Cottage in Tatra mountains

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Travel Hacks: Affordable European City Alternatives

23rd August 2019

Planning a trip to Europe but worried your budget won't stretch far enough to make it worthwhile? Perhaps you've already been a few times and want to visit somewhere new? Look no further – we've prepared a list of affordable European cities worth visiting. That way, you can still make the most of your holiday with a little less pressure on your budget.

Speaking of budgets, sort out yours with our budget planner below. 

United Kingdom: Bristol


We know, this isn't technically Europe, but no Euro trip is complete without a stop in ye Old London town. London, however, can be pretty expensive and certainly isn't for everyone.

If you're after the city vibe with a little more British charm, why not check out Bristol. Easily accessible from London via a 3-hour bus or 2-hour train ride. Bristol is a cute little town characterised by its canals, laid back nature and super cute pubs.

Must do's in Bristol:

  1. See the Clifton Suspension Bridge. It is huge and provides a great view of Bristol.
  2. Eat plenty of Fish and Chips
  3. Wander the streets to get a good understanding of Bristol's charm. In the summer and spring, there will be bursts of flowers peppered throughout the city.
  4. Take a boat ride along the canals. Not only is a boat ride a chance to see the city from a different perspective, but they are also super cheap. A daily hop-on-hop-off ticket is only 6 pounds.
  5. Take a trip to Bath or Stonehenge. Either hire a car, catch a bus or join a tour to visit these iconic UK destinations. Prices vary depending on how you choose to access the locations, however, a hire car would be the cheapest option if you were using it for other day trips as well. 

Expect to pay the following in Bristol:
Coffee - 2 pounds
Pint of Beer - 4 pounds
Fish and Chips - 10 pounds
Bottle of Water - 1 pound

Italy: Entracque


Italy is jam-packed with places to see, many of which are at the top of people's bucket lists. Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan and Cinque Terre are all famous out of their own merit, whether it be history, fashion, scenery or architecture (I didn't mention food because let's face it, ALL of Italy is famous for its food), however each city's popularity has resulted in a rather unpleasant rise in prices for tourists.

Enter: Entracque. Located on the border of Italy and France in the Maritime Alps, about a four-hour drive from Milan. If you have seen Italy's bigger cities, or perhaps crave an authentic Italian experience in a cosy town without the hustle and bustle, Entracque is your place.

This picturesque town comes alive in the winter due to its close proximity to incredible ski slopes. In the summer the same hills boast epic hiking and mountain bike trails.

The accommodation is homely and warm, and the locals welcome you with open arms to their cobblestoned streets, encouraging you to feast on their homemade delicacies. I had the best pasta of my life in Entracque, and the town holds a special place in my heart as a result.

Must do's in Entracque:

  1. See wolves. One of Entracque's biggest drawcards is the ability to see wolves in both winter and summer.
  2. Go skiing in the winter.
  3. Go hiking in the summer and come across glorious lakes and scenery. There are different hikes for all skill levels. 
  4. Drink some Italian espresso. Top tip, your coffee will be cheaper if you stand at the bar to drink it.
  5. Feast on pizza and pasta. A big day of hiking, skiing and wolf-viewing require a hearty reward. I got my life-changing pasta from Hotel Trois Etoiles (I stayed here as well, and it was fantastic). 


Expect to pay the following in Entracque:
Coffee - 1.30 euros
Pint of Beer - 4 euros
Lasagna - 12 euros
Bottle of Water - 1 euro

Belgium: Ghent

When travelling to Belgium, you must experience the four major food groups: beer, chocolate, waffles and fries. Gent offers all of these, alongside incredible architecture, castles, eclectic bars and far fewer tourists than Brussels and Bruges. 

Cycling along the canals is a must, not just to take in the scenery but also to work off the plethora of chocolate and carbs you will, no doubt, enjoy. 

During the summer there will often be live music playing on weekends, with heaps of small festivals to enjoy, beer in hand of course. 

If you're a fan of chocolate, I recommend visiting Neuhaus for unbelievably delicious and high-quality truffles and pralines. Otherwise, try Yuzo for a unique fusion of Japanese flavours and delicious Belgian chocolate. 

