Home » Europe’s breathtaking ‘hidden jewel’ that’s a cheap holiday destination

Europe’s breathtaking ‘hidden jewel’ that’s a cheap holiday destination

Europe’s breathtaking ‘hidden jewel’ that’s a cheap holiday destination

Dreaming of travelling to Switzerland? With its gorgeous natural scenery, clean air and mountains, it’s no surprise that it’s one of Europe’s leading destinations.

However, unfortunately it’s also one of the continent’s most expensive countries making it a challenge for budget travellers. But why not visit Poland’s beautiful alternative?

A travel expert and blogger at Girl with the Passport, Kelly Duhigg, told Express.co.uk that Zakopane in Poland has the “rustic charm of Switzerland without the inflated prices”.

Located in the south of Poland, Zakopane is a resort town in the Tatras Mountains that’s a popular destination for winter sports and hiking.

Kelly told Express.co.uk:“Though just a few hours south of Krakow by bus, Zakopane retains the rustic charm of Switzerland without the inflated prices.

“Wooden chalets sporting elaborate carved eaves dot steep, cobbled streets between towering peaks.

“It’s a hiker’s paradise crisscrossed with uber picturesque trails. But what makes Zakopane truly sing are its people – a proud folk steeped in tradition.

“Outside any local pub on a summer night, you’ll find villagers singing old shepherd songs to the strum of guitars as children run free. No one locks their door here. It’s easy to feel part of the community.”

Zakopane is also much quieter than similar destinations in Europe with far fewer tourists, even in summer.

Kelly said: “Whether you’re an altitude enthusiast eager to conquer Giewont or simply want to escape the tourist hordes, Zakopane works its charms with breathtaking scenery and soul-warming hospitality.

“Europe has no shortage of hidden jewels, but few compare to this crown of the Tatras. Consider it my highest recommendation.”

The closest airport to Zakopane is Poprad in Slovakia which is about an hour and a half’s drive from the resort. Ryanair offers direct flights to Poprad from the UK.

If you’d like to combine a trip to Zakopane with a city break, fly to Krakow which is around two hours drive or train from the town.

Many budget airlines offer direct flights to Krakow from the UK. The Polish city is one of Europe’s best affordable weekend destinations.