When most of us think about travelling on a budget, Europe simply doesn’t enter the picture. Sky-high prices, flight tickets, and few affordable hotel options are just some of the reasons why Europe has a reputation for being an expensive getaway.
However, Eastern European cities tend to offer more adventures for the budget-conscious traveller. USA Today recently put together a good-sized list of affordable European cities and we decided to do our own research and make our own Top 3 list.
#3: KIEV, UKRAINE
Ukraine’s capital has both an ancient and modern style and you’ll find an eclectic range of activities and scenes. You can soak up a great deal of Eastern Eurpoean history, while also enjoying the architecture, parks, markets, and museums. You can enjoy many of these activities for free or at affordable prices.
Eating out is cheap, just be sure to stay away from restaurants that solely cater to tourists. Be sure to try the Borscht, Chicken Kiev (Котлета по-київськи), chebureki (чебуреки), and the Mlyntzi to get a real favor of the culture.
Accommodations are also extremely friendly on your wallet. The low-range hostels and backpacker’s guesthouses can cost around just $6 per night! If you are looking for a higher level of service, you can find 3 star hotels in the price range of $70 per night, which still beats the prices of Paris or Milan by far!
Currency converter (as of September, 2013): 1 USD = 8.17 Hryvnia
#2: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
Since Hungary is also not on the Euro and there are great deals ranging from airfare to hotels, Budapest is often touted internationally as a “bargain destination.” This is an especially hot destination for our readers who are fashion lovers and foodies. There are numerous homegrown fashion designers in Budapest and you will find truly unique and hip treasures in this city, which gets much of its inspiration from the rich folk art of Hungary. For those who have a craving for food, you will not be disappointed! Besides local farmers markets, you will be amazed at the decadence of the pastries and sweets found in local cafes. Be sure to try out the strudels, pankakes, Szamos marzipans, and dobos cakes!
Currency converter (as of September, 2013): 1 USD = 220.30 Forint
#1: BERLIN, GERMANY
Although there are so many colorful and adventurous European cities we can put on this list, Berlin is an absolute must. For the past two decades, Berlin has often been associated with ‘hip,’ ‘cool’ and inexpensive. Although property prices may be rising with the continued European Economic crisis, the city is still one of the cheapest (if not the cheapest) Western European capital city to visit. I’ve heard beer is cheaper than water!
Often described as a “hipster” city, there are plenty of artists and a range of clubs, DJ’s, and music venues for you to try out! With its broken history, many feel the Berlin of today is constantly redefining itself and experimenting, and travelling from neighborhood to neighborhood will feel like going to different cities altogether.
Currency converter (as of September, 2013): 1 USD = .74 Euro
Your turn! Is there another budget-friendly European city you think should be at the top of this list? What makes it so special?