Visiting Europe is a must-do for any American BUCKiTDREAMER. The food, culture, and nightlife are unbeatable from border to border, with many a BUCKiTDREAMER falling madly in love with the continent during their European adventure.
It’s no secret that visiting Europe can be seriously hard on the wallet. Hot spots like Paris, Rome, and London have long been notorious for ripping off travelers looking to visit their incredible cities. The thrifty BUCKiTDREAMERs among us will be pleased to know that yes, it is possible to do Europe on a shoestring budget – if you choose the right destinations. Fill your BUCKiTDREAM planner with the below nifty, thrifty European hot spots and you’ll be living your Eurotrip dream sooner than you can say ‘au revoir’.
Unwind in Budapest As prices in other budget European cities seem to rise, Budapest’s have thankfully not followed suit. The Pearl of the Danube is perfect for the budget traveler, with staggeringly cheap accommodation, nightlife and food options all across the city. For a unique, cheap and insane stay in Budapest, opt for the truly mental Retox Party Hostel. Retox will organize all sorts of free activities for you during your stay, so it’ll take the hassle out of your trip for you, as well as the cost.
When you’ve recovered from your hangover, hike up the stunning Castle Hill to explore all the treasures of this UNESCO-protected free landmark. Here you’ll find Fisherman’s Bastion, Buda Castle, and the eerie underground Castle Labyrinth. Hungarian street food will be enough to keep you satisfied during your stay, with offerings like mouth-watering Kolbice or lángos being enough to fill even the hungriest BUCKiTDREAMERs’ stomach. A stop off in Gellert Baths is a must-do while in Budapest. To keep costs down, visit on a weekday when you’ll enjoy reduced rates.
Embrace the Culture in Krakow You could easily last a day in Krakow for less than you’d spend on an NYC lunch. Accommodation in Krakow will be your biggest expense, and even that will barely cost you anything. If it’s a party atmosphere you’re after, look no further than Let’s Rock Hostel. If you’re looking for something slightly calmer, opt for the chilled out vibes of Mundo Hostel. Both hostels are ideally located in the city center and won’t cost you a pretty penny to darken their doors.
Krakow is a small city, meaning you can traverse the whole stunning breadth of it with ease – so avoid the gimmicky transportation method. If you simply must explore the city on wheels, use Krakow’s bike sharing program for a couple of zloty instead.
Although Krakow’s restaurants are notoriously cheap, save yourself, even more, money by opting to chow down on their insanely good street food instead. You can pick up some zapiekanka (a type of Polish pizza baguette) from Plac Nowy, or some Old Town kielbasa for less than $2 – a hunger-busting, budget friendly feast!
Worship the Sun in Dubrovnik Not only is Dubrovnik easy on the eyes, it’s easy on the pocket, too! Staying in this stunning Adriatic city comes with a fraction of the price tag endured in other European coastal destinations. Keep things simple by staying at the cheap and cheerful Hostel Angelina, located smack bang in the middle of Old Town.
As you’re staying in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, enjoying a romantic meal here doesn’t have to break the bank. Head to Gundulićeva Poljana, an open air market in Old Town, to pick up some divine local delicacies before grabbing a bottle of wine – or two – from the local grocery store and voilà, you have the perfect romantic picnic to enjoy while taking in a breathtaking sunset by the coast.
Avoid paying through the nose for activities by getting an all-in Dubrovnik Card, which will give you access to most of Dubrovnik’s best attractions, as well as free use of the city’s public transportation system.
Go East to Riga The booming Latvian capital is a delicious mix of medieval grandeur and 20th-century artistic wonder. The economic regeneration of this former Soviet stronghold means that Europeans and non-Europeans alike are flocking to Riga in their droves.
For a cheap stay, dorm beds in the Central Hostel will set you back only €5-€8 ($5.70-$9.12 USD) per night, depending on what time of the year you travel. Like Krakow, Riga is small enough to spend your trip traveling entirely on foot so you can avoid public transportation completely. Food wise, you can’t go wrong with the pay by weight Russian dumplings in XL Pelmeni or the divine pork knuckle with honey beer from Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs.
A lot of Riga’s museums – including the Museum of Occupation – work on a donation basis, so you’re not obliged to pay at the door. However, we advise you to throw in a euro or two to avoid scathing looks from the employees.
Fall in Love with Prague Meandering through the magical winding streets of Prague will give you an idea as to why tourism in the region has shot up in recent years. Unfortunately, with this increase in popularity comes unwelcome increased prices, so get here ASAP to avoid breaking the bank!
Thankfully, for budgeting BUCKiTDREAMERs, most of Prague’s charm comes from its stunning architecture. To save on pennies, conduct your own self-guided walking tour, and take in all the magical sights for no cost. The Letna Beer Garden is a must visit for the spectacular views and the impossibly cheap beer. While your wallet will thank you for a cheap visit to Letna, your head certainly will not!
As most of these dream cities have omnipotent free Wi-Fi, make sure you upload your photos to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as you go. Hashtag #BUCKiTDREAM to inspire fellow BUCKiTDREAMERs to embark on a European odyssey of their own! Then, continue your adventure by visiting some Top Coffee Shops in Europe.