Many of the most popular European destinations are not known for being the most budget friendly. But luckily, with nearly fifty countries making up the continent, there comes plenty of choice. So we’ve looked past the likes of Barcelona and Rome to bring you alternative options for a bargain European City break this spring.
Top of the list when it comes to rocket bottom prices, Albania is still relatively unexplored where popular tourism is concerned. With it’s colorfully painted electrical boxes and pretty squares, the capital city of Tirana makes for an excellent city break. If you’re a foodie this place scores extra bonus points. Byrek, Tavë Kosi, Fërgesë, get your chops around it all.
Whilst Dublin, the popular capital of the country, is not synonymous with cheap city breaks, lesser known Galway packs just as big a punch when it comes weekend breaks. And it’s far friendlier on the wallet. Live music takes centre stage in this student city, it is literally everywhere. And the quality is phenomenal. If you’re into guiness and guitars, this is the one for you.
Nicknamed ‘The Pink City’ due to the coloured bricks used in many of the buildings and with the attractive Garonne River running through it’s centre, this European city screams romance. So if you plan on impressing boo on a budget, get checking flights to Toulouse. The city also has a large student population so you won’t be short on options for great nights out.
The capital of Bulgaria is a great choice for a few cheap days away from the grind. Despite reflecting more than 2000 years of fascinating history, the trendy city of Sofia has a very youthful feel to it. Expect quirky coffee shops and laid back bars. And if you’re one for the outdoors, you can easily hop on a bus to explore nearby mighty Mount Vitosha.
Nearly completely destroyed during WWII, the capital of Poland has certainly got a turbulent past. If you are into your history, you will be a fan of the the excellent museums in Warsaw. It’s got a rather gritty appeal, but contrastingly you’ll find plenty of topnotch restaurants and bars that won’t have you checking how far into your overdraft you are.
Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
A seriously picturesque city, Český Krumlov is reminiscent of a miniature Prague. Between its fairytale castle and dreamy riverside spots your Insta feed will be buzzing. By day you explore the cobbled streets by bicycle or float down the scenic Vltava river by canoe. By night hit up the lively cafes and bars. All at a snip of a price.
Set on the Danube River and surrounded by forest, the capital of Slovakia is a great option if you are looking for mixing a city break with getting out into nature. Work up an appetite on the numerous hiking and cycling trails then tuck into some hearty dumpling stew and a tunnel cake. There’s also a cracking nightlife scene to keep you entertained on a budget.
Known for its friendly atmosphere and timeless charm, if exploring local markets and taking in stunning architecture is your bag, you will love Riga. The cultural capital of Latvia, for those also into the performing arts, a trip to the theatre here will go down a treat. There are also more art museums than you can shake a stick at. Definitely one for shoestring culture vultures.
Characterised by its red rooftops, cobblestone streets and once bland walls that have been transformed with vibrant murals, Zagreb truly is a sight for sore eyes. During the week it’s very business like, but come the weekend the capital of Croatia really lets her hair down. Mixed in between the medieval streets is a youthful and thriving clubbing scene. A party paradise.
As Berlin attracts some higher price tags than it previously used to, an alternative option for a budget trip to Germany is to hit up lesser known Leipzig. A dynamic city break destination, you’ll find a creative cafe scene, stylish boutiques and lots of trendy bars that won’t break the bank. It’s one seriously cool weekend playground.
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