Photo credit: Hernán Piñera
A holiday in Europe doesn't have to be expensive, especially if you visit in fall. In many parts of Europe, fall is considered the shoulder- or off-season. That means you can save big on accommodations, avoid photobombs by packs of tourists and return home with a little money left in the bank.
Set your sights on these eight budget destinations to enjoy your dream European getaway for an affordable price this fall.
1. Krakow, Poland
Fall means pleasant temperatures and mellow tourist crowds in what is often known as the cultural capital of Poland -- Krakow. You'll find the historic European feel you're seeking in this city that offers more 750 years of stories. Budget-friendly hotels mingle with mystical gothic architecture to make you feel like you paid a fortune, but you'll still have plenty of money for the world-renowned Polish eats and a night or two out on the town.
2. Dublin, Ireland
Photo credit: Juan Salmoral
Picturesque coastal scenery, big city culture and tall pints of beer tend to come with a high price tag, but that's not the case in Dublin. This Irish city is known for offering some of the most affordable hotels on the continent, which means you have more money to spend in the pubs. However, all visitors should take a break from the city and see the beauty of country towns like Galway and Connemara in fall.
3. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is one of few places where you can capture some of Europe's best restaurants, nightclubs and cultural centers for an affordable price. The city is in the heart of a cultural renaissance, with hoards of museums, fashion that rivals Paris and restaurants that consistently rank among the best in Europe. Even better, you can enjoy all of these features without crowds in the mild fall months, and Berlin's efficient and easy-to-use subway system saves you big bucks avoiding cabs.
4. Valencia, Spain
Photo credit: Luc Mercelis
The Mediterranean Sea just sounds expensive, but your trip there doesn't have to be. Valencia becomes even more affordable in the fall months, when the golden beaches are clear of crowds and museums are wide open for you to wander. Valencia's prices are lower than other European hotspots, but you don't sacrifice the beauty, history, or cultural sites.
Istanbul constantly ranks among the best travel destinations in the world. That's partly because the city hasn't outpriced all of its visitors. Dine affordably (and deliciously) on the streets and stay in one of countless budget-friendly accommodation options, so you have more to spend on the tough-to-resist trinkets at the Grand Bazaar. See the Hagia Sophia mosque, get a taste of the nightlife (be careful, because alcohol can be pricey) and squeeze an affordable trip to Asia (via a 20-minute ferry ride) into your trip as well.
Like many other European destinations, you can save yourself a few extra bucks on accommodations and tours while avoiding sweaty temperatures by visiting Istanbul in fall.
Photo credit: Maciek Lulko
Visit Barcelona before it's too late. This hip, cultural city is slowly getting more expensive, but the prices tend to deflate when the crowds thin in the fall months. Choose one of the city's budget accommodation options, such as a guesthouse or Airbnb rental, so you can spend more days tackling all of the non-stop action this Barcelona has to offer. From sacred churches to beachcombing and some of Europe's top nightclubs, Barcelona is a one-stop European destination for those who want it all.
7. Venice, Italy
If you've ever seen photos of Venice, you probably thinks it's too expensive for a quick fall getaway. However, looks can be deceiving. The Queen of the Adriatic is a city that's best explored on foot, and wandering the winding roads doesn't cost a dime.
Fall typically means lower accommodation and airfare prices, and with most Italians taking their vacations in fall, you'll enjoy the city with a less crowded feel. It's also one of the best times of year for food in Venice, as freshly-harvested mushrooms and truffles flood the dishes at many restaurants.
8. Prague, Czech Republic
Photo credit: LenDog64
Prague was once a place that attracted budget travelers in droves, but the prices have been steadily rising in recent years. However, fall is a time when you can still get the bargain deals on accommodations and tours, especially if you brave the tail end of the season when cold temperatures are more common. Despite the rising accommodation prices, you can find cheap eats, drinks and entrance fees in the Golden City.