The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - FRONT PAGE -

The num­ber of tour op­er­a­tors of­fer­ing city breaks in Europe has dwin­dled to a hand­ful of lux­ury spe­cial­ists. Most of us have lit­tle al­ter­na­tive but to make our own ar­range­ments, but a lit­tle in­side knowl­edge can go a long way in en­sur­ing you have a more plea­sur­able, bet­ter-value trip. Here are a few point­ers: travel be­fore you con­firm your ac­com­mo­da­tion. Some ho­tel book­ing sites, such as Book­ing. com, al­low free can­cel­la­tions up to a day or two be­fore ar­rival, but you of­ten have to pay a higher rate for this op­tion. money. But when com­par­ing prices, be clear what is in­cluded. Break­fast is of­ten an ex­pen­sive ex­tra, but you can al­ter­na­tively pop out to a lo­cal café. bal­let, you will (nor­mally) mix with more lo­cals than tourists (though be­ware tourist-trap events such as Mozart con­certs in pe­riod dress in, for ex­am­ple, Prague, Venice and Vi­enna). Again, book­ing ahead is vi­tal.

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