Where to go on a budget in Europe?
March 7, 2011 12:29 PM Subscribe
One of my best girlfriends is living in Rome. I'd like to go and visit her. That's where the simple part ends.
posted by Sara C. to travel & transportation (34 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I have about two weeks available for a trip to Europe centering on Rome this spring.
While Rome is a fantastic city and Italy is an amazing country, this will be my third trip to Rome, Naples, and/or southern Italy. Meanwhile, I've never been anywhere else in continental Europe.
I am on an extreme budget (hoping to spend around $2000 on the entire trip).
My ideal trip would be to fly into another city in Europe, preferably somewhere cheap yet central, spend a week or so, then travel to Rome to spend 3-4 nights on my friend's couch.
I've always wanted to visit Berlin, but it doesn't seem too convenient to travel between Berlin and Rome. France, Spain, Belgium, and Ireland seem like better bets travel wise, though I'm worried about the potential for blowing my budget. I'm pretty interested in most European countries, though it seems like Scandinavia and most of Eastern Europe would make little or no sense on this trip. Kayak Explore shows great fares for St. Petersburg at that time, and I've always wanted to visit Russia, but that seems to hit the trifecta of expensive, inconvenient, AND a pain in the ass regarding visas and red tape and such. What about Vienna, Trieste, or somewhere in Croatia? Maybe Greece? Amsterdam?
I would also be open to flying directly to Italy, spending the bulk of the trip seeing parts of the country that I haven't been to (most of the north and Sicily), and then spending those same 3-4 days in Rome with my friend. Obviously Italy is a wonderful travel destination, and I agree that I'm being a bit of a travel snob looking this unbelievable gift horse in the mouth because I happen to have already been there.
I would be fine with taking a shorter trip - maybe it's better to just enjoy a 3-4 days in Rome (or perhaps adding a day trip or two and calling it a week). This seems like it would be both the cheapest and the simplest option, but my passport cries for more stamps!
What's the best bang for my travel buck, here? Should I bother to try to fold another destination into what was originally supposed to be a trip to visit a friend? If so, what should that destination be? Is it even possible to spend two weeks in Europe for $2K?
Last year I spent a month in Peru for quite a bit less than my budget for this trip, so I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how far my money will really go in Europe.
Facts that may be important - I'm flying from New York, traveling alone. English speaker with some ability in French and Spanish but very limited Italian and no German. My travel dates are a flexible, but I know I'm coming up on high season in Western Europe. I am a very experienced budget traveler, potentially open to WWOOFing or Couchsurfing. I am really not looking for luxury on this trip - if I didn't have a friend in Rome I'd be looking to blow this financial windfall in Central America or Turkey.