Good news to European Backpacker!!! Roger Wade, who researched and complied the European Backpacker Index 2012 which provide the “scientific” information on cheapest cities to visit in Europe.
Wade is founder and editor-in-chief of Price of Travel, a website and database of travel costs launched in 2010 to help travelers compare typical expenses in Europe’s cities.
Below are the detailed criteria:
- One night in the cheapest bunk at the least expensive hostel with a good location and good reviews. (The rating must be over 80 percent, Wade said.)
- Two public transportation rides per day.
- One paid/famous attraction per day. (Every city is loaded with free things to do for budget-conscious travelers, but the average cost of a major attraction in each city for each day is used.)
- Three “budget” meals per day. (The minimum meal price, plus 20 percent to make it more realistic for a longer trip.)
- Three cheap, local beers (or wine) each day as an “entertainment fund.” Non-drinkers might have dessert and coffee or attend a local music performance instead, so this is a general benchmark that should be proportional for each city.
Without wasting your time, here are the top 5:
All the comments are from priceoftravel.com, which you can more details via their website
1 – Sofia, Bulgaria
Europe’s cheapest tourist city is becoming more popular each year, partly due to the low prices for almost everything, but its remote location will still be a problem for most casual travelers. Prices crept up last year, though Sofia will remain cheap for most of us.
2 – Krakow, Poland
Krakow continues as Europe’s best travel bargain. The low prices have drawn in larger numbers of Europeans for weekend breaks, and there’s many great and cheap hostels, bars, and restaurants to keep prices low while you are enjoying the beautiful old city and the local culture. A weak currency has offset small price increases for most.
3 – Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade is one of the Balkan cities that had years of trouble in the 1990s and still struggles a bit to attract tourism. Fortunately for those who make the trip, the city is very cheap compared to most of Europe, and the nightlife gets high marks as well.
4 – Riga, Latvia
It’s surprising to see a city so far north also so high on the cheap-cities list, but it turns out that Riga is quite a bargain for the backpacking set. Hostel beds in particular are very affordable, and so is pretty much everything else. Riga’s main problem is that it’s a bit out of the way for those not on an extensive tour.
5 – Kiev, Ukraine
Speaking about out of the way destinations, Kiev is a long way from the normal backpacking trail so it doesn’t get any accidental visitors. It’s also still somewhat challenging for those who don’t know Russian or Ukrainian, though that part is likely to change in the coming years. Fortunately Kiev is quite cheap for budget travelers.