecours Market to the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel. Fly from €612 at

GET 'APPY – Mint: Organise your finances while travelling with this app which logs your expenses, keeps track of your budget and allows you to keep an eye on your accounts wherever you are in the world. Download it for free on Android and iPhone,


You'd be forgiven for thinking the epicentre of Cork city is in the Imperial Hotel, the hub of Cork's jazz weekend. With its old world charm, top-notch service and historical links (Michael Collins slept here the night before he died), a stay in the 200-year-old building is the best way to savour a taste of the real capital. The Spa Escape package includes luxury accommodation, breakfast, a treatment in the spa, use of the thermal suite and a tapas slate at Seventy Six on the Mall to finish. From €149 pps, see for more.