How to get to Athens, Larnaca and Budapest (and back) for less than Dhs200

If the wanderlust tugging on your soul is becoming too much to bear, it could be time to stretch those wings. We understand that not everybody is ready to travel yet, but for those intrepid few who are, there is some new highly-affordable wandering for pondering.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, which both started operations out of the capital’s international airport earlier this year, are opening up the skies for those that want to travel. They’re offering low-cost routes to 16 different destinations across Europe, North Africa and Asia.

But where do they go? And how much might a trip away cost?

Note – prices are based on selected dates in October/November, without checked luggage. Price may change depending on availability, seasonality. You are advised to check entry, visa and pandemic requirements prior to travel. 


Athens, Greece. Wizz


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Ah the birthplace of democracy, western philosophy, modern medicine, atomic theory and the Greek salad. The historic tapestry of architecture and legend found in this European capital is almost unrivalled, and it’s now being served thrice-weekly (Mon, Wed, Fri) from just Dhs200 return.

Budapest, Hungary. Wizz (from October)


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A city of two halves both alike in dignity, Buda and Pest, one of east, one of west, are blessed with iconic cultural and historic landmarks. A thriving entertainment scene, hot springs and a banging festive market (in November and December) round off reasons to visit.  Flights twice a week (Mon and Fri) from Dhs378 return.

Bucharest, Romania. Wizz

‘The Paris of Eastern Europe’, a glittering city on the Dambovita river. Revel in the Belle Epoque architecture and grand Soviet-era structures, stroll through large parks and along tree-lined boulevards and tuck into the cakey goodness of Romanian Papanași. Three weekly services (Tue, Thu, Sat) from Dhs178 return.

Cluj, Romania. Wizz (from October)


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Cluj-Napoca, capital of Transylvania — and although it’s tempting to leap straight into a Dracula pun, we won’t bite. This beautiful city sits on a network of caves, is surrounded by lakes and gorges, has a breathtaking botanical garden and several exciting museums. Flying out of AUH four times a week (Tue, Wed, Sat, Sun) from Dhs158 return.

Katowice, Poland. Wizz (from October)

Art, history, culture, theatres, museums, Silesian war memorials and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, smoked meats and pickled cabbage – Katowice has got travel game. And there are two flights there from the capital, each week (Mon and Fri) from Dhs338 return.

Kutaisi, Georgia. Wizz (from October)

Georgia is a popular pick amongst travelling UAE residents, at least partly because of it’s relatively chill visa requirements, but also because of its chocolate box mountains and ski resorts, great value dining and nightlife, history and greenery. Kutaisi presents its touristic allure in being one of the oldest cities in the world (6th Century BCE), and from its proximity to natural wonders such as the Prometheus Caves. Twice a week (Thu, Sun) from Dhs158 return.

Larnaca, Cyprus. Wizz (from October)


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If we’re playing travel agent here, this has to be one of our easiest sells **gestures broadly around at Cyprus** just look at it. Beautiful beaches, gorgeous year-round temperatures, nightlife, incredible food, secluded coves and exciting diving opportunities. Flights on Saturday and Tuesday every week, from Dhs178 return.

Odesa, Ukraine. Wizz (From December)

This coastal Ukrainian city is often called the ‘Pearl of the Black Sea’ (which sounds suspiciously like a Pirates of the Caribbean reboot, but isn’t) and is one Eastern Europe’s touristic secret weapons. It’s got beaches, expansive parks, terrifying cable cars, stunning architecture and like the most fascinating of characters — it has an occasionally dark and mysterious past. Twice weekly (Sat and Tue) from Dhs338 return.

Sofia, Bulgaria. Wizz (from October)


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This city is blessed by both nature and nurture. It’s set against the dramatic backdrop of Mount Vitosha and a blanket of beech forest, the urban space is characterised by epic European architecture, grand cathedrals, quaint little open-air book markets, and not one but three UNESCO World Heritage sites. Flights on Saturday and Tuesday every week, from Dhs238 return.

Yerevan, Armenia. Wizz (from October)


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The popularity of Armenia as a tourist destination is starting to gather pace, and there’s a pretty straight forward explanation to why. Offering European style living, dining, culture and promenading, at a fraction of the cost of its Western counterparts. Pro travel tip: Meat fans need to check out the city’s famous grilled khoravats (kebabs). Twice weekly (Sat and Tue) from Dhs338 return.


Kabul, Afghanistan. Air Arabia (from end of October)

This city is currently going through something of a rebirth following many years of conflict. Some scars are still raw, and certain troubles persist. But it is a place of huge importance to our human story, and home for some UAE residents. Flights operated three times a week (Wen, Fri, Sun) from Dhs1449 return.

Dhaka, Bangladesh. Air Arabia


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Another popular destination from here, partly owing to the fact that Bangladeshis make up 10 per cent of the UAE’s population. But its got essential sight-seeing holiday credentials too. This huge urban expanse is home to a surprising quantity of parks and historic monuments, there are grand mosques, temples and even tours to spy tigers in the wild if you stray out of the city. One flight each week (Wed), priced from Dhs1,909 return.


Alexandria, Egypt (Borg El Arab). Wizz and Air Arabia

Founded by Alexander the Great, once the site of the equally great Library of Alexandria — the greatest collection of wisdom in the pre-modern age, and the Pharos Lighthouse, one of the OG Seven Wonders of the World. Though the original library and lighthouse were both lost to a dramatic tsunami in the fourth century, this Egyptian gem still has touristic pull. Museums, a new library aspiring to echo the purpose of its ancestor, and Cairo sitting less thank 200km away, are just the start of reasons to visit. Wiz flies thrice weekly (Mon, Wed, Fri) from Dhs338 return. Air Arabia flies on Tue, Thu, Fri and Sat and tickets are around Dhs1,219 return.

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Cairo, Egypt. Air Arabia


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Without doubt (if we’re including Giza) one of the most historically important cities in the world. Housing the last remaining Wonders of the World, built nearly 5,000 years ago. That’s almost four Millennia before the battle of Hastings, practically three millennia before the point AD became the epoch formally known as BCE. And the pyramids of Giza are still standing, let that sink in. There are countless more reasons to visit Cairo beyond its museums and architectural treasures. The food, the nightlife, the football, Nile cruises and more. Daily from Dhs1099.

Images: Unsplash/Instagram