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  • Writer's pictureJoshua S

European city break tips: Part 1

Updated: Oct 15, 2022

We’re blessed in the UK to have Europe on our doorstep. In just over two hours you can reach Portugal’s wonderful northern city Porto, or Sweden’s magical capital city Stockholm.

Yes, long-haul adventures to North America or Thailand are life changing (and strongly encouraged), but city breaks are your bread and butter - and they don’t have to be expensive. They really, really don’t.

With these simple tips and ideas, you can easily maximise your holiday enjoyment without breaking the bank unnecessarily.

1. Choose a cost-effective destination

If you are desperate for break but want to watch your purse, flexibility is key.

Avoid countries which have a high-cost of living. Scandinavia in general is pricey. As is much of Italy, France and Germany, as well as major tourist-heavy cities such as Athens, Dubrovnik and Dublin.

Some cost-effective European destinations include:

  • Spain, but specifically Malaga, Cádiz and Madrid (surprisingly);

  • Portugal in general, but specifically Porto;

  • Zadar in Croatia;

  • Prague in Czech Republic;

  • Poland in general - Warsaw and Gdansk are fabulous destinations!

2. Choose the right time of the year

Be flexible about when you go.

Avoid high season (between June to early September, and Easter). Try and avoid school holidays too, when prices rise exponentially to take advantage of the rise in families looking to getaway.

If you choose Porto or Southern Spain, don’t be afraid to visit in February - March or October - November. The weather will remain comfortably around 20 degrees, perfect city walking weather.

Everything you would spend your money on is much, much cheaper. And the destination will be less busy too!

3. Do your research for the best deals - flights and accommodation

Use price comparison sites such as Skyscanner for flights, and for accommodation. You can tailor what you’re looking for and it will find the cheapest option.

Often, flying between Sunday and Wednesday will be considerably cheaper.

Consider AirBnBs too. You can rent a private room in someone’s house for a remarkable price. My friend and I shared two single beds in Copenhagen (breakfast included) at £100 for 3 nights!

4. Consider which airport you fly from

Take all your transport options into consideration. If you immediately book the cheapest flights and forget it costs extra to travel there, it may be better to travel from a closer airport. You will save time and stress of extra travel.

This is really important but does take research. The Trainline and National Express are your best friends!

Read here for Part 2 of our European City Break Tips!

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