2014: East or South?


New Years is upon us, and one of your resolutions for 2014 might be to travel more. Your student bank balance, however, might have other ideas. Here’s the Wessex Scene’s guide to the best value for money city breaks for 2014, which seem to be all about heading east or south!


The Latvian capital, the largest city in the Baltics, is a fascinating mixture of proud Latvian traditions and influences of the various countries that previously occupied it. Riga has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and will proudly wear the title of European Capital of Culture in 2014.


Retaining its old-world ambiance and charm, Krakow is the prettiest of Poland’s main cities, having escaped the worst of WWII bombings. Wander around the atmospheric Old Town or the Jewish District crammed with cafes, galleries and restaurants.


Bratislava is certainly much more than the itinerary of Scotty Thomas from the 2004 hit Eurotrip. A city based on the two banks of the Danube River, with a historic Old Town and a castle with a marvellous view of the city centre. Don’t miss out on the traditional pubs and the food they serve – it’s delicious!


Split is second largest city in Croatia, and the largest on the Adriatic coast. Its wonderful location allows you to explore the rest of the coast and near-by islands. You will certainly stumble across plenty of restaurants and wine cellars.


Romania’s largest city and capital, affectionately known as “Little Paris”, is a bustling metropolis just waiting to be explored. Its infamous tree-lined boulevards and unique architecture are just two of the wonderful sights on offer.

Travel Top Ten


The capital and largest city of the Republic of Bulgaria is one of the Europe’s oldest cities. The National Historical Museum is one of the Eastern Europe’s most extensive. Sofia is also a green city with huge swathes of parkland within the city boundaries, and ski slopes and hiking trails right on the doorstep for the more adventurous types.


This magical place where the East meets the West has got it all. Take an evening cruise along the Bosphorus, grab a special fish sandwich and go to visit the famous Hagia Sophia. Don’t forget to stop at the Grand Bazaar!


While crowds of tourists fill Venice, Florence and Rome, Bologna remains relatively quiet in comparison. This medieval university town is charming and fun to explore, and the cuisine will certainly not disappoint you!


Stroll Las Ramblas and enjoy Barcelona’s unique blend of Catalan culture, distinctive architecture and lively nightlife. You’ll find Europe’s best-preserved Gothic Quarter here, as well as amazing architectural works by Gaudi.


The town that gave the country (and port wine) its very name, Porto is Portugal’s second-largest metropolis after Lisbon. The Old Town was built on the hills overlooking the Douro River. The 14th-century São Francisco church is a main attraction, as are the local port wine cellars.

Note: You can take either an Easyjet or Ryanair flight from London to all of these destinations!


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