• 07/28/2023

Maximize Fun and Minimize Expenses with These Cheap Europe Vacations

A view of Lisbon, Portugal on the seaside/

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Exploring Europe, with its rich history, diverse culture and breathtaking landscape, is a dream destination for many. While the cost of travel often creates a barrier, traveling has become more popular than ever due to lower costs and accessibility. Cheap Europe vacations are a great option for individuals seeking lasting memories while on a budget. 

Finding destinations that offer affordable yet enriching experiences allows travelers to explore new cultures, indulge in delicious cuisine and visit different landmarks without worrying about excessive expenses. Below are some cheap Europe vacations that can give you an extraordinary adventure that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

1. Budapest, Hungary

The capital of Hungary, Budapest is considered a treasure trove of historical and architectural marvels. When you visit the city, you’ll be amazed by the unique blend of Art Nouveau buildings, Gothic and Baroque architecture. The city’s culture will reflect on its grand palaces, iconic landmarks and charming streets. 

Popular Spots: Buda Castle, Hungarian Parliament, Fisherman’s Bastion

Buda Castle is a hilltop fortress that offers panoramic views of the city. Next, you can marvel at the Gothic Revival architecture of the Hungarian Parliament. It symbolizes national identity and sovereignty. It’s also one of the largest parliament buildings in the world.

If you’re a first-time traveler, Buda Castle should be on your bucket list. Another must-visit is the Fisherman’s Bastion, a fairytale-like terrace with breathtaking views of the Danube River and the cityscape. 

Where to Eat in Budapest

For an authentic culinary experience, you can visit the Great Market Hall, which offers a variety of fresh produce, traditional Hungarian dishes and local delicacies. If you’re more into an upscale dining experience, you can visit Grundel. This renowned restaurant is known for its classic Hungarian cuisine. If you want a more quirky and laid-back atmosphere, you can visit Szimpla Kert, famous for its street food, live music and drinks.

2. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is Portugal’s vibrant capital and known for its charm. Here, the neighborhood’s narrow cobbled streets and colorful buildings exude a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The city has many scenic viewpoints overlooking the Tagus River and the city’s landscape. 

Popular Spots: Belem Tower, Alfama, Jeronimos Monastery

You can start checking out Belem Tower, a 16th-century fortress that stands proudly on the banks of the Tagus River. Your next stop is Alfama, with narrow streets, colorful houses and traditional Fado music filling the air. Jeronimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site, should also be on your list for its intricate Manueline architecture and rich history.

Where to Eat in Lisbon

Time Out Market is a must as it offers diverse mouthwatering dishes like creamy and crispy pastel de nata, grilled sardines, juicy bifanas and Portuguese pork sandwiches. If you want to try traditional Portuguese cuisine, go to Taberna da Rua das Flores. It is a cozy eatery known for its homemade dishes. 

3. Kraków, Poland

Kraków is famous for its medieval charm, evident in its well-preserved architecture. The city is home to some UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Cloth Hall, St. Mary’s Basilica and Wawel Castle. This place is also a popular destination for foodies if you’re into trying traditional cuisine. 

Popular Spots: Main Market Square, Auschwitz-Birkenau

Aside from the World Heritage sites, you can also explore Wawel Castle’s grand halls. Check out Royal Private Apartments and be amazed by the architecture and exquisite art. Another spot you can check is the Main Market Square, the heart of Kraków’s Old Town. Striking cafes, colorful townhouses and quaint shops surround the area.

You can also visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, which is a former Nazi concentration camp. The museum and memorials allow you to learn about the past and honor the lives of the 1.1 million victims who died there.

Where to Eat in Kraków

You can try out delicious pierogi, Polish stews and flavorful roasted meats from Pod Aniolami. You can also visit Wierzynek and try their roasted duck and Polish soups. Aside from its food, this restaurant is well-known because it’s the oldest restaurant in Europe. Another popular choice is Starka, which combines Eastern European and Polish flavors. You should try out their Baltic Herring, which is a popular seafood dish.

4. Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia offers tourists a vibrant culture and rich heritage. It has well-preserved ancient ruins like the Serdica Archaeological Complex and the Roman Rotunda of St. George. It also has numerous galleries, theaters and museums. The city is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery and is known for outdoor activities like skiing and hiking.

Popular Spots: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Boyana Church, Rila Monastery

You should visit one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world–Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. It’s known for its grand golden domes. Another must-visit is the Boyana Church, known for its exceptional medieval frescoes. If you’re interested in seeing another cultural masterpiece, going to Rila Monastery is highly recommended. 

Where to Eat in Sofia

One go-to restaurant is Shtastlivetsa, which serves grilled meats, pastries, fresh salads and hearty stews. Their ingredients are known to be locally sourced ingredients. Another restaurant that captures the essence of Bulgarian gastronomy is Made in Home. You can try their banitsa, a traditional pastry filled with spinach or cheese.

Should I Go to Europe?

Whether you’ve been dreaming of visiting Europe for years or it’s a relatively new goal, Europe is an amazing place to explore. Its many countries have rich histories, diverse cultures and amazing landscapes — and European travel doesn’t have to break the bank. Traveling is more accessible than ever right now, especially if you choose one of these cheap Europe vacations to enjoy.

You can go to Budapest and see marvelous architecture. Explore Lisbon and you’ll be amazed by the vibrant buildings and warm community. Whether you immerse yourself in Kraków’s medieval charm or go to Sofia and enjoy its ancient ruins, you can enrich your mind and protect your wallet when you travel throughout Europe.

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