Cheap City Breaks in Europe 2014
With flights so cheap, frequent and convenient, going on a cheap city break is easy. In a short couple of hours, you can be somewhere very different and memorable. And with the pound pretty strong against the euro, your buying power is pretty attractive too. All of this makes a weekend trip, maybe with an extra day tagged on, good value, even compared to a weekend away in the UK.
If there was a top five of European city breaks, Paris will no doubt top the charts. Very close to the UK, this romantic ‘city of light’ always rewards. Take a moonlit walk along the river that defines this city, or eat a leisurely meal in the restaurants, bistros or brasseries. With over 50 museums and galleries, this is an art and culture lover’s paradise. Early birds avoid the crowds and book online for the ultra-popular attractions like the Louvre. Shoppers can splurge on haute couture fashion labels or find a real bargain amongst Paris’s flea markets. Hire a bike to get around.
Rome is another classic cheap city break destination, with any number of free and nearly free attractions. 3000 years of history makes it a place where ancient ruins exist cheek by jowl with modern la dolce vita. The Vatican, the Coliseum, Trevi Fountains, Pantheon, Sistine Chapel, Spanish Steps… they all await. As does the delicious food at the neighbourhood trattorias where you can eat well without spending a huge amount. It can be reasonably cheap if you follow the locals and eat off the well-beaten tourist trail.
Another popular European city break is Barcelona. Here, you can also eat well, very well indeed, from small bars to Michelin-starred restaurants pushing the culinary boundaries. In fact, foodies also love this Catalan city for its magnificent fresh food markets, the highlight of which is the huge La Boqueria market, just off the famous Ramblas. It’s a city with seven beaches, the most famous football club in the world, and a cathedral by Gaudi that will be finally finished in 2026 (hopefully). Culture and art comes in torrents, with places like the MACBA museum of contemporary Spanish and Catalan art, and, of course, the Picasso Museum. The shopping is right on trend, the nightlife can be wild and it’s not expensive if you do a little research beforehand.
Beyond the red light district and ‘coffee houses’, Amsterdam has plenty that defies the cliché. For example, its museums and galleries are famed for their architecture and packed with works by the Old Masters and the likes of Van Gogh. With all its canals and waterways, make sure you get on the water with a glass-roofed tourist boat cruise, or even your own pedalo.
For an excellent value city break, Prague has a unique mixture of culture, cafes and fairy-tale architecture. Despite years of communism, its glorious charm has a medieval heart, and plenty of great classical music, old-world café society and litres of good beer. The Castle is its most dominant landmark, a collection of palaces, galleries, curiosities and the stunning Cathedral of St Vitus.
Wherever the European city you choose for your weekend city break, look out for the offers and information on Netflights.com, and you could be flying off in no time.