Looking for an unforgettable city break without splashing the cash? Whether you fancy feasting at the finest restaurants, spending your hard-earned money at the best boutiques and staying at the most luxurious hotels, these are the cities where you can experience a five-star break on a shoestring...
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Located in the centre of the southernmost part of Dalmatia is the region’s most renowned hot spot and known as one of the world’s most awe-inspiring walled cities. Dubrovnik offers everything you could want from a European city: a pretty pedestrian-only old town, UNESCO World Heritage status and stunning natural beauty, along with being one of the cheapest destinations to book a five-star hotel. Catch the rays at Banje Beach, join the locals for a travarica in Luza Square and take the cable car to Mount Srd during your stay.Cheap sleep:
Luxury hotels include the oceanfront five-star Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik
(from £67 per night) which overlooks the Adriatic and ancient Old Town and has an illustrious history of royal and celebrity guests. The five-star Hotel Dubrovnik Palace
(from £71 per night) offers Adriatic Sea views from every room and a contemporary interior design.
Post Office Travel Money recently named South Africa the best value long-haul destination for UK tourists thanks to its weaker currency against the pound. Cape Town is a stylish city to visit and offers many delights for travellers on a budget. Going out in the city is famously cheap, with a glass of wine costing £1.45 on average and a bottle of beer just 91p, while the average cost of a three-course meal for two including a bottle of wine is just £23.61. For high tea, visit the opulent Mount Nelson
to enjoy this delectable treat for under £14 per person. Meanwhile, art enthusiasts can enjoy an E-class Mercedes-driven tour of the city’s art scene with Joao Ferreira
, one of the country’s leading gallerists, for under £200 for a full day. The private tour takes in the likes of the Kalk Bay Modern, the Stevenson Gallery and the Goodman Gallery.Cheap sleep:
Check in to five-star Villa Zest Boutique Hotel
, where rooms are available from just £74 a night and guests can relax in the serene garden, 10-metre pool or sunken lounge area.
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A city that offers a wealth of art, history and culture, Zagreb is also a city to enjoy luxurious accommodation at affordable prices. As well as being ideal for chic travellers on a budget, the Croatian city has an abundance of cultural and historical attractions. By day, visitors can wander around the cobbled streets visiting sites such as the Museum of Broken Relationships which contains relics donated by lovers who have parted ways. You can also browse high-end fashion boutiques dedicated to millinery and the necktie (which originates in the Croatia) and explore Zagreb’s many green parks. By night, a trip to the Croatia National Theatre is a must. Housed within a neo-baroque building, it plays host to some of the world’s leading actors, opera singers and ballet dancers throughout the year.Cheap sleep: Opodo
offers three nights at the iconic five-star Esplanade Zagreb Hotel from £266 per person including flights from London Heathrow.
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Situated at the top of the Italian boot, Genoa is the sixth largest city in Italy and while its fame cannot compare with Rome, Milan or Venice, it is a beautiful and underrated Mediterranean port that’s well worth a visit. Full of palaces, medieval walls and ancient lanes, you’re sure to get lost within the paths of the hidden city. Genoa is suitable for couples, friends and families, offering something for everyone – not to mention the divine Italian cuisine. The best views in the city only cost €2 to see on the funicular from the city centre up into the hills surrounding Genoa. Alternatively, the Lanterna (lighthouse), which is the second tallest in the world, costs €6 to climb.Cheap sleep: TravelSupermarket
sources deals for holidays in Genoa including a three-night break at the five-star Grand Hotel Savoia with Expedia.co.uk, flying from London Stansted in June for £597 per couple.
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Portugal's capital is the best value city in Western Europe, according to Post Office Travel Money, and is a top place to visit for a short break. Famed for its year-round sunshine and beauty, Lisbon’s grand architecture dazzles and its old-world charm mingles with chic streets, galleries, lively nightlife and a centre which gives way to sandy beaches just minutes away. As one of the cheapest capitals in Europe, it is perfect for splurging on a luxury trip. Travellers in the city should check out the open-air Festival ao Largo Millennium bcp in July, one of the biggest celebrations of opera in Lisbon, and discover experimental yet affordable gourmet small plates from Michelin-starred José Avillez for less than five euros per dish at Mini Bar.Cheap sleep:
Book a five-star stay at historic hotel Pousada de Lisboa
for around £173 per night.
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Well-known for its history, Krakow is another must-see on the European city hit list and perfect for enjoying luxury on a budget. In the Old Town lies the Grand Square, the largest medieval plaza in Europe, which is filled with Poland’s finest bars and restaurants. Whether you’re looking to sample the local beers or take an educational trip to visit where the atrocities which took place in the Second World War, Krakow provides an experience and culture for everyone to appreciate. Visitors can marvel at all things stately at Wawel Castle, warm up with a hot chocolate at Krakowska Manufaktura Czekolady and people watch in Rynek Główny, Europe’s largest market square.Cheap sleep: TravelSupermarket
sources deals on short breaks in Krakow, including a three-night break at the five-star Crown Piast Hotel & Park in May with easyJet Holidays, including flights from Gatwick for £164 per person.
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The capital of Slovenia is an attractive city with a unique heritage. From the beautiful Tivoli City Park, to the curving river through the city, Ljubljana has a rich history. The centre of the city is pedestrianised and filled with restaurants where you can sample the local cuisine and there is a cool art district that comes to life at night. With coffees starting at just one euro, it’s the perfect getaway for a cheap last-minute break, whether you’re a couple, travelling with friends, or with your family looking for an alternative short break. Neboticnik is an Art Deco building with a bar on top offering terrific panoramic views, while wandering the Central Market is another must-do. For quality souvenirs, don't miss Trgovina Ika in the Old Town.Cheap sleep: TravelSupermarket
sources deals for Ljubljana holidays such as three nights for two people staying at the luxurious Hotel Lev with easyJet and Otel.com for £425, including flights from London Stansted.
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Travellers in Moscow can benefit from up to 60 per cent extra holiday cash compared to two years ago owing to the collapse of the Russian ruble since 2014, according to travel money experts FairFX. Moscow also emerged as one of the best value cities in a recent Post Office Travel Money report, with an average two-night break in the city including accommodation, transport and sightseeing costing just £145. The Russian capital is a destination on the rise and with famous historical attractions, excellent dining (meat lovers should pay a visit to the Bison Steak House for dinner) and buzzing bars, we can see why it is a top spot for 2016.Cheap sleep:
One of the best hotels in the city is the five-star Hotel Metropol Moscow
, where rooms are available from as little as £119 per night.