In the Old Town, this little café is friendly and cheaper than most places in the area. The coffee is decent and there’s a little cult bookshop downstairs along with free wi-fi for all which is a real bonus for travellers with laptops as using the internet can be a pricey experience in Stockholm.
Stora Nygatan 35
Think of Sweden and we inevitably think of IKEA and wrestling with flat-pack furniture. You can browse the flagship store near Stockholm – free buses from Regeringsgatan/Jakobsgatan in the centre depart every hour, Monday to Friday. Just try not to bring back too much Swedish design to fit in your backpack!
IKEA Kungens Kurva, Modulvägen 1
Youthful crowds of artists and designers have made this neighborhood in the southern inner city of Stockholm into a trendy destination. Actually called Sodermalm but nicknamed SoFo (inspiration from London’s notorious Soho?), it’s a bohemian mecca that’s home to numerous individual shops and tiny cafés and restaurants, all with a fun, lively atmosphere. Take a stroll around its squares or enjoy a picnic in the park at Nytorget, right in the center of SoFo.
Nearest metro station is Medborgarplatsen (Green Line)
Very centrally located near the cool district of SoFo (Sodermalm), this new hostel in Stockholm was a great find. Beds here are very reasonable for the city and the whole place is stylish and modern. There are no bunkbeds - just spacious shared rooms with nice personal touches and comfy beds. The metro is a block away when you want to explore the rest of the city.
Ringvägen 135, Stockholm, 11661
You might remember the TV advert that claimed ‘the Danes hate to see it leave’ but they certainly don’t mind offering visitors the chance to drink it in their city. The tour offers some of the cheapest pints in the city as, after a brief look round, you can drink for an hour for free. The catch – it’s open until 4pm, so getting your money’s worth may feel a little indecent!
Gamle Carlsberg Vej 11, DK 2500
On a recent trip I stayed at this hostel in Copenhagen and it was a great base for exploring the city, as well as one of the most affordable places to stay in this pricey city.
It’s in the perfect location right near Vesterbro, the hip quarter jammed with vintage clothes stores, trendy nightclubs and late-night bars – with an unbeatable view of the city from all the rooms as it's housed in one of Copenhagen’s few tall buildings.
There’s a bar and restaurant on the premises, and a kitchen which is helpful for budget travelers.
H.C. Andersens Boulevard 50, København V, Copenhagen
Full of character, situated in the trendy Jordaan area. Excellent Dutch apple cake, and a wonderful array of interesting lunchtime snacks with healthy options. Very reasonably priced as well. Sit outside on the canal and watch the world go by.
A number of the hotels surrounding Heathrow Airport offer good deals on car parking. This means that should you want to park your car at Heathrow - it can be a similar cost to get a night in the hotel and parking as just parking on its own! Contact the hotels directly for further deals and details.
Hotels surrounding Heathrow airport (and other airports around the country)
Travelling to Manchester? Don't necessarily head to the airport. Train connections are frequent from London Euston and if you are already in the city, then try heading up to Euston for regular (every 30 minites) connections to Manchester. Journey times are 2hrs 10mins and you can buy a ticket before you board on www.virgintrains.co.uk.
Money saving tip one - don't buy a fully flexible ticket. Instead, go to the ticket counter at Euston and buy a saver single or return for your journey. It's unlikely the train will be full (especially 1st class) and you will save a lot of money on your saver return.
In the peak hours of arrival, the taxi queue at Paddington (connecting for the Heathrow Express) can be quite sizable. Don't forget that there is a taxi share service that runs from the station so you can get to where you are going and save money if you share a taxi. London is split into different zones and there should be an agent at the station to help you.
The number of hotels serving Canary Wharf has doubled in the past year with hotels available to suit all budgets.
Located in London's East End both the Travelodge (www.travelodge.co.uk) and Holiday Inn Express (www.holidayinn.co.uk) serve Canary Wharf via a complimentary 15 minute minibus route (usually morning and evenings only). Prices start from around GBP65 and therefore the hotels make a perfect stop for the budget-conscious traveller.
Advantages - cheap and cheerful. Typically relatively new and situated around the Excel exhibition centre so good for attendees to this and Canary Wharf
Disadvantages - Poorly connected to the City (taxi, bus or DLR are your only options) and not much to do in the evening.
Located across the river in Rotherhithe, the Hilton Docklands is not so much in the Docklands as overlooking. Access to the hotel is by free shuttle bus from the nearby Canada Water station (5 min bus ride). Access to Canary Wharf can be achieved via aforementioned shuttle service to the tube and then one stop on the Jubilee line to Canary Wharf or via the boat service which operated throughout the day from the hotel and stopping at the west side of Canary Wharf.
Advantages - Parking can be included in the room rate, prices start from around GBP90 a night. Can be particularly cheap for weekend breaks if you would like to extend your stay.
Disadvantages - Not well connected. Access via shuttle bus to tube or by boat.
Fed up with battling with the tube? Not wanting to switch at Paddington? Try the new service from National Express which provides a dedicated stopping service to central London and Canary Wharf. Prices from around £20 (various offers currently available online).
Great French restaurant full of locals and great atmosphere! It is massive with two floors and the menu offers many dishes at cheap prices. Great for families travelling on a budget who want to visit a traditional French restaurant. Go early to avoid queues, however it shouldn't be a long waiting time.
7 rue Faubourg, Montmartre, Paris
Thanks to John Brunton for his article on budget bistrots. I was so glad to see La Boulangerie on the little, not easy to find street as the number two in the area no one ever mentions, the great 20th arrondissement.
I do love La Boulangerie myself for its exciting food and wonderful atmosphere at remarkable prices. For as long as the bliss lasts - I fear it may get well-known.
Easiest to get to by bus 96 heading towards Porte des Lilas, get off at Julien Lecroix, walk downwards on that same side of the street and to your left is the little dwindling Rue des Panoyaux
Massive electronic music festival at the beginning of July each year which transforms Amsterdam into a hub of dancing and revelry! 50 Euros for a ticket is a steal, with loads of concerts and experimental films, electronic music videos and art installation all available over five days.
This year’s highlights were Justice and Erol Alkan. Awesome performances!
Around the city
This Amsterdam hostel was very friendly and fun, with some very cheap pints in its ‘Uptown Bar.’
It’s among some lively coffeeshops and bars or is just a few hundred metres from the Van Gogh and Modern Art Museums for something more cultural!
Accommodation is cheap and includes breakfast and internet.
Vossiussstraat 46-47, Amsterdam, 1071AJ
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