For each of these destinations, backpackers can find cheap flights and get to where they want to go quickly and easily.
When finding a place to sleep, focus on hostels and guesthouses, as they are cheaper. Also, at hostels and guesthouses you are more likely to meet other travelers with whom you can share your experiences. Most importantly, by staying at these kinds of places, you will be able to experience the local culture firsthand. One thing is for certain: each of these cities tells its own story, and offers a unique traveling experience.
1. Bruges, Belgium
This fairytale city is located in the Flemish region, and is rich in magnificent medieval and Gothic architecture. Dreamy canals and cobbled streets create a romantic atmosphere, which evokes the spirit of medieval times. Rent a bike and ride it through the narrow streets, which can only be accessed by foot or on a bike. Moreover, don’t miss taking a boat tour, because such tours will take you to magnificent places- places that can’t be reached by other modes of transportation. Bruges offers a romantic journey through Gothic and Renaissance architecture that every backpacker will remember.
2. Kraków, Poland
This Polish city offers wonderful historical sites of great cultural significance. The first thing every backpacker should visit for its historical significance is the concentration camp, Auschwitz. Then head to the Wawel Castle which was built in the Gothic style. Also, try the local cuisine and alcoholic beverages, such as tatanka, which is made of vodka zubrowka and apple juice.
3. Florence, Italy
Florence, the city where the Renaissance was born, should be on the top of the list of every backpacker. When you arrive in this city, you will feel as if you are in another world. Visit the art museum Galleria degli Uffizi, which hosts famous works, including “The Birth of Venus” and “Primavera” by Sandro Botticelli. Also, all art lovers need to visit another art museum called The Bargello, where you can see sculptures by Michelangelo, Donatello, Sansovino, and others. Fashion addicts will enjoy the Gucci Museum, whereas geeks will be blown away by the Institute and Museum of the History of Science, where you can see all the instruments Galileo Galilei used.
This city might not be cheap, but you won’t regret visiting it, so make sure that you see everything that it has to offer, including the breathtaking countryside.
4. Istanbul, Turkey
This city on two continents is of great cultural and historical value. As every backpacker wants to experience something different than what they are used to, this city is a perfect destination – it will provide you with a culture that is vastly different from anything you’ll see in the Western world.
Go shopping through their local markets and don’t forget to bargain, as bargaining is a part of their culture. Visit the Church of the Divine Wisdom, which is also known as Ayasofya- and don’t miss Topkapi Palace, the residence of Ottoman sultans.
5. Kyoto, Japan
There are a lot of stories about Kyoto being expensive, however, you can be rest assured that Kyoto is actually a fairly affordable city. You only need to be careful with where you sleep and eat, because like in every city, there are places with really high prices. The outer areas of many temples are free to visit, but for some visits you’ll have to pay an entry fee, which is a must if you want to get the most out of exploring such a wonderful and magical city. Don’t try to save money on the tickets, because it is a once in a lifetime experience.
6. Paris, France
The city of romance and love, with truly beautiful architecture, will take your breath away. You’ll need a couple of days to visit everything you want, because every corner hides a historical secret. From the Louvre to visiting the Eiffel tower, you’ll be impressed by all the beauties this city offers. If you are already in Europe, go by train because the tickets are very cheap, and you can get there in no time. If you have never been to Disneyland, or you want to feel like a child again, visit Disneyland Paris and you’ll feel like you are in a fairytale. Just make sure you plan the trip in advance, so you don’t miss out on the wildest roller coaster rides.
7. Niš, Serbia
This city in the south of Serbia is usually neglected by backpackers, because they focus on visiting the capital Belgrade or Novi Sad, famous for the Exit Music Festival. Niš is the birthplace of Constantine the Great and it offers a lot of important historical monuments, such as The Skull Tower, Niš Fortress, Crveni Krst concentration camp, and Mediana, an Ancient Roman archaeological site. If you are visiting in August, you’ll be able to go to the Nišville Jazz Festival which hosts the world’s best jazz musicians every year.
Aside from visiting all the famous historical sites, people from Niš advise tourists to visit their local taverns and try the best traditional meals. For breakfast or dinner you should try burek, available from local bakeries. You can also spend the end of the day drinking some beer at the Nišava river bank.
8. Dublin, Ireland
Guinness definitely tastes better when you drink it in Dublin, so if you are beer lover, this should certainly be on your bucket list. Backpackers will be happy to hear that all national museums are free to visit, so you will be able to see some priceless works at no cost. Dublin differs from most European cities in the fact that you have to pay to visit a church, but the things you see in Dublin are worth every penny.
Dublin is an expensive city, so don’t accept the initial offer at the first hostel you visit- do some research on cheap guesthouses and hostels beforehand. Once you meet the locals and other travelers, they will definitely be able to inform you about cheap, but good local restaurants to visit.
9. London, UK
London is an expensive city, similar to Dublin, but it is also a city well worth seeing. You can save some money on accommodation and food if you come prepared. Visit Buckingham Palace, and while you’re there go see the nearby Green Park. There are a lot of beautiful natural sites, which will make you forget that you are in a busy city. Visiting museums is mostly free, but you’ll have to pay to see some exhibitions.
Whatever you like and you’re interested in, you will definitely find it in London. Whether you are a comic addict or an architecture lover, you will find your place there.
10. Dresden, Germany
Somehow this city rarely ends up on a backpacker’s to-do list, but the mixture of old and new is magnificent. Take your time to explore this unusual and wonderful city, and you’ll make some wonderful memories. Visit the Zwinger Palace, a complex of museums, which was built in Rococo style in the 18th century. Other idyllic sites to visit include the picturesque Elbe river banks. I recommend this city to every backpacker, because you’ll not only get to drink excellent beer and see beautiful architecture, but also have the chance to relax away from the ruckus of the busier cities.
Each of these cities differs in price, with the cheapest one probably being Niš in Serbia. However, you are more than able to plan out a great trip in any of these locations without going over budget. Near every city there are outstanding countryside sites, so, if you are an adventurous type, rent a bike and see all the natural beauty these places have to offer.
Featured photo credit: Bunyamin Ozadali via flickr.com