What are the best & most affordable vacation cities in Europe that have a ton of stuff to see & do?
What European cities are affordable?
Well, here is our list of the 9 (actually 10) best European cities to visit on a budget.
Our list factors in the sights and activities tourists can see, prices for hotels, sights, and restaurants, available cheap transportation to that city and if you would actually want to have a fun time in that town.
Where should I go in Europe if I am broke or not broke? Well here is our list.
Are you planning a trip to Europe but have a low budget to travel?
Worry not as there are several countries which may be affordable or even dirt cheap for you.
If we talk “UN recognized states” then there are a couple to consider:
Ukraine, Eastern Europe
This country would probably be the most expensive on the list. Home to a lot of churches, villages and nice landscapes, this country was a host to a European football cup in 2012 and has won the Eurovision song contest twice.
You would be well off with 600$ for a couple of weeks including renting the apartment in the high season and other expenses.
Republic of Moldova, Eastern Europe
Another former Soviet Republic is considered the poorest country in Europe as the median salary barely exceeds 180$/month.
It is well-known for home-made wine, its villages and Romanian heritage.
You could rent a nice hotel room or an Airbnb Apartment for as little as 15$/day
Moldova does, however, have an autonomous region, which de facto is a self-proclaimed republic, which leads us to…
The partially recognised territories
Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic (Transnistria)
If you plan to travel there, cross its border via Moldovan side in order to avoid problems in Moldova. Beware of bribery on the border
The de jure Transnistrian Autonomous Unit is a self-proclaimed state which is a frozen conflict zone since 1992, filled with Russian troops.
This territory is landlocked between Moldova and Ukraine
Your travel would most likely be a time travel to the end of the USSR at the end of the ’80s. Same panel buildings, some new shops; same mentality, some new technological advances, like broadband internet and a cell phone.
A lot of its infrastructure belongs to its former presidents making it a very corrupt oligarch.
Median salary exceeds 300 $/month (in Transnistrian rubles) making it richer than (the rest of) Moldova.
Its citizens do often claim their ancestry from other countries thus having a handful of other passports (Moldovan, Russian, Romanian and Ukrainian). Amid plastic coins, you would also be able to use an ATM there, which belongs to an Abkhazian bank (partially recognised state that recognised Transnistria) to retrieve Russian Rubles to exchange them into a Transnistrian currency.
You would probably be well off with a couple of hundreds $/ 2 weeks. Do please check the immigration rules of this state (e.g. how you need to register yourself at the border and at the police station after you arrive at the hostel/ your apartment)
It is known to many that Europe is one of the most beautiful places to go to especially for people who love to roam around the world. There are actually six countries of Europe that are part of World Atlas’ Top 10 Most Visited Countries in The World with France being ranked as #1.
There is no question that Europe is one of the most frequented continents in the world because of its breathtaking landmarks, historical architecture, friendly locals, delicious cuisine and rich culture. Also, most of the grand and luxurious places are there. Apart from these are unspoilt spots in Europe that you may visit if you are looking for relaxation and peace of mind.
WHEN TO GO
If you ask constant travellers about the best time to travel Europe, they’d probably say “anytime!”. With the beauty of Europe, there isn’t really a specific best time to visit because every single day is a great time to visit that place. But of course, it is still necessary to know the weather condition of a certain place before going so that you can avoid being bothered by unforeseen bad climate.
Europe is usually packed with tourists during the months of June-August because it’s summer. If you want to experience the winter season, then you should visit during the months of December-February in the Northern Hemisphere and June-August for the Southern Hemisphere part. But if you want to have a memorable and enjoyable stay, it is ideal to visit Europe during the months of May, June and September. Aside from the lesser crowds and good weather, the prices in all forms are cheaper and reasonable which is convenient for backpackers and budget travellers.
MODES OF TRANSPORTATION
There are direct flights going to Europe from different airline companies around the world. When you arrive in Europe, there are metered taxis available that can take you to your hotel accommodation. Usually, the safe and reliable ones are in top countries like France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Spain and much more. Most of the time, if you book a tour package online, you will be fetched by your hotel’s vehicle from the airport grounds going to your chosen place.
Trains are also a good mode of transportation in Europe. Most travellers use this to cross one country to another border. There are a lot of train companies that offers good service. There is this ticket called Eurail pass which can be used as a mode of transport to travel across Europe’s best places. It is highly recommended to buy your ticket online before arriving at your destination. The only downside of using trains is that it will take you long hours before you arrive at your place, but it is still a much realistic and cheaper option than booking a pricey plane ticket for a one hour flight.
