Paris, London and Rome are some of the most popular cities visited in Europe, but also happen to be the priciest. There is no need for Nigerians to skip out on a European holiday though. There are alternative cities that present their own signature style of uniqueness without costing a fortune.
The currency used in Europe is the Euro (EUR). As of 22nd May 2014 the exchange rate is 1 EUR = 221.272 NGN
Here is a brief rundown on the 15 cheapest European cities to visit and consider for your next holiday from Nigeria. We measured each by cheap airfares from Lagos and comparison over 50 other European cities, as well as captivating attractions that make these cities tops.
1. Athens, Greece
While whispering its history and beckoning tourists to find its secrets, the city of Zeus, foundation of democracy and the Olympics began their saga in Athens. The realm of ancient monuments packs a punch with centuries of civilizations lying beneath your feet. Ancient and modern, Athens is full of many surprises. Nigerians visiting Athens will find that overall value in savings is everywhere including entertainment, food and hotels.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Athens (return ticket): Starts from 182,319 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
2. Berlin, Germany
At one time, Berlin was a tale of two cities that separated the East from the West with a wall. The wall came tumbling down, and both sides merged to become Germany’s capital. The city’s museums and nightlife are among Europe’s best and a riverboat ride on the Spree River lets you see the city from a different perspective. Although most of Germany is pricy, you will be pleased to know that Berlin cuts the cost in half when compared to other German cities. Most museums and galleries in Berlin offer extended hours and free admission every Thursday.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Berlin (return ticket): Starts from 116,897 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
3. Bologna, Italy
Sometimes called ‘La Rossa’ (the red city), Bologna is known by this name only because its structures are made of red bricks and roof tiles. The UNESCO Cultural Organization designated Bologna as first Italian city to be the “City of Music” in 2006. An archaeology museum houses ancient antiquities from not only from Bologna but Rome and Greece too. You will appreciate the homemade ‘cheap eats’ in the best Italian cuisine restaurants that are readily available in Bologna along the outskirts of the main square.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Bologna (return ticket): Starts from 131,795 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
4. Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest was named in 2013 as “Europe’s cheapest city”. The Museum of Peasant Life tells the story of how many of the locals in rural Romania proudly live with little modern conveniences. The National Art Museum contains Romanian and European art dating from the 15th to the 20th century. The distance may be further away from Nigeria and flight slightly more expensive, but Bucharest give so much more in savings. An example of the type of the huge savings found are 5-star accommodations are priced at what a 2-star would be elsewhere.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Bucharest (return ticket): Starts from 181,452 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
5. Budapest, Hungary
Visit the land of castles, cathedrals and thermal health spas. Budapest straddles the ‘blue’ Danube River. It grew from the previously separate towns of Buda, Pest and Obuda into a thriving and cosmopolitan metropolis. Surrounded by medieval and Roman ruins, the Chain Bridge is the most symbolic landmark in the city. You certainly won’t go hungry or break the bank in Budapest as some of the best in dining is super cheap, as well as affordable lodging found throughout the city.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Budapest (return ticket): Starts from 174,315 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
6. Krakow, Poland
Krakow draws many Europeans for weekend breaks because of its great pricing. It was the backdrop for the film “Schindler’s List”. The beautiful old capital of Poland is proud of its local culture pertaining to the arts. Krakow lives up to its image as being a ‘new’ bohemia centre of Europe. The vibrancy in the city, its affordable lodging, and cheap restaurants are what makes Krakow attractive to so many Nigerians.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Krakow (return ticket): Starts from 176,587 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
7. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is a compact city once under the rule of the Moors. Its neighbourhoods rise over a series of seven hills overlooking the Tagus River and the Atlantic Ocean. Listen to music that is uniquely Portuguese known as ‘Fado’. Hand painted tiles adorns churches and homes for centuries and purchasing a hand painted tile is a memory maker. You will be pleased to know that the closest European city to home offers many budget-friendly hotels and inexpensive city transportation.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Lisbon (return ticket): Starts from 140,083 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
