These are the places you can go in Europe on a tight budget without starving or staying in bad hostels.
I’ve always thought that the best thing we can do in life is to collect experiences. I know that we must have a life plan and direct most of what we do to reach this personal goal, but at the end of the day, we only have one life, so we can't not make the most of it. Naturally, one of the best ways to collect experiences is to travel. Not only does it allow you to see all those great wonders around the world or even your own country, but it also helps you grow as a person and gain more perspective of other realities. However, traveling isn’t always easy in terms of time, and more importantly, in terms of money. As a generation, I think I’m right in saying that, although we love visiting amazing places, we also have to stretch our budget, so when we talk about Europe, especially for those of us who don’t live there, it might sound like a really expensive trip, but not necessarily: forget about spending tons of money in Paris, London, and Rome and give these sixteen cities a chance to take your breath away.
Kiev - Ukraine
Krakow - Poland
Saint Petersburg - Russia
Budapest - Hungary
Crossed by the great Danube River, which gives you absolutely perfect backgrounds for your Insta pics, Budapest has become one of the favorite destinations for young people wanting to explore those parts of Europe that the average tourists don’t usually visit. With amazing architecture loaded with history and great venues to hang out, this is definitely one city you have to add to your bucket list, especially if you don’t want to spend tons of money on your trip.
Prague - Czech Republic
Naples - Italy
Porto - Portugal
Athens - Greece
Ever since I was little, I’ve been in love with Greece, mainly for the historical aspects. One of my biggest dreams was to visit this amazing country, and let me tell you, it’s still one of the best experiences I've ever had. The best part is you don’t have to spend that much to go to Greece. I went with a very tight budget, and I thought I was going to stay at the worst hotel in history since I paid very little for my room, but really, one of the most impressive images that will stay forever in my mind was opening the hotel window (obviously expecting a huge brick wall) and looking the Parthenon in all its splendor. By the way, food and drinks are very affordable. You can eat Greek yogurt with honey (the absolute best in the world) for breakfast, gyros, lamb chops, and drink some ouzo, and you’ll be fine.
Bucharest - Romania
Hamburg - Germany
Split - Croatia
Nîmes - France
You want to visit Rome and Paris, but you don’t have enough money? Well, don't worry, there’s a place that basically merges two of the things people love visiting in these cities, and that’s Nîmes, France. As the best preserved Roman city (yes, even its amphitheater is still standing almost intact), you can get a glimpse of the grandiosity of this ancient empire while still enjoying traditional French cuisine and customs. The best part is that it’s one of the cheapest cities in the country, so you won’t have to spend that much money.
Bruges - Belgium
Sofia - Bulgaria
Valletta - Malta
Santiago de Compostela - Spain
I lived here for six months, and it's one of the cheapest and most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. There are tons of hostels at a very good price (under 10 euros!) near the center of the city. Besides, you don’t have to spend that much on food since most bars will give you some delicious tapas (a small portion of a meal) for every drink you have, even water. If you’re looking for a place with amazing landscapes, delicious food, and a lovely medieval downtown, this is the place. As a recommendation, you can try doing the Camino de Santiago for a couple of days; many people host and feed pilgrims in one of the most amazing experiences ever (even for non-Catholics).
Europe is definitely a place you should visit at least once in your life. And yes, those mainstream cities are what they are for a reason, but they’re not the only ones. The continent has so much to offer that, if you want to do the most while spending as little as possible, there are countless options to achieve it. Trains and flights within the continent can be really cheap, so you can visit as many places as you want.
Here are other destinations that will take your breath away:
Cover photo by @budapest_hungary