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Cheapest Nicest: 10 European Cities to Visit on a Budget

10 Cheapest Cities in Europe to Visit on a Budget

Getting to Europe is expensive these days—by the time you're there, you might feel like you can't afford to do anything. Fear not, some of the cheapest cities in Europe can be just as exciting as a Venice or a London (some of the continent, and the world's, more expensive places to spend time). There's some equally beautiful tourism spots where you can get around much more cheaply. We've broken down some of the latest data to find the cheapest cities in Europe to visit in 2023. A coastal cosmopolis, snow-capped city, and more await without breaking the bank.

Note: you’ll notice some wonderful European cities missing from this list, namely Kiev in Ukraine . It has been tragically affected by the war in Ukraine, and should be avoided until safe to visit – until then, find out how to help the people of Ukraine right now.

Athens Greece

Athens, Greece

This year’s Post Office City Costs Barometer ranked Greece’s historical capital as the cheapest location for an autumn city break in Europe, and noted that priced have dropped by 15 per cent since 2021. Hotels in Athens are of particularly good value, with plenty of small, family-run and boutique spots. According to the survey, two nights at a three-star hotel for two guests average $110–but super-central One Three One is steps away from Monastiraki Flea Market and goes as low as $68 per night, while guests will find balcony views of the acropolis at Hotel Adonis, which has a rooftop terrace and costs as low as $102 for a double room (breakfast included).

Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

While the pretty Portuguese capital is known for its award-winning restaurants , travelers can still dine out on a dime–after Athens, it’s the cheapest city for a three-course meal (averaging around $50). On the move, you’ll get change from a two-euro coin when buying coffee or a mandatory pastel de nata from Pastéis de Belém, a beer costs around $3 (putting London’s £6 pints to shame) and a $0.75 Viva Viagem card can save you up to half off tram journeys. For a place to stay, there are plenty of affordable hotels in Lisbon . We love Hotel 1908 , where smart rooms in one of the city’s most iconic buildings can be booked from $160 per night. Or you can save further by opting for an Airbnb. Some of the city's top trending Airbnbs, like this pretty apartment with a private balcony in Lapa , can be taken over for around $60 per night.

Klagenfurt Austria

Klagenfurt, Austria

Klagenfurt is one of Austria’s most affordable cities to visit (main courses are around $7; the farmers’ market on Benediktinerplatz is a great place for local bargains), and its spectacular setting on the eastern bank of Lake Wörthersee makes it one of the most scenic, too. June is the cheapest time to go, before the summer crowds and wild swimmers descend on the waterfront.

Kaunas Lithuania

Kaunas, Lithuania

Vilnius has long been topping lists of the cheapest places to go on holiday, but Kaunas to the west is even less expensive, and earlier this year was named as one of 2022’s European Capitals of Culture for its music, art and theatre. Its yearly CityTelling Festival hosts a wide variety of performances and exhibitions that place the city’s Jewish heritage centre stage, and access to most events is free, while four-star hotel rooms are as little as $75 a night. For the best views of the Baltic city, a funicular up Aleksoto Hill will cost just a couple of euros. The best bargain in town? Spurginė’s $0.92 spurgos (or doughnuts).

Riga Latvia

Riga, Latvia

According to the Post Office, Riga is one of the cheapest cities in Europe, coming in a close second after Dublin for culture and Athens for accommodation. Wind your way through the narrow alleyways of the charming Old Town, find €2 samsas for lunch at the central covered market located in converted Zeppelin hangars, watch free live music in Dome Square and see striking architecture such as the House of the Blackheads ($7 entry) and the medieval Swedish Gate. But one of the most underrated ways of seeing Riga is on the water–rent a paddleboard for just $18 on the banks of the Daugava River.

Berat Albania

Berat, Albania

Like Puglia’s trulli or Chefchaouen’s all-blue buildings, Berat’s unforgettable white Ottoman houses are totally unique in their collective existence and visual impact. The simple, traditional rooms inside also provide a super-affordable way to stay here, as many are guest-houses or independently-run hotels, such as Hotel Vila Aleksandar or Hotel Mangelemi , both around $43 per night. Head up the steep cobblestoned streets to see the 13th Century Berat Castle (entry is free) and take in the ‘town of a thousand windows’ from the top.

Brașov Transylvania

Brașov, Transylvania, Romania

A cheaper alternative to Bucharest (which is still, by European standards, incredibly good value), Brașov is surrounded by the scenic Carpathian Mountains. A cable car up to the top of Mount Tampa costs just 20 lei ($4.20) for aerial views of the brick-red rooftops, whilst local tour operator Walkabout provide a free walking tour every morning at 10.30am, setting off from the fountain in Piata Sfatului. Pick up local delicacy kürtőskalács (a spit-roasted, sugar-covered ‘chimney cake’) to maintain your energy levels from the stall nearby.

Sofia Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Not only did Bulgaria take the lead (side by side with Turkey ) as cheapest all-round destination in Europe in the Post Office’s Holiday Money Report 2022, but the country is also home to some of the world’s cheapest ski resorts. Sofia, the capital, is just over 10km away from the Vitosha Mountains which provide impressive winter conditions for snow bunnies and cost a fraction of the price of resorts in France or Italy. Wine and Bulgarian beers are notoriously cheap, and downtown Sofia is known for its high-energy party atmosphere. Entry to clubs is seldom more than $13, with live DJ sets and late-night events at Maze or Culture Beat (which also has a great summer terrace for cocktails).

Alacati is a beautiful and small Aegean town on the western coast of Izmir Province in Turkey which has been famous for...

Izmir, Turkey

Travelers to Turkey can get great value for money. On Turkey’s Aegean coast, Izmir has resisted the price hikes of Istanbul and tourist traps of Ankara whilst preserving its 8,500-year-old Kemeraltı bazaar and ancient Roman agora. The historic sites and architectural relics coexist with cosmopolitan culture and traditional cuisine–try pide on the pier or baked potatoes with a choice of toppings at Atıştır Café. An hour out of town is Ephesus, an ancient city built by the Greeks and well worth a detour.

Tbilisi Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia

Whilst the transcontinental city of Tbilisi is the most expensive place to live in Georgia, by European standards it’s exceptionally affordable for holidaymakers. A cascade of new hotels have opened in the last few years, such as the lovely Guest House Lile with double rooms from $25 per night. Foodies should book a table at Barbarestan, a family-run restaurant with authentic recipes and local ingredients, where you can eat for around £40 each – not bad for somewhere given a nod by the crew behind the World’s 50 Best Restaurants .

This article originally appeared on Condé Nast Traveller U.K. All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

inexpensive travel in europe


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11 of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe on a budget

These are the cheapest places to visit in Europe, and we’ve included the cost of a pint

Photograph: Shutterstock

Sophie Dickinson

Travel is well and truly back, people. Covid testing for tourists is increasingly being scrapped across the board, and travellers are practically being ushered into the once-bustling cities of   Europe . But the thing is, lots of us are still strapped for cash after two years of uncertainty. 

The good news is this: there are   plenty  of interesting and affordable locations on the Continent that you can visit without breaking the bank. Plus, a load of them are off the beaten track, meaning you won’t have to fight your way through crowds to find the best bits. We found out the average price of an Airbnb in each place, and cross-referenced that with data from  financial comparison site  Finder  to work out where you can get a discount pint, too. From the ruin-filled city of Argos in   Greece   to the foodie-heaven of Graz in   Austria , here are 11 of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe.

RECOMMENDED:   The 16 best city breaks in Europe for 2022

Been there, done that? Think again, my friend.

Cheapest cities to visit in Europe

1.  kraków, poland.

Kraków, Poland

Festival vibes meet olde-worlde history in Kraków . We recommend packing in as many medieval sites as possible, and then getting stuck into a great night out. Try to plan your trip to coincide with one of the city’s many, many festivals, which range from the typical (think  Summer Jazz Festival  and the  Kraków Film Festival ) to the more obscure, like the International Soup Festival . Yum.

Average one-bed Airbnb: £59 ($77) Average pint: £2.15 ($2.82)

2.  Riga, Latvia

Riga, Latvia

In Riga, it’s all about the art nouveau. The architecture is seriously beautiful, and there’s a huge, buzzy creative scene. Check out Putti , a modern gallery and events space, or Rīgas Birža for something more traditional. Looking for something less refined? The booze here is really cheap – so if you’re looking to let loose, head to the Old Town for all the most established bars. 

Average one-bed Airbnb: £49 ($64) Average pint: £2.76 ($3.66)

3.  Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Český Krumlov is a lot like  Prague , but without the stag dos. Its labyrinthine, baroque streets all lead you, eventually, to the huge castle complex at the centre. It’s beautiful in summer, but for the really  picturesque views go in winter, when it’s blanketed in snow. Keep warm in one of the many cosy cafés, or try traditional food in one of the live music parlours. Not a rowdy bunch of blokes to be seen.  Average one-bed Airbnb: £76 ($99) Average pint: £1.44 ($1.89)

4.  Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest is great  if you’re looking for a good time. Don’t sleep on the nightlife, just make sure to avoid the overhyped bars near the centre and head for one of the sky bars instead. You can try (delicious, hearty) traditional food for bargain prices, too. Our reccomedation is the legendary Caru’ cu Bere  – order the grilled pork and a side of sauerkraut. Average one-bed Airbnb: £45 ($59) Average pint: £1.48 ($1.94)

5.  Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade, Serbia

Chaotic, gritty, packed and super cheap – Belgrade is anything but a quiet getaway location. Smokey dive bars and gig venues nestle in  old socialist architecture, competing for space in the once-desolate Savamala area, which is now home to a thriving culture scene. Head to Ada Ciganlija, a reclaimed island on the Sava river, if you’re looking to find a tiny, tranquil slice of nature.

Average one-bed Airbnb:  £39 ($51) Average pint: £1.53 ($2.01)

6.  Kaunas, Lithuania

Kaunas, Lithuania

Kaunas is going to be big this year. It’s one of the  European Capitals of Culture  for 2022, and an incredible 1,000 events are being planned to celebrate it. If you can’t make it to any of them, there are plenty of seriously impressive exhibition spaces open all year round, like the Mykolas Žilinskas Art Gallery . And if you want something a bit weirder, head to the seriously strange Devil’s Museum .  Average one-bed Airbnb: £58 ($76) Average pint: £2.90 ($3.81)

7.  Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia

This city is made for walking – we recommend that you wander from the beautiful, sprawling main square to basically every sight. That’ll keep costs low, and your exposure to amazing sights high. If you do want to get your transport fix, though, jump on the funicular and head up the hill for unbeatable views. Or just hang out in one of the many, many cool cafés.

Average one-bed Airbnb: £51 ($66) Average pint: £1.82 ($2.39)

8.  Argos, Greece

Argos, Greece

Argos is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. Right in the heart of the Peloponnese, this is Greece as you imagine it: balmy  Mediterranean weather with archaelogical beauty sprawling as far as the eye can see. According to legend, it was literally ruled by the son of Zeus at one point, too. It’s largely off the tourist path too, so you can explore the ancient theatre ruins, the prehistoric castle and sixth-century BC Roman Agora in peace.

Average one-bed Airbnb: £38 ($49) Average pint: £3.66 ($4.80)

9.  Marsalforn, Malta

Marsalforn, Malta

Head to this quaint fishing village  if you’re looking for a properly quiet break. Marshalforn isn’t a porthole-windows and artfully-placed-lobster-crate situation, it’s the real deal. The restaurants have lots of fresh fish and great ocean views, so we recommend you take a book, put on your sunglasses, and enjoy the sea breeze.

Average one-bed Airbnb: £57 ($74) Average pint: £2.09 ($2.74)

10.  Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia is properly, properly gorgeous. The domed churches dotted around the city will be a guaranteed hit on your Insta, as will the elaborate mosques, Soviet statues and grand galleries. As most people overlook it in favour of Bulgaria’s ski slopes and coastline, you won’t feel crowded while you wander.  Average one-bed Airbnb: £46 ($60) Average pint: £1.37 ($1.80)

11.  Graz, Austria

Graz, Austria

Graz is one of Austria ’s unsung heroes. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as being annointed 2003's Capital of Culture and the 2008 City of Culinary Delights. For futuristic art, head to Kunsthaus Graz . The gallery is housed in a building known as the ‘friendly alien’ – you can’t miss its undulating, scaley form on the waterfront. 

Average one-bed Airbnb: £64 ($84) Average pint: £3.25 ($4.27)

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Home » Budget Travel » 13 Cheapest Countries in Europe: BEST Places for Budget Travel! (2024)

13 Cheapest Countries in Europe: BEST Places for Budget Travel! (2024)

If you’re dreaming of backpacking Europe – join the club! Travelling through Europe is like a rite of passage for young, bright-eyed backpackers. It’s an easy place to get started with your international shenanigans since it’s safe, easy to travel, and chock-full of other adventurers.

Oh, but… there is a but, because all the best things in life come with a small disclaimer: if you don’t watch it, travelling Europe will swallow up all your money.

What if I told you that you don’t have to work your ass off just to afford a nice holiday in Europe? That you could, indeed, have the adventure of your dreams and not even have to watch your budget all that much?

Hear ye, hear ye, all you despairing broke backpackers: there are multiple cheap-as-hell countries in Europe that you can travel through for months without breaking the bank. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of the cheapest European countries . Some of them even get close to Asian prices!

Coincidentally, these are also some of the best countries in Europe. Forget about Mykonos and Madrid – the cheapest countries in Europe are here to steal your heart.

inexpensive travel in europe

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 Cheapest Countries in Europe – All the Adventure, Half the Money!

Cheap and awesome – just how we like it.

What are the cheapest countries to visit in Europe? Keep reading to find out! Who knew that backpacking Europe doesn’t mean breaking the bank?

Note that I’ve included a couple of spots in the Caucasus, which is a part of Europe in the same way as a tomato is a fruit; scientifically, it’s true. But if you ask someone if that’s the case, they’ll be like, “ehhh…” They don’t know. I don’t know. Nobody knows. We just roll with it.

Okay, so my favourite regions in Europe deserve their own shoutout: Eastern Europe and the Balkans, I love you . Not only are they cheap, but they’re also freaking gorgeous, and full of smouldering eyed locals. Ahem, not that that is super important to me…

The hiking is off the charts and the wine is extra delicious. Basically, you want to save money and go on mad adventurers as a backpacker. And this is where you come to do it. Don’t just take my word for it, go book a ticket and fin out for yourself!

So when it comes to rounding up the cheapest countries in Europe, I leaned pretty heavily on countries in these two regions. They’re cheap and fantastic, as I said! Prepare for much fangirling – many of the countries on this list have been my favourite trips ever! What can I say? This girl loves a bargain.

inexpensive travel in europe

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1. Bulgaria

Average daily cost: $30

inexpensive travel in europe

Stop everything and book a flight to Bulgaria! Yes, now!

Where do I even start with reasons to visit Bulgaria ? Potentially the cheapest country in the EU, Bulgaria deserves the top spot on this list of the cheapest European countries to travel to. Because DANG – where else can you get a humongous pork-neck steak, a side of vegetables, AND a beer for like 6 euros? Germany could never .

Bulgaria is decidedly Eastern European, sure. But blame the EU-affiliation, since it feels a lot more Western or Central European than its Balkan neighbours. Its big cities are full of cultural treasures (Plovdiv was the European cultural capital in 2019), and its small towns with their imposing mountain backdrops will charm the pants off of you.

On top of that, the best things to do while travelling to Bulgaria are free. Bulgaria has some serious mountainage – so it’s big for hikers. And, best of all, it welcomes wild campers. Save your levas and pitch a good tent for the night, then hike the highest peak in the Balkans (Masala) at sunrise.

Average daily cost: $18

inexpensive travel in europe

Have you ever heard of Moldova? Probably yes, cause you’re a traveller and travellers are geography nerds. 😉

Do you know anything about it though? Hm… that’s what I thought.

Well, backpackers come back from their escapades to Moldova with wonderful news: it’s cool, it’s hip, and it’s largely untouched by widespread tourism. Yep, even the backpacker kind of tourism.

Being one of the least visited countries on the old continent has its advantages: Moldova is also one of the coolest low-cost countries in Europe. Moldova flirts with you through its fine wine and less-travelled countryside.

Because we’re in Eastern Europe, you’ll find some very pretty Orthodox churches. Plus cave towns, castles, and princesses to rescue. One of those things I might have made up, but who’s to know?

The capital Chisinau is a chill, green city. Make sure to also visit Old Orhei, an important archaeological site.

The most adventurous adventurers can also check out the breakaway nation of Transnistria. They’ve got their own flag, currency, and plenty of moxie, but the rest of the world is yet to recognise it as a sovereign country.

Average daily cost: $24

inexpensive travel in europe

What you might’ve thought of as just a rebellious offshoot of Serbia turns out to be a delightfully weird, thoroughly European-minded country, with tons to explore. Plus, you get bragging rights for adding a weirdo country like Kosovo to your list of countries visited. Not that anyone counts, but still.

Kosovo is probably the cheapest country in Europe – one of the best cheap European countries to visit for sure! A typical hostel bed is about $10, and a meal at a restaurant is about $5. And all the delicious, delicious burek you can eat for $1 apiece…. mmmmh .

The capital, Pristina, is home to a host of quirky attractions, including an independence monument that gets re-painted every year and a library that has been dubbed “the ugliest building in the world”. (Poor guy – I disagree.) Down south, the historical Prizren serves history and views on a platter, AND there is even great hiking for beginners (and experts!).

And never mind what you hear about this lil’ country’s rep. Kosovo is totally safe to visit. I’d stay out of the northern border areas because Serbia has still not exactly accepted that Kosovo is doing its own thing, so the vibe there can get weird.

Average daily cost: $20

ushguli mestia

Okay, okay, I promise this is the last squeeeaaak that you’ll hear from me – but seriously, backpacking Georgia is MY FAVOURITE. It’s hard not to fall in love when the country you’re courting just checks off all the boxes: great food, even greater wine, incredible mountains, friendly peeps, and very aesthetically pleasing cityscapes.

In Tbilisi, you can stuff your face with local dumplings called khinkali and bathe your pounding hangover in the underground hot springs. If there is one word to describe this city it’s ‘cool’ . In Batumi by the Black Sea, dig your toes into black, volcanic sand and party away.

People say there’s something weird in the air here, and maybe it’s the chacha fountain (freeflow vodka every night!) but I’ve never had as much fun as I did in Batumi. You could spend WEEKS exploring the many mountain trails and gorges around the country: Georgia has the best trekking in the Caucasus . 

All this travelling could get stressful if you didn’t know that it was dirt cheap. With just a few bucks, you can get whisked away to the other side of the country. Hostel beds are not much more expensive either, at around $10 a night.

And, yeah, some say that Georgia is not technically a part of Europe, but haters gonna hate. Don’t let geography get in the way of a good time.

inexpensive travel in europe

Poland has had feet firmly planted on the traditional European backpacker trails for years. No wonder. the country is one of the best cheap destinations in Europe, easy to travel, super safe, and versatile as fuck.

They even have a desert! It’s a tiny one, but size doesn’t matter, right?

You can easily find some of the best hostels in Europe here for $10 with breakfast included. Entrance fees to attractions can put you over budget if you’re not careful but at least the beer budget doesn’t have to be too high with $2 pints.

Most backpackers have an itinerary in Krakow for a weekend of wild partying and sad Holocaust history. Maaaybe they squeeze in a few days at the capital, Warsaw.

While I love Krakow as much as the next broke dirtbag, you could literally traipse across Poland for weeks just checking off new and weird sights. Wroclaw, Poznan, and Gdansk are all just as pretty as Krakow, and need much more love!

Then there’s the Tatras – the glorious snow-capped mountain range between the border of Poland and Slovakia. Try the local smoked cheese (and bring me some too, because it’s damn delicious).

Average daily cost: $35

inexpensive travel in europe

Look, I think we both know that backpacking Hungary is pretty much synonymous with backpacking Budapest. The capital is, after all, the glitzy, gritty, exciting centre of life in Hungary – for locals, for digital nomads, and for backpackers.

Budapest is worth its reputation and more, for sure! It’s a classic and a must on your Eastern European backpacking trip. Not only because it has ultra-cheap and very tasty food (and beer), not even because its hedonistic parties are notorious everywhere backpackers spread their gospel. Not even the epic Budapest hostels throughout this great city…

No, the coolest part about staying in Budapest is the ruin bars. Basically, they are bars that could’ve been built by Frankenstein: patchwork-y, grungy, surprising, and certified cool.

On the cultural side of things, there are real architectural gems like the Parliament building and Fisherman’s Bastion. You can also soak up your hangover at some hot springs.

But hey, I would never encourage you to spend your time in just one dirty old town. Take a trip to dance at Sziget Music Festival, one of the biggest music festivals in Europe; see Europe’s biggest necropolis in Pécs; take a day trip to the Baroque town of Eger.

7. North Macedonia

Average daily cost: $25

inexpensive travel in europe

Formerly known as “just Macedonia” before Greece came in and hogged the whole name. This Balkan country is eagerly awaiting entrance to the European Union AND your heart. It’s located smack bang in the middle of the peninsula so it’s almost offensive if you don’t pass through it on your Balkan adventures.

The capital Skopje is known for its crazy number of statues – there’s said to be over a hundred in the city centre. Mostly they’re new, built by the Government to “boost tourism and national pride”. Seeing that we’re talking about it here, it seems to have worked.

My favourite spots in North Macedonia are the more chill and nature-oriented ones, though. Lake Ohrid and the small shoreside towns around it are absolutely adorable, and there’s some real hiking to do as well.

Oh, and North Macedonia is not only one of the cheapest European countries to visit but also one of the cheapest in the Balkans – and if you know how affordable backpacking the Balkans is, that’s saying a lot.

8. Bosnia-Herzegovina

Average daily cost: $29

inexpensive travel in europe

Wondering why you should add Bosnia to your backpacking itinerary? Well, first of all, if we weren’t there already, then now we’re about to enter “ cheap as fuck ” territory. But don’t let money (or your lack of it) make the decision for you; let Bosnia convince you with its pure awesomeness.

Two decades after a war that absolutely ripped the country apart, Bosnia is mostly stitched back together again. Don’t get me wrong, the country’s politics are still fucked – they erected a statue of Bruce Lee when the leaders couldn’t agree on a local hero figure that wasn’t too divisive. (One reason Bosnia is an excellent destination if you’re interested in dark tourism destinations .)

Still, the country is now totally safe to travel, as long as you stay on the well-worn trail. The countryside and unmarked mountains are still full of landmines.

Sarajevo, the capital, is like a mini-Istanbul but way more chill. Sarajevo is also one of the best cities in Europe to visit, guaranteed. You could spend the whole day meandering from one tea shop to another eating delicious little cakes, or you could take the free walking tour and learn about the tragic history of the country. 

And you can’t miss Mostar, a tiny town with rich history and beautiful small streets. Slabber up a picnic on the riverside and watch the local diving club (and sometimes daredevil tourists) dive off the 20-metre bridge over the river.

sunset over yerevan

Armenia is another one of these weirdo countries right between the squeeze of Europe and Asia. I mean yes, you could say it’s part of the backpacking Caucus journey but shhh… We Europeans like to be nice and welcoming, so for the sake of this list, we’ll say Armenia is definitely one of us.

The capital, Yerevan, is a popular weekend trip from Tbilisi, Georgia, but it’s almost criminal to leave it at that and call that backpacking Armenia. Travel in Yerevan is cool for sure; it’s brimming with art and statues of all shapes on the streets, and one of my all-time favourite sunset spots above the city. 

How about the other parts of Armenia?

Well, you have Dilijan national park, dearly dubbed the “Switzerland of Armenia” because that’s where you go to get your hike on. Further down towards the south, you’ll find small, quiet towns embraced in vineyards; one of the more famous ones being Areni. Areni is also the site of some of the most important historical findings in the region.

What makes backpacking Armenia such a cheap experience though, are the, uh, prices . You can get a hostel room for $5, a glass of wine for $2, and a train ticket for a full whopping dollar.

Just Remember: Don’t Go Diving off Without Insurance!

As safe as Europe is to travel , you never know when the road just chucks a banana peel at ya for you to slip on. There are all sorts of misfortune that can hit you on the road: lost luggage, mysterious hostel diseases, and broken toes (or broken hearts – but unfortunately you can’t claim those from any insurance).

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

inexpensive travel in europe

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

10. Belarus


In the past, Belarus’ tourism has suffered a lot from super strict visa rules and generally being a dictatorship. (Who wouldn’t want to spend their holidays with an Eastern European dictator?) But could it still emerge as a dark horse and win the heart of shoestring travellers everywhere in Europe? Perhaps… At least it has a lot going on for it.

Minsk, the capital, is not only the city where Phoebe’s boyfriend left to do research on Friends . It’s also an interesting example of Stalinist architecture contrasted with busy squares and old churches. (The Central Square is the biggest public square in Europe!) It has a definite European metropolis feel with vibrant coffee culture and decent nightlife. 

If you’re looking for something a tad more quiet and cultural though, check out Brest and Nesvizh.

inexpensive travel in europe

If we’re ever talking about countries with a bad rep, we’ve got a pretty good contestant for the top spot right here; Serbia was in the centre of the Balkan wars in the 90s, casually committed genocide in Bosnia, and refuses to let Kosovo go to live her best life. These days, Serbia still likes to rub shoulders with comrade Russia. Yikes.

Still, backpacking Serbia is a great adventure and a very fun time as soon as you get over all the portraits of Putin hanging all over the place. It’s a country better than its reputation, and guess what – super cheap!

The capital Belgrade is dubbed one of the most epic party cities in Europe . I’ve heard wild stories of boat bars and hedonistic shenanigans in the Belgarde night. They all seem to be true: Serbia is surprisingly big on raves. There is even a huge dance music festival, EXIT Festival, that is known all over Europe.

For mountain lovers, huge recommendations on the Tara National Park for some grade-A hiking!

12. Albania

Average daily cost: $31

inexpensive travel in europe

Ah, Albania, the worst kept secret of the Mediterranean. The cheapest Mediterranean country is still often referred to as an “undiscovered gem”, even though it’s been firmly on the sun-tan-package holiday roster for years… It’s a gem for sure though, and if it’s still undiscovered for you, here are some good reasons to get discovered. Not to mention, Albania’s beaches are stunning.

Northern Albania = mountains. Just awesome, amazing, majestic mountains that form a part of a three-country Peaks of Balkans hike. Shkoder, the nearest city, is a chill town with nothing much going on except cuteness and coolness.

Tirana is a busy and metropolitan city with some epic sunset spots, urban exploring, and history for days. (You can even see old statues of socialist leaders; Albania used to be so socialist that they refused international cooperation with Soviet Russia and China for “not being socialist enough”.) And the seaside is parallel to that of Croatia in the sunshine and good times, except that the prices there are about a fifth of the Croatian coast.

And since I’m always talking about food (have you noticed?) I gotta mention that Albanian food is super cheap. Plus it’s the best place in the Balkans for vegetarian backpackers with way more options than other Balkan countries.

Oh, and Albanians love tourists. It’s some of the best hospitality I’ve seen in Europe. More than that, I would say peak romance; I got proposed to via Google Translate! Turns out love and sex on the road are everywhere.

Aether Backpack

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so  damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!


Editor’s Note: Unfortunately for our tirelessly working and author of this post… I am the editor! (Muahahahahah.) And, personally, I think it’s very interesting that there are no majority Islamic countries in the EU. There are secular states, Christian states, and there are certainly Muslims living within EU member states, but this listicle just feels… lacking.

We need some gozleme up in this bitch! Enter Turkey.

Now, Turkey is a secular society, but they are neither an EU member nor entirely on the European continental plate. Rather, they serve as the bridge between Europe and Asia.

Officially, the EU is concerned that Turkey has committed human rights violations. And to be honest, they probably have – the dictatorship is fucked, the Kurds have routinely been shafted (to put it lightly), and it’s a very large country with some rather tumultuous borders. But y’know, if we’re gonna be playing the human rights violation games… ahem… Germany – would you like to take the floor?

We can sit here and split hairs until the cows come home over what constitutes Europe (and I will!), but ultimately, Hungary is going bananas, Norway is still whaling, Kosovo is yikers, and the UK just Brexited out of that shit hot mess. And there sits Turkey being a beautiful, dreamy, and CHEAP backpacker destination.

I mean, sure, the EU might not like Muslims, but The Broke Backpacker sure does. 😉

A boat crossing the Bosphorus with a large mosque and several other minarets from smaller mosques in the distance.

Istanbul is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. It’s been at the centre of many historical powerhouse empires and the vibe here reflects that. The colours of the buildings, the smell of the tantalising gozleme , the echoes of the call to prayer… this is a country that reminds you what was so magical about leaving home in the first place.

The Turkish people are incredibly friendly and you won’t find it hard to make friends here! Istanbul is an especially easy place to meet up and chat with locals over the ever-famous, ever delicious doner kebab . As you venture out into some of the more rural areas, you’ll once again be treated to a delight on the senses. You’ve got epic hiking, ancient ruins, still ponds, and even fancy beaches to enjoy.

Parts of Turkey feel as if you’re stepping into another world; others are as familiar as the back of your hand. For something truly special, you could enjoy a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia. As every country that made it onto the original hippy trail, there are alternative towns like Olympos and Cirali to enjoy as well.

Jam-packed full of adventure sights with a side of chilling out? What could be better! Oh yeah, Turkey is also a Ryanair destination if you love a good cheap vacation! You’ve got everything you could possibly want out of a destination rolled into one very sexy, continentally European, not quite culturally European, and definitely not in the EU, nation.

Bonus: Pockets of Cheapness in Ultra-Expensive Itineraries

Most of the inexpensive countries to visit in Europe are in Eastern Europe. Income disparities, imbalanced economies, and all that noise. That means that if you’re backpacking other parts of Europe, none of them might be across your way.

There are so many cheap places to stay in Europe but backpacking Western Europe can get expensive as hell. If your wallet needs a rest, here are a few areas that are cheaper than their surrounding countries.

inexpensive travel in europe

(They didn’t make it on this list of cheap European countries since they’re still mid-expensive.)

  • Western Europe: Portugal and Spain, especially Andalucia
  • Northern Europe: Estonia and Lithuania
  • The Mediterranean: Croatia, Montenegro, and Greece

However, the rest of Europe isn’t exactly out of your reach either, even if your wallet is more full of dust bunnies than dollars… Learn how to travel Europe cheaply . It’s more than possible!

There you have it – The Broke Backpacker’s guide to the cheapest countries in Europe for holidays for the vagabonds and voyagers with more sense than money. Just how they teach you in budget backpacking academy of life.

Honestly, I’ve travelled most of these countries myself and I can verify that they’re AWESOME. Often I encounter a lot of prejudice from my friends about travelling Eastern Europe. Isn’t it dirty? Isn’t it completely undeveloped? Oh my gosh, isn’t it dangerous??

C’mon. The movie Hostel came out 16 years ago. How long do we have to keep fixing Eastern Europe’s reputation?

Picking any of these countries for your next backpacking destination because you want to save pennies is a good enough reason. But consider this too: heavy, filling food, the best uncrowded mountains for hiking in Europe, a side of history, and a unique culture that Western European countries have never experienced.

Off-the-beaten-path discoveries , epic parties, beautiful people. Maybe mythical creatures?

Besides, it’s just more FUN. Yep, it’s true – a lot of these countries on the list are more underdeveloped than France, the UK, or Iceland. That usually means better adventures. When I hitchhiked through Croatia and an entire tyre fell off the van in the middle of the highway, the driver pulled over, shrugged and said, “Welcome to Eastern Europe.”

Little money means bigger adventures. So, where are you headed first?

inexpensive travel in europe

Made it this far? You get 15% OFF to book a place to stay ! Offer valid exclusively for Broke Backpackers 😉

inexpensive travel in europe

Elina Mattila

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These are the best and cheapest travel destinations. Thanks for the more information.

I’ve been to a few of these countries, they’ve all been really good experiences and worth visiting. Serbia is a hidden gem within Europe especially and it’s hard to say no to cheap beer in a lot of these countries.

The picturesque fairytale aesthetics of many Eastern European countries are often overlooked. But blogs and articles like this keep igniting the travelling spirit within me.

Eastern Europe has been by far my favorite area in Europe. Great booze, food, and architecture. Thanks for highlighting some more areas to visit Elina!

Eastern Europe really is underrated. They have so many beautiful sites and such distinct architecture I’m surprised more people don’t talk about it more often.

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22 Best Cheap Countries To Visit In Europe (2024)

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Nicole

There are over 40 countries in Europe, many of which are inexpensive to visit and go on holiday. However, that is where the similarities end. Each country offers different languages, food, history, culture, and landscapes meaning endless possibilities for amazing vacations. Whether you crave beach escapes, city breaks, or time in nature, you will be able to find budget friendly getaways in lots of beautiful European countries. Here are 22 of the best cheap countries in Europe for fantastic low cost holidays.

This post may contain affiliate links. That means that I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you buy something through my site. This helps me run my website and produce the articles that I hope you find helpful.

Other Options

As you will see from this article, there are many cheap European countries to visit. If you are trying to choose a specific destination within a country, there is even MORE cheap European cities perfect for a vacation, even in countries that are not listed here.

For more information about those cities, please see 27 Best Cheap Cities In Europe For A Fantastic Vacation .

For those looking for inexpensive spring or summer destinations in Europe, please see:

  • 29 Cheap Spring Destinations In Europe ; and
  • 28 Cheap Places In Europe For Best Summer Vacations .

Best Inexpensive Countries In Europe For A Vacation

Here are 22 of the best  affordable  European countries to visit for an amazing holiday. Some are more budget-friendly in certain seasons – others are affordable all year round – while many are low priced if you know where to stay and eat, and how to find free or reasonably priced activities and attractions.

For each country, one of the best budget-friendly cities or towns will be highlighted, focusing on reasonably priced or free things to do. In addition, low priced restaurants, markets, and areas offering delicious food are included.

How best to reach the destination by public transportation is described and inexpensive accommodation  is offered. Finally, the best time to go or avoid is set out to help you  plan  the best European trip ever.

Remember – Peak season (normally summer but not always) means higher prices and larger crowds even if a country is considered cheap . If you choose to go during peak season, make sure you do lots of research, make a plan, and book early to secure the best flights and accommodation to help you stay on budget.

For simple travel tips to save you money, please take a look at  10 Best Money Saving Travel Tips .

If you would like to Travel Cheaper, Smarter and Easier, then join the thousands of subscribers who receive my  weekly newsletter  filled with the most up to date and best travel tips around. Sign up with  this link !

best inexpensive countries in Europe for an inexpensive getaway

Hungary is a landlocked country located in Central Europe, bordered by several countries – Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia . It has mostly flat or gently rolling plains, with low mountains in the northern and western regions.

Hungary is an inexpensive country to visit in Europe because although it is a member of the European Union, it does not use the Euro. The Hungarian Forint is weaker than the Euro and other major currencies, meaning visitors get a favorable exchange rate for their money.

In addition, accommodation, food and drinks are very affordable, with restaurants offering very well priced meals.

Overall, Hungary offers great value for money for travelers looking for a low cost European destination.

Budpest, Hungary

Budapest is the capital of Hungary. With approximately 1.76 million residents it’s smaller than many other capital cities in Europe. But, Budapest is a hidden gem in Europe. It has a similar vibe to Paris but with a much cheaper price tag.

Budapest is full of fun things to do and most are inexpensive or free!

The Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the most iconic spots in the city and provides some of the best views of the Danube River from Buda Hill. Many of the viewpoints are free and open year-round. But, you can also pay a small fee to go up to the highest part of the walls. 

Matthias Church is next to Fisherman’s Bastion. The tile work and exterior of the church are spectacular. This church has seen the crowning of kings, and the interior is decorated accordingly. It is one of the most unique churches you will ever be able to visit. There is a small fee to enter but it’s worth it!

Finally, walk the banks of the Danube. The river runs through the middle of the city and provides an incredible perspective. Wander past the Shoes on the Danube Memorial (a tribute to the Hungarian Jews shot by the Nazis and thrown into the Danube during WWII) and be sure to take some time admiring the Hungarian Parliament building.

After visiting Buda, go down the hill and cross the river to Pest. Here, you’ll find Budapest’s Central Market Hall. The first floor is a more traditional market and the second floor is filled with souvenirs. It’s worth a visit even if you don’t buy anything. There are affordable restaurants serving local foods along the exterior of the second floor as well.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

Budapest is a city you can visit in any season. As with any European destination, it is busier in the summer than in spring and fall. But, it isn’t as popular as many other capital cities.

If you can visit in December you should since Budapest is known for its Christmas Markets. You’ll find mulled wine, craft stalls, and seasonal food stalls dotting every square in the city. 

Best Way To Reach Destination

Ferenc Liszt International Airport is the main airport in Budapest. Take the bus from the airport to Deák Ferenc Tér. It will take 30 minutes for this bus ride and then you can transit or walk to your final destination.

Public transit in the city is extensive! There are trams, metros, and buses running throughout the city. Get a travel card from a transit station for affordable unlimited travel. 

Inexpensive Accommodation

Jami from Celiac Travel Pack says, “ Hotels and hostels can be found easily in Budapest with the best deals on the Pest side of the river. With so many options you’re sure to find something that fits with what you want.”

best affordable european countries for a cheap escape

Portugal is located on the southwestern coast of Europe, bordered by Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. The country also includes the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean.

Portugal offers rugged mountainous terrain, rolling hills, and fertile valleys. You will find a beautiful coastline with dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, and picturesque fishing villages.

Overall, Portugal is a fantastic affordable European country for those looking for an inexpensive European getaway. It offers reasonably priced accommodation, food, and attractions while still offering a rich culture, beautiful scenery, and friendly locals.

Cascais, Portugal

Nestled on the western coastline of Portugal, the small and charming city of Cascais offers a memorable experience for travelers seeking an affordable European destination. Home to around 214,000 residents and located just 11 miles (15km) south of the iconic  Cabo da Roca  (Europe’s westernmost point), Cascais is easily one of the best inexpensive destinations in Europe.

Cascais offers a wealth of budget-friendly activities for visitors to enjoy, such as marveling at the intricate sandcastles on Praia da Ribeira (the artists do this in their free time, so you’re never sure what they’ll make), or browsing the eclectic Citadel Art District known for its six unique studios and five captivating galleries.

A stroll through the bustling cobblestone streets reveals an array of whimsical tourist shops and local artisan vendors selling handmade products at unbeatable prices. 

Boasting an array of exceptional cuisine, A Nova Estrela is whipping up mouth-watering traditional Portuguese dishes at affordable prices (their octopus is particularly amazing). Or if you’re hoping for some western comfort food, you can pick up a succulent burger and fries for cheap at Majestic Burguer.

Summer is the peak season, so for a quieter experience, the best time to visit is in May or September, when the weather is still pleasant and the crowds are fewer. However, if you’re someone who enjoys high temperatures, beach time and all the shops and restaurants in full swing, then June through August is the prime time to visit.

Conveniently located less than an hour by train from Lisbon International Airport, Cascais is the perfect destination for budget-savvy travelers seeking a charming and affordable European getaway.

Emily from Emily Embarks says, “Once you’ve had a chance to hit the beach or perhaps take a hike in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, simply walk over to Kasa 23 Cascais to check in! Conveniently located just 300 feet from the center of town, this is the perfect accommodation to keep you in a central location without breaking the bank.”

best affordable countries in Europe for a budget friendly holiday

Romania is a country located in southeastern Europe, bordered by Ukraine, Moldova, Hungary, Serbia, and Bulgaria. The country also has access to the Black Sea with some sandy beaches.

The Carpathian Mountains dominate much of the country’s landscape. However, Romania also has rolling hills and the Danube River.

Romania is not part of the European Union and its currency is the Romanian Leu which is weaker against most western currencies, helping make Romania one of the best budget-friendly countries in Europe for a holiday. Its’ accommodation, food and drink are cheaper than many other European countries.

Sighișoara, Romania

Sighișoara is a picturesque town located in central Romania, known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and fortified walls. It is nestled in the rolling hills of Transylvania, offering a stunning landscape with lush greenery and charming cobblestone streets.

Despite its historical significance, Sighișoara remains a relatively small city with an approximate population of around 28,000 residents. The town’s compact size makes it easy to explore on foot, adding to its cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

There are plenty of  things to do in Sighișoara , including exploring the medieval citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and admiring the colourful houses that line the narrow streets. Then visit the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, who was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula and climb the Clock Tower for panoramic views of the town and surrounding countryside.

For affordable dining options, plenty of restaurants and cafes at the base of the citadel offer delicious Romanian cuisine at reasonable prices. Be sure to try local dishes such as mici (grilled sausages) and covrigi (pretzels), which are affordable and delicious.

Sighișoara has four distinct seasons, and each is a great time to visit, depending on your preferences.

Summer has warm weather, longer days and plenty of outdoor activities, but the town is bustling with tourists and prices for accommodations, activities and dining tend to be higher. 

In spring and fall the weather is cooler, but colourful flowers or beautiful autumn colours create a picturesque setting. Crowds and costs are relatively lower compared to the peak tourist season and it’s a great time to enjoy the town’s charm.

Winter can be cold, with temperatures dropping below freezing, but the town turns into a magical winter wonderland with festive decorations and holiday markets. Crowds are less during this time and costs for accommodations are lower.

The nearest international airport to Sighisoara is Sibiu International Airport, located about 1.5 hours away. Car rentals are available at the airport or you can arrange private transfers from Sibiu to Sighisoara. Public transportation is also available and buses or trains take between 2-3 hours to reach Sighisoara. 

Erin from Wanderlust With Kids say, ‘Plenty of inexpensive accommodation options are available, from budget-friendly hotels to guesthouses or hostels. One fantastic option is Casa Sighişoreană , which is just a few minutes walk from the medieval center.”

best budget-friendly European countries for low cost vacations

Greece is located in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. The country also has coastlines along the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas.

Although Greece is known for gorgeous islands (over 6000 of them) and beaches, over 80% of the country consists of mountains or hills.

Like other budget friendly European countries, the cost of living is lower in Greece than elsewhere which means accommodation, food and activities are less expensive than elsewhere and makes it an ideal spot for a low cost European vacation.

Aegina Town, Greece

One of the best inexpensive places in Europe is Aegina, just off the coast of Athens, Greece. You can easily do a  day trip to Aegina from Athens  or stay a few days. You’ll find many towns on the island, but Aegina is the largest.

Being an island, Aegina has beautiful coasts and beaches. However, there are also hills inland that are great for hiking. To visit the various areas and towns of the island, you can rent a vehicle, take taxis, or go on a tour. Unfortunately, public transportation isn’t very reliable.

Aegina is known worldwide for its pistachios, so you’ll be offered many free samples. Get some pistachio ice cream while you’re in town, you won’t regret it.

There are also many archaeological sites on the island. Two of the most popular are the Temple of Aphaia and the Temple of Apollo, both of which have very low admission prices.

The Temple of Aphaia is in the northeast area of the island, about 20 minutes from Aegina Town. The very well-preserved site dates to the beginning of the 2nd millennium B.C. The Temple of Apollo is just north of Aegina Town and is an active archaeological site where excavations are still taking place.

To stay on budget, avoid waterfront restaurants. Instead, head in a few blocks for a more authentic and inexpensive experience. A favorite café is Pitsi’s Coffee & Food. This cute cafe has coffee, tea, pastries, and sandwiches.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

April and October are considered the best months to travel to Aegina. Average temperatures are usually between 68°F (20°C) and 77°F (25°C). However, you can visit at any time of the year. During winter, some shops and restaurants close for the season, so keep that in mind.

To get to Aegina, you’ll have to take a ferry. There are two ferries that make the trip out to Aegina from Athens. One is Hellenic Seaways which takes only 40 minutes. The other ferry, Saronic Ferries, is more budget-friendly, but the trip takes one hour and ten minutes.

Vicky from Buddy The Traveling Monkey says, “To stay, a great option is Afaia Houses . This vacation home is within walking distance of multiple beaches and attractions. They also have free WiFi, air conditioning, and free bikes that you can use.”

best low cost European countries for a cheap trip

Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and located in the southwest of Great Britain. It is characterized by a rugged, mountainous landscape, with about 75% of the country consisting of hills and mountains. The country is also known for its long coastline, which features dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, and sheltered bays.

In addition to inexpensive accommodation and food, Wales offers an extensive public transit system helping visitors to navigate the country easily and affordably. Overall, Wales is one of the best cheap countries in Europe for a vacation.

Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff is the capital city of Wales; it is a relatively small city with a population of 448,000 people in the metropolitan area of the city but don’t let its small size fool you.

There are plenty of things to do in Cardiff and one of the best ways to explore the city is to take a free walking tour where your guide will show you all the top attractions and monuments around the city.

Cardiff Castle is the main attraction in the city and its easy to see why as the city is built around the castle. Visit the Norman keep or walk along the castle walls and learn all about the uses the castle has had over the years. Entry costs £14.50 for adults and it is open from 10am-5pm year-round.

Visit one of the many Arcades around the city and enjoy some lovely boutique shops and restaurants inside.

Getting around in Cardiff is easy as most places are within walking distance of each other but if you are unable to walk far or the weather is bad consider the hop on hop off bus tour that has stops all around the city and costs £20 for an unlimited journey 24-hour ticket.

Also stop by Cardiff Market and visit Bakestones for some traditional Welsh Cakes to fuel your adventures.

The best time to visit is during the summer months when you can explore the beautiful Bute Park in the heart of the city and maybe pack a picnic and sit amongst the champion trees.

The nearest airport is Cardiff International Airport which is around 25 minutes’ drive away from the city centre, there is also a train station inside the airport which has direct trains to the city. Alternatively, it is easy to take a  day trip to Cardiff from London  by train or coach with prices starting around £30 return for the coach.

Steph from Book It Let’s Go! says, “If you are staying in Cardiff, there are plenty of low cost hotel and private room options with prices starting around £40 ($50) per night for a couple sharing.”

best cheap European country for a low price weekend getaway

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a landlocked country located in central Europe. It borders Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Poland.

The countryside of the Czech Republic is diverse, with lowlands, highlands, and mountains. The country also has several rivers and many parks and protected areas allowing visitors the option to not only explore beautiful historic towns and cities, but also to enjoy the outdoors.

In the Czech Republic, local restaurants and cafes offer affordable meals, and beer is particularly cheap. In addition, it has an excellent public transportation system, including buses, trams, and trains, which makes it easy and inexpensive to travel around the country. It is a stunning reasonably priced European country for a weekend getaway or mid-week escape.

Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Located on the Vltava River in the South Bohemian region of the Czech Republic is Cesky Krumlov, a charming town with approximately 12,000 people, filled with impressive historical sites and delicious food.

Visit the Český Krumlov Castle, a renaissance castle that is a UNESCO heritage site in the historic town center, where you can freely wander around the castle gardens and courtyards.

As you tour the castle complex, take a moment to admire the Church of St. Vitus, which is one of the main attractions in Český Krumlov. You’ll be impressed when you see the stunning interior of this church with its amazing frescoes and magnificent altar.

Afterwards, explore the old town center, one of the best things to do in Český Krumlov.

Be sure to drop by Krčma v šatlavské Ulici for sumptuous inexpensive food and a superb tavern dining experience. It is one of the best restaurants in Cesky Krumlov, known for its delicious food and traditional meals. You should try their mouth watering pike perch and grilled pork belly.

The ideal time to visit Český Krumlov would be October when the weather is lovely and mild, and the fall foliage is coming out. You can take advantage of cheaper flights and accommodation outside of the peak summer season.

There are many ways to get to Český Krumlov via  Prague  from The Vaclav Havel Airport by using public transport like trains and buses (Flixbus) that leave every hour. You can also try car rentals and shuttle services, which are also good options.

Imee from The Backpacking Executive says, “If you are looking for budget-friendly accommodation,  Hostel Havana  is an excellent option. This cozy hostel is equipped with a fully furnished kitchen and accommodating rooms that offers scenic views of the Vltava River.”

best low price country in Europe for a reasonably priced weekend escape

Slovenia is a small country located in southern Central Europe, bordered by Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia. Slovenia offers varied terrain, with mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers.

Visitors will find in Slovenia affordable accommodation and good value for food and drink in most of the country, although prices for food and drink can be higher in touristy areas.

Slovenia has a well-developed public transport system and prices are generally low. In addition, it offers many free or nearly free activities and attractions to keep visitors busy and entertained. It is a fantastic low cost European country to visit for an amazing holiday.

Ptuj, Slovenia

Ptuj is a wonderful city located in the eastern part of Slovenia near the university town of Maribor. This city is the oldest large-scale settlement in Slovenia.

Visitors will enjoy the colorful houses with red-maroon roofs and cobbled stone streets. There is also a medieval castle overlooking the town, making this city a special place to discover in Central Europe.

The Minorite and Dominican monasteries take one back in time with their well-preserved building structures from the Middle Ages and stunning gardens.

The city is located right at the Drava river and the soil is known to produce excellent wine in the region. The wine is reasonably priced and delicious. A visit to the oldest winery in Slovenia in Ptuj should be on every ones bucket list, as well as the other  attractions in Ptuj .

Fortunately, Ptuj is still a hidden gem. Authentic vibes greet one and all seasons are beautiful in their own way.

The local farmer’s market is an ideal spot for food lovers and all those seeking traditional food specialities at low prices.

Flowers markets can be experienced in spring. Summers are hot and a bit more busy. Fall is the season for all wine lovers. Finally, winter offers traditional fairs and feasts such as the annual Carnival celebrations.

The best way to reach Ptuj is to either fly into Ljubljana , the capital of Slovenia, or to get to Graz in Austria and then to Ptuj. The latter is the shortest way by train and car.

Paul D’Souza of Paulmarina says, “The city offers many traditional and simple accommodation options, but I recommend the Hotel Mitra in the old town .”

best reasonably priced European country to visit for a low price mid week break

Spain is a country located in southwestern Europe. It is bordered by Portugal, France, and the Mediterranean Sea.

The country is home to several mountain ranges and has a long coastline, stretching for more than 2,500 miles where you can find many beautiful beaches and coastal towns. The country also includes several islands, including the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa.

Travelers who are willing to stay in budget accommodation, eat at local restaurants, and use public transport can have a great time in Spain without breaking the bank. In particular, inexpensive tapas bars, street food, and local markets offer amazing food at low prices.

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba is a fantastic destination for budget travelers who don’t want to miss out on beautiful historical buildings and delicious traditional dishes.

This Andalusian city has a population of approximately 325,708, and despite being smaller than other nearby cities, it has many things to offer.

One of the best things to do in Cordoba is visit the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, known as La Mezquita. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is unmissable for those who love history and architecture.

You don’t even need to spend money to discover Cordoba. Exploring the Jewish Quarter is an experience. Its cobblestone streets, beautiful whitewashed buildings with flower pots and historic buildings like the Synagogue (which is free to visit!) make it another must-see in Cordoba.

It is a fantastic place to take photos, window shop, or even buy an inexpensive souvenir. If you love photography, Calleja de las Flores should be on your itinerary. It is the prettiest street in the area.

Another  reason to visit Cordoba  is its food. If you are a foodie, you must try Cordoba’s typical dishes. For example, eat flamenquín (slices of Serrano ham wrapped in pork loin, coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried), salmorejo (a cold tomato soup similar to the famous gazpacho) or arroz cordobés (a paella-style dish).

Many inexpensive restaurants in Cordoba offer menú del día, a set menu that often includes a starter, a main course and a dessert. Taberna El Capricho is one of those restaurants.

The best time to visit Cordoba is spring, especially May, because the weather is pleasant (not too hot, not too cold), and you can experience Cordoba’s Courtyard Festival and Fair.

The best way to reach Cordoba from outside Spain is by plane. The nearest airport is Seville Airport, which is 1 hour and 30 minutes by car. So you can either rent a car or take the train to Cordoba.

Cristina from My Little World of Travelling says, “ Líbere Córdoba Patio Santa Marta is a fantastic hostel near the centre for an affordable stay in Cordoba.”

best low-price European country for a low-cost city break

Albania is a small country located in southeastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. It is bordered by Montenegro , Kosovo, North Macedonia, Greece, and the Adriatic Sea.

Albania has a diverse topography. There are various mountain ranges and coastal areas offering a long and rugged coastline, with many beautiful beaches and seaside towns. The Albanian Riviera is particularly popular, offering crystal-clear waters and a relaxed atmosphere.

In addition, there are lots of natural wonders, such as forests, lakes, and rivers providing ample opportunity for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping.

Albania is an ideal European country for budget travelers. There is lots of inexpensive accommodation. Public transportation is generally affordable, with moderately priced buses and trains connecting most cities and towns. In addition, there are taxis and shared minivans, known as furgons, that are also widely available and can be a cheap way to get around.

As for cuisine, restaurants are generally cheap. Street food and local markets also provide excellent value for money, while providing an authentic culinary experience.

Tirana, Albania

Tirana is the capital city of Albania. With a population of half a million, it’s smaller than other European capitals, but the largest city in Albania. Located centrally within the country, Tirana is surrounded by mountains. It’s a vibrant city with a unique history and well worth spending at least  one day in Tirana  if you’re in Albania.

As with many cities, you can take a free walking tour of Tirana (but make sure you tip your guide). In addition, some of the main museums are inexpensive. For example, Bunk’Art2, an exhibition about the secret police who exerted control over the population during communist times, is housed in one of the underground communist-era bunkers and only a few dollars to enter.

A good place for affordable food is the area around the New Bazaar – itself a market where you can buy food inexpensively. A great restaurant near the bazaar is Zgara AlPazar. It’s a no-frills place with delicious traditional Albanian cuisine which is popular with the locals.

Being a Mediterranean country, Albania gets hot in the summer months, so visiting in spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) should mean you escape the extreme heat.

Tirana has Albania’s only international airport, so if you’re flying, it will be to Tirana. Tirana is also well-connected with the rest of the Balkan peninsula via bus.

Martha from says, “A great mid-range place to stay, which won’t break the bank, is the Hotel Boutique Gloria . It is located centrally, on a quiet-ish road not far from the main plaza in Tirana, Skanderbeg Square. The decor is a little old-fashioned but the rooms are comfortable and the staff were pleasant and helpful. They also do an amazing breakfast in their top-floor open-air dining room.”

best low cost countries in Europe for an economical getaway

France is located in Western Europe and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel, Mediterranean Sea, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain.

France offers something to everyone. It has mountains and coastal regions, providing many opportunities for outdoor recreation and exploration, from the rugged peaks of the Alps to the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean coast.

Big cities in France can be expensive. However, staying in smaller towns and cities outside of the main tourist areas are more affordable.

France has an excellent transportation system, with many low-priced options for getting around. While long-distance travel can be expensive, there are often discounts available for advance bookings or off-peak travel.

To save money, consider shopping at local markets and supermarkets to prepare your own meals, or opt for street food and takeaway options.

It is definitely possible to do an economical trip to France. However, more planning will be necessary than some other European countries.

Condom, France

Looking for a budget-friendly city in France? Then, visit Condom – a hidden gem in the southwestern region that offers a perfect blend of history, natural beauty, and some of the  most famous foods of France . 

The highlight of this historic town is the 14th-century Cathedral Saint-Pierre. Its Gothic architecture, intricate stone carvings, stunning arches, and iconic statue of d’Artagnan and The Three Musketeers make it a must-visit.

Another must-visit, low-budget attraction is the Abbaye de Flaran, just a short drive away. The abbey’s museum houses art by masters such as Monet, Picasso, and Rodin. You’ll be amazed at the breadth of the collection here in what feels like the middle of nowhere.

Take a leisurely drive and explore three of France’s most beautiful villages (literally on the official list) – Fources, Montreal-du-Gers, and Larressingle. Among them, Larressingle stands out as the smallest fortified city in France. These villages are so small you can easily stroll through all three of them in one day.

In general, eating in Condom costs a fraction of the more touristed French cities. The region is known for its Duck Confit and Foie Gras, which pair perfectly with the local wines or Armagnac. For an inexpensive meal in town, try Au Relais Gourmand.

No matter how you get there, you’ll want to be out and about. So, avoid Condom in the cold rainy winters, the rest of the year is glorious!

Although its population is less than 7,000, Condom is one of the largest towns in the immediate area so it makes a great hub for exploring by car.

Condom does have a bus station, but the closest train options are Auch and Agen, each a little over a half hour away. The closest international airports are further, Bordeaux (1 3/4 hrs) and Toulouse (1 1/2 hrs).

Denise from Chef Denise says, “If you stay at the B&B Les Bruhasses, they will provide you with a map and guidance on finding the places that interest you most whether it be villages, ruins, wineries, or hiking the lush green hills.

The owners of this 18th century house speak English and know every inch of the region. A couple of times a week they offer a home cooked meal of local specialties that you should not miss.”

best economical European countries for a moderately priced escape

Poland is a country located in Central Europe. It is bordered by Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic Sea, Lithuania, and Russia.

It is a relatively flat country with some rolling hills. There are also lots of lakes and rivers. The Carpathian mountains are in the south and beautiful forests surround it.

Poland is one of the best moderately priced countries in Europe to go for fantastic vacations. It offers an extensive and inexpensive public transportation system, and lots of restaurants that are affordable for budget travelers. Look out for set menus that offer even better value than ordering a la carte.

In addition, there is lots of reasonably priced accommodation options for all kinds of accommodation, such as hostels, guesthouses, and hotels.

Krakow, Poland

Krakow, is a beautiful city located in southern Poland. It is Poland’s second-largest city with a population of around 770,000. 

The city includes various districts including the Old Town with the infamous Sukiennice Cloth Hall as well as the well known Jewish Quarter.

Some great inexpensive activities to do include strolling through the streets, where you will be sure to find plenty to see.

Wawel Castle is one such stop.  It is a royal complex of a palace and cathedral that sits above the Wisla River. Visitors can enter the castle for free, however a timed ticket may be required in high season.

Another must-visit attraction is the Schindler Factory Museum, located in the Zabłocie district. It tells the story of Oskar Schindler and the Jewish workers he saved during the Holocaust. While not entirely free, the museum offers a discounted rate on some days, making it an affordable worthwhile educational experience.  

A great tag on to this experience would be a day trip to Auschwitz from Krakow .  Auschwitz is free to enter, or a tour can be reserved online for a low cost. It is simple to get to Auschwitz from Krakow by bus or train.

In regards to food, Polish food is a must try. Authentic Polish food can be purchased for cheap at “bar mleczny” or milk bars that tend to cater to college students and locals, but are great finds for tourists who want a more authentic local feel. One popular milk bar is Bar Mleczny Targowy.

Some Polish dishes to try include kotlet schabowy, bigos, zurek, or even the well known pierogi.

The best time to visit Krakow is during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. The weather is mild and comfortable, and there are fewer crowds, making it easier to navigate the city streets.

Summer, while beautiful, can get a bit crowded. Winters in Krakow can be cold and snowy, but the annual Christmas Market in December is worth a visit.

The train journey from the airport to the city center takes about 20 minutes, while buses take about 40 minutes.

Diana from Travels In Poland says, “In terms of accommodations, Krakow offers a range of budget-friendly options such as hostels and low cost hotels. Hostels Greg & Tom Party and Mosquito, and budget hotels like Aparthotel Stare Miasto and Astoria Gold Hotel are great places to stay for reasonable prices.”

best European countries for budget travelers looking to go on holiday

Malta is a small island country located in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Italy and east of Tunisia. It consists of three main islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino, as well as several smaller islands.

Malta is characterized by low hills with terraced fields, and a rocky coastline. Malta is known for its beautiful beaches, clear blue waters, and historic architecture.

Malta can be a budget-friendly option but more planning will be necessary than some other European countries. Avoid summer and stay outside of the main tourist areas for more affordability.

There is a good public transportation system, but renting a bike or scooter can also be a less expensive way to get around. Eating out can stretch your budget, so consider buying groceries and preparing your own food.

There is an amazing amount of free and low-cost attractions in Malta so once you sort out accommodation, food and transport, you can pay very little for the balance of your vacation.

Valletta, Malta

One of the best places to go in Europe on a budget is to the quaint UNESCO-listed capital of Malta. Valletta is jam-packed with history, great architecture, and charming cafés and restaurants. Being the smallest capital city in the European Union, it is walkable and only home to approximately 6000 people.

There is no doubt that Valletta is one of the  prettiest cities in Malta  with its domes and green parks overlooking the port and the Three Cities.

Among the top things to do is to visit the Three Cities which are reached by a 10-minute inexpensive ferry trip from the city. You will find a ruined temple in the center and can explore many churches for free which are just as beautiful from the inside as they are from the outside.

One of the costliest attractions is also one of the most beautiful – St. John’s Co-Cathedral with its golden decors and vibrant frescoes. Even if you are on a budget, you should prioritize going to this one attraction.

It is also affordable to go on day trips to other cities and towns with cheap bus fares.

No. 43 is a great healthy restaurant where you also find vegetarian food on a budget.

The best time to visit Valletta is in winter when prices generally are lower for accommodation. Crowds are also fewer and you can still enjoy warm temperatures of up to 68 Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). You may even be able to go swimming (if you dare). However, since Malta is a fairly flat island, it can get windy in winter.

The best way to get from Malta Airport to Valletta is by bus which only takes 20 minutes.

Linn from Brainy Backpackers says, “There are multiple affordable places to stay in the city, like Hotel Castille . But if you are looking for even more budget-friendly accommodation, you could check in at a shared dorm in one of the hostels in Sliema , just a short bus drive from the city.”

best inexpensive European countries for affordable vacations

Slovakia is a landlocked country in central Europe . It is bordered by Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

Slovakia is known for its natural beauty, with the Tatra Mountains and numerous national parks offering opportunities for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities.

Slovakia is one of the best countries in Europe for a cheap getaway. While it is not as inexpensive as some other Eastern European countries, such as Romania or Bulgaria, it is still relatively affordable compared to Western Europe. Prices for accommodation, food, and transportation are generally lower than in many other European countries, particularly in the countryside.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava has been the reigning capital of Slovakia since the country gained independence in 1993. Boasting a fascinating history with impressive medieval, Gothic, and baroque buildings to show for it, Bratislava also happens to be one of the most inexpensive European cities to visit. With a population of just under 500,000, it is a city that is easy to explore during a short visit. 

The city is great for a cheap city break, with dozens of things you can do for next to nothing. Head up to Bratislava Castle for sprawling views over the orange rooftops of the city, and to explore the newly renovated castle.

Another free activity is wandering around the beautiful Old Town. Walk the cobbled streets and admire the architecture, making sure to admire St Michael’s Gate – you can even climb the tower for panoramic views across the city.

Another must-do in Bratislava is visiting the city’s iconic UFO Tower. Relax here with a cheap cocktail and a snack and people watch from across the Danube. 

You can’t visit Bratislava and not try some authentic Slovakian food. Delicious local dishes include sheep’s cheese gnocchi, potato dumplings, and goulash. I recommend heading to the Slovak Pub for cheap and tasty dishes – you can’t miss their spicy cabbage soup and sharing platters.

There are some wonderful coffee shops in the city that you simply can’t miss also – my favourite is black, with its cool interiors and delicious flat whites. 

The best time to visit Bratislava is either early December when the Christmas markets are in full flight, or early summer before the crowds arrive in the city. With plenty of al fresco dining spots, early summer is a great time to spend outdoors. 

Bratislava Airport is just 6 miles (9 km) north of the city, and the easiest way to reach it. Alternatively, you can catch a Flixbus from nearby Vienna, Austria which takes around 90 minutes and costs just a few dollars.

Laura from What Laura Did Next says, “Although relatively basic, accommodation is very reasonably priced. I stayed in the  City Center Best Place apartments , which is clean, super affordable, and comfortable.  LOFT Hotel  is another great inexpensive option, and also centrally located.”

best affordable European country to take a budget-friendly vacation

Italy is located in southern Europe and borders France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the Mediterranean Sea.

Italy offers a diverse landscape that includes mountains, rolling hills, plains, and coastlines. The Apennine Mountains run down the center of the country. The coastlines of Italy are also varied, with sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and small coves.

Italy is a wonderful European country to visit for affordable holidays, especially for those who enjoy art, history, and culture.

Accommodation can be one of the biggest expenses in Italy, especially in popular tourist destinations like Rome, Florence, and Venice. However, there are many reasonably priced hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels available in these cities, as well as in smaller towns and villages.

Avoid dining in touristy areas. Instead, seek out street food, pizza, pasta, and sandwiches. Local markets offer amazing fresh produce and ingredients for those who prefer to cook their own meals.

Public transportation is good and extensive. In addition, many cities also have bike-sharing programs, which can be a fun and inexpensive way to explore.

Bologna, Italy

Bologna is a city located in northern Italy, in the Emilia-Romagna region and has a population of around 400,000 residents.

It is situated in the Po Valley and surrounded by the Apennine Mountains. The city is known for its distinctive red buildings made from terracotta bricks, giving it the nickname “La Rossa” (The Red). The landscape around Bologna is characterized by rolling hills, vineyards, and picturesque countryside, making it a scenic destination.

The city itself has well-preserved medieval architecture, with narrow streets, arcades, and historic buildings that give it a unique charm.

You’ll find plenty of things to do in Bologna, from food tours to trips to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca. However, some of the best things to do don’t cost a penny.

You can explore the Piazza Maggiore which is the heart of Bologna. It’s a vibrant public square and you can enjoy the lively atmosphere for free. You can sit on the steps of the iconic Basilica di San Petronio, people-watch, and take in the beautiful architecture of the surrounding buildings.

Alternatively, you can wander Bologna’s famous porticoes. These covered walkways line the city streets and are on the UNESCO World Heritage list. You can stroll along the porticoes and admire the unique architecture whilst enjoying the shade they provide, especially during hot summer days.

Or, for a small fee, you can climb the tallest leaning tower in Bologna, the Asinelli Tower. The panoramic view from the top offers stunning vistas of the city and the surrounding countryside, making it a worthwhile and budget-friendly activity.

Whether you’re spending  2 days in Bologna  or a whole week, you’re sure to have an excellent but inexpensive trip.

One good inexpensive restaurant in Bologna is Trattoria di Via Serra. It’s a super cosy spot that offers traditional Bolognese cuisine at affordable prices. The menu includes dishes such as risotto, and meat dishes – and of course, there is no escaping pasta while in Italy!

The best time to visit Bologna depends on your preferences and what you want to experience, however, many agree that spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are the best months due to pleasant temperatures, few crowds and reasonable prices.

Bologna is served by the Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ), located about 4 miles (6 kilometres) northwest of the city centre. While you can take a taxi to the centre, the best service to use is the Macroni Express – a monorail which connects the airport to the city centre in just 7 minutes.

Millie from Stay Wild Travels says, “Bologna offers many different types of accommodation to suit different preferences and budgets. For budget travelers, consider We_Bologna .

best low cost country in Europe for cheap trip

Croatia is a country located in Southeast Europe, on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It shares borders with Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

There is a mix of coastal areas, mountains, and plains in Croatia, making it an ideal destination for anyone interested in not only exploring historic towns and cities, but those who want to have easy access to natural beauty and outdoor activities.

For those who love the water, the country has a long coastline along the Adriatic Sea, and numerous islands, bays, and coves, offering amazing beaches and boating opportunities.

Croatia is a great European country for budget-friendly vacations, as there are plenty of affordable options for accommodation, food, and activities. However, prices can vary widely depending on the location and time of year, so it’s important to do your research.

Avoid Dubrovnik and Hvar during the peak summer season. Alternatively, head to cities like Split and Zadar that offer budget friendly cultural attractions, outdoor activities, and nightlife, as well as having affordable accommodation choices.

Zadar, Croatia

Zadar is a small yet beautiful city with a population of around 75,000 people. It is located on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, and boasts a mix of historic sites and modern installations with stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. 

There are several free or inexpensive  things to do in Zadar , such as visiting the Sea Organ, Sun Salutation, and the Roman Forum. 

The Sea Organ and Sun Salutation are modern installations where you can hear beautiful music created by the waves of the sea and admire solar panels that light up in different colors at night. It’s a great spot to relax and enjoy the sunset. 

The Roman Forum is an ancient site that dates back to the 1st century BC, and it’s a fantastic spot for history lovers. Near the forum you’ll find St. Anastasia’s Cathedral. You can climb the bell tower for a small fee and enjoy a panoramic view of the city, the Adriatic and surrounding islands.

If you’re looking for inexpensive and delicious food in Zadar, head to the local markets. You can find fresh produce, seafood, and local delicacies at a fraction of the cost of restaurants. Or head to Proto Food&More, an affordable restaurant that offers traditional Croatian/Dalmatian cuisine.

The best time to visit Zadar is in the spring and fall when the weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller. Summers in Zadar can be quite hot, and the crowds can be overwhelming.

The nearest international airport is Zadar Airport, located just 6 miles (8 km) from the city center. From the airport, you can take a bus or a taxi to reach the city center.

Zi from Craving Adventure says, “There are several accommodation options in Zadar, but they get pricier in the old town. Private apartments are generally cheaper than hotels, or consider staying just beyond the walls. The Hotel Kolovare is located just a short walk from the historic city center and has beautiful sea views at a reasonable price.”

best low price European countries to visit for  cheap getaways

North Macedonia

North Macedonia is a landlocked country located in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, Greece, and Bulgaria.

North Macedonia is one of the best countries in Europe for someone looking for a fantastic well priced trip. Compared to other European countries, North Macedonia generally has a lower cost of living and lower prices for food, accommodation, and transportation.

It offers many historic sites, museums, and galleries that can be visited for little to no cost. The country is also home to beautiful natural scenery, including mountains, lakes, and national parks, which can be explored on a budget.

Skopje, North Macedonia

With a population of just over 600,000, Skopje , nicknamed “the capital of kitsch”, is the capital and largest city of the Republic of North Macedonia. Many visitors to North Macedonia tend to bypass Skopje, heading immediately to the mountains or Lake Ohrid, Europe’s oldest lake. But there are plenty of free and inexpensive activities to do in Skopje, and it’s definitely worth spending a night or two there.

Begin your trip by exploring Skopje’s Old Town and Bazaar. This bazaar is one of the oldest in the Balkans and dates back to the 12th century. Losing yourself in the ancient streets and alleys is fascinating, and the smells and sights are a feast for the eyes.

From the Old Town, cross the old Stone Bridge to Macedonia Square in the newer part of the city. Admire all the impressive Baroque and beautiful neo-classical buildings you see, but note they are not nearly as old as you think.

In an effort to make Skopje more attractive for tourists and visitors, a controversial project called “Skopje 2014” added hundreds of giant statues to the town squares, and fancy facades to the brutalist architecture. The result is kitsch, it’s weird, but it does actually look rather impressive.

