How to keep the costs down in European cities

Jenai Laignel / 06 January 2016

With many of us opting for a short break in one of the many European cities, Saga’s on hand to bring you some top tips to keep costs down.

Popping over to Europe is now cheaper than ever with the huge range of great, low-cost flight and hotel breaks offered by competitive travel websites.

But the costs can still mount up – especially when you’re faced with fluctuating exchange rates, tourist entry fees and deceptively-expensive cafes.

Here are some ways to keep your spending to a minimum:  

6. Plan ahead

Many museums can be visited free at certain times of the week. Check ahead using a good guide book and time your visit accordingly.  

5. Buy your currency in advance

Buying your Euros at the airport is always the most expensive option so it pays to be organised.

Saga Travel Money is offered with 0% commission and free delivery. You can even check currency rates online before you buy.

4. Go self-catering

On a day trip? Head for the nearest market and pick up delicious local food for a picnic. So much more authentic than an expensive lunchtime restaurant stop if your destination is 'touristy'.

3. Look for a fixed price menu

If you do eat out, check if the restaurant you are visiting has a fixed-priced menu – or Menu del dia in Spanish and Table d’Hote and Prix Fixe in French.

These three-course, bargain-priced meals usually cost between £10-£20. Be sure to let the waiter know that this is the option you’ve selected ahead of ordering.

2. Beware of ‘Market Price’ options…

If you do order à la carte, you’ll notice that some items may be listed as ‘market price’ or ‘Price on request’, particularly on fish and seafood options.

Don’t be embarrassed to enquire what this price is before you order. Also, keep an eye out for any hidden supplements attached to menu items.

1. Free walking tours

Before you travel, look into whether there are any free walking tours in the city.

Privately run, these usually operate on a tips-only basis, making it an incredibly economical way to explore your destination.