Best Budget European City Breaks

Best Budget European City Breaks

City breaks don't have to be expensive. If you pick the right time of year and you book inexpensive flights, you can get away on a European city break for a lot less than it would cost you to holiday in the UK. You can't be fussy about the location. The cheapest places to holiday aren't the big-name cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Rome, but they're still destinations you'll enjoy if you're into art, culture, food, music and sightseeing.

Lisbon, Portugal

Whether you're into city breaks or beach holidays, Portugal is pretty cheap. Sites like and offer flights for less than the average train fare. If you're considering Portugal, head to Lisbon. January and February are the cheapest months to fly. You can expect temperatures as high as 15 degrees at that time. Lisbon is Portugal's coastal capital. It's full of historical sites including Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower, but you'll also find many other waterfront attractions.

Tallinn, Estonia

Like Lisbon, you can get to Estonia for less than £30. Estonia's capital Tallinn is a new destination for British tourists. It's known for cheap beer and stag nights, but it has much more to offer than that. Every year, 4.3 million people holiday there. Whether you're out in the day or partying through the night, there's plenty to do. The old town of Tallinn is arguably the city's main attraction. You can explore attractions like the city walls and Town Hall Square on foot.

Budapest, Hungary

There are lots of deals on flights and accommodation if you pick Budapest for your next holiday. Many of the main attractions are free including a visit to Heroes' Square and a stroll around the Jewish Quarter. If you like neo-Gothic architecture and stunning city views, explore Fisherman's Bastion. If you want a challenge, climb up Castle Hill and explore Buda Castle's gardens, which are free to enter.

Riga, Latvia

Latvia's capital city is not on most tourist's radar, but it should be. There's a lot to see and do. The city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you'll find Art Nouveau architecture along with 19th-century wooden architecture. Monuments like the Freedom Monument, which was built to honour soldiers who fought in the Latvian War of Independence, and St. Peters Church near the Daugava River are worth visiting, but to get an idea of the city's unique culture make sure you see the Pērkons Saule Daugava, a piece of street art that took 1,500 spray cans to complete.

Krakow, Poland

Cheap beer and great nightlife give this place a reputation for stag parties and hen dos, but there's more to Krakow than that. The oldest city in Poland is visited by millions each year who enjoy monuments like Wawel Castle and Benedictine Tyniec Abbey or take in sporting events including football matches between the city's two major clubs, Kraków and Cracovia, and indoor athletics, hockey and basketball at the Kraków Arena.

To Consider Before Your Purchase

Consider the exchange rate. Latvia, Portugal and Estonia are the only countries reviewed here that have the Euro as their currency.

Our Notes

  • Each of these five locations will take around 2 and a half hours to fly to from London.
  • Kraków, Riga, Tallinn and Lisbon have all been crowned European City of Culture.

What Do They Say on Other Sites

“The history of Latvia is very complex and interesting. The struggles the people of this beautiful country have gone through are immense and the freedom monument commemorates soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence.” (RobynZ965 reviewing the Freedom Monument in Riga on Tripadvisor)

“I felt in love with this place of the majestic sculptures of the Seven chieftains of the Magyars and the kings of Hungary. Beautiful to see it when is dark because the lights make a beautiful contrast.” (nemav2020 reviewing Heroes Square in Budapest on Tripadvisor)

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