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Rise of the City Break - 42 Million Brits Plan a European City Break in 2015

Published: Mon 30 Mar 2015 at 14:32

Updated: Mon 30 Mar 2015 at 15:25

Destination Guides, Announcements

- Italy tops the city break wish list
- Jet2holidays research reveals Amsterdam to be the friendliest European city
- 1 million people admit planning a break around taking the ultimate show-off selfie

A staggering 83 per cent of Brits have booked, or are thinking of booking, a city break this year – meaning up to 42 million* of us will be descending on European city hot spots in 2015.

Jet2holidays asked 1,000 UK adults about their holiday plans to mark the launch of their city break offering for 2015 – giving customers a choice of over 20 top cities to travel to.

As part of the research, the UK’s third largest tour operator asked holidaymakers which is the friendliest European city to visit. Amsterdam topped the poll, although big bustling cities like Paris and Rome, which may seem intimidating to the uninitiated, also made the top five:

  1. Amsterdam (27%)
  2. Barcelona (10%)
  3. Paris (7%)
  4. Rome (7%)
  5. Venice (6%)

Their friendly nature might be the reason Amsterdam, Barcelona and Paris also top the list for being those cities we’re likely to visit multiple times.

The Jet2holidays research revealed that the average person has been on seven European city breaks and 11 UK city breaks. Only 10 per cent of people have never taken one and yet a handful of lucky globetrotters (2%) have been on 51 or more!

When questioned about why they like to take city breaks, the overwhelming response was to make the most of sightseeing opportunities (71 per cent), to enjoy the culture (60 per cent), for the food (43 per cent), to learn more about its history (43 per cent), and to partake in a spot of shopping (38 per cent). However, just over one million people (2 per cent) admit the thought of getting the ultimate show-off selfie in front of a famous landmark is also a reason to book.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2holidays, said: “I think the reason city breaks are so popular is that they are an ideal opportunity to see somewhere really spectacular, but without needing to spend a fortune, or take a prolonged period of time off work. You can really feel like you’ve had a break from everything in just a few days full of sightseeing, good food, history and culture. You can even book a last minute break, and be jetting off to one of the world’s top destinations before you know it.

“As a company we pride ourselves on our friendly nature, so it’s interesting to see where in Europe people see as being the friendliest cities, and I think some might be surprised by the results. But the fact so many of us go back to the same cities time and time again shows how welcoming they are, and how much there is to do there.

“We’re really proud of the fantastic range of destinations we offer – from cities like Las Palmas, where you can enjoy year round sun, to bustling places like Barcelona, we’re confident there’s a friendly city break option for everyone!”

The research revealed that city break locations are mainly influenced by recommendations from friends or family (19 per cent), a bucket list (16 per cent), TV programmes or films (14 per cent), books or magazines (10 per cent) and seeing where other people have been on social media (seven per cent). Social media envy is much more likely to impact the under 25s, with 15 per cent of this age range admitting that spurs them on to book a break.

The top 10 European cities Brits would like to visit are:

  1. Rome (42%)
  2. Venice (42%)
  3. Barcelona (38%)
  4. Amsterdam (36%)
  5. Paris (33%)
  6. Vienna (32%)
  7. Prague (28%)
  8. Budapest (25%)
  9. Pisa (20%)
  10. Cologne (17%)

ATOL protected Jet2holidays city breaks can be booked with a low £60 deposit and include flights, accommodation and 10kg hand baggage. For more information or to book visit

Research conducted on a nationally representative sample of 1,011 people in March 2015.

*Population figures based on the Office of National Statistic’s 2013 estimated population figures for over 18s.

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