The Top 5 Most Affordable European Tours
You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a trip to Europe. There are plenty of European cities that offer cheap public transportation, budget-friendly hotels, and affordable food. If you do your research, plan your trip carefully, and book your tour at the right time, you can have a great experience for a low cost. Here are five of the most affordable European tour destinations.
Prague is one of the most beautiful European cities, and it’s also one of the cheapest to visit. The weather is fairly cool year-round, so the city is the most popular with tourists during the summer. You can beat the crowds by visiting in the spring and fall. Hotels are usually cheaper outside of the summer months, too.
Most attractions in Prague are within walking distance of each other, and the city has a great public transportation system. Cab drivers are notorious in the city for overcharging tourists, so it’s better to walk or take the tram, subway, or bus. A 30-minute ride on any form of public transportation only costs about one American dollar, and a 90-minute ride costs a little bit over a dollar. There’s also the option of buying a three-day transportation pass for about 310 CZK (about $14 USD).
Mid-range hotels in Prague cost an average of 100 EUR (about $117 USD per night). You can find more basic and less expensive hotels anywhere in the city, though. If you’re on a tight budget, you can stay at a hostel for about 20 EUR (under $25 USD per night).
Hotels and hostels usually offer free breakfast, which you should take advantage of. You can easily keep your lunch and dinner costs under $12 per meal if you stay away from touristy restaurants.
The city of Porto in Portugal is known for its wine, museums, and architecture. The best time to book a vacation is between late spring and early fall as the weather will be warm and sunny. There is usually an influx of tourists during the summer, but it may be too cold and rainy to visit in late fall or throughout the winter.
On average, budget hotels in Porto cost 49 EUR (about $57 USD per night). You can find higher-quality hotels for $75 to $100, or you can stay in a hostel for $15 to $30 per night. Depending on where and what you eat, lunch and dinner typically costs between $5 and $18.
One of the best ways to save money during your trip is to buy a Porto Card, which offers free or reduced entry to certain museums, discounts at some restaurants, and free use of public transportation. A Porto Card will cost between $7 and $30 depending on how many days you’ll use it for. Some museums also offer free entry on Sundays and in the afternoons.
Athens is known for its historical sites like the Acropolis and the Parthenon as well as for its food and nightlife. The summer brings about hot weather and large crowds of tourists, so you may want to visit in the spring or fall instead. The weather will be pleasant, and the popular attractions won’t be as busy.
Most attractions are within walking distance or a short metro ride of each other. You should avoid renting a car or taking a cab whenever possible. A 90-minute transportation ticket costs about 1.4 EUR (about $1.65 USD), and a full-day ticket costs about $5. You can also buy a three-day tourist ticket for about $25, which includes a round-trip ticket to the airport.
A mid-range hotel in Athens can cost anywhere from $25 to $150. The exact price depends on the amenities and the location, so you can save money by staying outside of the city’s center and taking the metro to your destinations. Most hostels cost $12 to $28 per night.
You can find great food in any price range in Athens. Restaurants in touristy areas will be more expensive, so you can save money by eating authentic Greek food in quieter neighborhoods. Local restaurants usually charge $5 to $15 for lunch and dinner.
Valencia is a city on Spain’s east coast that offers excellent beaches and colorful architecture. The best time to visit is in the late spring as the weather is warm but not too hot, and the city isn’t as crowded as it is in the height of summer. If you’re comfortable with cooler temperatures in the 40s to 60s, winter is a great time to visit as well. Hotels drop their prices in the off-season, and popular attractions are much less crowded.
You can buy a Valencia Tourist Card, which offers free public transportation and discounts at some museums and shops. A one-day card costs 15 EUR (about $17.50 USD), a two-day card costs 20 EU (about $23 USD), and a three-day card costs 25 EUR (about $29 USD).
Decent hotels in Valencia usually cost $35 to $100, and most hostels cost $10 to $20 per night. Many restaurants offer prix-fixe lunches, so you can sample a variety of Spanish foods for a reasonable price. You can also find lots of local cafes that serve cheap coffee and pastries for breakfast. On average, lunch and dinner cost $5 to $20.
Budapest is one of the most popular destinations in Eastern Europe, but it’s easy to have a great vacation in the city on a budget. The city has good weather from spring to fall, but most tourists visit in the summer. If you want to avoid crowds, try to book your trip between March and May or between September and November.
Budapest has cheap and easy public transportation that will take you to all the major tourist attractions. If you stay near the center of the city, you can probably walk to most of your destinations. The Budapest Card offers free public transportation and free entry into 13 museums, and you can buy the card for one to five days. A one-day card costs 22 EUR (about $26 USD), but each additional day is cheaper.
Mid-range hotels in Budapest range from $25 to $125 depending on their location and the time of year, and hostels typically cost $14 to $24. Food is especially cheap and delicious in Budapest. As long as you avoid touristy restaurants, you can buy lunch for under $5 and dinner for under $10.