Paris is one of Europe’s most visited cities, drawing in tourists from all over the world, particularly during the summer. Despite being notoriously expensive, there are actually a lot of ways you can save money on Paris city breaks
1. Go wandering for free
Since 2004 over 4 million people have taken advantage of Sandeman’s New Europe free walking tour. If you take this opportunity, you will pass along the banks of the Seine, walk around the Latin Quarter, remaining in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and then some. Lasting for a generous 3 hours, these visits pass by heaps of the top Paris attractions, giving you a chance to see lots of the city at once, learn about the history of Paris and meet other enthusiastic travellers at the same time.
Getting there doesn’t have to be difficult with excellent prices for flights and accommodation from Purple Travel, while our guides to free stuff to do, means there are city breaks for everyone that won’t break the bank. Here are some of our picks for great city breaks this year.
Amsterdam is a great year to visit the Dutch city famous for its canals and cafes. The city’s stretches of canal make the ideal accompaniment to an afternoon stroll, a bit of window shopping, or a stop in one of the ‘brown cafes’ named for the cigarette stained walls, hmm! The centre of the city at Dam Square is a people watching paradise; while the Red Light District, well it is worth a look, just don’t take any pictures while you’re there or you might end up spending more than you bargained for.
If you time it right, Paris is far more cheap ‘n’ cheerful than you first might have imagined! The first Sunday of the month, sees the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay and Centre Pompidou open their doors for free. Street art is one of the most popular pastimes, with painters indulging their talents on the well worn boulevards. Finish up with a stroll through Parc des Buttes, Chaumont. It has some of the best and free (of course) views of the city. If you really run out of things to see, you could always visit the infamous Pere Lachaise cemetery where Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison are buried.
New York, well, we’ve covered the Big Apple in detail before, but our favourites are the High Line Park built up on a former freight rail line, free kayaking on the Hudson, lunchtime concerts at Trinity Church on Wall Street and free tours by the Big Apple Greeters.
The ultimate in cheap city and sunshine combos has to be Malaga. On the Costa del Sol, it’s long been a firm favourite with travellers from across the UK. The legendary sun drenched Spanish Coast is filled with great value hotels to suit every budget. You can have free fun in the Smurf village of nearby Juzcar, hit the beach of Benalmadena or the city’s own beach of Malagueta. Of course the nightlife is brilliant throughout the region, with plenty of drinks promos and free entry to clubs in Torremolinos or Fuengirola and it’s the top choice for a cheap stag or hen do.
You won’t want to say arrivederciRoma after a weekend in the gorgeous Italian City. It might not strike you as the cheapest city on earth, but there’s lots to see and do if you get a little research in first. Head for the Pantheon, the ancient Roman temple that once honoured the gods, it is free to visit. An ice cream at the Spanish Steps or an espresso by the Trevi Fountain are delicious ways to enjoy the city and many of the city’s museums are free on the first Sunday of the month, now that’s a great idea for city breaks that won’t break the bank.
So with all that action going on, for free, what are you waiting for? Talk to the experts at Purple Travel to book your next cheap city break.
Say that you decide to embark on a weekend adventure on a sunny setting with loads of activities to choose from. Say that Benidorm happens to tick all the boxes but your time is limited. What do you do? Well the answer is simple because if you follow our guide you will certainly have 5 ways to organise a weekend break to Benidorm, getting rid of your everyday stress and working on your tan on the way while avoiding some of the most common annoyances!
Organise your Schedule
If you plan for a weekend break to Benidorm, the activities on offer are guaranteed to take up all your time, so since you have a limited amount of it on your disposal you should spend it wisely. The first step is to decide roughly what you want to do before you visit and book tickets in order to save time and money. Try to organise your schedule effectively by cutting on commuting times, so if you happen to like an attraction far from the main city it would be better to save it for another visit.
Pack only the necessary
Since you will be travelling for a maximum of three days there’s no need to pack half your wardrobe. Try to stay close to the essentials and bring a scarf or heavier clothes along during the winter months as the weather might get chilly. This might also save you the extra fees that may occur by paying for a suitcase. That said you can always take advantage of the warmer weather to avoid bringing really heavy or furry coats that might take up space. After all friends or family back home might ask for souvenirs!
Stay close to the action
Of course Benidorm has wonderful hotels and resorts, but if you decide to visit for a limited amount of time such as a weekend break to Benidorm then there are other variables that you have to take into account. An important and sometimes overseen detail is your accommodation’s location. It would be great to check in at an all-inclusive resort outside of town, as the commodities will certainly cover you for a couple of days. Nevertheless, if you really want to get a proper taste of Benidorm and especially on a strict timeline, it would be best if you booked somewhere closer to the action.
