Want to know the best value destinations for 2020?
We’ve put together 10 of the best places for budget travel in 2020, based on flight prices, accommodation, eating out.
As far as cheap travel destinations go, Bucharest has some of the lowest average flight prices from Greece, and the budget-friendly spending doesn’t stop once you land. You can feast in Romania’s capital for less than 20 € a day, and as for the sights, simply admiring the city’s storied streets gives you a sense of the centuries of history and cultural upheaval here, from the pre-WWII Old Town of Lipscani right up to Communist monuments like the staggering Palace of Parliament. With Aegean also running cheap flights to alternative city break spots like pretty Timisoara, Romania is definitely one of the destinations of the moment.
Malta makes a superb value short-haul holiday, with bargain flights from just 55 € each way, and a wealth of gorgeous beaches and ancient ruins to explore at the other end. You’ll find your euros will stretch much further in Malta, especially since you can jump on a bus for 2 €. Since you’ll be keeping within your budget so easily, you’ll be able to finish your trip in style by splashing out on a few cocktails and a blow-out night on the tiles in clubbing capital Paceville.
3. Canary Islands, Spain
Spain continues to be a popular – and astonishingly cheap – holiday option for travellers. You can fly to Gran Canaria for 90 € and be soaking up some well-earned Vitamin D on Maspalomas Beach in a matter of hours. The dunes here form part of a protected nature reserve, so you can bird-watch and see dolphins at Palmitos Park before stretching out on the Sahara sands. The Canary Isles offer great value, with acres of rugged mountains and forests like Mount Teide National Park in Tenerife, ripe for hiking and biking at very little cost. If you avoid tourist restaurants and eat local, you can save a lot – try classic Canarian potato dish papas arrugadas, served with a peppery mojo sauce.
Live it up in Morocco for a fraction of the cost; a 5-star hotel here can cost under 13,25 € a night! Flights to Marrakech remain some of the cheapest around, starting from 95 € one way. Budget airlines have also started offering Rabat as a destination if you fancy an alternative Moroccan holiday. This seaside capital offers the best of both worlds: the joy of getting lost amidst the smells of shisha and mint tea in the Kasbah des Oudaias combined with a handy beach just around the corner. It’s less crowded than Marrakech too, so not only will you find fewer tourists, but your dirham will likely buy you more souvenirs in the souks.
Turkey’s glorious Aegean shoreline is endlessly popular summer destination, and cheap holidays are as much of an attraction here as the Turquoise Coast and tourist-friendly resorts like Bodrum, Izmir and Fethiye. One-way flights to Dalaman, at the heart of the region, start from 100 € and it’s not all exclusive marinas and Riviera yachting when you get there either. there are miles and miles of free and beautiful beaches to sprawl on (the much- photographed Ölüdeniz is a good start) and of course, plenty of cheap mezze and baklava (super-sweet pastries) to tuck into. Save your holiday splurges for trips to evocative ruins like Patara (south of Fethiye), or the stadium at Ephesus (around an hour from Izmir).
Both the south coast of Portugal and beautiful city break destinations like Porto make good value holidays for travellers, with a plethora of budget airlines queuing up to offer competitive prices. With one-way flights from under 120 €, Faro offers some of the best bargains, and the town itself is much more than just the ‘gateway to the Algarve’; there’s an attractive old town to explore, plus salt pans, lagoon islands and beaches right next door. You don’t need your own car in the Algarve either – bus services run regularly between major stops like Lago and Albufeira, and cost only a few euros a pop.
With direct flights offered from Athens, you can still find temptingly cheap fares to Hungary, despite general costs rising at the same rate as its popularity in recent years. You’ll get a friendly welcome in Budapest, where a bowl of warming goulash will set you back a mere 950 forints (2.80 €) and it’s still possible to get a round in at the pub for under 5 €. Stay on the Pest side of the river to keep your spending down, but make time for a little hydrotherapy at the local thermal baths.
There’s no excuse not to tick Russia off your bucket list this year. Moscow has architectural and cultural drama in droves, from the walled-off buildings within the Kremlin to the strange sight of Lenin’s embalmed body (which, incidentally, is free to view). One of the city’s finest attractions is its stately Metro system, with stations like Kiyevskaya mini-masterpieces of Baroque design; tickets start from the equivalent of just 0.82 cents! Izia Grill is a good place to have a drink with the locals.
It may be a small island, but Cyprus has a split personality along with its divided geography and fascinating Turkish and Greek influences to show for it. It’s also a cheap place to travel, with bountiful fresh food markets that make self-catering an appealing option, as well as street-side snacks like pitta-souvlaki and eliopitta (olive pie) to tuck into for around €2. Avoid the tourist traps in Paphos and stay in Limassol, an elegant old port town with bags of charm and more than a few interesting local events, including a good-value Wine Festival in September. If you want quiet beaches, try the Akamas penisula rather than Ayia Napa – prices will be cheaper and you won’t have to pay for the privilege of a sun lounger. Getting around is by far easier with a car, and renting your own wheels can be as little as 20 € a day.
OK, so places like Dubrovnik are no longer so big a bargain thanks to their Game of Thrones fame, but with a luxuriously lengthy Adriatic coastline, Croatia has dozens of cheap destinations to choose from. Split is a charming alternative, with direct budget flights now going. It’s free to wander around the top attraction of Diocletian’s Palace, a renovated Roman ruin which makes up much of the old centre of the city and is now filled to the rafters with trendy bars, cafes and shops. Don’t forget you’re just down the coast from the oft-overlooked Sibenik, a pretty port town with just as many picture-book churches and streets, but without the same kind of tourist prices on the waterfront. Get a good fixed-price dinner (known as marenda or gablec) for under 6 € in local restaurants.