Europe’s best value destinations for 2013

A guest post by Mick Flanagan…

Ljubljana River in Slovenia
© Copyright Chris Yunker and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence

One of the brilliant realisations any avid traveller can come to is that the best holiday destinations also tend to be the cheapest.

Not only are typical holiday destinations filled with crowds and tourist traps, but they’re often overpriced. In these popular hotspots, hotels, restaurants, taxis and attractions can afford to up their prices, knowing that hoards of tourists will flock their way no matter what.

It’s for this reason that the lesser-known destinations offer the best bargain holidays. For your summer holiday this year, consider travelling to these places instead:

The Albanian Riviera

One of Lonely Planet’s picks for the best-value European destinations this year and described by the New York Times as a ‘frugal paradise’, the Albanian Riviera is the ideal budget holiday destination.

Be sure to add the following to your itinerary:

  • Vuno – A favourite of backpackers, this picturesque village is a true gem of the Albanian coast. Built into the hillside and overlooking the sparkling Adriatic Sea, Vunro is beautiful, charming and relaxing.
  • Dhermi Beach – Known for its nightlife – particularly the Havana Beach Bar – Dhermi Beach is a popular going out spot for locals. However, by day it’s a peaceful place to lounge in the sunshine.
  • Llogara National Park – The beautiful hills and forests of Llogara National Park are covered in fantastic hiking trails and filled with fascinating wildlife. The Park is also a popular paragliding spot, if you’re seeking a bit of an adrenaline rush.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

What the small Slovenian capital lacks in size it more than makes up for in culture, history, cuisine and architecture. During your visit to Ljubljana, make sure the check out these top attractions:

  • Ljubljana Castle – Situated high on the hill, overlooking the city’s historic ‘Old Town’, the Ljubljana Castle is a beautiful medieval structure with a fantastic view.
  • Tivoli Park – This large urban park is the perfect place for a summer picnic. Take a stroll through its grounds, around the pond and over to the 17th-Century Tivoli Castle mansion.
  • Triple Bridge -These three parallel bridges are one of Ljubljana’s most defining features and really epitomise the city’s quirky charm.

Riga, Latvia

This big city has a big personality. Riga swoops you up and sucks you into local life right from the start. Its grand, historic buildings and gorgeous urban parks contrast brilliantly with a thriving nightlife and modern cuisine scene. Offering plenty of bang for your buck, Riga is one of the cheapest city break destinations in all of Europe. Make sure to enjoy the following Riga highlights:

  • Latvia National Opera – One of Riga’s most famous attractions, the Latvia National Opera has a reputation for excellence. With world class performances in a truly beautiful venue, it’s not one to miss.
  • Riga Motor Museum – You don’t have to be a car enthusiast to be enchanted by the Riga Motor Museum. Featuring an enormous collection of vintage cars, the museum takes a fascinating look at the history of the automobile.
  • St. Peter’s Church Tower – For a real treat, walk up to the top of St. Peter’s Church Tower. You’ll be rewarded with incredible panoramic views of the bustling city below.

Mick Flanagan has two main passions: climbing and writing. Born in Ireland, he has lived in Australia for over five years, and now made it back to Europe, where he’s been travelling around over the last couple months.

About Simon Petersen 320 Articles

Travel blogger, journalist, sports and movie fiend. Chronicling the life and times of a Kiwi at home and abroad.

2 Comments

  1. We are in Italy right now and might decide to explore a bit of Europe before going somewhere else. This post might be very handy, we all know how expensive travelling in Europe can be, thanks for the tips! 🙂

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