Europe is home to some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, but often big reputations go hand in hand with inflated prices for everything from accommodation to eating out. But you don’t have to visit the likes of Paris, Venice or Rome to enjoy a great city break, and it doesn’t have to mean a huge hit to your wallet. Check out these 5 European cities that won’t break the bank.
As one of the hippest cities on the continent and boasting a sometimes dark, but always fascinating history, Berlin is packed with famous landmarks and must-see attractions. So it may come as a shock that Berlin is also, well, pretty cheap. There’s tons of free stuff to do from hitting up awesome art galleries with no entrance fees to chilling out in the city’s leafy parks. There’s a stacked cultural calendar in this city with festivals and events taking place virtually every week, many of them absolutely free, so be sure to check out what’s happening before you go.
Estonia’s capital city Tallinn is an underrated gem that’s slowly but steadily building a reputation as a kick-ass destination for a budget break. It’s got a stunning old town with architecture that will conjure up scenes from Game of Thrones, golden sand beaches that flank the pristine waters of the Baltic Sea, and is renowned for its banging nightlife. And best of all, this comes at a cut price when compared with many of Europe’s leading cities, particularly when you steer clear of the most touristy areas.
Tucked away in the heart of South West France is the exciting city of Toulouse, nicknamed “The Pink City” owing to the colour of the bricks seen in much of the old architecture. While being virtually void of any major attractions, it more than makes up for this with a youthful and lively atmosphere. Much of this owes a lot to the fact that it’s a huge student hub home to one of France’s biggest universities. You'll find top-class gastronomy at bargain basement prices in the restaurants attached to the stalls in the markets, and endless options to enjoy a coffee or a cider in trendy bars and cafes.
It may come as a surprise to see Barcelona on a list of budget breaks, and granted, most of the major attractions do come with a hefty price tag. But there are endless things to do here that won’t cost a penny, like enjoying the sun in the green parks and picturesque squares, relaxing on the beaches, and looking out for Gaudí’s work which can be admired for free in every corner of the city. Added to this, virtually every restaurant in the city serves up a cut-price 3-course lunch menu which also comes with a glass of wine or beer.
Belgrade is probably best known as one of the world’s premier clubbing destinations, so if partying til the sun comes up is what you’re after then this city should be on your radar. But there’s more to Belgrade than late nights and brutal hangovers, with so much to discover about the turbulent history that has played such a crucial role in shaping its fun-loving present. Discover historic fortresses, impressive churches, cobbled streets and architecture that documents the various periods of trouble, with everything from Roman ruins to the uninspiring Communist-built tower blocks.