Newcastle Budget Travel Guide
Budget Travel Tips Newcastle-upon-Tyne UK
Arguably the most exciting city in the Northeast of the UK, Newcastle upon Tyne has shaken off its gritty industrial persona to reveal a cultural hotspot with a vibrant nightlife and an iconic skyline.
The best thing about Newcastle is that it offers all the world class attractions and culture to rival any Western capital, but it’s possible to do it on a much smaller budget making it a great destination for those who want to have an affordable trip but don’t want to compromise.
Getting to the City
There are a number of ways to reach the city including train, plane, car and coach but by far the cheapest is a low cost bus or coach service such as Megabus, especially for those visiting from London. Other cheap options can include rail, provided you book well in advance.
Within the UK, cheaper airlines such as Flybe and easyjet travel from Southampton, Bristol, Belfast and Exeter to Newcastle (but not from London). Those visiting from abroad will sometimes find it cheaper to fly directly to the city, provided they are traveling from an airport which serves Newcastle via a low cost carrier.
Remember that if you need to get a train within the UK or in continental Europe, it’s nearly always cheaper on the continent, so it’s better to travel to an airport a train ride from you and then fly direct, rather then fly from your nearest airport and then travel by train within the UK. European airports that travel via low cost carriers to Newcastle include Madrid, Gdansk, Dublin, Barcelona and Geneva.
Getting around Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Unlike far bigger cities such as London or Paris, much of central Newcastle is navigable by foot, which is of course the cheapest way to get around.
If you do need to travel further afield than the city centre, then the Metro is the most efficient way of getting around, and is not vastly more costly than the bus. In fact a Metro Day Pass is under £3 for Zone One and not much more when you include the outer zones.
Free or low cost attractions
Take a wander
The word ‘buzzing’ may well be overused when it comes to travel guides, but there are few cities it’s more applicable to than Newcastle. One of the cheapest things to do in the city is to simply wander around and take that buzz in.
Head to Chinatown, to experience the sights and smells and then take a walk to the Sage, a riverside venue in Gateshead with plenty of outdoor seating and the chance of a free concert. Also free is the ‘Newcastle Walk of Fame’ down by the Quayside.
Pavement stones have been laid for all sorts of celebs including Ant and Dec, Alan Shearer, Marc Knopfler, Robson Green, Lindisfarne, Mo Mowlem, Sting and many more that you may not have even realised were Geordies! Whilst at the Quayside be sure to take a walk along the unique Millennium Bridge. Although it’s not the only bridge of course, the city is home to seven in total including the famous Tyne Bridge; make it a challenge to walk them all! Also worth a walk around are the city walls.
Catch a free movie
Head to the Tyneside Bar and Café at 10:30 on a Sunday morning for an averagely priced brunch but a free movie; a great way to start the day.
Free galleries and museums
Newcastle has developed something of a name for itself when it comes to art and is home to a number of galleries, many of which are free to enter. These include the Hatton Gallery and the Baltic Art Gallery. The Discovery Museum in Blandford Square is also free to enter.
Where to eat and drink on a budget
As a student town it’s easier than you might think to drink for less. Many pubs, especially in the student friendly areas, offer happy hours deals which include 241 cocktails and reduced drink prices. Great places for happy hour cocktails include the Spy Bar and Hancock.
Many student friendly haunts will offer trebles (a triple shot of spirit with mixer) for just a fiver. When it comes to clubbing, the most famous clubs charge entry, but there are numerous bars that are free to enter and keep serving into the wee hours such as The Empress and Bijoux.
If you want to eat on the go but still have something good, pick up a Burrito for under a fiver from the Zapatista Burrito Bar on Grainger Street. Even cheaper still are a number of food stalls at Grainger Market which sell lunch bites for just a £2 or £3.