Where to stay in #Europe #travel
There are many extravagant and affordable accommodations in Europe, especially in top destinations like France, Germany, Italy, Greece and Spain. Here are just some of the most recommended hotels by travellers across the globe:
Hotel Vert – If you are coming to France, this is the perfect hotel for you. This simple hotel is situated in the heart of Le Mont – Saint-Michel just about one kilometre away from the northwestern coast and just a walk away from the great Mont Saint Michel Abbey. Price ranges from 69€ inclusive of breakfast buffet, free wi-fi access and bike rentals.
Hotel Eiffel Seine – This hotel is great for those who doesn’t want to move away from the heart of France. Price ranges from 95€ inclusive of free breakfast and wi-fi plus the wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower from your balcony.
B&B Hotel Koblenz – This hotel is a great deal for people visiting Koblenz in Germany because aside from the hotel being great, you are also close to the vineyards and the gateway of the castles of the Rhine Gorge. Price ranges from 65€.
Arion Athens Hotel – This is one of the most affordable hotels in Athens, Greece. Availing a room here is a great way to maximise your stay in Athens because this hotel is just a few minutes away from the top destinations in Greece like the Acropolis Monument and Parthenon. Price ranges from 56€.
Hotel Ibis Como – Como, Italy is one of the most picturesque places on earth. To live there is every traveller’s dream and through Hotel Ibis Como, you will be able to experience being a resident of Como even just for a short period of time. This is one of the most recommended hotels in Como. Price ranges from 50€ inclusive of free breakfast.
Hotel Europark– This is one of the closest hotels to the very famous Basilica I Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família. Hotel Europark is just at the centre of Barcelona and is not far from shopping malls and restaurants. Price ranges from 65€.
Many travellers prefer to book hotels near tourist attractions so they won’t have to spend much on transportation anymore, especially if you can just walk to get there. While others are fond of looking for cheap and affordable hotels, there are also a lot of people who are saving up money just to experience the many luxury hotels across Europe. It really depends on the person, what matters is that you enjoy and make use of your time efficiently during your vacation.
Mark Aldrin Hipolito is a daytime writer for Slow Tours, an Australian online agency that provides intimate getaways with tours of Europe’s most charming and breathtaking places. Mark also enjoys travelling to different places and he uses his experiences as inspiration for writing.
There’s something awfully familiar about Europe, even to those who haven’t been there yet. The continent has been a muse for many and a dream for most. Its famous buildings and romantic waterways have had the world coming to it since time unknown. But, it is not defined by just the metallic opulence of Paris and the architectural genius in Rome. It is defined by the small unknown stops that are missed when rushing from one must-see to the other. The tiny, reclusive places that don’t end up on most lists.
So, if you feel that the Eiffel Tower is nothing more than a pretentious pile of scrap and the Big Ben is a waste of time, then I think you might like my alternative guide to experiencing Europe.
1. Trakai, Lithuania
We love lakeside towns. There’s something hopelessly alluring about them. Right from the calm waters to the vibrant sunrises. The sleepy Lithuanian town of Trakai is all that and more. Squeezed between two lakes and an easy drive from the capital, Vilnius, this cluster of castles and wooden huts is an easy city getaway for the locals. The region comes under the protected status of the Trakai Historical National Park and is one of the few places to catch glimpses of the Karaite culture.
The Trakai Castle in Lake Galve, a 14th-century Gothic construction with traces of Renaissance influences, is the major draw in this area. Follow that up with a visit to the Trakai History Museum before heading to the bespoke camping areas at Slėnje, 5 km out of the town.
2. Brno, Czech Republic
Czech Republic’s second-largest city, Brno is everything Prague doesn’t want to be. A city that has mastered the art of balancing the old and the new; the young and the old. At first glance, you might think of this University town as another city racing towards modernity with its glassy facades and new-age designs, but stay a while longer and you’ll start noticing the subtle undertones. A lazy pullback into the Moravian way of life. The city’s history will slowly start showing itself in its castles and cathedrals.
Spend time at the Špilberk castle and the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul before experiencing the Functionalist architecture at Villa Tugendhat. The estuary under St. James Church is another draw for piqued minds. After a day of landmark-hopping, visit Náměstí Svobody, the city’s nerve center and revel in the city vibe with a glass of wine.
Lying on the tourist-trodden trail between Interlaken and Jungfrau, this fairy-tale town deserves more than an impatient stopover. Lauterbrunnen is one of Switzerland’s largest conservation areas, scattered with expansive trough valleys and thunderous waterfalls. It is also a favorable spot for mountain biking and hiking. Picture chancing upon lonely mountain inns around unexpected hilly bends.
We recommend gaping at the spectacle that is the Trummelbach Falls, our favorite out of the 72 falls in the region.
4. Roskilde, Denmark
Steeped in Viking culture, Roskilde, 35 km from Copenhagen, is a highly decorated ancient town situated in one of Denmark’s most scenic areas, the island of Zealand. It is one of Denmark’s oldest cities and served as an important Viking trading post, and the seat of the Danish crown for a long time.