8. Naples, Italy
Naples is the birthplace of the pizza and is set along the foothills of the semi-active Mt. Vesuvius. A must-see in Naples is Pompeii. Also known as the ‘lost city’, it was destroyed by a massive volcano. Much of the structures have been restored to what they were prior to Vesuvius wrath of destruction. Back in Naples, the streets are filled with cheap eats and plenty of people watching.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Naples (return ticket): Starts from 200,401 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
9. Prague, Czech Republic
Listed in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Register, Prague is divided into five areas along the banks of Vltava River. The Charles Bridge and the Prague Astronomical Clock are the city’s landmarks. Within its Jewish Quarter, the Pinkas Synagogue relays a moving reminder of the not-so-distant past. Even though it is a trendy city, Prague is still bargain destination. Nigerians who wish to save even more should avoid city centre hotels.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Prague (return ticket): Starts from 179,090 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
10. Riga, Latvia
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, travellers to Riga will instantly admire the art nouveau buildings that are prominent. Its entire 800 year old history is reflected throughout the city. Riga is split into the old and the new by a river. It is the European Capital of Culture for 2014 with many special events taking place throughout the year. Riga remains affordable as it still remain undiscovered by many. For the time being, you will find accommodations and eating out very affordable.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Riga (return ticket): Starts from 239,280 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
11. Sofia, Bulgaria
Sophia, Bulgaria’s charms are subtle, and its standout is Mount Vitosha. This national park offers the prospect of a skiing adventure. The city boasts many churches including the UNESCO World Heritage Boyana Church and a 15th century Ottoman Empire mosque that now serves as The National Archaeological Museum, amongst many others. You can rejoice with an ultra affordable city. Surveyed by ‘Prices and Earnings’, their report ranked the hotels and eateries as the cheapest amongst 72 other cities.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Sofia (return ticket): Starts from 186,804 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
12. Tallinn, Estonia
The medieval spirit of Estonia is located in its ancient walled city of Tallinn. Founded in 1154, it has remained largely unchanged. Amongst cobblestone streets, Toompea Castle, The Holy Ghost Church and the Palace Square and other well-preserved structures and steeples rise high above the red-tiled roofs and add to its character. You should be aware that Eastern Europe is known for bargains from hotels to souvenirs and Tallinn is stuffed with free Wi-Fi hotspots and cheap eats even in its city centre.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Tallinn (return ticket): Starts from 186,067 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
13. Valencia, Spain
Spain’s third largest city, Valencia, is known for its celebrated oranges and renowned paella. Its city centre contains an entire submerged Roman city, cathedrals and plazas. The City of Arts and Sciences professes that Valencia can comfortably maintain its historical past amongst the demands of modern day society. Valencia has an abundance of ultra modern hotels that are extremely inexpensive. Look towards those closer to the City of Arts and Sciences.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Valencia (return ticket): Starts from 121,187 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
14. Valletta, Malta
The capital Valletta was built under the Order of St. John’s knights. The magnificent 16th Century ‘Fortress City’ has officially been named as 2018 European Capital of Culture. Wander down the streets, and step inside impressive dome churches or the bastions that surround the city, including Fort St Elmo and Fort St Angelo. As a seaside city, there are plenty of inexpensive self catering homes and flats that will appeal to Nigerians.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Valletta (return ticket): Starts from 153,785 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
15. Zagreb, Croatia
Zagreb has a rich historical past which dates to the time of the Romans. The Austrian-Hungarian architecture contains a combination of eastern and western European influences. The city’s landmark is the twin spires towering above the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Zagreb is yet another East European city that offers so much in the way of budget friendly hotels, restaurants and entertainment that you can easily get use to.
• Flight Fare from Lagos to Zagreb (return ticket): Starts from 176,587 NGN (as at 22nd May 2014)
Travelling creates an instantaneous connection to become attuned with cultural differences. The 15 cheapest European cities to visit promises a brilliant holiday away for Nigerians and their families. Which one will you choose?