So, you have a taste for traveling to new destinations but not necessarily the wallet to go along with it. You've narrowed it down to going somewhere in Europe, but now you need to find a place that won't cost you a fortune. Luckily, some places are still left to visit that won't break the bank. And although they are easier on your budget, it doesn't mean they are any less interesting than the pricier locales. SafetravelRX has five ideas for you, so start planning your trip today!
1. Tallinn, Estonia
Imagine a charming capital city with cobblestone streets, medieval buildings, and a coastline with beaches on the Baltic Sea; that's Tallinn. The town is a UNESCO world heritage capital, granted city rights in the 13th century by the King of Denmark. The walled Old Town of Tallinn has many attractions, including its Gothic Town Hall and St. Nicholas Church, both built in the 13th century, and a variety of shops, museums, and cafes. Look into purchasing a Tallinn Card if you plan on visiting multiple museums. The cards vary in duration and price – the most extended option for 72 hours costs about $65 – and include access to museums and public transportation, plus discounts for tours, shops, and restaurants.
Also, don't forget to visit Pärnu, about a two-hour drive from Tallinn. It has a beautiful old town center, a gorgeous beach and plenty of spas.
2. Zagreb, Croatia
Zagreb, Croatia's northwestern capital, is distinguished by its 18th- and 19th-century Austro-Hungarian architecture. At its center, Upper Town is the site of the Gothic, twin-spired Zagreb Cathedral, Lotrš?ak Tower, and the 13th-century St. Mark's Church. Nearby you can find Tkalčićeva Street, lined with outdoor cafes. Lower Town has the main square, Ban Jelačić, plus shops, museums, and parks. The city is cheaper than most destinations as you can explore some of the most compelling sites on foot. Attractions such as the Zagreb Cathedral and the Stone Gate – built in the 13th century as the eastern entrance to Zagreb, are all within walking distance of each other. Zagreb also has a lovely view overlooking the Sava River.
Other cities worth exploring include Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Hvar Town, where the gorgeous people dock their yachts. Croatia also has beautiful beaches along the Adriatic coast, a turquoise ribbon of lakes, and waterfalls in the forested Plitvice Lakes National Park, which is inland.
3. Budapest, Hungary
Hungary's capital, Budapest, is bisected by the river Danube. Its 19th-century Chain Bridge connects the hilly Buda district, where a funicular runs up Castle Hill to Buda's Old Town. Trinity Square is home to the 13th-century Matthias Church and the turrets of the Fishermen's Bastion, which offer sweeping views. Some of Budapest's top attractions are free to visit, and dining is very reasonable. Coffee and drinks average around $2 each, and multicourse meals, including a bottle of wine, average about $20 or less per person. Budapest is also a progressive city that is popular with LBGTQ+ travelers.
And if you want to spend a little more time relaxing, Hungary has over 1,000 hot springs and baths, some dating back more than 2,000 years to the time of the Romans. One of the most popular spots is Lake Hévíz, the largest biologically active thermal lake in all of Europe.
4. Prague, Czech Republic
The capital city of Prague is bisected by the Vltava River, which connects to the Danube, Elbe, and Main rivers. Nicknamed the "City of a Hundred Spires," it's known for its Old Town Square with colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches, and the medieval Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated hourly show. Prague is widely acknowledged as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and one of the most affordable. Prague has numerous museums and galleries, and many of its most popular attractions are free to visit.
Other popular attractions in Hungary include Lake Balaton, Central Europe's largest lake, and the Eger wine region.
Located in the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and northern Africa, this small archipelago is perfect if you are on a budget. The capital city of Valetta was established in the 1500s on a peninsula by the Knights of St. John, a Roman Catholic order and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Valetta is known for museums, palaces, and grand churches. The country also has many other historic sites related to a succession of rulers, including the Romans, Moors, French and British. Numerous fortresses, megalithic temples, and the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, an underground complex of halls and burial chambers dating to circa 4000 B.C., are some of the main attractions.
The ancient capital of Malta, known as Mdina sits atop a scenic hill in the center of the island. Surrounded by ancient fortresses, the city has a variety of museums, architecturally significant buildings, and great cafes and restaurants. Malta also boasts beautiful golden sandy beaches, unique red sands, rocky shores, and several Blue Flag Beaches, an award for exceptional water quality and sustainable operations. Prices in Malta are incredibly reasonable, with top hotels often costing less than $150 per night. Malta's Explore Card, about $20, allows visitors unlimited bus travel for seven days. Since you have almost free transportation, why not use your pass to visit the numerous wineries outside the capital?
Each destination will give you the feel of old Europe while offering reasonably priced modern amenities. That said, prices are rising worldwide, so now is the time to take advantage!
And to ensure you stay safe and healthy while you travel, remember to download the safetravelRX app. Features include an emergency call button that reaches first responders no matter where you are in the world, destination alerts with live streaming updates, and secure storage of all your essential medical data!