Roskilde is a cultural fiesta for anyone interested in the legendary Viking traditions. Start with the Roskilde Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the burial-place for many Danish Kings and Queens. The Viking Ship Museum and the Roskilde Museum are good stops for getting all the info. you might possibly need about the area’s traditions. If you are visiting during late June or early July, then head to the infamous Roskilde Festival for some legendary antics and a Rock n’ Roll overdose.
5. Hallstatt, Austria
Considered to be the oldest still-inhabited village in Europe, Hallstatt lies in a picturesque setting surrounded by the Dachstein mountains and the shores of the Hallstatt See. The village was a hotbed for salt production back in the day and you can catch glimpses of its salt-production days by visiting the world’s oldest salt mines. Also, visit the Beinhaus for an intriguing display of decorated skulls exhumed from the village graveyard.
Hallstatt is also the world’s first cloned village with a full-scale replica in Huizhou, Guangdong in China.
6. Brest, Belarus
The eastern European nation of Belarus isn’t on most travelers’ radar owing to its stressed political environment, and long and complex history, but trust us when we say it’s probably the most surprising travel destination in all of the Europe. While Minsk, the capital, might be the most heard of city in the country, the border town of Brest offers an exquisite mixture of history, architecture and nature.
Established by the Slavs, Brest went through several invasions during the course of its history and was under the Soviet Union till as late as 1991 before it finally fell under Belarus’s territory. The Brest Fortress, a World War II memorial, is the most important attraction in the city. Just walk the grounds and spend some time at the museum to try to understand this memorial’s complicated history. Brest is also home to some interesting museums like the Museum of Confiscated Arts and the Museum of Railway Technology. After the cultural and historical initiation spends time wandering around Nabierežnaja and Hohaia St. and enjoy the town’s laid back vibe.
7. Kosice, Slovakia
Tucked away in the valley of River Hornad, Košice is Slovakia’s second-largest city and served as the European Capital of Culture in 2013. The city is close to the Hungarian, Ukrainian and Polish borders and is easily accessible by a good network of roads and rail. It is also an artistic hotbed with several theatres holding performances all through the year.
Košice has the highest number of palaces in Slovakia and is a cultural cauldron in terms of architecture with a mixture of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau. The main attractions are the Gothic St. Elisabeth Cathedral and Immaculata Statue, both examples of Baroque architecture. Most of the town’s sites are present around the well-preserved historical center and the main street (Hlavná ulica) and can be leisurely covered on foot in a day.
8. Oulu, Finland
If there’s one reason to visit Oulu, apart from the spectacular beach and the enticing walkways, it’s the locals. The Finns are a warm and enthusiastic lot and they’ll welcome you into their homes just like they welcome the first speck of summer sunlight. The city, named after the river Oulujoki, lies on Finland’s western banks, opening up into the Gulf of Bothnia.
Summer is the best time to visit as the city collectively breathes a sigh of relief and prepares to let the sunny warmth enter their lives. The waterfront Kauppatori (marketplace) springs into action with several food stalls and restaurants dishing out the eclectic fare. Follow up an afternoon spent ambling around the market with an easy jaunt to Pikisaari, a former industrial region transformed into a close-knit artistic community. We recommend a short visit to the Sailor’s Home Museum, Oslo’s oldest house, to get a glimpse of life in the 18th century. Spend the next morning admiring the restrained flamboyance of Oulu Tuomiokirkko (the main church) and then dive into the many museums describing Oulu’s every facet from being a shipping town to the modern, high-tech metropolis that it is now.
9. Giethoorn, Netherlands
Give the term ‘on the road’ a miss for this one. Giethoorn, 120 km from Amsterdam, is a village with no roads. Arguably the most famous spot on our list, there is something about this tiny village, also called the Dutch Venice, that kept floating around in our heads. With over 150 wooden bridges, 4 miles of canals, and some spectacular farmhouses, this town merits a halt during your trip through Holland. All tourist go to Amsterdam, Giethoorn can turn out to be best travel destinations in Europe.
Founded in AD 1230 by fugitives from the Mediterranean, Giethoorn became famous after being used as a setting in Bert Haanstra’s 1958 comedy, Fanfare. The summers bring in a throng of tourists in boats and gondolas, changing this hamlet, home to 3000 people, into a thriving circus affair. Although the thought of rowing along the canals on a warm summer afternoon is very enticing, we recommend visiting Giethoorn in the winter, when the canals are frozen over. Ice skate your way through the village, stopping only to enjoy the outstanding views.
10. Leiria, Portugal
Cradled between Castle hill and Rio Lis and surrounded by Portugal’s biggest cities (Lisbon, Porto, and Coimbra) Leiria is a medieval town flirting with modernity. The Leiria castle towers over the town’s red-roofed town center.
Have you been to these best travel destinations in Europe?