Top 5 Low Budget Christmas Holiday Destinations in East Europe (2018/19)
Posted on December 07 2018
Different with summer times when East Europe is green and crowded, in winter, it is quiet, wet, and you are able to see more real, local lifestyles. Moreover, thanks to the Christmas and new year holiday, there are many events that you can take part in December and January, such as snow-blanketed mountain, Christmas market, New Year Eve club, music festival, carnival and more.
If you’re planning to head away for a break in East Europe during the Christmas holiday, this blog offers the best low-budget choices. The capita consumption per day could be lower than $30 (one person) in the following amazing cities!
NO.1 Sofia (Bulgaria)
image via newyearseveblog
Sofia’s landmarks reflect more than 2,000 years of history. Once you visit Sofia, don’t miss the onion-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which was built to commemorate Russian soldiers killed during the 19th-century Russo-Turkish War. During the NYE concert in the Battenberg Square, Sofia holds a series of Christmas holiday & new year events with dazzling stars and shining lights to entertain the crowds. If you are more interested in outdoor activities, you can ski and snowboard on Vitosha, a mountain with a height of 2,290 meters, which located on the outskirts of Sofia. It only takes a 30 mins’ drive from the city center. You can only take a pair of ski goggles with you, and rent the rest gears at the Aleko Hut. And if you like, why not watch the sunrise over the snowy mountains?
Don’t worry about the budget to take a tour in Sofia. The estimated price for a taxi is $4.65 per 5 miles. A meal normally costs around $10 (2 people).
NO.2 Kiev (Ukraine)
image via dobovo
Kiev is the capital city of Ukraine. With over 1500 years of historical standing, Kiev is known for its religious architecture, secular monuments, and history museums. During Christmas, Kiev has a Xmas market around St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery and St. Sophia's Cathedral. It creates a cheerful atmosphere that is different from most of the other markets in central Europe. Besides, the Kiev Opera theater, bars, and clubs are worth to visit at night as well.
The temperature in Kiev in December and January can get really cold - around mid-20s in Fahrenheit. Remember to prepare warm clothes. The price level in Kiev is absolutely low, ranking in the last 6 in the world. Most of the museums in this city are free to enter. The cost of a subway ticket is only $0.15.
NO.3 Krakow (Poland)
image via irishtimes
Krakow was announced to be “an essential part of any visit to Poland” by Lonely Planet. It is famous for its attractive streets, museums and the vast Rynek Główny - Europe's largest medieval town square (200m by 200m). On top of that, what attracts people to come and visit Krakow in Winter is the Christmas market. There is a local Christmas market held in the old town (next to the famous cloth hall), where you can find artisan businesses that have small wooden stalls where they sell their handmade wares.
Same as Kiev, Krakow is pretty cold during the winter. Remember to wrap yourself up with a thick scarf and warm coat. And don’t forget to take a cup of hot chocolate - Krakow has the best hot chocolate in the world. As for the budget, Krakow is one of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe. A glass of beer costs $1.20. If living in a youth hostel is not a problem for you, your average cost per day could be lower than $30 including accommodation.
NO.4 Belgrade (Serbia)
image via belgradeexperience
Lonely planet listed Belgrade as the #1 city that has the best nightlife in the world. If you take a walk along the riverside at night in Belgrade during the summer, you’ll notice a long line of boats in the river: These are Belgrade’s nightclubs! In Winter, the clubs move indoors, with the same quality, service, and concept. They open all year round, it doesn’t matter if it is cold, rainy or snowy - every night in Belgrade is Friday! Clubs in Belgrade have the reputation for being “the world’s finest clubs”, and they hold great events during the new year.
Belgrade is safer and cheaper than most cities in Europe. Travel to Belgrade will never leave you a bankrupt. As a matter of fact, a cup of coffee only costs $1.
NO.5 Ljubljana (Slovenia)
image via istockphoto
Ljubljana is Slovenia's capital and this city also happens to be one of Europe's greenest cities. The lakes and mountain, the culture, the food and the weekly “Friday Food Market” can make your visit totally worthwhile! Only 31 miles away from Ljubljana, is Lake Bled, which is arguably Slovenia’s best-known area of natural beauty. In Winter, the mirror-like surface reflects the forest, and a church isolated in the center of the lake. It attracts thousands of visitors with its Xanadu atmosphere, snow-blanketed view, and fresh mountain air.
The price of Ljubljana might be slightly higher than the cities mentioned above. Even though the budget is still much lower than in other European cities. A single room may cost around $40.
If you are planning a one-week tour among these cities, $350 (per person) is enough to offer a pleasant experience. Which destination do you like best? Leave a comment below and share your ideas with us!