Eastern Europe is by far one of the cheapest and most convenient places to backpack in the world. Cheap accommodation, free activities, and inexpensive cuisine make it friendly on a student or backpacker’s budget. If you are dying to see the world, then your dollar will stretch the most in any of the Eastern European countries. Here’s why!
The Low Exchange Rate
Many Eastern European countries mint their own currency. As a result, the expensive Euro will not eat into your funds. You may find prices comparable to or much cheaper to what you might find in countries such as France or Germany. A local currency keeps prices low and budget friendly. Keep in mind that you should never trade currency with someone off the street. Only go to reputable banks – you can find these at your hotel’s front desk. They will be able to exchange local money for you with no problem.
The Local Cuisine
In Eastern Europe, it is not uncommon to find a great meal in a local restaurant for less than $5. If you know where to look, then you can find some amazing local eateries. Stay away from tourist affairs, because they are targeted at people who have plenty to spend but lack a discerning eye. As a backpacker, you need to be conscientious of the quality of every meal. Never be afraid to go out of your comfort zone when exploring dining options. Also, local markets are a great way to experience local food at a bargain price. Grocery stores can also carry interesting items that will be much cheaper than eating out. However, try to have at least one sit down meal in every city you visit. This will give you a chance to relax and really enjoy a meal. It is good to save, but dining at a restaurant can also teach you about local customs and culture.
A Place Like Home
Some of the least expensive hostels in Europe can be found in top Eastern destinations such as Prague, Krakow, Budapest, Bratislava, Istanbul or even Riga. If you are eager to see the world on a strict budget, then you can stretch your dollar the farthest in Eastern Europe. You can easily find a great, top-rated hostel in Prague for as little as $12 a night, or a comfortable, private, spacious locale in Sajarevo for $10. Check online for the best rates possible at websites like hostelworld.com.
The local culture in many of these countries is quite unique. Many feature incredible art museums and history that cannot be found elsewhere in the world. For example, a budget ticket to the Prague Opera can cost as little as $6 to see world class performers in one of the most celebrated opera houses in the Europe. You can also take free tours around any major city that are offered by special tour companies. All you have to do is tip the tour guide if you have enjoyed your thorough and lively tour.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to visit Eastern Europe. The inexpensive aspect should just be an added bonus!