The Alternative Traveller: Budget-Friendly Alternatives to Europe’s Best Cities

Travellers from across the spectrum want different experiences and with many major cities affected by increased cost of living, searching out cheaper alternatives is high on the agenda. That’s why we’ve curated a list of budget-friendly alternatives to Europe’s top cities. So, swap out those cliché locations for these hidden gems and discover the perfect affordable escape for your next adventure.

Lunging for Lisbon? Try Cagliari, Sardinia

In recent years, Lisbon has been everyone’s #1 destination, but we have a quieter choice on our bucket list. Welcome to Cagliari, Sardinia’s vibrant capital, where ancient history meets modern charm. Traverse the cobblestone streets of the old town and discover one of the best places to stay in Sardinia. The city offers the perfect blend of comfort and affordability. Whether you’re seeking a cosy bed-and-breakfast or a stylish boutique hotel, Cagliari has so much potential. Indulge in the city’s highly favoured seafood, fresh from its coastal waters and unwind at one of its many wineries.

Thirsty for Florence? Try Palermo, Sicily.

Florence is always a great choice, but this Tuscan city can often become overcrowded. Palermo, on the island of Sicily, offers bags of culture to rival. The island itself can easily rival well-known destinations like Tenerife, with its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and budget-friendly accommodations. The city is home to plenty of hotels and private lodgings, but its colourful boutique hotels reign supreme… regardless, there are plenty of nice hotels in Palermo to suit your budget without sacrificing comfort or convenience. The city truly is an urban escape and you’re never too far from one of Sicily’s many sunny beaches.

Enamoured by Edinburgh? Try Stirling, Scotland.

Forget searching for cheap places to stay in Edinburgh, prices can be hefty! Stirling has similar historic landmarks, bustling streets, and charming neighbourhoods, all while enjoying the Scottish charm that brings people back to this country year-on-year. If it’s Edinburgh’s historic castle you’re looking for, Stirling Castle is just as iconic, and many kings and queens have graced its halls throughout the years. And with affordable, dog-friendly hotels scattered throughout the city, you can bring your furry friend too!

Liking London? Try Manchester, England

Although it lacks the size and historic clout that London does, the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ has always been the epicentre for rising cultural trends and if it’s good enough for Chanel, it’s good enough for us! From its thriving music scene to its bustling areas like Deansgate and Northern Quarter, Manchester offers a lot in a small package. In recent years, it has bolstered its offering with affordable hotel chains popping up so it’s easy to find cheap places to stay in Manchester to suit your preferences. You can make the most of your time in this dynamic city without breaking the bank.


Europe has more to offer than crowds and expensive hotels. From the sun-kissed streets of Palermo to the historic streets of Stirling, affordable adventures await at every turn. Pack your bags and embark on your next adventure – because adventure doesn’t have to come with chaos or a hefty price tag.