I recently rounded up my ultimate winter sun destinations and it got me thinking. This time of year isn’t just about escaping to the sunshine.  Although, that is good enough reason to get your next trip booked.  For me, it’s about experiences and seeing and doing new things. And culture plays a huge part in that. I love exploring new places, and at this time of year, everyone wants to do that without breaking the bank. Am I right?!

So this week I’ve rounded up the best spots to visit in Europe that are packed with culture, sights, food and history all without spending an absolute fortune! Hope you like them, let me know if you’ll be adding any to your list!

Bohinj region, Slovenia

Ahh, Slovenia! Where do I start? This is a stunning place with the most friendly people, mouthwatering food and incredible views. Plus, if you love wine and culture, you’re in the right place! I stayed close to the magnificent Lake Bohinj in this lovely eco hotel. When we weren’t eating and drinking we got to visit some magical places, from the gorgeous ‘land of hayracks’ in the Dolenjska region and stunning rolling hills filled with wineries in Brda.

SLOVENIA: travel blog culture, fun on a budget

There’s so much to do and see in Slovenia, and it’s still one of Europe’s cheapest destinations too! Read my facts to make you want to visit Slovenia to discover more about this amazing country!

Budapest, Hungary

A stunning part of the world, Budapest is the perfect mixture of old and new. With super cheap flights this time of year, it’s the ideal time to get an impromptu trip booked in! There are tonnes of free things to do once you get there, like hiking to the top of Gellert Hill for a panoramic view of the city. Or, head to the Jewish shoe memorial which is free too.

HUNGARY: travel blog culture, fun on a budget

There are so many sites be seen; you can join a market food tasting tour in the central market for as little as 24 euros. Find a trendy coffee place or join endless free walking tours to really explore and get to know this gorgeous city and its culture, all on a tight budget.

Gdansk, Poland

Another one of my favourite places in Europe and always an excellent-value choice too. Gdansk in Poland has so much to offer. You can catch my five best things to do in Gdansk, but overall as a city, this place is a cultural hotspot! The weather pleasantly surprised me too; cold winters but actual hot, sunny summers! Learn all about how it was the starting point of WW2, go on epic boat trips, visit the Shakespeare Theatre and of course eat some great food too.

POLAND: travel blog culture, fun on a budget

You can even read about the luxury weekend I spent there if you’ve got a bit more budget! But overall this place should definitely be on your culture-on-a-budget hit list!

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is beautiful, and with low-cost flights at this time of year,  why not go see this stunning place when the tourism is a little quieter? Portugal has been praised for being as stunning in the winter as its warmer, summer months. But winter is still mild, so no need to wear a coat when exploring. Stunning monasteries, winding medieval streets, the wooden tram or go visit some of its historical, neighbouring towns.

LISBON: travel blog culture, fun on a budget

It’s renowned for being cheap too, so whatever you decide to do you’re not gonna break the bank. As well as all the culture it’s known for its seafood, great coffee and cheap but moreish wine and beer so you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied!

Venice, Italy

As you know, I love Italy. So much so I’ve returned many times over the years, and it’s never disappointed me. Venice is one spot I haven’t been too yet. It is mainly popular in the summer, when it’s full of tourists and can get pretty overcrowded. But if you book in the winter months you can get a great deal.

VENICE: travel blog culture, fun on a budget

Venice has a winter carnival which fills the streets with costumed beauties, music and food. You can even book one of their popular, luxury hotels for a fraction of the high season price if you go during the quieter months. Imagine all the great things about Venice (the gondola rides, Saint Mark’s Basilica) the but with added ice skating, hot chocolates and serenity because nobody else is there? Sounds like a dream and an ideal place to get culture on a budget if you book at the right time of year!

Are you planning any impromptu, budget-trips this year? If so, where are you thinking of heading?

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7 Comments

  1. Great blog Jen, love the pictures! I’m desperate to go to Lisbon and might have to go back to Slovenia too! How have to not been to Venice?! Go! Now! I also want to go to Athens, Tallinn and St Petersburg, but I don’t think any of those are very budget!

    • Jen Lowthrop Reply

      Thanks Rach. Highly recommend Slovenia. I am desperate to return… weekend away? I’ve been waiting for someone to take me to Venice haha!

  2. Pingback: 7 mood enhancing things to do in Brighton - She Gets Around

  3. We are finally planning a Europe trip after being married fr more than 10 years. We had thought of going there (we live in India) soon after marriage but travelling stopped for a while after the kids and you know. So, now that they are old enough to not miss us wholly for 2 weeks, we have planned it for August and I am checking out firsthand tips from reliable bloggers like you. Me and Steve need to sit down and finalise. Thanks for writing this.

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