Admire the colossal statues of Alexander the Great dotted around the city, such as the 22-metre-tall one in Macedonia Square.

Mother Teresa is probably the most famous person from Skopje, and close to Macedonia Square is the Memorial House of Mother Teresa, which offers a fascinating insight to the life and works of Mother Teresa.

For a birds-eye view of the city, head up to the old fortress for sunset.

For dining, head to Skopje’s Bohemian district Debar Maalo for cheap eats. Here you’ll find tree-lined streets and numerous trendy cafes and restaurants. It’s just a short walk away from the chaotic streets of the Old Bazaar and the new town’s kitsch – a totally different atmosphere.

When in Skopje, be sure to try the Sarma, rolled vine leaves filled with rice and meat – delicious!

The best time to visit the city of Skopje is during the spring or autumn months. Temperatures drop below freezing in winter, and it gets too hot and sticky during the summer to enjoy exploring.

The closest airport to Skopje International Airport is 23 kilometres / 14.3 miles from the centre of Skopje (Macedonia Square). The most economical option to the city is to take the airport bus.

Sarah from Life Part 2 And Beyond says, “For good accommodation at an affordable price, check out the highly-rated View Inn Boutique Hotel .”

best cheap countries in Europe for cheap holidays

England is a country located in the southern part of the island of Great Britain in Europe. It shares borders with Scotland and Wales.

England’s landscape includes rolling hills with a couple of mountainous areas. Coastal areas offer sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and estuaries. The southwest coast is known for its rugged cliffs and picturesque villages, while the southeast coast is known for its seaside resorts and sandy beaches.

England does have expensive spots, especially in major cities like London . However, there are ways for budget travelers to explore and experience this European country without breaking the bank. In addition, there are ways to visit normally historically expensive cities and do it on a budget, provided you know how (for London, please click here.)

One option for budget travelers is to visit smaller towns and cities outside of London, where accommodation, food, and activities will be more affordable. England has a wide range of historic towns, charming villages, and scenic countryside areas that are worth exploring.

Another option is to take advantage of free activities and attractions. Many museums, galleries, and parks in England offer free admission, and there are also many walking tours and self-guided tours that can be done for free or at a low cost.

Public transportation is widely available in England, and using buses and trains can be a more affordable way to get around than renting a car or taking taxis. Planning ahead and purchasing tickets in advance can also help save money on transportation costs.

Overall, while parts of England may not be the cheapest European country to visit, it is still possible for budget travelers to enjoy all that the country has to offer without overspending.

Liverpool, England

Liverpool is a city located in northwest England, known for its rich cultural heritage, music scene, and historic landmarks. As the fourth-largest city in the UK, Liverpool has an estimated population of around 486,100 people.

Liverpool has beautiful waterfront views and a fascinating maritime history that you can learn more about at the Maritime Museum. In fact, visiting museums is one of the  best free things to do in Liverpool . There are numerous options to choose from such as Walker Art Gallery, World Museum, or Tate Liverpool.

You can reach Walker Art Gallery from Liverpool Lime Street train station in less than 5 minutes. This fantastic museum has an impressive collection of sculptures and paintings. Moreover, the city is very walkable so you might be able to visit many museums during the day.

Baltic Triangle is also a great area to explore if you love street art because it is filled with famous wall paintings such as For All Liverpool’s Liver Birds (Wings) by Paul Curtis or The Klopp Art Wall.

One of the best inexpensive places to eat is Baltic Market located on the former site of the Cains Brewery.

The best time to visit Liverpool is in the summer months, specifically from June to August. However, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder season of April to May or September to October. Keep in mind that Liverpool is a bustling city year-round, with plenty to do and see no matter when you visit.

To get from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to the city center, you can take the bus, train, or taxi. The most affordable option is the bus, which runs between the airport and Liverpool ONE Bus Station every 30 minutes.

Paulina from the UK Every Day says, “For affordable hotels in Liverpool, consider looking at budget hotel chains such as Premier Inn , Travelodge, or Ibis Budget .

Additionally, stay in neighborhoods like Anfield, which may have lower-priced options outside of the city center when there are no football events in the city.”

best budget friendly country in Europe for budget travelers looking for cheap holidays

Bulgaria is a country located in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, and the Black Sea.

Bulgaria has a mix of mountains, valleys, and plains. In addition, it has several nice beaches along its Black Sea coast that offer lively and bustling resorts or quieter and more secluded spots.

Bulgaria is considered one of the best European countries for budget travelers. The cost of accommodation, food, and transportation in Bulgaria is low compared to many other European countries.

Additionally, Bulgaria has many interesting cultural and historical sites, as well as beautiful outdoor settings, including mountains, beaches, and national parks, which can be explored on a budget.

Sofia, Bulgaria

One of the most overlooked cities in Europe is Sofia. The laidback capital of Bulgaria is a great place to visit on a budget and it’s best to spend at least  2 days in Sofia  exploring the historic sights.

Over two days you can explore the ancient ruins scattered around the city, learn about the history of Bulgaria and climb to the top of Vitosha Mountain.  Did you know?  Sofia has mountains right on its doorstep and the city was built on top of the ruins! A lot of them are now uncovered. 

A car isn’t really needed in the city as Sofia is very walkable. Public transport is only needed to visit spots outside of the city such as the nearby mountains for hiking.

Alongside hiking, some of the best affordable things to do in Sofia are easy to find on a free walking tour. Learn about the ancient ruins, visit the picture-perfect St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and ask as many questions as you’d like!

End your days with a walk down Vitosha Boulevard. There are so many amazing places to eat in Sofia, so it’s the perfect city if you’re a foodie! Satsanga Restaurant and Edgy Veggy are two great spots for healthy nutritious food!

Banitza (cheese pie) is a must-try while exploring Sofia. It is cheap and delicious. It’s also really easy to find with other inexpensive snacks from local stalls.

The best time to visit Sofia is when it’s warm in the summer months from May to September. However, if you love snow, it’s also worth visiting in the winter for some snow sports such as skiing or snowboarding. As Sofia is an inexpensive city in Europe, prices for skiing are much less than in the French Alps, so it can be done on a budget.

Sofia has good airport links to many major cities around Europe. From the airport, hop on the M2 metro line to get to the city centre. It’s the best and most affordable way to get to Sofia.

It’s also possible to arrive by bus from Turkey, Romania, North Macedonia, Serbia and Greece! Sofia is usually the entry point to the country.

Amy from The Sunrise Dreamers says, “ Hostel Mostel is the perfect place to stay in Sofia if you want to meet other travellers. They also offer free food which is great for your budget!”

best low cost European country for an inexpensive trip

An off-the-beaten-path country in Europe that’s on the more affordable side is Andorra . The tiny country is located in the middle of the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain. It has approximately 80,000 people and is full of interesting places to explore. All in all, Andorra is a country in Europe offering fairly low price getaways with plenty of interesting attractions that can be done for free or at a very low cost

For starters, one popular activity that visitors can do is visit Saint Esteve of Andorra Church. This Romanesque church was built in the 12th century and is considered a significant historical and cultural landmark.

Afterwards, head downtown Andorra La Vella to view La Noblesse du Temps, a mesmerizing, free-standing art piece created by the famous artist, Salvador Dali.

You’ll find plenty of affordable restaurants in the downtown area, such as K L’Irina, which has a great lunch menu.

In terms of when to visit, the weather is most pleasant in the summer. During the summer months, Andorra experiences average high temperatures of 75°F and average low temperatures in the low 60s°F, which is the perfect temperature for wandering around the streets of Andorra. That said, you can expect a decent amount of crowds since it’ll be peak travel season.

You can fly directly into Barcelona’s international airport and then purchase a bus ticket from Barcelona to Andorra. Transport via bus takes about 2.5 to 3 hours depending on traffic.

Kristin from Global Travel Escapades says, “For places to stay, check out Hotel Pyrénées , which is a reasonably priced 3-star hotel that’s centrally located!”

best low-cost European country to visit for cheap getaways

Serbia is a landlocked country located in southeastern Europe, bordering Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It offers a mix of lowlands, hills, and mountains, and is also home to several major rivers.

Serbia is a fantastic European country offering inexpensive escapes. There are a range of affordable options for accommodation, food, and activities.

Prices in Serbia are generally lower than in many other European countries, and budget travelers can enjoy a variety of experiences, including exploring historic sites, hiking in beautiful national parks, and sampling delicious local cuisine.

Serbia itself is an extremely inexpensive country for Westerners. Every restaurant costs one third of what it would in North America, which makes it easy to dine out.

Additionally, Serbia is known for its vibrant nightlife, with many clubs and bars offering discounted prices for drinks and entertainment.

Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade, the capital of Serbia , is one of the best inexpensive cities in Europe, offering a diverse landscape and plenty of free (or nearly free) activities. Located on the banks of the Danube and Sava rivers, Belgrade is a medium-sized city with an estimated population of 1.3 million.

Exploring the city offers plenty of unique experiences for travellers looking to stretch their budget. A stroll through Kalemegdan Park, which overlooks both rivers, provides breathtaking views and historical sites, such as the Belgrade Fortress and the Monument to the Unknown Hero.

Free walking tours run regularly to tell you the history of the area, including the protests in Republic Square, the destruction of the Baltic bombings, and the beauty of the Saint Sava Temple.

Additionally, visitors can take a walk down Skadarlija, an old bohemian quarter of Belgrade where many famous Serbian poets and writers hung out in the 19th century.

You will want to get a SIM card with data for your time in Belgrade. Free WIFI is not popular in Serbia, and it can be hard to find cafes that will let you stay for long periods.

The best inexpensive restaurants for tourists are on Skadarlija Street. You’ll find Turkish cafes, traditional ćevap, and yummy pljeskavica. Another great spot is Zemun, where you can dine along the Danube River.

The best time to visit Belgrade is during spring (April-May) or fall (September-October), with mild temperatures and fewer crowds. Summers can be hot, reaching up to 95°F (35°C) in July and August, but cooling off after dark. If you like to hike, you can catch a bus or join a tour to explore the nearby forests. They’re gorgeous at this time of year!

The Nikola Tesla Airport is the international airport for Belgrade and serves a variety of routes from all around Europe. Getting into the city center from the airport is a 30 minute drive. Cars are very inexpensive to rent in Serbia, but it is tough to park downtown. You can also take a bus for one hour to get to the heart of the city.

In addition, you can take the train from most of Europe. A common route is to take the train north from Turkey, using the sleeper cars.

Nina from Nina Out and About says, “A three star hotel in Old Town will cost you roughly 50 Euros ($55 USD) per night. The best one is the Hotel Bohemian Garni . But remember that these Baltic hotels are not as plush as Western hotels. Even in the nicest ones, you’ll find they are quite sparse and basic in their amenities.

If you’re staying for a long time or working in Belgrade, opt for a Domovina apartment instead. These are fully furnished apartment rooms with better WIFI for about 40 Euros ($43 USD) a night.”

best economical country to visit in Europe for affordable holidays

Germany is a country in central and western Europe. It is bordered by the North Sea, Denmark, the Baltic Sea, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Germany’s topography is characterized by a mix of low-lying areas, rolling hills, and mountain ranges. This includes the Alps in the south. The Rhine River is another prominent feature, running through the western part of the country and dividing it into two distinct regions, the Rhineland and the Black Forest.

Germany is a good European country to visit for budget-friendly holidays, as there are plenty of affordable options for accommodation, food, and activities. However, Germany is more expensive country than some other European countries, so you may need to be more selective when and where you go to make the most of your budget.

Additionally, major cities like Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg tend to be more expensive than smaller towns and rural areas. With some research and planning, it is possible to have a great time in Germany on a budget.

Cologne, Germany

Cologne, located in western Germany, is a vibrant and lively city with a population of approximately 1.1 million. The city sits on the banks of the Rhine River and is famous for its stunning Gothic architecture, historic landmarks, and bustling street life.

One of the best things to do in Cologne is to visit the Kölner Dom, the iconic cathedral that dominates the city’s skyline. The entrance is free, although you will have to pay a small fee if you want to climb the tower.

Another must-see attraction is the Old Town, with its colorful houses, cozy pubs, and boutique shops.

Finally, you can take a stroll along the Rhine promenade, which offers breathtaking views of the river and the city, especially at sunset.

For foodies on a budget, Cologne has a range of options from which to choose. Alter Markt is a lively square where you can find the brewery Peters Brauhaus which serves traditional Cologne specialties at good prices.

There are also a number of markets, called Wochenmarkt (which means weekly market in German), where you can sample local specialties and pick up fresh produce.

Another great recommendation is the Neumarkt area, which is home to several cheap but delicious eateries.

The best option for inexpensive eating in Cologne is Bäckerei Balkhausen, the most well-known bakery in Cologne with a long line in front of the door. You can choose from all types of different bread and the sweet and savory pastries are to die for.

A good option is to visit Cologne during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, when the weather is mild, and the crowds are fewer. Summer can be busy and hot, while winter can be quite cold.

However, the absolute best time to visit is in December to see  Cologne’s famous Christmas markets  which make it a popular destination during the holiday season.

Gluhwein and hot chocolate make up for the cold, you can go ice skating and there are so many different Christmas markets around the center that you are sure to find one you’ll fall in love with.

Most Christmas markets in Germany are also completely free and you can get inexpensive drinks and food at the many festively decorated stalls.

Cologne is easily accessible via the Cologne Bonn Airport, which is served by several international airlines. From the airport, visitors can take a train, bus, or taxi to the city center, with travel times ranging from 15 to 30 minutes.

Once in the city, public transportation is reliable and affordable, with a range of options including buses, trams, and trains.

Jo from World Wild Schooling says, “The most highly-rated hostel in Cologne is Hostel die Wohngemeinschaft – and for good reasons. It is located in a fun neighborhood just 2 kilometers from the Cathedral and the place is gorgeous!

One more recommended option is the A&O Köln Hauptbahnhof , a centrally located hotel that offers comfortable rooms and a range of amenities at an affordable price.

Another budget-friendly option is the centrally located NH Köln Altstadt .”

best cheap European country for reasonably priced European vacations

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a mostly landlocked country located in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. It has a mix of high mountains, rolling hills, and valleys.

Sarajevo is one of the cheapest capital cities in Europe. Bosnia and Herzegovina is not in the European Union and accordingly, uses the Bosnian and Herzegovina Convertible Mark as its currency which is valued much less than most other western currencies.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the best European countries to visit for cheap vacations. Accommodation, food, and transport are generally economical compared to other European countries.

Some of the top attractions in the country, such as the historic city of Mostar and the stunning landscapes of Una National Park, can be visited for a reasonable price or even for free.

Public transport is also affordable and easy to use, with buses and trains connecting major cities and towns.

Overall, Bosnia and Herzegovina can be a great destination for budget-conscious travelers looking to explore a unique and culturally rich country.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s also the country’s largest city with about 275,000 inhabitants.  

Some people may still associate Sarajevo with the Bosnian War, which ended in 1995. The city has changed a lot since then, although you can still see the remnants of the war, as many buildings are riddled with bullet holes. But now it’s a very safe place to visit and a great example of a city that embodies both Western and Eastern culture.

The best places to learn about the war are the “Museum of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide” or the “Sarajevo Tunnel of Hope Museum”. You have to pay a small entrance fee for both museums but it is worth it.

Nowadays, Sarajevo is a bustle of different cultures where old meets new. You can see this in the architecture which ranges from modern skyscrapers to historic mosques built during the Ottoman Empire.

Strolling through the old town with the bazaar is one of the  best things to do in Sarajevo  and it’s completely free. The old town also has the only lunar clock tower in the entire world. This clock points to 12 exactly at sunset.

During Ramadan, there’s also a canon fired every day at sunset from the Yellow Bastion – an old fortification on a small hill from which you have an amazing view of the city.

You can easily get a full meal in a good restaurant for a few dollars. 

Every season has its charm to visit, it just depends on your preferences. Exploring the city might be more comfortable during warm weather, but seeing the snow on the surrounding hills can be quite magical as well.

The city is easily accessible by plane, and from the airport, you can catch a taxi to the city centre.

There are many European countries that are cheap to visit for a memorable holiday. Whether you want to hang out at beautiful beaches, explore significant historical sites, hike in breathtaking natural settings, eat delicious food, or discover a thriving night life scene, there is something for every budget conscious traveler.

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10 Affordable Places to Visit in Europe

Stick to these vibrant and affordable cities to visit Europe on a budget.

inexpensive travel in europe

Gautier Houba/Travel + Leisure

A trip to Europe doesn’t have to break the bank — so as long as you know where to go. Fortunately, the continent is home to majestic locales that offer wallet-friendly flights and lodging options.

To determine the most affordable places to visit in Europe right now, we tapped the pros at Priceline to pull data on the cheapest European destinations to fly to between August and October. What’s more, says Christina Bennett, Priceline’s consumer travel expert, “European travel is a late summer staple and has grown in popularity during the shoulder season for its mild, pleasant weather. Despite this, “exploring Europe on a budget is entirely feasible if you plan accordingly.”  

With that in mind, we also consulted T+L A-List advisor Jay Ternavan of JayWay Travel to share some savvy money-saving tips.

As you scroll through the list below, you’ll notice all destinations offer an average round-trip airfare of less than $900. Unsurprisingly, a handful of cities featured also offer some of the most affordable average nightly hotel rates in Europe. And while some of these cities have ritzy reputations, free attractions run the gamut from lush parks and world-class museums to captivating festivals. 

Keep reading for the complete list, and happy travels. 

Copenhagen, Denmark

Maria Ligaya/Travel + Leisure

Average round-trip airfare: $688.32 

The Danish capital lures in thousands of tourists with its eclectic architecture — it was even named a UNESCO World Capital of Architecture in 2023 — buzzy food scene (don’t miss the Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival , which takes place in August), and fascinating history. Not only is the late summer/early fall one of the most affordable times to visit, but it’s also “much easier to secure a reservation at world-renowned restaurants like Geranium and Alchemist, known for their notoriously long waiting lists,” says Olivia Liveng , travel expert and Copenhagen resident. And while the city has a reputation for pricey fine dining, free attractions also abound, including the National Museum of Denmark, the Little Mermaid statue, and the changing of the guard at Amalienborg Palace. A trip to the Tivoli Gardens (tickets from $23) is also a must, as is a visit to Bakken , the world’s oldest amusement park (where admission is free). In terms of getting around, both Ternavan and Bennett advise renting a bike to explore the city, which is both an inexpensive and convenient mode of transportation. Last but not least, it’s worth noting that, per Priceline, Copenhagen offers the fifth-lowest hotel prices in Europe between August and October, with average nightly rates clocking in at $215.  

Dublin, Ireland

Tessa Desjardins/Travel + Leisure

Average round-trip airfare: $756.08 

“Dublin’s festivals, such as the Dublin Fringe Festival [which takes place in September], offer rich cultural experiences from August to October,” says Bennett. Additionally, the destination’s mild weather is “great for exploring parks and historic sites,” including St Stephen's Green, Phoenix Park, and the National Botanic Gardens, as well as Dublin Castle and St Patrick's Cathedral. Indoor attractions also abound, including the Guinness Storehouse (cheers!) and Trinity College, where you can catch a glimpse of the world-famous Book of Kells. According to Ternavan, budget-conscious travelers should “use the Leap Visitor Card for unlimited travel on public transport,” sign up for a free walking tour , and visit no-cost attractions like the National Museum of Ireland. When hunger calls, refuel at one of the city’s many traditional pubs, which offer affordable meals plus — in many cases — live music. Pro tip: “Look for lunch specials outside tourist areas,” says Ternavan. Also, when selecting hotels, there are plenty of options to choose from that won’t break the bank, especially when you consider that Dublin ranks among the top 15 European destinations with the cheapest hotel prices from August to October 2024, with an average nightly rate of $273, according to data from Priceline.

Nice, France

Christopher Larson/Travel + Leisure

Average round-trip airfare: $779.49

Each summer, thousands of tourists flock to tony Nice in search of fun in the sun. However, savvy travelers opt to visit in the early fall months (the destination’s shoulder season ) to snag lower airfare and lodging rates coupled with minimal crowds. Sure, the city is best known for its beaches, but it also boasts a charming Old Town, as well as some of France’s best museums, including the Marc Chagall National Museum , which is sure to wow art enthusiasts of all ages. Also, while Nice is home to a burgeoning culinary scene , the eateries can be pricey. Instead, says Ternavan, “Skip restaurant lunches and visit the Cours Saleya Market for local food, available daily except Monday until 1:00 p.m.” For the best city views, make a beeline for the free Castle Hill, a former military citadel turned park; just be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Finally, visitors may also consider a day trip to buzzy Cannes, accessible via a 40-minute train ride that costs less than 9 euros per person each way. 

London, England

Gautier Houba/Travel + Leisure

Average round-trip airfare: $790.35

From its royal palaces and historic landmarks (looking at you, Big Ben) to adorable neighborhoods and world-class museums, there’s lots to love about London . Bennett recommends visiting in the late summer and early fall “for memorable events like the Notting Hill Carnival in late August and the London Film Festival in October.” Enjoy the mild autumn weather and lush foliage by retreating to Hyde Park and Kew Gardens, and be sure to take advantage of other free attractions such as the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, The British Museum, and The National Gallery. Skip a fancy lunch in favor of a visit to Borough Market to sample an array of eclectic eats for a lower price. A Visitor Oyster Card can help you save on transportation costs, while a London Pass is especially great since you can skip the lines, book attractions online, and snag discounts. Theater enthusiasts, meanwhile, can visit the TKTS booth for cheap, last-minute tickets to a West End show. 

Paris, France

Ambika Verma/Travel + Leisure

Average round-trip airfare: $797.55

Come July, millions of travelers from across the globe will flock to Paris to watch the 2024 Summer Olympics (July 26 to Aug.11); however, come mid-August, the crowds will clear out, and hotel prices will significantly drop. The savings continue into the early fall months, which coincide with the city’s shoulder season, and the beautiful foliage is just the icing on the cake. Paris Pass provides access to over 75 attractions and sightseeing tours. While we’d argue the city is best explored on foot — choose from a handful of free walking tours to enhance your experience — public transportation is readily available and inexpensive, and travel passes are also available. While a trip to Paris most certainly includes stops at top-notch eateries, you can save a few bucks by ordering a “ carafe d’eau (tap water bottle) in Parisian restaurants to avoid the cost of bottled water,” says Ternavan. Similarly, he advises travelers “carry a refillable bottle for public drinking fountains around the city's parks.” Lastly, the travel advisor notes that free admission is available to several museums, including Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Maison de Balzac, Musée Carnavalet, Petit Palais, Maison de Victor Hugo, and Musée de la Vie Romantique.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Irjaliina Paavonpera/Travel + Leisure

Average round-trip airfare: $812.18 

Reyjavik, which recently made our list of the most affordable solo travel destinations , also happens to be one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe this year. During this time, travelers can try their luck at spotting the northern lights while partaking in outdoor adventures and activities — scenic hiking opportunities abound, including Mount Esja, Glymur Waterfall, and Kerid Crater, all of which are within an hour from the city. When it comes to exploring the city proper, Ternavan recommends “getting a Reykjavik City Card for free bus travel and entry to many attractions,” including the National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavík Zoo and Family Park, and a slew of thermal pools for restorative soaks. Pre- or post-sightseeing, treat yourself to a pastry at one of the city’s many bakeries , including buzzy BakaBaka and the 1834-era Bernhoftsbakari . Additionally, the eclectic city made Priceline’s list of the top 15 most affordable places to visit in Europe based on hotel prices, with an average nightly rate of $273. 

Lisbon, Portugal 

Average round-trip airfare: $868.94

Rich history, colorful architecture, and vibrant nightlife: Find all this and more in  Portugal’s capital city, which dates back to 1200 B.C. Additionally, says Bennett, “Lisbon’s warm weather from August to October is perfect for exploring its historic districts and outdoor events.” Alternatively, she adds, “spend a sunny day exploring the beaches of the Iberian Peninsula, only 30 minutes from the city center,” because, yes, you can still enjoy the beach outside of peak season — and the fewer crowds are an excellent added bonus. Plus, a trip here doesn’t need to break the bank: “Use trams, buses, and metro, and buy a Lisboa Card for unlimited travel and free entry to many museums,” says Ternavan. He also recommends carving out some time to explore the beautiful Alfama neighborhood, where you can watch free live Fado performances. When it comes time to rest your head, breathe easy: Priceline listed Lisbon as the eighth-cheapest place in Europe based on hotel prices, with the average nightly rate being $240. 

Barcelona, Spain 

Daniel Gioia/Travel + Leisure

Average round-trip airfare: $872.05

Per Bennett, this beautiful beachfront city is brimming with festivals between August and October, with La Mercè (Sept. 20-24, 2024) being the most notable. During this time, travelers can also soak up the sun at the beach or one of the city’s many parks, including, of course, the world-renowned Park Güell , a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Both Bennett and Ternavan recommend buying a T10 ticket for discounted travel on public transportation. Also, says Ternavan, “Skip the touristy La Boqueria and visit local markets like Santa Catarina instead for fresh and affordable food.” Bonus: With an average nightly room rate of $261, Barcelona also made Priceline’s list of the most affordable destinations in Europe based on hotel prices from August to October 2024. 

Manchester, England

Atlantide Phototravel/Travel + Leisure

Average round-trip airfare: $873.04

Manchester stands out among England’s most dynamic cities , and traveling here is “often a more affordable way to experience English culture,” says Bennett. “Furthermore,” she adds, “events like the Manchester Pride Festival in late August and the Manchester Food and Drink Festival in September showcase the city's diversity, uniqueness, and accessibility.” The destination also offers a slew of free attractions to choose from, including museums (don’t miss the Science and Industry Museum, which is home to the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station), the Central Library, and the Manchester Town Hall, known for its elaborate Victorian Gothic Revival-style architecture. Those craving reprieve from the city’s hustle and bustle can head to Runway Visitor Park, which sits adjacent to the airport so you can watch the planes take off, or Whitworth Park, which spans 18 tranquil acres on the University of Manchester campus. The free hop-on, hop-off bus service makes getting around the city easy and hassle-free. Also, take advantage of free walking tours, such as this one , offered daily at 11 a.m.

Zurich, Switzerland

Stephanie Pollak/Travel + Leisure

Average round-trip airfare: $891.88

While Zurich — and Switzerland as a whole — is known for being pricey, visiting in late summer and early fall is a great way to save. Additionally, says Bennett, “Zurich hosts various cultural festivals and open-air events from August to October,” including Zürcher Theater Spektakel (Aug. 15-Sept. 1,2024),  Zürich Openair (Aug. 23-31, 2024), and Zurich Design Weeks (Sept. 12-29, 2024). Meanwhile, “The crisp weather is great for exploring lakes and parks,” including the eponymously named Lake Zurich and Greifensee , along with the tranquil Belvoir Park and the small but spectacular Chinagarten , where you’ll find a small palace plus a pond. Ternavan also recommends travelers take advantage of the city’s “efficient public transport system with day passes for unlimited travel.” He continues, telling Travel + Leisure , “Keep your sightseeing costs reasonable by opting for a small group walking tour over [a] private [option].” Based on data from Priceline, Zurich clocks in at number seven on the top 10 most affordable European destinations to visit based on hotel prices, with an average rate of $237 per night. 

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15 Cheapest Places to Visit in Europe in 2024

Home | Travel | Europe | 15 Cheapest Places to Visit in Europe in 2024

If you are looking for the cheapest places to visit in Europe , you’ll be pleased to know that you have numerous options. The best thing about traveling through Europe is the diversity of countries to choose from. Plus, many European cities can be thoroughly enjoyed in just three or four days without straining your budget.

However, regardless of what country you choose for your next vacation, I strongly recommend getting good travel insurance for Europe . I especially like the Heymondo insurance plans , and you can even get a HeyMondo discount when booking through this link .

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5% OFF your travel insurance

The good news is that their plans are not very expensive and offer you essential coverage in case of theft or trip cancellations. If you want to save money, use one of our travel discounts or one of these tips to travel cheaply . But remember that traveling without insurance is a risk you don’t want to take.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the cheapest countries to travel to in Europe :

1. Portugal, one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe

Portugal is one of the cheapest countries to fly to in Europe where you’ll find tons of affordable hotels and fine restaurants to enjoy delicious meals without breaking the bank.

More specifically, Lisbon is one of the cheapest places to travel in Europe . I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Lisbon three times. While I once stayed there an entire week, I can assure you that even a three- or four-day trip is enough to enjoy its beauty. In addition, you can take this free tour that will allow you to discover some of the best things to do in Lisbon with a guide who will explain interesting information about each attraction. You can also get the Lisbon Card at an affordable price which gives you access to 30 attractions in Lisbon and unlimited use of public transportation.

Portugal, cheap travel locations europe

I recommend that you do not confine your exploration to the city center; the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery of Belém , both declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are two places that you cannot miss. In fact, you can take this free tour of Belém to get to know them in depth along with other attractions, or this tour , which includes a boat ride for breathtaking views of the 25 de Abril bridge and the Christ the King statue . To find out about the location of these tourist attractions, you can consult our Lisbon tourist maps .

If you are going to spend several days in the city, you can also opt for this excursion to Sintra , where you’ll find the enchanting Pena National Palace , one of Portugal’s most beautiful and famous palaces.

Portugal is undoubtedly one of the cheapest places to stay in Europe since there are also many well-located hotels in Lisbon with great amenities and reasonable prices. While Lisbon is both budget-friendly and beautiful, if you’re seeking even more cost-effective options, you can head to Porto , Portugal’s second-largest city, or visit Madeira , where you can enjoy an affordable vacation on dreamy beaches.

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit : Lisbon, Porto, and Madeira Island
  • Estimated accommodation price: €35/night in Lisbon Destination , Lisbon; €60/night in OportoHouse , Porto; €50/night in Hotel Sirius , Funchal, Madeira.
  • Daily spending on meals from: €25/day per person

2. Croatia, one of the cheapest countries to fly into in Europe

Croatia is one of the cheapest countries to fly into in Europe , and it promises to captivate you with its unique charm more than any other European destination. With more than 3,700 miles of captivating coastline featuring beautiful beaches and turquoise-blue waters, towns steeped in tradition, and a delectable gastronomic scene, Croatia has it all.

While the capital city, Zagreb , may not be coastal, it’s one of the most stunning cities in the country, and you simply can’t afford to miss it. Here, you’ll discover the exquisite Church of Saint Mark and the Zagreb Cathedral , two architectural wonders. Don’t forget to explore Kaptol and Gradec , two areas that form the medieval heart of the city. I recommend taking this free tour for an introduction, as it will allow you to learn about its historical and cultural significance. And make sure to take this food tour and try some Croatian delicacies. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

While you’re in Zagreb, take the opportunity to explore one of Croatia’s most stunning natural landscapes: the Plitvice Lakes . You can easily book this excursion to get there.

Croatia, best and cheap places to visit in europe

Many travelers also choose the lake excursion from Split , which is one of the most picturesque cities on the Dalmatian coast. In Split, you’ll find sites with significant historical importance, such as Diocletian’s Palace , a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Temple of Jupiter ; and the Mausoleum of Diocletian , which was transformed into the Cathedral of San Diomo , among other treasures. Here, too, you can book this free tour to explore its attractions.

If you are looking for a memorable beach experience, you can go to Dubrovnik , a city known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This beautiful city is surrounded by a large wall that dates back to the 10 th century, although some sections were restored in the 17 th century. What’s fascinating is that you can enter the city through a northern gateway, and it feels like stepping back in time. You can take this free tour to visit the attractions of the city, such as the churches of San Salvador and San Blas , the Franciscan Monastery , and the Cathedral of the Assumption .

And don’t forget that Dubrovnik was transformed into King’s Landing in Game of Thrones , so if you’re a fan, you can even take a Game of Thrones tour to explore the capital of the Seven Kingdoms.

Despite ranking among the least expensive places to visit in Europe , Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik are indeed three cities that offer many attractions.

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit: Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik
  • Estimated accommodation price: €60/night in FLOK Tkalciceva , Zagreb; €30/night in Backpackers Fairytale Hostel , Split; and €50/night in Hotel Lero , Dubrovnik
  • Daily spending on meals from: €35/day per person

3. Albania, one of the cheapest flight destinations in Europe with a rich history

Albania is also one of the cheapest countries in Europe to travel to in summer and the perfect holiday destination due to its stunning landscapes, stunning beaches, majestic mountains, and great architectural and cultural heritage.

Berat , despite not being the capital (that’s Tirana ), is one of Albania’s most captivating cities and a top tourist destination. Its historic center with over 2,000 years of history is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This means you’ll encounter numerous monuments, buildings, and places with exceptional historical significance.

Berat is known as the “City of a Thousand Windows” because it’s built on a hillside, allowing you to view houses at varying heights, each adorned with windows that seem to gaze out onto the world.

Albania, cheap holiday destinations europe

The city comprises three historic neighborhoods: the Christian Gorica neighborhood, the Muslim Mangalem neighborhood, and the Kajala neighborhood, built on the highest point of the hill. I recommend exploring all three neighborhoods, as each has its unique attractions. You can choose to do it on your own or join this free tour . And if you have some extra time, consider a visit to the Osum Canyon , a natural wonder that’s truly worth exploring. You can explore it solo or book this guided excursion .

If you are looking for more beach tourism, the Albanian Riviera , with its exquisite Ionian Sea beaches, is the best option. My recommendation is to start your journey in Berat and then spend a few days enjoying this coastal paradise, particularly in Sarandë . From Sarandë, you can take an excursion to the Butrint Archaeological Park , often referred to as the “Pompeii of Albania.”

Lastly, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Tirana , Albania’s capital. It’s a city with a lot of history and significant Communist influence. To gain deeper insights into the city, consider taking this free tour . Alternatively, you can join this “ Communism tour ” if you’re interested in uncovering its unique historical narrative.

Albania, in general, is one of the cheapest destinations in Europe , offering an incredible blend of natural beauty and a rich historical legacy. If you have the chance, don’t hesitate to explore this unique gem.

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit: Berat, Sarandë and Tirana
  • Estimated accommodation price: €35/night in White City Hotel , Berat; €30/night in Hotel Chicago , Saranda; and €30/night in Studio Apartments 365 , Tirana.

4. Montenegro, one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe with dreamy landscapes

Montenegro is among the cheapest places to fly to in Europe . Although it’s a relatively undiscovered gem, it has been gaining popularity among travelers in recent years, especially those who love beach and mountain experiences. Despite being one of Europe’s smallest countries, its towns have a lot of history and tradition.

Kotor , one of Montenegro’s most enchanting towns, is well worth a visit, especially due to its location, nestled between the sea and majestic mountains.

Montenegro, cheap places europe travel

The town is home to St. John’s Castle , a place of significant historical value that also offers breathtaking panoramic views of Kotor. I also recommend walking through the town center, where you’ll find the Plaza de Armas , the Orthodox Church of Saint Luke , and the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon . If you have spare time, consider taking this cruise to explore the Bay of Kotor , declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the island of Our Lady of the Rocks , the Blue Cave , and the underwater tunnels of the former Yugoslavia.

Budva is another coastal city well worth a visit and one of the cheapest places to travel in Europe located within Montenegro. While it might not be as famous as Kotor, it has a rich history as one of the oldest cities in the Mediterranean. In the Old City, you can still find the fortified walls. You’ll also discover beautiful churches such as the Church of San Juan Bautista , the Church of Santa María de Punta , and the Church of Santísima Trinidad . On the other hand, in the New Town, you’ll find modern amenities, including hotels, restaurants, shops, and a vibrant atmosphere.

