September city break flights for under £150pp return - 12 hidden gem destinations you can fly to directly from Manchester

With the school summer holidays coming to an end and the nights beginning to draw in, you’d be forgiven for thinking Manchester Airport would suddenly become a lot quieter in September – but actually the month is traditionally one of the busiest of the year for holidays. Millions of passengers are set to pass through the airport, as those without school-age children look to take advantage of cheaper deals on flights and hotels outside the summer peak, while temperatures in many holiday hotspots remain warm.

Manchester Airport is proud to serve the people of the North – connecting them to more of the region’s most popular destinations than any other outside London, around 200 in total. These include everything from city-break favourites like Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam and more as well as late summer sun spots like Athens, Istanbul and Malaga.

But travellers looking to beat the cost-of-living crisis can also bag themselves a bargain deal on flights to some hidden gems.

Here, we look at 12 of the most exciting, budget-friendly destinations you can reach from Manchester next month – including some September sun traps!


Served directly by Ryanair

This historic city in central Italy is nestled in the foothills of the Apennine mountains, and its medieval city centre’s Two Towers, both leaning, are taller than their more famous counterpart in Pisa. The surrounding Emilia-Romagna region is the home of culinary delights such as Modena balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese and Parma ham.


Served directly by Jet2.com and Ryanair

This German city’s medieval walls and Old Town are remarkably preserved and its unique architecture has made it one of Germany’s most popular destinations for a short break. Its cathedral, which towers over the city centre, is one of the largest in the world.


Served directly by easyJet, Norwegian, Ryanair and SAS Scandinavian Airlines

Denmark’s capital is one of the fastest-growing city break destinations in Europe with over 146,000 visitors from Manchester alone last year. Its harbourfront is tightly packed with multi-coloured townhouses, and its Christianshavn district is inspired by the canals and architecture of Amsterdam.


Served directly year-round by easyJet and Ethiopian Airlines; seasonally by Jet2.com and TUI Airways

Geneva is located in south-west Switzerland, bordered by Lake Geneva and the Alps. Its biggest claim to fame is as the UN’s headquarters, but its Musée d’Art et d’Histoire hosts one of Europe’s most extensive collections of fine art and foodies will love sampling a wide range of Swiss cuisines.


Served directly by easyJet, Ryanair and TAP Air Portugal

A prime spot to catch the last of the summer sun, Lisbon sits on Portugal’s Atlantic coast and is flanked by miles of sandy beaches, backed by a promenade dotted with bars and cafes. Saint George's Castle sits on a hilltop overlooking the city.


Served directly by Ryanair

Often overlooked in favour of glitzier neighbours like Nice, Cannes and St Tropez, Marseille is France’s second-largest city and offers a bit of everything, from arts and architecture to world-class restaurants and a buzzing nightlife scene. The nearby Calanques National Park boats idyllic sandy beaches lining cavernous, fjord-like valleys, and makes for a great day trip.


Served directly by Norwegian and SAS Scandinavian Airlines

Founded by Vikings over 1,000 years ago, Norway’s capital Oslo is one of Europe’s most northerly major cities but temperatures are still fairly mild in September, often topping 20C. Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream is housed in Oslo’s National Gallery and Munch Museum.


Served directly by Ryanair

Poznan, in western Poland, is an old provincial capital. Lech, one of Poland’s major beer brands, is headquartered here and sponsors the city’s successful football team, but Poznan also has a vibrant craft beer scene with dozens of independent brewers, and is also famed for its pastries – visitors should try a St Martin’s Croissant, packed with poppy seeds, nuts and dried fruits.


Served directly by Ryanair

This Baltic Sea destination is famous for its budget-friendly nightlife but offers much more besides. Its medieval heart is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is also one of Europe’s greenest cities, with lots of places to escape the crowds. Temperatures in September may even be warm enough for a visit one of Riga’s sandy beaches.


Served directly by Ryanair

Another hotspot for September sunshine, Valencia backs onto the Mediterranean with miles of beaches within walking distance of the city centre. If you fancy trying something a little more unusual, Valencia is world-famous for its oranges, and has a burgeoning agritourism scene. Many local orange orchards offer tours and stays.


Served directly year-round by Ryanair and TUI Airways; seasonally by Jet2.com

The setting for not one, but two Shakespeare plays, one of Verona’s most popular sights is Juliet’s Balcony, affixed to a small townhouse overlooking a square. Its enormous Roman-era Arena is well-preserved and today regularly hosts opera performances.


Served directly year-round by Austrian Airlines and Ryanair; seasonally by Jet2.com

Vienna is one of Europe’s cultural capitals and you can find out more about one of its most influential figures at the Mozart Haus Vienna, housed in a former apartment building where the composer lived for three years at the height of his success. Vienna is also renowned for cakes and biscuits and is home to dozens of independent patisseries.

*Direct flights available for under £150 per person return in September with at least one airline serving each route, at the time of writing, but prices may be subject to change.