Seven (arguably) must-visit European cities well off the beaten backpacker and tourist track, all just a cheap flight away.
1. Szczecin, Poland from £50
Between Berlin and the Baltic in the far north-west of Poland, Szczecin has only very recently appeared on the city breaker’s radar thanks to new flights from the UK. Check out this elegant, exciting city on the River Odra before the crowds get there – it could be the new Krakow or Tallinn.
2. Aalesund, Norway from £57
Norwegian sea port Aalesund really is stunningly situated across seven islands. Get your bearings by climbing the hill of Aksla, which overlooks the town with its pretty red, yellow and blue waterside houses and the surrounding islands.
3. Olbia, Sardinia from £48
Close to the resorts of the Costa Smerelda, Olbia has long been a popular summer sun destination for holidaymakers from northern Europe, but now easyJet fly there, and not just in high season, so you could explore the delights of this Mediterranean island free from the holiday crowds.
4. Memmingen Allgäu, Germany from £34
You may have considered flying to Memmingen in order to get to Munich, 68 miles away (the airport is sometimes called Munich West), but it's actually a very useful access point for gorgeous Bavarian countryside such as around Swangau (pictured), or for the Austrian Alps.
5. Debrecen, Hungary from £66
Fans of football teams who regularly participate in European competitions, will have more knowledge of un-touristy places than most. Like Decrecen, whom Liverpool played a few years ago, and which is in fact Hungary's second-largest city after Budapest. The city boasts some formidable architecture, including the Great Reformed Church (in the bottom left of the picture).
6. Tirgu Mures, Romania from £60
Also known as Târgu Mureș (look out for the trilingual street signs, in Romanian, Hungarian and German), this Romanian city isn't blessed with tourist brochure good looks, but it is cradled in green rolling hills, that will actually be white in winter, for snow covers the ground here for an average of two months a year.
7. Castletown, Isle of Man from £44
The Isle of Man doesn't often spring to mind when one thinks of a holiday island, but maybe Majorca is too mainstream for you? Tell your friends that this year you're off to the self-governing British Crown Dependency of the Isle of Man. Castletown is in fact one of the oldest towns in Britain, but not the UK (because it's not in the UK).
*flight prices correct as of date of publication - 21 October 2013