I love a super cheap holiday as much as the next person, so when Cheapflights asked me to go on a weekend away for two for £500, I couldn’t resist the challenge (and taking my travel partner in crime Ashton Jade along with me).
All of the trips I have taken this year have been under £500 for flights and accommodation, but my budget set by Cheapflights was £500 ALL IN. That meant travel, transfers, accommodation, activities and food.
Our original plan was to go to Sweden, however, one day after we had booked out flights, Monarch went bust and our flights were cancelled. We quickly did some research using the Cheapflights website and found ourselves booking a trip elsewhere – Düsseldorf.
The flights were £112 per person for return flights with Flybe and German wings. They were booked through the Cheapflights site, which redirected us to Opodo for booking.
? Total Spent: £224
I’ve been to Germany before however, I’m not sure if it counts as all I did was stay in a hotel on the border, go to an all you can eat Chinese and grab a McDonald’s breakfast on my way home. Doesn’t exactly scream Germany, does it? ??
As it was technically a new country, I was pretty excited.
In the two weeks run up to our trip both me and Ashton did our research on the places we wanted to visit and where we wanted to stay.
After looking at both hotels and Airbnb we decided that Airbnb would be our best bet, so booked a room in a stunning, central apartment for £121.
? Total Spent: £345
On the morning of the trip, Ashton met me at Birmingham International for our 2′ o clock flight. We checked in and made our way to our gate.
When we arrived we got a train into the city which was much quicker than we expected, then we had a wander around Düsseldorf HBF stations before jumping on the tube to our apartment.
From here onwards I have converted everything into pounds based on the October 2017 exchange rate, however, I’ll detail the Euros for individual items too.
As we arrived pretty late we thought it would be best to get settled in our apartment and have an early night. We walked a nearby Lidl to get some essentials (including pizza, prosecco, beer and snacks) then settled down for a night of food, alcohol and planning our adventures for the next day.
? Total Spent: £360.28 (+ 17.10 Euro for the essentials)
The next morning we jumped on the tube from Oberliker to Düsseldorf HBF so we could go to the tourist information station and buy our City Tour Hop On Hop Off 24 Hour Bus Passes. With only one and a half days in the city, we guessed this would be the best way to see everything.
The first time around we stayed on for every single stop so we could get a good idea of the places we wanted to get off. We went to the top deck, opened the windows on and popped our headphones in for a 90-minute journey in the 23 degrees sunshine.
I’ve never done a hop on hop off bus tour before and I was surprised at how much I learnt, including:
- Cartwheeling is the oldest tradition in Dusseldorf and the symbol can be found on many landmarks and souvenirs across the city
- Düsseldorf’s Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (academy for the arts) has produced many notable names
- Königsallee is Germany’s busiest upmarket shopping street, as well as being one of the most picturesque.
After going to all the stops we got off in Altstadt, the ‘Old Town’ and home to The Longest Bar in The World.
? Total Spent: £387.10 (+ 30 Euro for the Hop on Hop off tickets)
Before going to Düsseldorf I heard lots about the famous ‘Longest Bar in the World‘ and added it as a must-see for the trip. What I didn’t realise is that rather than it being one loooooong bar, it was a small area that had more than 260 bars and restaurants. Definitely my kind of place.
We walked around here for about 45 minutes before finding a bar on the River Rhine that had a view of the Media tower. We hadn’t eaten yet so ordered a pizza and a drink each – my first German beer
? Total Spent: £404.71 (+ 19.70 Euro for Pizza and a beer each)
After pizza, I was determined to find dessert so we walked around Aldstaldt looking for Eis Pia Cafe, a place I heard sold the German favourite – Ice Cream Spaghetti. After seeing it on Facebook months ago Ice Cream Spaghetti instantly became something I knew I had to try and it did not let me down. Hands down the best ice cream I have ever eaten – 10/10 would recommend.
? Total Spent: + £410.07 (+ 6 Euro for Ice Cream Spaghetti)
After ice cream, we ran back to the Altstadt bus stop to make it in time for the next bus to the Rhine. There were demonstrations on so traffic was at a complete standstill and we got stuck for about half an hour. It put us a little behind schedule, so we wouldn’t make it back from the tower in time for the last bus.
The first thing we did was jump in the lift to the top of the Media Tower. It was 168.2ft high and the questionable lift went so fast it made my ears pop. If you follow my blog you’ll know I love a good vantage point, but the Media Tower was actually pretty disappointing. The lights reflected on the glass below making it very difficult to get any photographs and the bar was far too expensive, considering we’d already paid almost €20 euros to get to the top.
? Total Spent: £426.16 (+ 18 Euro for two tickets to the top of the Media Tower)
After half an hour of walking around, we got back in the lift to the bottom and took a stroll along the Media Harbour as the sun was setting.
The Media Harbour is made up of so many modern, innovative buildings that house the Media and marketing brands of Düsseldorf. It’s VERY different to the Old Town and although it’s not my usual style of building I like to photograph, I did have fun playing around with my camera as the sunset.
Having missed the last City Tour bus to Central Station, we jumped on a regular public transport that was supposed to take us back to Düsseldorf HBF. Turns out we completely misunderstood the directions Google Maps gave and we ended up back at Aldstaldt.
? Total Spent: £430.99 (+ 5.40 Euro for the bus back to Central)
We walked around, grabbed some water and watched street performers before finding the nearest tube station to take us back to central. Once there, we stopped for some fish and chips (for Ashton) and an amazing Bratwurst sausage. We grabbed some drinks to tide us over for the night and went back to the apartment for a night of watching German TV, including The Chase in German – surprisingly we were able to guess some of what was said.
? Total Spent: £436.80 (+ 6.50 Euro for Bratwurst and fish and chips)
We ended up sleeping for 10 hours and as we only had a few hours until we needed to leave for our train we thought it would be a waste not to get out and do something. I had plans to shoot an outfit in a cute little park area, so after we did that we packed our cases and went back to central.
I’d read about a cupcake cafe called Sugarbird that looks really Instagramable, so being the cliche bloggers we are we went there for an afternoon snack. It was so nice inside (the grey and pink theme I am dying to decorate my bedroom in) and the cupcakes were incredible. I had a vegan chocolate one and it almost defeated me it was that big.
? Total Spent: £447.97 (+12.50 Euro for Sugarbird Cupcakes and a Coke)
After one more walk around looking for a souvenir shop (apparently they’re all closed on Sundays), we went back to the apartment to grab our cases and lock up.
We went straight to the airport and grabbed a cheeky McDonald’s as we had time to spare due to a flight delay.
? Total Spent: £465.94 (£17.97 for the airport McDonalds)
When we finally arrived back in England we had a short wait at the station before our train, so we finally got back to mine at around 10.30pm.
? Total Spent: £492.44 (£26.50 return train fare from the station and taxi home)
So as you can see, we managed to stick to the budget with £492.44. We were never short on food or activities, but the one thing we were lacking was enough funds to be able to have a decent night out. The beer was cheap, so I reckon this would have only added an extra £50-£60.
I’m so amazed I managed to stick to the budget and have an incredible weekend enjoying German food, great beer and lots and lots of laughs with one of my best friends.
If you’d like to book your own trip to Düsseldorf with Cheapflights you can visit their website here: https://www.cheapflights.co.uk
I can’t wait to explore more of Germany and will definitely have to book a trip back soon – I’m thinking Hamburg, maybe? ??