Two for one: 5 of the best European twin-centres

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Booking a cheap European city break is pretty simple these days. It’s easy to go online – specifically, to Cheapflights.co.uk (nudge, nudge, wink, wink…) – and find bargain flights to cities all over our little continent. And we certainly have plenty of cities to choose from.

This is all well and good, but it can pose a bit of an issue if you, like us, suffer from want-to-travel-everywhereitis. How is it possible to pick just one city to visit?

Don’t fear, for we have the answer. It’s time for you to swap your single-destination city break for an epic twin-centre getaway. Fly to one great city, take a train or hire a car (btw, you can book car hire through us too) and then explore a totally different location. Interested? Then take a look at five of our favourite twin-centre duos…

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Seville and Granada

Seville and Granada are two of Spain’s most popular city break destinations and it’s easy to see why. They both share that uniquely Andalusian charm – with their Moorish architecture, lively tapas bars that spill out onto the streets, and charming hidden squares. Yet they offer unique attractions that make them both equally unmissable. Seville’s orange-lined streets lead to impressive attractions like the Plaza de España and Metropol Parasol. While in Granada, it’s the bohemian hillside neighbourhood of Sacramonte with its views across to the imposing Alhambra that will wow you.

Get there: You can fly into Seville from Birmingham and various London airports. With Granada only being serviced by a small airport, you’ll need to travel back to Seville to fly home. Alternatively, turn your twin centre into a triple one by flying into Malaga, which has direct flights to over 20 UK airports and both frequent and cheap bus connections to both Seville and Granada.

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Berlin and Cologne

Germany has a number of incredible cities to visit, but it’s the proximity (yet vast differences) between Berlin and Cologne make these the best German twin centre option. Berlin’s gritty cosmopolitan streets, legendary nightlife, and relics of its tumultuous 20th century will have you hooked. Travel to Cologne, and be won over by the spires of its famous cathedral and an impressive amount of galleries and museums. Visit in spring and enjoy the added bonus of its famous Karneval.

Get there: It should be no surprise, what with Germany’s reputation for hyper-efficiency, that travel between two of its major cities is pretty great. There are plenty of budget flights to both Berlin and Cologne from the UK, and the cities themselves are connected by great public transport links. There are even cheap flights between the two from as little as £18 (And with Cheapflights.co.uk, you can search for departures from both airports). If you’re in less of a rush and want to hire a car (start searching here), then you can cruise along the world famous Autobahn.

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Rome and Florence

Italy has a wealth of cities to pick and choose from, but being just an hour and 20 minutes apart by train, elegant Florence and iconic Rome make for an easy Italian twin centre. Rome needs no introductions – its world-famous attractions sell themselves. In Florence, meanwhile, you’ll be able to meander along the Arno River, taking in this romantic city, before stopping in at its famous galleries to see just why its collections are unrivalled in Europe. This is the ultimate culture vulture twin centre.

Get there: There are direct flights to Rome from many UK airports and frequent trains from Rome to Florence. There are direct flights to London from Florence, or alternatively, you can head home Pisa, which is about an hour away by train – giving you enough time to perfect that shot of you ‘leaning’ against the Leaning Tower before heading to the airport…

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Helsinki and Tallinn

Helsinki and Tallinn make for a great Nordic twin centre, being less than two and a half hours apart by ferry. On top of that, they both remain largely undiscovered in comparison to their Swedish and Danish neighbours and boast culture and charm in abundance. Great destinations all year round, but particularly charming in winter, Tallinn’s many turreted buildings and chocolate box buildings are particularly appealing with a bit of frostbite, while Helsinki’s famous saunas, cooler-than-you galleries and buzzing bars offer a welcome break from the chill.

Get there: Both cities have flights from various London airports. Flights from elsewhere in the UK will involve a stopover in London or Copenhagen. There are regular ferries between both cities, with the journey time being less than two and a half hours. It’s recommended that you book these in advance.

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Vienna and Budapest

This foodie twin centre combines two of Eastern Europe’s most endearing cities – start with coffee and cake in Vienna and end with a big bowl of goulash in Budapest,  In Vienna, you’ll spend your time drifting about the museum quarter, perhaps stopping off in one of the city’s opulent coffeehouses before ending your night at the opera. A hop, skip and a jump into Budapest and you’ll have incredible ruin bars, epic Danube views and of course, those iconic outdoor saunas to enjoy before flying home.

Get there: Both airports have frequent flights to London and there are (slightly less frequently) flights to a selection of regional airports. To travel between the two cities, you can take a high-speed,  pre-booked train (roughly 2 hours and 50 minutes) or a regional train (4 hours and 15 minutes).

Ready to plan your trip? Then look no further than Cheapflights.co.uk. You can search for flights to your first city, return flights from your second, and any flights in between. Plus, we even do hotels and car hire. So why go anywhere else?

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Two for one: 5 of the best European twin-centres was last modified: February 1st, 2017 by Kirsten McCroskrie
Author: Kirsten McCroskrie (90 posts)

Scottish-born London dweller who uses any chance she gets to chase the sunshine. Most at home when sipping cocktails by the sea, but will always happily settle for a double-shot cappuccino in an inner-city hipster café...