• HOTEL 17 is a newly renovated chic budget hotel in the vibrant East Village. 225, East 17th Street.
Rooms under $50.
• TIMES SQUARE WEST HOTEL Very central, next to shops, cafes and theatres, and a stroll away from Central Park.
460W, 46th street, NY. Rooms under $50.
• LEFFERTS MANOR BED AND BREAKFAST Experience country charm in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.
80, Rutland Road, Brooklyn 347 351 9065. Rooms under $50.
• EXPLORE SOHO A stroll through this vibrant neighbourhood takes you through the world’s largest cast-iron district. Design shops, museums, casual cafes and people-watching are some of the delights. Notebook at Paperchase: $20.
• THE CLOISTERS AT FORT TYRON PARK A delightful getaway, this branch of the Met museum is dedicated to medieval Europe. A herb garden and the surrounding greenery make it a true jewel. Tuesday to Sunday.
www.metmuseum.org. Ticket: $20
• THE GENERATOR: Centrally located, this modern hostel has won several awards. There’s a reading room with Internet access and a bar for those who wish to mill. Breakfast is included at £25 for a twin room. 37, Travistock Place, Russell Square; Tel. +44207 388 7666
•UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: Live among the students of London’s famous university, open from mid-June to mid-September to visitors. At £23, it’s tough to find a more historic as well as central venue. Kitchens available for self-catering.
• ATLANTIC PADDINGTON: One of London’s most slept-in buildings, this no-frills hotel is right next to Paddington station and steps away from Hyde Park, with easy access to Heathrow airport. Singles: £20
• EXPLORE NOTTING HILL Take in the architecture, avant garde “concept stores” that marry shopping, reading and dining at this fashionable West 8 neighbourhood, and visit one of its many restaurants. On Saturdays, Portobello Market comes alive. Sassy beer mats: £20
THE ICE BAR: In this exciting Heddon Street bar, the walls, furniture and glass you drink from are frozen solid. You’ll be given a warm jacket and a 45-minute slot.
Tickets from £12.50
• COSMIC GUEST HOUSE This abode tops the list of HK guesthouses at under $50. 12th floor, Mirador Mansions, 58-62 Nathan Road
• SALISBURY YMCA With its great harbourside location, this is a favourite with budget guests. Under $50. 41, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
•ALISAN GUEST HOUSE Boasting good reviews for over 20 years, this nook is also very well situated on Causeway Bay. Under $50. Flat A 5/F Hoito Court, 275 Gloucester Road
•STAR FERRY: Boarding this passenger ferry at night is a magical experience. Ticket: $10
•THE PEAK Take the tram to the Peak Tower. It’s for free!
Geetika Jain is a London-based freelance writer.