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit: Kotor and Budva
  • Estimated accommodation price: €60/night in Hotel Rendez Vous , Kotor; and €30/night in Villa Rihter , Budva.
  • Daily spending on meals from: €20/day per person

5. Bulgaria, one of the cheapest places to go in Europe with a diverse natural landscape

Bulgaria is another one of the cheapest destinations in Europe and is home to one of the most beautiful cities on the continent – Sofia .

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and its most populous city. This city is relatively small, which makes it easy to explore on foot. Additionally, if your goal as a traveler is to visit the main attractions, you’ll have an easy job because they are located close to each other.

You can start by taking this free tour that will allow you to have a first contact with the city and learn about its fascinating history. Furthermore, this tour will allow you to see the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral , which is one of the most exquisite cathedrals and one of the largest Orthodox temples in the world.

Bulgaria, cheapest countries to holiday in europe

In this city, you will find other important churches and temples as well, such as the Sveta-Nedelya Cathedral , the Church of St. Nicholas , also known as the Russian Church, and the Banya Bashi Mosque . For a deeper dive into history and architecture, I highly recommend this excursion to the Rila Monastery and Boyana Church , two essential monuments near Sofia.

I also recommend walking along Vitosha Boulevard , where you will find some of the city’s finest restaurants, shops, cafes, and plenty of entertainment options.

The best thing about Sofia, in addition to being one of the cheapest cities in Europe , is that you can easily explore the city in just two or three days, making it an excellent choice for a quick getaway, whether you’re traveling as a couple or with friends. So, if you are looking for cheap places to travel , Sofia is undoubtedly a very good option.

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit: Sofia
  • Estimated accommodation price: €40/night in Favorit Hotel , Sofia

6. Slovakia, and one of the cheapest cities in Europe: Bratislava

If you are looking for the cheapest places to fly into Europe , a very good option could be Bratislava , in Slovakia . This charming city is small enough to explore in just a couple of days, making it a perfect choice for a weekend escape. Many travelers even seize the opportunity to visit Bratislava while journeying through Vienna, Budapest, or Prague.

One of the places you should visit is the Bratislavský Hrad or Bratislava Castle . You won’t have any trouble finding it, as it sits on top of a hill and can be seen from practically anywhere in the city. However, if you want to know it in depth, I recommend this guided tour , which also includes a visit to the Bratislava Cathedral .

Slovakia, cheap places to go for christmas in europe

I also recommend exploring the Blue Church , which is characterized by its striking blue exterior. Other interesting sites are St. Martin’s Cathedral , St. Michael’s Gate , Slovak National Uprising Square , and Safarik Square . Additionally, I encourage you to take leisurely walks and lose yourself in the city’s streets while searching for the statues of Bratislava . Over the years, some may have vanished, but a few still remain, like Čumil, commonly known as the “working man,” the Napoleonic Soldier, or the Witch.

To get to know the city in more depth, you can take this free walking tour , which will allow you to acquaint yourself with one of the most charming and cheapest destinations in Europe .

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit: Bratislava
  • Estimated accommodation price: €40/night in Safestay Bratislava Presidential Palace , Bratislava
  • Daily spending on meals from: €30/day per person

7. Hungary, a beautiful, cheap place to go in Europe

Hungary is not only a beautiful country, but also one of the cheapest destinations in Europe . I recommend you visit Budapest , the capital of Hungary, and one of the most beautiful cities on the continent.

You can start your trip through Budapest by taking this free tour , which will allow you to discover some of the city’s attractions along with some interesting historical facts. If you decide to explore the city on your own, you should visit the Budapest Parliament . You can get tickets on-site or through their official website. However, for a skip-the-line experience with the guidance of a local expert, consider booking this tour .

Hungary, cheap city holidays europe

I also recommend visiting Liberty Square , home to a monument dedicated to the victims of World War II. Other must-visit attractions are St. Stephen’s Basilica , which has become one of the most important religious buildings in the country; the Budapest Opera , a Neo-Renaissance gem; and Buda Castle , an ideal spot for enjoying the sunset.

For couples looking for a romantic experience, I definitely recommend a boat ride on the Danube at dusk. You can book this romantic excursion through this link , which will take you past the city’s most iconic bridges, including the famous Chain Bridge .

Budapest is undoubtedly one of the cheapest cities in Europe for a holiday . So, even if you’re on a tight budget, you can have a memorable experience.

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit: Budapest
  • Estimated accommodation price: €45/night in Benczur Hotel , Budapest

8. Poland, one of the most historical and cheapest places to travel in Europe

Poland is a captivating country, brimming with historical significance and renowned as one of Europe’s most stunning destinations. What makes it even more interesting is that it is one of the cheapest places to go in Europe .

When visiting Poland, you can’t miss Warsaw , the country’s vibrant capital. A noteworthy historical fact: Warsaw was one of the cities most ravaged during World War II. Fortunately, it was able to rise from the ashes and regain its former glory as a lively and splendid city.

You can start your visit to the city by taking this free tour which will introduce you to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, and provide insights into the significant historical events that occurred here. Afterward, I recommend visiting the Old City , which is the oldest neighborhood in the city. This area too, had to be reconstructed after being left in ruins during the Warsaw Uprising, just like the Royal Castle .

Poland, cheap places to go for christmas in europe

You can also visit the Palace of Culture and Science , a somewhat controversial building that was constructed on Stalin’s orders. It is currently one of the tallest buildings in Poland, making it one of the best viewpoints in Warsaw. You can take this guided tour to learn more about this building, which also includes access to the POLIN Museum . I also recommend that you visit the Royal Łazienki Park , which is home to the Lazienki Palace, another significant building in the city. You can take this walking tour that includes a tour of the city and the park.

Krakow is another cheap place to go in Europe . Here you can take a free tour to see the city’s top tourist attractions. If you decide to travel to Krakow, I recommend visiting Market Square , which is one of the most popular and important places in the city. In addition, it is surrounded by iconic landmarks, such as the Basilica of Santa María , Cloth Hall , the Church of St. Adalbert , and the Tower of the Old Town Hall .

Other important places you should visit are the Krakow Cathedral and Wawel Hill , both included in this guided tour . I assure you that these sites will captivate you with their beauty and rich historical narratives.

And if you are traveling as a couple and want to enjoy a romantic moment, you can take a boat ride at sunset . As the last rays of the sun illuminate the city, you’ll be treated to a breathtaking display of colors.

From both cities, you can take an excursion to Auschwitz-Birkenau , an experience I highly recommend to gain insight into a significant period in Poland’s history.

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit: Warsaw and Krakow
  • Estimated accommodation price: €15/night in Chillout Hostel , Warsaw; €15/night in Dream Hostel & Apartments , Krakow
  • Daily spending on meals from: €15/day per person

9. Romania, a cheap place to visit in Europe with exciting attractions

Romania is a country filled with pleasant surprises, and if you’re planning a trip here, don’t miss Bucharest , the capital of the country, and one of the cheapest cities in Europe .

Bucharest is a city with a lot of charm that transports you to past centuries through its architectural treasures and castles. You can start your trip by taking a free tour in which an expert guide will introduce you to the city. Afterward, I recommend taking your time to explore and discover the city’s main attractions. One of them is the Patriarchal Cathedral of Bucharest which is surrounded by chapels and the patriarchal palace, forming a religious complex. Don’t forget to wander through the Old Town , the city’s historic center, where you’ll encounter the Stavropoleos Monastery .

Romania, cheapest countries to holiday in europe

Additional sites well worth your visit include Unirii Square in the heart of the city; Revolution Square , with its incredible historical significance; the Athenaeum , and the Arc de Triomphe . Furthermore, if you want to delve into a chapter of the country’s history you can take a tour of Communist Bucharest , a period that left a lasting mark on the city.

If you have time, I also recommend visiting the castles of Bran and Peles to enjoy the exceptional landscapes of Transylvania and Wallachia. Given that Bucharest is among the cheapest places to travel to in Europe , you can consider setting aside some of your budget for this excursion.

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit: Bucharest
  • Estimated accommodation price: €25/night in Casa Romana , Bucharest

10. Latvia, one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe for a holiday

Latvia is another very good option if you are looking for cheap places to travel to in Europe , whether it’s with friends, family, or as a couple. In this case, I recommend visiting Riga , the captivating capital of Latvia and one of the country’s most beautiful cities.

A must-see in Riga is the House of the Blackheads , which was built in the early 14 th century. During World War II, however, the building was destroyed, so it had to be rebuilt at the beginning of the 21 st century. To visit, you’ll need a ticket, which you can get in advance through this link . You can also take the opportunity to visit the Cathedral of St. James of Riga , just a short stroll away.

Latvia, cheap places to travel in europe for students

Other places you should visit are Plaza Livu , a lively and colorful hub; and the House of Cats , which is located next to the square and is easily recognizable by its yellow façade and the black cats that crown the building. I also recommend wandering through Riga’s streets, many of which are lined with charming pastel-colored houses.

I also recommend setting aside an evening to visit the 26 th floor of the Radisson Blue Latvija hotel , where you’ll find a public bar offering stunning city views, including the Orthodox Nativity of Christ Cathedral .

Depending on your schedule, you can book this free tour to explore Riga’s essential landmarks. I suggest exploring the city on your own and allocating time for an excursion to the Kemeri and Jürmala National Park , especially if you’re a nature enthusiast who likes outdoor activities. Latvia is undeniably one of those cheap countries to travel to in Europe where you can enjoy unforgettable experiences.

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit : Riga
  • Estimated accommodation price : €25/night at ApartHotel Riga , in Riga
  • Daily spending on meals from : €30/day per person

11. Georgia, one of the cheapest countries in Europe with a traditional culture

Georgia is one of the cheapest flight destinations in Europe and is home to one of the most beautiful cities. Furthermore, the capital of Tbilisi ranks among the cheapest cities in Europe .

Tbilisi can be divided into two distinct parts: the older, more traditional area linked to the famed Silk Road, and the modern section bearing a significant Russian influence. If you want to explore the city with a guide, you can take this tour which covers essential sites such as the Narikala Fortress , the Metekhi , Sioni , and Anchiskhati churches, and the Legvtakhevi Waterfall , among other attractions. However, if you want to focus exclusively on the older part of town, I recommend taking this guided walking tour .

Georgia, cheapest countries to fly into europe

Depending on the duration of your stay, you can consider this excursion that departs from Tbilisi and takes you to small yet captivating Georgian towns, such as the ancient Mtskheta , the cave city of Uplistsikhe, and the historic Gori .

Another city you can visit in Georgia is Kutaisi . This is one of the oldest cities in the country, and although it is still recovering from the conflict with Russia in 2008, it offers a wealth of attractions. I encourage you to visit the enchanting historic center, shop for local products at the Green Bazaar , and explore the Bagrati Cathedral . And if you like outdoor activities and nature, you should definitely visit the Prometheus Cave and the Martvili Canyons . I assure you that Kutaisi is one of the best cheap places to travel to in Europe and will leave you amazed by its rich history and breathtaking natural wonders.

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit : Tbilisi and Kutaisi
  • Estimated accommodation price : €14/night in Alex’s Cosy Guesthouse , Tbilisi; and €15/night in Guest House Lviv , Kutaisi
  • Daily spending on meals from : €15/day per person

12. Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the cheapest places in Europe to travel

Bosnia and Herzegovina may not be at the top of many travelers’ lists, but it’s a hidden gem and one of the cheapest destinations in Europe . So, if you are looking for a place to travel on a tight budget, this country is an excellent choice, especially the charming city of Sarajevo .

Sarajevo can be explored in about three days, though I recommend extending your stay to visit the surrounding areas, including the enchanting city of Mostar , which appears to be straight out of a fairy tale.

You can start your visit by taking this free tour , which introduces you to the most important places in the capital of Bosnia. Alternatively, explore the old town on your own, where you’ll find the magnificent Sarajevo City Hall and the bustling Turkish Quarter, Bascarsija , full of shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, cheap places to visit in europe in august

In addition to these landmarks, make sure to visit the Gazi Husrev-Beg Mosque , the Cathedral of the Heart of Jesus , and the Synagogue , all of which hold significant architectural and historical importance. I also recommend walking along Ferhadija Street , a pedestrian street that is the main artery of the city leading to the Eternal Flame , a monument with a perpetual flame lit in memory of World War II victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Another very interesting place to visit is the Sarajevo Tunnel , especially if you want to learn about the city’s wartime history. To delve even further into the impact of these events on the city and the nation, you can join this tour .

I have to admit that Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of those nice, cheap places in Europe that I have yet to visit. However, it’s one of Europe’s most affordable and charming destinations that still preserves its authenticity and essence, so it’s on our list!

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit : Sarajevo
  • Estimated accommodation price : €20/night at Pansion Sebilj , Sarajevo

13. Slovenia, another cheap flight destination in Europe

Slovenia is one of those countries that you should visit at least once in your life, as it offers many beautiful cities and dreamlike natural landscapes. It is undoubtedly one of the best cheap places to travel in Europe that you cannot miss.

Ljubljana , the capital of Slovenia, is a unique and charming city, not only because of the mountains that surround it but also because of its lush urban environment. Plus, you can fully explore the whole city in about three days, making it an ideal cheap holiday destination in Europe .

I recommend you visit Ljubljana Castle , located on a hill over 1,100 ft high. You can reach it by foot or take the glass funicular for a scenic ride. Don’t forget to stroll across the iconic Dragon Bridge , known for its four dragon statues.

Solvenia, cheap places to go europe

You should also explore Metelkova , a former military barracks transformed into a vibrant hipster hub adorned with street art, clubs, and a youthful atmosphere. Additionally, you can visit Tivoli Park , the city’s largest park that includes a beautiful greenhouse, open-air library, Tivoli Castle, Leopoldsruhe Mansion, and various sports facilities. And if you’re looking for authentic Slovenian products, make a stop at Ljubljana’s Central Market .

Depending on the duration of your stay, I recommend going to the Predjama Castle and the Postojna Cave . The castle is one of the most emblematic and cherished landmarks in Slovenia. In Postojna Cave, you’ll find not only unique geological formations but also the elusive olm, or “human fish.” These excursions are undoubtedly worthwhile, as they represent significant places in the country, so I recommend booking them in advance through this link . Alternatively, you’ll love visiting the stunning Lake Bled .

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit : Ljubljana
  • Estimated accommodation price : €25/night in Only 5 beds GreenSLO , Ljubljana
  • Daily spending on meals from : €25/day per person

14. Czech Republic, one of the cheapest places to go in Europe for a romantic getaway

Czech Republic can also be a good option if you are looking for cheap countries to travel to in Europe . In addition, its picturesque capital, Prague , is a city renowned for its beauty and tourist attractions.

You can start your trip by taking this free tour , which is an excellent way to get a first impression of the city and explore some of its most fascinating sites. But don’t miss out on discovering some of the city’s landmarks on your own, such as Prague Castle , where you’ll find the Saint Vitus Cathedral, Royal Palace, Saint George’s Basilica, and Golden Lane.

I also recommend visiting the Old Town Square , which is surrounded by elegant buildings and some important structures, such as the Church of Our Lady of Týn , the Goltz-Kinskych Palace , the House of the Stone Bell , the Church of St. Nicholas, and the Town Hall , which is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.

Czech Republic, how to find cheap places to stay in europe

Considering all the captivating places to explore, you can save on admission fees by investing in the Prague Card , which will give you access to most of these attractions, including Prague Castle , the five synagogues , the Jewish Cemetery , and the Lobkowicz Palace .

Depending on the time you are going to spend in Prague, you can reserve a day to go on an excursion and visit the Terezín concentration camp . However, if you’d prefer to avoid such emotionally intense places, consider a visit to Karlovy Vary , a world-class city known for its healing hot springs. In fact, Karlovy Vary ranks among the cheapest places to travel in Europe , so you can easily split your trip between Prague and this charming city.

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit : Prague and Karlovy Vary
  • Estimated accommodation price : €30/night at A&O Prague Rhea , Prague; and €35/night at Sport Hotel Gejzirpark , Karlovy Vary
  • Daily spending on meals from : €20/day per person

15. Armenia, another cheap flight destination in Europe

Armenia is another hidden gem within Europe that is often overlooked by travelers. Nevertheless, it is one of the cheapest destinations in Europe for a holiday , especially its beautiful capital, Yerevan .

Yerevan is a charming city that can be easily explored in about two or three days. You can take this free tour to visit the main attractions of the city and learn some interesting information about them. After the tour, take time to visit Republic Square and appreciate the surrounding buildings, which include the Government Palace, various ministries, the National Gallery, and the History Museum.

While in Yerevan, you should also explore the Yerevan Opera , the intriguing Cascade Complex , the Kasfejian Museum , and Vernissage , known as the most famous flea market in the city. And make sure to include a visit to the Tsitsernakaberd , which is the Monument to the Victims of the Armenian Genocide.

Armenia, cheap places to go for christmas in europe

Yerevan is a small city, so you can get to know it in just a few days. If you have spare time, you can take this day trip to Echmiadzin , Khor Virap , and Zvartnots which are some of the country’s most important and iconic historical sites.

Armenia is an excellent choice if you’re looking for cheap places to stay in Europe , as it remains relatively unexplored by tourists, ensuring a more peaceful and serene experience.

  • Beautiful and cheap cities to visit : Yerevan
  • Estimated accommodation price : €20/night at Bonvenon capsule Hostel , Yerevan

Now that you know all the cheapest places to visit in Europe , I hope that money will no longer stop you from exploring the world. Traveling doesn’t always mean going far from home; you can discover beautiful cities filled with charm and history near you. Furthermore, if you decide to rent a cheap car , you can visit multiple cities within the same country or even cross borders on a single journey to make the most out of your trip.

Keep in mind that while lots of European countries use the euro, there are other places that use different currencies, specifically Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. To ensure you’re getting the most value for your money, I recommend using one of the best travel credit cards . You should also remember that SIM cards for Europe do not cover roaming in Albania, Montenegro, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Armenia. So, if you need internet while traveling in these countries, I recommend taking a look at services like Holafly .

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While I’ve provided recommendations for accommodation in each of the mentioned countries, if you’re looking for something different, check out our guide on how to find cheap hotels . Additionally, I suggest reading our guide on how to find cheap flights . In general, I recommend avoiding high season, weekends, or specific peak dates when prices tend to be higher.

I hope this guide has helped you find cheap places in Europe to travel to . If you have any questions, want to share your experiences in any of these countries, or wish to suggest other affordable destinations you’ve discovered, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Enjoy your trip to Europe!

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inexpensive travel in europe

The 20 best places to visit in Europe on a budget

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Lottie Gross

written by Lottie Gross

updated 10.06.2024


Europe presents an irresistible challenge to the budget traveller. A potent mix of culture, landscape and history on the one hand and a cash-gobbling monster on the other, sticking to your daily allowance can prove tricky.

1. The Albanian coast

2. sarajevo, bosnia-herzegovina, 3. bansko, bulgaria, 4. czechia (czech republic), 5. estonia’s baltic coast, 6. leipzig, germany, 7. london, england, 8. the peloponnese, greece, 9. budapest, hungary, 10. palermo, sicily, italy, 11. lake ohrid, macedonia, 12. kotor, montenegro, 13. gdánsk, poland, 14. porto, portugal, 15. transylvania, romania, 16. novi sad, serbia, 17. the high tatras, slovakia, 18. northwest slovenia, 19. andalucía, spain, 20. lviv, ukraine.

But learn to zone out the “Spend! Spend! Spend!” siren song of its myriad restaurants, bars and shops and you’ll find that this compact little continent is simply the world’s greatest labyrinth.

There's an abundance of beautiful places in Europe which don't require much of a budget to see; and some experiences, like the infamous Budapest nightlife, combines both entertainment with local booze.

When exactly is the best time to visit Europe? Well, it depends on what you're after. Thankfully there's a year-round roster of things to do and see. We've picked out the cheapest places to travel on the continent this year (note that the "Rough Costs" below reflect per person or per night). From low budget tourist places in the world to the cheapest country to travel to, where do you think will make the list?

Want to find out more about budget travel in Europe? Check out our Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget .

albania saranda beach best places to visit in europe

Travel ideas for Spain, created by local experts

Andalucía Explored

Andalucía Explored

Discover the best of Andalucía's breathtaking palaces, churches, museums, vineyards, and more, as you travel through spectacular scenery dotted with pueblos blancos and bordered by rugged mountains and coast en route to Granada, Seville, Ronda and Jerez de la Frontera.

A culinary experience in Seville

A culinary experience in Seville

Explore the cuisine and surroundings of Seville in Andalucia. From Iberian ham over sherry wines to the production and secrets of olive oil, this tour is an ideal weekend getaway. Decide yourself if you prefer a rental car or a chauffeur-driven car to explore the beauty of Andalucia.

Spanish Honeymoon

Spanish Honeymoon

Discover Andalusia, starting with the cultural city of Seville, then on to Córdoba and Granada, home of the stunning Alhambra Palace. Next you'll visit Granada and the Albayzin Arab quarter, then enjoy a stunning hot-air balloon ride, before ending your trip with a luxury boat trip from Marbella!

Made for Madrid

Made for Madrid

Take to the Spanish capital for art, culture and a taste of life in the city, Madrileño-style. Explore age-old churches and pretty plazas, stroll through the lovely Buen Retiro Park and visit captivating Toledo. Then, come sundown, discover the city's vibrant barrios and lively nightlife.

A Madrid getaway

A Madrid getaway

Spend four days discovering the wonders of Spain's capital Madrid: from fascinating museums like El Prado and Reina Sofia over exploring unknown corners with your private guide to a day trip to the surroundings, this itinerary packs the best of Madrid.

Hidden Spain - From Barcelona to Basque Country

Hidden Spain - From Barcelona to Basque Country

Do you want to explore highlights in Spain while staying in nature at the same time? Look no further. Start your Spanish adventure in Barcelona before heading off to the mountains - drive your rental car to Andorra and further on to Basque Country. Decide between driving yourself or guided tours.

Looking for Mediterranean sun and sand, but your budget doesn’t quite stretch to Capri or the Côte d’Azur? Simply head further east and you’ll find sun-drenched beaches untouched by modern development. Albania is one of the cheapest countries in Europe, and as yet under-explored by the tourist hordes. On its southern Ionian coast, steep grey mountains frame azure seas and golden sands.

Also take note - the Albanian capital Tirana will certainly surprise you with the number of interesting things you can do there .

Sarande is almost in touching distance of Corfu and is a handy entry point from Greece. From here you can aim for the beaches of Ksamil and nearby islands. Cheap seafood, warm seas and a smattering of isolated Greek ruins and Ottoman towns: the perfect recipe for a classic European sojourn.

Where to stay

Best for being on the beach: Vila E Bardhe

Best for great views of the harbour: Hotel Real

From Saranda: Visit the archaeological park of Butrint on a private tour

From Durrës: Wine tasting and history tour in Berat

Find more ideas for visiting Albania with our guide to the best things to do in Albania .

Rough costs:

Daily budget: Basic €30, occasional treat €45

Drink: Bottle of red wine €6

Food: Qoftë (minced meat rissoles) €2, seafood €6

Hostel/budget hotel: €15/€35

Travel: Bus: Tirana–Saranda €10.50; train: Tirana–Shkodra €3.30

Buy the guide >

Sarajevo market best places to visit in europe

Though the scars of Sarajevo ’s past as a city under siege are still evident. There are remnants of mortar shell explosions, filled with red resin to form “Sarajevo Roses”, and the museums document the horrors of Sniper Alley. Today, the city buzzes with life and is one of the cheapest countries in Europe. If you don't want to miss any of the key historic sites, book ahead and join a guided tour.

One of the most welcoming capitals in Europe, its central district of Baščaršija is a delight to wander through. Browse in the Ottoman-era bazaar or linger over a Bosnian coffee. The after-hours scene is quirky and cool, with tucked-away drinking holes and an ever-evolving club scene.

Best hostel for city location: Hostel Franz Ferdinand

Best for location to tourist attractions: Hotel Europe

Best for first time visitors: A guided walking tour in Sarajevo

Best for getting out of the city: A day tour to Jajce and Travnik

Rough costs

Daily budget: Basic €28, occasional treat €45

Drink: Bosnian coffee €0.70–1

Food: Cevapcici (meat rissoles) €3–4

Hostel/budget: €10/€28

Travel: Bus: Sarajevo–Bihać €17–25; train: Sarajevo–Mostar €5–7

Read our destination guide to Bosnia-Herzegovina >


Hitting the slopes without breaking the bank can be a challenge. Especially when the main Alpine resorts are located in some of the most expensive countries in Europe! However, eastern Europe has a few intriguing ski destinations, including Bulgaria ’s Bansko on the Pirin mountain range.

The country’s main ski resort has good beginner and intermediate runs. There's a decent range of shared or private accommodation to choose from, easily making Bansko one of the best places to visit in Europe with friends. The town itself has considerable charm, with numerous traditional old pubs hidden down its cobbled alleyways.

Best for guest house experience: Zigen House

Best for great location: Kap House Hotel

Best for the adventurers: River rafting on the Kresna Gorge

Best to get to know the culture: Experience local traditions, dishes, crafts and stories

Also while planning your visit, read our guide to the best things to do in Bulgaria .

Drink: Beer (0.5l) €1.25

Food: Shopska salad €4

Hostel/budget hotel: €12/€60

Travel: Train: Sofia–Plovdiv €4–6; bus: €5

Find out more about Bansko >

prague, czech republic, best places to visit in europe

Though ever-popular Prague is not quite the dirt-cheap city break destination it once was, you’ll still find Czechia (Czech Republic ) to be a good-value country for independent travel. The country that invented Pilsner is justifiably famous for producing some of the best beers – at pretty good prices.

But there's plenty of other reasons as to why it's one of the best places to visit in Europe . In Prague , the choice of watering holes ranges from traditional beer halls and monastery taverns to a new generation of microbreweries. Continue the Czech beer trail with a visit to the Pilsner Urquell brewery in Plzeň, before striking out to the country’s lesser-known spots, such as charming Olomouc , a pint-sized Prague without the tourists.

If you're heading to Prague, where you're based can make all the difference to your experience, so make the right start with our guide to the best places to stay in the city.

Best location for hostel: Safestay Prague

Best for shopping and city centre: K+K Hotel Central

Best for history buffs: Small group tour to the Prague Castle

Best for a magical evening: Dinner cruise on an Open-Top Glass Boat

Daily budget: Basic €45, occasional treat €55

Drink: Pilsner Urquell (0.5l) €1.60

Food: Pork and dumplings €8

Hostel/budget hotel: €20/€45

Travel: Train: Prague–Karlovy Vary €12; bus: €14

Explore the best of Czech Republic >

Estonia, Baltic coast, rocky shores at the sea, best places to visit in europe

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River view of Big Ben and-Houses of parliament in London, England, United Kingdom © S.Borisov/Shutterstock

Known for the popular city break destination of Tallinn , small and beautiful Estonia also provides swathes of wilderness, with beautiful stretches of coastline, a scattering of islands and forested national parks along its long Baltic coastline. With so much centered on the outdoors, it's arguably the cheapest country in Europe.

An hour from Tallinn, 725-square-kilometre Lahemaa National Park is best explored by bike. You can cycle its coastal paths, discover rugged coves, windswept beaches and fishing villages and even sleep on hay bales at a farm. Venture further west, and the summertime resort of Pärnu has fantastic beaches, The island of Saaremaa offers soft-carpeted pine forest countryside and very affordable spas.

Best for boutique hotel in Tallinn: Hotel Meltzer Apartments

Best for boutique spa in Saaremaa: Grand Rose SPA Hotel

Best for historical, Soviet heritage: Day tour from Tallinn to Naissaar, also known as Women's Island

Best for urban exploration: The Industrial Stalker Bike Tour in Kalamaja District

Daily budget: Basic €40, occasional treat €60

Drink: Le Coq beer €2.60

Food: Blood sausage and sauerkraut €7

Travel: Bus: Tallinn–Saaremaa €9; Tartu–Tallinn €13

monument to the battle of the nations volkerschlachtdenkmal built in 1913 for the 100th anniversary of the battle, leipzig, germany, best places to visit in europe

As far as Europe travel goes, Berlin is an anomaly. It’s one of the few capitals where the cost of living is lower than the national average. It's a legacy of the country’s former divide, which still means former East Germany is notably cheaper than western centres like Frankfurt and Munich . But as prices gradually rise in gentrifying Berlin, there are other eastern cities to venture to, including buzzing Leipzig .

The city that kick-started the 1989 protests that led to the country’s reunification has long had a fierce, independent spirit. Over the past few years, it’s also developed quite a reputation for its thriving artist enclaves and offbeat nightlife. Its culture scene is in constant flux, with old industrial buildings, such as former cotton mill the Spinnerei, converted into cutting-edge spaces.

Best for city location: IntercityHotel Leipzig

Best for little luxury: Pentahotel Leipzig

Best for family exploration: 3hr canoe tour through the city

Best for first-time visitors: Hop-on Hop-off bus tour including walking tour

  • Daily: Budget Basic €57, occasional treat €73
  • Drink: Beer (0.5ml) €3.35
  • Food: Schnitzel €8
  • Hostel/budget hotel: €20/€35
  • Travel: Munich–Berlin: train €55–142; bus €22

Fall in love with the rest of Germany >

Tate modern London © cristapper/Shutterstock

London and budget aren’t words that usually go together. However, London has more free world-class attractions than any other European city. There's the British Museum , home to enough treasures to satisfy the most curious of history hunters; the vast Tate Modern , with stupendous views from its terrace and ever-changing art collections; the Natural History Museum with its magnificent dinosaurs; and beautiful Victoria & Albert Museum – all free, all of the time.

And don’t forget the open spaces: spend a day tramping across Hampstead Heath, another meandering along the South Bank or perusing East End markets and you’ll get more of a sense of city life than if you’re stuck in a queue at an overpriced attraction. For food, opt for the popular street-food markets and your budget will stretch further – you might even have enough left for an overpriced pint.

Best for being in the centre of London: The Z Hotel Piccadilly

Best for location to Southbank: Park Plaza London Waterloo

Best for stunning views: The London Eye (make sure to book your ticket ahead of time to skip the lines)

Best for the adventurers: Climb the O2 Arena

  • Daily budget: Basic €70, occasional treat €90
  • Drink: Lager €6
  • Food: Fish and chips €10
  • Hostel/budget hotel: €13/20 (dorm/private)/€70
  • Travel: Train: London–Brighton €20; bus: London–Manchester €40

Get the London low-down >

Greece, best places to visit in europe

Think of budget travel in Greece , and the image is still one of island-hopping, sleeping on the deck of a ferry or camping on the beach. However, the slow pace of island travel and the popularity of the main resorts all adds to the cost.

Instead, consider the many-fingered peninsula of Greece . It has some fine beaches – less developed than those on the main islands – and it is home to the ancient sights of Epidaurus and Olympia . Medieval villages, spectacular rack-railway journeys and appealing Byzantine towns all await those who explore beyond the package holiday destinations.

Best for beaches in Finikounta: Hotel Golden Sun

Best for location in Nafplion: Pension Eleni

Best for day tours from Athens: Nafplio and Ancient Epidaurus

Best for explorers: Self-guided virtual reality tour of Olympia

  • Daily budget: Basic €31, occasional treat €42
  • Drink: Ouzo €3
  • Food: Souvláki (shish kebab) €3
  • Hostel/budget hotel: €21/€31
  • Travel: Bus: Athens–Delphi €19; ferry: Athens–Crete €38

sunrise at budapest city and chain bridge, budapest, hungary, best places to visit in europe

Straddling the Danube, the twin enclaves of Buda and Pest together make one of the most beguiling capitals in Europe . Their main pleasures won’t break the bank, making it one of the top cheap places to travel to.

Spend the day lounging by the pools in the spa, taking the occasional dip, cooling off under the fountains, and watching the old men play chess at the waterside tables. Come evening, the “r uin-bars” of District VII beckon – idiosyncratic bars tucked away in the neighbourhood’s courtyards. The tipple of choice is the cheap local white or rosé drunk long as a spritzer, perfect in the baking heat of summer.

Budapest is one of the best places to visit in Europe in the Spring (March to May) or Autumn (Sept to Nov) as the climate is at its most pleasant – ideal for those outdoor spa days and pounding the pavements.

Best for location to city centre: Arcadia Hotel Budapest

Best for a little luxury: Hotel Palazzo Zichy Budapest

Best to relax: Soak up the atmosphere at the Thermal Margaret Island Spa

Best for wine connoisseurs: Taste 7 Hungarian wines from boutique wineries

  • Daily budget: Basic €42, occasional treat €62
  • Drink: Beer (large) €2–2.60
  • Food: Goulash €3–4
  • Hostel/pension: €16–31
  • Travel: Train: Budapest–Eger €8.30

Find out more about Budapest >

panorama of the city of palermo, view of the old town, best places to visit in europe

Any grand tour of Europe includes a string of beautiful Italian cities: refined Florence , alluring Rome and glamorous Venice . While there’s no doubting their charms, they are well and truly on the tourist trail, which pushes up prices, particularly in high season.

Escape from the mainland to Sicily and you’ll find in its capital Palermo a city both redolent of the Italy of yesteryear and – if you ask a Sicilian – a country apart. Undoubtedly run down in places, the city unfolds many surprises . There are churches covered in exquisite mosaics and cluttered neighbourhood markets, where you can snack on local street foods, like arancini (rice balls) and panelle (chick pea fritters), as you wander.

Best for popular attractions: Hotel Palazzo Brunaccini

Best hostel for location to the city: Balarm Hostel

Best for foodies: 3hr street food and history walking tour

Best for day trips: Explore Western Sicily with Segesta, Erice and Salt Pans

  • Daily budget: Basic €36, occasional treat €52
  • Drink: Wine €2.60/glass
  • Food: Local pasta dish €5–8; pizza slice €2
  • Hostel/budget hotel: €16–31/€47–62
  • Travel: Train: Rome–Naples €21; bus: €12

Get inspired for Sicily >


Vast, deep, Lake Ohrid is the jewel of North Macedonia . The quiet streets of its namesake town reveal frescoed medieval churches, a Roman amphitheatre and a fortress worth climbing for the views. But as you explore the old town, the clear lake waters draw you back time and time again, inviting you to swim, dive or take to the waters by boat.

If you are tempted landwards it might be to hike in the nearby Galičica National Park. With cheap private rooms to rent and several waterside camping spots, the area is perfect for travellers on a budget to kick back and relax.

Best for a cosy guest house: Villa & Winery Mal Sveti Kliment

Best for views of Lake Ohrid: Villa Kale

Best for those with limited time: Day tour from Skopje to Ohrid

Best for history buffs: Private half-day city tour

  • Daily budget: Basic €26, occasional treat €36
  • Drink: Wine from €2.60 per bottle
  • Food: Tavče gravče (bean casserole) €1.50
  • Hostel/budget hotel: €10/€26
  • Travel: Bus: Skopje–Ohrid €7; train: Skopje–Bitola €4

Kotor, montenegro, best places to visit in europe

Travelling cheap? Montenegro won't disappoint. The beautiful walled town of Kotor sits at the end of a fjord-like bay, ringed by dramatic peaks. Just follow your nose in the Old Town. Getting lost in the labyrinth of streets is half the fun, discovering summertime cafés that spill out on the squares before clambering along the old fortress walls.

