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1 October 2020

Five bargain cultural trips for winter

Fancy a weekend in one of Europe’s great artistic and historic hotspots but not too keen on the crowds? You could save a packet and have a more peaceful trip in the winter. 

We compared prices for winter with the averages for the rest of the year at these five cities and found big savings for a weekend break. 

Dubrovnik, Croatia 

Save £199 by visiting in winter

Hotels here were an average of £69 a night in February, compared with £147 across the year. 

Prices rocket in this spectacularly atmospheric, wildly popular city in summer. With day temperatures down to 9°C in February it’s not hard to see why, but if you hate crowds it’s the ideal time to stroll through its legendary old town. 

You will actually see it properly, rather than deal with tourists cramming its ancient, walled streets. 

Athens, Greece 

Save £119 by visiting in winter

Greece is not just for the summer. Combining a beach break with an attempt to see the sites is a recipe for a sweltering meltdown. 

But a trip to the Acropolis Museum or National Archaeological Museum is far more pleasant in winter, even if it’s 13°C rather than 31°C outside. 

Tickets for both are also half the price in winter – €5 rather than €10. Hotels average €57 a night, rather than €88 over the whole year.

Florence, Italy 

Save £113 by visiting in winter

The jewel of the Renaissance isn’t empty any time of year but you’ll have a better view of Michaelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery (€12) or the fabulous Uffizi Gallery (€20) in winter. 

You’ll also pay £50 less for flights and just £160 for two nights in a hotel in February. 

It’ll be chilly, about 9°C, but when you’re there for the museums that hardly matters.

Seville, Spain 

Save £87 by visiting in winter

Unless you really love the heat there’s no reason to wait until the spring for your visit to the ‘frying pan of Spain’. Even in February you’ll typically find clear blue skies and highs of around 17°C in Seville. 

The Alcazar (€7) – as beautiful albeit smaller than the better known Alhambra in Granada – or the epically gorgeous cathedral will be just as good and less crowded, while hotels average £59 a night (rather than £78 across the year).

Rome, Italy 

Save £63 by visiting in winter

According to legend, the Romans built the Pantheon in such a way that, despite the open skylight in the roof, rain can't enter. Unfortunately, this isn't true but it's still one of the most impressive buildings in the world, with a grace and elegance that's survived 2,000 years. And that's just one of Rome's world-beating attractions. 

A little extra rainfall is a small price to pay, with average flights £117 rather than £132 in February and hotels £67 a night rather than £91. 

Cooler temperatures – 13°C highs in February against 30°C in August – also make it more comfortable to walk around the legendary Forum (pictured).