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Cheap City UK Breaks Cheap City Breaks UK

Cheap City Breaks in the UK

Whether you're planning a romantic getaway, solo adventure or family staycation the UK has so many beautiful, and most importantly, budget cities to escape to. At Holiday Extras we understand that some city breaks can be a little on the pricey side, so to help take the hassle out of finding your next cheap retreat we've rounded up our favourite 5 cheapest UK cities below, along with wallet-friendly recommendations of what to get up to while you're there. From shopping to sights, dynamic nightlife to delicious food and drink, these destinations will tick all your city break boxes, while being easy on your bank balance. Win win!

1. Newcastle, England

Cheap City Breaks UK - Newcastle

Famed for its buzzing nightlife, stunning architecture and friendly Northern charm, Newcastle is a canny (Geordie for good) city to visit. Plus, with plenty of incredible free things to do and see, and great-value, city centre hotels, it's super budget-friendly.

  • See Newcastle's iconic sights. From Anthony Gormley's iconic 'Angel of the North' to the famous Seven Bridges (including Gateshead Millennium Bridge which is the world's first and only tilting bridge), Newcastle Cathedral to Grey's Monument, there are plenty of modern and historic landmarks that deserve a spot on your itinerary and the best bit is, they don't cost a thing to visit.
  • Fun Fact

    The Angel of the North stands at an impressive 20m high with a 54m wingspan. If you turned it on its side it would still be taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York.

  • Visit the museums and art galleries. Newcastle is a must-visit for museum buffs and art lovers. The city is dotted with free galleries, showcasing everything from contemporary exhibitions at the award-winning Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art to independent commercial art at The Biscuit Factory. For your culture and history fix, The Great North Museum: Hancock and Discovery Museum have you covered. From fossils to fashion through the eras, there's something for everyone!
  • Take a break from the hustle and bustle. If you're looking for somewhere to enjoy a peaceful stroll and a picnic with a view, there's no better place than Jesmond Dene. The beautiful woodland, located just a short walk from the city centre, is lively with wildlife and waterfalls. For the animal lovers, there's Ouseburn Farm, based in the heart of Newcastle and home to all your furry favourites. From petting guinea pigs to walking goats, it's especially perfect if you've got little ones in tow. Fancy some fresh, sea air and sand between your toes? Longsands Beach in Tynemouth is an award-winning beach that's just 15 minutes drive from the city centre.

2. London, England

Cheap City Breaks UK - London

While it can be easy to splash out in the capital, it's actually a gem of a city to explore on a budget. With world-class museums and galleries that don't cost a penny, must-see landmarks, West End show deals and so much more, London can please even the thriftiest of travelers.

  • Take advantage of London's free museums, galleries and parks. London is packed with every kind of gallery and museum imaginable. If you like art in all its forms, London is the city for you. Whether you prefer to soak up European masterpieces in The National Gallery or gaze at thought-provoking modern and contemporary art at the Tate Modern, there's a gallery with your name on it. Pack even more culture into your break and wander the stunning halls of the Natural History Museum and marvel at Hope, a giant blue whale skeleton, or explore The British Museum and catch a glimpse of the Rosetta Stone. If the weather is on your side, a picnic in one of London's gloriously green parks is a must. For the best city views, check out Greenwich Park, Hampstead Heath, Primrose Hill and St James's Park.
  • See London's most famous landmarks. A trip to the capital wouldn't be complete without seeing the city's most beloved sights, from Big Ben to Buckingham Palace. One of the best places to experience unforgettable views of some of these famous landmarks is from The View from The Shard. Lose yourself in the 360° cityscape views, taking in unique perspectives of Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, the River Thames and so much more. At Holiday Extras you can package your The View from The Shard tickets with a choice of 4-star hotels (with breakfast included) from just £129* to add some well-deserved luxury to your cheap city break. Perhaps you'd prefer to sit back, relax and enjoy London's most iconic sights from the water, with the added bonus of afternoon tea and commentary from expert guides? If this sounds like your cup of tea be sure to check out our Thames River Cruise with Afternoon Tea & Hotel Stay deal. We combine your cruise tickets, afternoon tea, champagne, 4-star hotel and breakfast in a simple, money-saving package from as little as £157*.
  • Experience a West End show. A trip to the legendary West End is a quintessential London experience that shouldn't be left off your bucket list and, the good news is, it's probably cheaper than you thought! From long-standing classics like The Phantom of the Opera to exciting new shows like Back to the Future, there's a performance to suit all tastes and ages. We want to help you have a show-stopping city break which is why we combine your show tickets with a top, nearby hotel (plus breakfast) in a money-saving bundle. Simply choose your show, seats and hotel and we'll send you all the details you'll need for your visit. It couldn't be easier! And with prices starting from just £102pp*, that's got to be music to your ears? To find out more, browse our Theatre Break Deals.
  • Fun Fact

