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ancy007 Jul 4th, 2013 12:28 AM

travelling on buget-Barcelona, Florence, Berlin or Amsterdam?
Hi, we are planing our next trip and we can't decide which city to choose.
On the top of our list are: Barcelona, Florence, Berlin and Amsterdam. We would like to travel on buget and are wondering which of these cities is the cheapest, but still has a lot to offer(we love art and history museums).
It would help us a lot if you share some of your experiences.

stevewith Jul 4th, 2013 01:13 AM

In my experience -- honestly, truthfully -- you can make anything work inside a budget if you do enough research, and you don't need to compromise on anything in terms of cleanliness, safety and charm of where you stay (and you can have good location), you can still taste the best of the food and drink treats on a budget and get into the sights of most importance to you. You don't have to stay in hostels, you don't have to subsist on microwaved pizza, you don't have skip entry to the places you want to see.

It is penny-wise and pound foolish to spend a lot of money and time getting to Europe and then not do what you truly want to do. So go with that, and then the details will fall into place.

There is an ENORMOUS difference in the styles of art and moments of history in the place you have mentioned. All of them are fabulous destinations for art and history lovers, and if you are equally interested in them all, I can understand that, because I am too. But if there is one that is top of the pops for you right now in terms of both your interests -- the Renaissance, or the "new" Rijksmuseum, or the independent cosmpolitan art and history of Barcelona/Catalonia, or the wealth of art and history that fills Berlin, then go to wherever is calling you.

There are discount museum and transportation cards for tourists, there are loads of free sites. there are cheap places to graze and wonderful picnic foods, and sweet b&bs and apartments all pretty much in the same price range no matter which city you choose.

But you've got to know where to look. People here and on other message boards can help you find that out, although I do think that Lonely Planet and Frommer's have more cost conscious travelers posting there, and more posters interested in traveling for history and art rather than shopping, eating and wandering aimlessly.

sparkchaser Jul 4th, 2013 02:34 AM

Steve made several great points but it's hard to get more specific without knowing:

1. How many people are in "we".

2. What your actual budget is.

3. Where you are traveling from.

4. What you do/don't want to do in the name of "keeping it under budget". For example, I refuse to stay in hostels.

adrienne Jul 4th, 2013 02:35 AM

To compare four cities someone would have had to have visited all four recently. They're probably about the same for pricing but I suspect Berlin may be less expensive than the others.

Whenever you travel there is a wide range of pricing, depending on where you stay and where you eat and how much you eat.

The one thing that isn't variable is the sightseeing admission fees and you can check those yourself.

If you're looking for an inexpensive vacation then head to central Europe or Portugal.

BTW - most people travel on a budget. There are few people who have so much money that they don't need to watch what they spend.

ancy007 Jul 4th, 2013 03:18 AM

Hi, again.
As you said it's easier to help if I give you some more information about us. So...
We are a family of 3 from Slovenia. My husband and I are 45 and our daughter is 15. We are all big history lovers and we also like to explore art museums. My husband is also interested in architecture as he works in that bussiness. When we travel we like to learn something about the country's history, tradicions and culture but also have some time to relax (visit some parks ect.)Our favorite city taht we visited so far is London. Big, cosmopolitan city, great museums and galleries, very nice people that makes you feel welcome... We would really enoy to spend our vacation in a city that has similar feel to it.
As for the buget part we like to eat and sleep cheap and use the money for the admission fees. I'm a little bit scared of flying, so if the city is close enough we use the train (which is a lot of times cheaper than plane) or our car.
We are planing to spend a week in the city that we choose.
Hope that helps.

adrienne Jul 4th, 2013 03:39 AM

For art, you can't beat Florence but it won't give you the big cosmopolitan feel that you get in London.

I haven't yet been to Berlin but I'm collecting information for my next trip and it seems that this is the city that meets your needs. The museums look wonderful and varied and there is certainly lots of history there. And it appears that it's a cosmopolitan city.

Good luck making a decision. With all the wonderful places to visit in Europe it is always difficult making a decision.

sparkchaser Jul 4th, 2013 03:44 AM

I'll second Berlin. Lots of stuff to see and do and modestly-priced food accommodations can be had.

sparkchaser Jul 4th, 2013 03:44 AM

Gah. "food and accommodations".

nytraveler Jul 4th, 2013 05:42 AM

Berlin has moderate prices compared to most cities in western europe - although it is true that you can travel at many different price points to most places.

Without knowing specific amounts for lodging and food it's hard to make very specific recos.

stevewith Jul 4th, 2013 12:34 PM


For a professional architect of today, I'd pick Barcelona. It also helps that Barcelona tens to be cheaper overall than Florence or Amsterdam.

You also wrote:

"Our favorite city taht we visited so far is London. Big, cosmopolitan city, great museums and galleries, very nice people that makes you feel welcome... We would really enoy to spend our vacation in a city that has similar feel to it."

Again, my inclination is to suggest Barcelona, which is one of Europe's premiere cosmopolitan cities and with lovely museums. Berlin would also be a contender -- with great museum and the incomparable architectural triumph of the Reichstag Dome.

outwest Jul 4th, 2013 01:29 PM

My husband and I visited Berlin about 4 years ago and found it very inexpensive. The 3 day museum pass (Schaulust) was 19 Euros when we visited (I think it's 24 now) and it allowed access to almost every museum in the city. We don't usually buy city museum cards because when you do the math they don't save that much but this one was really a good deal. We also bought a weekly transit pass and it was really inexpensive.

BigAleinstein Jul 4th, 2013 01:44 PM

The art of Barcelona is in the architecture. You can eat cheaply by gorging on tapas and the menu del dia.

Here is an explanation. There are of course more restaurants than listed and it can found all over Spain.

danon Jul 4th, 2013 01:58 PM

Berlin's accommodation is incredible reasonable for such a major city.
Museums , modern architecture, and number of inexpensive eateries
would make it a good destination for those on a budget and interested in art.
I have visited all the cities on your list ( more than once).

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