Everyone deserves a break. Life is too short, and the working day is too long. Frugal living can help you to save up for the trip that you and your loved ones have always dreamed of.
There are millions of places in the world to travel to and hundreds of European cities that can inspire you and the little ones among you. It could be Paris, Berlin or Prague, or lesser-known cities like Catania or Belgrade.
You should go wherever tickles your fancy. Here are just a few cities that are well worth a visit this summer.
Rome is the capital of Italy and one of the most influential cities in European history, with at least 3,000 years of recorded civilisation behind its famous ruins. Now the city is a great mix of modern luxury and ancient splendour—the ideal place to educate and inspire yourself and your loved ones before unwinding with a nice glass of red.
Make no mistake about it—there’s plenty to see and do in Rome. The eternal city would take more than a lifetime to explore. The main tourist sites are mostly concentrated in particular areas, so it’s fairly easy to walk around without getting too tired, though the streets get very crowded—and the weather gets hot—in the summer.
Be sure not to miss out on the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine, all of which are within close proximity of each other. Visit the Vatican to see the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica and marvel at the mystery of the institution.
Rome has always been a place of sports and competition ever since the days of chariots and gladiators. Nowadays, football and rugby are popular, and tennis is the favourite sport of the city. Rome is home to the Italian Open tennis series, where Rafael Nadal is expected to become King of the Clay, despite failing to pick up a trophy so far this year.
When you’re done with all of that, Rome is known for its excellent cafe culture and fresh food. Try the Italian classics like pizza and pasta, followed by sweet gelato for dessert.
Rome is one of the most ancient and enchanting cities in Europe
Next up is the Hungarian capital of Budapest. The area is actually made up of two cities, Buda and Pest, which sit on opposite sides of the Danube River. Each has its own unique vibe, with Pest quieter and greener and Buda being home to many of the main tourist attractions, as well as the modern city amenities.
There are plenty of tourist attractions to keep you and your loved ones happy, from St. Stephen’s Basilica to the Royal Palace and the Museum of Terror—an eerie place where the secret police used to be based (probably not suitable for younger people). If you stay for a few days, you can take a boat trip up the Danube, which allows you to take in the main sites from a completely different angle, and you can also head to nearby towns and villages to experience different sides of Hungarian life.
There’s plenty of green space in Budapest to unwind in after a busy day of sightseeing, most notably Margaret Island in the middle of the Danube, where locals exercise and picnic.
The perfect end to the day is to soak in one of the many spas and bathhouses, each fed by the natural hot springs that run through the city. You can find both Roman and Turkish styles, and you don’t have to stick to the touristy (yet still impressive) Szechenyi Bath. Find others near your hotel where locals go and you can enjoy a couple of hours of cleansing for just a few quid.
The final selection on today’s (very) incomplete list is Edinburgh. If you’re from Britain, then this means you don’t have to travel too far, which is ideal if you are on a budget and want to stay frugal or just want to see more of the UK.
Edinburgh is a fascinating city with a rich history; it combines the Medieval Old Town with the 18th – 19th century Georgian New Town, which together are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Attractions include the castle, which dominates the skyline from its position on Castle Rock, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the National Museum of Scotland and the many national art galleries.
If you are up for the trek, walk up Arthur’s Seat for sublime views across the city and the surrounding countryside. You can also use Edinburgh as a base for exploring the more remote areas of Scotland.
Arthur’s Seat provides the ideal viewing platform for looking out over Edinburgh.