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As we continue to deal with rising inflation and a high cost of living, tourists are aware that every penny counts when planning a vacation. With budget-conscious travel more important than ever, travelers are looking for destinations that offer good value within their price range. That is why travel booking company Omio did the research to uncover the best budget-friendly European cities.    
The study categorized 12 different metrics to determine the costs of activities, food, and drink, and infrastructure in 100 popular travel destinations in Europe. Cities in Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and Spain were all included in the study.
While their research didn’t take into consideration the cost of accommodation, which can often be the most expensive part of a vacation, it did expose a number of interesting metrics for tourists to take note of if they are trying to figure out the most economical way to visit.
Looking for a cheap beer? Head to Sevilla, Spain where the average cost of a pint is $2.25. Or did you know that Madrid has 1,857 public drinking fountains making it easy to cut down on the cost of bottled water? Spain has at least 5 cities where a 24-hour public transportation ticket is less than $2, and tourists can take a city bus tour of Edinburgh for just over $11.
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One of the most popular tourist activities is visiting museums and attractions in one’s destination city. Admission prices to these sites can add up quickly, especially if traveling in a group or if your plans include checking out multiple museums during your vacation.
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam costs $20.65 per person for admission, and access to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel is $17.55. Popular tourist attractions can be even more expensive. Tickets to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin start at $27, and admission to Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa starts at $20 per person.
So which European cities offer the most options for free museums and attractions? According to Omio’s study, there are 3 cities that have more than 400 free attractions and museums each, and they all happen to be located in the countries that Americans want to visit the most. The 3 cities with the highest number of free museums and attractions are Rome, London, and Paris. This ranking was determined by combining Omio’s count of free museums and free sightseeing attractions.
With a whopping 553 free sightseeing attractions and 34 free museums, Rome tops the list. If you are on the hunt for a culture-filled vacation that can be done on a budget, Rome is a great option.
Consider Visiting: Rome’s Pantheon, one of the city’s most popular tourist stops, dates way back to 25 BC. Cat lovers will enjoy visiting the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary to watch cats roam about ancient ruins, including the square where Caesar was assassinated.
London is a great destination for museum fanatics who don’t want to break the bank with the cost of admission. The city has 95 free museums and 487 free sightseeing attractions.
Consider Visiting: The Tate Modern, a must-see for art lovers with an impressive collection of British works from 1500 – the present. For nature lovers, Holland Park is home to a beautiful Japanese Garden to bring a little tranquillity to your vacation.
Some of Paris’ top tourist spots do charge admission, but you’ll still find 27 free museums and 394 free sightseeing attractions in the beloved City Of Lights.
Consider Visiting: The Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris’ largest cemetery and home to many well-known graves, including Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde. History buffs will love exploring the city’s storied past at Musée Carnavalet.
The study did not take into account the price of accommodations, which can be expensive in all these locations, but given the size of each city, there are lots of options and plenty of ways to save on hotels. Rome, London, and Paris all have good public transportation.
Look for hotels outside of the city center along public transportation lines for easy access to the city. You’ll often find much cheaper rates if you are willing to stay outside of the hustle and bustle. Another way to save is to be flexible with dates. Hotel prices fluctuate throughout the year, so traveling during the shoulder or off-seasons can save a significant amount of money and result in a vacation with fewer crowds.
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