barcelona view

5 great value city break destinations

You’ve slogged through January (and most of February) and the kids are back to school after the February half term, now is the time for the perfect city break. Hotel and flight prices have seen a little dip; restaurants, bars and hotel lounges are suddenly a lot quieter…and a lot more inviting.

It’s the perfect time for you and a mate / sibling / partner (take your pick) to take a well-deserved break. And FairFX is here to help.

Take a trip to one of these awesome European destinations armed with your FairFX Prepaid Mastercard® and enjoy more of the things you love, for less.


It might seem a little too early in the year to be hitting the beaches of Europe but by the end of March the sun is already beginning to sizzle in the south of Spain.

Don’t get us wrong we’re not making a promise with that weather forecast but if you’re looking for a fantastic city break with the potential for a little sunbathing then Barcelona and its beaches are an excellent shout.

And whatever the weather, Barcelona has some delicious tapas bars and stunning architecture to admire in its Gothic Quarter. Plus of course, some historic and well-known attractions such as La Sagrada Família church and the Park Güell.


The Portuguese capital is another city break destination with beautiful sea views and a warmer climate this time of year. Expect highs between 16 and 18 degrees in February and March, plus a refreshing evening breeze from the Atlantic Ocean.

Hop aboard century-old wooden trams and iron funiculars that rumble their way up and down the steep hills that the city is built upon. Or wander through the Baixa district. This is the heart of Lisbon and was completely rebuilt after the devastating 1755 earthquake. The district comprises of magnificent plazas, which are connected by straight avenues lined with grand 18th-century architecture.

yellow tram in lisbon

This Southern European destination has bull fighting rooted in its culture. Yes, we know it’s controversial but like it or loathe it, it’s local Lisbon culture at its rawest. The season usually starts on the second Sunday of March but check local information here for exact dates and tickets, if you are interested in witnessing this tradition.


Oslo isn’t exactly known for being a cheap city break, quite the opposite if anything, but now is an excellent time to enjoy the capital of Norway, for a little less.

As well as the bonus of cheaper flights now that school is back in session, the pound is doing very well against the Norwegian Krone compared to 5 years ago. At the start of the year the pound was up 24% compared to 5 years ago, giving you an extra £190.78 spending money per £1,000 exchanged.

This Scandinavian destination is well known for its modern architecture and contemporary art museums. Even on a short city break though, it’s easy to venture out of the city and see some of Norway’s natural beauty.


If you’re looking for a top European city break, there’s little competition to a weekend in Dublin.

It is of course a popular destination for celebrating St Patrick’s Day (17th March), which lands on a Saturday this year, making the celebration itself an excellent weekend getaway but be aware that hotel and flight prices will undoubtedly soar that weekend.

Dublin is a lively city any day of the year though, so to benefit from a better value break it’s best to pick a date that doesn’t clash with the celebration of Ireland’s patron saint, as well as avoiding the UK school holidays.

Once you’ve arrived to the fresh air of Dublin, enjoy walks around St Stephen’s Green, a tour of the Guinness Storehouse, and a stroll down the cobbled streets of Temple Bar.

dublin garden


Sofia is Bulgaria’s pleasingly laid-back capital. Sofia isn’t near the coast or Bulgaria’s ski slopes, so is often overlooked by tourists, but that’s a mistake.

Sofia has a lot to offer. It isn’t a sprawling metropolis but is home to some of Bulgaria’s finest art galleries and museums. The city also has a fantastic food and drink scene, with restaurants, bistros, cafes and eating establishments for all tastes and budgets.

If you’re focused on a great value getaway that you’re sure to remember, Sofia is an excellent choice. As well as being able to bag cheaper flights now that the kids are back in session, Bulgaria often appears in our best value destination lists.

Looking for a hassle-free way to share travel money between you and your travel buddies? Link as many FairFX Family & Friends Cards to your main FairFX Card, and move money between cards with a few taps of our app.

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Mariette Ferreira

Mariette Ferreira

Mariette heads up marketing at FairFX. She loves travelling, scuba diving and South Africa, but she's yet to combine all three in one.

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