Amazing (and Affordable) Alternatives to Popular European Destinations
If you’re an American tourist looking to visit Europe, there are two big hurdles you must overcome: money and time. Many destinations in Europe can be outrageously expensive, especially if you live in the United States and aren’t used to paying more than $20 per night for a hotel room or $15 per meal when eating out. On top of that, trying to fit in all the sights and attractions at popular European destinations can be very time-consuming, even with advanced planning and research. But don’t give up hope!
La Spezia, Italy
This city in Italy is ideally situated for those wishing to travel cheaply around the nation. The first town in the Cinque Terre region of the nation may be reached by rail in less than 10 minutes, while Pisa can be reached in little over an hour. With an international airport and a motorway within two kilometers of La Spezia’s old town, this coastal city is one option worth considering.
The streets of La Spezia’s old town are lined with shops selling local produce and restaurants with outdoor seating set up on cobbled pavements or under centuries-old stone arcades.
Surrounded by vineyards and hillsides full of olive trees, beaches in the surrounding area offer plenty of space for sunbathing or surfing.
The Mediterranean Sea is only a short ride from Montpellier’s city centre, but because Montpellier is not a coastal city, it is far less expensive than many of France’s beach cities. Every Friday night in the summer, there is a festival in the town square where guests may partake in 2 wine samples for just 5 euros. Additionally, Montpellier has some great museums and art galleries as well as UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Pont du Gard.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Tenerife’s main city, Santa Cruz, is located in the Canary Islands and is considerably less expensive than many other cities in Spain. In addition to hosting the second-largest Carnival celebration in the world after Rio de Janeiro, Santa Cruz is well-known for its historical significance. The first stop on Christopher Columbus’ 1492 voyage was actually at Santa Cruz before heading off to America!
Since it can be difficult to find a good hotel here, we recommend booking an Airbnb with hosts who are willing to accept pets. And while food isn’t the cheapest here either, there are plenty of affordable restaurants serving up local favorites like seafood paella and tapas dishes.