Places in Europe you can visit for Easter cheaper than the UK

The recent price hike in rail fares has helped to make travelling by train a bit of an expensive luxury, especially if you are travelling with your family. Not only is it very expensive, frequently it is highly inconvenient and on the more popular routes it is often difficult to find a seat. It isn’t surprising that more Brits than ever are expected to spend their Easter breaks in Europe rather than the UK; not just because they are hoping for better weather or they are seeking out new experiences; those are important too, but the main reason is that today if you search around often it is cheaper than taking a holiday by train in the UK.

The cost of UK rail travel

Let’s look at a popular Easter holiday destination in the UK and compare the cost for a family of two adults and two children travelling by train with the cost for a similar family travelling by air to popular destinations in the UK.
One of the favourite Easter holiday destinations for people getting out of London is St Ives in Cornwall. Checking the prices on Trainline we see that the cost of travelling to St Ives from London on Good Friday and returning on Easter Monday will cost around £290 for a second class off-peak return.

European Destinations

So what does that buy you on a flight to some popular European destinations? There are many websites that sell cheap European flights over Easter, but it isn’t hard to find some real bargains. Here are some great locations to choose from.


Springtime is traditionally the best time of year to visit Paris, the city of light. It is impossible to run out of things to do and see. Paris has a great Easter tradition, though Good Friday is a normal working day. The French don’t just have Easter eggs; they indulge in a huge range of Easter chocolates of all kinds. Easter Sunday in Paris is very special, especially Sunday lunch so book your table early.

Getting there

Budget airlines price for flights to Paris from London for a family of 2 adults and 2 children flying out on Good Friday and returning on Easter Monday the total cost is £140 including taxes; less than half the cost of going to St Ives by Train.


Barcelona is one of Spain’s top Easter destinations. Visit the ancient city; take in the inimitable architectureof AntoniGaudí including the breathtaking gothic SagradaFamilia; wander down La Rambla, the most famous street in Barcelona; visit a Picasso exhibition; visit the Fundació Joan Miró museum; and most of all enjoy the wonderful food.

Getting there

Flying to Barcelona is even cheaper than Paris; the same family can fly there an back for just £127. Also if you are willing to shop around a little you will find that with a family of four travelling together you can qualify for additional discounts of up to £20.


Brussels might not be the most romantic European destination, but it is the centre of the European Commission and there are many interesting things to see and do. Although the city is famous for its beer and chocolate it also has fantastic food, the amazing 12th-century Grand Place, huge Gothic buildings, art deco and art nouveau; and many wonderful open green parks.

Getting there

Getting to Brussels for Easter couldn’t be cheaper; our family could fly there for as little as £74 return.


Lille is becoming a popular destination for a short city break. Modern Lille is very different from the industrial city that it used to be. Today it is a thriving modern city with many historical sites to visit, great shopping, and excellent restaurants and entertainment.

Getting there

Return flights to Lille for the family will cost around £200; a little more expensive than some of the other destinations mentioned, but still considerably cheaper than visiting St Ives by train. However it is even cheaper if you travelby Eurostar along with the option of adding a discounted hotel booking

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