5 European destinations you can afford
Europe is known as one of the world’s top travel destinations, even though it’s not very budget-friendly. But, Europe’s reputation as an expensive place for Americans to visit is changing. Now, with more and more airlines offering increasingly inexpensive flights across the pond, people are starting to see European vacations in a new light. If you’re looking to venture to Europe but you don’t have a lot to spend, start by taking a closer look at the following destinations.
1) Barcelona, Spain. This large coastal city has plenty of sand, sun, and culture to wow you, all with surprisingly affordable prices. Inexpensive hotel rooms ensure you won’t break the bank during your stay. Barcelona has a reputation as one of the most artful cities in the world, so you won’t have to spend a lot to see something beautiful. This is in part due to the influence of avant-garde architect Antoni Gaudi, who designed many of the buildings still in use today, including the Sagrada Familia, a stunning Catholic church that draws about 2.5 million visitors annually.
2) Dublin, Ireland. The Irish capital has a little bit of everything: culture, beaches, castles, and of course, Guinness. But, by virtue of it not being Paris or London, vacationing here is a bit more affordable. With a number of free museums, parks, gardens, and galleries, you could go days without spending any money on admissions to attractions. You’ll probably have more than enough cash left over to check out a concert here; many popular acts make this city a stop as part of their European tours.
3) Krakow, Poland. Some experts call this city the best bargain in Europe, and it’s easy to understand why: it flies under the radar in terms of popularity, but it’s still home to a number of excellent attractions. Many of these are historical in nature, from UNESCO World Heritage sites, to places like Oskar Schindler’s enamel factory. When you need a break from sightseeing, Krakow has plenty of places to refresh yourself. The cafes and bars are well-known for being popular and inexpensive hangouts. In a city where nightly bar crawls are a thing, you’re bound to have fun.
4) Budapest, Hungary. This underrated city offers quite a bit of culture. You can avoid the costs that would normally come with that here because it simply isn’t a popular destination for tourists. Check out the Buda Castle, which has breathtaking views of the Danube River. The city’s best transportation deal is called the Budapest Card, where you can ride freely for 72 hours on public transportation, treat yourself to multiple walking tours, and gain free access to multiple museums for less than $40. Don’t forget to sample some of the local wine, which is just as overlooked as the city, and also just as great.
5) Istanbul, Turkey. This city is known for its stunning architecture, but perhaps more than that, it also happens to be the place where you can get luxurious treatments at bargain prices. Turkish baths here offer full-blown packages that include massages and steam treatments for around $30, a price that’s hard to beat. When combined with its great dining options and incredible buildings, you have a European vacation that will leave you feeling both pampered and inspired.
8 Great International Vacations You Can Afford [Kiplinger]
Dream Trips You Can Actually Afford [Budget Travel]
20 Reasons to Love Dublin [Visit Dublin]