Try These 'Dupe' Cities If You Can't Afford Rome Or Monaco

Western Europe is one of the most sought-after places to travel on planet Earth. Because of this, major hotspots like Rome, Paris, Madrid, Monte Carlo, London, Amsterdam, and other large Western European cities are typically crowded and overpriced. However, there are certain cities around the globe that replicate some of those famed destinations without breaking the bank.

We know it's hard to think that a city as historical as Rome can simply be swapped out for another city, but truth be told, there are some "dupe" cities that will make you feel like you're in those major hubs. The best part of all these "dupe" cities is that they won't be anywhere near as crowded, and they'll be a fraction of the cost. Even though destinations like Italy can be done on a budget, traveling with monetary restrictions can feel stressful. If you want to travel feeling like royalty from Monaco, or like a mythical figure from Ancient Rome without breaking the bank, read on to see where you should head for a proper "dupe" city getaway.

Instead of Rome...

Rome, Italy is high on everyone's list for good reason. Rome is a historical, beautiful city with decadent cuisine and a whole lot of charm and character. You know what's not so great about Rome, though? The prices. Rome is not an easy place to do on a budget, but if you head just a little further east to Bulgaria, Europe's oldest country, you'll be in for quite a treat. That treat? Plovdiv, a great "dupe" city to Rome, Italy.

Plovdiv claims to be the oldest inhabited city in Europe, and the architecture around town gives it that untouched, timeless feeling. As for being a Rome "dupe," Plovdiv has a Roman Theatre known as the Ancient Theatre of Philippopolis, standing in as a perfect Colosseum dupe. The Old Town of Plovdiv will give you the romantic vibes that Italy's capital would, sans the massive crowds.

Historical value and fairytale vibes aside, where Plovdiv really shines is the cost. Eastern Europe is a generally affordable region to travel throughout, and Bulgaria gives you some of the best bang for your buck (no matter what time of year you travel here). Hotels, such as five-star, centrally-located Gallery 37 are typically under $100/night and offer top-notch amenities. The dining scene in Plovdiv is also not to be missed. While Rome is known for some of the world's most iconic cuisine, Plovdiv has several great eateries, such as Hemingway Restaurant and Aylyakria, where hearty-portioned meals will seldom run more than $10-15.

Instead of Monaco...

Monaco is notoriously one of the most expensive countries in the entire world. It's often dubbed as a playground for the rich and famous.

If you want an affordable, crowd-free alternative to Monaco with the same type of beach and vibe, come to Bordighera on the Italian Riviera. Bordighera is about thirty minutes (by train) away from Monaco, so the water conditions and overall vibe are similar. In Monaco during high season, trains are so crowded that it's common for passengers to be unable to get onboard (or to really cram in like sardines). Bordighera, which also has a train station, is one stop away from Ventimiglia; a major connecting point for France and Italy. Since it is not a major station such as Monte Carlo, the trains are seldom completely full.

When it comes to being wined and dined, a glass of champagne in Monaco can be as costly as thirty euro. In Bordighera, however, you can hang out all day at a beach club, such as Seagull Beach Lounge, get your own beach chair for the entire day, order a heaping portion of spaghetti alle vongole, several drinks, and still keep the cost under forty euro. Best of all, accommodation in Bordighera won't break the bank. Stunning villas like Hotel Villa Elisa offer a private pool along with spa amenities that will make anyone feel like they're living the lifestyles of the rich and the famous.