Budget travellers will benefit from this periodical series ! Here are 3 cities that we’d definitely recommend if you need maximum experience for minimum coin.
For our first 3 Budget Cities, we’ve got recommendations for Europe and South America – it’s a beautiful time if year to be on either continent!
1. Rome, Italy
Rome is so beautiful, just wandering through the city streets is inspiring. Rome has a tourist-friendly transit system to help you get around, and the main terminus train station is central, so you won’t have to rely on cabs. The city also has lots of churches, museums, and ancient sites for you roam around and enjoy for free, often with regularly scheduled guided tours – the Forum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain – some of Rome’s greatest monuments are available for you to see without admission.
Pro tip: Seat yourself on the Spanish Steps with some bread & cheese for a people-watching picnic in one of Rome’s most scenic spots.
2. Heraklion, Crete
One of 4 hub “cities” on the Greek island of Crete, Iraklio (Heraklion) is a great jumping off point to explore one of Greece’s more affordable islands. Crete has gorgeous beaches, picturesque villages, ancient ruins, and amazing food. Since it’s not in the Cyclades, accommodation on Crete tends to be cheaper than many other islands in the region. Take a ferry from Athens (Piraeus) to Heraklion and enjoy day trips on the local bus to Knossos, Phaestos, and the Cave of Zeus.
Pro tip: Venturing to other parts of Crete on public transport is easy, inexpensive, and encouraged if you have some time to roam. Grab a map, find a central village with interesting sights nearby, rent a little apartment for a few weeks so you can cook for yourself and explore the area at your own pace.
3. Cuzco, Peru
Peru is generally quite affordable for backpackers, and due to the large amount of people on their way to Machu Picchu that pass through the city, Cuzco is a favourite among budget travellers. Services & accommodation are available at every level, you can meet tons of other travellers to exchange information with, and since Cuzco is an ancient Incan city, there are city tour walks and sites that you can access for free – all you need is a good map and decent shoes.
Pro tip: If you’ve been on the road for a long time or if you just returned from your 5-day hike to Machu Picchu, splurge on professional laundry service and a good massage to rejuvenate yourself. Both are available for a good price here.
Keep your eyes open for more “3 Cities” lists – we’ve got great advice for every continent!