How to take a city break without spending a fortune.

If you’re looking for a break on a budget, don’t be put off major European cities because they’re too expensive. Savvy travellers know how to keep the price of their trip down and still have a good time.

Choose your destination carefully according to the time of year. While it’s low season in many European cities right now, making it a good time to travel, going to Rome or Madrid in summer when the locals all head out of town to escape the heat, can get you some great hotel bargains. A double room in a four star hotel in Rome which normally costs €130 can be had for €75 in July and August.

If you’re taking a weekend break, bear in mind that Sunday nights in city hotels, popular with neither weekenders nor business people, are often cheaper at any time of year. Staying Saturday and Sunday nights, rather than Friday and Saturday, can save you money. And make sure you use a good hotel price-comparison website such as www.trivago.co.uk or www.hotelscombined.co.uk, as they sometimes offer a better deal than the hotels themselves, reports the Daily Mail.

Look into all flight options by using a good comparative flight website like www.skyscanner.net. Ryanair may advertise flights at a tempting price but add on fees for online check-in, paying with a debit card and checking in baggage and you may pay more than with a rival company. Watch out too for the added cost of getting to the city centre from an airport the company, for example, calls ‘Barcelona’ when it’s actually Girona, an hour's drive away.

Finally, remember that squeezing your clothes and toiletries into your hand luggage is possible for a short trip and can save you up to £30 on a return flight.

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