You need to escape everyday life for a while and are desperate for new scenery? But your wallet is empty, there are bills to be paid and you feel like traveling is only a dream to you now?
Don’t worry, we can help you out today: Don’t worry about the money, you can still travel! In the second part of our series “Cheap European holidays” we can surely fill you with enthusiasm – because the following 5 destinations are not only amazing, but also super affordable!
Have you read Part 1 yet? You can find 5 more affordable destinations in Europe in our first blog post. Feel free to check it out – you will definitely find something you like!
Cheap European Holidays #6Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is an absolute dream – do you want to relax? Celebrate? Enjoy a cheap holiday? We have a perfect little programm for you, to give you some advice on how you can experience the city in the best way possible. During the day you can do a Free Walking Tour, climb up the Gellért hill to get a great view of the two parts of Budapest, that are separated by the Danube. One is called “Buda”, the other one is called “Pest”. After this busy day, you deserve a little relaxation – take some time out in one of Budapest’s thermal baths, filled with thermal water from over 120 natural sources. Then take a rest, for example in Sziget Hostel, for about 7€ per night.
And for those among you, who still have some energy: You can find a lot of good parties around here! The best ones you will find in the so-called ruin bars. The unofficial bars are located in backyards and courtyards, abandoned houses or on former parking lots – often times you will find them quite unspectacular from the outside – but you are sure to find a roaring party inside.
Here you only pay about 1€ per beer, you can listen to alternative music and you meet people from all over the world – what a perfect combination for a long party night!
And then, once you are done testing your limits, you should get a “langos” – a fried, round snack with garlic cream and cheese. Could there be anything better at 4 am? I can promise you, that you are going to love it. The best thing about it? It will even be less than a euro.
Cheap European Holidays #7Zagreb, Croatia
Croatia is especilaly known for its coast, but also Zagreb, which is inside of the country, is definitely worth a visit! Due to its location it is a bit less touristy, but it also isn’t too far away from beach cities or the Plitvice Lakes National Park with its waterfalls and limestone gorges.
You should also pay a visit to Strossmarte – it is the small Montmartre of Zagreb. Here you can stroll along beautiful avenues, have a beer or try typical delicacies. In the evenings (apart from in Winter), you can even hear concerts and music, just like in Tuskanac Park. Pack your friends, some snacks, some beers and enjoy the cosy atmosphere!
One more advice for all you penny pinchers: Visit the Grig tunnel! During the Second World War and the Balkan war it was a shelter, today you can visit it for free. Why not take a little history lesson for free. If you just got hungry now, you should definitely check out the Wok by Matija. The small restaurant is well-frequented by locals and also super cheap!
Are you ready for nightlife now? Then be prepared for some alternative music and rock. I can recommend Kset or AKC Medika or if you’re more into electronic music, there are good places too: Try Sirup or Pepermint.
For an affordable place to stay after partying we can recommend Hostel Temza for only 7€ per night.
Cheap European Holidays #8Istanbul, Turkey
Due to the political situation in Turkey, the tourism has decreased significantly – even though there are basically no risks for tourists and Istanbul is a stunning place to visit. With its markets, mosques and the Bosphorus, it has a lot to offer for tourists.
One thing you definitely can’t miss, is a cruise in the Bosphorus. That is your chance, to walk on European AND Asian grounds on the very same day. Another must-see is the Hagia Sophia, a church built in the 6th century, which was then used from the 15th century as a mosque and since 1934 is a museum. It’s a place full of history!
Another one to see is the Topkapi Palace. It served as headquarters for living and reigning of the sultans and was therefore the center of all administration of the Ottoman Empire. Due to its location it offers a unique view onto the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn. If that isn’t enough for you already, why don’t you visit the Basilica Cistern. The building’s nickname is “Sunken palace” and it is one of the most impressive landmarks of the city. Classical music and amazing lighting create a captivating atmosphere.
If you’re a foodie, you should try authentic delicacies at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul in the old town. Don’t miss out on Mezze, Loukoum or Baklava! By the way, the bazaar is over 500 years old and one of the biggest covered ones worldwide. There are so many alleys, restaurants, mosques and even schools inside – just look out so you don’t get lost!
Accommodation wise I can recommend the Chambers of Boheme for only 6,80€ a night.
Cheap European Holidays #9Bucharest, Romania
The capital of Romania is an absolute gem. Start off with a little walk through the old town and its breathtaking architecture. If you are ready for a little break, try the sweet delicacies called Cornulețe. They are best with a cup of strong coffee! The Romanian pastry with vanilla or rum-aroma is filled with jam, chocolate, nuts or raisins and has the shape of a crescent moon.
Or if you’re more into savoury food, you should eat in Caru’cu bere. The first brewery Bucharest’s is a Must-Visit, even though its a bit touristy, but still affordable. You can get some very traditional food like “Sarmalé”, Mititei” or “Mamaglia” here – don’t forget to try these dishes. And by the way: “Pofta Buna” means “Bon Appetit” and “Noroc” means “Cheers”. Knowing that, you’re prepared to become the sweetheart of the traditional brewery in no time at all.
If you have then tried the first drinks, you’re good to hit the party streets of the old town. The ones to discover are called: Lipscani street, Francezka und Stavropoleos street. Here you can find a lot of clubs, and for all of you who didn’t know yet, you will find out that the nightlife here is fantastic!
After the party you obviously need a place to stay – for an affordable bed you can choose the Little Bucharest for only 7,40€ a night. If you need a last sip before going to bed, this is the perfect place to be – because the hostel also offers a bar!
As soon as you’re back on your feet the next day, you should visit the Jewish Museum. Even if you spent all your money on drinks last night, you don’t need to worry, because the entrance is free. Simply bring your ID and and be sure to get in for free.
Cheap European Holidays #10Sofia, Bulgaria
Sofia is not only super cheap, but also one of the oldest cities of Europe. You can still tell, that it used to be an important city in the Roman Empire – for example when visiting the Amphitheatre of Serdica, which is only 10 metres smaller than the colosseum in Rome. Unfortunately a hotel was built on it, so you can only see some remaining parts of it.
My advice: Ask at the reception of the hotel to see the remnants of the Serdica!
Staying here is maybe a bit too expensive, so you should rather check out the Hostel Mostel for 10€ a night including breakfast.
Sofia is also good for partying – i have a secret tip for you. A dark alley leads you to the best, but maybe also most hidden bar in Sofia – called Hambara! If you’ve found the right place, you can only find out by walking to the door and knocking. And then you’re ready to start the night!
In Sofia you find vast music offer, that covers many genres – from Bulgarian folk music to hardcore – everything is possible here. And if you then want a little city break and discover the countryside of Bulgaria, you can check out Lake Panchavero in the mountains, which is only a few kilometres from Sofia. Here you can do some fishing, wander between fir trees, swim and take a deep breath, relaxing to the max before you have to take the journey home again.
I hope to have been able to inspire you a little bit and that you feel like discovering new, unusual destinations in Europe. Adventures are awaiting you! You’re not feeling quite ready and want a little more preparation? Why don’t you read some more tips about traveling here:
Have fun and discover the world,
Your Theresa from MyPostcard