Whether country or city, Europe is arguably the world’s most traveled continent. As the travel bug is quickly passed on from generation to generation, millennials now find themselves wanting to explore the world around them, but there is only one problem: money.
Mom and dad are highly unlikely to pay so you can enjoy a month in Europe, so get yourself a small job, save up, and pick from the following destinations so you can stretch your budget that little bit further.
Poland is a culturally diverse nation that provides travelers with countless activities and sights which will not cost an arm and a leg. Base yourself in the capital, Warsaw, explore the magnificent architecture which one could say is an unlikely mix between Dutch and Russian culture. Once you have visited Warsaw, you can hike in the surrounding mountains for panoramic views, which won’t cost you a dime. If hiking is not your thing, then head to Krakow or Gdansk for some more amazing sights and immerse yourself in a plethora of Polish history.
Staying with the theme of East Europe, Bulgaria is next on the list for best budget destinations. Sofia is the nation’s capital and it is perhaps one of the most interesting and cheapest capital cities in the world. Why? Well, it is the perfect mix of old town charm and modern, contemporary buildings. If you find yourself here in the winter, you will be happy to know that skiing in the surrounding mountains will not break the bank, like most other European skiing holidays.
8 Croatian coastline
Not a country or city per se, but rather a sensational 1,100 miles of pristine Mediterranean coastline. Croatia, in general, is not expensive by any means, and, if you travel frequently, you will know that, the closer you get to the coastline, the more expensive everyday items can be. Fortunately, this is not the case in Croatia. From Dubrovnik in the south to Split and Rijeka in the north and everywhere in between, the Croatian coast is a place where a budget can go a very long way, either staying in a world-class seaside hotel, eating some simply magnificent Croatian cuisine, or discovering the hundreds of years of medieval history.
7 Porto, Portugal
If you are looking for a destination that first and foremost is easy on the wallet and covers some spectacular coastline, then you’ll want place Porto high on your list. Once you have visited the many museums and the Dom Luis I Bridge, then head to the beach and relax whilst overlooking the Atlantic. If you aren’t a beach person, then not to worry, you can sip on some of Portugal’s local wines. Oh, and one little secret, admission to museums and other attractions is free on Sundays, so plan your trip to Porto around a Sunday!
6 Budapest, Hungary
A perfect mix between Western and Eastern Europe, Budapest spits on the banks of the Danube River and is the capital of Hungary. Flights are relatively cheap both in and out of Budapest, as well as public transport and taxies. The city is chock-full of cheap yet stunning hotels, so you can be sure there is one to fit your budget. Once in the city, you will have an array of delicious eateries that offer traditional Hungarian cuisine (try the Goulash), step from a thermal bath to a nightclub, or visit Buda Castle and find out why the city came to be called Buda-Pest.
5 Leipzig, Germany
Yes, Berlin may be one of the few capital cities in the world where the cost of living is below average, but prices are gradually on the rise. So, with that in mind, after visiting the German capital, it is time to head a few hours south to Leipzig. The city is most famous for its art and culture scene, which has seen constant change over the past few decades. There are many free galleries to visit, and perhaps one of the reasons that put Leipzig is on the map, the thriving offbeat nightlife. It really is a city in its own little world, and is a lot cheaper than most other cities in Germany; Munich and Frankfurt, for example.
4 Prague, Czech Republic
Eastern Europe at its absolute finest. Prague is full of endless attractions and historical sites. Although most attractions will cost you an entry fee of $1 or $2, you simply need to pay it to see why this city is the pinnacle of Eastern Europe. Not to worry, you will save in other areas such as eating out at restaurants and drinking some famous Czech beer for around 1 euro. The city dates to around 870 A.D. and it is the preservation and persistence of the city’s history that is perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of the Czech capital. So, while there are no beaches, the city does offer very cheap accommodation, meals, and drinks, and should be one of the top destinations on your list for budget locations.
3 Florence, Italy
This may come as a surprise to many, but Florence is actually the perfect place for a budget traveler. According to US Travel News Rankings, Florence, or Firenze, comes in at number 2 for best places to visit in Italy and number 9 for cheapest places to visit in Europe. Afoot the famous Tuscan hillside, Florence is the perfect city to take a step back, stroll over the cobblestone streets and stop in at one of the many cafés in front of the Duomo, then to the next café… you get it. The city also retains hundreds of years of history, with David Michelangelo and Brunelleschi calling this amazing city home. It is a simple equation when traveling to Florence; world-class sunsets, simply magnificent local cuisine and vino, and an overall romantic charm about the city, all at some of the cheapest prices in Europe.
Located directly south of Croatia, this seaside country is a must if you are in the area. Kotor and Budva are simply extensions of the Croatian coast and actually even cheaper than Croatia. If you are in Kotor, you will find yourself in the midst of tall, intimidating mountains lined with the walls of the old city. If you have just come from Dubrovnik, you will know exactly what to expect. Take a hike to Saint Ivan’s castle, sitting atop a mountain overlooking the beautiful city and the Mediterranean Sea, or immerse yourself in local culture at the Boka Nights Festival held in August. Expect to spend no more than 15 USD here per person per day for food and other attractions.
1 Seville, Spain
If it is hotel prices you are worried about, head to Seville. With many decent hotels costing you less than $100 USD per night, you will have more freedom when it comes to immersing yourself in the traditional Spanish culture, which we all know is quite a vibrant one if anything. Flamenco dancing, bullfighting, and, most importantly, siestas are still very prevalent in Seville, and if you can fit all of this around indulging in Spain’s world-famous Tapas scene or visiting some amazing parks and gardens, then you will have done very well.