Cheapest Places To Travel In December In Europe

Discover the Most Affordable Places to Travel in Europe in December Prague, Czech Republic Immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of Prague, the captivating capital

Peter Lonsdale

Cheapest Destinations for December Travel in Europe

Table of Contents

Discover the Most Affordable Places to Travel in Europe in December

Prague, Czech Republic

Immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of Prague, the captivating capital of the Czech Republic. During the winter season, Prague transforms into a winter wonderland, with its charming Christmas markets offering a wide array of traditional Czech delicacies, beverages, and handmade crafts. The historical allure of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge is enhanced by the snowy landscape. Despite its popularity, Prague remains a budget-friendly destination for travelers seeking an enchanting winter getaway.

Budapest, Hungary

Indulge in the grandeur of Budapest, the capital of Hungary, which is an ideal budget-friendly destination for December travel. Marvel at the magnificent Hungarian Parliament Building and the historic Buda Castle, showcasing impressive architectural wonders. Make sure to rejuvenate yourself in one of Budapest’s famous thermal baths, providing a soothing experience in the colder months. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the vibrant Christmas markets, sample delectable Hungarian cuisine, and discover unique souvenirs as you immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere.

Krakow, Poland

Experience the rich history and vibrant cultural scene of Krakow, an enchanting city situated in southern Poland. During December, the city’s main square, Rynek Glowny, transforms into a winter wonderland, bustling with a vibrant Christmas market offering a delightful variety of traditional Polish gastronomy. Stroll through the picturesque streets of the Old Town, visit the historic Wawel Castle, and warm yourself up with a piping hot bowl of hearty Polish soup. Krakow is a perfect choice for budget-conscious travelers seeking a rewarding winter getaway.

Porto, Portugal

Immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere of Porto, a captivating city nestled in northwest Portugal, renowned for its exquisite port wine. In December, the city adorns itself with festive decorations, providing the perfect backdrop to experience a traditional Portuguese Christmas at various holiday events and markets. Take a leisurely stroll along the stunning Douro River, explore the narrow alleys of the Ribeira neighborhood, and savor the renowned Portuguese cuisine at local taverns, all while staying within your travel budget.

Sofia, Bulgaria

If you’re seeking an affordable city break in December, look no further than Sofia, the vibrant capital of Bulgaria. This cosmopolitan city offers a blend of historical landmarks, including the awe-inspiring Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, as well as modern attractions. Get into the festive spirit by exploring Sofia’s Christmas markets, indulging in delectable local cuisine, and experiencing the renowned Bulgarian hospitality. With its budget-friendly accommodations and dining options, Sofia is an excellent choice for travelers seeking an affordable yet memorable December getaway.

Best time to visit each destination

The Perfect Time to Explore Each Destination

Discover the Magic of Prague:

Planning a trip to Prague? Look no further than December for an unforgettable experience. The city comes alive during the Christmas season, adorned with mesmerizing decorations and hosting enchanting Christmas markets. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere, indulging in traditional Czech crafts, delectable street food, and captivating live music performances.

Enthralling Budapest in December:

December is the perfect time to immerse yourself in the fairy tale-like ambiance of Budapest. The city glows with breathtaking Christmas decorations, creating a magical atmosphere. Don’t miss the opportunity to soak in Budapest’s renowned thermal baths. Picture yourself surrounded by the winter scenery as you luxuriate in the warm waters.

Krakow’s Winter Wonderland:

For an enchanting winter experience, set your sights on Krakow in December. The city’s Christmas markets beckon with a charming atmosphere, offering a plethora of handicrafts, festive treats, and mulled wine. Journey through the historic Old Town, transformed into a winter wonderland, and be captivated by Krakow’s incredible Christmas traditions.

Festive Delights in Porto:

Porto in December is a feast for the senses. Immerse yourself in the city’s festive atmosphere, as it glows with mesmerizing Christmas lights. Explore the vibrant Ribeira District and delight in the world-famous port wines that Porto has to offer. As you wander the streets, you’ll encounter a multitude of holiday events and concerts to elevate your experience.

