Europe is notoriously expensive: especially when you think of places like Paris, London and Rome. An irresistible mix of culture, history and landscape, the continent can be a money-snatching fiend at the best of times. But, if you go at the right time and avoid all the big places (those pricey cities), you’ll find that you’ll actually be able to shake off that horrendous spending habit and enjoy the place that little bit more. So, grab a notepad, whip out your credit card, pack your suitcase and check out these cheep places to stay in Europe this summer.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The Czech Republic…
Believe it or not, Prague isn’t as cheap as it used to be, but you’ll still find the Czech Republic to be good value for money. The home of Pilsner, you can still pick up a beer for as little as €1.50. Bargain. If Prague’s not up your street, head to Olomouc for traditional booze trails, classy taverns and some stunning architecture.
Basic daily budget: €40
Hostel/budget hotel: €15/€40
Tapas, cheap beer, magnificent cities and countryside for days – this glorious part of southern Spain really does have it all. With the likes of Seville, Jerez, Córdoba, Granada and Málaga under its name, you needn’t bother exploring any other European country because it’s all here. The wonderful tradition of free tapas originates in this part of the world, which means you can taste Iberian flavours for peanuts, and if you really want to continue your budget adventure, hop on the ferry to Morocco. Yes, really. It’s that close by. If not, magical histories, exquisite museums, and the loveliest people are waiting to greet you in true Spanish style.
Basic daily budget: €40
Booze (small beer): €1.70–2.50 per caña
Hostel/budget hotel: €16/€35–80
Budapest really is fabulous, and is one of the few continental hubs that won’t burn a hole in your already burning pockets. A day at a spa in this part of the world will only set you back a very doable €15. Whether you’re visiting with the bae or your fella, lounge by the pool, cruise on the river or tipple your way through idiosyncratic bars in the baking heat of summer. The choice is yours.
Basic daily budget: €30–35
Two words: people watching. Yes, Porto really is the best place in the world for a coffee and a cheeky bit of people watching. Whilst it’s a little more pricey than the other go-to destinations on this list, the no-frills local restaurants and waterfront cafes and bars really are worth the extra cash. Aside from putting on a few extra calories, discover a load of superb art museums, get lost in Serralves Park and drinks lots and lots and lots of wine.
Basic daily budget: €45–50
Bottle of vinho verde: €3.50
Hostel/budget hotel: €20/€45
The High Tatras, Slovakia…
The high what? Tatras – a mountain range few have actually ever heard of. We don’t know why, though. Slovakia’s pride and joy is full of magnificent parks – including the gargantuan 2,655m (8,711 ft) high Gerlach – and wonderful chalets. And if you’re a hiker, biker or cycler this really is your domain. It’s great for tubing and rafting too.
Basic daily budget: €35–45
Hostel/budget hotel: €15/€30
The Peloponnese, Greece…
There’s more to Greece than Athens and Santorini. The Peloponnese really is having its moment. Fine white, sandy beaches (much quieter than the main islands), ancient sights like Epidaurus and Olympia, medieval villages and Byzantine towns await for those that want to go beyond what you see in the travel mags.
Basic daily budget: €30
Souvláki (shish kebab): €3
Hostel/budget hotel: €20/€30
There’s lots of history in this gritty port town in the Baltic riviera. The shipyard crane dates all way back to the 15th century, and the city was, of course, the birthplace of the Solidarity anti-communist movement. Celeb status aside, the place looks ancient but it is in fact really hip, and very modern. After you’ve explored the buzzing city, head to the coastal resort of Sopot for drink-related beach party debauchery. Fun times and plenty of ghastly Kodak moments.
Daily budget: Basic €30
Vodka shot: €1
Hostel/budget hotel: €12/€35
The Albanian coast…
Albania is one of the cheapest countries in Europe to explore, and luckily, has escaped the hands of the millions of tourists exploring other parts of the continent. If you fancy the perfect beach break, well, this is it. On Albania’s southern Ionian coast, expect lots of mammoth mountains, azure seas and white, white sand.
Basic daily budget: €25
Bottle of red wine: €6
Hostel/budget hotel: €10/€30
London a budget city? Yes, really. A weak pound and Brexit has made one of the most expensive cities in the world that little cheaper. While things like travel and the cost of living are sky high, there’s oodles to do in the ‘Big Smoke’ that won’t cost you a single penny. Here, you can explore the British, Victoria & Albert and Natural History Museums for absolutely nothing. And don’t forget the parks. Oh, the parks!
Basic daily budget: £30
Pint of beer: £5
Fish and chips £8
Hostel/budget hotel: £25/£80–100
The lakes of Macedonia…
Lake Ohrid really is the jewel in Macedonia‘s sparkling crown. Aside from snapping the beguiling lake to death, waltz through the frescoed medieval churches, uncover ancient Roman amphitheatres and climb epic tundras to get the best views from a crumbling fortress. Or, simply just swim, dive or sail the waters by boat. With cheap private rooms to rent and lots of really lovely glamping spots, the area is perfect for travellers young and old on a budget to kick back and relax.
Basic daily budget: €20
Wine from €2.50 per bottle (gasps)
Hostel/budget hotel: €10/€25
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