Europe: Weekend breaks on a budget

Visiting Europe has certainly become more expensive in recent years, but there are still plenty of places you can go for a cheap weekend, as long as you do your research in advance. We’ve teamed up with travel experts Teletext Holidays to find the top three cheapest places to visit for a last-minute weekend getaway. The trick is to look for great reviews of three-star hotels rather than just booking the one that looks the fanciest, and to seek out good free attractions before you leave. Which city will you be visiting this spring?

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest at night

While flights out to Budapest can seem expensive, the food and accommodation more than make up for it. Expect a top-end hotel and fantastic local cuisine for fantastically cheap prices, leaving you more to splash out on in the city itself.

Free attractions:

  • Climb to the top of Castle Hill and see the spectacular views over the city, as well as the Royal Palace at the peak
  • Take a walking tour from the city centre around the major sightseeing spots
  • Escape to the beautiful Margaret Island, a green oasis in the Danube River boasting public baths, fountains and sculptures

Sibiu, Romania

Sibiu, Romania

Sibiu’s low costs are only an indication of its relatively unknown status, rather than its attractions; as cultural breaks go this is a city not to be missed. Named the eighth most idyllic place to live in Europe by Forbes, it’s a stunning Transylvanian jewel at an excellent price.

Free things to do:

  • See the Citadel of Sibiu, a well-preserved Middle Ages fortification with towers and bastions that look out over the city skyline.
  • Visit the ASTRA Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization, a huge open-air museum with beautiful exhibits and fantastic views of the nearby mountains.
  • Spend an afternoon at Balea Lake, a glacier lake in the heart of Transylvania surrounded by an amazing natural landscape.

Berlin

Berliner Dom, Berlin, Europe

Berlin is a popular tourist hotspot, and prices in many places reflect this, but the city also boasts a huge number of free attractions for arts lovers, making it the ideal destination for those seeking culture and excitement in an incredibly modern city.

Free things to do:

  • Take a walk along what remains of the Berlin Wall – the mile-long stretch is now an open air art gallery of sorts, boasting some of the city’s most significant and political graffiti.
  • Spend an afternoon on Museum Island, a district which boasts some of the city’s oldest buildings and five of the most important museums relating to German folklore, history and culture.
  • Relax in Tiergarten Park, the beautiful green area in the heart of the city. Once a hunting ground for rich aristocrats, the park is now a place to enjoy the sunshine, explore the woods and discover lakes and sculptures at every turn.

photos by zsoolt and CamilG on flickr

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