Red Corner: Cheap (Eastern) Europe

Is the price of the euro getting you down? Tired of paying exorbitant exchange rates just for an espresso in Rome? Well, thanks to the folks at SmarterTravel, you can now seek out the cheaper cities in Europe that won’t suck your wallet dry.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that all but one of the cities recommended are in Eastern Europe where the euro is not the national currency. The one oddball in the bunch, however, is the Belgium city of Bruges. I’m surprised that it has appeared on the list, but very happy as well. Bruges is an amazing gastronomical center bursting with phenomenal food and an incredible bounty of tasty Belgian beers.

The remainder of Europe’s cheap digs mentioned in the article are scattered throughout the former Soviet Bloc. But keep in mind these aren’t post-communist hell-holes-although there are certainly plenty of those still in existence and they are plenty cheap as well. No, this list is of up-and-coming towns that have a healthy offering of western amenities, fine culture, good food, and charming architecture. I can speak from experience that recommendations such as Tallinn (Estonia), Krakow (Poland), and Kiev (Ukraine) all live up to these claims very nicely.

So, if you’re interested in saving a bit of money and still want that authentic European experience, take a moment to peruse the suggestions covered in this article. Otherwise, cash in that 401K because you’re going to need it if you stay solely in Western Europe.