Don’t drink too much
We all know that a night out in Benidorm might be one to remember for a long time to come, however try to avoid ‘Hangover’ type partying as things might turn sour. Yes, the night might be long and the spirits high, however the fact that you have limited time and that you will probably have to return to your desk the Monday after won’t make a hangover or headache enjoyable. Instead try to get some sleep and wake up early in order to seize the day sunbathing and exploring instead of sleeping in.
Take care of hotel checkout times
So you’ve had a wonderful time during your weekend break to Benidorm and it’s time to head back home. In order to avoid any last minute headaches, make sure to check for your accommodation’s checkout times as it could be a pain having to haul your luggage around for the remaining 6 hours to your flight on a Sunday. Most of the hotels and apartments will charge extra if you decide to stay for more than the allowed time so try to plan ahead and arrange your accommodation fee for half a day extra if necessary.
Choosing a travel blogger to follow rarely comes is uncommon practice among travel enthusiasts. Be it that we love poring over their photos of immaculate exotic beaches or freshly prepared local dishes from faraway destinations, travel bloggers provide people with something to dream about and look forward to while grinding away at their job desk. The website design, luscious write up and sheer passion about travelling is something that we all admire and as such it’s not easy to distinguish amongst our favourites. However, purely in terms of putting things in order we have decided to rate our favourite bloggers and put them into a list because let’s face it; who doesn’t love lists!
Vacations are a matter of where you go, who you go with and of course what you plan on doing. From families, to couples and singles, holiday goals might vary widely and since choosing a destination often is the beginning of a trip, we wondered which places are more relevant to the World Sleep Day. Does your preferred destination set you in the mood for long naps by the beach, or staying up all night partying? Should you go Ibiza or Santorini? In order to figure out, we compared some of our favourite destinations and rated them on our dedicated sleep-o-meter.
Embrace your inner adventurer with the best in sunshine getaways or busy breaks with our tips for solo travel in 2014. Here are a couple of simple ideas whether you’ve been on endless singles holidays or you’re a first-time single traveller this year… Tell us your singles holidays suggestions in the comments below.
Friendship House-Parties This is a cool idea for chilled-out singles travel. Hotels are booked for 30-60 years old singles who want beach holidays in Turkey, Greece or as far afield as Cambodia.
Beach Getaways Grab a cocktail, sit back and relax on the beach for a sunshine getaway in the Canaries or the Costa del Sol, just because you’re travelling alone doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the same beach holiday as everyone else.
See the Northern Lights Yeah, I’m fed up too with seeing half of my Facebook friends showing off their perfect northern Lights pics, so, why not discover the stark beauty of the land inside the Arctic Circle and the incredible blues and greens. Hop on a huskie sled, get close to mother earth and relax in great company.
Solo Island Hopping Greece is an obvious choice, with tonnes of islands to cherry pick from. It’s an easy one to do on your own, you will inevitably bump into other solo travellers discovering the islands, there are decent room rates across the board and you can find as much or as little action as you’re looking for. Talk to our expert Greece team now about cheap singles holidays.
Cultural City Breaks why not join a group of other like-minded folks to discover the incredible art and culture of Europe’s capital cities. Discover Rome and the Vatican, its art, history and food. Hop from Budapest to Vienna for a mix of cool bars and high concept opera.
Caribbean Escape solo travel is moving quickly with companies offering more and more adventurousness on holidays. We love the idea of learning about rum and salsa on the atmospheric streets of Havana in Cuba, or partying at the colourful festivals of Trinidad and Tobago.
Hit the Road Walking tours and ‘doing the Camino’ are becoming increasingly popular, in fact walking the Camino alone is one of the busiest searches that we’ve discovered. There are new options for walking tours as far away as India, or you can check out our Camino guide here, written by someone who has travelled it several times.
Ever wondered where the word ‘Spain’ comes from? Or how about how many miles of beaches there are in Spain? Let us help you out with our 16 excellent holiday facts about Spain.
#1 Let’s start with one of our favourite facts about Spain. It is the most popular holiday destination for Brits, (it was in 2013) with Majorca, Malaga, Tenerife and Costa del Sol holidays ranking highly. Purple Travel’s most popular Spain holidays included Ibiza, Alicante and Palma de Mallorca as well as city breaks in Barcelona.
#2. Some of the most famous names in the world hail from Spanish shores. Actors Javier Bardem (Gran Canaria),Penelope Cruz (Madrid) and Antonio Banderas (Malaga) and sports stars like tennis player Rafael Nadal (Majorca), Andres Iniesta (Castilla-La Mancha) and Fernando Torres (Madrid) are just a selection of the famous faces hailing from Spanish shores.