    Les Misérables is the longest running musical in West End history. Running since 1985 – present (that's over 13,964 performances!)

3. Liverpool, England

Cheap City Breaks UK - Liverpool

Liverpool is a fabulous city known for its rich maritime history, cultural hotspots, vibrant nightlife and, of course, its music scene and the legends it produced. It's also an incredibly affordable city, so if you're after fun without the hefty price tag, Liverpool will be right up your street.

  • See Liverpool's Landmarks. As you explore the city be sure to look out for all the iconic sights that make Liverpool tick. During your visit, a trip to the Royal Albert Dockis essential! Home to some amazing (and free) museums and galleries, delicious foodie spots and independent shops, it's no surprise that it's loved by Scousers and visitors alike. The Waterfront is also dominated by the 'Three Graces', that define the city's skyline: The Port of Liverpool Building, The Royal Liver Building and The Cunard Building. So after getting your fill of food and fun at the Royal Albert Dock, why not take a relaxing stroll along the waterfront to soak up the grand architecture? Speaking of architectural gems, St. George's Hall, a Grade I listed neoclassical building, located in the heart of what was Liverpool's UNESCO World Heritage, is also well worth checking out. Other popular places that shouldn't be skipped include Liverpool Cathedral, Radio City Tower, and Sefton Park.
  • Indulge in some Beatlemania. A trip to Liverpool without embracing even the slightest bit of Beatlemania is like going to Paris and not embracing the Eiffel Tower. The Beatles are very much a part of the city, with band history and tributes found throughout. Fans of the Fab Four will love The Beatles Story, an award-winning exhibition that takes you on a journey through the lives and music of the band, showcasing lots of fascinating memorabilia like original instruments and clothing. Tickets cost £16 for adults and £42 for a family ticket. There are also plenty of Beatles landmarks you can visit on your own for free! Stop off at Penny Lane, Strawberry Field and St. Peter's Church (which contains the grave of Eleanor Rigby) to see the places that inspired the songs. Head to Matthew Street, lined with Beatles themed pubs, bars and shops and home to the original Cavern Club, e.g the "birthplace of the Beatles". There's also the life-size statue of the Fab Four located at the Waterfront, which makes for a cool and quick photo opportunity.
  • Wander Liverpool's museums and art galleries. The city is absolutely brimming with free, top-notch museums and art galleries! From the Maritime Museum, to discover Liverpool's seafaring past, to the World Museum to explore everything from outer space to beautiful aquariums, the Tate Liverpool, packed with modern and contemporary art, to Walker Art Gallery, housing an internationally-renowned collection of historic art, you're bound to find one or two places that will inspire you.
  • Fun Fact

    Liverpool has more museums and galleries than anywhere in the UK outside of London!

4. Edinburgh, Scotland

Cheap City Breaks UK - Edinburgh

Travelling on a budget? Amazingly some of the cheapest things to do in Edinburgh are some of the best things you can do full stop! Gothic buildings, gardens, cultural attractions, not to mention some fantastic cheap eats, Edinburgh has it all.

