It costs enough to get there so it's great you can see the sights and not break the bank, writes Sara Dajani

LONDON

Why go?

London is the fourth largest city in Europe and is an extraordinary metropolitan hub, where there are endless things to see and do.

Culture: Visitors must make a trip to at least one of its renowned historical museums. They are all free entry, so take your pick. The Natural History Museum, The British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum are some of the most popular.

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Food: Pret A Manger lunch bars are everywhere and have cheap pre-made sandwiches, soups and salads — perfect if you are on the go. The Cheese Bar in Camden is a local favourite that has overflowing cheesy sandwiches from £6.50 (NZ$12.50). Are you a hummus lover? Hummus Bros has plates for £5.95 in Soho. In terms of alcoholic beverages, Dirty Bones in Kensington has delicious cocktail specials Monday to Friday 3pm-6pm for just £5.

Transport: Using the underground system, the Tube, is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get around. Purchase an Oyster card from the nearest tube station and pay just £2.40 each trip. If you have the card, then a single bus trip will only cost you £1.50. Or pay just £2 to use a Santander Cycle bike for up to 24 hours.

The British Museum, London. Photo / Getty Images
The British Museum, London. Photo / Getty Images

MANCHESTER

Why go?

Manchester is in the northwest of England and has vast industrial history. The city is home to Manchester United, one of the best football teams in the world.

Culture: For free entry, visit the Museum of Science and Industry any day from 10am-5pm and learn about how society has evolved. Or make a trip to Manchester United Museum and Tour Centre to see Old Trafford for only £12.

Food: Fan of pizza? Rudy's Pizza in Ancoats offers pizzas for just £4.80. But be prepared to wait in queues, this place is popular. Otherwise, if you like huge, meaty burgers, Almost Famous provides massive loaded burgers for about £10.50. They also provide vege options.

Transport: Transport is not an issue in Manchester as it is easily walkable, only taking 20 minutes to walk around the inner city. For use on buses, trains and trams, System One Travel cards provide an easy and cheap service.

LIVERPOOL

Why go?

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Also in northwest England, this historic city by the water has a lot to see. This fantastic city was the home of the Beatles and has a range of fascinating museums.

Culture: Take a trip to the War Museum for only £10.50 and walk through the historical World War II bunker. If you are a Beatles fan, see the Beatles Story Museum (£16.50) to learn about their rise to fame. Open every day from 10am-5pm are free museums such as the Museum of Liverpool.

The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool. Photo / Supplied
The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool. Photo / Supplied

Food

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is a popular Turkish barbecue eatery and has a variety of meals costing about £5. The city is also known for their huge pies; visit The Piemaker and try traditional pies from meat to vegan varieties for only £1.80.

Transport: Merseyrail trains are the most common option. Biking is a favoured cheap transportation method as it is easy to get around the city.

EDINBURGH

Why go?

The Scottish capital, Edinburgh is a beautiful scenic city filled with medieval architecture.

Culture: Hiking is free and worth doing in this city. Climb the extinct volcanic site, Arthur's Seat, east of the Old Town to see breathtaking views of the city from the top. Exploring the Old Town by foot is a free way of admiring the city's old architecture.

Food: Bonnie Burrito on South Clerk St is a Mexican classic, where you can make your own burrito and nacho bowls, mostly costing only £5.

Transport: It's a very walkable city, but also has a cheap bus service. Take unlimited trips for only £3.20 a day.

GLASGOW

Why go?

One of the UK's finest Victorian-inspired cities, Glasgow is buzzing with culture and entertainment.

Culture: Explore the Gallery of Modern Art , Scotland's most visited contemporary art gallery. Or explore Pollok Country Park to get a good look at the stunning countryside.

Pollok Country Park in Glasgow. Photo / 123RF
Pollok Country Park in Glasgow. Photo / 123RF

Food

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is a popular vegan eatery which has meals for around £8. Visit on Thursday nights to be entertained for free-entry music night. The Flying Duck is an underground bar that has house-mixed drinks for £3.20 each.

Transport: An easy and cheap way of getting around is by subway; it costs £1.40 for a single way ticket, or £2.70 for multiple trips.

Checklist: UK

GETTING THERE

flies daily from Auckland via Dubai to three London airports - Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. Economy class return flights to Gatwick are currently available from $1709.