With frequent, low-cost flights departing Heathrow daily for destinations across Europe, it’s easy to get away for a weekend break without breaking the bank. Many European cities can be reached in a non-stop flight of just a few hours, giving you a wide range of holiday choices. Hang out in cool, modern capitals, explore the back streets of a mediaeval town, go clubbing, or simply lounge on the beach.
Amsterdam is ideal for a short break. From canal boat trips past historic buildings to browsing the Waterlooplein market stalls for a bargain, from days of visiting museums and art galleries to nights of partying, the city blends the best of traditional and modern culture.
If you want to catch some sun, head for Spain, where you can hunt down an outdoor sculpture in Madrid, or hit the beach in Barcelona.
Destinations in eastern Europe have gained in popularity in recent years, yet remain relatively cheap. Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, has no shortage of things to do, from the zoo to the Museum of Communism. Food, drink and accommodation are inexpensive, especially outside the centre.
The Hungarian capital of Budapest, on the Danube River, is known for its thermal baths, making it ideal for a spa break with a difference. Bucharest, in Romania, is an up and coming capital which welcomes tourists with open arms.
Scandinavia has a reputation for clean cities, a focus on environmental issues, and friendly locals. Copenhagen, in Denmark, boasts one of the world’s oldest amusement parks, the Tivoli, plenty of pleasant, green spaces, and its very own republic, Christiania Freetown. Stavanger, a port city on the coast of Norway, is the perfect base for all kinds of outdoor activities, set in spectacular scenery. While food and drink can be expensive in this part of the world, there are plenty of low-cost yet pleasant hotels and youth hostels for those on a budget.
Closer to home, try a short hop to Dublin for literary tourism on the trail of James Joyce, the National Leprechaun Museum, and, of course, the Guinness factory. Or there’s Edinburgh, dominated by its magnificent castle.
To make the most of your time, and save money, check out the Heathrow parking and hotel options at in advance, so you’re all sorted for your departure.