  • Take a hike up Arthur's Seat. Arthur's Seat, formed by an ancient (extinct) volcano, is the main peak of a group of hills in Holyrood Park. Sitting 251m above sea level, a hike to the top will reward you with breathtaking, 360° views of the city! Whatever time of day you visit, you're in for a treat, but you can imagine how magical the views are if you plan your hike to catch sunrise or sunset. To help plan your adventure, check out these suggested routes. Depending on your chosen trail and speed, the walk will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you don't fancy such a lengthy hike, Calton Hill is a great alternative. Marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can walk up Calton Hill in about 5-10 minutes and soak up panoramic views of the whole city.
  • Discover the historic heart of Edinburgh in the Old Town. Feel like you've stepped back in time as you spend hours wandering through Edinburgh's Old Town, made up of historic cobbled streets and hidden corners, along with dozens of interesting sights and attractions. Keep an eye out for highlights such as Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, St Giles' Cathedral, Greyfriars Kirk, Greyfriars Bobby, Princes Street Gardens and a handful of free museums and galleries including National Museum of Scotland and The Writers' Museum.
  • Fun Fact

    Edinburgh's World Heritage Site covers almost 2 square miles and over 75% of all the buildings are listed, giving it the highest concentration of listed buildings anywhere in the UK!

  • Stroll around Edinburgh's museums, galleries and gardens. With museums ranging from the history of childhood to the people of Edinburgh, galleries celebrating renowned and contemporary Scottish art, and one of the finest botanic gardens in the world, it's fair to say the city is a hub of fascinating attractions. Take a look at some of our top, completely free recommendations below:

5. Cardiff, Wales

Cheap City Breaks UK - Cardiff

If you're looking for the best cheap city breaks in the UK, Cardiff should definitely be on your radar. The friendly Welsh capital has so much to offer, from picturesque parks, bustling Cardiff Bay and of course the magnificent Cardiff Castle.

  • Explore Cardiff Castle. Built on a 2,000-year-old Roman fortification, perched right in the heart of the city, Cardiff Castle is one of the most visited tourist attractions in all of Wales and a real must for history lovers. Learn about its Roman origins all the way through to the underground secrets from World War II. Entry costs just £12.50 for adults and £38 for a family ticket.
  • Fun Fact

    Cardiff Castle has a thriving events programme, hosting everything from Ghost Tours to summer concerts and outdoor cinema screenings, so it's always worth checking out if anything coincides with your visit.

  • Take a picturesque walk. While Cardiff Bay is a tourist attraction in its own right, home to everything from cosy cafes to white water rafting , it's also a perfect place for a relaxing, riverside ramble. The circular route is just over 6 miles long and takes you past some iconic Cardiff landmarks like the Norwegian Church, Wales Millennium Centre and the Senedd, the Welsh Assembly's building. Take a look at the Cardiff Bay Trail map for more details. Cardiff also has a number of pretty parks and gardens that are ideal if you're looking to escape into nature for a little while. Bute Park is a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike, boasting woodland areas, wildflower meadows, beehives, sculptures, cafes and so much more across its 130 acres.
  • Explore Cardiff's National Museum. The National Museum Cardiff houses the fantastic 'Evolution of Wales' exhibition, taking visitors from the Big Bang to the present day, with dinosaurs and woolly mammoths along the way. Upstairs, the museum boasts one of Europe's finest art collections. Discover 500 years of paintings, drawings, sculptures, silver and ceramics from Wales and across the globe. Before your visit it's worth checking out the events programme as they regularly host special talks and events. And the best part? Entry is free!

For more short breaks inspiration, including more cheap city breaks in the UK, be sure to check out our Top 10 Budget Destinations in the UK or our guide to more of the best UK city breaks.