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.
Drenched in sunshine, there’s a reason it’s called the Costa del Sol. Did you know there are at least 300 days of sunshine every year on the Costa and it gets up to a balmy 27 degrees in the summertime. Its regional capital Malaga is no different and is the right mix of nightlife, beaches, shopping and total relaxation.
If the weather isn’t enough to convince you how about the price? It’s cheap as chips on Malaga holidays 2014, especially if you know the right places to go. And that’s before we start on the native Malaguenos. The friendliest people on earth? Only one way of finding out.
The obvious first choice is Playa de la Malagueta, the blue flag town beach. A busy beach, with good facilities and easy to get to. Get to the Playa Las Acacias early as it’s a popular choice. Great for kids with its sheltered sandy coves and it’s huge so there’s plenty of room for everyone. Beside the El Candad marina you’ll find the Playa Palo with a good atmosphere and lots of facilities and bars. Further on from the city there are great beaches to discover like the Santa Amalia in Fuengirola, El Padron in Estepona and Casablanca in Marbella. So really it’s up to you!
What to do in Malaga
Along with Seville and Madrid, Malaga is at the heart of bullfighting in Spain. Although clearly the sport is not for everyone, the bullring at Plaza La Malagueta draws throngs throughout the throngs of locals during the season (April to September.) Malaga Bullring via @ mer de glace
Malaga is the birthplace of the legendary painter Pablo Picasso and the Picasso Museum houses a selection of his works, with a detailed audio tour added to it. The café and shop are worth browsing in too. There’s also a Museum of Dollhouses in Malaga, a cute collection that’ll impress any little princess. Learn all about the history of the area at the Museo de Artest Populairesor treat yourself at (our personal favourite) the Wine Museum of Malaga. Retreat from the hectic streets by visiting the Renaissance city Cathedral or take a walk in La Concepcion – Jardin Botanico (the Botanic Gardens.)
Day trips from Malaga
The imposing Alhambra Palace in nearby Granada is one of Spain’s most important attractions. It’s part cathedral, part castle and part palace and has inspired poetry, music and even mathematics. You’ll definitely need to get tickets in advance to make sure you get in. Night view of the Alhambra via @ Teosaurio
Mijas and Nerja are two delightful little villages very close to the city. They have small lookout points, offering beautiful views of the Costa. Furthermore there are plenty of smaller resorts to discover nearby. Travelling west from Malaga City, you’ll find Torremolinos, Fuengirola and Marbella. Going East you’ll get to Rincon de la Victora or Torre del Mar. Most of these are just a few minutes on easy connections by train and are well worth going to for an evening out eating or exploring.
Family fun on Malaga Holidays 2014
Visit the town of Juzcar. In 2011 all the residents got together and painted every building a lovely sky blue, in honour of the Smurfs movie. Juzcar image via @ manuelfloresv
Worth a look if you’ve got the time. The Aventura Amazonia in Marbella is an action packed activity park with 83 challenges and 20 zip lines. Enough to keep little ones busy for hours. Selwo Adeventure in Estepona has over 2,000 animals from across the world and also offers some activities, like zip wires. Aqualand in Torremolinos is the biggest waterpark on the Costa, big enough to spend the whole day and just minutes from downtown, it’s a top choice.
Shopping in Malaga
Sales in Malaga run on and on and on, even in the classiest shops in the centre of town. Start with the fancy designer shops around Calle Marques de Larios. The marble boulevard just screams big bucks. Well worth an afternoon out is the Mercado Central de Atarazanas for a riot of colour, the freshest in fruit and vegetables and yummy cheese (and a great tapas bar in the corner.) It’s ideal for stocking up if you’re self catering.
In the heart of the city you’ll find the Smile Bank, a cute shop selling all sorts of funny souvenirs, cute t-shirts and personalised gifts. If you need a hat, fedora, sombrero or panama (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) Go to Ricardo del Cid Fernandes on Calle Caldereria, an old school favourite.
Green fees in and around Malaga
Golf courses abound in Malaga from approximately €17 at the Casares Costa Golf designed by Juan Carlos Martinez to €65 at the La Cala Resort and plenty in between.
Nightlife in Malaga
There are some great bars, music venues and of course, clubs in Malaga and the surrounding areas offering everything from a quiet drink in a cosy snug to dancing on the table all night long. The ZZ Pub is a favourite with locals and has lots of live bands. Mane in nearby Benalmadena is open late, has free entrance at the weekend and you can expect pumping dance music all night. The Velvet Club on Calle Juan de Padilla 22 has great music and prides itself on its midweek parties, but note they close at 3am. If karaoke is more your thing, head for Dixie’s on Salvador Allende 9. A small, friendly establishment, run by locals, it is a great place to get your night started.
