Skyscanner brings you five ideas for breaks to unsung cities to banish the winter blues – all for under £50!
Bergamo, Italy £34
Miss out Milan and capitalise on the location of low-cost carrier airport Milan Bergamo by heading instead to the latter city. Bergamo is ideal for an easy Italian break, free from the tourist crowds of Rome or Venice, and especially so in the quiet pre-Christmas period. Wander the winding streets up to the città alta then hop on the funicular to the hilltop village of San Vigilio to admire the view over the lovely Lombardy countryside. Sip a white wine and Campari rosso lanterna – the favourite local aperitif – before indulging in dinner. If a quiet weekend enjoying the finer things in life is not enough, then Milan is an hour away, and Lake Como and the Italian Alps are nearby. Find cheap flights to Bergamo
Frankfurt, Germany £34
Everyone goes to Berlin. So what about Frankfurt? The German capital is of course one of the trendiest European cities, but why not out-cool your colleagues with a trip to an unsung German destination? Frankfurt’s sky-scraping cityscape doesn’t disguise its role as a financial centre but there’s so much more to admire than tall buildings and impeccably-dressed businessmen.
Wander around the Sachenhausen district on Frankfurt’s south bank and pop into the impressive Städel Museum for a peek at a Picasso. Take in a classic matinée at the Deutsches Filmuseum and then end up in one of the many atmospheric apple-wine taverns around Affentorplatz for a well-deserved, yes, you guessed it, cider. Find cheap flights to Frankfurt
Nimes, France £34
Nimes is up against it. It’s not even in Provence and competition for places on the must-go list is strong in the south of France. However, Nimes, over the border in Languedoc is a little gem, and even more delightful outside the sweltering summer season. Its Arena is but a footnote on the Roman trail, but is as evocative of lion-baiting gladiatorial combat as the Coliseum. Its cuisine is as exalted as its near-neighbour Provence, yet its menus more palatable to the pocket. And if you really must, it’s only 25 minutes by train to Arles. Find cheap flights to Nimes
Eindhoven, The Netherlands £38
Are you over Amsterdam? While ‘The Dam’ certainly has its charms, you won’t bump into many stag dos in the smart Dutch city of Eindhoven. A leader in the fields of design and tech, Eindhoven also holds the little-known claim to fame of having the street with the most bars in the Netherlands. There are more than 40 on the Stratumseind – so be sure to sample one or two. Although there is a risk of running into Dutch stag parties, this is a much cooler place for a pub crawl than Amsterdam’s Red Light District, and there’s a happy hour or two, so why not take advantage? Find cheap flights to Eindhoven
Inverness, Scotland £42
The Gay Gordons? Strip the Willow? The Sausage Machine? If you have never taken part in a ceilidh – a traditional Scottish social gathering involving music and dancing (yes, The Sausage Machine really is a dance) – give it a go in Inverness. Ceilidhs are an unforgettably fun way of livening up long, dark winter evenings, so take your partner by the hand and party like a local in the ‘Capital of the Highlands’. Shop for Nessie-shaped souvenirs, go for a bracing walk at Ness Islands, and drum up Dutch courage with a dram in a city hostelry. You can get the party started early at the hoochin’ Hootenanny bar, which hosts the ‘Super Ceilidh’ every Saturday afternoon, as well as traditional music sessions three nights a week. Find cheap flights to Inverness