Not for best mates, top European destinations for cheap dates



A word from my father: no such thing as a “cheap date” – you date them, you merry them, you divorce them, you’re broke!

Martino Matijevic.



Classic cheap date: The Lady and the Tramp


Are you a cheap date?


Often accused by loved one of not caring and putting your money where you mouth is?

Well do not fret my friend.


The BudgetTraveller is of similar tight fisted ilk ( nothing to do with the fact that I live in Scotland )


I have been notorious for whisking away my lovers on super cheap dates in some of the world’s most romantic cities.




So far I’m still single, have been a few highs and many lows along my cheap dating journey so my tips and ideas may not bear fruit. 


Which is why I enlisted the support of some of my poor and sexy travel blogger friends whose cracking tips you will find below.


Often spending less means you to have to get creative about organising your date.


Using a little imagination can go a long way…


Just like Dexter and Em- start your (ill-fated) cheap date on top of Arthurs Seat



I’ll start with Edinburgh since this is the city I live in and have the most experience of…


I set the scene by taking my date for an early morning ramble up Arthurs Seat, an extinct volcano wilderness in the middle of the city.


Having worked up an appetite I’d take her for a good Scottish fry-up ( great for the heart and soul) at Holyrood 9A  just up the road.

For £5 we get unlimited coffee refills so by the time we leave the place we are fizzing with the high caffeine levels and ready to fly.

Cross over from the Old Town to the New Town on the scenic North Bridge and head towards Princes Street.



It all started with a....Cadbury's 99 Flake.



A lovely stroll in the gardens, bit of people watching before we stop at the Icecream van in front of the Museum on the Mound for the obligatory Cadbury’s 99 flake.



Lovers Lane: Water of Leith Walkway


I wish to escape the crowds ( and the shops) so we head towards the west end of Princes Street and hit the Water of Leith canal path .


The sound of birds,the lush green vegetation on the canalside, the soothing sound of the stream flowing by really makes me feel that we’ve both entered a new world, a world of fantasy which is what Edinburgh is.

Anything can happen in Edinburgh….


The stretch of path ends in the quaint neighbourhood of Stockbridge which has plenty of character and interesting shops.

It’s especially famous for it’s charity chic so if my date wants to treat herself to some high end luxury fashion brands like Gucci, Prada without the price tag, I’d take her to the Save the Children’s charity shop.



The perfect meal for the perfect price-tag: The Witchery by the Castle


Save the best for the last

My top spot for a romantic dinner in Edinburgh is the stunning Witchery restaurant.

Andrew Lloyd Webber think it’s the prettiest restaurant he has ever seen and all the stars come and dine here when in town.

Sounds pricey eh?

Well I can impress my date and have the perfect romantic dinner by going for their special offer of 3 courses for £30 ( running till end of April 2012 )

I just won’t show her the bill 😉


As a backup to my sordid cheap date suggestions,  I asked my friends on Facebook about their dream destination for the perfect cheap date and got some cracking suggestions.


We found love in a cheap beautiful place: Madrid. 2 euro tapas. Cheap Sangria and lots of awesome free sunshine


Jane Meighan from Runaway Jane  tips Madrid –


‘2 Euro tapas, cheap sangria, and you get the sunshine-Happy Days’


Yvonne Zagermann from Just Travelous perfect dream date destination is her home city Berlin.

She would go for a picnic at the old airfield at abandoned airport Tempelhof.


Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk, one quarter of the funky online travel magazine, Travelettes wants you to aim high.


Barcelona Dreaming: Great view to enjoy a rooftop picnic. That is if you are dating Spiderman.Or you could just use the elevator if there is one.



As far as the roof of your apartment block if you’re staying in the Gracia district or any part of Barcelona for that fact.

With the whole city at your feet, it’s the perfect place for a picnic.


The less strenuous alternative would visiting Parc Guell but again, if you go too deep into the park, from her experience you are more likely to be stumbling into a gay orgy.

Talk about a cheap date.


Kapsalon Rotterdam: If she still loves you in the morning after eating this, it's meant to be. Courtesy of Jen Waller:



Kim Heinan, PR rep for Rotterdam Tourism Board by day and one of the cities hottest DJ’s by night ( aka DJ Madame Pompeidou)  top tip for the guys is to come to Rotterdam.

Treat your girl to a Rotterdam treat: the Kapsalon (Hairsalon).


French fries topped with kebab meat, topped with garlic sauce, topped with lettuce and tomatoes, topped with melted cheese.

If she still loves you in the morning, it’s meant to be….


Christopher Pfaff just visited Zurich which was recently voted the most expensive city in the world.


However again with a bit of imagination here’s his idea of the perfect date for FREE.

Rent a bike, visit museums like the Toy Museum and the Ethnological Museum and finally he would jump into the lake with his date right next to the costy swimming baths etc.




Hot but not so cheap date alert: If you see a girl by this description please report to the nearest single guy....


Canadian star travel vlogger, Cailin O Neil from Travel Yourself  remembers her cheap date in London.


“I once had a day date in London that included a nice lunch, a row in the Serpentine and a trip to the London Dungeon.

Maybe it was only cheap because I wasn’t the one paying… 😉 “


Classy Cailin. That’s one way to have a cheap date anywhere in the world!


Primrose Hill: Great place for a alfresco picnic and a bit of treehugging.Photo courtesy of:



Ilka Salzmann, Head of PR at the cool Generator Hostels and happy London resident’s top tip is to head to Primrose Hill for views and grab dinner, drinks for a tenner from M&S.


Dougie Baird from Bairds Travel is Glasgow’s favourite travel blogger , a born romantic and a true stingy Scot to the boot ( plus a good friend of mine! ) so I’m sure he has many classic travel tales of cheap but beautiful dates to share….


His top is a trip to budget friendly Riga and head out to the nearby class beach resort of Jurmala on the Baltic.


This post would be incomplete without some tips of what probably is my favourite cheap date city in the world: Paris!


Jardin du Luxemborg: Paris for Lovers,on a budget



Angelika Schwaff who runs the German travel blog Ich Weiss Wo  and also social media, PR guru for Germanwings recommends a trip to one of the many delis in Paris.


“Buy all the good stuff and then take him/her out to Jardin du Luxemburg for a nice picnic.”


The ultimate cheap date: Walking the streets of Paris by night or in the rain. No Gill Pender included.



In Paris, you really don’t have to make an effort- she sets the scene and takes care of all the romantic details……


As Yvonne says… all you got to do in Paris is just drift, walk the streets at night or even in rain.


With Gill Pender.

But if  he’s lost in the 20’s with his dream girl, there’s always me girls.

Beware  though of any cheap imitations 😉



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