For a long time, the weekend city break has been popular amongst holidaymakers. Whether you’re setting off with your partner to enjoy a romantic weekend in Venice or enjoying the astonishing architecture of Barcelona, you can save on your hotel costs by booking accommodation just 5 miles outside of the city centre itself.
Research conducted by travelsupermarket.com has shown that on average, city breakers can save 41% (£53 per room per night) on their accommodation costs by booking equivalent hotels just 5 miles outside of the city centre, rather than booking a hotel within the centre itself.
In Paris you could save even more, as the average saving is 48%. And by venturing 5 miles out of the French capital, you can get a 4 star hotel cheaper than a 1 star hotel in the centre of Paris. The central 1 star Le Petit Belloy Saint Germain is offering a room for £132 per night, while the 4 star Golden Tulip Paris – Porte de St Cloud has a room for £100 per night.
Of course it’s not only Paris that this is true for. The research shows the same pattern for 5 major cities that are popular with tourists, including London, Venice, Madrid and Barcelona. A 3 star hotel in London can be found around 60% cheaper just 5 miles out, with a saving of £94 per night.
One point to bear in mind is that you should look for hotels away from major stadiums or convention centres such as Canary wharf in London and La Defense in Paris, as even though these aren’t situated in the centre, they are popular business locations and hotels in these areas can come with expensive price tags.
But staying outside the city centre doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun. All of the hotels selected in the research were situated within one mile of a metro or bus station, enabling easy access into the heart of the city and all the major attractions.
Of course metro or bus ticket prices will vary depending on the city you visit, your age and whether you wish to travel during peak or off peak times. Visiting a city during the weekend will see you paying the cheaper off peak prices. You can buy single individual tickets or day tickets, depending how often you need to travel during your stay. Most cities offer all access day tickets or travel cards that let you use different forms of public transport including buses, trains, underground trains and for Venice, waterbuses.
But the cost of the transport is easily offset by the savings you can make on your accommodation. Take London for example. A hotel 5 miles outside the city centre will put you roughly in zone 3 on the tube map. An adult, off peak day travel card will cost £6.30 per person and allows unlimited access to the city’s public transport system from zones 1 to 4.
Therefore taking the most expensive scenario, an adult couple spending a weekend in London, the daily travel costs would be £12.60 per day. When you are saving on average £53 per room per night, that’s still an average saving of £40.40 per day (nearly £81 over the course of the weekend) to stay in a hotel in zone 3/4 rather than zone 1. And the reality is that even if you were to stay centrally, you would be very likely to purchase day travelcard anyway.
Some travelcards also come with special offers. For instance, the London travelcard, if bought from a railway station (as opposed to a DLR or underground station) gives you 2 for 1 entry for London’s major attractions like the tower of London and the London eye, saving you even more money.
Our top tips for saving money on city break hotels:
- Look for hotels 5 miles or further from the centre.
- Avoid hotels near stadiums or business areas
- Book a hotel close to a Metro or bus station for ease and quick access to the city’s attractions.
- Check travel cards for promotions, like 2 for 1 entry to major attractions, giving you additional savings (terms and conditions apply, please check relevant websites for more details).
Guest post by Michael Wade of the city breaks team at travelsupermarket.com.
Research conducted by travelsupermarket.com. Correct on 14/06/2010
Based on 2 adults, 1 double room, room only. Dates of: 16th-18th July (Friday and Saturday night)
Prices per room per night.
Data compiled on 5 cities of London, Venice, Paris, Madrid and Barcelona