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Why Americans Love Europe

affordable Europe

M Itani / Alamy

It’s Surprisingly Cost-Effective

Europe gets flak for being expensive—and, granted, it can require a planeload of cash to get there in high season. But once you arrive, flying from Paris to Berlin costs less than a dinner and movie back home. Eighty cents will buy you the best baguette you’ve ever had. Wine is cheaper than orange juice. In many respects, Europe is a bargain. It’s just that the pricing structure is all back-assward, so things that ought to be affordable (a tank of gas; the London subway) cost an arm and a leg, while things that ought to be costly (tobacco; foie gras; health care) are dirt cheap or outright free.

So go on: smoke, drink, and gorge on foie gras with abandon. Join the throngs at a football match or a labor strike. Ogle topless pinups with impunity. Buy your-self a pair of pistachio-colored Italian sneakers. It’s Europe! Honestly, why go anywhere else?

Peter Jon Lindberg is T+L’s editor-at-large.

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