Discover the Charm of Sofia:

If you’re on the lookout for an affordable winter escape, Sofia in December is a hidden gem. Explore the city’s charming winter landscapes without burning a hole in your pocket, as prices tend to be more budget-friendly during this period. Be captivated by the stunning Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and uncover the ancient Serdika Roman ruins for a truly unforgettable adventure.

Attractions and Activities in Each Destination

Exploring Top Sights and Experiences in Europe’s Enchanting Destinations

Prague: Unveiling the Magic of the Medieval Era

Prague, the charming capital of the Czech Republic, offers a plethora of attractions and activities that transport visitors back in time. One of the must-visit destinations is the Prague Castle, a captivating complex located on a hilltop, providing breathtaking panoramic views of the city and housing the majestic St. Vitus Cathedral. Take a leisurely stroll across the iconic Charles Bridge and admire its intricate stone statues while taking in the picturesque surroundings. Immerse yourself in the history and vibrant atmosphere of the Old Town Square, where the stunning Astronomical Clock never fails to impress.

Budapest: A Fusion of Historical Richness and Beauty

Situated along the banks of the Danube River, Budapest, the captivating capital of Hungary, seamlessly combines a rich historical heritage with stunning architectural wonders. Begin your exploration by visiting the impressive Buda Castle, a grand structure dating back to the 13th century, showcasing a harmonious blend of Gothic and Renaissance elements. From there, make your way to the Fisherman’s Bastion and treat yourself to panoramic vistas of the city’s splendor. For a moment of relaxation and rejuvenation, indulge in the world-renowned Széchenyi Thermal Bath, a serene oasis adorned with exquisite Art Nouveau design, where you can unwind in a variety of thermal pools.

Krakow: Uncovering the Jewel of History

Step into the past in Krakow, Poland’s cultural gem, where history comes alive at every corner. Explore the awe-inspiring Wawel Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, housing centuries of Polish royal history, extraordinary art collections, and offering breathtaking views overlooking the Vistula River. Meander through the bustling streets of Krakow’s Old Town, and make sure to visit the magnificent St. Mary’s Basilica, renowned for its intricate wooden altarpiece. For a somber yet crucial experience, pay homage to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, a poignant tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.

Porto: Discovering the Charms of Portugal

Nestled alongside the Douro River in Portugal, Porto is a city that effortlessly captivates visitors with its vibrant culture and captivating landscapes. Immerse yourself in the history of the Ribeira district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where narrow streets are lined with colorful buildings and picturesque squares. Admire the architectural masterpiece that is the Dom Luís I Bridge, connecting Porto with Vila Nova de Gaia and offering stunning vistas of the enchanting surroundings. Don’t miss the chance to enter the enchanting world of literature at Livraria Lello, a breathtaking bookstore rumored to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

Sofia: A Hidden Gem in the Balkans

Discover the wonders of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, where ancient history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking nature converge. Marvel at the opulence of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals globally, adorned with intricate frescoes and golden domes. Embark on an adventure to Vitosha Mountain, located just outside the city, and immerse yourself in its breathtaking landscapes, whether you choose to hike, ski, or simply bask in the serenity of nature. Lastly, visit the Boyana Church, a UNESCO site renowned for its extraordinary medieval frescoes, offering a glimpse into Bulgaria’s rich artistic heritage.

Transportation and Accommodation options

Looking for Affordable December Travel Destinations in Europe?

Prague: Efficient Public Transportation and Value-for-Money Accommodations

Prague, the Czech Republic’s capital city, offers an enchanting December experience. To make the most of your budget, take advantage of the city’s well-organized public transportation system. The metro, trams, and buses conveniently connect all the major attractions and neighborhoods, ensuring a cost-effective way to explore this charming destination.

