3 Affordable Countries in Europe You Probably Haven’t Considered

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There's no two ways about it: Europe is one of the most expensive regions of the world to travel in.

London, Venice, Paris, Stockholm… the major cities in Europe — i.e. the ones most people want to visit — are some of the priciest in the world. From food to accommodation to transport, these places will eat through your travel savings in no time.

So does that mean that you shouldn't turn to Europe if you're looking for an affordable vacation? Well, not exactly.

Ljubljana

It's true that Western Europe and Scandinavia can be fatal to your travel budget. But if you go a little further east or south, there are plenty of destinations that are still very “European” but that boast much more reasonable price tags.

The problem with these destinations, though, is that many people simply don't consider them.

Capitals like Budapest, Prague, Tallinn, and Sarajevo are incredibly affordable (and interesting to boot). But those are all destinations you've heard of, and perhaps have even considered visiting yourself. What about the destinations that haven't crossed your mind yet?

Here are 3 affordable countries in Europe that you probably haven't considered:

 

Romania

Romania

The Highlights: The medieval towns, the scenery, the villages

Romania is actually one of my favorite countries in Europe. Its tourism infrastructure is much better than you'd probably expect, and there's so much to see and do. Whether it's wooden churches and rolling hills in the Maramures region, happy cemeteries in tiny villages, colorful medieval towns with tons of history, or fortresses and castles in the mountains, Romania has it all. This country is MUCH more than its drab capital of Bucharest, and yet it's still incredibly affordable.

Places You Should Visit: Maramures region, Merry Cemetery, Sighisoara, Viscri, Brasov

Why You Haven’t Considered It: Communism

Plain and simple, you haven't considered Romania because you still associate it (and all of Eastern Europe) with communism and the East Bloc. And, while it's true that vestiges of Romania's political past can still be seen, the country is changing, and changing fast.

 

Montenegro

Montenegro

The Highlights: The scenery, the medieval towns, the beaches

Montenegro, a tiny Balkan country on the Adriatic Sea, packs a lot of punch for its size. It's been called the most beautiful country in Europe by more than one person, and yet it remains relatively unknown to most tourists. It has small, gorgeous coastal towns recognized by UNESCO, plenty of pretty beaches, and mountains and gorges to rival any you've seen. The landscape is a lot like what you'll find in Croatia, but the prices are quite a bit lower.

Places You Should Visit: Kotor, Perast, Ulcinj, Sveti Stefan, Durmitor National Park

Why You Haven’t Considered It: Yugoslav Wars

For most people alive today, the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s are still a relatively “fresh” event in history. People associate countries like Croatia and Serbia and Bosnia with these wars, and Montenegro also usually gets rolled in since it too was part of Yugoslavia (and connected with Serbia until 2006). But there are few signs of this conflict in Montenegro today — in fact, none of the major fighting ever happened within the country's borders.

 

Slovenia

Slovenia

The Highlights: The scenery, the pretty cities/towns, the friendly locals, the adventure sports

Of the three countries on this list, Slovenia is probably the priciest. It is a member of the European Union and therefore uses the Euro, making it slightly more expensive. However, this Central European nation wedged between Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia is still extremely affordable, and offers you great value for money. Slovenia has some great small cities, the gorgeous scenery of the Julian Alps, fantastic transportation and infrastructure, and a wealth of outdoor activities to enjoy. In my opinion, Slovenia wins the award for “most beautiful” country in Europe.

Places You Should Visit: Ljubljana, Maribor, Lake Bled, Triglav National Park, Bohinj, Postojna Caves

Why You Haven’t Considered It: You’ve never heard of it

Slovenia doesn't have a particularly volatile past, which is probably why you haven't heard of it before. Situated unassumingly as it is between popular European destinations like Italy, Austria, and even Croatia, Slovenia is often overlooked by travelers. This, of course, is a huge mistake! Don't skip it just because you don't know much about it.

 

For right now, these are my top picks for affordable destinations in Europe that offer good value (and a great travel experience) for what you pay. The caveat is that they won't remain this way for long. People WILL discover Slovenia. Romania and Montenegro WILL soon be on the Euro. Prices WILL go up. Crowds WILL come. Unfortunately, it's just how tourism progresses in destinations that are up-and-coming.

So my advice is to go to these places, and go NOW before everyone else discovers them.

——

Are these destinations on YOUR travel radar?

 

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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64 Comments on “3 Affordable Countries in Europe You Probably Haven’t Considered

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  1. I can vouch for Romania. I had a friend there so I visited and was really impressed with the country. Not only is the food simply amazing but everything about the country is beautiful – particularly the people!! You basically get the same experience as visiting Europe but everything seems to be a bargain. The food is delicious and you can treat yourself like a king for less than what you would get at your local Burger King back home. lol.

      I totally agree! I loved Romania so much, and always recommend it to people now for all those reasons you just listed!

    I am a great fan of travel in Eastern Europe. It really is the best value. I have skied in Slovenia’s Julian Alps and vacationed in Montenegro’s Sveti Stefan. Besides the price, another advantage was being able to find areas that were not overly commercialized but retained local culture. Please connect with us at http://www.SoloTrekker4U.com as to your future adventures off the beaten path.

      It really is a great value! Though, I wouldn’t completely skip the Slovenian Alps – Slovenia is amazing!

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