Four cities perfect for a budget solo getaway

Going solo is the perfect way to take a quick trip focused on personal interests. Keeping costs low can be hard, and summer is peak season in Europe. Here are some frugal travel tips and four cities perfect for a budget solo getaway, says Europe.Stripes.com.

Book now with discount airlines for off-season travel; direct flights are cheapest. Make it a goal to use a small backpack that fits under the seat; this avoids extra charges for overhead space and checked bags. Try to find lodging near the sightseeing so it’s easy to walk or take public transportation. Taxis are budget killers. Hostels nowadays are a combination of basic private rooms and dorm-style accommodation. A hotel or hostel that includes breakfast can also mean a great cost savings. Restaurant prices can be daunting; try going out for lunch as costs are lower at midday. Grab picnic foods at a local grocery store for dinner and bring a refillable water bottle.

 

Alicante

Travelers looking for sun and sand, a bit of history and scenic streets to wander will love Alicante. Find accommodations in the city center as close to the waterfront esplanade and El Postiguet Beach as your budget allows. Wander the palm-studded town past cute plazas. Hike up to the free cliff-top Castillo de la Santa Barbara via the barrio neighborhood on its western flank and enjoy the Mediterranean view.

 

Riga

Riga is a city for lovers of artistic architecture and Baltic culture. This capital city sits near the mouth of the Daugava River at the Baltic sea and features a UNESCO-listed old town and art nouveau architecture. Stay in the old town to have maximum time exploring the cobbled streets and unique sculptures like the Cat House and The Ghost. See the magnificent Riga Cathedral and the medieval House of the Black Heads guildhall, or head the opposite direction and take a canal boat tour.

 

London

London is notoriously expensive, but there are so many free museums, cheap flights and hostel stays that it can be affordable. Food is expensive, however. Visit grocery stores, food courts or sandwich shops and splurge once on lunch at a pub. Stay in the area around the University of London for budget hostels. Walk to the British Museum to spot world-famous archaeological finds, the British Library to see the Magna Carta, or Platform 9¾ at Kings Cross (all free). Big-name sites in London are pricey and often overrated, but it is free to walk by and take pictures. Bus line 11 is especially convenient as a budget ‘city tour’ on your way to the Tower of London area for iconic bridge pictures.

 

Cluj-Napoca

Cluj, as its nicknamed, is unique on this list as the starting point for car-touring the dramatic Transylvanian countryside. Entrance fees are cheaper in Romania, as are car rentals when booked ahead. Driving out of town, visit the Romulus Vuia Ethnographic Park to learn about traditional Transylvanian life. Drive southeast to the hilltop fortified old town of Sighișoara and the spooky birthplace of Vlad the Impaler. Nearby are the fortified churches of Biertan and Viscri and rural Transylvanian villages full of goats and horse carts.

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