10 places in Europe you never thought you could afford

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It’ll take more than a discreetly tucked money belt to protect your cash in Europe’s most expensive cities. Here’s how to experience London, Paris, Venice and other delightful destinations for a whole lot less than the average traveler.

Paris

It’s a classic case of supply and demand. There’s only so much Paris to go around, but the city’s wild popularity drives prices for this valuable commodity up — way up in some cases. Even if you’re a no-frills traveler, you can expect to pay nearly $200 per day for the basics. Luxury hotels run about $600 per night, mid-range hotels average around $210, and bare-bones (but not scary) hotels cost around $70 per night.

However, find ways to live like a local and you’ll discover plenty of ways to save. For instance, by booking an apartment rental rather than a hotel room, you’ll not only get more space for your money, but you’ll also get a kitchen and a fridge. And that can help you cut costs. Because while there’s plenty of fabulous food in Paris, there are also a lot of mediocre and overpriced options. Not eating out for every meal frees you up to explore the many wonderful (and less expensive) food purveyors and markets you’d otherwise miss.

If you want to save: Don’t stick to the beaten tourist paths. Often, by straying just a block or two off heavily trafficked tourist streets such as the Champs-Elysees or rue de la Huchette, you’ll find better food and shopping at much more reasonable prices.

Venice, Italy

Venice has a starring role on bucket lists around the world, so it’s no surprise that it’s among Europe’s most expensive destinations. You’ll have to pay for the privilege of staying somewhere central, and eating out in the city inflates costs quickly. Price of Travel’s Three-Star Traveler Index puts the average daily cost for a budget traveler at about $180.

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