#3. The word for ‘Spain’ is said to come from ‘Hispania’, which roughly translates to Island of Rabbits. So if you see some bunnies, don’t be too surprised.
Treat him or her to a fantastic Valentine’s holiday with Purple Travel. We’ve got 10 of Europe’s most romantic cities for all types of couples. If It’s history that you’re mad about, incredible hotel rooms that you won’t leave for days on end or a sunshine getaway where you can relax hand in hand on a secluded beach, you’ll love our list of Europe’s most romantic cities. We threw the question out on Google + and Facebook and got some great responses. As always, anything we’ve missed, let us know in comment and already decided where you want to go on your next city break? Call Purple Travel on 02079939228 for low cost flights and hotels Europe’s Most Romantic Cities…
#1 Dazzlingly beautiful Italy’s Liguria Coast is filled with cost tucked-away romantic guesthouses and hotels. Sometimes known as the Bay of fairy tales the ancient ruins and old castles provide a stunning backdrop to sunset dinners on a terrace and balmy evenings walking hand in hand. Choose from ocean view hotels with high ceilings and don’t forget to visit the cocktail bars.
#2 Paris is perfect for traditional romantics. An obvious choice but that’s because it’s so good! We’re talking freshly baked croissants for breakfast in bread, the views from the top of the Eiffel Tower and long meals accompanied by the best red wine. Paris is filled with amazing hotels so you can treat him or her to a Valentine’s they’ll never forget.
#3 Just a couple of hours away, Rome is a hot choice for history and art lovers for couples who want to discover the Sistine Chapel or the Coliseum together. Stay in the The wide streets and incredible selection of restaurants make this one of Europe’s most romantic cities.
#4 It might not be the first city that pops into your head, but Copenhagen in Denmark makes a gorgeous romantic weekend away. The city renowned for its links to fairy tale writer Hans Chrsitan Andersen is a jusst 90 minutes from the UK. Stop for hot chocolates and a heart shaped cake in one of the city’s famous cafes after a visit to the Winter Garden, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. In the evening cinema is one of the most popular things to do in Copenhagen and it’s easy to see why. Cinemas like the Empire and Falkoner have specially made seats just for two. Copenhagen image via @ Visit Denmark
#5 One of the most popular cities in Europe right now the Portuguese capital has it all. Lively Lisbon is all cobblestone streets, cosy cafes and bars and incredible hotels. All of those overlooked by an ancient castle. It’s hard to top Lisbon for most romantic cities. Lisbon image via @ Luca Sartoni
#6 The magical kingdoms in Game of Thrones might be familiar when you set foot in Dubrovnik. The hazy sun soaked pottery tiled roofs and shiny flagstoned streets are not only beautiful, but world-famous now too thanks to the filming of the George RR Martin books. The city’s old walls doubles as Kings Landing and the view from the top shows off Blackwater Bay. Dubrovnik is top of the romance charts as far as we are concerned. Dubrovnik via @ Branimal!
#7 Venice. A long established romantic hot spot, Barbara Hopley on our Google + page shared her thoughts about her favourite romantic city in Europe: “Venice definitely, a nice dinner then a Gondola ride – perfect! Highly recommend, I love Venice.”
#8 A stunningly well-preserved city, Prague is made for walking around hand in hand with the one you love. A sea of spires and statues awaits you by day, while at night, the famous Prague nightlife is sure to impress any party-loving couple. Sunset dinner in Prague via @ MadebyMark
#9 Holidays in Marrakech are made up of a couple of essentials: discovering the sights and sounds of the Medina, testing out your shisha smoking skills, eating incredible local food and maybe a bit of sunbathing thrown in. Marrakech couples city breaks are all about adventure and who better to share that with than your other half.
#10 Santorini has all the elements for the perfect couple’s holiday. Those incredible sunsets, the winding white washed streets where it feels like it’s just the two of you alone in the world. Book a room with a sea view and your own private swimming pool, just don’t blame us if you never want to leave.
Have something special in mind for Valentine’s Day? Call the expert travel team at Purple Travel on 02079939228 and surprise the one you love this year.
Heating up in Spain It is starting to heat up in Spain, how about the Costa de la Luz? It’s a slightly quieter alternative to the hustle and bustle of the Costa del Sol. With temperatures usually rising to the mid 20s towards the end of the month, the city of Cadiz is a charming holiday experience and claims to be one of the oldest cities in Western Europe. There’s lots of archaeological and historical sites to discover, while the beaches nearby are perfect if you prefer chilling out.
