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Alternative City Breaks

When a bank holiday rolls around, many of us take advantage of the long weekend and hop across the Channel for a European city break. But do you ever feel like your options are getting a bit stale? We all love the classics, but there’s a wealth of other cities out there just waiting to be discovered, often at a fraction of the cost! If you’ve seen plenty of Paris or are bored of Barcelona, book a trip to one of these alternatives…

Instead of Paris… Budapest

If you love Paris’ charming architecture and lively streets, head to Budapest for Baroque-style churches and on-street restaurants. Don’t miss the beautiful Parisi Udvar shopping arcade or the Fisherman’s Bastion on Castle Hill, from where you can get a great view of the city. Like Paris, Budapest is an irresistibly romantic city, so exchange the Seine for the Danube and take a riverside stroll with your other half.

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Instead of Rome… Athens

Athens is the perfect choice for history lovers who have had their fill of Rome. The city is filled with remnants of ancient Greek civilisation, and visitors flock to gaze in awe at the Acropolis and the Parthenon. This rich history is counter-balanced with an active party scene of modern clubs and stylish bars. As in Rome, a piece of history is hiding around every corner in Athens, so ditch the maps and get lost!

Compare city breaks to Athens.

Instead of Barcelona… Bilbao

Barcelona’s exciting mix of traditional and contemporary is echoed in the city of Bilbao on Spain’s northern coast. Beautiful old churches and charming neighbourhoods create perfect photo opportunities, while the edgy Guggenheim museum rivals the imaginative architectural designs of Gaudi. Bilbao’s coastal location provides easy access to beaches, making it the perfect option for those unable to choose between a city break and a beach holiday!

Instead of Venice… Hamburg

Fans of Venice’s beautiful waterways should discover Hamburg, a port city that is almost more water than land. Hamburg has a rich maritime history that is well-documented in the city’s various museums, and has more canals that Venice and Amsterdam combined. Take a boat tour through the maze-like canal network, watch rowing on the Elbe River or head to Alster Lakes in the centre of the city for watersports and people-watching.

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Instead of Prague... Krakow

Krakow has been dubbed the ‘new Prague’, and it’s not hard to see why. While Prague has in recent years been invaded by stag-do revellers and expats, Krakow matches it for both architectural beauty and lively nightlife without the overwhelming hordes of visitors. Explore the charming Old Town, wander through arty neighbourhoods and dance the night away in one of the city’s hip bars.

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By Kate Moxon – Content and Social Media Executive at

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