When it comes to finding a place to stay, Prague provides a plethora of pocket-friendly options. Look for budget hotels or hostels that offer comfortable accommodations without burning a hole in your pocket. These establishments often provide shared amenities, allowing you to save money without compromising on comfort during your visit.

Budapest: Easy Navigation with an Extensive Metro and Tram System

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is another excellent choice for December travel on a budget. The city boasts an extensive network of metro and tram lines that cover all corners, making it a breeze to navigate and explore the diverse range of attractions.

When it comes to finding affordable accommodations, Budapest offers a wide selection. Look for reasonably priced hotels or guesthouses that provide a comfortable stay. With a bit of research, you can find value-for-money accommodations that will help stretch your budget while still ensuring a pleasant experience.

Krakow: Budget-Friendly Transportation Options and Cozy Accommodations

Krakow, nestled in Poland, is a city brimming with history and charm, ideal for a December adventure. To get around, take advantage of the extensive tram and bus network, providing not only convenience but also cost-effective transportation options to explore the city and its many offerings.

When it comes to finding a place to rest your head, Krakow offers budget-friendly accommodations catering to different preferences. Consider staying in budget hotels or guesthouses, providing affordable rates alongside well-appointed amenities. This way, you can enjoy your stay in Krakow without putting too much strain on your wallet.

Porto: Affordable Transportation Choices and Comfortable Stays

Situated in Portugal, Porto is renowned for its stunning architecture and lively atmosphere. To conveniently explore the city, utilize the reliable and budget-friendly metro and bus services, ensuring seamless transportation to your desired destinations.

When it comes to accommodations in Porto, there are several value-for-money options available. Look for budget hotels or guesthouses that offer comfortable rooms and convenient locations. By choosing affordable accommodations, you can make the most of your Porto experience without spending excessively on accommodation.

Sofia: Well-Connected Transportation and Cost-Friendly Stays

Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, presents itself as a hidden gem with plenty to offer travelers in December. To fully discover Sofia’s unique attractions, make use of the city’s highly efficient metro and bus network, providing affordable options for traveling around the city.

For budget-friendly lodging in Sofia, opt for affordable hotels or hostels. These options offer comfortable stays at reasonable prices, allowing you to stretch your budget further and experience the best of Sofia without compromising on quality or breaking the bank.

Traditional dishes to try in each destination

Discover the Authentic Flavors of Each Destination

Prague: Indulge in Trdelník and Svíčková

Uncover the culinary delights of Prague by treating yourself to two traditional dishes that are sure to satisfy your palate. Start your culinary journey with Trdelník, a delectable pastry also known as a chimney cake. This irresistible sweet treat is crafted from grilled dough coated in a tantalizing blend of sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. It’s a delight that you simply cannot resist. Another gastronomic gem in Prague is Svíčková, a succulent marinated beef dish bathed in a luscious creamy sauce. The tender meat and rich flavors will leave you craving for more.

Budapest: Sample Goulash Soup and Kürtőskalács

Embark on a gastronomic adventure in Budapest where you can savor the essence of Hungarian cuisine. Begin with a comforting bowl of Goulash Soup, a hearty creation prepared with a medley of meat, vegetables, and aromatic spices. It’s the perfect dish to warm your soul, especially during the chilly months. For a delightful dessert, don’t miss the opportunity to try Kürtőskalács, a heavenly pastry commonly referred to as a chimney cake. This scrumptious confection is made by wrapping dough around a cone-shaped baking tool, grilling it to perfection, and adorning it with an assortment of delectable toppings. The contrasting textures of the crispy exterior and soft, doughy interior will leave you enchanted.

Krakow: Delight in Pierogi and Oscypek

A culinary exploration of Krakow is incomplete without indulging in their signature dishes. Treat yourself to the mouthwatering delight of Pierogi, delightful Polish dumplings that come stuffed with an array of savory or sweet fillings such as meat, cheese, or fruits. These little pockets of joy are typically boiled and served with a generous dollop of sour cream or melted butter. Additionally, don’t miss the opportunity to savor Oscypek, a unique smoked cheese made from salted sheep’s milk. Its distinct flavor and velvety texture make it a true delicacy of the region.

