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City Breaks on a Budget

Travelers Today       By    Ernest Hamilton

Updated: Oct 07, 2019 04:11 PM EDT

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City Breaks on a Budget

(Photo: Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay )

Travelling on a budget is never as easy as it sounds. Often travellers need to shop around to ensure that they get the best possible deal. This is especially true when it comes to air travel around the world; air travellers tend to spend a large part of their budget on accommodation. But this doesn't have to be the case-there are ways you can significantly cut down on costs. City breaks can also be a great way to spend layover time before catching your next flight. Here are some thrifty ways to plan your city break on a budget.

Bangkok

Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a beautiful and affordable city regardless of your budget. In this cosmopolitan city there's plenty to do for little money.

The city is home to many affordable luxury hotels. You can have a luxurious holiday without spending too much per night.  There are some great deals for hotels in Bangkok on Booking.com or Agoda. They are usually cheaper in low season, which runs from May to October. For some budget accommodation try hostels in the party district in Khao San Road or Silom Road. 

Getting around the city is very easy. You can use public transport such as the famous air-conditioned Sky Train, the many boats, taxis, or a tuk-tuk.

Free activities to do in the city 

  • Muay Thai at MBK Shopping Centre: exhibition fights every Wednesday at 8 pm. 

  • Visit the Lumphini Park: free aerobic sessions in the park daily from 4.30am to 9 pm. 

  • The free puppet shows daily except Wednesday at the Artist House. 

  • Wat Mahathat: for free daily walks and sitting meditation classes.

Bangkok has a variety of food options. Enjoy excellent street food, rooftop bars, and first-class restaurants. Local dishes to try are Pad Thai, Spring Rolls, Pad See Ew, Thai Pancakes, to name a few. 

Dubai

Dubai is a glamorous city. It has high-end shopping malls and glitzy hotels. However, you can still have a great time on a budget.

You may need to compromise for budget-friendly accommodation. Try avoiding places near the beach and major shopping centres. Consider older areas near the airport like Bur Dubai, Al Basha, and Deira for aesthetically pleasing and inexpensive rooms. Check Hotelscombined for best hotel deals in the city. When booking, always check if the prices include VAT, property service, and municipality fees. You can save on extra hotel costs with self-catering. 

To get around the city, you can use a taxi or take the Metro. Dubai Metros are better as you will save money and time. You can also save on travel by using the traditional dhow or Abra to cross Dubai Creek. 

Some free and cheap activities to do in the city are;

  • See the Dubai mall and Burj Khalifa; 

  • The camel racing: every Friday from 6 am to 8 am from November-March. 

  • Attend the Deira Gold souq: for affordable gold jewellery. 

  • Horse race in Meydan: every Thursday from 7 pm from November-March.

The city has excellent restaurants offering both regional and international dishes. Always avoid international restaurants as they are expensive. Instead, consider restaurants far from the city centre and avoid eating at hotels. Consider dining at Indian and Lebanese restaurants which offer varied affordable meals. It may be difficult to find cheap places for drinks in the city. For the ladies, take advantage of free drinks on Ladies' Night every Tuesday or Wednesday.

London

London is known for its famous landmarks and historical attractions. The city has a reputation for being an expensive place to visit. To enjoy your stay and keep the cost low, you will need to have some insider know-how and local tips.

It might be hard to find cheap accommodation in London (apart from on Couchsurfing), meaning shopping around is needed. Areas outside tourist zones will be more affordable and have better quality rooms. You can check for hotel deals with Airbnb and Booking.com.

Walking is an excellent option to get through the city. It is, of course, cheap and also faster as most attraction sites are close. You get to see more sights and exercise.  If you do not want to walk, the city has an underground network that will help save time and spare your feet. Public transport is better than designated tour buses to see London, especially if you have an Oyster card. You can also use a bicycle which is quick, easy to hire, and cheap with the first 30 minutes being free.

There are some free places to visit while in the city including;

  • Museum of London

  • Victoria and Albert Museum

  • Royal Festival Hall

  • Vauxhall City Farm

  • Holland Park

  • National Portrait Gallery

  • Sky Garden

  • Guildhall Art Gallery

London has a rich and diverse food scene. For budget-friendly food, go for chain restaurants, traditional cafes, and buffets. You may need to avoid tourist areas as they tend to be expensive. When going to parks, shop at the supermarket and carry packed food. The city has some food markets like Borough Market, Camden, and Greenwich.

Paris

Paris is a popular and fashionable destination in Europe. There are famous landmarks, luxury fashion, excellent food, and vibrant art history. Whether you are going to for a cultural retreat or a romantic getaway, a city break in Paris is all you need. There is a lot to do and see you will not get enough of the city.

Paris can accommodate all budgets. You can search and compare accommodation options using Booking.com from hostels to luxury hotels. However, you will not find one near the Eiffel Tower or in central Paris. Plus they are more expensive. You can also consider renting an apartment. It is a local option, you get to save money, and there are many other advantages.Always book in advance for better choices and prices.

Since Paris is the capital city, there are many traveling options. One way to get around the city is by walking. There are still other useful means of transport Paris like Metro, bikes, buses, boat cruise, and adult electric kick scooters. 

Here is how to enjoy Paris for free;

  • Enjoy entries to attractions and museums on the first Sunday of the month.

  • Entry to the Notre Dame and Basilica Sacre Coeur.

  • You can visit Jardin du Luxembourg and the gardens of Louvre free.

  • Enjoy free Wi-Fi at a McCafe 

  • Free city tours in Montmartre and Latin Quarter.

The city has excellent restaurants. Most of them are expensive and charge more if you sit down.Consider eating outside them. You can still get good food in some less costly bistros and café-brasseries. Places to try out on a budget include; Breizh Café, Au Zaganin, Jeanne B, L'Encrier, only to name a few. When going for picnics, shop at supermarkets and pack your lunch. Avoid restaurants close to main sights.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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