Holiday Ideas for a Pocket-Friendly Break in Portsmouth

If you’re heading to Portsmouth for a weekend away or a full-length holiday, and are on a bit of a tight budget, no need to worry. Portsmouth is an ideal vacation destination for anyone looking to see Britain’s breathtaking south coast without breaking the bank.

In fact, Jolly Good Loans have run through some top tips for saving money on your trip to Portsmouth - from organising travel and accommodation to making the most of every minute in the city, without compromising any aspect of your holiday.

Places to stay

For visitors keeping a watchful eye over their spending, Portsmouth is home to a range of very budget-friendly accommodation options that are both comfortable and convenient.

The Seacrest Hotel is a charming, privately-run hotel situated on the gorgeous Portsmouth seafront. Featuring a pleasant interior and offering competitive room prices, it’s certainly worth considering if you’re strapped for cash. Another great suggestion is the Farmhouse & Innlodge, part of the popular Hungry Horse bistro bar and hotel chain. It’s the perfect choice for anyone who wants to balance comfort and amenities with a tight budget.

If you’re the kind of person who prefers to live like a local, browse the budget rental apartments and homes available on Airbnb to truly feel involved in Pompey culture. If getting close to nature is more your thing, there are affordable campsites nearby, such as Southsea Leisure Park.

Getting around

Figuring out how to get from A to B with ease is essential during the planning phase of any holiday. It's especially important if you’re putting together a jam-packed itinerary, which can quickly unravel without an inner-city travel plan. Thankfully, there are options aplenty when it comes to getting around Portsmouth without spending a bundle.

In nearby Southsea, Bike U Like offers an eco-friendly travel option for your stay - which is particularly appealing if you’re visiting in the summer. Hiring a bike is also very affordable, making it a great way to see a city on your own terms and enjoy greater freedom to explore the outdoors than public transport does.

If cycling isn’t for you, thankfully, Portsmouth has a convenient and regular bus service operated by First Group, with the option to purchase day or week tickets - which work out cheaper than buying a one-off single journey ticket.

There’s also one more obvious option - walk! Portsmouth is a beautiful city to stroll around and you can easily plan your journey on WalkIt - the urban walk app. The area's flat profile makes taking a stroll a doddle - whether you're going metres or miles. There are also plenty of fantastic guided tours available, for anyone wishing to soak up the city’s illustrious history.

Activities and attractions

Finding fun and out-of-the-ordinary things to do during your stay in Portsmouth is easy - and the great news is that many of these activities cost absolutely nothing. Try walking around the pier for an authentic holiday vibe, practice mindfulness by taking time to unwind at Canoe Lake or the Rose Gardens, or visit one of the many markets and treat a loved one to a small gift to remember the occasion - or even a tasty snack for instant gratification.

For a real experience you're sure to remember for years, visit the Emirates Spinnaker Tower at night - to see the lights twinkling at Portsmouth, Ryde and beyond. You could also be a spectator at Fratton Park for some quality League One football. Or, for any boat enthusiasts, a visit to HMS Victory is an absolute essential. Alternatively, if photography’s more your forte, or you simply want to soak up the city, travel atop Portsdown Hill for mesmerising vistas over the city.

For anyone passionate about museums, Portsmouth has plenty to offer. Portsmouth City Museum looks like something straight out of a Disney movie, with mystical towers and a beautiful roof that looks like it could have been picked off a gingerbread house. It has to be seen in person to be truly admired.

We hope this advice helps you plan your next leisurely trip to Portsmouth, with plenty to do and see while on a budget; the seaside city is a gorgeous retreat for anyone wishing to spend time enjoying city and coast in one, super-accessible location.


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