My Ryanair European Weekend Break Was Cheaper Than Getting The Train To Edinburgh

With the cheap cost of travel these days, it can actually be cheaper to fly to Europe than to go on vacation in the UK. Thanks to careful planning, I was able to travel to Bremen for a two-day getaway for just £53! The key to cheap short breaks in Europe is careful planning while taking advantage of great deals can make it even cheaper. Right now Ryanair is selling one-way flight tickets for just £5 for travel December to February until midnight! The cost of food and drink has not been included for the purposes of this article, as the difference would be negligible.

Saturday Morning

At 5:15 am bright and early my alarm began to ring. My mother was due to pick me up and drive me and my partner to the airport. We arrived and checked in our bag for the flight.

  • One checked 10kg bag = £8.00. However, shared by two = £4.00
  • Luggage on Train = Free
  • Train – Flight = -£4.00

We enjoyed breakfast in the airport terminal before boarding the flight to Bremen. The flight was fairly well full, however, having only booked three weeks before departure I was still able to get £9.99 fares. We didn’t pay for priority boarding or reserved seats, however, the flight time was only supposed to be 1 hour. When I told my partner “See you in Bremen”, the passenger sitting next to her kindly offered to swap seats with me for free.

  • FR 3632, Stansted to Bremen = £9.99
  • Advanced single train fare, London to Edinburgh = £42.00
  • Train – Flight = £32.01
We flew out on Ryanair opting for £9.99 flights both ways. Photo: Ryanair

The flight went without incident, allowing me to write an article for Simple Flying. We soon landed in Bremen, and after queueing for immigration, grabbed our bag and walked the short distance to the tram station. We then purchased a day ticket for the city’s public transport network.

  • Bremen transport 2-day ticket for 2 = €21.20 = £18.90. Shared by two = £9.45
  • Edinburgh transport 2-day ticket = £8.00
  • Edinburgh – Bremen = -£1.45

Saturday Afternoon

After arriving in Bremen, we decided to head to our Airbnb, a charming apartment rented by a lady who was out of town. The apartment as lovely, and as there were no other guests, we were able to check in and check out at times that suited us.

  • Bremen Airbnb = £55.77. Shared by two = £27.89
  • One Night in Edinburgh (Airbnb) = £58. Shared by two = £29
  • Edinburgh – Bremen = £1.11
Bremen is well known for the “town musicians of Bremen” fairytale. Photo: Tom Boon

After checking out the apartment where we were staying, we decided to explore the city, we used the public transport system, which had previously been paid for. Additionally, the walking and sights were free. This included a nice walk down into a park known as the isle. We then had dinner on a pirate ship, before drinks in an Irish pub. After this, it was time to head back to the apartment.

Sunday Morning

Waking up with an ever so slight hangover, we decided to visit Bremen’s sauna. This was after a disastrous attempt to find breakfast, which resulted in me surrendering my driver’s license to visit a bakery, and being turned away from an all you can eat buffet. We paid to visit the sauna, however, as this was an all-day event, and something we had been looking forward to for a long time, it was worth it.

  • Day ticket for sauna and towels = €34 = £30.30
  • Morning at Edinburgh Zoo and afternoon at Edinburgh Castle  = £38
  • Edinburgh – Bremen = £7.70

Sunday Evening

After a relaxing day at the sauna, we finally headed back to the Airbnb to collect our luggage, and check out. We took the tram to the airport, which had already been paid for, and settled down at McDonald’s for some food that would hopefully be cheaper than on Ryanair. The Pizza Mac with curly fries and sour cream dip was delicious. After this, we saw from the restaurant’s departure board that check-in had opened for our flight. We dropped our suitcases and headed through security in the main terminal.

  • One checked 10kg bag = £8.00. However, shared by two = £4.00
  • Luggage on Train = Free
  • Train – Flight = -£4.00

Return Flight

After a spot of duty-free (we bought some alcohol that we would’ve bought for more at the supermarket during our weekly shop anyway), we headed down a long line of corridors to reach Terminal E. Terminal E is also known as the Ryanair Terminal. It is essentially a large hall with a small shop. Additionally, there are two glass walls separating the main departure area, the arrivals area, and the Non-Schengen departure zone. We enjoyed a drink on the terminal’s mezzanine (way more exciting then it sounds), then again joined the non-priorty queue for the Stansted flight.

Ryanair’s Terminal E at Bremen Airport is full of depressing seating in both yellow and blue. Photo: Tom Boon

What amazed me was how many people were still unaware of Ryanair’s new cabin baggage policy.

  • FR 3633, Bremen to Stansted = £9.99
  • Advanced single train fare, Edinburgh to London = £42.00
  • Train – Flight = £32.01

The Telegraph reported last Thursday that Ryanair was giving two weeks grace on implementing the new policy, as so many people were not aware of the policy, however, this was not the case. We boarded the aircraft and again managed to sit together despite not having adjacent allocated seats. The flight went without incident, however, the start of the decent seemed rather alarming, with a large change in attitude. The pilot then eventually executed a particularly hard landing before we taxied for a long time. I discovered that Stansted has bus gates, and yes Ryanair uses them. We took a while to work our way through the airport before the taxi of mum drove us home.

Passengers are still struggling to get to grips with Ryanair’s new baggage allowance almost three weeks in. Photo: Ryanair

Total Costs

In the end, the total measured costs for the weekend came in at £95.62 each. In comparison, an overnight trip to Edinburgh taking the train would have cost £159 each. This equalled a total saved of £63.38 across the two days. Thankfully the trip went down a treat with my partner Laura, and we returned home with lots of photos, memories, and stories, to show and tell.

Have you taken advantage of cheap fares to Europe? Let us know where you visited and how much it cost you in the comments down below!