Here’s how to get a cheap European holiday using Nomad from Kiwi.com

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Our Nomad search tool finds you the cheapest flights between cities you choose, but what about cheap things to do and places to stay in Europe? What are the cheapest countries to visit? How much is it to stay, eat out, travel, and get food and drink?

We’ve put together a sample Nomad itinerary visiting some of the cheapest cities in Europe, from Prague to Bucharest, Valletta to Riga and more, to show you how to travel on a budget around Europe, and save even more money on your low-cost European vacation.

The route

Kiwi.com's Nomad search interfaceNomad will mix and match your desired destinations to find you the best price, in a single ticket

Our Nomad route takes us through five great-value European cities, for one low price, on one ticket, in just a couple of clicks. Using our powerful Kiwi-Code, Nomad builds the cheapest route between your chosen cities, combining carriers that wouldn’t normally work together to bring you the lowest price.

We’ve chosen a variety of destinations noted as some of the best value in Europe, but we’ve also tried to give a bit of variety: beaches, big cities, popular places, lesser-known places. Starting in Prague, we head south to Tirana, then hop to the Mediterranean island of Malta. After some time on the beach, it’s to Bucharest, then north to Riga in Latvia, before finally returning to Prague. Those six flights (one involves a six-hour evening layover in Milan, so there’s some bonus content!) at the height of summer come to just €325 in total.

Now we’ve saved money on our flights, let’s get this thing moving!

Prague, Czech Republic

Street in Žižkov with Žižkov Television Tower in the background — ShutterstockThe less-touristy suburb of Žižkov, with its landmark Television Tower — Shutterstock

Local currency: Czech koruna; €1 = 24 CZK

Coffee: €3.25

0.5l local beer: €2.50

Lunch: €6

Dinner in a mid-range restaurant: €10

24-hour public transport ticket: €4.90

Hostel for one night: €24

3-star hotel for one night: €46 with breakfast

DAILY BUDGET: €40 — €60

Prague has always been popular with people wanting a low-cost city break; as one of the first cities to really throw itself open to tourism following the collapse of communism, it’s also the most westernized of the former Eastern Bloc’s cities. It’s also one of the most beautiful, with the fairytale Charles Bridge crossing the lazy Vltava, the Old Town Square with its famous astronomical clock, and Prague Castle lording it over the city from the western hills.

The center of the city can be more expensive than you might anticipate, with prices jacked up to make the most of the sheer number of visitors, but anywhere outside the immediate center is much better. Try the suburbs of Vršovice or Žižkov to meet the locals, or head up into the green spaces along the river for beer kiosks and sausage stands. Museums can be pricey compared to other things (around €10 — €15), but try a free walking tour, or just see what you can see!

Tirana, Albania

Skanderbeg Square fountains in Tirana lit up at dusk — ShutterstockColorful, quirky Tirana is slowly being discovered by travelers — Shutterstock

Local currency: Albanian lek; €1 = 117 ALL

Coffee: €1.40

0.5l local beer: €1.30

Lunch: €4.50

Dinner in a mid-range restaurant: €12

24-hour public transport ticket: n/a, but individual trips are around €0.35

Hostel for one night: €11

3-star hotel for one night: €35 with breakfast

DAILY BUDGET: €25 — €35

Slowly being discovered by travelers, Tirana is a confusing mass of knocked-about but colorful architecture, ranging from Ottoman elegance to socialist brutalism. Everything moves at a hundred miles an hour as the locals have embraced the rapid pace of change and opened friendly, quirky little bars and restaurants. Islam is the dominant religion, but is practiced in a very relaxed, tolerant way, so being invited for a rakija (a plum brandy) or a local beer, is always a strong possibility, and after so many years of isolation, the locals enjoy showing their traditions and history to visitors.

It’s also easily less than an hour to get to the Adriatic Sea. This stretch of coastline is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled in Europe, free from the hordes that have discovered Croatia (and, to a lesser extent, Montenegro), so take a day to travel on a dusty bus to the beach for a bit of time away from this chaotic but loveable city. 

Valletta, Malta

Hand holding pineapple cocktail against background of the Blue Lagoon in Malta — ShutterstockMalta’s beaches, such as the Blue Lagoon, are sandy, shimmering and simply stunning — Shutterstock

Local currency: euro

Coffee: €3.20

0.5l local beer: €3.50

Lunch: €10

Dinner in a mid-range restaurant: €35

24-hour public transport ticket: complicated, not worth it. Trips up to two hours are €2.00 

Hostel for one night: €30

3-star hotel for one night: €80 with breakfast

DAILY BUDGET: €70 — €90

The tiny island of Malta has Valletta as its capital, but in reality, the eastern part of the island is where the action is — Valletta is just a small part of a larger urban area. And it really is a small island, a place in which you can drive from one end to the other in about an hour, and across it in 30 minutes. Its beautiful, shimmering beaches, bays and inlets do get busy in the summer, but they are genuinely lovely, and with names like Paradise Bay, Golden Bay and the Blue Lagoon, you know pretty much what to expect.

Wander the compact streets of Valletta, head to Mdina, the oldest town on the island for medieval architecture and archaeology, or to the south for a delicious, seafront meal of freshly caught seafood.

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest Palace of Parliament — ShutterstockThe vast and intensely ostentatious Palace of Parliament — Shutterstock

Local currency: Romanian leu; €1 = 4.95 RON

Coffee: €2.50

0.5l local beer: €2

Lunch: €8

Dinner in a mid-range restaurant: €20

24-hour public transport ticket: €2.80 

Hostel for one night: €12

3-star hotel for one night: €45 with breakfast

DAILY BUDGET: €50 — €70

From beaches to brutalism now, and the capital of Romania. Whereas Prague managed to retain its dreaming towers and quaint backstreets, Bucharest was — if not destroyed — then significantly altered by both the Second World War and the subsequent move away from the ornate and towards the powerful and declamatory. Today, however, efforts are being made to restore the 17th- and 18th-century buildings and to return the city to its previous status as the ‘Paris of the East’.

It’s an energetic city, one that has faced its challenges head-on and has come out the other side as one of the region’s more modern, but also safest, big cities. There’s some decent green space in the center, and the colossal Palace of Parliament is one of the most over-the-top paeans to despotic ego you’ll ever see. Overall, give Bucharest a few days. It’ll grow on you.

Riga, Latvia

 

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Local currency: euro

Coffee: €3

0.5l local beer: €4

Lunch: €10

Dinner in a mid-range restaurant: €25

24-hr public transport ticket: €5 

Hostel for one night: €20

3-star hotel for one night: €45 with breakfast

DAILY BUDGET: €65 — €85

And finally, to Riga, for a relaxing end to our European jaunt. What a lovely place to do so; relaxed, compact, youthful, and with a calm exterior that gives way to some great nightlife. You’ll get your bearings easily, as the pedestrianized Old Town, a flurry of cobbled streets and handsome Hanseatic buildings, is surrounded by water: canal and parks to the east, the wide Daugava river to the west.

Culturally, there’s a lot going on, with hip dive bars and modern restaurants and cafes, as well as some excellent museums concerning topics as varied as automotive history, the KGB in Latvia, chocolate, medicine, hats, and the art nouveau movement. When your cultural cup has been filled, you can head to the coast and the white sands of Jūrmala for a dip in the bracing Baltic.

That’s how you see Europe on a budget

If you’ve been inspired by this tour, head over to Nomad from Kiwi.com, and start planning your trip today!

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