Who doesn’t love a trip to mainland Europe? Whether it’s a one off city break or an interrailing trip around the continent, there is something for everyone. However, sometimes the places people suggest are a little out of our price range. But fear not, don’t stop planning your trip of a lifetime because you have a tight budget. Most large tourist traps in Europe actually have cheaper alternatives that are hidden gems, and often just as good if not better than their pricey alternatives.
Heard of Tuscany, Italy? Try Abruzzo, Italy
When people talk about Italy, they often talk about Rome, Pisa, and Tuscany. However, just off to the East of Rome is a little hidden gem called Abruzzo. Abruzzo might be the last town in the country not to be bombarded with tourists. There are scenic hill towns and as many restaurants have any of the well known Italian cities. Along with good food, which is to be expected in Italy anyway, there are also a number of free national parks to visit. They have beautiful, picturesque trails that are full of wildflowers, adding bright color to the already unique scenes. Another key fact about the area is that living is generally relatively cheap. The top-rated restaurant has an estimated price of around $23 to $40 per meal!
Heard of the Bernese Alps, Switzerland? Try the Austrian Alps
Switzerland is known for being one of the most expensive destinations in mainland Europe. Although it’s easy to find a cheaper alternative, it’s extremely hard to find somewhere that shares its natural beauty. However, Austria does come pretty close. With its historic lakes, buildings, and mountains, Austria definitely won’t disappoint if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to Switzerland.
If you’re looking for snowsports, which often people do in Switzerland, Austria also offers some beautiful, scenic sporting locations that are located in some of the sunnier parts of Austria. According to research, eating out, grocery shopping and transportation are all cheaper in Austria, compared to Switzerland.
Heard of Stockholm, Sweden? Try Berlin, Germany
As the capital city of Sweden, Stockholm is one of Europe’s most expensive cities to visit. Although we would recommend still visiting if you aren’t too fussed about spending slightly more. However, for a cheaper alternative, we would recommend visiting Germany’s capital, Berlin. Although Berlin is a bit rough around the edges, with a lot of mix-matched post-war architecture, it’s known as one of the coolest cities to visit in Europe. Other than the fact you won’t be paying the $10 for a drink that you would in Sweden, you can also expect to see a lot of hip culture, close-knit creative communities, history and affordable living during your stay here. This city welcomes anyone, and everyone and caters for all different budgets.
Hopefully, this has reassured you and encouraged you to book somewhere you had never even considered looking at before. You don’t always need to break the bank to go to some of the most fantastic and beautiful countries in the world. Sometimes, looking for cheaper alternatives means you find gems that no one else will have even heard of – and that is all part of the adventure. So, grab your suitcase, grab your passport and go and explore Europe, maybe even a little cheaper than you expected.