Porto: Experience Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá and Francesinha

Immerse yourself in the gastronomic wonders of Porto, where you can savor a delightful culinary experience. One dish that should not be missed is Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, a traditional Portuguese masterpiece made with salted codfish. This flavorful creation combines flaky codfish with onions, potatoes, and olives, all smothered in a divine garlic and olive oil sauce. If you’re looking for a heartier option, indulge in a Francesinha, a renowned Portuguese sandwich that layers ham, sausage, beef, and cheese, all crowned with a rich tomato and beer sauce. It’s a true delight for meat lovers.

Sofia: Indulge in Banitsa and Shopska Salad

Delve into the culinary treasures of Sofia by treating yourself to two cherished Bulgarian dishes. Sink your teeth into the heavenly flavors of Banitsa, a traditional cheese-filled pastry crafted with layers of delicate filo dough and feta cheese. This savory delicacy is often enjoyed for breakfast or as a delightful snack throughout the day. Another beloved dish is Shopska Salad, a refreshing medley of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers, and grated white cheese. It serves as a perfect accompaniment to any main course or a light meal on its own.

Make sure to relish these traditional dishes when exploring these destinations. Each mouthwatering creation epitomizes the unique flavors and culinary heritage of its respective region. Bon appétit!]

Frequently Asked Questions about Traveling in Europe in December

Explore Europe in December: Answers to Common Travel Questions

Q1: How much does accommodation in Prague cost during December?

When visiting Prague in December, the cost of accommodation may differ based on your preferences. Typically, hotel prices range between $50 and $150 per night, with more budget-friendly options available through Airbnb rentals or hostels that start from $20 per night. To secure the best deals and availability, it is advisable to book in advance.

Q2: Are the Christmas markets in Budapest crowded?

Absolutely! The Christmas markets in Budapest tend to be bustling and busy, especially during weekends and evenings. These markets attract locals and tourists from around the world, creating a lively and festive atmosphere. For a less crowded experience, consider visiting the markets on weekdays or during the earlier hours of the day.

Q3: How can I travel from Krakow to Auschwitz?

To reach Auschwitz from Krakow, you have a couple of options. You can take a guided tour offered by many tour operators in Krakow, which includes transportation and a knowledgeable guide. Alternatively, if you prefer independent travel, you can take a train or a bus from Krakow to Oswiecim, the nearest town to Auschwitz. From there, you can either walk or take a short taxi ride to the memorial site.

Q4: What is the weather like in Porto during December?

In December, Porto experiences cool and temperate weather. The average temperature falls between 8 and 14 degrees Celsius (46 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit). It is advisable to pack warm clothing and layers, especially for the chilly evenings. Additionally, don’t forget to bring an umbrella or a raincoat as December in Porto tends to be quite rainy.

Q5: Where can I find affordable dining options in Sofia?

Sofia offers a variety of wallet-friendly dining options. Consider visiting traditional Bulgarian restaurants, known as “mehanas,” where you can savor hearty Balkan cuisine at reasonable prices. Street food stalls are also an excellent choice, serving delicious local specialties that won’t break the bank. Additionally, many cafes and bistros provide affordable lunch menus with daily specials.

Q6: Is the Euro accepted in Prague?

No, the official currency in Prague is the Czech koruna (CZK). While some tourist places may accept Euros, it is recommended to have local currency for most transactions. Money exchange offices are conveniently located throughout the city, and ATMs are readily available for withdrawing Czech koruna.

Q7: What vegetarian-friendly dishes can I find in Krakow?

Vegetarian-friendly options abound in Krakow. Sample pierogi filled with spinach and cheese, or try vegetarian goulash, grilled seasonal vegetables, and the traditional Polish beetroot soup known as borscht. Numerous restaurants and cafes in Krakow have specialized menus catering specifically to vegetarians and vegans.

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