Staycations are rising in popularity across the UK, and holidaymakers are beginning to appreciate the charm of cities that might be a little closer to home. From picturesque cobbled streets, to peaceful countryside getaways, many are now opting to stay local rather than venture further afield. 

A new report from SumUp, the leading global fintech company, has revealed the top cities in the UK for budget-friendly staycations and here in South Wales we have two in the top ten, NEWPORT is at number three and CARDIFF at 6.


Whilst a far-flung trip might be the ideal holiday for some, the cost of living means that people are considering the price of a holiday more than ever. However, if Brits know where to go, a UK staycation can offer just as much culture, greenery, and adventure for a budget-friendly price.  

Looking into various cost-related metrics such as meal prices and entertainment expenses, as well as cultural and recreational amenities like museums, theatres, and green spaces, SumUp has revealed the best cities in the UK for a budget-friendly staycation. 

Derry, Northern Ireland, emerges as the top destination in the UK for a budget-friendly staycation, earning a high score of 17.205. With the cheapest coffee prices in the UK, averaging at £2.53, 32 landmarks to discover, and 11.76 art galleries per 100,000 people. Derry promises visitors an affordable yet cultural experience.

With a score of 12.615, Kingston upon Hull lands in second place. The city could be a particularly good spot to choose for its retail scene. Home to 10 vintage shops and a whopping 24 fashion designer stores per 100,000 people. The city’s fashion scene will also provide Brits with some of the best bargains, with the combined price of a pair of Levi 501’s and a summer dress costing £88.

Next up is NEWPORT, which has a score of 12.54. Newport has something for everyone, whether you’re hoping to explore the ancient ruins or spend the day roaming around a modern art gallery. Newport is also one of the cheapest places on our list for coffee, with the average cup costing £2.81. 

Meanwhile, there are 75.81 fashion accessory stores in the city per 100,000 people, meaning there’s evident demand, but still plenty of space to establish your business if you’re hoping to open a similar store. Equally, Newport is fantastic if you’re looking for a somewhat-outdoorsy staycation. There’s 45.45% green space, meaning you’ll have plenty of options if you’re wanting to relax in a park or explore an idyllic nature reserve. 

CARDIFF comes in at number 6 with a score of 10.65. It has a population of around 362,310 and forms a principal area officially known as the City and County of Cardiff (Dinas a Sir Caerdydd). The city is the eleventh largest in the United Kingdom.

Cardiff is a major centre for television and film production (such as the revival of Doctor Who, Torchwood and Sherlock) and is the Welsh base for the main national broadcasters.

The city is constantly on the move with new events and attractions suitable for all ages and budgets. From touring a gothic fantasy castle to zipping around a rafting course at an exhilarating speed at Cardiff International White Water.

The city centre is only a very small part of the huge appeal that Cardiff has to offer. You can even live like one of the locals. Each neighbourhood in the city has its own unique quality.


Other cities to highlight include Edinburgh, although in fifth place, boasts 11 art galleries for visitors to roam, as well as being the safest city to visit among the top 10 according to crowd-sourced data with a safety score of 68.78 out of 100.

Unsurprisingly, cities that failed to make the top 10 ranking for a low-budget staycation include Manchester in 20th place with the least amount of culture to explore, home to 0.5 museums per 100,000 people. London placed 21st, with the most expensive prices for coffee (£3.55), Beer (£6.35) and a cinema ticket (£15). 

Corin Camenisch, Product Marketing Lead, at SumUp told us….

“With an increased focus on domestic travel, as well as the cost-of-living crisis still being prevalent, we wanted to highlight the most cost-effective cities for a staycation in the UK. Not only does this encourage budget friendly travel, but it also encourages local spending and supports local businesses due to extra traffic and tourism. 

While some of the cities in our report are popular hotspots among tourists, we hope to shed insight on budget-friendly locations that can also provide memorable experiences that are rich in culture without breaking the bank. “