If you’re anything like me, you’re already fed up of the typical nine-to-five grind, not long into the new year. I’m feeling the January blues with full force right now and the only thing keeping me going is the idea of a nice but cheap, cushy city break.
I’ve already began to look and I’m not even sorry about it. The benefit is that despite being so close to Christmas, most places are super cheap now and there are plenty of last minute and January sales deals to be found online.
Here are five city breaks anyone can afford this year.
Amsterdam is famous for much more than just being the Netherlands’ capital y’know – it’s also surprisingly cheap, making a long weekend there activity packed without breaking the bank.
Flights are dirt cheap and there’s plenty of choice for places to stay.
For budget hotels, the outskirts of the city and over the river are the most affordable – but nearly everything is in walking distance and there’s a free boat to transport you over the river too.
Those who don’t mind slumming it will be pleasantly surprised with the amount of cool and niche hostels on offer. These are a great idea when travelling alone, as many have a bar, free breakfast and lots of activities to choose from, making it easy to meet other travel buddies.
In terms of what to do, Amsterdam itself is beautiful to walk around and it doesn’t cost a thing to explore it’s streets, take in the canals or even dare a stroll through the Red Light District.
If that’s your thing, bypass the famous sex museum and instead visit the quant Museum of Prostitution – Red Light Secrets museum which is in the heart of the Red Light District. This smaller but much more interesting museum sheds a light on the history of prostitution in the city, as opposed to the sex museum which is more touristy.
Romania is really up and coming for travellers – it’s affordable, the flight is only a couple of hours long and it’s a beautiful country with stunning countryside that will make you forget you’re even in Europe.
There’s a lot to do in Romania but Cluj-Napoca is great all year round with the historic city offering a really welcoming and laid-back vibe. Plus, if history isn’t your thing, it’s known to have a great nightlife.
There’s also an underground salt mine-come-themepark and the beautiful Alexandru Borza’s Botanical Garden – which is free entry. With flights starting from as little as £44 from London, a weekend in Cluj-Napoca can easily be done on a budget.
Edinburgh is another place that can be enjoyed for next to nothing as the place itself is so beautiful.
A day spent sightseeing in this beautiful town is something everyone should do at least once in their life; with stunning countryside parks to stroll through and famous monuments overlooking the city.
Just after Christmas, prices for hotels drop way down once New Year’s Eve is out of the way, but there’s still plenty of celebrations to be had throughout January.
Top tip: if entering Edinburgh Castle is a little out of budget, try a visit to Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. Though only a little cheaper, this fun attraction consists of five floors full of fun optical illusions and activities, plus a viewing platform that offers stunning views of not just Edinburgh Castle but over the city itself.
There’s a reason why Berlin has become so popular for weekend breaks amongst young people in the past few years – it’s cheap!
The architecture is beautiful, there’s plenty of art museums and many food markets too – and each of these things can be visited for free!
It’s also a hit for it’s popular nightlife scene, with underground clubs and more techno and rave you can shake your stick at. After a night of partying, a visit to a food market and then a picnic in one of Berlin’s many beautiful parks sounds ideal, doesn’t it?
Though much closer to home, London is great for a city break and is especially ideal for its diversity.
If hostels and hotels cost too much, we’d suggest skipping staying in the city by catching the tube (or, skip sleeping altogether – there’s a few bars near to Kings Cross that are open all night). There’s so much to do that is free in London and so much that is affordable too, no matter what you like. From ghost walks to cabaret, you’ll never run out of things to do in this busy city.