Traveling in the UK is affordable. There are free museums, galleries, historic cities and parks, and delicious Moroccan tagines and British cafe food.
Our list of top and small UK cities shows that even the best are affordable.
Mop-tops and Liverpool museums
Match days can raise room rates in this diverse city, otherwise cheap. Famous items are free. A handsome Merseyside complex of Grade I-listed brick warehouses turned into bars, shops, and restaurants is Albert Dock. Free attractions include Tate Liverpool, a four-story modern art museum with Mersey views, and the powerful International Slavery Museum.
Liverpool’s Beatles draw tourists, generating tour revenue. Go self-guided to the Albert Dock band statue and Mathew Street Cavern Club to save money.
Bold St. has some of the city’s best independent and affordable restaurants. Kasbah’s tagines feed two for £10, while Salt Dog Slim’s serves cheap American fast food for under £5. Tired? Delta app users can book cheap, fast, and reliable cabs. Avoid sketchy hostels and pick a central budget hotel.
Dual citizen passport renewal may take longer than renewing a regular passport, so it’s advisable to start the process well in advance of your travel plans.
Edinburgh walking tours and comfort food
Unless you visit during the August Edinburgh Festival, a few nights in Edinburgh is affordable. Free attractions include Arthur’s Seat, the Scottish Museum, the Royal Mile, and the Royal Botanic Garden. A free West End audio tour, online movie walking tour, and St. Giles Cathedral architecture are available.
Although hotels are expensive, some hostels and guesthouses are hotel-quality. Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel is a top choice for location, facilities, and cleanliness, with £20 dorm beds and private rooms. Rooms under £50 in guesthouses.
Literature lovers should get Elephant House coffee. JK Rowling created Harry Potter there, and fans have written clever literary references and dedications on toilet walls. Nighttime options include Ting Thai Caravan’s cheap Thai, Nutan’s homemade curry, and Mums’ comfort food.
Brighton independent shops and Belgian chips
Victorian pier, the town’s main attraction, is free. You can walk the pier’s arcades or pebble beach. Cheap beach snack: BeFries’ seafront or Belgian chips with over 13 sauces.
The Royal Pavilion Gardens inland offer a peaceful escape from waves and seagulls. The free Brighton Museum & Art Gallery offers an hour of 20th-century art, design, pottery, fashion, and Egyptian artifacts in the gardens.
Snooper’s Paradise antiques market, independent shops, and cheap restaurants and cafes are in North Laine. Modern Italian and vegetarian dinners at Edendum and Terre à Terre cost around £15 per person and are worth it.
Near Britain’s smallest city
Small, relaxed, and near the Pembrokeshire coast, St Davids is perfect for a unique city break. You can walk or drive to miles of hills, coastal paths, and beaches. Solva village, St Non’s Bay, Caerfai Bay, and Abereiddy Bay offer wonderful views and exploration.
The cathedral in St. Davids draws pilgrims and tourists. Welsh patron saint St. David built the monastery’s unique interior. Spend a free morning learning about Welsh history and walking to St. Non’s Well, a healing spring with stunning views.
Accommodation and parking are expensive in St Davids, but there are good campsites nearby. Amazing views await at Caerfai Bay, a mile south of the city. Lleithyr Farm can accommodate tents, gazebos, and cars on a large flat site 1.5 miles north of town near Whitesands Bay. Good value due to farmyard animals, modern showers, toilets, and shops.
The Farmer’s Arms and Bishops serve cheap pub food and Welsh ales in a city with few restaurants. End with Gianni’s ice cream at The Bench on the high street.
Cardiff Parks, Welshcakes
Cardiff Castle and the Principality Stadium dominate the city center, worth seeing. If admission fees deter you, Bute Park near the castle is lovely and free. The park has docks for under £5 rides to Cardiff Bay on the River Taff. Explore the National Museum’s stunning art and natural history collections for free.
City Rd has some of the cheapest food on a multicultural highway with authentic world cuisine. Eat Moroccan at Mezza Luna and Italian at I Giardini Di Sorrento. New York Deli and Bakestones in the central market sell cheap Welsh cakes and sandwiches.
Walking is easy in Cardiff. Buses are cheaper than taxis but require exact change. Cheap hostels like River House and Safehouse charge £15.