The Hungarian capital may be one of the European capitals of art and culture, but it has a fun side, too. There are plenty of nightclubs and busy pubs to meet locals at, as well as cool cocktail bars and places for wine tastings if you’re looking for something a touch more classy. Be sure to treat yourself to a stint at one of Budapest‘s famous thermal spas.
Hailed as the new Barcelona, Lisbon has all the good weather, the cheap prices and the fun bars you could want from a Mediterranean break. The Time Out food market is a good way to get to grips with the local fare, but a night out in Cais do Sodre is how you’ll really get a taste of the local way of life.
If you’re looking for barrels of laughter on a budget, Riga is your kind of place. Accommodation starts from just €8 per person in hostels and you can find beer for a euro in many of the local bars. There’s also a hip side to Riga, with cool cafés and concept stores as well as art galleries and museums to keep you busy during the day.
Not only is Prague home to come of the best beer in Europe, it’s also some of the cheapest. From traditional Pilsner Urquell to microbreweries, the options are unlimited, although a visit to a a Czech hospoda – a traditional local dive bar – is a must. During the day, be sure to explore the city’s many castles and historic landmarks, such as the Prague Castle or the Veletržní Palác.
A timeless classic, Barcelona offers the best of both worlds thanks to its urban beaches and thriving cosmopolitan city life. If prices aren’t as cheap as they were 10 years ago, they’re still considerably cheaper than in London or Paris, plus the ready availability of tapas in every bar means you’ll never be drinking on an empty stomach.
If you’re looking to party, Berlin’s nightclubs are a truly unforgettable experience. If you’re lucky enough to get in to Berghain – which has one of the world’s toughest entrance policies – you’ll need plenty of stamina, as parties regularly last 24 hours or more. If you’re not, you can find consolation in the likes of Tresor or Watergate.
This Polish city is steeped in history and is home to a pretty amazing medieval town centre, which you can get to know with a free walking tour. Refuel with some hearty polish food at a traditional mleczny or ‘milk bar’ – an affordable Polish canteen – before getting a taste of authentic Polish wodka and hitting Krakow‘s nightclubs.
Forget the red-light district; there’s so much more fun to be had in Amsterdam, with canal boat tours, cycle rides and of course, the odd visit to a coffee shop if you can handle it. Locals are incredibly proud of their city, and it’s easy to see why: it has fantastic architecture, world-class museums, great shopping and a vibrant food scene as well as plenty of lively bars and nightclubs.
In the past 10 years or so Tallinn has become a top tourist destination in Europe thanks to its charming old town complete with cobbled streets and medieval palaces, as well as its cool café culture and hip atmosphere. Check out the Telliskivi Loomelinnak cultural centre for quirky hangouts such as a cycle shop that also operates as a bar, or visit Von Krahl Theatre for a taste of old-school Estonia.
A night out in Dublin can be a little rough around the edges, but if you’re willing to be well behaved you’re guaranteed to have a good craic. A tour of the Guinness storehouse is an absolute must, and they say the national beer never tastes better than in Dublin itself, so be sure to head to the Foggy Dew or The Porterhouse to make your mind up for yourself.
Name the country? No, we didn’t think so. The Slovakian capital may not be the most famous of holiday destinations in Europe, but that means that you won’t have to deal with all the crowds, prices are still cheap and the locals haven’t become sick of stag groups yet. Bratislava has plenty to offer, though, with crazy nightclubs, cheap beer and some scenic hiking or cycle tracks if you’re up for it.
What are the cheapest tourist destinations in Europe?