So, get ready for take off, these vacations have your name written all over it…
Do it: Budapest, a city so grand, yet it won’t cost you a dime.Hiking up Gellért Hill, exploring the lively Gozsdu Courtyard, and going for a pretty lil’ picnic on Marget islands (where you can lap up fountains, public baths and monuments) are free of charge. Win-win.
Cheap eats: Hungary may sound like hungry, but you won’t be left feeling famished when you visit its capital. This city’s streets are lined with small dives offering Daily ‘Napi’ Menus consisting of three course meals at insanely good prices. Try Kádár Étkezdébe – it’s popular for a reason.
Party on: Akvárium Klub will not disappoint those in search of a party. Nestled in the heart of Budapest and surrounded by the luscious Erzsébet Square, it’s a happenin’ spot, to say the least.
Sleep easy: At around 10 euros per person (or, if you’re feeling flush, splash out on a private en suite) the Corvin Point Hostel is a cheap and cheerful spot, making it the ideal place to make some vacation friends.
Do it: For a piece of history (literally) and some seriously cool graffiti, check out what’s left of the Berlin Wall. Or, to get in with the locals and see the city through a Berliner’s eyes, Alternative Berlin runs free tours every day, stopping off at artists’ squats, urban farms and daytime raves. You’re so underground right now.
Cheap eats: Curry 36 is the go-to place for cheap Currywurst – that’s a German dish featuring fried pork sausage, for those of you who may not know.
Party on: Put on your party pants and prepare to keep them on for 48 hours straight, because when it comes to nightlife, Berlin is not one to do things by halves. For body-moving beats and wild cocktails, Fire & Ice is the venue for you.
Sleep easy: Berlin has absolutely no shortage of cheap B&Bs and hostels. Case in point: City Stop Berlin, a service apartment costing from $45 a night. Score.
Do it: Cool off with the locals at Barton Spring Pools. Or, if you’re feeling supremely outdoorsy (it’s summer, why wouldn’t you?) sashay on down to Lady Bird Lake and join paddle boarders, runners, bikers, hikers and the like.
Cheap eats: Austin food carts are a must. Well, when in Rome (or Austin, rather). Our favourites are Micklethewait Craft Meats for classic Austin BBQ and Chi’lantro for Asian Fusion – also home of the original Kimchi Fries. Fact.
Party on: Austin is bustling with live music, and the Continental Club offers rockin’ shows at rockin’ prices. ‘The granddaddy of all local music venues”, this place has been keeping its game tight since the ‘50s.
Sleep easy: There are plenty of cute B&Bs, but if you want to save some dollar, head to Sleep Inn & Suites – it’s well placed, and well priced.
Do it: Bask in the sun on Barceloneta Beach, part with minimal cash at El Raval’s vintage clothing stores, gawp at the city’s incredible architecture and street art, gaze at Font Màgica, lap up free films at Cinema Lliure, or head to Picasso Museum (it’s free entry from 3pm every Sunday). Whatever you want, really.
Cheap eats: It’s Barcelona. So, it’s all about tapas. For a free bite, head to the L'Eixample neighborhood and swing by Ambiente del Sur, a small, friendly bar that offers some great small plates. If it is choice you’re after, browse the Mercat de la Boqueria for its famous indoor food market hall. Cow tongues, anyone?
Party on: New York may never sleep, but Barcelona is quite the insomniac, too. The list of cool bars and clubs is endless but, for a touch of vintage glamour, opt for Old Fashioned. With its insane range of cocktails and smooth jazz, this bar will take you back to the roaring ‘20s. Garters and waistcoats at the ready…
Sleep easy: Praktik Garden is central, great value for money and full of young people. For a revitalizing afternoon snooze, Gardens of the University of Barcelona are a brilliant place to catch some Zs.
Do it: Join the Saturday Art Crawl and gain free entry to art gallery openings and receptions throughout downtown. You can also enjoy theatre under the stars at The Nashville Shakespeare Festival in Centennial Park (it’s free, but donations are suggested). Or, get your souvenirs at one of the top 10 flea markets in the country, the Tennessee State Fairgrounds Flea Market. So. Many. Options.
Cheap eats: Hop on the Music City Circuit, a free bus service that takes you downtown to key destinations including Farmers’ Market, Gulch bars and restaurants. Otherwise, grab a roast beef sandwich from $4 at Arnold’s Country Kitchen, devour the best tacos in town at only $3 a pop at Mas Tacos Por Favor, or visit Martin’s Barbecue for brisket tacos from $2.50 and pulled pork sandwiches from $4. It’s every carnivore’s dream.
Party on: If music is your thing, then you’re in the right place; Honky Tonks line both sides of Lower Broad and pump live music in the streets every day, whereas Musician’s Corner runs free weekly lawn parties from 3pm to 6pm. Tin Roof is THE go-to destination for buzzy vibes, great live bands and a good stiff drink.
Sleep easy: AirBnB is your best bet here – there are so many to choose from, meaning you can stay in awesome ones for less than $100 a night. We like the cosy and comfy Jim’s Charming Room – located in the hipster enclave of East Nashville, it costs just $78 per night.