Hen and Stags in Malaga
Malaga’s also an up and coming hen and stag party destination. With a tonne of clubs, cheap bars and booze and loads of activities like, a fiesta meal (with stripper) for the ladies or very special nights out for the lads, with added dancing for the groom to be, you and your gang can have as much fun as you want.
Malaga is a delicious taste of Spain and one of the most surprising things? The prices. One visitor who has just returned from a short trip to the city was delighted to find: “abundant coffee and wine at €1.50 so you can savour a stop frequently.”
Malaga has delicious Spanish cuisine and great international choices too. Start with a trip to Tapeo de Cervantes, C/Carcer 8, for reasonably priced, excellent quality food. Arguably the best bargain tapas place on the Costa del Sol! For something special, the Restaurante Amador at Calle Bandaneira 6 is a quality establishment offering beautiful, fresh Spanish food along with delightful views. For seafood Marisqueria el Kaoba is a mid priced must. Finish your evening with a stop at Malaga’s top sweet shop, Cafe Lepanto at Calle Marques de Larios 7.
The Barcelo Malaga is just a few minutes from the city centre and right on the handy AVE high speed rail line, so it’s a great choice for couples who want to soak up the sunshine and relax. The Hotel Las Vegas is right on the waterfront at La Malagueta beach and all rooms have a full or partial sea view. The Malaga Centro is in a great location as its name suggests and just a couple of minutes to the beach. Hotel Domus, just five minutes from Pedregalejo Beach and with simple rooms, this is good value choice, but is a little further from the city centre (4km.)
For more cheap Malaga holidays give Purple Travel a call on 0207 993 9228.
Family holidays are always tricky. You’ve got so many variables to think about. How to keep the kids happy and where to find good beaches that are safe and not too crowded. You want fun and relaxed places to eat and kids clubs are always handy. Good public transport links are a must and of course you don’t want to be spending an arm and a leg on your holiday.
Then, you might like some choices to keep mum and dad busy; perhaps Grandma and Grandpa are tagging along too? You want to enjoy your holiday as well!
We reckon Spainshould be a top choice for a family holiday. With great prices, facilities and of course that elusive sunshine, why would you consider anywhere else?
Malaga on the Costa del Sol has plenty to entertain children of all ages! The Malaga Open top tour bus is a nice way to get your bearings. A trip to the city beach of Caleta is a must. Little ones will love playing in the surf and there are plenty of loungers, umbrellas and facilities to help you out. If you tire of the beach, the interactive science museum will keep you in the shade and entertain for hours. The buggy friendly promenades are a great option for an evening stroll and the range of tapas bars and restaurants mean there’s a choice for even the fussiest eaters.
Lanzarote’s Puerto Del Carmen is amazing value for a fantastic summer break with the kids this year. There are plenty of options for all inclusive or self catering getaways that include kids clubs to keep them busy. The beach is a must, with nearly a mile of golden, soft sand, clean clear waters and a full range of facilities. Just a few miles away in Puerto Calero, kids will love Submarine Safaris. Designed especially for children to enjoy underwater exploration, it’s an incredible journey into Lanzarote’s clear, magical waters.
Costa Brava’s Lloret de Mar is perfect for a simple sunshine break of sandcastles, swimming and a bit of exploring. It’s got plenty of family friendly beaches so you could almost chose a different one every day. Lloret Turisme offers a miniclub, with organised beach games with a beach library for the grownups! The many children’s playgrounds offer a lovely break from the sand. There are even a couple of adventure parks including Gnomopark with bowling, mini karts, games and a gnome farm! If that’s not enough, it’s close to Barcelona if you feel like a little city adventure on your sunshine break. Discover the aquarium, or Park Guell which kids always enjoy.
Majorca has been a trusted family friendly resort for many years; it’s easy to see why so many people return again and again. We like Alcudia Beach or Cala Bona where you have great accommodation options with plenty of family friendly extras. The weather is almost perfect; the long sandy beaches are safe for little ones to get busy making sandcastles. Most hotels and apartments feature child friendly pools and kids clubs to keep them busy from morning ‘til bedtime.
Tenerife’s Costa Adeje is one of our top choices. It’s got a lively atmosphere, with lots of day trips on the menu. Check out the whale watching cruises or boat day trips. If you’ve got older children or teens, they will love trying out diving or surfing. A mini train runs through the resort to pick you up and drop you off when you need to, perfect if mum and dad are tired after a long day in the sun.
La Pineda on the Costa Dorada is really the best of both worlds. With an Aquapolis water park, Dolphinarium and the PortAventura theme park, as well as beautiful Salou just around the corner, there are more fun options than you can shake a stick at! Sun, sea and sand are the orders of the day, in this blessed out cheap holiday hotspot.