Nowadays, travelling is something we all want to do. From those that enjoy short weekend breaks to escape hectic daily life, to others that dedicate whole gap years investigating unbeaten paths, you’re hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy holidays or travel. Relaxation, beaches, exploration and culture… what’s not to like? Unfortunately, there’s a reason we all tend to think twice before exclaiming a loud ‘Yes!’ after every travel plan is placed before us: cost.
However, budget travelling is now easier than ever. To protect your purse, here are some of the top 5 of affordable locations in Europe that I have chosen, based on my own experiences, stories from friends, and a little research.
Unfortunately, there’s a reason we all tend to think twice before exclaiming a loud ‘Yes!’ after every travel plan is placed before us: cost.
Well known for being an affordable destination, Poland is perfect for travellers on a budget. Meals can be found for as little as £4, public transport is cheap, and flight costs are often low. Less popular than Warsaw and Krakow, Gdansk is affordable but equally as worth a visit. Filled with history reaching from Slavic Poland to WWII, this beautiful port town offers hidden stories, old cobbled streets, typical redbrick churches, and romantic boat cruises. The city offers excellent transport links around the North, too, allowing opportunity for further exploration. For example, I have explored the nearby town of Bydgoszcz, which is set on the river Vistula, and claimed by locals to be one of Poland’s most beautiful cities.
Top tip: though it may seem odd, the Museum of Soap is worth a visit!
If you’re looking for budget, Prague boasts local goods at extremely cheap prices. If you thought drinks in Newcastle were cheap, think again. Czech beer is often found for just 23 Czech Koruna, which converts to an impressive 80p. Besides the beer, Prague is a beautiful, romantic city that has a lot to offer. Previously likened to Paris, it is often noted to have the appearance of something from a fairy-tale, with the popular Charles Bridge and Prague Castle standing proudly. With spectacular views, interesting mixtures of traditional and modernistic architecture, and a fascinating history, Prague is not a place to miss.
Top tip: opt for a late night flight, and be rewarded by breath-taking views of lights shining from Prague against the night sky. Alternatively, if you’re a history lover, head for the Communism Museum.
Prices in this region vary, as some spots are more tourist-heavy than others, but you can find bargains if you’re prepared to seek them out. For example, in Albufeira, a stunning beachside town, prices along the seafront are clearly inflated. However, if you’re willing to walk away from the main tourist spot, or explore travel lesser-known towns, you will find some impressive deals - particularly, if you buy food from supermarkets. Beyond the benefit of affordability, the Algarve is a stunning location. Expect blazing heat, blue skies, photogenic beaches, and unbeatable seafood. If you manage to save enough money, you may be able to treat yourself to one of the exciting dolphin watching boat excursions, which I promise you won’t regret.
Top tip: visit the surrounding islands, such as Ilha da Culatra and Deserta Island.
Although not frequently spoken about, you won’t be able to resist exploring this beautiful country once you start looking at the photography taken here. With low prices and insane views, there’s no reason not to visit. The capital, Ljubljana is an obvious choice. Both one of Europe’s greenest capitals, and a lively student town, it holds something for everyone. Thanks to the small size of Slovenia, it is also possible to easily travel to many other locations if you base yourself in this city (with Bled and Vintgar Gorge being some of the best options).
Top tip: when visiting Bled, don’t take the first boat trip you see – if you walk further you will be rewarded with cheaper prices, and less crowded beaches.
It seems Croatia was the place to be this summer, with hundreds flocking to Instagram to share photos of its beautiful beaches. Looking at the images, you can understand why it’s so popular when you see how beautiful the country is! In addition to the stunning beaches, if, like me, you also love to spend time getting lost in the old towns of cities; you will adore Dubrovnik, with its limestone buildings and narrow streets.
Top tip: stay in a town just outside of Dubrovik for an even cheaper holiday.