For a view over the whole gorgeous scene, hike up to St Ivan’s castle, overlooking the town. Kotor’s annual highlight is August’s exuberant Boka Nights festival , when the whole town celebrates as a lavish display of decorated boats parade in the bay and fireworks fill the sky.

Where to stay:

Best for boutique hotel: Boutique Hotel Astoria

Best for location to the city centre and the beach: Muo Apartments

Best to get away from the crowds: 2.5h Kayak Tour in the Bay of Kotor

Best for a day trip: Boat Tour to the Blue Cave & Our Lady of the Rocks

  • Daily budget: Basic €31, occasional treat €52
  • Drink: Nikšičko Tamno beer €1 (bottle from shop)
  • Food: Sarma €2.60–4
  • Hostel/budget hotel: €21/€52
  • Travel: Bus: Budva–Kotor €3; train: Podgorica–Virpazar €1

For more ideas for visiting Montenegro read our guide to the best things to do in Montenegro .

old town of gdansk with ancient crane at dusk, poland, best places to visit in europe

Part beautiful Hanseatic city, part gritty port town and part Baltic riviera, the northern Polish city of Gdánsk offers a winning combination of coastal appeal. Though the core of this picturesque, colourful city, with its narrow merchant houses, looks ancient, it’s actually a postwar reconstruction – but the history is genuine. It's one of many cheap travel destinations to visit in Poland!

The shipyard crane dates back to the 15th century, and the city was the birthplace of the Solidarity anti-communist movement. Come summer, the action moves to the hip, coastal resort of Sopot , with its golden sand beach, lively party scene and attractive pier (the longest in Europe).

Best for location to the city centre: PURO Gdansk Stare Miasto

Best for great views and location to the city: Mercure Gdansk Stare Miasto

Best for nightlife: Pub Crawl with free drinks

Best for first-time visitors: Electric Scooter guided tour of the Old Town

  • Daily budget: Basic €52, occasional treat €73
  • Drink: Vodka (50ml shot) €1
  • Food: Żurek soup €2–3
  • Hostel/budget hotel: €12/€36
  • Travel: Train: Warsaw–Kraków €34; bus: €16

Explore the WW2 Liberation Route with the help of a local expert >

porto, portugal old town on the douro river, best places to visit in europe

Portugal travel doesn't get more exciting than in Porto. Portugal’s second city is appealingly set on the banks of the river Duoro. The riverside district of Portugal is crammed with no-frills good, local restaurants – pick somewhere a street or so back from the waterfront and you’ll be spoilt with local dishes and wines at excellent prices. With the city set on either side of the river, check our guide to the best places to stay in Porto to find accommodation that suits you best.

Other highlights include the vast Portugal park, with a superb art museum set within. However, it is port that the city is famous for. Vinologia is a great bar for an introduction to the varieties of fortified wine, and you can visit the port lodges across the river in Vila Nova de Gaia, where for a few euros you can sample their wares.

Make the most of your time in Porto and book ahead to explore some of the unknown wine cellars in the city .

Best for walks along the waterfront: 1872 River House

Best for value with style: MyStay Porto Batalha

Best for day tours: Small group tour to the Douro Valley, Wine Tasting and a River Cruise

Best for iconic views: Torre dos Clérigos (skip-the-line tickets)

  • Daily budget: Basic €47, occasional treat €68
  • Drink: Bottle of vinho verde in shop €3.60
  • Food: Grilled sardines €8
  • Hostel/budget hotel: €21/€47
  • Travel: Train: Lisbon–Faro €23; bus: Porto–Lisbon €21

Delve into Porto >

Transylvania, Romania, best places to visit in europe

Think Transylvania , and you’ll probably imagine Dracula and his castle – and you can certainly go in search of Dracula (aka Vlad the Impaler) connections here. If you're interested in finding Dracula, book your tour here . As Vlad’s birthplace, the attractive town of Sighisoara has the best claim to fame, and it also has a suitably imposing citadel.

But the region is not all fortifications and fangs – make time to venture out into the wilds of the Carpathian mountains , where you can track the Transylvanian wolf, along with bears, red deer and lynx in the Piatra Craiului National Park.

Best for visiting Vlad the Impaler: Casa Richter

Best for visiting Piatra Craiului National Park: Vila Hora cu Brazi

Best for explorers: Medieval City Exploration Game and Tour in Sighisoara

Best for those travelling in high season: Fast track tickets to Bran Castle (Dracula's castle - Romania's number one attraction)

  • Daily budget: Basic €26, occasional treat €42
  • Drink: Beer €1.90; bottle of Romanian wine €5
  • Food: Tochitura moldoveneasca (Moldavian stew) €2.10
  • Hostel/budget hotel: €10/€31
  • Travel: Bus/train: Bucharest–Braşov €10

Discover more affordable places in Romania >

Also check our best things to do in Romania to make your trip here even more exciting.


Serbia abounds with sights to suit all tastes. Fancy a low-cost summer music festival? Serbia ’s famous EXIT Festival held in July might be just the ticket, and it’s less than half the price of Glastonbury. The line-up is always eclectic, with past acts including David Guetta and Ziggy Marley.

A trip here is about more than the music, however, with a setting that leaves other festivals in the shade. The Petrovaradin fortress stands majestically above the lively city of Novi Sad , a couple of hours from Belgrade. Stages and festival spaces fill every corner of the fortress, and you can spend your days lounging on the river beaches on the banks of the Danube.

If you don't have the time to stay longer, consider taking a day tour from Belgrade to explore Novi Sad and taste the local wines in Sremski Karlovci.

Best for rooftop views of the city: Hotel Leopold I Novi Sad

Best hostel for city location: Hostel Sova

  • Drink: Beer (0.5l) €1
  • Food: Pljeskavica (hamburger) €1–2
  • Hostel/budget hotel: €13/€37
  • Travel: Bus: Belgrade–Novi Sad €6; train: Belgrade–Niš €7

Get the low-down on Serbia >

High Tatras, Slovakia © Michal Petlach/Shutterstock

Slovakia's pride and joy , the Tatras mountain range is a magnificent series of peaks – culminating in the pyramid-shaped Gerlach at 2,655m. Start at one of the village resorts like Nový Smokovec or Ždiar, then make for the mountains, where you can rest your weary heads at cheap hikers’ chalets.

This is serious mountain terrain, so be prepared and heed local advice. The mountains are also an inviting playground for climbers and cavers, and you’ll find mountain bike paths, tubing and rafting, plus a full winter season of skiing and snowboarding.

Best for the location to popular attractions: Penzion Reitmayer

Best for families: Apartmanovy Dom TatraTravel Smokovec

  • Daily budget: Basic €37, occasional treat €47
  • Drink: Beer €1.80
  • Food: Gnocchi with bacon €4
  • Hostel/budget hotel: €16/€31
  • Travel: Bratislava–Košice (train) €20

Lake Bled, Slovenia © Shutterstock

Sandwiched between Italy, Austria and Croatia, compact Slovenia is an appealing destination on any journey through Europe. There's its charming capital, Ljubljana , as well as easy travel, a burgeoning wine industry and tempting pocket of coastline. For the adventure-minded, or for those who just want to camp in a beautiful lakeside setting, the northwest region is perfect.

Nestled below the stunning Julian Alps are the very different twin lakes of Bled and Bohinj . From here you can carry on to the Soča Valley, right by the Italian border, for hiking, kayaking and rafting adventures.

Best guest house for views of Lake Bled: Penzion Vila Prešeren

Best for lake views: Grand Hotel Toplice

Best for adventurers: 3hr Rafting Experience

Best for wine experiences: Taste 7 top Slovenian wines in a 100-year old wine cellar in Bled

  • Drink: Pivo (beer' 0.5ml) €2.60
  • Food: Pizza €5–7
  • Hostel/budget hotel: €19/€62
  • Travel: Train: Ljubljana–Maribor €9; bus: Ljubljana–Bled €7

Find out more about Slovenia >

aerial view of olvera town with church of our lady of incarnation, cadiz povince, andalusia, spain, best places to visit in europe

The southernmost province of Spain, Andalucía travel is a tempting budget destination. This perennially popular region boasts showpiece cities such as Seville , Granada and Córdoba , with their exquisite monuments highlighting the area's Moorish past. Even here prices are competitive compared with Madrid and Barcelona.

You only need to head a little further afield, to the underrated city of Málaga with its Picasso connection and authentic tapas scene, or the atmospheric ancient port city of Cádiz, and you’ll enjoy that alluring southern Spanish vibe for budget-friendly prices. Cheap tapas (the tradition of free tapas originates in Granada) means you can sample Iberian flavours for a couple of euros a plate, and to continue your budget adventure, simply hop on the ferry to Morocco, tantalisingly close by.

Best guest house location to city centre: El Riad Andaluz

Best for style on a budget: Hotel Boutique Villa Lorena Malaga

Best for exploring arts: Guided tour through the Picasso Museum

Best for short hikes: Caminito del Rey - 3hr guided hike

  • Daily budget: Basic €68; occasional treat €88
  • Drink: €1.80–2.60 per caña (small beer)
  • Food: Menú del día €10–12
  • Hostel/budget hotel: €17/€36–83
  • Travel: Madrid–Barcelona: bus €33–45; train €62–130

Book onto the best things to do in Andalucía

lviv, ukraine, best places to visit in europe

Situated in the west of this vast country, within easy travelling distance of Central European cities such as Kraków and Budapest, Lviv is the city to head for if you want a taste of Ukraine.

It revels in a mixture of Central European influences: Habsburg and Polish, Catholic, Orthodox and Armenian, with its architecture and magnificent churches reflecting this eclecticism. Ukraine regularly features on the list of cheapest destinations in Europe, and with a growing supply of backpacker hostels, appealing coffee houses and quirky bars, this is an extremely budget-friendly city with a refined edge.

Best for location to the city centre: Lviv Central Jam Hotel

Best for style on a budget: Taurus Hotel

Best for first time visitors: Lviv Old Town Walking Tour

Best for foodies with an interest in history: Communist-style Food and Bar Tour

  • Drink: Horilka (vodka; 50ml shot) €1
  • Food: Ukrainian borshch €0.80
  • Hostel/budget hotel: €8/€31
  • Travel: Train: Kyiv–Odesa €10; bus: €19

Top image © Patteran/Shutterstock

This feature contains affiliate links; all recommendations are editorially independent.

Top image: Malaga, Spain, Old Town Skyline © S Pavone / Shutterstock

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What are you looking for?

18 cheapest countries in europe to visit in 2024.

Cazzy Magennis

As you will see below, many of the cheapest countries in Europe are grouped together.

More simply, they are the Eastern European countries.

That’s a pretty complex question that I would really hate to over-simplify, at risk of offending anyone.

But key factors include things like them being ex-Soviet states, experiencing relatively recent war, poor tourism infrastructure, and general under-development.

I won’t go any further as every country is very much unique in its past and its present.

But one thing I do want to point out is that these are all incredible countries to visit!

How do I know that?

Because we have personally traveled through and explored every single country on this list!

Many of them multiple times between 2016 and 2024, and hopefully many more times to come.

So everything below is based directly on personal experience , giving us the ability not just to tell you where is cheap, but also:

  • What we recommend you do there
  • How much we spent, so how much you can expect to spend
  • Our top tips on saving money!

Without further ado, let’s get started …

** Please note: your personal travel style and start location will dictate how expensive your trip is. So do bear that in mind!


The Cheapest European Countries to Visit Reel

@dreambigtravelfar 10 of the cheapest places to Travel in 2023, in Europe📍 #bucketlist #aroundtheworld #ontheroadagain ♬ Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap


Cost of visiting albania on a budget.

  • Recommended budget per day: $30-50
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $10-20 per night; Hotel: $20-40 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-2, Fast food: $4-6; Meal at a restaurant: $5-15
  • Top tip : It’s legal to camp anywhere in Albania so you can save plenty of money on accommodation fees if you have a campervan or a tent! 


Albania is starting to become a popular destination in the Balkans, and all we can say is about time!

With its pristine beaches, epic mountain ranges, and delicious cuisine, Albania is not only one of the cheapest European countries - but it’s also one of the most beautiful. 

It was a huge surprise for us wen we first visited in 2022, and ever since we have been recommending people to go there!

Sharing borders with Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, and North Macedonia , it’s well connected so is easy to travel to as well!

We drove all across the country, from north to south and east to west. In parts, the roads aren't the best (and err, cough cough ) neither are the drivers. But don't let that put you off.

Albania is considered to be one of the sunniest countries in Europe making it perfect for a summer getaway, especially if you’re on a budget. 

What to do in Albania

things to do in albania

Most popular attractions/cities: The Albanian Riviera ( our favourite spot ), the Albanian Alps, Durres & Tirana

Although this country may not be a ‘tourist hotspot’ just yet, you’ll find tons of amazing things to do in Albania!

The perfect starting point is the capital city of Tirana which is home to plenty of attractions including the National History Museum , The Pyramid of Tirana , and Skanderbeg Square.

If you're looking to explore the best of this city then why not check out this Tirana walking tour ?

From there, you can head out to the coast and explore the beautiful Albanian Riviera! This is where you’ll find the country’s finest beaches. 

Other popular coastal areas and towns include Saranda , Vlore, and the Ksamil Islands.

If you’d prefer to explore more of inland Albania, then why not head to the Albanian Alps or the beautiful Lake Ohrid?

Not only does Albania have beautiful coastlines and landscapes, but there are plenty of awesome towns to visit too including Berat , Gjirokastra , and Kruja !

To learn more, I recommend you check out our in-depth guide on the absolute best places to visit in Albania .

2. North Macedonia

Cost of visiting north macedonia on a budget.

  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $15-25 per night; Hotel: $25-45 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-2, Fast food: $3-5; Meal at a restaurant: $4-12
  • Top tip : Some of the cities within North Macedonia offer FREE walking tours like this Skopje walking tour

inexpensive travel in europe

Bordering five other countries, North Macedonia is the perfect country to visit if you’re not bothered about visiting the coast.

Again, I simply couldn't believe we had heard so little about this country before visiting.

In my humble opinion, it is perhaps Europe’s biggest hidden gem; and is yet to be hit by hordes of tourists, so it’s a fantastic place to travel through.

With idyllic villages, towering mountains, and beautiful lakes - you’ll be blown away by the natural beauty that’s found here. 

Even the capital city is one of Europe's nicest and absolutely jam packed full of (very recent) history.

North Macedonia is perfect for budget travellers too as it’s one of the cheapest countries out there (not just in Europe).

Trust me, you’ll definitely want to add this place to your bucket list.

What to do in North Macedonia

inexpensive travel in europe

Most popular attractions/cities: Lake Ohrid & Ohrid, Pelister National Park, Bitola & Skopje

Often the first port of call in North Macedonia is the capital city of Skopje . With an authentic old town, great nightlife, and plenty of culture - this place is a must-visit. We spent 5 days here, living, exploring & catching up on work in a local hotel, as well as in this super quirky Airbnb (definitely worth a stay).

We did a 3 hour walking tour where we learned about this countries very recent independence, it's complex relations with Greece, the birthplace of Mother Theresa, it's Ottoman influences & of course Alexander The Great.

Seriously, one of the most fascinating walking tours we have ever done.

However, this fantastic country also has tons of other awesome destinations to visit including Bitola , Gevgelija , Stobi , and Struga . 

Not only that but North Macedonia is known for its natural beauty, and you’ll find plenty of this within Pelister National Park .

However, I also recommend heading to Tikves Lake , hiking up Mount Ljuboten, and kayaking through Matka Canyon . This full-day sightseeing tour will take you to Matka Canyon and some other awesome destinations from Skopje!

Like its neighbour to the west, Albania; North Macedonia is home to the beautiful Lake Ohrid which is one of Europe’s deepest and oldest lakes! 

On the shores of this beautiful lake, you’ll find the town of Ohrid which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

There really isn't enough room here to describe everything to do, so instead check out my in-depth guide on the best things to do in North Macedonia .

3. Montenegro

Cost of visiting montenegro on a budget.

  • Recommended budget per day: $40-60
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-3, Fast food: $4-6; Meal at a restaurant: $6-$18
  • Top tip : If you visit Montenegro during May or September, you’ll find that accommodation prices are much cheaper! 

inexpensive travel in europe

Montenegro is probably one of the more popular countries in the Balkans as it borders the tourist hotspot of Croatia. 

Although many people visit as a day trip from neighbouring countries, I highly recommend that you spend at least a week or two here, like we did.

With its stunning coastline along the Adriatic Sea, beautiful national parks, and historical cities, Montenegro has so much to offer, much more than just the coastal city of Kotor which seems to be the most popular spot to visit.

We entered via a border with Bosnia, just near to Tara Canyon. This was a strange and remote crossing, involving crossing a rickety old bridge with nails sticking out of it. But you get the benefit of seeing much of the beautiful rugged inland countryside as you head towards the coast.

As well as Croatia and Bosnia, this beautiful country is bordered by Albania, Kosovo, and Serbia so there are plenty of overland transport options.

Montenegro is also one of the cheapest countries to travel around in Europe, as we soon discovered.

What to do in Montenegro

inexpensive travel in europe

Most popular attractions/cities: Kotor, Budvar, Lovcen National Park & Sveti Stefan 

Although the capital city of Podgorica is definitely worth a visit, it’s the coastal town of Kotor that often steals the limelight ! This old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is over 2,000 years old! 

After spending some time in Kotor, you can visit some of the other towns and cities in the country including Budvar , Perast, and Ulcinj .

However, the highlight of Montenegro has to be its breathtaking national parks!  

There are plenty of them to visit including Durmitor , Lovcen , and Lake Skadar , and each one offers spectacular scenery, a wide variety of wildlife, and awesome hiking trails. 

This country is also home to a variety of unique attractions including the famous Blue Grotto, Tara Canyon, and the beautiful island of Sveti Stefan.

Make sure you allow plenty of time to explore this beautiful country, and for more ideas of what to get up to, check out my guide on the absolute best things to do in Montenegro .

Cost of visiting Serbia on a budget

  • Food costs: Street food: $1-2, Fast food: $5-7; Meal at a restaurant: $6-18
  • Top tip : Serbian sim cards are extremely cheap and have great data packages if you’re looking to use your phone on the go


Although Serbia isn’t often considered as a travel destination, I can 100% recommend this beautiful country!

Not only is it one of the cheapest countries in Europe, but it’s also one of the least-visited so you won’t have to battle against the crowds. 

Serbia has a very long history too and for this reason, you’ll find the culture here to be extremely interesting. Many of the traditional foods even have an ottoman/Mediterranean influence, so as you can imagine - they are very tasty! 

The country also has such a diverse landscape with historic cities being dwarfed by towering mountain ranges in the background.

It's not all songs and roses though, we did have some negative experiences in Serbia. There are stray dogs absolutely everywhere and the peoplehave a very different relationships with these wonderful creatures than what most other western countries do.

We actually found 5 abandoned puppies at the side of the road and luckily managed to find just one shelter in Serbia willing to take them, called Vucjak . We then even tried to adopt these puppies across to the UK (after finding owners, but the Serbian state made the process impossible and we were never able to get them out).

Okay random detour over, I just wanted to give you a heads up as you can expect mistreatment towards dogs like this in a large part of the Balkans region.

What to do in Serbia

What to do in Serbia

Most popular attractions/cities: Belgrade, Novia Sad, Fruška Gora National Park & Tara National Park

With fantastic cities, spectacular mountain ranges, and beautiful national parks, this country has so much to offer. 

The perfect starting point for your Serbia itinerary is the bustling capital city of Belgrade ! Here, you’ll get to visit historical buildings, take a dip in the river, and try some delicious cuisine. 

This fantastic guided walking tour will show you all that Belgrade has to offer! From here oyou could rent a car and head almost anywhere!

Why not head to Niš , Novi Sad , and Sokobanja ? Each one has something special to offer, but you’ll only need a short amount of time to see the top attractions.

During your time in Serbia, you’ll want to prioritise the national parks as they are stunning!

There are a couple to choose from, but the most popular ones are Fruška Gora National Park & Tara National Park!

Here's some more information on the best places to visit in Serbia .

5. Bosnia & Herzegovina

Cost of visiting bosnia on a budget.

  • Recommended budget per day: $45-65
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-2, Fast food: $4-6; Meal at a restaurant: $4-12
  • Top tip : Bosnia’s markets are a great place to grab cheap food and fresh produce if you’d prefer to cook yourself 

inexpensive travel in europe

Although the country only gained its independence in 1992 and has a complicated history, Bosnia has so much to offer travellers.

It’s one of Europe’s more off-the-beaten-track destinations , which makes it a great place to explore and find some hidden gems.

We've traveled through the country twice now, once back in 2018 and more recently in 2022. But both times doing the Mostar bridge jump (pictured above/video below).

Like many other places in Europe, Bosnia & Herzegovina is bordered by several countries; these are Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia.

Because of this, you’ll find it easy to travel to and there are plenty of overland options that will save you money!

What to do in Bosnia

What to do in Bosnia

Most popular attractions/cities: Sarajevo, Mostar, Kravice Falls & Una National Park 

The capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina is the bustling city of Sarajevo where you’ll find a ton of attractions. This includes Bascarsija, the Museum of Genocide , and the Sarajevo war tunnel . 

You also don’t want to miss out on visiting Mostar of course, mentioned above.

To travel between Sarajevo and Mostar, you can take one of the world’s most beautiful train rides ! Tickets start from just $6 and you’ll be treated to epic scenery along the way. We haven't had chance to do this ourselves, as we drove through Bosnia both times. Buthave heard great things about this ride!

I’d recommend heading to Blagaj too which is a stunning village that’s set on a cliff within the Mostar Basin.

If you’re looking to see some of Bosnia’s spectacular landscapes, then you also need to visit Kravice Falls and Una National Park ! 

Cost of visiting Croatia on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $50-70
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $20-30 per night; Hotel: $30-50 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-3, Fast food: $6-8; Meal at a restaurant: $8-24
  • Top tip : Many of the popular cities in Croatia offer a tourist pass like this Dubrovnik pass , where you can save money on attractions.

inexpensive travel in europe

Croatia is easily one of the most popular countries in the Balkans, and it’s not hard to see why!

There are plenty of cheap countries in Europe, but not many can match the beauty of Croatia.

With its pristine beaches, stunning national parks, and endless cities to visit, y ou’ll want to allow yourself at least a couple of weeks here .

Or, like us, you may even want to live here! We visited multiple times in the last few years. Back in 2018 we even drove here, rented a cheap flat for £80 a month and lived right on the coast! In a town called Kastel Kambelovac, just outside Split. Ah good times.

Nowadays, Croatia is an up-and-coming tourist hotspot and because of this, some areas in the country will be more budget-friendly than others. 

We've been told that the deals aren't quite as good as we first discovered back in 2018, and likely even more so now that Croatia is more firmly in the Eurozone and using the Euro. However, you’ll find some fantastic accommodation deals so you don’t need to worry.

What to do in Croatia

inexpensive travel in europe

Most popular attractions/cities: Dubrovnik, Split, Krka National Park & Plitvice Lakes National Park

You’ll find a HUGE variety of places to visit in Croatia , but let’s start off with the most popular cities. 

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and is a popular place to visit, although it often gets overlooked by tourists in favour of Dubrovnik .

With its beautiful location on the coast, its historic city walls, and its iconic Game of Thrones filming locations, Dubrovnik has so much to offer!

You will probably even recognise the picture above; it's our shot but that exact spot is the one always used when listing Dubrovnik in any guides.

During your time in Croatia, there are plenty of other scenic cities to visit including Pula , Rovinj , Split , and Zadar .

This country is home to some fantastic national parks too including Brijuni , Krka , and Plitvice Lakes !

Not only that, but Croatia sits along the Adriatic Sea so you’ll find plenty of beautiful islands and beach destinations including Hvar and Brač .

Cost of visiting Romania on a budget

  • Food costs: Street food: $1-3, Fast food: $5-7; Meal at a restaurant: $7-21
  • Top tip : Romania has a ridesharing platform called BlaBlaCar that can help you cut costs on transport! 

inexpensive travel in europe

Romania is a country close to our hearts as we road-tripped here for around three weeks in our beloved camper. 

With stunning castles, bustling cities, and vast underground cave systems, you won’t run out of things to do here. 

Even more recently, we revisited in February 2024 so Bradley could spend his 30th Birthday here with friends! In fact, it was cheaper to fly everyone out to Bucharest, stay in an apartment for 2 days, and then spend a full day enjoying the incredible Therme Spa , than it would have been to go away for even just one night in the UK.

This is because Romania is easily one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe , so you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck.

Bordered by Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Serbia, and Ukraine, it’s also the perfect location for a cross-country European trip.

So, make sure you add Romania to your bucket list! 

What to do in Romania

inexpensive travel in europe

Most popular attractions/cities: Bucharest, Brașov, Salina Turda & Bran Castle

‍ I’d recommend allowing at least 2-3 weeks in the country . If you can, hire a car or campervan to offer you the most flexibility.

The first stop for many people is the beautiful city of Bucharest which is the country’s capital. Here, you’ll get to explore the old town, explore museums, and marvel at the world’s largest parliament building. And of course Therme Bucuresti, mentioned above.

From there, you’ll want to explore some of the other cities including Brașov , Sibiu , and Sighişoara .

Although Romania has plenty of incredible cities and towns to visit, you’ll also find lots of other attractions in the country.

One of these is the famous Bran Castle which is often associated with Bram Stoker’s ‘Count Dracula’.

During your time exploring Romania, I’d also recommend heading to Salina Turda , the Liberty Bear Sanctuary , and Peles Castle !

There's far too much to go into here, so instead check out my in-depth guide on the most incredible places to visit in Romania .

Also, give my YouTube video a watch ...

8. Bulgaria

Cost o visiting bulgaria on a budget.

  • Food costs: Street food: $1-3, Fast food: $5.50-7.50; Meal at a restaurant: $7.50-22.50
  • Top tip : Throughout the year Bulgaria hosts a variety of FREE festivals and events, so make sure you check what’s on during your stay!

inexpensive travel in europe

Bulgaria is one of the cheapest Schengen countries and one of the most beautiful! 

It can be visited during any time of year, as this country offers a variety of winter sports opportunities and pristine beaches for the ultimate summer getaway. 

We were there for a few weeks in October; so not exactly the hottest months; but still a fantastic time to visit.

Not only are the crowds very much less, but things are still open and you get to enjoy the beautiful autumn colours the country offers.

Seriously, just look at the pictures above (it's actually the screensaver on my laptop still 3 years after taking it).

But if you do decide you fancy the warmer weather, Bulgaria is actually home to some of the best beaches in Europe as it borders the Black Sea to the west, so is a place you’ll definitely want to visit. 

Like with the other countries in this guide, it’s extremely budget-friendly too so is a fantastic choice if you're looking for cheap places to visit in Europe! 

What to do in Bulgaria

inexpensive travel in europe

Most popular attractions/cities: Sofia, Sunny Beach, Belogradchik & Pirin National Park

As Bulgaria is one of the cheapest European countries to visit in summer , it’s no surprise that it’s become a popular party destination.

With its lively boulevard, cheap deals, and variety of nightclubs, Sunny Beach has gained a great nightlife reputation. This makes it a popular spot for young travellers, especially.

However, if you’re not looking to party the night away - Bulgaria still has plenty to offer.

One of the best places to visit is the capital city of Sofia with its incredible architecture, culture, and endless attractions. 

If you’re looking to explore the more natural side of Bulgaria then make sure you head to Belogradchik Fortress . Here, you’ll find unique rock formations unlike anything you’ve ever seen before! (This is the first picture of Bulgaria above).

Pirin National Park is also a must for the bucket list, as there are plenty of fantastic hiking trails and wildlife-watching opportunities here. 

Road tripping the country is a lot of fun, especially by camper. We actually wild camped by the famous Devils' Bridge above which was a very cool/spooky experience.

Cost of visiting Hungary on a budget

  • Food costs: Street food: $1-2, Fast food: $4.50-6.50; Meal at a restaurant: $6-18
  • Top tip : Many of the cities in Hungary are extremely walkable which is great for cutting transport costs


Hungary is a fantastic country for a cheap European getaway (especially if you're already based in Europe).

Flights here are extremely cheap, and after our first time visiting, we actually revisited on a weekend getaway with friends to celebrate Brad's 28th.

Situated in central Europe, Hungary is bordered by seven countries including Austria, Croatia, Slovakia, Romania, and Ukraine and well connected by trains, planes, and buses.

Home to beautiful lakes, plenty of world heritage sites, and bustling cities, this beautiful country has so much to offer. 

You’ll also find plenty of fantastic things to do in Hungary, and even better - many of these attractions are extremely budget-friendly or FREE!

What more could you need?

What to do in Hungary

Most popular attractions/cities: Budapest, Eger, Lake Balaton & Aggtelek National Park

There’s nowhere better to start your Hungary trip than in its capital, Budapest !  

This charming city has tons of attractions to visit including the Hungarian Parliament building , Heroes Square , and the Central Market Hall . However, one of the best ways to experience Budapest has to be hopping on this 1-hour sightseeing cruise !

We did this at night and were shocked by how cheap it is, and it includes free wine!

I’d also recommend heading to Eger which is famous for its medieval fortress and historic sites. 

Aside from these two cities, you’ve got plenty of other options too including Pecs , Debrecen , and Sopron . 

As Bulgaria is known for its hot springs, you’ll also want to head to Heviz which is where you’ll find one of the world’s largest thermal lakes.

During your stay in the country, make sure you visit Aggtelek National Park too as you’ll get to see the largest stalactite Cave in the whole of Europe! 

Hungary is also home to the scenic Lake Balaton which is the largest lake in Eastern Europe!

Cost of visiting Poland on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $35-55
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-3, Fast food: $5-7; Meal at a restaurant: $6-18
  • Top tip : Many of the cities in Poland offer FREE walking tours and entry into specific museums so take full advantage of this!


Regardless of the time of year you go, Poland should be right at the top of the best cheap European countries you want to visit.

We seem to have developed a strange soft spot for Poland, ever since first visiting Warsaw for a day back in 2019.

Here we learned about Poland's incredibly long and rich past. But one with a very sad 20th century.

Although they had a devastating history in regard to WWII and subsequent years, Poland is now one of the most up-and-coming tourist destinations in Eastern Europe . 

Not only can you travel on a low daily budget, but this country can be visited at any time of year. We've been in all seasons now, and have discovered it's becoming an increasingly modern and exciting place to be, but without the hefty price tags of neighbouring countries like Germany.

Christmas is definitely a great time to visit as the markets are incredible!

What to do in Poland

what to do in poland

Most popular attractions/cities: Krakow , Warsaw, Auschwitz & Tatra National Park

Honestly, I could be here all day naming all the places you need to visit in Poland!

For starters, the capital city of Warsaw is a must-visit followed by Krakow, Gdansk , and Wroclaw . All of these cities have so much to offer, and many of them have tourist passes.

I (Cazzy) spent a week exploring Krakow as my first ever solo trip. I wanted to go somewhere I could feel safe but have plenty to do for a full week right on my doorstep. And it didn't disappoint. You can read about my visit here .

Although you could spend weeks exploring Poland's cities, you need to leave some time for its diverse landscapes too. 

One of the best places to appreciate the country’s beauty is Tatra National Park ! However, try to visit Bialowieza Forest Reserve , the Bieszczady Mountains, and Ojcowski National Park during your time here too.

Although it’s not the most joyful place to visit, no trip to Poland is complete without a visit to Auschwitz . Here, you’ll get to learn about the atrocities that took place and pay your respect to the 1 million+ people who lost their lives. 

I found this day to be incredibly sad, but also eye opening to visit.

11. Lithuania

Cost of visiting lithuania on a budget.

  • Food costs: Street food: $1-2, Fast food: $5.50-7.50; Meal at a restaurant: $8-24
  • Top tip : Wild camping is legal in Lithuania which can save you a ton of money on accommodation costs

inexpensive travel in europe

Despite being one of Europe's cheapest countries, Lithuania is not often a place that first comes to mind for visiting.

In fact, for us it was quite a random first visit; kind of on a whim as result of a collaboration opportunity we found online with the company Tinggly.

We went and stayed in the capital for 5 nights with the brand, and when there ended up embarking on our own road trip to discover more of what the country had to offer.

It did not dissappoint.

It is easily one of the most scenic countries to visit on the continent. Again, having a rich and immersive history dating back hundreds of years. With all the bloody wars, castles, and ancient tales you come to love from European nations.

Not only is it cheap, but it has a little bit of everything ranging from pristine beaches to bustling cities so there’s something for everyone.

To make the most of your visit to Lithuania, I ’d recommend spending at least a week in the country . This means you won’t have to rush, and if you can hire a campervan - even better!

What to do in Lithuania

what to do in lithuainia

Most popular attractions/cities: Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, & Aukstaitija National Park

Although not many people realise it, there are tons of fantastic places to visit in Lithuania ! 

The first port of call is often the capital of Vilnius where you’ll get to wander around old castles, explore museums, and taste some of Lithuania’s delicious cuisine. 

However, there are plenty of other fantastic cities in the country too including Kaunas , Klaipeda , and Siauliai .

Lithuania also has a beautiful coastline, with the best places to visit for a beach getaway being Nida and Palanga! 

If I’ve still not managed to convince you then this country is home to some fantastic national parks too.

During your time in Lithuania, you’ll want to visit some of these beautiful parks including Aukstaitija , Dzukija , and the Curonian Spit which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cost of visiting Latvia on a budget

  • Food costs: Street food: $2-3, Fast food: $6-8; Meal at a restaurant: $8-24
  • Top tip : You’ll find plenty of FREE parks throughout Latvia so make sure you take full advantage of them! 


Although Switzerland, Denmark, and Iceland are all beautiful destinations with beautiful autumnal colours and ancient castles, if you’re looking for cheaper European countries to visit, why not head to Latvia?

Latvia is one of the lesser-known countries in Europe and doesn’t attract nearly as many tourists as other destinations on the continent. 

So, not only will you often have places to yourself but prices here are much cheaper too!  

Bordered by the Baltic Sea, Belarus, Estonia, Lithuania, and Russia - Latvia is a great destination for a road trip as you can simply hop over the border and explore more of the EU. 

Our journey took us north from Lithuania where we spent a week here before heading further north into Estonia.

What to do in Latvia

riga lativa

Most popular attractions/cities: Riga, Sigulda, Jurmala & Gauja National Park

You’ll find endless things to do in Latvia so be prepared for an action-packed visit! 

Riga is the capital city and is undoubtedly one of the top places to visit in the country. With stunning architecture, a quaint old town, and a bustling central market, the city has plenty to offer.

You’ll also find other awesome cities and towns throughout the country including Ludza, Liepaja, and Sigulda.

However, if you head to Jurmala you’ll get to relax on its beautiful beach and enjoy some epic sea views. 

Latvia is also home to plenty of spectacular castles including Turaida , Rundale , and Cesis among others! 

Make sure you head to Gauja National Park too.

As you can see there are so many awesome places to visit, so I’d recommend spending at least a week in this amazing country if you can .

13. Estonia

Cost of visiting estonia on a budget.

  • Food costs: Street food: $2-3, Fast food: $6-8; Meal at a restaurant: $10-20
  • Top tip : The Tallinn Card is great value for money as it includes FREE travel on public transport and FREE entry into over 50 attractions


With relatively cheap accommodation, plenty of awesome destinations, and delicious cuisine - it’s no wonder that this country is finally starting to get the recognition it deserves. 

We spent about 2 weeks here,after passing through north from Latvia, and before boarding the ferry to keep heading further north on to Finland.

