Looking for your next weekend getaway? We hand-picked the hidden gems of Europe – cities that have managed to retain their authentic flavour and offer guests more for their money.
Budapest is one of the prettiest and most varied cities in Europe yet also remains one of the cheapest – as of December 2017 it is calculated that the cost of living here is almost half that of London.
Indeed, many of Budapest’s most famous attractions are free to explore, such as the romantic Fisherman’s Bastion and the impressive Chain Bridge. There is also no price tag on the breath-taking panoramic view from atop Castle Hill, or for taking a picturesque stroll along the banks of the Danube!
After saving all that money, why not treat yourself to a fabulous fine dining experience at Costes Downtown. We love the inviting atmosphere created by the simple yet elegant wooden furnishings and soothing blue interiors.
Prague remains one of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe, with a 500ml draft of beer only costing around £1. You can also get a main course and drink at a mid-range restaurant for less than £10! We recommend stopping for lunch at the hip Eska restaurant, which serves up healthy and cheap meals in a bright, industrial inspired environment.
Earlier this year the Telegraph named Prague the cheapest city to enjoy a cultural break in Europe – indeed, in addition to offering guests great value for money Prague promises a rich cultural experience. The city retains its historic beauty thanks to narrow cobbled streets and limited road traffic, which really gives the city a sense of character and prevents a superficial tourist atmosphere.
Lisbon is the sunniest capital city in Europe yet avoids feeling like a tacky tourist trap thanks to its historical architecture and romantic cobbled streets which can only be navigated by foot or by tram. Your money also goes a long way here, with a bottle of beer costing less than £2 in most restaurants and shops.
As with our other cities, we love that many of Lisbon’s finest pleasures can be appreciated for free. Built across seven hills, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a peaceful walk with a panoramic view, and vibrant street art can be admired in many parts of the city.
The Guardian also recently named Lisbon one of the top 10 places in Europe for foodies, because of the exquisite fine-dining and equally tasty traditional eats on offer here! We recommend heading to the Mercardo da Ribeira where you can browse various food stalls and choose whatever takes your fancy. Despite the casual environment, each stall serves up sophisticated and freshly made dishes, sometimes even made by a resident celebrity chef!
When people plan a Spanish holiday they immediately think of Barcelona and Madrid, but you will have a far better time in the often over-looked city of Valencia. One thing you can’t help but notice is how exceptionally clean it is, which makes it feel more classy and exclusive than more expensive yet grimier cities such as Paris.
As the birthplace of paella, you can expect to feast on delicious, freshly made, authentic food for cheaper than you would in other parts of Spain. We recommend heading to Canela to try their famous paella, but make sure you book in advance!
We also love that many of Valencia’s greatest attractions can be enjoyed for free; we could spend hours wandering through the streets, admiring the contrast between Valencia’s famous modern architecture and the gorgeous historic buildings which are decorated in delicate pastel hues. Pristine yet natural beaches also offer hours of inexpensive entertainment.