Budget European Breaks
By Adam Stokes
From last minute holidays to weekend and city breaks, we’ve compiled Europe’s top 5 budget destinations. These cheap holiday destinations are much more affordable than you might have first thought. Plus, the earlier you book, the more cash you’ll save! Whether you’re a graduate looking to spend some time away before settling down in the big wide world, or alternatively a 9-5er with limited time available, we’ve found top budget destinations for all year round.
Don’t worry though. If your wallet’s not quite ready for European travel yet, then check out our Travelling Cheaply Across the UK article.
Now, let the countdown begin…
#5 Porto, Portugal
We’re kicking off our list with Porto. Admittedly, it’s not the cheapest on the list (… that’s why it’s all the way up here), and yes, you can probably find cheaper destinations in Europe to visit – but we couldn’t compile a list of European cities without including the winner of Best European Destination 2014. With the charm of quaint rivers and cobbled roads in the city as well as sparse golden beaches on the coast, it achieves a rarity among many European breaks in that it can please the tourist photographers and the sunbed lovers simultaneously. The food, the views, the people and the atmosphere all contributed to it being voted best destination this year. So, go see what the hype’s all about. Check out Skyscanner for the cheapest possible flights.
Must: Try the local food. You’ll never look back
Air Tickets: Starting from £150 – find cheap air tickets via Skyscanner
Accommodation: Starting from £25 a night for a double room – find cheap accommodation via Booking.com
Currency: Euro (EUR)
#4 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ah, Amsterdam, as beautiful as it is flat. You can eat, drink and be merry at any time of year. With café’s around every corner (the Dutch equivalent to a good old pub), you can always find somewhere nice to settle after a day’s entertainment – of which can involve various different activities. With sights, tours and shopping to be done, you’ll find Amsterdam a perfect weekend getaway. Just remember, their coffee shops are a little different to ours… also, don’t forget to check your travel options, getting a coach if you don’t like flying could save you a penny or two.
Must: See the windmills, the canals, the café’s – see everything!
Air Tickets: Starting from £100 – find cheap air tickets via Skyscanner
Accommodation: Starting from £38 a night for a double room. (dormitories are much cheaper) – find and cheap accommodation via Booking.com
Currency: Euro (EUR)
#3 Istanbul, Turkey
Though you get the hustle and bustle of a cosmopolitan city, Istanbul’s climate sets it apart from most European getaways. Being transcontinental, Turkey is home to both Europe and Asia, and being that far south comes with a whole lot of heat. Again, Istanbul might not seem like an obvious choice for a budget short break, but it’s the currency that makes all the difference. On a good day, you can get more than 3.5 Turkish Lira for your pound, meaning a couple hundred goes a long way. With prices for food, drink and various other amenities over there being relatively cheap, too – you can live like a king for the short time you’re there. Cheap holidays to Turkey are easy peasy. Jump over to cheapoair to check out flight prices now.
Must: Go shopping in the street market’s to experience the real buzz of Turkey
Air Tickets: Starting from £128 – find cheap air tickets via Skyscanner
Accommodation: Starting from £15 a night for a double room – find cheap accommodation via Booking.com
Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY)
#2 Prague, Czech Republic
You can’t get much cheaper than Prague (we said much… that’s why it’s not quite first!). With a healthy exchange rate and a whole lot of culture to offer, Prague is popular among many. From the lovers of classical music and architecture to those whose tastes prefer beer and a night out, it’s a city than can cater to versatile needs. Bridges and castles can be admired as you head off on your night out to any one of the many clubs, pubs, bars, jazz clubs or disco’s that are dotted throughout the centre. Whatever your taste, you’ll probably find it in Prague – and that goes for beer, music and entertainment! Check out the Eurostar for alternative travel options.
Must: Visit the Prague Jewish Museum – the best way to learn some of the city’s history
Air Tickets: Starting from £50 – find cheap air tickets via Skyscanner
Accommodation: Starting from £13 a night for a double room – find cheap accommodation via Booking.com
Currency: Czech Koruna (CZK)
#1 Budapest, Hungary
So we’ve hit our number one. Having made our way all the way from Portugal, with a few stop offs in between, we bring you Hungary – Europe’s top destination for cheap holidays. From cheap accommodation to budget flights and a low cost of living, Budapest ticks all the boxes when it comes to saving money. They’ve got food for every pallet as well as sights and architecture worth a snap or two. Nightlife knows how to please, and you’ll have plenty in your budget left over to enjoy it, so if you’re wanting to hit the road, ride the rails or jet off to somewhere in Europe on a super tight budget, there’s nowhere better than Budapest.
Must: Head down to Holdudvar – an entertainment venue like no other
Air Tickets: Starting from £47 – find cheap air tickets via Skyscanner
Accommodation: Starting from £8 a night for a double room – find cheap accommodation via Booking.com
Currency: Hungarian Forint (HUF)
Find travel deals via Momondo
So there you have it – a list of the 5 cheapest European getaways. Do your research, search deep into your wallet and weigh up all your options. Once you’ve made your decision, make sure you have fun. You can use Tripadvisor’s widget below to find out the latest deals on flights and hotels. Happy holidays!
If you’re looking for more great tips, insights and guides for any of the above locations, then check out The Lonely Planet or Rough Guides,the latter of which has an app for handy browsing on the go.
Want to take it one step higher? Find out how you can travel across the world on a budget, too!