Which, (spoiler alert) didn't make this list of Europe's best cheap countries. Yes it's amazing, but no it's not cheap!

Although it may not be one of Europe’s most popular destinations, it’s a country that I can 100% recommend! We loved it here.

What to do in Estonia

tallinn estonia

Most popular attractions/cities: Tallinn, Parnu, Lahemaa National Park & Soomaa National Park

The starting point for many people is often the capital city of Tallinn , which is located off the Gulf of Finland. You’ll find plenty of attractions to visit here including Alexander Nevsky Cathedral , the Lennusadam Museum , and the TV tower . 

I recommend staying in or near the OldTown for a few nights. There are lots of delightful small restaurants hidden amongst the cobble stone streets. And so much history to take in.

You can learn more in my more in-depth guide on what to get up to in Tallinn .

From there you can head to the coastal city of Parnu or Tartu which is considered to be one of the oldest cities in Estonia.

Not only does this country offer plenty of awesome cities, but it’s also known for its scenic natural landscapes.

There are six national parks found throughout the country although the two most popular are Lahemaa and Soomaa . 

You’ll find plenty of striking castles in Estonia too including:

You won’t find a shortage of things to do in Estonia as this country is full of awesome adventures!

14. Czech republic

Cost of visiting the czech republic on a budget.

  • Food costs: Street food: $2-3, Fast food: $6.50-8.50$; Meal at a restaurant: $7-21
  • Top tip : If you’re travelling through the country by bus or train, always try to buy your tickets in advance as you can get some great discounts. 

Czech republic

The Czech Republic is still one of the cheapest European countries to visit, even though prices have started to rise over the years! 

The majority of the country is extremely affordable for travellers , but just keep in mind that the capital of Prague is the exception to this rule. 

Prices here can be up to 50% higher which is quite a step up, even though you do expect the big cities to be more expensive. 

Either way, it’s a great option if you’re looking to save money whilst travelling through Europe!

We have visited numerous times since 2016, often for just a day or two getaway. There is a lot of charm and culture here, but I will be honest, Prague is also a fantastic place for letting loose.

The selection of bars here is surprisingly good, one of the best we've found anywhere in the world. It's even where Brad's fiancee had her Hen Do, and yes, I was responsible for planning the bar crawl ...

What to do in the Czech Republic

Most popular attractions/cities: Prague, Český Krumlov, Bohemian Switzerland National Park & Moravian Karst 

Although Prague isn’t one of the cheapest cities in Europe, it’s still much cheaper than the likes of Paris or Zurich. 

As it’s the capital city, you’ll find plenty of fantastic things to do here like visiting Prague Castle , walking over the iconic Charles Bridge , and exploring Old Town Square .  

If you're looking for a unique activity then why not check out this medieval dinner experience .

Other popular cities to visit in the country include Brno , Český Krumlov , and Pilsen! 

Although the Czech Republic is full of magical cities, one of the country’s highlights has to be Bohemian Switzerland National Park ! 

Not only is this national park home to the largest rock arch in Europe, but you’ll find plenty of awesome hiking trails here too.

I’d also recommend visiting Moravian Karst during your time in the country as you'll find 1,000 caves here that sprawl out for over 90 km! 

15. Slovenia

Cost of visiting slovenia on a budget.

  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $30-40 per night; Hotel: $40-60 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $2-3, Fast food: $6-8; Meal at a restaurant: $9-25
  • Top tip : Using the bus company Flixbus is an efficient and affordable way to get around the country as you can find great deals on ticket prices.


Slovenia is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in Central Europe and is known for its striking mountain ranges, glacial lakes, and lush forests. 

This country is mostly landlocked with only a small area being located along the Adriatic Sea. 

The rest of Slovenia is bordered by Austria, Croatia, Hungary, and Italy so you’ll have plenty of overland travel opportunities. 

We have naturally passed through a few times when road tripping Europe, simply due to it's fantastic location and many bordering nations.

What to do in Slovenia

Most popular attractions/cities: Ljubljana, Piran, Lake Bled & Kranjska Gora

Many people choose to start their Slovenia trip in the capital of Ljubljana . This is a great choice as you’ll get to explore Ljubljana castle , wander through the old town , and cross the famous Dragon Bridge . 

From there, you can explore some of Slovenia’s other cities including Koper , Maribor , Piran , and Ptuj . 

This fantastic country is home to diverse landscapes too, and Kranjska Gora is one of the best places to admire Slovenia’s beauty. 

I’d also try to squeeze in a visit to Postojna Cave Park , Škocjan Caves , and Triglav National Park !

No trip to Slovenia is complete without visiting the gorgeous Lake Bled either (photographed above) , so don’t leave this off your itinerary. 

Situated in the Julian Alps, this beautiful glacier-formed lake is known for its breathtaking backdrop and the famous Lake Bled Cake! 

If you're short of time then this awesome day tour leaves from Ljubljana and includes a visit to Lake Bled, Bled Castle , Lake Bohinj , and Vintar Gorge .

Cost of visiting Spain on a budget

  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $25-35 per night; Hotel: $35-55 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $3-4, Fast food: $8-10; Meal at a restaurant: $12-36
  • Top tip : Eating tapas is often a surefire way to save some cash, and many bars will give these dishes out for FREE if you’re ordering drinks. 


Okay, we are leaving Eastern Europe, and making our way west. Very west!

Despite being regarded as a much more developed European economy, Spain has always been incredibly cheap despite where it's located.

Popular tourist hotspots like Barcelona and Madrid can be a bit pricier. But head out from these cities and there are ample affordable getaways available. (And no I'm not talking about a cheap weekend break to Benidorm with all the British tourists).

Brad's parents actually decided to buy a home in the south of Spain, in a more rural area where there is a relatively well developed expat community. This home costs less than half of their one back in the UK and has amenities (and weather) you can only dream of in the UK.

Spain alsooffers a HUGE variety of Airbnb properties which are often the best option if you’re travelling on a budget. This means you can cook for yourself, rather than eat out. 

What to do in Spain

what to do in spain

Most popular attractions/cities: Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, & the Spanish Pyrenees

Although visiting the more popular cities will be expensive, you’ll always find good bargains if you find accommodation outside of the tourist areas.

For this reason, we can’t leave out the awesome city of Barcelona ! Home to the iconic Sagrada Familia , Park Guell , and a vibrant central market.  Hiring a car in Barcelona is also a great idea, as you can easily explore the surrounding area.

You’ve also got Madrid , Valencia , Seville , and Mallorca (Majorca) so there are plenty of well-known options.

However, if you’re travelling on a strict budget you’ll want to visit some of the countries more off-the-beaten-track destinations .

This includes the cities of Cordoba , Granada , Malaga , and Murcia .

Alicante is also pretty affordable, which is great if you’re looking for a beach getaway, and you won’t want to miss out on the island of Gran Canaria either! 

If you're a fan of a campervanning adventure, Spain is great for this as there are ample wild camping or even just cheap 5 euro per night camping opportunities to be had. We road tripped the entire coast of Spain back in 2021 over about a 3 week period and spent on average less than 5 euros per night on accommodation!

Another great budget adventure Brad had back in 2018 was walking the Camino De Santiago, a 30 day trek across the north coast of Spain. Read more in his guide to the Camino here .

17. Portugal

Cost of visiting portugal on a budget.

  • Food costs: Street food: $3-4, Fast food: $6.50-8.50; Meal at a restaurant: $8-24
  • Top tip : Many of the museums in Portugal are FREE on Sundays, so you can save some money on attractions by visiting this way! 


Just next door to Spain we have another surprising addition to the list here ... Portugal!

Although Portugal may not be the cheapest country in Europe, you can still find some fantastic deals.

We were shocked by how affordable road tripping Portugal can be, but also by how astoundingly beautiful it is.

If you avoid the more expensive touristy areas, you’ll find plenty of bang for your buck - especially when it comes to accommodation and food. 

As there is so much to see in this beautiful country, one of the best ways to see it all is by doing a road trip. If you decide to hire a campervan in Portugal you'll also cut costs on accommodation.

Alternatively, renting a car in Portugal is also very cheap. Allowing you to save money on tours, but also enjoy stunning regions such as the Douro Valley (pictured above).

What to do in Portugal

portugal porto

Most popular attractions/cities: Porto, Lisbon, The Algarve, & the Azores

To get the more expensive destinations out of the way, you’ll want to head to Porto , Lisbon , and the Algarve first. 

If you don’t mind travelling from the mainland, you can also head to some of the country’s best islands. This includes the Azores , and Madeira , however, you’ll find prices here to be less affordable! 

After you’ve visited many of the ‘tourist hotspots’ you’ll find Portugal to be very budget-friendly, especially if you’re travelling through lesser-known areas.

Some of the cheapest cities in Portugal include Alcobaça , Castelo Branco , Santarém , and Viseu . Each one offers cheap monthly rentals, and some of them are just an hour or two away from the more popular cities. 

This country is home to some stunning landscapes too including the iconic Bengali Caves, Peneda Geres National Park , and Douro Valley !

For a more detailed rundown on why we love it so much here, check out my guide on the best things to do in Portugal .

Cost of visiting Greece on a budget

  • Food costs: Street food: $2-3, Fast food: $7-9; Meal at a restaurant: $11-33
  • Top tip : Greece is full of delicious street food including the popular gyros, and this will save you tons of money rather than dining at restaurants. 


Last, but certainly not least, is the beautiful country of Greece!

Like Spain and Portugal, Greece may not be as cheap as some countries at the very top of this list, but it is still extremely affordable .

This is especially the case if you’re travelling from more expensive countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, and Singapore! 

Although it’s not the cheapest Mediterranean country, it’s definitely up there as you’ll find accommodation options for as little as $20 per night.

We found deals like this, not just on the mainland, but also on the myriad of stunning islands the country offers.

What to do in Greece

what to do in greece

Most popular attractions/cities: Athens, Milos, Mykonos, & Santorini

Before we take a look at the more affordable side of Greece, we of course need to detail the most popular places to visit first. 

Athens is the Greek capital and although it’s not the country’s cheapest destination, you will find it to be much less expensive than other European capital cities. 

You’ve also got the popular islands of Crete , Santorini , Mykonos , and Milos ! We visited some of these incredible places during our time island-hopping in Greece .

However, if you’re looking for somewhere a bit more budget-friendly there are plenty of other stunning islands to choose from.

This includes Alonnisos , Astypalaia , Ikaria , and Lefkada - all of which, you can find an apartment for between $30-$35 per night! 

The majority of mainland Greece is also affordable as it’s not as ‘famous’ as the Greek Islands.

Which country is best for you?

Discovering every one of the countries on this list took us years. But I hope that all of that valuable research has helped you out.

Trust me ... it was a pleasure!

Having visited all but 2 European countries, I can say confidently that this list is complete and useful; with all costings based directly on our own myriad of experiences over the last 30 or so years of our lives.

The hardest part will be deciding which ones you choose to visit! 

Below I will link to some useful guides to help you in planning your adventures further.

But if you are limited for time, remember that renting a car or camper can be a great way to squeeze a dozen or more countries all into one epic trip to Europe!

If you have any more questions, just let me know below ...

  • Best esims for Europe
  • Best campervan rentals in Europe
  • Best Places to Visit in Europe

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Cheapest countries to visit in Europe

15 Cheapest (Yet Beautiful) Countries to Visit in Europe

Last Modified: July 8, 2023 //  by  Anda //   26 Comments

I know what you think: Europe is beautiful and I’d love to see it, but I can’t afford it now. It’s true that some European countries like Switzerland, Ireland, or Denmark have developed a reputation for being excessively expensive. But you’d be wrong believing that all of Europe is unkind to the wallet. At the other end of the spectrum, there are quite a few countries that are not only affordable, but also amazingly beautiful. So in this post I’m going to share with you some of my favorite cheapest countries to visit in Europe.

Table of Contents

General considerations

Czech republic, a final word.

You may be wondering why aren’t these hidden gems as celebrated as the more expensive countries in Europe. Well for one thing, many of them lived for decades under the heavy boot of communism.

As the result, their socio-economic development was low, their infrastructure underdeveloped, and their tourism not sufficiently advertised. So not surprisingly, they rarely made the list of the best European itineraries in the past.

Most Affordable Countries to visit in Europe

When planning a visit any of these inexpensive countries in Europe, you can expect to see higher prices in the big cities, especially around the city center or in the touristy areas. But the farther out you go, the more affordable things are.

Another thing to consider is the currency exchange rate (the equivalent of one US dollar in another country). With very few exceptions, the US dollar is stronger that most currencies in Europe, which is a big advantage when you travel to the respective countries.


Despite its wild nature and untouched beauty, Estonia is a very accessible country, easy to visit and modernized (there is Internet everywhere!)

The country’s history, rich culture and beautiful architecture was influenced by the the Swedes, Russians, and the Germans, who occupied the country at various times during its history.

Top Places to Visit in Estonia

No matter where you go in Estonia you will find remnants of historic sights, and old traditions and customs. The country has many islands, each with their own unique sights and cultures to share.

Estonia’s most notable city is the is Tallinn , which is also the capital of the country. Tallinn is actually one of the best preserved medieval cities in Northern Europe.

Tallinn, Estonia, one of the cheapest countries in Europe

The country is also home to many beautiful castles. Narva Castle (also know as Hermann Castle ) enjoys a particularly beautiful setting. The castle was built in the 13th century by the Danes as a royal residence for the Danish kings. There are many other castles that you could visit, like Paide, Helme, or Keila Castle.

Narva Castle in Estonia

If you have time, you should also visit some of Estonia’s national parks, like Lahemaa (just an hour’s drive from the capital) or Soomaa National Park – a wetland that formed as a result of glacier melt from thousands of years ago.

How Much Does a Trip to Estonia Cost?

  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Average hotel price per night: €44
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: €9 – €18
  • Local Transportation per person: €1.50/day
  • Average price for one week per couple: €750

Latvia is one of Europe’s best kept secrets, that somehow managed to slip under the radar of tourism. I absolutely loved this country, and especially its capital city, Riga.

If you are a fan of the Art Nouveau style and design, Riga’s architecture will absolutely amaze you. Despite the devastation suffered during the Second World War, there are still over 750 art nouveau buildings still intact in Riga.

Top Places to Visit in Latvia

After exploring the attractions in the Old Town Riga , you should visit the the vibrant beaches in Jurmala –– a gorgeous seaside resort located just a short 20 minute drive from the capital.

Jurmala seaside resort in Latvia

Also, don’t miss Gauja National Park, where you’ll see nature at its best: caves, cliffs and other rock formations that will make spelunkers feel in heaven here.

How Much does a Trip to Latvia Cost?

  • Average 3-Star Hotel in Riga: €46 € per night
  • Dinner at a Local Restaurant: €9 – €22
  • Local transportation: €3/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: €850

The fact that Lithuania doesn’t enjoy more popularity among the European countries can only be explained by the fact that people don’t know much about it. The country has plenty of attractions, but much like its fellow Baltic States Latvia and Estonia, Lithuania has only opened up to international tourism in the last few decades.

Top Places to Visit in Lithuania

Outside Vilnius , the country’s capital, the highlight of Lithuania’s attractions for tourists is most likely the city of Siauliai , with its legendary Hill of Crosses.

inexpensive travel in europe

But if you are a nature lover, you’ll probably appreciate the Lithuania’s stunning coastline more. Especially the ravishingly beautiful sand dunes of Curonian Spit , a true natural wonder!

beautiful landscape in Lithuania, one of the cheapest countries in Europe

How much does a trip to Lithuania cost?

  • Average 3-Star Hotel in Vilnius: €39 – €46 per night
  • Dinner at a Local Restaurant: €10 – €21/person
  • Local transportation: €1.50/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: €620 ($739) 


With its turquoise beaches, sunburned ruins and luxury yachts, Greece may seem like one of the most expensive destinations in Europe, but it’s not. Depending on what part you visit, Greece can be really cheap. Of course visiting Athens , Santorini, or Mykonos can a little more expensive than taking a road trip in the Peloponnese . But overall, Greece is one of the most affordable countries to visit in Europe.

Top Places to Visit in Greece

Greece is one of the most romantic destinations in Europe. With thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas, a plethora of ancient ruins, sunny beaches, whitewashed villages, and tasty cuisine, it’s hard to get it wrong no matter where you go in Greece!

Acropolis of Athens

After visiting Athens , which is one of the world’s most fascinating cities, you should go island hopping. There are countless beautiful and exotic islands to visit in Greece, like Santorini, Ios, Patmos, or Mykonos , just to name a few.

buildings on the Santorini Island in Greece

How much does a trip to Greece cost?

  • Average hostel room per night: €12
  • Average 3-star hotel in Athens per night: €38
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: €16 – 24
  • Local transportation: €8/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $€850 ($1015)

Turkey’s fascinating history, engaging culture and delicious food precede its reputation. Above all else, the country’s friendly people and low prices all across the board, make Turkey one of the most desirable and affordable destinations in Europe.

Top Places to Visit in Turkey

When visiting the European portion of Turkey, you absolutely must spend at least 3 days in Istanbul . Be sure to visit the Hagia Sophia , Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar , and Chora Church while visiting the city –– and that just to scratches the surface!

Cheapest countries to visit in Europe: Turkey

READ NEXT : Where to Eat in Istanbul Without Getting Ripped Off

Turkey has attractions galore, whether you want to explore ruins such as  Ephesus , soak in the thermal pools of Pamukkale , or see some of the world’s most surreal panoramas in  Cappadocia .

Soaking in the thermal pools of Pamukkale

How much does a trip to Turkey cost?

  • Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY)
  • Average 3-Star Hotel in Istanbul: $33 – $46 /night
  • Dinner at a Local Restaurant: $10 – $18/person
  • Local transportation: $0.75 – $1.50/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $785

Romania is a country in Eastern Europe that once used to be my home. So I may be a little biased towards it, but I believe there are many reasons to visit Romania . It’s a very welcoming country, easy to visit, with beautiful scenery, old medieval towns, and an amazing cuisine .

inexpensive travel in europe

It is also one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe. Especially if you’re heading to Bucovina to explore its famous painted monasteries and untouched countryside. But even if you choose to visit its most popular destinations, like the castles and fortresses in Transylvania, or the medieval towns of Sibiu , Târgu Mures , or Sighisoara , Romania is still very affordable.

Peles Castles in Romania

READ NEXT : 10 Authentic Souvenirs You Should Buy in Romania

Top Places to Visit in Romania

There is a great abundance of unique places to visit in Romania , like the Transfagarasan highway , or the Mocanita , the last steam forestry train in Europe.

Riding the Mocanita steam engine locomotive.

Another beautiful place to visit in Romania the beautiful Danube Delta, Europe’s largest and best preserved delta.

How much does a trip to Romania cost ?

  • Currency: Leu (RON)
  • Average 3-star hotel in Bucharest: $39
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $9 – $14
  • Local transportation per person: $4.30/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $875

Bulgaria has come a long way since the collapse of communism, but it’s not my favorite country in Europe (although it’s arguably the cheapest to visit!) Sofia , the capital city, is lined with communist multi-story apartment buildings, although a few chic cafés and skinny skyscrapers pop up here and there.

buildings in Sofia, Bulgaria

But while Sofia may lack in the urban aspects compared with other European cities, finding free high-speed Internet on every street corner, makes cities like Paris and Rome look like little babies!

Top Places to Visit in Bulgaria

There are however a few interesting places to visit in Bulgaria, which will make your trip worthwhile. The country is famous for its long, sandy beaches with glitzy resorts, like the Sunny Beach, or Golden Sands in Varna , where tourists flock every summer. In fact, one of the best things to do in Bulgaria is visiting the beaches.

the Golden Sands resort in Varna

There are also many traditional fishing villages, and historical sites worth visiting along the Black Sea coast, like the historic town of Nessebar , which dates back to antiquity when it was founded as a Thracian settlement. A stroll on its cobblestone streets will bring you to the remnants of some 40 brick churches, dating back to the 5th century.

Nessebar Old Town

Another city worth visiting is Plovdiv which was voted one of the European capitals of culture in 2019. Its Old Town offers arguably the best preserved collection of traditional architecture anywhere in southeastern Europe.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria, one of the cheapest countries in Europe

How much does a trip to Bulgaria cost ?

  • Currency: Lev (BGN).
  • Average 3-star hotel room in Sofia: $31
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $8 – $12
  • Local transportation: $2.40/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $750

Another very affordable country in Southeastern Europe is Montenegro. A remnant of the former Yugoslavia, Montenegro emerged as a leisure destination only after gaining its independence, in 2006, and is today the place to go to the Adriatic.

inexpensive travel in europe

Top Places to Visit in Montenegro

Montenegro is in my opinion the most scenic country in the Balkans, packed with irresistible medieval towns, rugged mountains and dramatic coastlines. The country’s most notable town is undoubtedly Kotor , famous for its beautiful landmarks, nostalgic atmosphere and breathtaking views of the Bay of Kotor. But there are many other small towns and villages worth visiting along the coast of Montenegro . Like Sveti Stefan, Budva and Perast , just to name a few.

Visiting Budva in Montenegro

But the Adriatic coast is not the only spectacular place in Montenegro. Just a little more inland, on the border with Bosnia, lies the jaw-dropping Tara River Canyon , an ideal place for white-water rafting or kayaking in summer.

Water rafting in the Tara River Canyon

How much does it cost to visit Montenegro?

  • Average 3-star hotel room in Old Town Kotor: $39
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $10 – $14
  • Local transportation: $10-$15/day (between towns)
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $958


Hungary is a small country in Central Europe, mostly known for its charming capital ––Budapest–– but also for its mouth-watering food , fancy Hungarian wines and friendly people . The country is filled with a lot of unspoiled natural beauty, which remains quite often undiscovered.

inexpensive travel in europe

Top Places to Visit in Hungary

Like everybody else who heads to Hungary, you’ll want to spend at least a few days in Budapest , exploring its beautiful Old Town attractions , fantastic restaurants , and amazing cultural venues . Chances are you’ll never want to leave Budapest, once you discover its charm and friendly atmosphere. From rooftop bars and decadent baths, to jam-packed discos and quirky pubs , Budapest has an abundance of attractions to lure you in and keep you busy.

Budapest, Hungary - one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe

Budapest is beautiful even in winter , so if you want to save even more money you should visit Hungary during the shoulder season, which is actually the best time to travel to Europe .

READ NEXT : Budapest Travel Tips and Information First Time Visitors

But make sure you don’t leave Hungary before you visit some its unspoiled countryside. Or at least take a few short day trips around Budapest to see Eger, Szentendre , and Lake Balaton .

Visiting Hungary, one of the cheapest countries in Europe

How much does a trip to Hungary cost?

  • Currency: Forint (HUF)
  • Average 3-star hotel room in Budapest: $44
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $18 – $21
  • Local transportation: $5.50/day

Another inexpensive and underrated destination in Central Europe is the Czech Republic. This small country is like fairytale: dotted with castles, medieval towns, beautiful mountains, ancient ruins, and world-class wineries. 

When you speak about the Czech Republic, most people automatically think of Prague , which is definitely a gem, but it’s also the most expensive city in the country. Overall however, the Czech Republic is considered one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe.

Czech Republic, one of the cheapest countries in Europe

Top Places to Visit in the Czech Republic

If you are visiting Czechia, go beyond Prague and you’ll discover to some of the most beautiful and interesting destinations you’ll ever experience! Head to the South Bohemian Region to experience the medieval town of  Český Krumlov , visit the Bone Church in Kutná Hora , and definitely stop in Pilsen , the birthplace of the famous Pilsner beer.

statue in Pilsen, Czech Republic

How much does a trip to the Czech Republic cost?

  • Currency: Czech Koruna (CZK)
  • Average 3-Star Hotel in Prague: $58 per night
  • Dinner at a Local Restaurant: $7 to $15 per person
  • Local transportation in Prague: $5/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: Kč27,234 ($1,140)

Poland is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, rich in culture, with extraordinary historic sites and scenic landscapes. The country has a large collection of very well preserved medieval cities, like Krakow, Poznanan, Wroclaw and Gdansk, each of which are worth visiting.

Old Town Krakow in Poland

Top places to visit in Poland

One important landmark not to miss is in Poland the Tatra National Park, located in south-central part of the country. The park is breathtakingly beautiful, with numerous rock formations, over 650 caves and several alpine lakes and waterfalls.

View of mountain peaks in Tatra Mountains in Poland

Also worth visiting is the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau , a sad reminder of the atrocities of WWII, and Wieliczka Salt Mine , a huge labyrinth of salt that contains salt sculptures created by miners.

How much does a trip to Poland cost?

  • Currency: Zloty (PLN)
  • Average 3-star hotel in Warsaw: $53
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $11 – $16
  • Local transportation: $4.50/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $936

Croatia is lovely! The food is great, the weather is good and the scenery is even better. The prices are very reasonably also, especially if you don’t travel there in summer. Croatia is definitely more expensive than some of the other countries on this list, however, it won’t burn a hole in your pocket if you find some ways to cut costs.

Visiting the town of Split, in Croatia

Top Places to Visit in Croatia

There are countless beautiful places to visit in Croatia . The best way to visit the country is to rent a car and take a road trip. You can explore the Dalmatian Coast , visit Plitvice Lakes , and stop in all the important cities along the coast, like Dubrovnik , Split , Pula, Zadar and Trogir .

How much does a trip to Croatia cost?

  • Average 3-star hotel: $45 –$60
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $15-$20
  • Transportation between cities: $10 – $15 per journey
  • Car rental: $25 – $30 per day
  • Average price for a week vacation for a couple: $1,100 (€921)

This beautiful country located on the sunny side of the Alps is a remarkable and inexpensive place to travel in Europe. From dramatic gorges, stunning river valleys and hidden waterfalls, to remote villages, attracting towns and grandiose castle, Slovenia falls short on nothing!

Kozjak Waterfalls in Kobarid, Slovenia

Top Places to Visit in Slovenia

The list of its scenic places to visit in Slovenia is quite long. You should start with its colorful capital – Ljubljana – which is one of the  best European cities to visit in December . Then take a day trip to Lake Bled , just an hour away from the city.

View of Old Town Ljubljana

Also worth visiting are the towns of Maribor where you can see the oldest vine in the world (more than 450 years) and Postojna, known for spectacular caves which have ceilings nearly 50 meters (150 feet) high. 

How much does a trip to Slovenia cost?

  • Average 3-star hotel room in Ljubljana:  $38-$40/night
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $19 – $23 
  • Local transportation (bus, train or car): $16/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $930


Portugal is a stunningly beautiful country that often gets missed due to its more luxurious (and expensive) neighboring countries like France, or Italy. Lately however, Portugal started getting a lot of public attention, as a fun and energetic destination. And that’s also because Portugal is one of the very few Western European countries that you can still visit on a budget.

Lisbon, Portugal images, one of the most inexpensive countries in Europe

Top Places to Visit in Portugal

From sunny weather, historic cities, breath-taking beaches, good food, and dramatic landscapes, Portugal has it all! The most popular city that most tourists visit is Lisbon, Portugal picture-perfect capital.

Only a short train ride from Lisbon, you should visit Sintra , a beautiful historic town filled with pastel-colored villas and palaces set in a forested terrain. Also, don’t miss the medieval city of Portos with its 14th century walls, narrow winding streets, colorful picturesque houses.

castle in Sintra, Portugal

While in Portugal, you should visit the golden beaches of Algarve, which are country’s main tourist magnet, and also the rest of the coast, which is dotted with secluded coves.

How much does a trip to Portugal cost?

  • Average 3-star hotel room in Lisbon:  $66/night
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $18 – $28 
  • Local transportation in the country (bus, train or car): $17.50/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $1,350 (€1,128)

One of the Western European options list you’ll want to consider Spain, although it won’t be as cheap as other countries in Europe, like  the Balkans , or the Baltics. While popular cities like Barcelona and Madrid aren’t exactly cheap, there are many other affordable spots throughout the country. Like Toledo , Valencia, or Seville, which is home to one of the most stunning cathedrals in the world.

View of Toledo from the lookout point across the river

TIP : The best places to stay when visiting Spain are the Paradores , a chain of very affordable hotels located in historic buildings such as fortresses, monasteries, or castles. 

Top Places to Visit in Spain

In addition to the beautiful cities named above, one of the must-see places in Spain is the southernmost part of  Costa Brava , in the region of Catalonia. This beautiful region with rocky coves, serene beaches, and tranquil villages, like Tossa de Mar , deserves a top spot on any  Europe bucket list . 

Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava

How much does a trip to Spain cost?

  • Average 3-star hotel room in Lisbon:  $78/night
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $18 – $26 
  • Local transportation in the city: $2.50/day

One thing to be keep in mind when looking at this list, is that the popularity of these beautiful countries is raising fast. After the collapse of Communism in Europe, their tourist industry started developing fast and they began catching up with their neighboring competitors.

Many of these once underestimated destinations are no longer as underpriced as they used to be 10-15 years ago. So in a near future, you’ll be seeing higher prices almost everywhere in Europe. My advice would be to include these beautiful destinations in your travel plans while they are still the cheapest countries to visit in Europe.

HEADED TO EUROPE? DON’T MISS THESE TIPS : How to Visit Europe Like a Pro

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cheapest countries in Europe

Anda is an award winning travel writer, avid globetrotter and passionate photographer. She is the voice behind "Travel Notes & Beyond," a collection of stories and travel impressions from her wanderings around the world. When she is not busy writing, traveling, or editing photographs, you can find her hiking in the foothills behind her house together with her husband and their dog.

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Reader Interactions

January 18, 2024 at 4:53 am

Europe offers a diverse range of affordable yet stunning destinations, debunking the myth that the entire continent is expensive. Countries like Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania showcase rich history, beautiful landscapes, and budget-friendly options. The hidden gems of Southeastern Europe, including Greece and Turkey, boast turquoise beaches, ancient ruins, and friendly prices. Romania, Bulgaria, and Montenegro, often overlooked, offer picturesque landscapes and cultural richness without breaking the bank.

Central Europe, with Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, and Croatia, features charming cities, historic sites, and natural beauty at reasonable costs. Slovenia, with its dramatic gorges and hidden waterfalls, stands out as an inexpensive gem. Even in Western Europe, Portugal shines as an affordable yet captivating destination.

July 8, 2021 at 2:41 pm

we covered about 6 countries in Europe and were really proud that we covered most countries in a short time, but after checking this list it feels like we have missed a great deal of exploring Europe. Will definitely check these countries the next time we visit Europe.

July 8, 2021 at 3:47 pm

I’m headed back to one of them myself soon, hahaha!

April 3, 2021 at 8:37 am

Great list of European countries to enjoy the rich history, culture along with architectural and natural wonders! While each of the country listed in the post is fabulous, I particularly am attracted towards Greece. It’s my cherished dream to explore this country. Other than this, I would also love to visit Portugal and Spain. Thanks for posting this list of beautiful countries in Europe that won’t break the bank account.

March 17, 2021 at 1:27 am

Wow this post made me realise how much of Europe I have not seen. I have been to Romania, Bulgaria and Portugal in this list. Other than those I still have so many other countries to visit. My friend and I had planned Greece and Turkey a long time ago but unfortunately we had to cancel our plans. I will keep these in mind for my next travel to Europe.

March 17, 2021 at 1:10 pm

Greece and Turkey are actually two of the more expensive countries on this list. If you are looking for a really inexpensive country, you should try Romania, or Slovenia. They are also unbelievably beautiful.

March 17, 2021 at 12:58 am

Well, Europe has always been somewhat of an expensive place for us. However, last year we were planning to visit Turkey and a few countries in Eastern Europe and then Covid happened! We had chalked out less expensive places and made plans for a good trip. So this post is kind of a reminder that I have to pick up that plan sometime soon. And may be add a few more countries you mentioned in my list. 🙂

Hopefully this travel ban will be soon lifted. I can hardly wait to return to Europe myself.

Ambica Gulati

March 16, 2021 at 9:54 pm

I want to take an year off and explore all the countries in one go! One week doesn’t seem to do justice to this beautiful continent. I really hope, once this COVID-19 settles down, I can plan to find work and visit these countries.

March 16, 2021 at 10:00 pm

Oh, one week in Europe is way too little, Ambica.

Chloe Beaver

March 16, 2021 at 6:31 am

I love this blog! The other great thing about visiting these cheaper European countries is that they tend to have fewer tourists, giving you an even more authentic experience. I’ve always wanted to visit Montenegro and Turkey!

March 16, 2021 at 2:47 pm

Hope you’ll visit these countries, Chloe.

Ummi Nadrah

March 16, 2021 at 3:19 am

Coming from Southeast Asia, I always find Europe to be at least 4 – 5 times more expensive than what I’m used to back home. But some things are cheaper, like fruits, cheese, and wine, so I tend to binge on those when I come visit. Hehe. From this list, I’ve been to the Baltic States, Poland, Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and the Czech Republic. Would love to check out the rest. My current favorite is Greece. Great food at affordable price.

March 16, 2021 at 2:49 pm

Wow, you visited quite a few countries in Europe, Ummi. I agree with you, Greece is one of my top favorite countries in Europe too.

Shreya Saha

March 15, 2021 at 10:57 pm

This list is super interesting. I would really want to visit Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Even Hungary, Czech and Croatia sounds intimidating. I did not know Greece and Turkey are cheaper though.

March 16, 2021 at 2:50 pm

They are a little more expensive than Bulgaria, or Romania, but still cheaper that most Western European countries, Shreya.

March 15, 2021 at 1:30 pm

Just looking at this list, and the Baltics are at the top of the post. Great places to visit. However, not really cheap to visit anymore. I have property in Riga, Latvia and been going to the country since 2005, got married there, lived there, worked there etc. Unfortunately, since Latvia (as well as Estonia, Lithuania and have also seen this in Slovakia and Slovenia), when they joined the Euro currency many years ago, everything price wise went up. I used to go out all the time to restaurants, now I have to budget and most nights I will go to the supermarket and cook at my home there. I would say the Baltics are going to be the new Scandinavian countries in a few years time when it comes to costs for a visit (well, most of the buildings and companies in the country are owned by Nordic banks). 😀 I am not being funny, but its cheaper to visit Greece and Portugal than the Baltics now, thats how crazy it is, but if planned well, the countries can be done on the cheap. 😀

I don’t want to put off people visiting the Baltic’s by the way, its an amazing place! Thats my moan over. 😀 But personally, in the last year before Covid-19 came along, I went to Czechia, Poland and Ukraine…they are the cheapest for me in Europe. 🙂

March 15, 2021 at 2:34 pm

I agree with you Danik: some of the countries on this list are cheaper than other. However, when you compare them with the majority of the Western European countries, they come ahead. As I also mention in this post, the capital cities of the Baltics are indeed more expensive, but the rest of the country is not. Besides, keep in mind that for people visit from the U.S., the Baltics are not so expensive.

March 15, 2021 at 3:19 am

I have been to several of these countries but have a lot of the others still on my list especially Montenegro and Lithuania. A great post to compare travel costs once in these countries. Often Eastern European countries are overlooked which is a shame as they are incredible – Estonia was one of my all time favourite European trips.

March 15, 2021 at 12:23 pm

You are right about the Eastern European countries being overlooked.

Iuliana Marchian

March 14, 2021 at 11:40 pm

I am so happy to see that you have included my country, Romania, on this list! Cost of life here is low, indeed, compared to Western Europe, but if you travel and want to visit museum (especially take photos – you have to pay extra ticket for this throughout Romania), it is not so cheap anymore – at least for us, Romanians. Romanians usually go to Bulgaria because it is cheaper and higher quality, whereas I found very cheap to travel to Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Serbia – in one month I hardly spent 600 euros there.

