How awesome would a holiday trip or weekend getaway be – a little timeout from everything sounds so tempting. But one look into your piggy bank and you realize: Your dream can never turn into reality. The budget isn’t enough to enjoy your vacation to the fullest. We think you should have your break whenever you feel like. This is the perfect occasion to discover a more unknown Europe – have cheap European holidays in these top vacation spots we found for you.
In this article series “Cheap European Holidays” we will show you the 10 most beautiful and cheapest destinations. And in case you want to be even more prepared money-wise, check out this guide to save some money before your trip.
Cheap European Holidays #1Kiev, Ukraine
One of the cheapest destinations in Europe is the Ukraine, especially the capital city Kiev with it’s almost 3 million inhabitants. And if you feel like making holidays in Europe this year you should definitely put Kiev on the bucket-list. Everything is pretty cheap in this capital city.
And there is a lot to discover: Next to architectural highlights you can go crazy in Kiev’s nightlife. Probably the coolest bar in Kiev is the “Shato” – here tourists and inhabitants meet and celebrate, if there is an occasion to do so or not. 😉
A little tip: Bars, pubs and clubs are often times located on the ground floors. Maybe you will find that a little awkward and uninviting but be sure to check it out anyway, because it might still be the coolest location ever!
Other touristic locations for a small budget:
The Kiev Caves Monastery is definitely a Must-See. It’s a bunch of monasteries, churches, museums & caves. The name tells you what to expect: A lot of small ways and caves build the architectural look of the complex, monks try to find calmness and peace here. Since 1990 this attraction is UNESCO world heritage and it is absolutely breathtaking.
Another part of the Kiev UNESCO world heritage is the Sophien cathedral since 1990. Because of its mosaics and frescos from the 12th century it’s a place you definitely have to visit! If you are in Kiev, also make sure to see the Majdan Nesaleschnosti – “Independence Square”. It’s a historical place in the city center and parades and festivals are often taking place here.
By the way: The best month for visiting Kiev is May. The spring festival impresses visitors with incredible flower arrangements … And the best about it, this colorful spectacle is free!
Not too far away from Kiev, you can find Tschernobyl – it’s about 120 kilometres away from the capital city. Visit the ghost city Prypjat for 80 € and have an unique adventure. Because of a reactor accident the city was evacuated and since then it’s becoming a creepy cool place to visit – a city that is home to no one and falling apart.
The coolest and cheapest hostel:
ZigZah Hostel: 4,50€ per night
Cheap European Holidays #2Krakow, Poland
Krakow is multifaceted: On the one hand there a lot of historical monuments and unique architecture. On the other hand you’ll be fascinated by the culture because Krakow is one of these cities which has the most bars and clubs. The Polish are definitely party animals!
The castle landscape is located on a lime hill near Krakow. The castle complex has a kings palace and a museum. And if you are there already, you can visit the Franziskaner church from the 13th century as well.
You find a special atmosphere in the city district Nowa Huta. In the past it was a workers district but now it kind of separated itself and it’s a small city on its own. What to expect there? A lot of architectural treasures and … of course, awesome ice cream.
Another really interesting area is called the Kazimierz area, a historical Jewish district in the heart of the city. You can find some museums, art galeries and the history of the Kazimierz area will blow your mind.
Free guide tours are offered in Krakow too. There are different languages available. Find more infos here.
The coolest and cheapest hostel:
Pillow Party hostel 6,90€ / day per night
Cheap European Holidays #3Belgrade, Serbia
Not many cities have as many different vibes as Belgrade.
The capital of Serbia is most known for its vibrant nightlife and its affordable prices.
If you hear a booming base from one of the cellars in the city there’s most likely an underground techno party happening! Even though there is a lot to discover, Serbia still isn’t exactly what you would call a tourist hotspot… That’s probably because the time of the balkan war back in the 1990s is still present in our heads.
A term to remember when going to Belgrade is definitely “splavovi bars”.
This is the hottest trend of the city, floating bars with a brilliant atmosphere where you can spend unforgettable nights! Check out Zemunski Kej or Kej Oslobodenja to find the most stylish splavovi bars. Good news for everyone who’s short on cash: The entry is free :)!
Another highlight in Belgrade is the Skadarlija quarter, which reminds a lot of people of the famous Montmartre in Paris. Skardarlija used to be THE place to be for artists and writers, today it’s mostly known for a lot of nice cafes, restaurants and galeries around Skardaska Street, which you should definitely visit.
