1. Budapest

This stunning city is home to some of the worlds most amazing feats of architecture as well as the Budapest Baths. It’s a must see city so put it on the Bucket List. To make things even better it’s also really cheap. You can sit by the Danube and drink a pint of Dreher for the equivalence of 2 or 3 quid. Tourist attractions are also reasonable enough and there’s plenty to do that’s free, such as climbing Buda castle. You can get a day pass which includes a hop on/hop off bus, a boat down the Danube and even some Goulash and pints for around 9,000 forints which is roughly €25.


Becoming an increasingly popular destination among Europeans, Thailand is one of Asia’s most incredible countries. The flights may be long and considerably expensive but the cost of accommodation, food and drink more than make up for that. It’s also got some of the best tropical beaches going and some amazing ruins and palaces for the adventurers among us. So you can either chill by the beach with a cocktail or immerse yourself into Asia’s ancient past. Either way you won’t break the bank.


Poland might not be your typical holiday destination but it’s marvellous cities which are steeped in history make it an attractive destination. Accommodation, food and drink are also super cheap compared to more popular European countries. You can get a beer for 5 zlotys which is the equivalence of €1 and coffee is even cheaper. There’s also a number of cities to choose from so you could spend 7-10 days there moving between them rather than spending big sums interrailing. Warsaw ,the capital, is perfect for history lovers with plenty of Gothic churches and palaces to explore. Krakow also has plenty to offer with the Rynek underground museum being just one example. If you’re tired after a long day of new discoveries you could chill in the market square with a coffee or beer in one of the many outdoor cafes. Poznan is also a unique city that many Irish football fans will be familiar with.

4. Berlin

It is perhaps unusual to see a western European capital here but Berlin is actually a great place to go if you’re travelling on a budget. There’s a number of cheap and comfy hostels to choose from . On my visit there we stayed in Wombats, which is an Aussie owned chain. There’s even a rooftop bar where you can get a pint of Berliner for about €3. There’s a pretty wide variety of cuisine available too and the high end restaurants over there are about the same price as a meal in a pretty standard restaurant here. So why not treat yourself to a fancy meal that doesn’t cost the earth? The prices of museums can vary in terms of value so i’d recommend sticking mainly to the free stuff. The Berlin Wall, the Holocaust Memorial and Brandenburg gate are all must sees and don’t cost a penny. Getting around is also relatively easy and cheap, even taxis, which is great if you’re unsure on what bus/train will take you to your destination.

5. Laos

Back with south-east Asia now with Laos. Laos is truly a stunning country and also not one that is hugely touristy. Once you get there accommodation and food are cheap with places to stay for under €20 a night. There’s not much else you need to spend money on because the countries nature is a sight to behold. You can venture the many river caves across the region or scale mountains and look out over the glorious countryside. And it’s all free! The people there are renowned for their generosity and so you can also immerse yourself in the culture and meet new friends.

6. Brazil

Next we go to South America and to the carnival capital of the world with Brazil. They might be most famous for producing the likes of Pele and Ronaldo but it’s also a fantastic and comparatively inexpensive place to visit. You can get accommodation for as little as €13 a night and food is also cheap enough. You can try dishes such as Moqueca, which is a fish stew or sample some cheesy bread balls called Pao de queijo. The night life of Brazil is also pretty wild. You can go for pre drinks in one of the Botecos and then experience one of one of the wide range of nightclubs which open till the early hours.

7. Croatia

Next up we have beautiful Croatia. Croatia has gained in popularity due to Game of Thrones being filmed in Dubrovnik but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways of making it a cheap holiday. There’s a variety of cuisine such as seafood, goulash and gnocchi pasta, all of which are relatively cheap. Croatia is also home to great wine so if you’re a vino lover than i’d start booking the flights now. Croatia’s coast is stunningly beautiful with its blue seas and sandy beaches. The city of Dubrovnik is steeped in history and even if you aren’t a GOT fan it’s most certainly worth a visit.

8. Cambodia

We travel eastwards again and this time it’s Cambodia. Cambodia is yet another example of how beautiful Asia can be. Like the other countries, Cambodia is also really cheap. You can get B&B accommodation for as little as €25 euro a night in traditional Kymer houses. In terms of tourist attractions you can get a three day pass for just over €50 which grants you access to amazing historical places such as the Angkor Wat temple. Like pretty much every country on this list, food is really cheap and you get your fix of noodles etc. for very little. Maybe we’re just so accustomed to the high prices here in Dublin that everywhere else seems so cheap…….

9. Belgium

The Belgian city Bruges is the setting for possibly the greatest Irish film of all time. Belgium isn’t actually considerably cheaper in terms of cost of living than Ireland but it can make for an inexpensive holiday. Food and drink is cheap so you can just gorge on frites and Belgian beer all day. Beers cost about €3 on average and that really puts those €6.00 pints in temple bar to shame. You can take explore the many medieval towns or take river boat down the Rhine and take it all in.

10. Mexico

It’s true that flights are not cheap or particularly pleasant but the prices there more than make up for that. The cost of living in Mexico is over 50 % cheaper than Ireland (Numbeo). Taco’s and Fajitas are delicious and cheap and so is beer. Do we really need to say anything else? If that doesn’t cut it for you then you can visit Chichen Itza or some of the ancient Aztec ruins. You can even chill out on one of the Gulf of Mexico beaches after a long day of being a tourist.