March 15, 2021 at 12:25 pm

I’m yet to visit Macedonia and Albania, but I’ve heard they are also very beautiful. As for Romania, I was born and raised there too, but when coming there from the USA everything seems really cheap!

Rob + Ann @TravelLatte

March 14, 2021 at 7:29 am

What a fantastic post, Anda! Conveniently, many of the places we want to visit most are right in this list! And you have us thinking of some new spots that we hadn’t really considered as heavily. Can’t wait to get out exploring Europe again!

March 14, 2021 at 10:46 am

Me too, Rob. I can hardly wait to go back to Europe and see my friends and relatives.

Roy Stevenson

March 13, 2021 at 9:47 pm

Nice summary, Anda. I’ll be using this to plan my next European gig when we get the all-clear to travel again. Thank you!

March 14, 2021 at 10:47 am

You are welcome, Roy. Hope we’ll all be able to travel again soon.

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18 of the cheapest nicest city breaks in Europe to add to your bucket list

Athens Greece

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City breaks can be one of the most effective ways to tap into a country’s culture. Whether it’s a whirlwind weekend or a fortnight of getting to know a new neighbourhood, city breaks offer a full-bodied, in-at-the-deep-end immersion that beach resorts and remote country hotels seldom can. But that cultural crash course can come with a price tag, and hidden ones at that; flights from London to Venice sell for less than £20, but it’s one of Europe’s most expensive cities for accommodation and food. So we’ve broken down some of the latest data and tapped into editor intel on cheap city breaks in Europe for 2024, from a coastal cosmopolis to a snow-capped ski city.

In 2024, the Post Office released new data ranking affordable city breaks in Europe. You'll find some of the cities from their study below – including Lisbon , Athens and Riga. The full list from the Post Office is as follows:

Vilnius, Lithuania

Lisbon, portugal, lille, france, krakow, poland, athens, greece, riga, latvia, budapest, hungary.

  • Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Warsaw, Poland

Below, we've also included some of our favourite affordable European city breaks that might be a little less known, such as Klagenfurt in Austria and Berat, Albania. Going off the beaten track is a wonderful way to make your money go further – while exploring a lesser-trammelled part of the continent.

What is the cheapest European city for a holiday?

In 2024, the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius won the title of the cheapest European city break thanks to its affordable food scene, cheap transport and bargain flights.

What is the most expensive city in Europe?

Post Office data released in 2024 ranked Amsterdam as the most expensive city break in Europe for another year running.

Note: you’ll notice some wonderful European cities missing from this list, namely Kyiv. It has been tragically affected by the war in Ukraine, and should be avoided until safe to visit – until then, find out how to help the people of Ukraine right now , and see how you can support through your travel choices .

18 cheap city breaks in Europe

Vilnius Lithuania

The Lithuanian capital ranked in first place in this year's Post Office City Costs Barometer . The city has also come in the winning spot several times over the past decade (including in 2015, 2019 and 2020) but has narrowly missed out in recent years – last year Lisbon took the top spot. The city is slowly garnering reputation as an alternative European hotspot – we named it one of Europe’s most underrated cities to visit. Take a stroll up Gediminas Hill for views across the city and stop by some of the ancient ruins and churches (the Vilnius Cathedral is a favourite).

Tirana Albania View of a carousel  water fountain on the Skanderbeg Square in downtown Tirana

Tirana, Albania

Ten years ago, Albania was rarely on the radar of Brits craving a city break. That’s changing fast. Social media feeds showcasing the beauty of Albania ’s coastal stretches have piqued interest in the destination, and, in turn, many travellers are dipping their toes into the country with a long weekend in the capital. Since emerging from a drowsy communist slumber in the 1990s, the city is alive with colour and curiosity. Learn about Albania’s fascinating past at the National History Museum before boutique-hopping and coffee-sipping in upmarket Blloku. Best of all, Tirana offers some of the cheapest rooms in Europe. Hotel Mondial is the perfect four-star spot after long days exploring the city with its rooftop pool.

People on a pier of a pillar of Galata bridge in the background YeniValide mosque and Nuruosmaniye Mosque Sultanahmet...

Istanbul, Turkey

Europe’s only bi-continental city is a feast for the senses. Gold glistens from shop windows in the Grand Bazaar, piles of saffron and heaps of cinnamon scent the Spice Bazaar, and stomachs rumble on tours of the ancient city’s tastiest, in-the-know spots. Religions and cultures clash at every corner – marvel at the Blue Mosque before a short walk to the gilded Hagia Sophia, originally a 6th-century church. The pound goes a long way here, so ensure there’s space in the suitcase to return with cupboard essentials and fashionable finds. Should you fall in love with the hand-woven carpets and art, shipping may be a necessary expense. The metropolis is home to plenty of opulent hotels , from the Mandarin Oriental to the Four Seasons Hotel Bosphorus ; however, stay at The Bank Hotel Istanbul for a less costly trip. It’s a member of Design Hotels, so expect all the luxury trimmings and shoulder-season stays for well under £200 a night.

Main Market square of Krakow

Poland’s second city is rich in culture, has a thriving hospitality scene, and is pleasingly easy on the pursestrings. In the lead-up to Christmas , historic squares house charming markets where traders sell punchy, steaming concoctions and festive trinkets. Over summer, the same corners of the city come alive as visitors drink and dine on the cobbles before itinerary ticking their way around with visits to the imposing St Mary’s Basilica and trips down the Vistula. There are cheap hotels aplenty here, but, for something more characterful, check into Stradom House , a 14th-century church and monastery converted into one of Poland’s smartest places to stay.

Stari Most Old Bridge over the river Neretva connecting the two parts of the city seen from a distance

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Cut off from the intricate rail network that has served much of Europe for over 25 years, Bosnia and Herzegovina retains a mystique that draws in-the-know travellers over the border from nearby Croatia in growing numbers. The country is home to one of the continent’s few remaining Indigenous Muslim populations and is a world away, architecturally and culturally, from neighbouring countries known for their beach resorts. Mostar’s highlights can be done in a day, but allow two or three, perhaps incorporating a day trip outside the enchanting city, to get under the skin of a destination so many travellers know such little about. Stay at Hotel-Restaurant Kriva Ćuprija , set in a heritage-listed limestone house just steps away from the UNESCO-protected Old Bridge.

Lisbon Portugal

It might be surprising, but according to a study that came out in 2024, Lisbon is the second cheapest city break in Europe right now. If you'd like to plan a trip, several budget airlines fly from London to Lisbon (Ryanair, easyJet, Wizz Air, Tap Air Portugal), and while the pretty Portuguese capital is known for its award-winning restaurants , travellers can still dine out on a dime – a three-course meal averages around £39. On the move, you’ll get change from a two-euro coin when buying coffee or a mandatory pastel de nata from Pastéis de Belém. Beer here is the cheapest of any city that came out in the top 10 at around £2.26 (putting London’s £6 pints to shame) and a Viva Viagem card can save you up to half off tram journeys. For a place to stay, there are plenty of affordable hotels in Lisbon . We love Hotel 1908 , where smart rooms in one of the city’s most iconic buildings can be booked from £104 per night. Or you can save further by opting for an Airbnb. Some of the city's top trending Airbnbs, like this pretty apartment with a private balcony in Lapa , can be taken over for around £50 per night.

Athens Greece

This year’s Post Office City Costs Barometer ranked Greece’s historical capital as the fifth cheapest city break in Europe . Hotels in Athens are particularly good value, with plenty of small, family-run and boutique bedrooms. According to the survey, two nights at a three-star hotel for two guests average £89 – but super-central One Three One is steps away from Monastiraki Flea Market and goes as low as £52 per night, while guests will find balcony views of the acropolis at Hotel Adonis , which has a rooftop terrace and costs as low as £83 for a double room (breakfast included).

Riga Latvia

According to the Post Office, Riga is one of the cheapest cities in Europe – it came out sixth in the 2024 rankings. Wind your way through the narrow alleyways of the charming Old Town, find €2 samsas for lunch at the central covered market located in converted Zeppelin hangars, watch free live music in Dome Square and see striking architecture such as the House of the Blackheads (€6 entry) and the medieval Swedish Gate. But one of the most underrated ways of seeing Riga is on the water – rent a paddleboard for just €15 on the banks of the Daugava River.

Arched collonade and stairs along a passage way in Mirogoj cemetery. Zagreb Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia

Culture can be found on every corner of this city. Hop on a flight (a one-way ticket from London to Zagreb can get as low as £13) and spend your days strolling through the city’s (surprisingly pedestrian-friendly) streets, pop by open-air markets (Dolac Market has excellent local food) and sit down at outdoor cafés to watch the world go by.

Lille is a city in the North of France

This French city is accessible via Eurostar in just one and a half hours from London, and flights from London can be as cheap at £43. Once you’re there, knowing the under-the-radar places to book is key. Mama Shelter Lille is a colourful haven very close to both of the city’s main train stations with rooms from £79, and there are a host of locally revered restaurants nearby. Head to Rue des Bouchers for cute bistrot vibes – Chez Brigitte has a lunch menu offering three courses for €29, or visit some of the local markets for stalls and trucks selling mouthwatering dishes and local-inspired cuisine.

Budapest city with Parliament building

Delve deeper beyond the typical tourist traps and you’ll find a host of tucked away spots that are surprisingly affordable. The city has an incredible architectural heritage, so walk through both sides of the city admiring buildings and you may stumble upon some globally revered masterpieces – according to co-founder and former editor-in-chief of, Regina Papp . There are some amazing hotels in Budapest too, with plenty of affordable options.

Klagenfurt Austria

Klagenfurt, Austria

When return flights from the UK to Klagenfurt are cheaper than a one-way train ticket from London to Birmingham , it seems rude not to (and as far as I’m aware, Birmingham doesn’t benefit from an Alpine backdrop and Mediterranean climate). Klagenfurt is one of Austria’s most affordable cities to visit (main courses are around €6; the farmers’ market on Benediktinerplatz is a great place for local bargains), and its spectacular setting on the eastern bank of Lake Wörthersee makes it one of the most scenic, too. June is the cheapest time to go, before the summer crowds and wild swimmers descend on the waterfront.

Kaunas Lithuania

Kaunas, Lithuania

Vilnius has long been topping lists of the cheapest places to go on holiday , but Kaunas to the west is even less expensive, and earlier this year was named as one of 2022’s European Capitals of Culture for its music, art and theatre. Its yearly CityTelling Festival hosts a wide variety of performances and exhibitions that place the city’s Jewish heritage centre stage, and access to most events is free, while four-star hotel rooms are as little as €60 a night. For the best views of the Baltic city, a funicular up Aleksoto Hill will cost just a couple of euros. The best bargain in town? Spurginė’s €0.75 spurgos (or doughnuts).

Berat Albania

Berat, Albania

Like Puglia’s trulli or Chefchaouen’s all-blue buildings, Berat’s unforgettable white Ottoman houses are totally unique in their collective existence and visual impact. The simple, traditional rooms inside also provide a super-affordable way to stay here, as many are guest-houses or independently-run hotels, such as Hotel Vila Aleksandar or Hotel Mangelemi , both around £35 per night. Head up the steep cobblestoned streets to see the 13th Century Berat Castle (entry is free) and take in the ‘town of a thousand windows’ from the top.

Brașov Transylvania

Brașov, Transylvania, Romania

A cheaper alternative to Bucharest (which is still, by European standards, incredibly good value), Brașov is surrounded by the scenic Carpathian Mountains. A cable car up to the top of Mount Tampa costs just 20 lei (£3.55) for aerial views of the brick-red rooftops, whilst local tour operator Walkabout provide a free walking tour every morning at 10.30am, setting off from the fountain in Piata Sfatului. Pick up local delicacy kürtőskalács (a spit-roasted, sugar-covered ‘chimney cake’) to maintain your energy levels from the stall nearby.

Sofia Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Not only did Bulgaria take the lead (side by side with Turkey ) as cheapest all-round destination in Europe in the Post Office’s Holiday Money Report 2022, but the country is also home to some of the world’s cheapest ski resorts. Sofia, the capital, is just over 10km away from the Vitosha Mountains which provide impressive winter conditions for snow bunnies and cost a fraction of the price of resorts in France or Italy . Wine and Bulgarian beers are notoriously cheap, and downtown Sofia is known for its high-energy party atmosphere. Entry to clubs is seldom more than €10, with live DJ sets and late-night events at Maze or Culture Beat (which also has a great summer terrace for cocktails).

Izmir Turkey

Izmir, Turkey

Despite the British pound tanking in recent weeks, it has remained strong against the Turkish lira (at time of writing, £1 would buy you ₺21), so travellers to Turkey can get great value for money. On Turkey’s Aegean coast, Izmir has resisted the price hikes of Istanbul and tourist traps of Ankara whilst preserving its 8,500-year-old Kemeraltı bazaar and ancient Roman agora. The historic sites and architectural relics coexist with cosmopolitan culture and traditional cuisine – try pide on the pier or baked potatoes with a choice of toppings at Atıştır Café. An hour out of town is Ephesus, an ancient city built by the Greeks and well worth a detour.

Tbilisi Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia

Whilst the transcontinental city of Tbilisi is the most expensive place to live in Georgia, by European standards it’s exceptionally affordable for holidaymakers. A cascade of new hotels have opened in the last few years, such as the lovely Guest House Lile with double rooms from £21 per night (if you book through , you can even get a free transfer from the airport). Foodies should book a table at Barbarestan, a family-run restaurant with authentic recipes and local ingredients, where you can eat for around £40 each – not bad for somewhere given a nod by the crew behind the World’s 50 Best Restaurants .

inexpensive travel in europe

15 Top-Rated Cheap Places to Visit in Europe

Written by Shandley McMurray Updated Oct 14, 2022

Let's face it, travel is expensive, especially if you have your sights set on Europe. Just because hot spots like London and Paris are budget breakers doesn't mean you have to forgo a European vacation. Luckily this cultured continent is home to a slew of cheap places to visit – you only need to know where to go.

It's a common misconception that European jet-setting is pricey, when in reality, to save a dollar (or a few thousand), being strategic about your destination is key. Visit the smaller, lesser-known regions to ensure you're getting the best bang for your buck. They're just as beautiful and attraction filled as popular heavyweights like Paris, but don't come with the exorbitant price tags.

Though there are many expensive cosmopolitan cities across the Atlantic, there are even more budget-friendly options that still provide the same cultural, culinary, and eye-opening experiences you seek in a European vacation.

From a port city in Spain to a mountain town in Bulgaria to the charming Porto in Portugal, you'll find plenty of affordable destinations throughout Europe. To choose one that's right for your tourist wishes, use our list of the best cheap places to visit in Europe.

1. Prague, Czech Republic

2. valencia, spain, 3. berlin, germany, 4. budapest, hungary, 5. kotor, montenegro, 6. seville, spain, 7. warsaw, poland, 8. tallinn, estonia, 9. bratislava, slovakia, 10. galway, ireland, 11. sofia, bulgaria, 12. split, croatia, 13. porto, portugal, 14. istanbul, turkey, 15. granada, spain, map of cheap places to visit in europe.

Prague Castle and the Vltada River

Prague is nicknamed "The City of a Hundred Spies," but you don't have to be stealthy to save money in the capital of the Czech Republic. No matter the season, Prague offers charm, adventure, history, and plenty of decadent (and deliciously fried) dishes. Whether you're on a hostel budget or can spend a bit more for an Airbnb, you can expect to pay very little in nightly rates and dinners out compared to other cities in Europe.

The city itself is divided into old and new, and you can hire a tour guide or save money by wandering around the city's best points of interest by yourself – it's not only simple to navigate but features an inexpensive metro system, too.

Want to really get a good bang for your buck? Pack yourself a cheap breakfast and a coffee and watch the sun rise over the Charles Bridge. It's an unforgettable and mostly crowd-free experience, not to mention one of the best free things to do in Prague.

  • Top Attractions & Places to Visit in Prague
  • Shopping in Prague: Where to Go & What to Buy
  • Tipping in Prague: Who to Tip & How Much
  • Things to Do in Prague with Kids

Turia Fountain on the Square of the Virgin Saint Mary

If you're a fan of art and the undeniable allure of Spain, you might consider hopping a flight to Barcelona. But once you start looking at hotel rates... you might think again. Instead, save some cash and still test your eye for design by vacationing in Valencia.

This port city lies along the southeastern coast of the country and is renowned in Europe for it's dedication to science and art, with a well-known oceanarium, museum, and planetarium among its top attractions.

While peppered with tourist attractions, no out-of-office adventure is complete without a little R&R, and luckily, Valencia also features many beaches and hiking and biking trails, too. Nature and inspiration? Yes, please!

  • Read More: Top Tourist Attractions in Valencia

Berlin Cathedral and Museum Island

Overall, Germany isn't the most budget-friendly destination to book in Europe, but there are a few exceptions to the rule and strategies to lower your costs.

Case in point, the country's capital of Berlin, which is steadily growing as a hot spot for digital nomads and remote workers . This is partially due to their lenient expat policy that allows for much longer visas compared to other countries within the Schengen area. Because of this uptick, you can expect many affordable long-term rentals or short-term Airbnbs, hostels, and micro hotels.

When you're in town, you'll see plenty of remnants from many centuries ago detailing the wars it has endured, as well as the modern recreation of hope in the form of various street art and galleries.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but the Berlin Wall, and its graffiti, as well as the Brandenburg Gate are some of the most popular points of interest in Berlin .

Budapest and the Danube River

A flight, train, or road trip away from Prague lies another Eastern European jewel that won't cost all of your rubies. The capital of Hungary, Budapest is smaller than other spots, but packs plenty of fun attractions, including lively entertainment venues and a multitude of pretty walks to keep tourists busy.

In addition to nibbling your way around food markets and street vendors, Budapest is ripe with donation-only museums and other sightseeing hot spots that make learning about its troublesome past as eye-opening as it is affordable.

Most travelers make their way to Fisherman's Bastion to capture an image for their Instagram, and a ride on the Budapest Eye in Erzsébet Square might be a bit of a splurge – but it's a scenic way to seal your trip.

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Budapest

The beautiful Bay of Kotor

Never heard of Kotor? Here's a briefer: it's the neighbor of Croatia along the Adriatic Coast and might be one of the best-and cheapest-secrets of Europe. Much like nearby Dubrovnik, Kotor is set on limestone cliffs, providing an incredible backdrop to witness from the curvy, quaint streets or the shore.

In addition to working on your tan, you will also feel as if you were transported back to medieval times, with many structures from centuries ago. Explore castles and churches and discover other interesting things to do in Kotor .

Unlike other tropical-esque spots in the region, Kotor has yet to gain popularity, so you'll find inexpensive rates, even for beachfront hotels or rentals. Hitting the beach is one of the best things to do with the family, so be sure to bring your kids along for this cheap European holiday.

Accommodation: Best Beach Resorts in Montenegro

Read More: Top-Rated Things to do in Montenegro

Plaza Espana, Seville

Another unmissable Spanish city is the home of the legendary flamenco dancing: Seville. This romantic city is part of Spain's Andalusia region , and features an overflowing amount of small eateries, cafés, tapas restaurants, and parks, as well as picturesque attractions and multiple beautiful places to visit.

Unlike other busy cities, this smaller town is a common place for study abroad students and backpackers , providing a much richer cultural immersion that's not possible with rampant crowds.

Like any place in Europe, it also offers a glimpse of history, including the Alcázar castle (a.k.a. Real Alcázar), and the reputed resting place of Christopher Columbus in the Gothic Seville Cathedral . Use your saved pennies for a horse and buggy ride through town, or lounge by the giant fountain in the stunning castle grounds.

Whether you picnic on the grass or waste away the hours at an outdoor terrace, make sure to save time to climb the Giralda bell tower for an amazing view. It's one of the top attractions in Seville .

Old Town Square, Warsaw

The best time to visit Warsaw is during the spring and summer, unless you don't mind battling freezing temperatures in the Polish capital. While visiting in winter is your cheapest bet for booking airfare and accommodations, it may well be so cold, you won't fully appreciate the town's many offerings.

Frequent fliers rave about Warsaw thanks to its fascinating and vibrant society, which marries the ancient with the revolutionary. After the city's demise during World War II, the Old Town was reconfigured, but its heartbeat was maintained – as you walk through Market Square , keep an eye out for heart shapes, a common graffiti element used by taggers.

You'll also see Gothic elements that might remind you of Budapest, and plenty of cheap eats to dazzle your taste buds.

Tallinn skyline

Nestled on the Baltic Sea and dazzling with pops of greenery in the spring, the capital of Estonia is worth the trip. Believe it or not, its history dates back to the 13th century, with the original wall still intact.

Cobblestone streets bring a sweet charm, as tourists wander about the city, stopping by cafés and boutiques along the way. Most of the attractions and landmarks in Tallin – including Kiek in de Kok , Gothic Town Hall , and St. Nicholas Church - all boast inexpensive admissions.

Most travelers appreciate the affordable nightly rates , as well as some of the most highly rated street food in Northern Europe .

Read More: Top Attractions & Things to Do in Estonia

Bratislava city view with the cathedral and Bratislava castle

Bratislava is another unmissable capital in Eastern Europe. A Slovakian gem, Bratislava, like Prague and Budapest, is set on the sparkling Danube River. If you and your travel companions crave some city with a side of countryside, Bratislava is an ideal match.

You can easily visit nearby villages and mountains, featuring countless cycling and hiking trails for active jet-setters. When you're resting your muscles from the hard work, head to the nostalgic old town. A pedestrian-only area, this is where you'll find the city's best cafés and restaurants, a perfect place to relax.

If you happen to travel here for a romantic getaway but don't have a lot of extra cash, spending a fun afternoon at the Bratislava castle is one of the most romantic things to do for couples.

Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Bratislava

Galway, Ireland

Ireland's west coast plays host to one of its most intimate, charming, and cheap towns. Galway is a haven for artists, adventurists, gastronomes, and nature lovers. Its many attractions and unique points of interest cover a variety of interests.

The best free things to do in Galway include, visiting the Galway Market , which is open on weekends throughout the year, exploring the free gallery at the Gallway Arts Center , taking a selfie at the Spanish Arch , and hiking along the Salthill Promenade .

The Wild Atlantic Way is unmissable, and easily reachable from Galway. While you're there, be sure to visit the remarkable Cliffs of Moher . There are plenty of affordable ways to get there , including a bus tour, which makes this one of the most popular day trips from Galway.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sophia

As more remote workers flock to Sofia, it becomes a prime spot for cheap travel. Not only is this city the capital of Bulgaria, but it has more options than you ever knew the country offered.

Within driving distance is the iconic Vitosha Mountain, ideal for hikes and adventuring, which top the list of free things to do. And the city itself will occupy the minds of history buffs, since its attractions tie together thousands of years of rulers, from the Greeks and the Soviets to the Romans and more.

With a lively event and culinary scene, the city is relatively safe and has a younger crowd. Don't miss the St. George Rotunda Church or the medieval Boyana Church , which reign as top attractions in Sofia for sightseers.

Diocletian's Palace

Most travelers who have Croatia on their bucket list won't miss a stop in Split, on the Dalmatian Coast. Best of all, with cheap nightly rates and quick, fast eats, it definitely won't – ahem – split your budget. Though there are some pricey resorts by the Adriatic Sea, when you stay in the city's iconic Old Town , you'll find a slew of inexpensive hostels and hotels .

You'll definitely want to set aside some cash for a day spent cruising to nearby islands on some of the most beautiful waters you'll ever see. Bring your own snacks and drinks to save on cost, and save enough space to account for the hundreds of photos you'll take of the picturesque scenery.

When you're back on land, don't miss the city's top place to visit, Diocletian's Palace , and make sure to climb to the top of the bell tower for a pretty view of this unique town.

Read More: Best Tourist Attractions in Split

View of Porto and the Douro River

It doesn't cost a penny to feast your eyes on Porto's picturesque landscape (once you've paid to get there, that is). Dramatic bridges, orange tiled roofs, and a kaleidoscope of colored buildings tower above the sparkling blue Douro River, welcoming visitors to this Portuguese masterpiece.

The best attractions in Porto are well worth their affordable entrance fees. Palácio de Bolsa is a UNESCO World Heritage sight and one of the most spectacular places to visit. It's located in the historic area of Porto, beside São Francisco (the Church of St. Francis).

Dom Luís I Bridge , Sé do Porto (Poroto Cathedral) and the impressive Jardins do Palácio de Cristal (a.k.a. the Crystal Palace Gardens) are other impressive points of interest. And your wallet will thank you for checking out the city's free galleries like Miguel Bombarda and Galeria Quadrado Azul .

Istanbul, Turkey

There's little to dislike about Turkey's capital city, which is why it has such a storied past. For centuries, Istanbul was sought after by various empires, all of which desired its picturesque and ideal location on the borders of Europe and Asia.

Among Istanbul's highlights and best cheap places to visit are the Hagia Sophia Mosque , Dolmabahce Palace , and the bustling Sultanahmet District . In fact, visiting Sultanahmet Square's hippodrome is one of the best cheap things to do while on holiday in Istanbul.

The Blue Mosque is another free place to visit, and it is open to tourists outside of prayer time, as long as you follow the rules in regard to attire–clothing must cover the majority of your body, and no footwear is allowed to be worn inside.

  • Best Places for Shopping in Istanbul
  • Istanbul's Grand Bazaar: Things to Buy & Shopping Tips
  • Exploring Istanbul Archeological Museums

Alhambra in Granada, Spain

Another Andalusian gem graces our list of the best cheap places to visit in Europe. Granada is a beauty, backed by the towering Sierra Nevada Mountains and home to historic points of interest so lovely, you'll wish you had more time to explore. Many date to the 13 th century, when the Moors from North Africa ruled this lush area.

The most famous tourist attraction is the Alhambra , an Islamic-decorated palace that attracts scores of sightseers from across the globe. While tickets to this spectacular spot are a bit pricey, they include a guided tour of both the Alhambra and the Generalife and last about 2.5 hours. It is well worth the fee, which is roughly 35 Euros. Plus, you can rest easy knowing that you'll be saving heaps on your accommodation.

While food and hotel rates are generally cheap in Granada, you can score even better deals if you travel during the off-season. Spring and autumn present comfortable temperatures, fewer crowds, and affordable fees. That said, winter is the cheapest time to visit Granada , but you'll need to dress for cool weather.

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Happy to Wander

The Cheapest Ways to Travel Europe, According to a Cheapo Who Loves Traveling Europe

Last Updated: June 3, 2024

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inexpensive travel in europe

What’s the cheapest way to travel Europe?

After a decade of bouncing around Europe as a) a backpacker, b) a broke student and c) a restless expat, this is a question I’ve relentlessly sought the answer to.

My first taste of European budget travel was during my first ever backpacking trip around Western Europe. I had travelled from Paris to London, two major bucket list cities of mine, for less than the price of 6 Chicken Nuggets.

It was exhilarating. My mind was blown… and I suppose you could say, that’s when a monster was born.

inexpensive travel in europe

Save these cheap ways to travel Europe for later!

You’ll be very, very glad you did. (Your wallet will be too!)

When I returned a year later as an exchange student, I took advantage of budget travel options to go absolutely insane and indulge in weekend trips anytime I could.

Along the way I discovered wild deals like 5 euro bus tickets to Paris, 20 euro roundtrip tickets to London, 40 euro roundtrip tickets to MOROCCO.

Not to be dramatic: but a whole new world – nay, a whole new ME – emerged. Since moving back to Europe, I’ve continued to take advantage of the countless cheap options out there – after all, why spend extra when you don’t need to?

That’s why I want to share with you my top tips today, lifting the veil on the cheapest way(s) to travel Europe.

You can also click here to download a free checklist that breaks down my process for finding the cheapest ways to travel from Point A to Point B every time. Enjoy!

PRO TIP: I always use Omio to quickly compare the prices of flights, trains and buses. It sorts everything by cheapest, recommended, shortest, etc. and is totally free!

My Cheapest Ways to Travel Europe Video

One of the most important things to do before travelling internationally is figuring out how you’ll get around. Want a video version of all the info below? Here you go:

1. Taking Buses to Travel Europe Cheaply

If affordability is what you’re after, I highly recommend traveling around Europe by bus.

While it’s not as comfortable, convenient or scenic as train travel, it comes at a fraction of the cost (which means more euros in your pocket for croissant hoarding and wine guzzling).

These days, the main contender in European bus travel is FlixBus .  

This honest Flixbus review is epic! It compiles all the pros and cons of riding with Flixbus and 14 important must-knows before your trip. #Flixbus #Europe #Travel

For me, Flixbus wins in terms of price, flexibility and convenience. With fares as cheap as 5 euros one way, the price simply can’t be beat.

Plus, you can easily download an app where you can check different bus times/purchase tickets up to the day of.

They even have the most chilled out cancellation policy ever – you can cancel/change your ticket up to 15 minutes before departure for only a euro (note: in the good old days, this was even free!)

That’s why I think Flixbus is the perfect choice for a spontaneous budget traveler.

Click here to scope out the best Flixbus deals

This epic guide details the cheapest and most affordable ways to travel Europe. If you're looking to travel Europe on a budget, you can't miss this read! #Travel #Europe #BudgetTravel

NOTE: As with all things in life, you get what you pay for. Flixbus isn’t world-renowned for amazing service or punctuality, but they do get you from Point A to Point B eventually. I’d recommend them if budget is your #1 priority.

Other bus options to check out in Europe:

Eurolines: I’ve only used Eurolines a handful of times because Flixbus is so convenient to book, but they offer a lot of routes around Europe and in my experience, tend to be more punctual than Flixbus.

However, they’re a lot less flexible when it comes to modifications/cancellations, with a zero refund policy within 48 hours of the trip date, and a 25-50% deduction of the total fare if you cancel earlier. In other words, if you want to be flexible, Flixbus is a better choice!

RegioJet, AKA Student Agency Bus:  I took this one from Prague to Budapest 2 years ago and it’s still (to date) the most luxurious bus trip I’ve ever had!

It was super affordable, there were movies available on board and even a “bus attendant” who gave us free hot chocolate and tea. Most of their routes seem to be in/out of the Czech Republic, but they’re an amazing deal if you’re travelling in that area.

inexpensive travel in europe

Megabus: Megabus used to be my go-to bus company (they’re how I got from Paris to London for two pounds in 2014 – like I said, for less than the price of 6 nuggets!) but their European routes have since been acquired by Flixbus.

That said, they’re still active in the UK, and have some crazy deals if you book early enough (the first to buy tickets on certain routes can score them for only 1 pound)

Another cost-effective option in the UK is  National Express .  I’ve used them many times and they’re always very professional and punctual. The key with them is to book as early as possible to score the best deals!

Local bus lines: While travelling around the Balkans, I relied on a number of local coach companies to get around. If you happen to be travelling around the Balkans, your best bet is to inquiry at the local bus station for tickets – they’re usually very affordable even the day-of.

inexpensive travel in europe

2. Hopping around Europe Cheaply with Budget Airlines

One of the most popular (and cheapest) ways to travel Europe is through budget airlines.

Unlike North America, Europe is crawling with budget airlines that can take you from Point A to Point B at ludicrously low costs.

… Sometimes even cheaper than the bus!

With Ryanair for example, I can get from Munich to London for only 10 euros if I book early enough. That’s cheaper than the cost of actually getting to the airport!

inexpensive travel in europe

How to find them: I always use Skyscanner  to check out the best flight deals. A few big names to look out for include RyanAir , EasyJet, WizzAir , Volotea,  EuroWings, and Vueling.

You can also use Omio (for free!) to search up flights, buses and trains at the same time so you can see which out of all these options is cheapest.

Lastly, you can double check deals from various locations using a VPN like Private Internet Access to see if you can find better deals.

Download my free checklist: I actually wrote an entire post on how to find the cheapest flights TO Europe, and the tips/systems I introduce definitely work for flights within Europe as well. Click here to read it, and click here to download the free checklists I made that will help you find the cheapest flight every time.

One note with budget airlines: you absolutely, 1000% get what you pay for.

This means limited legroom, ‘meh’ service and additional costs for everything (including extra bags, in-flight meals and even printing your ticket at the airport).

inexpensive travel in europe

But hey, for the price, you really can’t beat it. So long as you familiarize yourself with each airline’s rules and hidden costs, you’ll be fine.

If you want a preview of what the experience is like, read my honest RyanAir review, Wizz Air review or easyJet review.

I wouldn’t stress too much about having the most luxurious and wonderful experience though… instead, it’s much easier to accept a mildly uncomfortable 1-3 hours.

After all guys, you are paying 10 euros to fly in a hover-box through the sky. Chill out, and enjoy the (dis)comfort of your legroom-less seat.

Click here to scope out the best flight deals on Skyscanner

This epic guide details the cheapest and most affordable ways to travel Europe. If you're looking to travel Europe on a budget, you can't miss this read! #Travel #Europe #BudgetTravel

3. Cruise around Europe on a budget with BlaBaCar

Those in search of the cheapest way to travel Europe should definitely look into BlaBlaCar.

BlaBlaCar is a carpool service that matches up drivers/passengers who are going to the same places. You’re essentially pitching in for gas/other expenses in exchange for a seat in someone’s car.

I know it sounds slightly sketch, but it operates on a good review system much like Couchsurfing and AirBNB . Many of my friends use it regularly with great results.

HELPFUL HINT: In some areas, Google Maps has even begun syncing up with BlaBlaCar , so when you search up how to get from Point A to Point B, BlaBlaCar rides will show up as an additional option below driving, public transport, etc.

Click here to check out BlaBlaCar

This epic guide details the cheapest and most affordable ways to travel Europe. If you're looking to travel Europe on a budget, you can't miss this read! #Travel #Europe #BudgetTravel

4. Save Money on Your Europe Trip by Hitchhiking

If you’re looking for (truly) the cheapest way to travel Europe, hitchhiking would be it. Is it glamorous? No. But it’s like, 50 shades of free, soooo…

Now here’s the thing: hitchhiking is better suited for some areas than others.

For example, while in the Balkans, I hitchhiked once in Bosnia and the guy turned out to be a lovely lavender farmer who (seemed to) own a monopoly over lavender fields in the area.

He barely spoke English and could only keep pointing at his fields like a boss while hollering “LAVANDA LAVANDA”.

That was a fun experience.

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On the other hand, it might not be as easy to do in Western Europe… I’ve never tried it myself in this area, but I do have friends who once hitchhiked from Amsterdam to Munich to visit me for Oktoberfest.

It took 16 hours. SO, know that this is the ultimate cheap way to travel Europe, but it can be very unpredictable, tough and kill a lot of your exploration time.

It’s also true that hitchhiking isn’t for everyone. While it’s not as dangerous or uncommon as many people think, it still carries some risk and disadvantages.

inexpensive travel in europe

You should probably NOT hitchhike if:

  • You are paranoid about safety (and travelling alone)
  • You are limited in time
  • You have strict plans on where you need to be and when

This epic guide details the cheapest and most affordable ways to travel Europe. If you're looking to travel Europe on a budget, you can't miss this read! #Travel #Europe #BudgetTravel

5. See Europe in Style (and on a budget) with train deals

There are few travel experiences as epic as taking the train across Europe… that said, while train travel is incredible , it can wreak some serious havoc on your budget.

Cheap train travel in Europe can be possible though. You can ready my full guide on how to travel Europe by train for more info, but here are some tips!

