Summer 2017: 5 Unusual and Cheap European Destinations

Has anyone here planned their vacation to the tiniest details? No? Well, maybe someone has, but most of us just are just chronically late, be it because we all postpone stuff or because, as much as we want to escape routine, travelling in the Summer is ugh so expensive. We feel ya. If you’re at a loss, here’s 5 of the cheapest destinations in Europe.

Riga, Latvia
According to recent research, Riga is trending. No wonder, with its priceless cultural heritage – the city center is home to the best preserved Art Nouveau architecture in Europe and to as many as 50 museums; Riga is also known as the Paris of the North (as is Warsaw). Ok, it might not be the best place to lay on the beach, but I challenge you to get bored in the capital of Latvia. If you love architecture, don’t miss the Three Brothers, three buildings in Mazā Pils iela, and the House of the Blackheads. Riga is on the rise but has not been invaded by hords of tourists yet – and that means it’s still on the cheap side.

Riga (Flickr El Cajon)
House of the Blackheads (Flickr baldo)
Riga (Flickr IVAN 63)
Riga (Flickr mokastet)
Riga (Flickr Ksyusha)

Kiev, Ukraine
More modern and more European than many Slavic cities, Kiev is the perfect compromise for those who have tight budgets but don’t want to give up certain luxuries. Despite an uncertain political situation, Kiev offers unique sights, many beautiful churches that totally qualify as art, and a lifestyle that is accessible even to the thinnest of wallets. Don’t miss the Podil neighborhood, one of the the most beautiful, most colorful, and liveliest parts of the city.

Kiev, Ukraine (Flickr Matt Shalvatis 
Kiev, Ukraine (Flickr Vladimir Kud)
Podil neighbourhood (Flickr Frans Sellies)
Kiev, Ukraine (Flickr Sigfrid Lopez)
Kiev, Ukraine

Sofia, Bulgaria
One more destination in Eastern Europe, of which Sofia is rightfully considered the Queen. As elegant ss it is unexpensive, Sofia is rich in art, history, religion, and traditions that make it absolutely unique. Due to its mild climate (read: it won’t feel like you’re in an oven, even in July), strolling in the city center is a delightful experience. Write these names down: Thracian Treasure, Central Mineral Baths, and the young and hip Studentski grad area.

Sofia, Bulgaria (Flickr Ava Babili)
Sofia, Bulgaria
Sofia, Bulgaria (Flickr Stella)
Sofia, Bulgaria (Flickr Stella)

Warsaw, Poland
The capital of Poland always holds surprises, and leaves us with a sense of longing any time we get away from it. Warsaw has had some of the most difficult times in twentieth-century Europe and was completely destroyed in WW2. After just a few years, however, part of the city center had already been rebuilt, including the Royal Palace that is the pride of every Pole. But there’s so much more to see in Warsaw; here’s just a few sights: the Old Town (which is a Unesco WHS), the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and the Palace of Culture and Science. Don’t miss the melody resounding through the city every day at 11.15 am in memory of the first Nazi bombing of the city: it is a truely moving moment.

Warsaw, Poland (Flickr Tomasz Melka)
Warsaw, Poland (Flickr TanzPanorama)
Warsaw, Poland (Flickr Mar-Lea)
Warsaw, Poland (Flickr TanzPanorama)

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
No larger than a small county, Luxembourg is considered to have one of the best qualities of life in the world. This ministate offers a lot to see, such as its over 100 Medieval castles and the Alzette river, which makes the place oh-so-charming. Luxembourg will also surprise you with its culinary and renowned tradition, the fruit of the encounter of many different influences. Whatever your tastes, you’ll find an affordable activity in Luxembourg City, for cheaper than you would in many European capitals.

Luxembourg City (Flickr John Paul)
Luxembourg City (Flickr Aviller71)
Luxembourg City (Flickr Ralph Rozema)
Luxembourg City (Flickr dr as)

from The Blonde Salad
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