Explore Europe without worrying about the cost
By Steph Dye (follow Steph on Twitter: @HelloIAmSteph)
With the cost of living in London, travel, eating and going about our daily lives all weighing on the balance of our bank accounts, it can be difficult to think about taking time for ourselves, let alone taking a holiday. Luckily however, there are lots of destinations across Europe that are affordable whilst also being beautiful and full of culture. Forget Paris, Rome and other places that normally come to mind when you imagine a break on the continent; instead, we look towards Eastern Europe and the delights it has to offer, for a fraction of the price. Here are Broke in London’s top seven, budget destinations in Europe. You’ll be happy to know that you can find all of these as part of many Europe tours as well.
For this list, we have used priceoftravel.com’s Backpacker Index. This list is perfect for the budget traveler and gives the approximate price of a night’s stay in a hostel, two public transport rides, the cost of an attraction, three budget meals and three cheap alcoholic drinks. It is practical way of budgeting for your holiday as it includes realistic prices as well as providing you with enough to have a busy, culture packed day.
#1 | Kiev | Ukraine
What’s there?: Ukraine’s capital city and the largest in the country, Kyiv, as it is otherwise known, is also lucky enough to be holding the Eurovision Song Contest in 2017! The city is full of cultural hotspots, such as the Chornobyl museum and the Saint Sophia Cathedral, which is one of the cities many beautiful, picturesque churches.
How much does it cost?: A complete bargain at just £17.23 a day or in the local currency, 539 hryvnia. Broken down, it works out to around ₴83 for a hostel, ₴8 for transport, ₴288 for food and drink, ₴150 on entertainment and ₴10 on attractions. The country has always been a relatively cost effective place to visit, however with the political troubles, the price of visiting Kiev has dropped dramatically.
How far away is it?: By plane, the journey is about three hours and there is a time difference of +2 hours.
Air Tickets: Starting from £75 – find cheap air tickets to Kiev via Skyscanner
Accommodation: Find cheap accommodation in Kiev via Booking.com
Currency: Ukrainian Hryvnia
#2 | Bucharest | Romania
What’s there?: Let’s make it plain straight away: Bucharest is not the most picturesque town in Romania and often gets a bad rap by travelers. However, whilst mostly used as a stop over en route to other destinations, if you persevere, there are some great attractions . For example, the city is home to the world’s second largest building, the Palace of Parliament, which has over 3000 rooms and is still unfinished, despite being started over 30 years ago.
What’s the cost: An average day costs around 97.20 Romanian Leu, or £17.67. It costs 25 lei for a hostel, 5 lei for travel, 55.20 lei for meals, drink and entertainment and 12 lei for entry costs for any attractions you may wish to visit.
How far away is it?: A flight to Bucharest takes just over three hours and the time difference is +2 hours.
Air Tickets: Starting from £28 – find cheap air tickets to Bucharest via Skyscanner
Accommodation: Find cheap accommodation in Bucharest via Booking.com
Currency: Romanian Leu
#3 | Krakow | Poland
What’s there?: Often hailed as the new Budapest or Prague, Krakow is becoming a popular tourist destination. This is not just because it’s affordability however, but also because of it’s rich history and architecture. The beautiful surroundings of the old town and the old Jewish quarter are full of picture perfect churches and museums. Good examples are the St Mary’s Basilica and the Wawel Cathedral. Not everything in Krakow takes inspiration from the past, however. The old capital also has a bustling, affordable nightlife to rival many other, more popular cities.
How much does it cost?: It costs 98.83 Polish Zlotych per day to visit Krakow comfortably, equating to around £18.97. This breaks down into about 35zł for accommodation, 6zł for travel, 42zł for going out, eating and drinking and 16zł for visiting various attractions. Remember all of the costs we give are approximate. You might find yourself spending more or less each day depending on what you do/where you go and the standard of your accommodation and travel.
How far away is it?: A flight from London takes around 2 hours and 25 minutes and there is a time difference of +1 hour.