Interested in a quick overview about all the sights? Then you should definitely take a ride on tram line 2 which takes you through the whole city. Are you interested in what’s beneath the surface? Just book a tour for the Belgrad underground and learn everything about the secret tunnels, caves and underground systems.
Hostel Inn Downtown: 7,97€/ per night
Cheap European Holidays #4Riga, Lithuania
Lithuania is a really mysterious destination where tourism hasn’t really arrived yet …but more and more people recently discover the potential of this exciting country! Lithuania’s capital city, Riga, has 700.000 inhabitants and a lot of different things to offer. The best thing about it: it is veeeeery affordable!
But the low prices are only one of Riga’s many advantages – another one is definitely the good weather: It doesn’t matter in which season you’re planning your stay in Lithuania’s capital, the climate is mostly very mild.
If you ask other travelers about the Must – Sees in Riga, most of them will definitely tell you to go visit the old town Vegriga. The buildings there are just breathtakingly beautiful (check out the Hard Rock café in Riga- I’m pretty sure it’s one of the prettiest you have ever seen!). As usual beauty has its price – make sure to have a little extra money in your pocket because Vegriga is more expensive than the rest of the city.
But as promised you can do a lot of things in Riga that are cheap – for a quick overview I would recommend a Free Walking Tour where you will see the most important sights of the city. What is most fascinating about Riga is the “clash of styles” that is present in the city centre: There are beautiful buildings of art niveau mixed with modern street art. Cool, hip restaurants and cafés as well as old traditional ones…simply the best of both worlds 🙂
But Riga is not only interesting at daytime- wait until you have checked out the nightlife! Many bars are located in former warehouses, offices or even old schools, which gives it a very alternative vibe. You have a thing for unusual party locations? Than you should definitely go to Aristida Briana Street and enjoy the atmosphere here (important side note: the entry to the bars and clubs there is free!)
Not for free but also worth a visit is the essential club with some sick electronic beats or the Pulkvedis, one of the oldest clubs in Riga.
If can also suggest the amazing Skyline bar at Radisson Blue Hotel. It’s on the 26th floor, the entry is only 3 euros and you can enjoy the view drinking one of the more then 100 cocktails that they offer.
Speaking of alcoholic drinks… Riga is definitely a hotspot for beer-admires! You can try more than 20 different beers at Victory pub or just visit the famous Aldaris brewery. At Aldaris you can also experience the typical Lithuanian food, for example Klingeris, which is a small cake with grapes and kardamom… delicious stuff!
Central Hostel Riga: 6,50€/ per night
Cheap European Holidays #5Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Ok it’s time for some real talk – I didn’t know anything about Sarajevo before researching for this article. Luckily a good friend of mine is a passionate backpacker and highly recommended this city to me. So grab a pen and put Sarajevo on your travel list!
300.000 people are currently living in Sarajevo which is located directly in the mountains. When you leave the idyllic mountain area and enter the modern city centre you directly feel that Sarajevo is a place where history took place.
Everywhere around Sarajevo are reminders of the war, monuments for victims. The goal is not only to keep the people in mind who lost their lives here but also to remind everyone who survived of how precious and beautiful life is. The beauty of Sarajevo can also be seen at Pijaca Marcale, a market that provides you with delicious local food, nice souvenirs etc. daily from 9-4.
Another Must-See is Baščaršija, the Turkish part of the city. There are many small idyllic streets and moshees to discover . And definitely make sure to visit Sebilj place with the majestic fountain!
When it comes to food tips I only have two words: CEVAPCICI and BÖREK in best quality – try them in one of the many restaurants of Baščaršija.
Whenever there is food, you also need to have a proper drink, right? For the proper Sarajevo experience you should try out the typical beer Sarajewsko. A very nice place for a cold, delicious Sarajewsko is Kino Bosna, a bar which used to be a cinema before and charmy you with its artsy vibes.
Last but not least there is one thing that you REALLY need to do in Sarajevo: Playing chess with life-size pieces. You can either watch the spectacle which is already a lot of fun or play a round yourself if you are brave enough 🙂
Travellers Home Hostel: 7,95€/ per night
Cheap european holidays- 5 other destinations you need to see
In this article I gave you some tips about Kiev, Krakow, Belgrade, Riga und Sarajevo. Still in the mood for some cheap getaway-inspos? Check out our blog for part 2 of cheap European holidays and find out which other cities you need to put on your travel-list!