A deep desire to explore Europe seems to be an aspiration embedded within most of us in our twenties. An overwhelming need for adventure and independence, combined with that momentary existence in a world semi-free from real responsibilities seems to cause this phenomenon. None of this would be a problem if we didn’t spent our twenties broke from our partying habits and measly casual jobs, hardly able to afford our rent, let alone an extravagant Europe trip!
Rest assured, we’ve got a solution. Going to Europe doesn’t have to mean spending 500 Euros a night on 5-star Parisian accommodation. The trick is to spend your time and money wisely by visiting the right places to suit your budget. So here we present to you a list of incredible European cities where you can stay, eat, and party without racking up your credit card bill… Too much.
1. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest has to be one of the most incredible cities in Europe. A spectacular combination of quaint European architecture, hip cafes and vintage stores, artsy culture and a unique nightlife. Given the decadent feeling of this Eastern European city, it is a pleasant surprise to find the general cost of living here is remarkably low. Given the current exchange rate of the Hungarian Forint, eating out, transport and accommodation are very affordable in this beauty of a city. We’re talking giant slices of Pizza for 1 Euro. Now there reason alone to go to check this city out.
EAT: Gelarto Rose for delicious rose-shaped ice cream
DRINK: Szimpla Bar for a unique ruins bar experience
STAY: Avail Hostel chic, clean, central accommodation
2. Prague, Czech Republic
Walking through Prague is like getting transported into a fairy-tale. Horse-drawn carriages, romanticised gothic architecture, cobblestone alleyways galore and the crème de la crème, a Bavarian castle that inspired the design of the Cinderella castle at Disneyland. The best part about the whole thing is you can make this fairy-tale land a reality, and do so on a budget! A hearty three-course dinner out included a pint of beer can cost you as little as 9 euros. Prague is also known for its fantastic nightlife, and now you can go out and enjoy yourself without the regrets when you look at your bank account the next day. With beer cheaper than water and cocktails that won’t cost you three dinners worth, this place is prime for the partygoers.
EAT: U Buldoka for an atmospheric pub lunch
DRINK: Propaganda Pub for a vast selection of vodka-based drinks
STAY: Czech Inn for modern stylish hostel accommodation
3. Lisbon, Portugal
Whilst this Portuguese city might not be the top of everyone’s Europe list, Lisbon is slowly gaining exposure as people are beginning to realize what a unique and inexpensive city it is to visit. Lisbon is simply teeming with character. A massive castle on a hill centrepieces the city, colourful masterpieces of graffiti burst out over derelict buildings, and the ‘25 de Abril’ Bridge on the harbour reminisces the famous Golden Gate bridge in San Fran. With absolutely beautiful beaches and seaside towns just a short train ride away, it is well worth the visit. The best part? The accommodation is ridiculously cheap. Check out Airbnb to score yourself the best deal on a unique Lisbon apartment and you’ll be eating Portuguese chicken in no time. Yum.
EAT: Beira Gare for wholesome, tasty food at tempting prices
DRINK: Crew Hassan for a place with atmosphere, live music and unique decor
STAY: Airbnb for affordable apartment options
4. Barcelona, Spain
Sunshine, shopping, siestas and… sangria. What more could you ask for in a city? The answer is nothing! Barcelona has everything you could every want and need, from its great expanse of beaches, the mind-blowing La Boqueria markets, fascinating Gaudi architecture and alleyways filled with cute places to eat and drink. Now, you would think all of this would come at a hefty price when booking accommodation, yet it is actually quite the opposite. Whilst eating out can get a little pricey, the cost of staying in a hostel can be beyond cheap if you do your research and book in advance. One night in the Casa Gracia was like staying in an upmarket hotel- it included a well-furnished room with proper beds, a private bathroom, and a full buffet breakfast for… Wait for it… 15 Euros for a night! That means more money for shoppi… I mean, saving.
EAT: La Boqueria Markets for a wide selection of fresh produce and ready-made food
DRINK: Chupito’s Bar for a selection of over 100 shots
STAY: Casa Gracia for a luxury hostel experience