Fly with a budget airline and use the cash you've saved to hole up in a stylish hotel with a great restaurant for that well-deserved weekend away.
Take in the rooftop panorama from the Coda Roof Terrace restaurant before retiring to your individually designed, music-themed room at the Aria Hotel, Trziste 9, Prague (00 420 225 334 111; ariahotel.net). Each one contains artwork, books and multimedia in honour of musical icons from Mozart to Miles Davis.
The centrally located Bairro Alto Hotel, 8 Praca Luis de Camoes, Lisbon (00 35 1 21 340 8288; bairroalto hotel.com), is perfectly placed for sightseeing, shopping and partying in Portugal's capital. Or stay put for the modern Portuguese cuisine on offer at the hotel's swish Flores restaurant.
World-renowned experimental chef Ferran Adria has spent the past 20 years dreaming up dishes such as grilled vegetable with charcoal oil for his famous el Bulli restaurant in northern Spain. You can try a selection of them at La Alqueria restaurant in the elBullihotel Hacienda Benazuza, 41800 Sanlucar la Mayor, Seville (00 34 955 703 344; elbullihotel.com).
With its striking contemporary design, Front, Sankt Annai Plads 21, Copenhagen 1021 (00 45 3313 3400; front.dk), is a hotel that's so trendy it hurts. Dishes such as tangerine panna cotta with cinnamon are as elegant as the dining room they're served in.
Two hours by car from Ljubljana airport, Hisa Franko, Staro Selo 1, 5222 Kobarid, Slovenia (00 386 5 389 41 20; hisafranko .com) is a great venue for a gourmet weekend retreat in the mountains. The hotel's cutting-edge menu might include octopus and saffron on a root celery cream.
Enjoy a pre-dinner drink on the terrace overlooking Spinola Bay then repair to Zest restaurant at Hotel Juliani, 12 St George's Road, St Julians, Malta (00 356 2138 8000; hotel juliani.com), for a pan-Asian menu that takes in everything from Singaporean seafood laksas to sushi.
The nine-course tasting menu at two-Michelin-starred Le Jardin des Sens, 11 avenue Saint-Lazare, Montpellier (00 33 4 99 58 38 38; jardindessens.com), showcases the unique talents of twin chefs the Pourcel brothers and might include roasted sea bass, oysters and lemon confit or pigeon with cherries and gingerbread.
Enjoy stunning views of the Amalfi coast with your freshly made pasta on the Terrazza Belvedere at Palazzo Sasso, Via San Giovanni del Toro 28, 84010 Ravello (00 39 089 81 81 81; palazzosasso.com). Or indulge in a gastronomic blow-out in Rosselinis, the hotel's fine restaurant.Reuse content