Europe is a dream vacation for many seasoned travelers and newbies alike, but it’s also expensive, scaring many would-be vacationers away. According to SmarterTravel, a weeklong vacation to a European city will cost about $2,000 (plus airfare) for two people. A countryside vacation will cost $1,800 plus airfare. And if you want to visit more than one city, you should be prepared to fork over even more. Luckily, there are some European vacation packages out there that are a little more affordable, costing less than $1,500. Here are five of the best.
Rome: The City Experience ($1,449)
Go Ahead Tours offers a seven-day tour of Rome that varies by price depending on the dates but includes some tours for $1,449 per person. The package includes five nights in a hotel, five breakfasts, two dinners (one includes a cooking lesson), a tour director and a sightseeing tour with a local guide. During the trip, you’ll get to enjoy Trajan’s Column, Piazza Venezia, the Roman Forum, the Temple of Venus and Roma, and the Colosseum. Rich history and delicious food combine to create an affordable Italian vacation you’ll never forget.
Highlights of the Italian Lakes ($1,075 or $1225)
Book early enough and you can get the low price of $1,075 for this eight-day, two-country vacation. Even if you miss the cut off, though, you’ll only pay $150 more — making for a vacation that’s still uber-affordable. If you like breathtakingly peaceful scenery and sophisticated shopping, this is the vacation for you. The tour will take you to Lake Como (including a cruise to Bellagio), Lake Lugano, Lake Maggiore (filled with lovely gardens), Verona (you’ll be taken to Juliet’s balcony), Lake Garda (Italy’s largest lake), Bergamo and finally Milan for a sightseeing tour to wrap up the week.
Amsterdam Mini Cruise ($689)
Pro tip: Sometimes, a European vacation will be cheaper if you go by ship instead of by foot or by plane. Celebrity Cruises offers a three-night cruise that begins in Southampton, England, and gets to Amsterdam on day two. You’ll still have plenty of time in Amsterdam to hit the highlights. Consider taking a romantic evening cruise along the canal, stopping by the Van Gogh museum or pausing to admire the many tulips and other flowers in the city.
Tour Ireland By Train ($999)
You can take a six-night trip via train through Ireland in the summer for just $999 (at other times of year, it’s more expensive, but won’t get above $1200 or so). The train stops in three different cities. The $999 price per person includes roundtrip airfare to Dublin, six nights’ worth of accommodation (in Dublin City, Galway and Limerick City) and your train tickets from city to city. If you want to upgrade — and you might as well, since you’re saving so much — you can get a day tour with a professional guide that includes Galway Beach and the Cliffs of Moher, plus admission to Kilmainham Gaol Museum, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin and King John’s Castle in Limerick for $99 more per person.
Florence: The City Experience ($1,499)
If you strategically pick the right dates for this package offered by Go Ahead Tours, you can find yourself exploring Florence for a week at just $1,499. Along the way, you’ll see the Accademia Gallery, Florence Duomo, Giotto’s Campanile, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and have dinner at a villa in Fiesole. This tour will take you walking around Florence every day, seeing just about all of the sights there are to see. If you’re willing to go over that $1,500 budget, you can purchase additional optional excursions, too. Art, culture and wine — what’s not to love?