Air Tickets: Starting from £30 – find cheap air tickets to Krakow via Skyscanner
Accommodation: Find cheap accommodation in Krakow via Booking.com
Currency: Polish Zloty
#4 | Sofia | Bulgaria
What’s there?: Generally an overlooked country, Bulgaria, when it is considered by sightseers is mainly utilised for it’s beaches and mountains. This being said, Sofia is a great city in it’s own right and perfect for a budget, break in Europe. The main criticism of Sofia is that there isn’t a huge amount to do, which is true. That being said, the stunning architecture of the churches – such as the Aleksander Nevski Cathedral shown above – and the monuments should be more than enough to keep you busy for a couple of days.
How much does it cost?: It’s works out at around £19 per day to pay for any living costs whilst visiting the country. In the local currency (Bulgarian Lev), this works out at about 46лв. Divided into it’s separate parts, that’s 14лв for a hostel, 2лв for travel, 25лв for eating, drinking and going out and 6лв for any entry fees or attraction costs.
How far away is it?: The time difference is +2 hours and a flight from London to Sofia takes just over 3 hours.
Air Tickets: Starting from £20 – find cheap air tickets to Sofia via Skyscanner
Accommodation: Find cheap accommodation in Sofia via Booking.com
Currency: Bulgarian Lev
#5 | Belgrade | Serbia
What’s there?: Cobbled together from the remnants of several different influences, Belgrade has become a patchwork city. Mixing together practicality and exuberance, this is definitely more a working city than a tourist hotspot. Having said that, this doesn’t mean this isn’t a place to visit, especially if you are looking for a good value break. The city has a buzzing nightlife, unique charm and as well as this, is hugely affordable, making it perfect for our list.
How much does it cost?: The price per day is around €25 or £21. This means that your can rent a hostel and travel about the city for €7.50, eat, drink and go out for €15 and entertain yourself during the day for just €3. Bargain!
How far away is it?: A flight to Belgrade takes around two and three quarter hours. The city is one hour ahead of the UK.
Air Tickets: Starting from £35 – find cheap air tickets to Belgrade via Skyscanner
Accommodation: Find cheap accommodation in Belgrade via Booking.com
Currency: Serbian Dinar
#6 | Sarajevo | Bosnia and Herzegovina
What’s there?: Another country with a troubled past, Sarajevo has struggled to attract tourists, explaining it’s low prices. However, nestled in the mountains, the city is a classic example of mismatched, East-meets-West architecture. With clear influences from both the Ottoman and Hungarian empires, the city is now restored to its former glory whilst the bullet holes that still scar many buildings mark a tribute to a more recent history and a city rescued from the edge of destruction.
How much does it cost?: Accommodation and travel is approximately €10 a day, whilst eating, drinking and fun comes to about €14. Including an average entry price of €4, the total comes to about €28, or £24.
How far away is it?: There is a time difference of just one hour between London and Sarajevo however the average flight takes just over 4 hours, as there are no direct flights.
Air Tickets: Starting from £155 – find cheap air tickets to Sarajevo via Skyscanner
Accommodation: Find cheap accommodation in Sarajevo via Booking.com
Currency: Bosnian Convertible Marka
#7 | Budapest | Hungary
What’s there?: Slowly becoming a hugely popular tourist destination, Budapest is beginning to find it’s place amongst Europe’s most exciting cities. Famous for it’s thermal springs, there is lots to do in the city, such as admire the mix of different architectures and enjoy the bustling nightlife. Whilst an increased demand has seen prices creep up, the city remains a wonderful, affordable European city, especially if you stay out of the city centre.
How much does it cost?: Overall the cost of staying in Budapest for a day and night is about 8,880Ft (Hungarian Forints) or £23. Out of that, a good hostel and travel will cost you 3210Ft. All other things, such as eating, drinking, going out and sightseeing will come in at around 5670Ft.
How far away is it?: The average flight is about two and a half hours and the time difference is just one hour.
Air Tickets: Starting from £25 – find cheap air tickets to Budapest via Skyscanner
Accommodation: Find cheap accommodation in Budapest via Booking.com
Currency: Hungarian Forint
Not feeling up to a flight to go exploring? Why not check out our list of adventures that are still within zone six?
Ore perhaps one of our culinary voyages is more your thing!