trivago has put together its Best Value Destination Index for 2016.
About the index
As every year, the ranking combines hotel price data with user reviews and ratings, resulting in a list of destinations where the hotels are both affordable and well-liked. The index strives to highlight smaller destinations often overlooked in favour of large cities. From UNESCO World Heritage Sites to European Capitals of Culture, there is something to please everyone here, with many destinations boasting both interesting architecture and outdoor activities.
Want to see which hidden gems made the top ten? From ten to one, scroll down for our travel guide to the world’s best value destinations.
China[caption id="attachment_7064" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Source: Thomas Fischler, Flickr[/caption]
Popular among backpackers and young Chinese alike, Dali is the perfect place to relax in Yunnan, boasting a stunning location between the mountains and Erhai Lake. There are the Three Pagodas, a Catholic Church and museum to explore in the Old Town, while the mountains are easily accessible by chairlift or cable car and offer numerous hiking and cycling tracks.
India[caption id="attachment_7062" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Source: Sarath Kuchi, Flickr[/caption]
A district in Kerala encompassing several small towns and villages, Wayanad is famed for its Wildlife Sanctuary, an area of 345 square kilometres. Within this unspoilt area visitors can experience a unique mix of mountain scenery, paddy fields, waterfalls and cardamom and coffee plantations. Popular among trekking and camping enthusiasts, there are several defined treks within the region.
Hungary[caption id="attachment_7060" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Source: Emmanuel DYAN, Flickr[/caption]
One of the European Capitals of Culture in 2010, Pécs is a small but lively university town lying between the Danube and the Dráva. The region boasts a mild climate perfect for fruit production and wine-making: Villány wine is considered among the finest in Hungary. The city boasts a number of interesting museums and monuments, including the Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs, a series of tombs granted UNESCO status in 2000.
Russia[caption id="attachment_7058" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Source: Loris Silvio Zecchinato, Flickr[/caption]
Just four hours from Moscow but a world away from the buzz of the capital, Suzdal is a traditional village found on Russia’s iconic Golden Ring. Boasting a large collection of churches and a walled convent dating back to 1364, Suzdal offers visitors a taste of classic Russian architecture within easy reach of the bright lights of Moscow.
Romania[caption id="attachment_7056" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Source: Sergey Norin, Flickr[/caption]
Founded by Saxons in the 12th century and left untouched during both World Wars, Sibiu is a picturesque Germanic city in the heart of Romania. Renowned for its well-preserved architecture, the city’s old town is filled with colourful pastel buildings and rustic cobblestone lanes. A lively cultural calendar helped the town achieve the status of European Capital of Culture in 2007.
China[caption id="attachment_7054" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Source: Francisco Anzola, Flickr[/caption]
Surrounded by towering ancient city walls (the most intact in China), Pingyao is an atmospheric city full of old-world charm. Red Chinese lanterns dot the cobbled streets and ornate statues stand in hidden courtyards. Once the financial centre of the Qing dynasty, today Pingyao is a popular tourist site and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4. Novi Sad
Serbia[caption id="attachment_7052" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Source: Byron Howes, Flickr[/caption]
Best known as the birthplace of Exit festival, held annually in July, Novi Sad is an attractive city on crossroads between Central and Southern Europe. Serbia’s second biggest city, Novi Sad has a diverse history, with a number of cultural influences – today, the city has six official languages. An emerging tourist destination in the area, the impressive Petrovaradin Fortress is the city’s best-known landmark.
3. Veliko Tarnovo
Bulgaria[caption id="attachment_7050" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Source: Klearchos Kapoutsis, Flickr[/caption]
Veliko Tarnovo is a lively university town set among a backdrop of forested hills alongside the Yantra River. As former capital of the medieval Bulgarian tsars, the city hosts the impressive Tsarevets Fortress, comprising over 400 houses (many still uncovered), 18 churches and the royal palace. Veliko Tarnovo is popular among backpackers and weekending Bulgarians alike, boasting an attractive old town and great food and drink.
Bosnia and Herzegovina[caption id="attachment_7068" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Source: bobroy20, Flickr[/caption]
Famous for its picture-perfect landscape, featuring the beautiful Old Bridge (Stari Most), Mostar is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s best-known destinations. Benefiting from a Mediterranean climate, the city has become a popular location in the Balkans, with good hotel amenities for tourists. In summertime, visitors can watch locals dive from the highest point of the bridge – a tradition for young men.
China[caption id="attachment_7066" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Source: Thomas Fischler, Flickr[/caption]
Taking first place is Fenghuang (Chinese for ‘Phoenix’), historically a frontier town and centre of trade for the civilisations of the central plains and southwest mountains located in China’s Hunan Province. Today, visitors can still see the remaining City Wall, North Gate Tower and Southern Great Wall, dating from the Ming dynasty. Fenghuang’s greatest draw, however, are the unique riverside settlements perched on sticks overlooking the Tuo Jiang River.