With stressful jobs and decreasing flight prices, cheap city breaks have never been so popular. Budget airlines have really revolutionised the way we think about holidays. For most of the public, holidays of yesteryear would be booked 6+ months in advance, making it a huge deal to plan and prepare for.
Nowadays, we have a whole bunch of budget airlines offering incredibly cheap flights – flights that surely don’t even cover the cost of petrol. Short, regular city breaks are now making more sense than a once-in-a-year £2,000 holiday.
In the spirit of cheap city breaks, this article will cover some of the best destinations, some classics and some that you may not have considered.
Prague is an incredible place. Tourism is rising each year in Prague, but it still remains cheap compared to other central European cities (it’s not in Eastern Europe like many believe).
A week in Prague is an incredible experience to be fully submerged in a relentless amount of beauty, from Romanesque chapels to Baroque palaces and Gothic cathedrals.
Being in the centre of Europe, it’s very easy (and cheap) to get to. You’re never more than a couple of hours away from it wherever you are in Europe. While the city is up and coming, the cost of living remains low still, so hotels and eating out is generally pretty cheap, although that’s always relative to where you’re coming from. As evident on the cheap holidays on Teletext, a Bed & Breakfast can set you back around £60 per night.
Prague has just about everything, from the Museum of Communism to a buzzing nightlife. It’s a place of culture, mainly, but it still manages to have a vibrant atmosphere along with some great bars. If you’ve never been, it’s definitely a must-see.
A little further South East is Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. This is another very highly rated European city break destination, being named the ‘Paris of the East’. This mainly alludes to the illuminated bridges running through Danube, a very romantic setting.
Budapest is a relatively large city compared to others on this list. This means it may be slightly more difficult to see a lot of purely on foot, but equally there’s more to discover. It’s a great winter break too, as the lake becomes an ice rink by Heroes’ Square, which was created in 1896 to celebrate Hungary’s millennium. It’s great in the summer too, as temperatures soar to 30 degrees celsius.
In Budapest, it’s seen as tradition to take a dip in mineral waters, with over 100 geothermal springs dotted around the city. Budapest is a cheap destination, but like Prague, you wouldn’t think it when you see its well-maintained architecture.
If you’re looking to indulge in a less Western culture then Marrakech is a great choice. This is the fourth largest city in Morocco, and is home to a bunch of unbelievable Arabic architecture, along with some incredible marketplaces (souks) and traditional hammam spas.
A truly unique opportunity in Marrakech is to visit the Old Town, which has an abundance of craft traders, from clothes to pastry. If you’re into fashion, a short visit to YSL Museum is a great experience; it houses over 5,000 clothing items dedicated to the fashion designer.
Prices are cheap for luxury, 4 and 5 star hotels. You’re looking at £100 per night for a beautifully situated hotel with incredible views and service.
Lisbon is a great place for foodies. With a handful of Michelin-star restaurants it has established a stellar culinary reputation. It’s not bad for beer lovers too, with many restaurant beers being priced under £2.
Lisbon is actually one of the oldest cities in the world. In fact, it predates Rome, Paris and London by quite a few centuries. This has, of course, resulted in an array of culture and architecture to explore for those with an appetite for history.
While it can be visited in winter, Portugal tends to be more of a summer break, with some incredible weather, a laid back evening-centric atmosphere along with some great beaches. Prices are reasonable too; around £100 per night landing you a nicely situated hotel with good service.
Again, culture and history is rife in Krakow. This Polish city dates back to the 10th century, and, despite being heavily involved in WWII, it’s an impressively well-preserved city. With narrow streets interweaving around an 800-year old Market Square, there’s a uniquely cosy atmosphere too.
Krakow isn’t just architecture though, there’s a unique buzz going on. It’s a university city, so evening bars are usually vibrant and brings a youthful aspect to the city. In the winter, there’s an incredible Christmas fair, and in the summer, temperatures get surprisingly hot.
Krakow is a cheap city with a low cost of living. A bit like Prague, there’s a good blend of old and new in what is a seemingly compact city.