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Which West & East European Countries give the best bang for the buck?

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Which West & East European Countries give the best bang for the buck?

Old Nov 19th, 2014, 09:19 AM
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Agree - have worked with colleagues in Basle and they did all of their shopping in Germany , not only for much better prices but longer opening hours.

And Germany is more affordable now than it used to be. but unless one is an impecunious student I wouldn't make a specific budget a reason to choose a vacation destination.
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 11:25 AM
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>

I disagree. I had planned a month in France and then realized how expensive it has become so I decided to head to the Czech Republic. I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the landscape, the interesting towns, and the friendly people.
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 11:33 AM
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but unless one is an impecunious student I wouldn't make a specific budget a reason to choose a vacation destination.

This assumes that you only want to visit a specific destination at any point in time. Many people don't think that way. I have a list of dozens of places I want to visit. If Paris is overly expensive for a particular time, I may substitute Budapest instead. I can't be the only one, especially given that I'm not even that price sensitive.
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 12:37 PM
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Adrienne & travelgourmet, I agree with you both, neither of you are alone. But some participants here seem unable to see beyond their own circumstances and preferences. Varying opinions are useful, judgements not.
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 12:41 PM
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I just realized, as I posted the pronouncement above, I was doing exactly what I said wasn't useful. That's ok, I guess sometimes we must.
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 12:47 PM
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LOL MmePerdu! Human failings happen!
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 01:06 PM
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Sweden and Denmark are also not "on the Euro" - though I would not exactly consider neither country a bargain.
Montenegro IS on the euro - but a both a gem and a bargain. Esp. when compared with neighboring Croatia (not on the euro, but not that much of a bargain anymore).
The natural diversity from ancient coastal towns to high mountains and virgin forests in Montenegro is amazing.
People are extremely friendly, accomodation (also the private B&B "sobe") can be easily booked via major sites like booking. The only major tourist hub is Budva - which can be easily avoided.
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 01:18 PM
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I don't consider Dresden nor Prague a bargain, compared to France, for example. Food is a little cheaper in Prague. I thought hotel prices in Dresden were just as much as in Paris myself, and Prague is getting up there, but not quite as bad. It is true museum prices are often cheaper in most any place than Paris, but that is true in most other cities in France, also, so it isn't a French thing. I think Krakow is cheaper than Prague.
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 01:18 PM
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Sweden and Denmark are also not "on the Euro"

Denmark is basically on the euro. The Danish kroner has been pegged to the euro since 1999 and has stayed within +/- 0.5% since. It is the euro in all but name.

Sweden does, however float. Many goods are, FWIW, cheaper in Sweden than Denmark.
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 01:21 PM
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I just spent three weeks in Romania, which has not been mentioned yet, and found it remarkably affordable. Click on my name for the TR (almost finished!).
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 01:56 PM
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especially booe is way cheaper in Denmark than Sweden - a Helsingor - Hamlet's Castle town - Swedes come like lemmings to buy booze and tobacco from a line of shops right near the port.

Denmark seemed a lot cheaper to me than Sweden and especially Norway - again especially on booze but most things.
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 02:13 PM
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Denmark seemed a lot cheaper to me than Sweden and especially Norway - again especially on booze but most things.

That actually depends. Yes, beer is much cheaper in Denmark, due to high Swedish taxes. Since those taxes are based upon the percentage of alcohol, the price differentials for fine wine, for example, aren't that bad - given the purchasing power of the Swedish national liquor store, there are even some bargains to be had at the high end.

For household items and clothing, Sweden is cheaper. Ditto for groceries (and Swedish grocery stores are much nicer). Restaurant prices are also cheaper in Sweden. Auto repair is also cheaper, or so I have been told.

Norway is super expensive, but they are all oil rich, so nobody cares.
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 03:01 PM
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We were in Prague last Feb and got an incredible hotel room for $125 U.S. which included breakfast and a balcony. It was a grand old art nouveau hotel in a great location. So that seemed pretty cheap to me! Think I might have gotten it through Otel or some site like that. Definitely not through Booking or Hotels.com.

**Difficulty with getting to some of the less traveled areas, at least from the U.S., is that once there it is relative a bargain, but the airfare can be very high and the connections difficult.
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 04:06 PM
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thursdaysd, you beat me to it. Romania is the cheapest European country I've visited.
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Old Nov 20th, 2014, 01:31 PM
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I'll have to admit I dont' agree with that link to Backpackers Budgets. They did have Paris towards the expensive end, but for a 3* hotel gave a price of 68 euro per night (which I figured out was for 2 people). It depends on season, but during peak rates like the Fall or Spring, 3* hotels in the center are a bit more than that, actually. And their transportation budget is odd, based on 2 taxi fares when you wouldn't be taking taxis in many big cities. So that's a bit high for Paris if you use public transportation (they say 11 euro but even if you buy a single all-day transportation pass every day, a Mobilis, they are only 7 euro). Then they give only 31 euro a day per person for meals. I don't call that a mid-level food budget in Paris where that is about when I spend just for dinner without wine in what I'd call mid-level bistros. If you add in lunch and something else, you are a lot over that.

But the cheapest didn't surprise me at all. I forgot, Madrid is pretty reasonable. I found Barcelona much more expensive than they did, however.
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Old Nov 20th, 2014, 03:52 PM
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68 Euros for a 3* in Paris for 2 people? Where is that hotel? Can't imagine spending only that.
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Old Nov 20th, 2014, 10:09 PM
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There used to be a two star on the edge of the Marais that charged just a bit more than that, but it got renovated and the prices are much higher now. I'd certainly like to know the details for this gem!
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