Go diving in Egypt The coast of the Red Sea is fast becoming one of the best places for underwater fun, with diving, surfing, windsurfing or kiteboarding all on offer. Add that to sunshine, great beaches and the best in all inclusive hotels and holidays in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt during May are worth watching out for.
Godfather Holidays Sicily An Island drenched in culture and history, Sicily is packed with delicious food, scorching sunshine, azure blue skies and of course Godfather legacy. In May Sicily is at the perfect temperature, it’s not *too* hot, with temperatures around the mid 20s. Head for Savoca, a hillside village, a winding drive from Taormina where you’ll find Bar Vitelli, where Michael spoke with Apollonia’s father about their proposed marriage. Next, stop at Sant Agostino, the scene of Vito’s escape from the Don Ciccio’s men and finish in Palermo, and the Teatro Massimo which featured in the Godfather Part III. If you love movies, you’ll love it.
Cape Verde Calling If you haven’t heard about this smattering of islands just off the coast of Senegal then get ready, because you will soon. Travellers have started to visit just for the weather (all around sunshine) but often end up returning for the rhythms, the food, the friendly locals, perfect beaches, the excellent hotels, stunning scenery or sublime natural amenities. Take your pick! Sal and Boa Vista are the bigger of the islands and well represented with hotels, bars, restaurants and resorts. Needless to say Cape Verde is in our top tips for 2013.
Get Crete without the crowds A smart idea is to book early for Greece so you can avoid the worst of the crowds. Crete is our top choice. Most resorts should have fully reopened by the end of the month, but it won’t be too busy so you can enjoy near empty beaches, chilled out coffee shops and an unfussy holiday in warm sunshine.
City break in Istanbul So, you may have heard Istanbul is one hot ticket. Having been crowned Best European Destination for 2013, the glittering mosques, and simmering melting pot of culture, cheap hotels and great nightlife make Istanbul a great choice for a cheap city break.
Go a little further If Europe isn’t quite hot enough for you, then there are always a couple of long haul options, such as Mexico or the Dominican Republic. There are some great deals for package holidays so you don’t even have to lift a finger once you arrive. The beaches stretch for miles, the waters are warm and crystal clear and 4 and 5* hotels right on the sand mean you can get from bed to beach in no time.
Find out more about the best cheap holidays in May from the expert team at Purple Travel or call us directly on 0207 993 9228.
The reopening of the Rijksmuseum. After ten years of extensive renovations and improvements, Amsterdam’s flagship museum is set to open its doors again on April 13th.
Van Gogh to Amsterdam. Arguably the city’s most praised artist, the Van Gogh Museum will reopen just days after the Rijksmuseum on May 2nd. It will celebrate 40 years with many major works by the artist on display.
Canals can age very well. In Holland anyway, where Amsterdam will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the architecture and importance of the city’s (UNESCO World Heritage Listed) canals with parties and events.
Music fans rejoice. Amsterdam is going all out to celebrate its musical heritage in 2013, with the famous Concertgebouw Concert Hall enjoying its 125th anniversary. There will be live performances, as well as special events by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Artis Royal Zoo. One of the most fun places in Amsterdam, the zoo is also a playground and park. It will mark over 175 years with a riot of colour, as thousands of new plants are set to bloom. A great choice if you’re bringing the kids with you.
Royal watching. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced earlier this year that she would abdicate in favour of her son, Crown-Prince Willem-Alexander. You can be sure that the city will throw some kind of celebration for the event on April 30th.
The Felix Meritis. An historic house, where the wealthy citizens of the city would meet to talk about politics, the arts and science, it is still an iconic place to visit and reopens this year on April 18th to celebrate its 225th anniversary.
Pride in Amsterdam. Another celebration on the canals, Amsterdam will celebrate its Pride Festival with street parties, club parties and the famous Canal Parade. Most events take place around August 2-4th.
Frans Hals Museum. A selection of key masterpieces by the Dutch artist will be presented to mark the museum’s centenary year. Displayed side by side with amazing works by the likes of Rubens and Rembrandts, this is sure to be a feast for the eyes.
Summer in Amsterdam. It’s not just for city breaks, Amsterdam breaks out in blissful sunshine every summer, with many locals heading outside to their favourite roof terrace for a drink, to cinema under the stars, enjoy a visit to a canal side Amsterdam cafe, or head for the urban beaches.
Tell us your reasons to visit Amsterdam in 2013, and we’ll add them here.
For more details on city or summer breaks to the Netherlands, call Purple Travel on 0207 993 9228.