We’ve all noticed that prices everywhere have gone up in the past year, forcing some of us to be a little more frugal with our travel plans. This is why we’ve compiled a list of European destinations that will be kind to our wallets, yet enchant us with their beauty and culture. The list below takes into account the cost of lodging, food and of course, the wow factor. Just because we’re travelling for cheap, it doesn’t mean that we want to be any less impressed!
We were pleasantly surprised at how much Bulgaria has to offer tourists and astonished by the low cost at which it does this. If the outdoors is what tickles your fancy, you can enjoy a hike and the fresh air of the Balkans, as well as the magnificent Balck Sea beaches. If you’re more interested in culture, you will have the burden of choice with a vast number of historical monuments, old towns and architectural reserves open to visitors. You can do all this while enjoying delicious cuisine and outstanding service, which come at a ridiculously low price.
Home to three Micheline star restaurants, it’s hard to believe that Romania is one of the cheapest destinations in Europe. Eating out is actually so affordable that it’s not even worth shopping at the supermarket to save a few Euros. You can visit Dracula’s Bran Castle, the Old Town in the city of Bucharest, go hiking in the wild Carpathian Mountains, ride a boat in the UNESCO natural Danube Delta reserve, and still have money left over to enjoy traditional cabbage rolls and Romanian wine.
Although one of the most expensive countries in Eastern Europe, Hungary can still be visited at a fraction of the price compared to that of other destinations in the West, especially in cities outside of Budapest. That being said, the country’s capital is a must-see, with its castles, grandiose cathedrals and bustling markets. After spending a few days in Budapest, you can enjoy some downtime in any of the historic spa towns located throughout the country, where you can kick back and embrace the natural scenery.
Often overlooked in favour of Croatia and Greece, Albania’s riviera is one of the most striking coastlines in Europe. Not only is it beautiful, but it is home to many music festivals and nightclubs, attracting young people from everywhere. Albania is also one of the most mountainous counties in the world, with breathtaking views anywhere you go. A visit wouldn’t be completer without a stop at the UNESCO city, Gjirokastram, with its houses designed like small castles. You had better hurry up though, as Albania is slowly becoming more popular with tourists.
With approximately 30 million visitors a year, it’s hard to believe that Greece is one of the most affordable European destinations. However, to enjoy the cradle of Western Civilization on a small budget, you must be careful not to fall into tourist traps. For instance, avoid sea-view restaurants or those with generic menus, centrally located hotels and entering taxis before setting the price of the ride. On the other hand, what you should do is purchase a ferry pass to visit the islands, rent a car or a moped to get around, and for goodness’ sake, get off the beaten path. Greece has so much more to offer than Santorini, Mykonos and Athens.
Until next time, travel safely!
Written by: Nadine Ishak