Holiday gift ideas: beat those January blues and smash the New Year’s resolutions for a good reason with a gift of a city break. They’re an excellent Christmas gift idea and for less than the price of an iPad, or an XBox or even a posh meal out you could be jetting off to visit a different country. Book with HostelBookers and you only have to pay a 10% deposit on your accommodation now – you can settle the difference when you arrive at your hostel next year.
For around €90pp you could buy a flight and accommodation for your nearest and dearest and go dancing in the Berlin nightlife, cruising Venice’s Grand Canal, or even shopping in the souks of Marrakech.
And the best thing about buying someone a city break for Christmas is that you don’t even have to leave the house to do it.
All prices below are for flights from London on the weekend 12-15 January and three nights’ accommodation.
For your boyfriend…
Flights and accommodation for two = €179
Pay just €89.90 today
Flights from €40pp*.
Welcome Inn is €16.50pppn for two people in a private double room = €99 for three nights. It’s located just off La Ramblas and close to Plaça Catalunya in a 19 century modernist building.
- Go for a romantic walk around the port, along the beach and up Montjuic Mountain.
- Take an adrenaline-pumping ride in the Transbordador Aeri del Port cable car.
- Have a few drinks at the best bars in the Barrio Gothic.
- Eat the tastiest tapas in town.
- Feel inspired by the beautiful Sagrada Familia and the Hospital de San Pau.
For your girlfriend…
Flights and accommodation for two = €268.42
Pay just €130.72 today
Flights from €57.71pp*.
Casa LaGana is €25.50ppn for two people in a private double room = €153 for three nights. It’s just ten minutes from St Mark’s Square and
- Pick out some Murano glass together.
- Take a late-night gondola ride (sometimes they’re discounted at the end of the day).
- Enjoy a glass of wine in St Mark’s Square at dusk.
- Look out from the top of the Campanile over the endless lagoon.
- Have dinner at a restaurant next to the Grand Canal.
More things to do in Venice.
For your best boy mate…
Flights and accommodation for two = €189.86
Pay just €106.16 today
Flights from €48.43pp*.
Amsterdam Hostel Centre is €15.50pppn for two people in a 10-bed ensuite dorm = €93 for three nights. You’ll find all the top nightlife of the Leidseplein nearby, as well as the Kerkstraat, the Reguliersdwarsstraat, Damsquare, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh and Vondelpark.
- Check out the coffee shops.
- Go to the Touw and Studio80, it’s where all the cool kids go raving.
- Soak up the culture in the Amsterdam museums and galleries.
- Rent a bike and take yourself on a tour.
- Check out the windmill microbrewery in the Brouwerij ‘t IJ (above).
For your best girl mate…
Flights and accommodation for two = €190.82
Pay just €147.62 today
Flights from €71.41pp*.
Pegasus Hostel Berlin is €8pppn for two people in a 10-bed dorm = €48 for three nights. The hostel is just 5 minutes from the overground (S-Bahn) and the Ostbahnhof train station, and just 5 minutes from the Berlin wall.
- Go dancing in Berghain, Panorama Bar, Watergate and Ritter Butzke.
- Eat Sauerkraut and admire the art at the exhibition warehouse Kunsthaus Tascheles.
- Drink as much wine as possible at the Weinerei – you pay €5 for a glass then help yourself to the bottle and pay what you think you should when you leave.
- Go shopping at the boutique mini-department store Berlinomat.
- Have a spa day at super-sleek Liquidrom.
For your mum…
Flights and accommodation for two = €167.22
Pay just €149.32 today
Flights from €73.14pp*.
Riad Hamdane et SPA is €3.49pppn for two people in a superior private double = €20.94 for three nights. There are no twin rooms here, but at that price you could always get a room each. The riad is close to the famous Jamaa El Fna Square and is decorated in the traditional Moroccan way. There’s a roof terrace and breakfast is included.
- Bargain at the souks for brass, slippers and trinkets.
- Eat at the Jamaa El Fna Square Night Markets.
- Have a glass of wine at the La Boheme Bar overlooking the square.
- Go for a double hammam or massage.
- Keep an eye out for belly dancing shows around Marrakech.
For your dad…
Flights and accommodation for two = €186.44
Pay just €118.94 today
Flights from €55.72pp*.
Casa das Taipas is €12.50pppn for two people in a private twin ensuite = €75 for three nights. Right in the centre of Porto this is a really beautiful hotel within 5 minute’s walk of all the main sights, they’re also quiet strict on the 11pm quiet time too.
- Climb Clérigos Church and admire the view over the sea of colourful rooftops and the beautiful beaches in the distance.
- Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ribeira and sample the cocktails.
- Cross over the river using the impressive Ponte do Dom Luis I bridge to visit the Port Houses of Vila Nova de Gai. Turn up and join a tour for around €10.
- Eat Francesinha: a sandwich filled with meat, covered in cheese and drowned in a tasty boozey sauce, all served on a bed of chips. Order a Super Bok beer to compliment it too.
- Watch the incredible sunset from the bars and restaurants of the Foz district.
For your grandparents…
Flights and accommodation for two = €196.72
Pay just €104.92 today
Flights from €47.36pp*.
Rozapartments is €17pppn for two people in an apartment = €102 for three nights. Private accommodation in Budapest starts at just €2.60pppn, but I chose this apartment so dear old Grandpa/ma can have the bedroom and be close to a private toilet while you sleep on the sofa bed. Depending on how close you are to you grandparents and how fit they are you could try somewhere else. If you go elsewhere remember to check there is a lift. Some hostels in Budapest are up the top of huge buildings – beautiful for the panorama, not so much for the pacemaker.
- Have a healing bath at the Szechyani Baths, the Gellert Baths or the Rudas Baths.
- Take a ride on the historical Funicular Railway up to the Buda Castle for an incredible view.
- Taste over 50 regional wines in Faust Wine Cellar or at the Royal Wine House on Castle Hill.
- Check out a classical concert at the Budapest Opera House – it’s amazingly cheap.
- Indulge in some goose goulash and Hungarian pastries at a few of the many incredible traditional restaurants around the city.
Flights and accommodation for one = €108.05
Pay just €53.65 today
Flights from €47.60pp*.
Generator Hostel is €20.15pppn for one person in an 8-bed ensuite dorm = €60.45 for three nights. The hostel is close to the Rosenborg, Strøget and the world famous Little Mermaid.
- Wander around the famous old Tivoli Gardens filled with tree-lined pathways, theatres, open air stages, restaurants, cafés, and attractions.
- Go shopping along the Strøget – you’ll find budget shops and luxurious ones side by side.
- Go for a beer at Nyhaven – the colourful port (above) is full of classy restaurants and bars.
- Check out the incredible Rosenberg Castle. If you think it’s impressive from the outside, wait until you see the interior.
- Visit the largest collection of living plants in Denmark at the Botanical Gardens of Copenhagen.
*All prices correct on 24/11/11. Flights are from London for the weekend 12-15 January. I used travelsupermarket.com for the best flight prices.
Thanks to calflier001, Alex E. Proimos, gnuckx, midom, neiljs, ** Maurice ** and GiÃ¥m for the images from Flickr. Please note, all images were used under the Creative Commons License at the time of posting.