Eight low cost, touristic West Europe countries
1. Portugal offers fine beaches in the Algarve region down south as well as great surfing on the Atlantic coast and terrific ancient sights in Lisbon, Sintra, Obidos, Porto and more in the north.
2. Greece’s economy is still shaky so Athens, Meteora, Halkidiki and the Greek Islands are great value. We especially like Crete, Mykonos, Skiathos, Santorini.
3. France is new to the low-cost Europe list, especially Strasbourg, Lille and the varied, fascinating Loire Valley chateaux. On the Côte d’Azur Nice is the best bet for reasonable prices.
4. Spain hosts masses of amazing attractions, lots of sunshine and great value – particularly on the Costa del Sol – though the most popular tourist places such as Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, San Sebastián-Donostia are inevitably a bit pricier.
5. Italy’s prices are not too extortionate, though travelers should be aware that some restaurant owners in a handful of tourist hot-spots such as Florence, Rome and Venice do their best to conceal the real cost of meals and are frequently charged with demanding outrageous sums for modest food. Listing fish on menus by the gram is not uncommon but the ‘by the gram’ information is often strangely difficult to see.
6.The UK is relatively good value due to Brexit issues and the wobbly pound, with London as number one target due to the mass of brilliant, free museums – British Museum, Victoria and Albert, Natural History and Tate Gallery for starters.
7. Another unusual entry in the low-cost scene is Switzerland’s Geneva.
8. Finally the Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, make an unusual appearance.
East Europe cities are much cheaper than West Europe
Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia all offer very cheap lifestyles, small cities with big architectural attractions and an an old-Europe feel including old world prices but also old world wobbly infrastructure. It’s an adventure!