Must do's in Ghent:

  1. Do some chocolate tasting. As mentioned above, you could spend a whole day (and a whole lot of money) trying chocolate in Ghent. This can be pretty pricey, but about 30 euro per person should be enough to leave you in a high-quality chocolate coma.
  2. Hire a bike to explore the city for less than 10 euro a day. It's super flat, and bicycles are by far the easiest way to get around. 
  3. See the Lamb of God, a famous Catholic painting housed in a beautiful church. It costs 4 euro to see the Lamb in all of its glory. 
  4. Visit the Gravensteen castle. Google it now, the castle looks seriously epic.
  5. Get a cone of chips and a few beers, you've earned it. Be sure to try a few of the different sauces that they offer with the chips. A cone of fries and a beer should set you back around 10 euros. 


Expect to pay the following in Ghent:
Coffee - 2.70 euros
Pint of Beer - 4 euros
Waffle - 2 euros
Bottle of Water - 2.15 euros

Netherlands: Utrecht


The first time I visited Amsterdam, I completely fell in love with the city. The second time I went, I was completely overwhelmed by tourists. Avoid the onslaught of tourists while still enjoying the charm of the Netherlands by staying in Utrecht, a student town that's only a 20-minute train ride from Amsterdam. a

Utrecht is home to canals, plenty of restaurants and bars, coffee shops and even their own red-light district. The parklands are beautiful, perfect for afternoon picnics to enjoy the summer months. 

Must do's in Utrecht:

  1. Day trip to Amsterdam (duh). A return train ticket will set you back 15 euros, with trains running late into the night. That way you can experience Amsterdam but retreat away from the tourists once you are done. 
  2. Hire a bike for less than 10 euros a day. The city has plenty of alleys and streets worthy of exploring. 
  3. Do some shopping. All of the shops in Amsterdam can also be found in Utrecht. If you're wanting to stock up on European fashion, this is your chance. 
  4. Kayak the canals. Hire a kayak for 12 euros per person for a whole day and explore the city without the fear of being run into by a bike. 
  5. Visit some museums covering everything from trains, WW2 history, art, musical instruments and even Miffy (the little white rabbit). 
Under this mountain of icing sugar you will find 12 delicious dutch pancakes. 

Expect to pay the following in Utrecht:
Coffee - 2.80 euros
Pint of Beer - 4 euros
A plate of dutch pancakes - 6 euros
Bottle of Water - 2 euros

Poland: Zakopane

HIking in Zakopane's Tatra Mountains

Nestled above the Polish Slovakian border, Zakopane is a breathtakingly scenic town relatively forgotten by Western tourists. Accessed by a four-hour bus ride from Krakow, the town itself is surrounded by postcard-perfect mountains and full of cosy wooden huts straight out of a Santa village. 

The town's streets are traditionally decorated, with plenty of shops, cafes and pubs to keep you busy when you're not out exploring. Better yet, Poland, in general, is super cheap so you can live life large. 

Must do's in Zakopane

  1. Hike to a mountain hut in the summer. There are heaps of trails suitable for every skill level with most leading to huts where you can eat and even stay the night. Eating at the huts is inexpensive, and national park entry for hiking is a few zloty.
  2. Go skiing in the winter. 
  3. Try some local delicacies like Polish dumplings (pierogi), oscypek (smoked sheep-milk cheese), soup and breaded pork. 
  4. Go rafting. Pay between 20 and 50 Aussie dollars for an adrenaline-filled day rafting. Did I mention how scenic it is?
  5. Relax in the thermal pools after a long day of hiking. Entry is around 59 zloty (about $23 Aussie) for 2.5 hours of complete relaxation. 

Expect to pay the following in Zakopane:
Coffee - 9 zloty
Pint of Beer - 8 zloty
A plate of pierogi - 10 zloty
Bottle of Water - 4 zloty

Like the sound of these cities? Whether you’re after euros, pounds or zloty, the team at Travel Money Oz have you covered with over 60 currencies ready for your next adventure. 

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