Europe is the world’s most visited region by far. With vibrant cities, world-class museums, fairy-tale castles, and white sandy beaches, the continent ticks every box on many travelers’ bucket lists. However, traveling to Europe comes at a price. But what if you could visit the continent’s gems without sacrificing all your savings? Here come four tips for budget-savvy tourists to experience Europe to the fullest.
Summer is peak tourist season across Europe. Waters are the warmest, and the sun shines brightly from North to South. As a result, prices go through the roof, from hotels to car rentals and flight tickets. Alongside millions of international visitors, many Europeans make the most of extended holidays to travel their continent. Thus, consider postponing your trip to make some savings.
Bar the packed winter holidays, October through April is the best time to discover Europe on a budget. If you’re in for a dip, Mediterranean seaside destinations like Greece and Malta still boast sun-soaked beaches in October. The winter months remain pleasant in southern countries, such as Spain and Portugal. Meanwhile, the off-season is the perfect opportunity for a cost-effective city break and a tranquil visit to otherwise crowded landmarks.
Save on transportation
Visiting Europe often means checking out several countries all in one trip. Thankfully, moving across borders can be inexpensive.
- Train is a comfortable option. Second-class tickets tend to be much cheaper, while most railway companies offer discounts for early bookings. In addition, national companies sell great rail passes. But if you’re touring Europe, you might consider purchasing an Interrail Pass. This global pass allows you to travel to 33 countries for up to 3 months.
- The bus proves even more affordable. Leading companies include FlixBus, Eurolines, and Megabus. Of course, your commuting might take twice as long. But certain cities are so close (Vienna to Budapest, Lyon to Milan, Brussels to Amsterdam, etc.) that you may not waste too much of your valuable time.
- Low-cost airlines also abound in Europe. From Ryanair to Vueling and EasyJet, tourists can often grab a one-way ticket for as low as $20.
- At last, carpooling platforms are commonplace within European countries. BlaBlaCar is the undisputed leader in car-sharing, providing an unparalleled opportunity to connect with locals.
Select your European destinations carefully
Most foreign tourists dream of a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben. However, Western European and Scandinavian countries can weigh heavily on your budget. If money is tight, map out your European itinerary accordingly. First, you might switch focus to Eastern Europe. Countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary offer exceptional value for money. The same goes for cities like Athens, Krakow, or Porto, which boast cheaper accommodation and food than tourist magnets such as Paris and Rome.
Planning your budget-friendly trip also means checking off some destinations altogether. Indeed, Europe is home to some of the most lavish vacation places on the globe. You might as well forget about Zurich or the French Riviera. And as much as you’d like to play it like 007 in the Monte Carlo casino, super-rich havens like Monaco are off-limits too. To re-enact your favorite Bond scene, the best table games casinos are online anyway. From blackjack to live poker sessions, online platforms boast an extensive library of exciting games. Many are free, but gamblers might deposit real money to win big. Plus, mobile-optimized casino games are a great way to have fun on a European road trip.
Indulge in free activities
Tightening your belt is never as frustrating as during a trip. But the good news is that European hotspots offer a range of free activities. In most tourist cities, travelers can enjoy free guided walking tours to learn about the past and discover some hidden gems along the way. Several landmarks are equally costless, including most churches and many art galleries.
Some of the best European museums are also free. But those who charge for entry offer bargain tickets if you meet certain criteria. Besides, many museums and heritage sites boast free entries on certain days of the month (first Sundays scheme, free admissions once a week, etc.) Last but not least, culture vultures can enjoy the European-wide Heritage Days and Night of Museums without spending a dime.