When it comes to affordable vacations, Europe might not be the first place to spring to mind.
Yes, many destinations in Europe are expensive, and with rising costs for nearly all aspects of travel these days, they appear to be growing increasingly so.
The good news is that the vast and varied continent of Europe offers a wide variety of places to visit, many of which can be considered quite affordable. Budget travelers and backpackers know where to go for low prices on hostel beds, cheap beers, and everything in between.
But, affordable doesn’t have to apply solely to the backpacker crowd. Knowing where to go for lower-priced getaways, and how to travel around are some major ways to save on your next European vacation.
With their annual City Costs Barometer, The UK Post Office has compared city costs across the continent and determined the best deals for a city break getaway.
By looking at typical costs tourists face in twelve categories, such as accommodation, meals, sightseeing, and transportation, the report found the European cities that were the best overall value for a weekend city getaway.
To calculate the weekend cost for each destination, the following items are factored in:
- Cup of coffee at a cafe/bar
- Bottle of beer at a cafe/bar
- Soft drink at a cafe/bar
- Glass of wine at a cafe/bar
- 3-course evening meal for 2 people with a house bottle of wine
- Return transport to/from the airport
- 48-hour travel card
- Sightseeing city bus tour
- Top tourist heritage attraction
- Top museum
- Top art gallery
- 2 nights at a 3-star accommodation (weekend rates/2ppl)
While the number one spot went to the world-famous Lisbon, the list includes many culture-packed Eastern European choices where you can get the most for your money.
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Coming in at a close second after Lisbon on the list for the cheapest city break in Europe is the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius. This charming and historic city is underrated and off the beaten track by most tourists, and those that do make the trip find themselves pleasantly surprised with all there is to experience here.
Not only is Vilnius a great place to soak up some culture, but it’s cheap as well, with a weekend trip coming in at around $280.00 for two people.
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In addition to making a top spot in the cheapest places in Europe list, Poland’s beloved Krakow also ranks high as one of the top places to visit this year. People love Krakow for its storybook setting, not to mention its history and architecture.
A weekend exploring Krakow will run you around $310.00 currently, and not to mention, you can hop on the train and visit another on this list easily, Warsaw.
The Baltic country of Latvia has been getting a lot of attention recently from travelers in the know, although it still remains somewhat under the radar with the masses. There are a lot of reasons to love Latvia, and its capital of Riga especially, but affordability is one major factor to visit.
According to the figures gathered by the UK Post Office for their study, a weekend in Riga will set you back only about $353.00, which is much more affordable than the majority of European cities.
Croatia and cheap are not usually words that you would associate with each other, with the seaside country boasting some notoriously beautiful and expensive cities such as Split and Dubrovnik.
However, move away from the coast up to the northwest of the country, and you can find yourself in Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia. A weekend exploring the streets and history of this beautiful city will cost about $410.00.
As one of the countries in Europe where the U.S. dollar will go the furthest right now, thanks to favorable exchange rates, Hungary should see a tourism boom this year. Not that this stunning country has been a secret, but in the past, it’s mostly been visited by those on the European backpacking trail.
The capital city of Budapest draws travelers in with its old-world charm and keeps them there with the low cost of travel expenditures. Budapest’s overall weekend cost is the same as Zagreb’s, around $410.00 for the weekend.
In line with Budapest and Zagreb’s $410.00 price point, you can also find Poland’s capital city of Warsaw. With over 50 museums to enjoy, this once-overlooked city is having a bit of a post-pandemic cultural tourism boom.
Most of Warsaw was destroyed in World War II, and the blend of architecture that stands now is a blend of original and reconstructed, making it an interesting place to sightsee.
With a price point much lower than other European capital cities, it’s clear that Warsaw will give travelers great value.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com