Cheap Seats: Next month: Dec. 7-9
October 31, 2007
Gdansk, Poland: 46.83 pounds round trip
Fly Wizz Air from London Luton to Gdansk.
Start in front of the richly adorned Artus Court at the Neptune Fountain, which highlights Gdansk’s ties to the Baltic Sea. From there, travel to the gates of the city’s shipyard to the steel Three Crosses Monument commemorating the December 1970 shooting of striking dock workers.
Inside the dockyards stands the Great Crane. Once used to lift heavy goods, it now houses a branch of the city’s maritime museum.
Inside the city, take time to visit the massive, brick St. Mary’s church. The city claims that the church can accommodate 25,000 worshippers while its tower offers visitors an awe-inspiring view of the city. Stop by the church at noon to see Adam and Eve tolling a bell atop the 50-foot astronomical clock.
Other local religious sites worth visiting include the oldest church in Gdansk, the 12th-century St. Nicholas Church, the fully restored St. Catherine’s Church, and the Oliwa Cathedral with a not-to-be-missed decorative rococo organ.
After a visit to the cathedral, enjoy a leisurely walk through the Oliwa Park and explore the ancient trees, with specimens from all over the world.
In December, visitors can see one of the city’s nativity plays or visit Long Market to see the beautifully decorated town Christmas tree — a traditional gift from a partner city.
If time allows, take a short trip north to Westerplatte to the site where World War II began. Tourists can now visit the barracks and blockhouse ruins and site museum.
Three months — Feb. 1-3Porto, Portugal: 60.44 pounds round trip
Fly Ryanair from London Stansted to Porto.
A weekend holiday to Porto should start with a visit to the National Museum of Soares dos Reis, which houses a collection of decorative arts from the 19th and 20th centuries. Art enthusiasts should also stop at the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, which has collections featuring works by Portuguese painters and sculptors.
The riverside quarter of Ribeira includes trendy restaurants and bars and is a hub of evening entertainment. Visitors can catch one of the many boats that offer relaxing sightseeing cruises along the River Douro.
The Porto Cathedral, overlooking the city, looks more like a fortress than a place of worship. Its location offers views that stretch for miles out to the sea.
Shoppers can buy just about anything including fresh cheese, bread and vegetables at the Bolhao market, although the Ribeira Craft Center is a better location for finding one-of-a-kind souvenirs. The center offers tourists traditional Portuguese goods, such as hand-painted tiles.
Vacationers with spare time may want to make a trip across the River Douro to Vila Nova de Gaia. There, they can visit lodges for a taste of port wine or go north to the industrial port of Matosinhos for delicious seafood.
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.