Do you constantly plan new trips, collect souvenirs and attempt to learn new languages? Congratulations, you have the travel bug. However, traveling is an expensive hobby. Luckily, there is a solution. We introduce the top seven best-value cities in Europe for backpackers on a budget. As the saying goes, ‘travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer’. Time to start planning your next summer vacation.
Bruges | Belgium
If history is your passion, travel to Bruges. Go back in time as you enjoy the city’s many medieval buildings. Here you can visit a local Chocolate Museum or explore colorful scenery through a canal trip. And since it is named one of the cheapest cities in Europe, the destination is ideal for travelers on a budget. Spend the night at the Snuffel Backpacker Hostel. The accommodation puts an emphasis on hospitality, offering informative staff and helpful facilities for backpackers.
Berlin | Germany
There is no doubt that nowadays, Berlin has become a creative hub, characterized by its young and vibrant energy. The city is a cultural hotspot offering an abundance of art galleries, museums, music venues and nightlife. It is also surprisingly cheap compared to other capitals across Western Europe. Here, a wide range of affordable hostels can be found. One recommended place is PangeaPeople hostel, which offers a good combination of price, comfort and location. To save money, go on a free city tour and learn more about Berlin’s history and culture.
Thessaloniki | Greece
Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, is a modern metropolis displaying a crossroad of diverse cultures. The destination is known for its young population and student vibe. This is because one of the largest campuses in Greece, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, is located here. Backpackers looking to meet new people will particularly enjoy this city. Visitors can also explore the area’s ancient monuments and rich history or shop till they drop. With beautiful beaches, a thriving culture and affordable prices -Thessaloniki truly has it all.
Split | Croatia
Split is famous for hosting the Ultra Europe music festival, which attracts thousands of visitors every summer. But the town has become a hotspot for tourists all year long, as it’s fairly cheap and offers much to see and do. For relaxation, tan at the beach. For shops, cafes, galleries, and cathedrals, walk around Diocletian’s palace. The Roman monument, located in the city center, is full of history and is considered a UNESCO world heritage site. At Split, the residents are relaxed and informal and the scenery, with mountains and light blue waters, is truly awe-inspiring.
Barcelona | Spain
An avant-garde and modern city, anyone can fall in-love with Barcelona. It’s full of life and ideal for the young – sight-seeing here is endless. Besides the beach, top tourist attractions include the impressive Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and the Camp Nou football stadium. The city is home to the best of modern art and architecture and is famous for displaying the works of Dali and Gaudí. And Barcelona can certainly be budget friendly. Spain is known to be cheaper than other European countries. Backpackers can save money by visiting local restaurants, avoiding tourist traps and finding cheap hostel deals.
Amsterdam | Netherlands
This list would not be complete without Amsterdam, a city made for backpacking. This small European capital is like an urban village characterized by its friendly people, magical canals, and artistic heritage. It is budget friendly as well, with its range of inexpensive hostels, outdoor markets and free walking tours. Cycle through the city, order a picnic basket and dine at the park, or visit the local Van Gogh museum. For a memorable stay, reserve the famous Flying Pig hostel. Tip: take the pub crawl tour and meet other backpackers from around the globe.
Budapest | Hungary
Young travelers backpacking through Europe cannot miss out on Budapest. In 2014, the vibrant city was voted by TripAdvisor as the best value for money destination. Here, you can meet friendly locals, stroll through the lively streets, rent a bike, or relax in a hot pool in one of the city’s many thermal baths. Another element adding to the city’s unique character is the Buda Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Whether you’re into historical architecture, wine tasting, high quality cuisine or hot springs, you are in for a treat.
By Hilla Ofman
Hilla Ofman is a 22 year old student for visual communications at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. Last year she hosted the radio show, “SingIL” which was broadcasted to an international audience. She has been to 20 countries worldwide and hopes to travel the world. Photography, fashion, and documentary films inspire her. Follow her on Instagram.