City breaks in Europe are a popular type of holiday for those on a tight budget and many cities off the beaten track have lots to offer travelers.
Eastern Europe is particularly affordable and a long weekend in countries such as Bulgaria, Poland and Croatia definitely does not have to break the bank.
Here are five of the best for an affordable city break:
Historic Hungarian capital Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in the whole of Europe. Famous for its thermal spas and gourmet pastries, Budapest is a city that is definitely on the up.
Condé Nast Traveller has named Budapest the world’s second best city and it boasts an extensive World Heritage Site, which takes in locations such as the banks of the River Danube and Heroes’ Square.
Budapest is also renowned for its unique cuisine and strong café culture, while visitors should visit some of the Danube’s seven islands, the best of which is perhaps Margaret Island, with its lovely park.
Prague may well be the cheapest city in Europe for food and drink, so a long weekend in the capital of the Czech Republic can be easily done on a small budget.
The city has countless top cultural attractions to explore too – there is too much to fit into one trip – but must-see sights include Old Town Square and the Prague astronomical clock, Prague Castle and Charles Bridge.
With very diverse nightlife options, city breaks in Prague are particularly suited to younger travellers but there are lots of museums, galleries and theatres to enjoy for the older crowd too. Czech beer is famous around the world and Prague is undoubtedly the best place to sample it.
Sofia is the second oldest city in all of Europe but is enjoying a sudden boost in popularity. The National Literature Museum and the Museum of Socialist Art are two of the most important cultural locations in the city, which also hosts the National Opera and Ballet of Bulgaria.
Among Sofia’s UNESCO World Heritage sites are the Boyana Church, while those interested in religious buildings should also take time to visit Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which can hold as many as 10,000 people.
Sofia also has a completely unique atmosphere and its location at the foot of the Vitosha mountain gives the city a very special feel.
Croatia’s capital city has a rich history and its museums are the envy of the whole of Europe. Zagreb is also famous for its INmusic festival, which takes place in the middle of the summer and attracts some of the biggest names in music each year.
Among the best tourist attractions the city has to offer is the Maksimir Park & Zoo, which is just a ten-minute tram ride out of the centre. Seals, sea lions and otters are among the zoo’s many animals, while this part of the city is also home to Croatia’s national football stadium, where Dinamo Zagreb play their home matches.
Warsaw has long been one of the most popular affordable city breaks in Europe.
The Polish city is known around the world for its unique nightlife, with countless pubs and bars to choose from. Revellers are advised to head to the courtyard in Listopada, which is where the amazing alternative club Hydrozagadka can be found.
Warsaw has lots to offer during the day too, with royal art collections and a series of fascinating museums to explore. A walking tour through Warsaw’s historic Old Town is also a great way to get a feel for the city and learn about its past.