Where: The capital city of the Czech Republic.
The Stereotype: A prime choice for bachelor parties, it’s rowdy, raucous and full of cheap beer!
The Truth: If you want to find a lively nightlife, Prague is a top choice, but the city is also a cultural hot spot. Aside from being home to the largest castle complex in Europe, there’s a thriving contemporary arts scene - sculptures by controversial artist David Černý can be spotted all over the city, including the Giant Babies in Kampa Park. In the evenings, enjoy live jazz beside (and on!) the River Vltava and in Old Town. The standard of Czech jazz artists is phenomenal and the jazz clubs are a great place to enjoy the famous cheap beer without the rowdy groups.
Where: On the south coast of France.
The Stereotype: An exclusive beach-side city for the rich, not a place to watch the pennies.
The Truth: If you play your cards right, Nice can be enjoyed for next to nothing. The local snacks in Nice are cheap and tasty; try the chickpea pancake called Socca, which you can usually buy with a slice of delicious pizza-like pissadeliere for around five euros. The museums and galleries in Nice pride themselves on being free and it’s not difficult to find a prime spot on the beach that doesn’t charge. Also, it only costs one euro to take the bus up to the beautiful mountain village of Ez and the ultra-glamorous Monte Carlo, where you can enjoy free entry to Monaco Casino.
Where: On the Balearic island of Ibiza, off the coast of Spain.
The Stereotype: Clubbing hotspot for hedonistic party animals.
The Truth: Ibiza has much more to offer than just 24-hour nightclubs and beach parties (although it does do those very well!). Ibiza Town is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site and has an impressive collection of museums and Roman exhibitions. The Old Town still boasts its 16th Century walls and there’s a beautiful cathedral dating back to the 13th Century. The Bay of Talamanca is a 15 minute walk from Ibiza Town – it’s the perfect retreat from the frantic pace of the other beaches in the area.
Where: The capital city of Malta in the Mediterranean.
The Stereotype: Malta is suited to older tourists.
The Truth: Built in a strategic military location by the sea, Valletta has beautiful panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea and the city is densely packed with impressive harbours, cathedrals, museums and forts. While the older generation might be attracted to the history of Valletta, there is a fantastic nightlife just a short taxi ride away, near Rabat. Here, the open-air nightclubs have summer parties hosted by MTV and Ministry of Sound. There are also five star spas near Valletta that are popular for romantic honeymoons.
Where: The capital city of the Netherlands.
The Stereotype: A free-thinking city with hippy cafes and an infamous red light district.
The Truth: There are many conventional attractions in Amsterdam that don’t rely on the cities liberal-spirit reputation. The miles and miles of canals, charming architecture and quaint markets make Amsterdam a suitable destination for everyone, including families! In particular, the Artis Zoo and NEMO Science Museum are great to visit with children, and at the Muiderslot Castle, kids can get in free if they’re dressed up in medieval costume!
For more information about these cool European cities, check out www.lowcostholidays.com.