Cheap seats: Frankfurt, Germany
Two months – Nov. 2-4Frankfurt, Germany: 36.30 pounds round trip
Fly Ryanair from London Stansted to Frankfurt Hahn
Start your weekend exploration of Frankfurt in the center of the Romerberg, a square lined with reconstructed timber-framed buildings bearing such names as Great Angel, Golden Griffin and Black Star. The originals were destroyed along with half of the old city in the 1944 World War II bombings. Within the center of the Romerberg is the Fountain of Justice that once flowed with water and wine.
Also within the square is the Romer which has served as city hall since 1405. In the Emperors Hall located on the first floor visitors can see oil paintings immortalizing the emperors that ruled from 768 to 1806. To the south side of the square there is the Old Nikolai Church with daily chimes at 9 a.m. and noon.
Behind the church is the Historical Museum, which houses a complete model of the old part of the city before its 1944 destruction.
Next visit the Canvas House, a former textile shop now housing an art gallery. From here it’s a short walk to the Dom, or cathedral, with its 311 foot high tower that visitors can climb, and a museum with many treasures, including a Gothic liturgical vestment.
Next to the cathedral is the Archaeological Garden with excavations of a Roman settlement.
For a culinary treat, walk down Fressgrass, lined on both sides with cafes, restaurants, bistros and delis.
Three months — Dec. 28-30Paris: 44.12 pounds round trip
Fly Easyjet from London Luton to Paris
Celebrate the end of another year with a weekend in what many agree is the world’s most romantic city. While your weekend may include visits to the famous Eiffel Tower, Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Louvre Museum, make sure you schedule plenty of time for other city sights.
Take a romantic long-boat ride along the river Seine that provides a highlight of the city’s oldest and grandest monuments, including picture-worthy evening views of the Eiffel Tower and Louvre. Most tour operators provide commentary in English on the passing sights.
Another popular museum to visit in Paris is the Orsay Museum, housed in an old railway station exhibiting collections of art and artifacts from the Middle Ages and Impressionist eras alongside exhibits devoted to architecture, cinema and photography. A lesser- known museum worth stopping in is the Musee des Arts d’ Afrique et d’Oceanie, offering a comprehensive exhibition of African and Pacific art.
Not to be missed at the end of the Champs Elysee is the Arc de Triomphe. Visitors can take the elevator to the top to an exhibition hall where lithographs and photos depict the arch’s role in history as well as enjoy a fantastic view from the observation deck.
Reputed as the grandest address in Paris, the Pere Lachaise Cemetery is another not-to-be-missed site. As the final resting place of many famous people, including dancer Isadora Duncan, Oscar Wilde and Doors singer Jim Morrison, it is alleged to be the most visited cemetery in the world.
For a truly individual souvenir, visit the square in front of the Church of the Sacred Heart, where young artists await to paint your portrait.
Airfare prices include estimated taxes and are courtesy of the Web site www.skyscanner.net. Prices were verified as of Monday afternoon when Stripes UK went to press. Deals are not guaranteed to be available; restrictions may apply.