One of the best parts about living in Europe is having a plethora of destinations to visit at your doorstep on a budget. Doing some investigative work on airfare and accommodation and venturing off the beaten track by visiting less well-known but equally wonderful destinations can help you bag a bargain.
So what are some of the best budget European destinations for a long weekend? Let’s take a look…
- Budapest, Hungary
The Hungarian capital of Budapest is an increasingly popular weekend break destination, particularly for those who are looking for plenty of culture at a bargain price. The city is cut in two by the River Danube, which separates Buda, the quieter part of the city, with the more developed Pest. With a tumultuous recent history depicted in the city’s marvellous museums and the Great Synagogue, which is the largest anywhere in Europe, there’s more than enough to keep you busy.
When it comes to food and drink, wine lovers will be able to enjoy some wonderful local wines at prices we haven’t seen here in the UK for many a year. There’s also a wide range of cuisines on offer, with everything from traditional Hungarian goulash and crispy goose leg, to Italian, Greek and more. Accommodation in the city is also fantastically cheap, as are flights as long as you book early.
For most city breakers planning a weekend away in Sweden, the city of Stockholm will be their one and only destination. But there’s much more to Sweden than just a capital city. Malmo is the country’s third largest city and is the cosmopolitan home to more than 150 different nationalities. This is mirrored by the city’s diverse attractions, with Italian cafés, Middle Eastern markets, international restaurants and chic bars. There’s also a thriving theatre scene and plenty of classical and contemporary arts to enjoy.
While the cost of living in Malmo is quite high, there are rooms in the Hotel Ibis Malmo for a little over £50. There are also return flights from Stansted to Malmo available from £65, or you can fly into Copenhagen and cross the Oresund Bridge, which links the Danish capital to the Swedish city.
- Vilnius, Lithuania
Lithuania’s cool and compact capital Vilnius is one of the cheapest weekend break destinations in Europe when you take into account the cost of living and accommodation. But that’s not the only reason this city is becoming so popular. Boasting the largest medieval town in central Europe and with a rich historical and architectural heritage, this city has everything you need for a fantastic city break. Here are 15 more reasons why Vilnius could be the next city break for you.
- Munich, Germany
The city of Munich is synonymous with the annual Oktoberfest and seemingly impossible feats of beer consumption, but there’s much more to Munich that steins and lederhosen. In fact, the old town, known as the Altstadt, has arguably one of the most picturesque central squares in Europe and is home to buildings that date back as far as the 16th century. But the attractions don’t stop there. Fans of Bavarian cheese and sausage should flock to the Viktualienmarkt, while the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle is certainly worth a trip despite being a two-hour drive away.
In terms of price, Munich is not as expensive as cities like Paris and London, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. However, what you lose in living costs you make up for in accommodation and flights, with lots of budget options available and return flights from as little as £60.
- Toledo, Spain
With its beautiful streets and historic architecture, the ancient city of Toledo is a magical paradise in Spain. And as it’s only an hour away from Madrid by train, it’s perfect for a weekend break. Visit the charming Zocodover Square and the countless museums, churches , synagogues, and mosques that catalogue the town’s eclectic history. And you can’t miss the sweeping 13th Century high-gothic Toledo Cathedral that dominates the skyline. The city is filled with hidden gems but the best part is that you can save over 66% when staying here than in the capital.
- Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland holds some of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world – from the Northern Lights, to the active volcanoes, and the rolling hills filled with sheep, it’s a beautiful country with much to soak in. For a different type of weekend break, why not try camping outside of the city and immersing yourself fully in the majestic landscape. The designated campsites are extremely affordable, and it’s truly one of the best ways to experience the splendour of this land. Take in the cultural sites in the city during the day and head to the campground in the evening to take in the stars. As long you remember to stay warm, it will be well-worth it.