Tired of Paris and bored of Rome? There is a plethora of hot European destinations to consider visiting this year. Best of all, because they haven’t quite established themselves on the tourist map, travelers can enjoy bargain prices and authentic culinary experiences without the crowds.
Since establishing its independence, the country of Montenegro has become a hub for intrepid travelers. While the tourism industry there is still in its infancy, visitors are free to roam the varied terrain -- from beaches and pristine forests to mountains and glacial lakes -- perfect for those on a budget with a thirst for adventure.
Latvia’s vibrant capital city, Riga, is now a UNESCO World Heritage site offering jaw-dropping architecture and bustling markets with bargain souvenirs. With cheap flights from London, it’s easy to zip over and soak up the scenery before the hoards arrive.
Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital city, is also well worth a visit while in Eastern Europe. This young, vibrant and affordable city is a hub for arts and culture, with a whopping 14 annual international festivals and 10,000 cultural events to choose from.
If looking for some down time after a frenetic city experience, head to Croatia or Bulgaria for a peaceful beach retreat. The islands that dot the Adriatic coast of Croatia offer miles of pristine beaches, delicious seafood and, as Croatia is not yet in the European Union, super-affordable prices. A Bulgarian vacation is also a great option for the budget traveler; beach resorts on the Black Sea offer fantastic deals throughout the sunny summer months.
With the dollar trading so strongly against the euro, now is the perfect time to hop on a plane and experience some of Europe’s best hidden gems.