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Cheap city breaks
Taking a city break is a great way to explore a new culture, visit a new destination and meet the locals. From city breaks in the UK, like historic York or Edinburgh, to getaways in Europe such as Prague or Rome, one of the benefits of living in the UK is that we have a whole heap of great cities to explore on our doorstep, and with the boom in low-cost airlines, there's never been a better time to head off.
A Guide To City Breaks
City breaks don't have to cost a fortune to be enjoyed. With low cost airlines flying from most UK airports to a huge number of European, and now worldwide, cities, you can get away for less on your next break.
From a short break of just a night or two, to a week where you can really get to grips with a new place, your break can be as tailored as you like, especially with such a diverse range of accommodation options, including the likes of Airbnb which has boomed in recent years. Fancy mixing culture with the beach? No problem. Why not combine your break with another activity, like the beach, some active sports or perhaps just a little me time in the spa?
From London, the Eurostar travels direct to Paris, Lille and Brussels, so it's convenient to travel to Europe by train too. And in the next few years, there will also be direct connections to cities like Amsterdam. It's a great way to avoid the airport queues and fuel charges that have hiked up flight prices.
Great City Break Destinations
Popular city break destinations include the likes of Paris, Berlin and Rome, however, have you thought about a city break in a smaller, undiscovered city? Why not try Split in Croatia or Seville in Spain? Or perhaps you want to combine your break in a historic city with something a little more contemporary or adventurous? Read on for our favourite city break destinations.
While a bit of a cliche for a city break, Barcelona offers a great deal more than what you might expect. Granted, the sights and attractions, like the Sagrada Familia and Gothic Quarter are incredibly fascinating to learn about, however, you can combine it with a day or two on the beach, or head inland for some stunning hiking options, like a walk to the Monserrat Monastery.
Munich is another great destination for a getaway. Famous for it's annual Oktoberfest celebrations (which can be an incredibly fun experience), there's a lot more to this city. Take in the numerous beer halls and cafes, admiring the architecture, but be sure to head further out and explore places like Neuschwanstein Castle close to the Austrian border, made famous for it's stunning location and feature in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Head further afield and you could enjoy a very different city break. While low-cost airlines don't yet fly direct from the UK to Dubai, flights can be less than £300 per person, which is sometimes cheaper than a school holiday flight to the Canary Islands. But Dubai is a great city break destination. Take advantage of the shopping, beaches, water parks, indoor ski slopes, amusement parks and so much more. Great for families, friends and couples looking for a few days away in an alternative destination.
Ah Las Vegas. Upping the budget a bit more and you can spend a few days in this mesmerising desert city. Hotels aren't generally too expensive in Las Vegas as the hotels tend to make most of their money from the slots and games that people play inside, but flights can be around £450-500 per person, and don't forget to budget for your spends in Vegas, as well as any excursions to the Grand Canyon you might want to enjoy.
How to maximise your budget
Booking your flight and hotel together can be a great way of getting a good deal. You'll often find that holiday companies will discount packages or airlines may offer lower fares when you book them together, so be sure to check out booking them seaprately and together.
And while it's nice to stay in a luxurious five-star hotel, it's obviously going to push up your budget so check out a range of accommodation options. Websites like Trivago will check the latest hotel prices from all the top providers, so you may get a bigger discount with one than another, meaning you might be able to get that boutique hotel you've been after.
You may find that booking early or at the last minute can get you a great deal, so always keep an eye out throughout the year for flight and hotel sales or discounts.
Staying outside of the city centre may also help to reduce costs, as hotels will often be at a premium if you're staying within walking distance of a top attraction. So try a hotel a little further out and buy a travel card. You'll likely need one anyway for getting about the city, so why not use it to get in and out each day from your hotel?