Book as early as you possibly can:

European train tickets are usually sold in batches, with a select number of really cheap (inflexible booking) tickets available first, then moving into higher price ranges as they sell out.

If you know where you’re going and are okay with a lack of flexibility, then buying as early as possible is probably your best bet.

inexpensive travel in europe

Look into group/regional tickets:  

Many areas in Europe will have special deals for those travelling in groups or in particular areas. In Bavaria for example (where I currently live), there’s a group deal called a Bayern Ticket that gives you unlimited travel for the day for 5 people on the same ticket .

It costs 26 euros for the first person, then 5 additional for each extra person you add on, which is an insanely good deal if you get several people together.

Often, these deals will be cheaper than buying regular tickets, so do some research to see if these specials exist where you’re headed 🙂 For more info, read my full Bayern ticket guide.

inexpensive travel in europe

Check if you’re eligible for discounts:

European train companies love rewarding people for being young, so often if you’re under the age of 26, you’re eligible for additional discounts, especially if you’re a student.

In Belgium for example, those 26 and under can buy a GoPass 1, which allows you to travel one-way anywhere in the country for only €6.60.

Get a train pass:

For my fellow North Americans, Eurail offers a lot of different passes for different countries, time periods, etc. These can be much cheaper than buying tickets individually, and they also offer a lot more flexibility.

It’s good value for money, despite not being the cheapest option out there. I would recommend doing a lot of research prior to buying a pass to see how much tickets cost for your intended travel routes because you might be able to plan a cheaper trip if you buy non-flex tickets far in advance.

Click here to browse the best deals on Eurail Passes

This epic guide details the cheapest and most affordable ways to travel Europe. If you're looking to travel Europe on a budget, you can't miss this read! #Travel #Europe #BudgetTravel

6. Travel Europe Cheaply by Renting a Car

Travelling through Europe by car might sound like a wonderful bucket list dream, but it’s a lot more complicated than just getting an old Volkswagen and decking it out in fairy lights.

The issue with renting a car in Europe is that it’s riddled with hidden costs, including extra fees for crossing multiple countries, dropping off at different points, highway vignettes (required for many countries in Central Europe, etc. etc.)

The truth is, it is highly unlikely that renting a car will be the cheapest way to travel Europe for you.

Is it worth it though? Well, the freedom to pull over whenever, go wherever and take off at a moment’s notice  is  pretty sweet.

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If you choose to go this route, here are some tips to help you get the best deal on travelling through Europe by car:

Use a comparison website:

A good start is using a comparison website to find the most competitive prices for a car rental.  Expedia is my go-to.

That said, looking at these listed prices is simply not enough. It’s also important to…

Consider the hidden costs:

The prices you see on these comparison sites will most likely not be what you end up paying. There are MANY extras to consider, like insurance, GPS, multiple country fees, one-way drop off fees, tolls, vignettes, etc.

Sadly, the companies are not consistent in what they include in their listed price, so be sure to do your research and read the fine print so you can fully understand which is the best deal.

Click here to read my post full of hidden costs you should be mindful of!

Hoping to travel Europe by car? Don't miss these important considerations and hidden fees to ensure you have a smooth rental process! #europe #carrental #travel #traveltips

Find coupon codes automatically :

I highly recommend the free Google Chrome extension, Honey , which looks up free coupon codes for you automatically. It takes a click to install and is awesome for saving a little extra on all travel bookings and any other online purchases.

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Any more questions about the cheapest ways to travel around Europe?

I hope you enjoyed that guide on the cheapest way to travel Europe and that it gave you some good insight into the different options for cheap transportation in Europe.

If you have any questions though, feel free to ask below!

My Go-To Travel Favourites:

🧳 Eagle Creek: My favourite packing cubes

💳 Wise: For FREE travel friendly credit cards

🍯 Airalo: My go-to eSIM

🏨 For searching hotels

📷 Sony A7IV: My (amazing) camera

✈️ Google Flights : For finding flight deals

🌎 WorldNomads: For travel insurance

🎉 GetYourGuide: For booking activities

75 thoughts on “The Cheapest Ways to Travel Europe, According to a Cheapo Who Loves Traveling Europe”

BlaBlaCar sounds interesting, I’ll definitely take note of it. Hitchhiking is just for me though. I’m too scared, haha! – Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

haha BlaBaCar is almost like a more regulated version of hitchhiking. Definitely a good middle ground or starting point if hitchhiking scares you 😉

Great tips! I took Flixbus and it was perfectly fine and actually on time, which was a pleasant surprise! Also, I think the best website for looking up quite a bit of European train travel is It’s the German train website but it has train times and routes for many more countries. And it’s really easy to use. Always search the number of people you’re looking to book for. Sometimes we forget and just keep the number at 1, but I travel with my husband and we’re always 2 and 2 is always cheaper than 1 + 1! There are great deals in Germany for a group of people traveling together too. Found this on Easy Jet as well – prices are better for 2 people.

Awesome info – thank you! I use all the time since I live in Germany but I never realized it had such helpful info for other countries too. And I had no clue that booking for 2 is cheaper. SO good to know – thanks! <3

Great tips! I currently live in Europe and have the flexibility of owning a car, but I might use one of these cheap buses one day. Another thing about those cheap airlines…if you’re flying in Europe the flight time is usually no more than 2 hours, so it’s really not a big deal to not be able to recline your seat for 2 hours. As soon as you’re up, you’re already back down! Worth the cheap price in my opinion. And I think the hitchhiking is totally dependent on where you are. I went to the Isle of Skye in Scotland earlier this year and it’s extremely common for backpackers to hitchhike around the isle to get to the different sites. We gave a ride to some people and didn’t feel unsafe at all. Go with your gut!

Awesome – thanks so much for this thoughtful comment, Kristin! Always good to get some input from others and their experiences <3 Scotland does seem like an amazing place to hitchhike. The people there are so lovely! Thanks for chiming in 🙂

Love your tips, I think I tried most of them. No bad experience so far. 🙂

haha good to hear I’m not steering anybody wrong 😉 thanks for reading!

It is really not easy to keep it cheap in Europe, but you have some great suggestions. In Denmark, they use GoMore, a great carpooling service. I used it a lot because train tickets are ridiculously expensive! Else, the trick is to book in advance, then you can get them almost cheaper than doing the carpooling.

Ooh good to know about GoMore! I love that there’s so many new services popping up these days for budget travellers. Makes lives so much easier!

A very handy piece, if only travel in Canada was that easy…lol…I will be keeping this for future reference as I had never heard of Flix Bus they sound great and if you can get used to flying Ryanair you can get used to anything…

Hope this comes in handy for your future travels, Faith! Flixbus is definitely a great budget option. They’re by no means mega-comfortable and there’s often delays, but it does get you to where you need to go eventually haha. Can’t really argue with prices like theirs!

I love this one! 🙂 I live in Europe so I have used almost all from the list but I really like it how you combined them. P. S. Your pins has amaaazing design, love it so much. <3

aw thank you so much for the kind words!!! <3

I was just in the Balkans and had to hitchhike out of desperation in Albania . Lol. Love that you met a lavender farmer!

haha I hope your experience was as fun as mine! Hitch hiking in the Balkans is a lot easier (I’ve heard) than in other parts of Europe 🙂 definitely a neat way to meet locals!

This is really useful for me! I am currently an exchange student in Italy untile Feb 2018 so I’ve been wanting to go out the country and roam around Europe. I most definitely am shocked with RyanAir prices! Thanks for this post!

What an exciting time for you! I travelled so much during my exchange in Munich and decided to move here 😉 You never know what a crazy impact this experience will have on your life. Hope you have an amazing time in Italy!

Love this post! Good timing too, I was just trying to decide about taking a FlixBus for an upcoming trip. Sounds like it is the way to go!

We are also all about the budget airlines (Volotea is my current fav) but I swear my biggest annoyance isn’t the baggage fees or incessant selling, it is the lack of seat back pockets. Sounds ridiculous but for some reason that annoys me ENDLESSLY. #highmaintenance

omg so true – no seat pockets kills me every time because then I’m left scrambling, with my passport, phone, boarding pass, etc. scattered all across my lap hahah. Flixbus is fine if you don’t mind meh service/delays. They’re definitely super budget friendly!

This post is so timely ! Planning a trip to Europe next summer . Thx for sharing ! Fab as always Christina ! Xo Valerie

Yay! Hope you picked up loads of great tips from this post. Safe travels 🙂

Great post with really good advice. Busses are a great way to go and often overlooked by North Americans. But I find them to be really useful in certain areas. I’m still a fan of trains though!

I think buses are tougher in North America since major cities are so much further apart! In Europe though they are amazing since everything is so close 🙂 I’m a big fan of trains now too. They’re just so comfortable and convenient. Thanks for reading, Lynne!

This is all seriously so helpful! Thank you for taking the time to put it together. I’m definitely saving for my upcoming trip, since I’ll be an extra tight budget!

so so happy you found it helpful!! Safe travels, girl <3

I don’t live in Europe but every time I go to The Netherlands I take adventage of those cheap trips in Europe itswlf. I’ve tried bus travels and by plain. Next I want to try train traveling. All in all Europe living is in a travelers best interest.

Absolutely – living in Europe makes us travellers so spoiled 🙂 I can’t recommend train travel enough. It’s so relaxing and beautiful. Hope you get to see for yourself sometime soon!

Cheap travel is one of the things I love most about living in Europe! If I ever stopped travelling around Europe, Ryanair might go bust ;-). This was a great and really informative post!

hahaha yes – I feel so spoiled living here. Thanks for reading, and keep travelling please because I rely on RyanAir way too much for them to go bust 😉 lol

Another cheap way to travel Europe to grab one of the multi festival/trip passes that Stoke Travel have. I picked up one of their Passports and it got me a free festival, and I got to visit Oktoberfest, surf in Spain, La tomatina and Ibiza with all my accommodation, meals and ridiculous parties sorted. They even have unlimited beer and sangria haha.

Hey Christiana, Awesome post loved it. Never know it was possible to travel Europe so cheaply. I will definitely make a point following these tips while a trip to europe this summer.

Awesome! I hope you have an amazing (budget-friendly) trip!

Transportation is one of the things that contribute to a major portion of your entire travel budget. That’s why people search for some cheapest travel option around Europe and your blog presents a very good information about that. It was certainly a good read. Thanks for posting.

Loved your tips. Its great to find such informative article. Will try some of your tips on my next visit for sure.

The tutorial is very detailed, thank you for sharing, wish you always good health to go more places. I’m planning to go to Europe and it’s great to read your post

Hi Chris! Thanks for sharing your experience with us!!

Budget airlines were my best friend when I lived in London! It felt like such an accomplishment to grab an awesome deal and be able to go away for the weekend wherever I wanted in Europe!

Absolutely love this, I have lived in Europe most my life but even I learned something from these amazing tips. Will definitely pin this for later. Thanks for sharing!

I think there’s a lot to be said for different transport being good for different places! There are so many European trips I want to do and all in different ways (road trip through northern Italy? Train through Switzerland?) – there’s so much to consider! This post is really helpful in laying it all out though. 🙂

What a great and helpful post! I’m going to be traveling around Europe for a few months later this year so I’m saving it for later. I’ve heard of a few of these companies, but since I haven’t used them before, I tend to forget about them. So thanks for jogging the memory, too.

Great tips, shame Europes not on the cards for me in the near future. Love the lavanda story!

Great post! I for one wouldn’t really like to spend most of my budget just to get to the place I really want to go to. Sometimes the cheapest mode of travel makes you experience the best story to tell if time isn’t much of a factor 🙂

Oh I love Megabus. I use it all the time to travel from Toronto to Montreal. I didn’t know it exists in Europe too. These are some great info Christina! One day, when I’m less of a chicken, I would like to try hitchhiking in Europe 😛

Thanks for the tips, Christina! I love FlixBus and hitchhiking hehehe. When my mom backpacked Europe in the ’80s she just got a train pass but that seemed so spendy the last time I was there, and ended up going with FlixBus practically everywhere. I do love trains, though.

FlixBus and trains were my favorite ways to get around Europe. I wanted to try BlaBla car, but the timing didn’t work out.

Thanks for the tips.

Personally, I always prefer to use cheap airlines in Europe over buses or trains. They cost almost identical, but you get to your destination much faster and without back pain.

If you book two or three months in advance, you can usually fly between most European Capitals for 30-60 USD. Some good choices are Rynair, Wizz Air, and Norwegian airlines.

hahaha yes – I feel so spoiled living here. Thanks for reading, and keep travelling please because I rely on RyanAir way too much for them to go bust lol

While travelling around the Balkans, I relied on a number of local coach companies to get around. If you happen to be travelling around the Balkans, your best bet is to inquiry at the local bus station for tickets – they’re usually very affordable even the day-of

I don’t live in Europe but every time I go to The Netherlands I take adventage of those cheap trips in Europe itswlf. I’ve tried bus travels and by plain. Next I want to try train traveling. All in all Europe living is in a travelers best interest.

Transportation is one of the things that contribute to a major portion of your entire travel budget. That’s why people search for some cheapest travel option around Europe and your blog presents a very good information about that. It was certainly a good read. Thanks for posting.

Amazing post, so detailed! Very useful as a quick go-to guide, definitely fueled our wanderlust!

Thanks for all the info! I live in Europe, but I want to do more spontaneous weekend trips for cheap more often (I’m writing that as if I’ve ever done it before…) Grew up with travelling through Europe by car, and I dream of doing it again. To visit smaller villages overlooked by tourists, either by free will or because the car breaks down, makes great memories (it is handy being a member of one of these road help companies, especially when travelling with a 15-20 year old car). Oops, mind flew off there… but yeah, recommend people to go by car if they can afford it and don’t want to stay at the big cities most of the time

Awesome post! Thanks for sharing the knowledge and keep up the good work.

thanks for reading!

This is very really unique helpful information. keep it up. Thank you so much!

When you visit to another country, one of the important things that you must concern is budget. You need to prepare carefully everything for your trip. Especially, you should find out the cheapest way, it will help you save money better.

Do you love traveling? Do you want to discover Europe? It’s a wonderful place for people, you can visit many beautiful countries and enjoy some delicious food.

Interesting writing! Europe is very beautiful, I think that most people will choose this place to relax and enjoy.

Useful article for visitors! If you have a decision to travel to Europe, let’s read this writing and discover it.

Very good info. I needed this, Thank you very much for your advice

Exciting article!

Europe is very famous for its architecture and beverage. Let’s discover this country when you have a chance!

Hello Christina!! Wow it is an interesting and amazing article and it is very beneficial for all readers especially for all those who travel through it first time. I really like this article and I hope all the readers will be very thankful for it. It is very beneficial for me as I am going through my first flight and this flight will be very useful for me. Thanks for sharing this article with all of us

Thank you for providing such a useful and attractive blog, with very useful details and stuff I never expected, and I would suggest that you write more blogs and blog posts like that for us. Once again, thank you.

Europe is very famous for its architecture and beverage. Let’s discover this country when you have a chance!

Thank you for sharing this truly awesome intel! I’ve already bookmarked this page for my upcoming European travels, and that pretzel looks too good to be true 🙂

Wonderful post about travel to Europe! Keep up the wonderful work and thanks for providing the information.

Fantastic post! Please keep up the fantastic work and thanks for sharing your information.

This blog gives tips and application references that could be useful to save money while traveling in Europe on a tight budget.

i like your videos a lot 🙂 thanks for all the infos, i am also on low budget and need every tip on saving money haha. i start using this app called ” ATM Fee saver” it shows me atm around me with the lowest fees for withdrawing money. its super useful i can recommend to you using it 🙂

great Post.. really helpful

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BudgetTraveller - Travel in style, on a budget. Discover the best hostels across Europe and the World with my guide to Luxury Hostels

My 85 tips to save money when travelling in Europe ( Updated June 2023 )

inexpensive travel in europe

Welcome to my ultimate guide to backpacking Europe on a budget- in this post I have pulled together my 85 best tips to save money while travelling in Europe. The post is a summary of my best posts and tips till date on the BudgetTraveller- all my 14 years of travelling across Europe, distilled into one simple blog post. There are still so many cool new tips and budget hacks that I am still discovering so if I missed out anything , I’d welcome your tips and feedback in the comments below. With that out of the way, on to the list.

Planning your trip to Europe

best hostels in Europe

1. How to find the best hostels in Europe

To find the best hostels in Europe for your trip, my first port of call for searching hostels is always Hostelworld . They have the most comprehensive selection of hostels in Europe and my go to people when booking and finding the cheapest hostels in Europe.

For further research, if you a hostel lover, I also would highly recommend you having a look and buying my new guide to designer ‘luxury hostels.’ : The Grand Hostels Luxury Hostels of the World . These are what I would call premium hostels- a mix between a hotel and a hostel. You can book yourself a private room in these hostels and still enjoy the social aspects of a hostel: common room, bars, kitchen and an extensive list of social events. These  new breed of designer hostels focus on creating an experience for guests. What can you expect in a luxury hostel? Besides ensuite rooms or custom built pod beds in dorms you can find amazing facilities in these hostels like a swimming pool, sauna, a cinema , or a gym and swimming pool or dine with fellow guests and enjoy a 3 course meal prepared by inhouse hostel chef with bottle of port wine for as little as €10. This book is also the story of 116 unique  hostels  and the amazing people who run them.The people who run these  hostels  were travellers like you who went travelling around the world and fell in love with the drug of meeting and connecting with people from all over the world. When they couldn’t afford to keep travelling, they started a  hostel  of their own so that they could keep alive that magical sensation of meeting with people and connecting. These  hostels , are in many ways, their dream come true. In this day and age, when we live in a world ruled by idiots, despots and plagued by misunderstanding, hatred and indifference, these  hostels  are a beacon of light, bringing people together from all divides and making the world a better place. So when you buy this book and visit these  hostels you are really supporting an ideal, a dream and in the process adding something new and beautiful to you life. These  hostels  changed the way I travel, maybe they will change yours?

More details of the book , click here

inexpensive travel in europe

2. Use Worldpackers

If you want to make your Eurotrip memorable, consider a more unique and immersive travel experience with volunteering and work-exchange platforms such as Worldpackers. In exchange for a few hours of help, you’re not only going to save 100% on accommodation but will also connect with locals and loads of world travelers. In addition to Hostels, you’ll find farms, homestays, ecolodges, NGOs, and schools among the 4.000+ volunteering opportunities available. A platform like Worldpackers provides you with safe and peer-reviewed experiences, in addition to a comprehensive support team and insurance. From 1-week up to 3-month long opportunities, you can fit a purposeful travel experience within your schedule. To make it even more budget-friendly, join Worldpackers here and earn a US$10 discount to become a Member.

inexpensive travel in europe

….or try Housesitting

Another way to travel around the world almost for free is try Housesitting where you can stay for free at unique homestays around the world, in exchange for caring for people’ s pets. I recommend Trusted Housesitters .

You can find out more about Housesitting works in this guide .

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 11.25.35

3. Consider Airbnb when visiting Europe

I am a huge fan of Airbnb when travelling across Europe. They have a fantastic range of places to stay and always offer great value. As much as I love staying in hostels, I love sometimes to have the comfort and privacy of a flat, especially if I am travelling for a few weeks on the road. You can extremely good value for Airbnb in expensive cities like London, Paris for example so do have a look at their site.

Tip: If you are new to Airbnb , signup using  this link  to get £25 off your first booking.

4. Checkout my city guides to finding the best cheap hostels and hotels 

I’ve done the research and keep these guides updated on a regular basis to add new favourites- if you planning a trip to any of these cities, do take the time to checkout my following city guides

51 free things to do in London

50 free things to do in Paris

26 free and fun things to do in Berlin

20 best things to do in Rome on a budget

23 free and fun things to do in Lisbon on a budget

24 best things to do in Prague on a budget

Locals guide to Amsterdam

Plus, here are my guide to my favourite budget places to stay in London , Amsterdam , Lisbon ,  Copenhagen, Berlin , Edinburgh  , Venice  , Prague , Oslo and Paris

5. Get off the beaten path

Main cities of Europe are overcrowded and also overpriced so if you are looking for good value when travelling in Europe, seek out some of the lesser known destinations.

For example, instead of Amsterdam consider Haarlem and staying at the boutique hostel Hello I’m Local , instead of Helsinki take a look at Tampere or head to Finnish Lapland , instead of Berlin consider Leipzig or maybe Dortmund , instead of Paris try Bordeaux,  instead of Rome try Bologna , instead of Prague try Brno or Ostrava .

Other articles to checkout

Also do checkout the following europe hostel guides: these are perfect if you are a foodie traveller, or someone who is travelling with your family or someone who is looking for a quiet nights sleep and not interested in party hostels

Best Gastro Hostels of Europe

Best Quiet Hostels of Europe

Best Family Hostels of Europe

What is the cheapest way to travel in Europe

6. how to find cheap flights when visiting europe- use a vpn.

You can save a few euros or dollars when playing with the location from where you book your flight. For example, I’ve often booked flights in the past and found discounts when booking from a Dutch website and also from Expedia Australia’s website. The fare difference can be often 10-15 euros so we are not talking about a huge saving here but still it is significant, especially if you are looking for flights for you+ loved ones.

I recommend  Express VPN

Play around with the location ( Express VPN allows you to set your location to 94 different countries ) 

VPN also is handy when travelling and helps hide your IP address, browsing activity, and preventsusers stealing your data, like usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, browser cookies, and other identifying information.

Using this link , you can get your first 3 months for free from your Express VPN or alternatively, this link will give you a 30 day free trial- choice is yours.

7. Download the Skyscanner App for cheap flights

Skyscanner are my go to app for booking flights and now you can also book trains in the UK. Just plug in your dates and Skyscanner will find the best possible flight deals. My favourite feature of the Skyscanner app is when you can search flights to all around the world on any date or even for a whole month from a city. If you are flexible with your travel dates and destination, it is possible to find the cheapest possible destination on any given month.

inexpensive travel in europe

8. The ultimate guide to low-cost airlines in Europe

This guide is a comprehensive low down of all the low-cost budget airlines in Europe

Not much of a secret but travelling by coach is the cheapest way to travel across Europ e. ( Click on the link to take you to my guide to the 10 best budget bus companies in Europe )

9. How to travel across Europe for 1 month under £182/$250?

backpacking europe on a budget

One of my most popular posts to recent date is my 1 month itinerary to backpacking Europe on a budget for under £182/$250/€220.

This post is a comprehensive guide of which cities to visit in Europe, things to do in each city, how to travel across Europe using a smart combination of bus, train and low budget flights. This guide is really a must read so please download it now and bookmark this for planning your trip to Europe.

10.  Best value train journeys in Europe?

Checkout my brand new guide to the top 10 best value train journeys across Europ e.

11. How to save time queuing for major European attractions? Book your tours and activities in advance

You have a few options when it comes to planning tours and activities in each city. You have free walking tours in most cities across Europe. Sandeman’s is the market leader and I’ve heard good things about the tours. Tours are comprehensive and you can tip the guide if you enjoyed the tour. If you are looking for more specific experiences , I recommend taking a look and booking your tours via Get Your Guide . By booking in advance you can save time and  hassle of queuing and skip the line for the Eiffel Tower in Paris or  skip the queues for the London Eye. Bit of planning can go a long way!

When is the best time to travel to Europe?

12. don’t travel to europe in the summer if you can avoid it..

This is actually the worst time to visit Europe. Prices are at their highest, everything is booked up, the cities are uncomfortably crowded and all of the locals are on holidays. Travel off-season instead for a more local experience. In winter, hotels can be discounted by upto 40% so you can get a great deal.


Before Sunrise: Virtual trip and love letter to Vienna

13. Cheapest trip to Europe: A Virtual trip to Europe 🙂

Here is a list of movies that have hugely inspired my travels in Europe -maybe they will inspire you too.

14. Saving up for the big Europe trip?

Here are some key tips to spend less travel more  for your big trip in 2017

I also recommend you check out Adventurous Kate’s cracking post on how she saved $13,000 in just 7 months .

When you arrive in Europe

15. visit the tourist information point.

When first arriving in a new city make sure to stop by the tourism bureau for discounts, free maps and cost-free events.

Museum Pass

16. Try to find if the city offers an all inclusive pass that gets you access to museums plus also public transportation

If you are planning to pack in a number of visitor attractions, in the end , you save a lot of money when using these kind of passes. For example I saved a lot of money with the Oslo Welcome Card when visiting Oslo. Other great welcome cards is the Berlin Welcome Card which includes free public transportation and lots of discounts to sights, tours, restaurants, museums and more.

17. Walk or use local transport 

Walk as much as you can, but if you can’t then use public transport over taxis; buy 24-hour, 3-day or even weekly public transport passes, which work out cheaper than single tickets.

18. Do as the locals do 

Join local workers at pubs for happy hours; check out local sports matches which are often free or cheap; and if you see a local fair or festival advertised, get along to it. All of these things can provide a terrific insight into how people lead their lives and be just as rewarding as visiting a major visitor attraction.

19. Mobile internet- how to avoid a costly bill at the end of the trip

Roaming charges and accessing internet abroad is still ridiculously expensive so my tip here is to go local and get yourself a local internet data only simcard. If you can unlock your phone, brilliant. If your phone is locked then I suggest buying a mobile wifi (mifi) device which costs around €50. I’ve written a guide to how to get the best deal on prepaid mobile internet in Portugal ,  mobile internet in Germany and Italy . In terms of making free phone calls to friends and family- you’ve got FaceTime  (if you both own an Apple phone) or try the  Viber app ( free to download) or Skype. Skype offers fantastic rates so I highly recommend them. The other app that I find very useful in terms of free messaging is Whatsapp which is free to download.

How to travel on a budget across Europe

20. take the train.

When booked in advance, you can get huge savings on train travel in Europe. I’ve shared in the post below all my best hacks and tips for getting cheap train tickets in Europe .

Plus also checkout my tips for cheap train travel in France .

21. Taking the train? Consider going point to point

If you can plan your Euro trip well in advance, there are some great savings to be made from booking train fares in advance.

Plan your schedules using the German D Bahn website and also check out  the excellent  Voyages SNCF .  For example you have can go from Paris to Milan for €29 currently, Frankfurt to Amsterdam or Paris in less than 4 hours from just €39 or from Copenhagen to Hamburg in 4.5 hours starting at only €29. ( An epic 45 minute ferry ride included. Here’s my account of the trip )

Consider making longer connections by overnight train

22. Take the night train?

A great way to save time and money when travelling across Europe is by taking the night train. There are lots of sleeper trains between major cities in Europe and they are comfortable and convenient. For example you can take advantage of Deutsche Bahn’s excellent SparNight promo fares where you can go from Amsterdam to Copenhagen for around €29-€49 range.

23. Go slow and cheap 

Use bikes or try trains, especially regional and local trains, which can be very cheap in countries like Poland and Hungary.


24. By bike?

If you can, travel by bike. Travelling by bike not only saves you money, it’s great for your health,probably the safest form of travel during Covid-19, plus you can sign upto the Warmshowers website. Warmshowers is like couchsurfing but for cycle tourists. The website and community matches hungry, shelterless cyclists with lovely locals who are willing to accommodate them. The emphasis is on an exchange of experiences and cultures rather than an exchange of money.

25. Travel with a friend or partner?

Travelling in Europe is still not as solo travel friendly as you might think it should be in the 21 st century. Lots of hotels charge supplements for single travellers which is unfair. Plus single rooms tend to be quite basic and stripped down. The cost of a double is almost the same as a single so if you can travel with a friend or partner, great. Otherwise, I’d recommend choosing a luxury hostel. Plus do check out the crowdsourced fantastic free guide that the Solotraveler has launched which gives a lowdown of all the best solo friendly places to stay across Europe and the world .

26. Fly with a low-cost airline?

Thanks to the low-cost airline revolution that was inspired by easyJet and Ryanair , travelling across Europe is a lot cheaper. Even with hidden extras like paying for checking in your luggage, their prices are pretty good, especially over longer distances.  To get the best fares, book and plan you trip far in advance as possible plus also travel carry-on to save money. Here’s my guide to best Ryanair easyJet carry on luggage 

27. Hate travelling by Bus? 

Maybe it’s time to reconsider this. There is a new revolution of low-cost luxury bus travel sweeping across Europe .

28 . On a non existent budget- How about hitchhiking?

Hitchhiking expert Amy Woodyatt shares some tips on how to hitchhike across the UK and also the do’s and don’t of hitchhiking

29. Consider ride-sharing

Long-distance ride-sharing is becoming popular in Europe, with millions of people now hitching rides with complete strangers on a monthly basis. Companies to check out include BlaBlaCar and

PS: Again, with the onset of Covid-19, you may want to consider the safety of ridesharing and also hitchiking.

30.  Don’t withdraw money abroad from an ATM. 

You are likely to get a very poor exchange rate from your bank and be also charged a fee for every withdrawal.

31.  Don’t buy you travel currency at the airport

Don’t leave buying your travel currency till reaching the airport-you will get ripped off. Use something like the Börsen App to compare best local exchange rates and get a better deal.

Where to sleep in Europe on a budget

32. travelling with family try a hostel.

Apartments are excellent but if you are looking for cheaper alternatives, you should also consider hostels. There is a new breed of family friendly hostels popping up across Europe.

33. Try Worldpackers 

Worldpackers is a global community of conscientious travelers and welcoming hosts. Since 2014 they have fostered thousands of connections and unique experiences, focusing on developing and transforming the world into a more social and environmentally sustainable place.’

34. Rome in August?

In August, take advantage of cheaper rates in cities like Rome where the locals have ‘gone to the coast’

35. Stay at a budget hotel chain

Stay at one of the budget hotel chains like a  Travelodge or an  Ibis on your next trip to Europe. If you are just looking for a cheap, comfortable sleep- these hotels are a great option.

The Student Hotel, Rotterdam

The Student Hotel, Rotterdam

36. Considered staying at a cool budget boutique hotel? 

There is a new breed of budget boutique hotels popping up across the world. Examples you can check out include Yotel in London Gatwick, The Student Hotel in Amsterdam , Tune Hotels in London or Bazar in Rotterdam

37. Stay away from the city centre.

In almost every major European city you can get significantly cheaper prices if you are willing to stay away from the city centre.

London Bromley_Familyroom1

Quad rooms at Travelodge

38. Stay in a family room or a quad 

You pay little more and get more better value. If you choose to stay with a budget chain brand like Travelodge in the UK , the family room costs the same as a double room.

39. Couchsurfing is a great way to meet new friends & to explore a country

40. Try Housesitting

Another cool option for finding free accommodation in Europe is trying out Housesitting . For the unintiated, James Cave did an excellent guide to Housesitting  on the BudgetTraveller recently.

41. Sleep cheap, spend your money on something cool

Stay somewhere really cheap but live it up by having a drink at the grandest hotel you can find — and take lots of Instagrams

42. Finding decent affordable and nice accommodation in London , Paris or Edinburgh?

London, Paris and Edinburgh can be a bummer for finding good value, decent budget accomodation. So I created a guide earlier to my favourite budget places to stay in London , Paris and Edinburgh

43. University rooms? 

I was visiting London in the summer last year and struggling to find anything had decent below £100 a night until I discovered University Rooms.

I can’t think of a better deal for central London. For example searching in the 1st week of September, I can find a single room with breakfast in Bankside House, Southbank ( as central as you can get in London) for as little as £45 per person, per night including breakfast. The rooms are no frills but comfortable for the night.  They have bed and breakfast or self-catering budget accommodations scattered across 120 cities worldwide so do checkout their site.

Where to go in Europe 

44. visit portugal.

Nightlife Lisbon

Portugal remains the best value for money destination in Western Europe. I love the country for its old world European charm, the medieval towns and the most amazing pastries in the world like Pasteis de Nata  The seafood here is out of this world and very cheap. Enjoy a plate of grilled limpets with a squeeze of lemon juice for as little as €5 in the beautiful island of Madeira or tuck into charcoal grilled sardines or the excellent sopa de peixe , fish soup (€3 ) with a glass of Vinho verde ( €2) at one of Lisbon’s century old kiosks in Lisbon

Visit Porto , one of the most underrated cities in Europe. It has a beautiful location by the winding Douro river, stunning architecture, amazing gastronomy and a cracking nightlife. Here is little glimpse into what life in Porto is like and also the lowdown on what might be the world’s best hostel .

45. Go to Czech Republic

Czech Republic remains one of the best value for money destinations in Europe. There’s fairytale castle, lovely locals, the best beer in the world, fantastic wine too plus great culture- Czech Republic has it all.

Checkout my guides to Prague , Brno , Olomouc   and Cesky Krumlov

46. Sarajevo

Sarajevo has to be one the hottest travel destinations this summer for the budget traveller! There is so much to see, do and eat, and you complete the Bosnian experience by staying with a local family – request a home-stay.

Berliner Dom

47. Visit Berlin

Berlin. Besides Lisbon, Berlin is probably hands down the best value destination to visit in Western Europe. You have a wide range of excellent value budget accomodation-from apartments to luxury hostels. In terms of free things to do, from visiting the East Side Gallery to free lunchtime concerts at Berlin Philharmonic to visiting the Reichstag or simply strolling down the historic Unter den Linden- there is so much you can do in Berlin without spending a penny. Plus in terms of street food, Berlin is the king. You can sample the best kebabs in the world at Mustafa’s in Kreuzberg (Mehringdamm 32 ) or try currywurst at places like Curry 61 ( currywurst with fries- €3.20) I recommend you have a peek at my guide to the best outdoor activities in Berlin , a guide to the best things do in Potsdam – perfect day out of Berlin and my free self guided walking tours of Berlin Mitte and the upcoming Berlin Wedding

For more about Berlin, I highly recommend Uncornered Market’s excellently researched and comprehensive Berlin resource guide.

Please spend the day with us

48. Visit Germany

I’ve had the pleasure of living and exploring Germany over the last 10 years.

Have a look at my Germany travel guides , to help you plan your trip.

49. Visit Malta & Gozo

I recently visited Malta and Gozo and contrary to popular belief, the island is very budget friendly and definitely worth including if you are backpacking away around Europe. For example you can get one-way fares for as little as €40 in April 2015 from Italy to Malta with Ryanair. For more details have a look at my 21 things to do in Malta & Gozo piece.

How to eat on a budget in Europe

50. restrict restaurant meals .

Limit eating out to once a day and if you’re a foodie go to a gourmet restaurant for lunch rather than dinner when many restaurants offer great value set menus and business lunches.

Cook in to save money. Many hostels ( like Loft Mountain Hostel ) have amazing kitchens where you can prepare your own meals.

51. Cook in 

An advantage of holiday rentals and most hostels is that you can cook in a kitchen and cooking can be great fun if you’re travelling with friends, a couple, or family or for bonding with new people who are staying at the hostel.

52. Shop locally

Buy your groceries at local markets; look for farmer’s markets and watch what the locals are buying to get the best deals. Ask the hostel/apartment owner or receptionist where they shop, as they’ll know where the bargains are.

Pop over to the local grocer for preparing a perfect picnic in the park

Pop over to the local grocer for preparing a perfect picnic in the park

53. Picnic in the park

Public parks and gardens can be a great source of entertainment; take a picnic lunch and take in the action and just delight in how differently people live their lives in other places.

54. Menu del Dia

In Spain the cheapest way to eat out is by ordering the Menu del Dia-a fixed price menu which is offered to guests at lunchtime.  The menu consists of a first course, second course followed by a dessert and coffee.

Aperitivo. Ostello Bello Hostel, Milan.

Aperitivo. Ostello Bello Hostel, Milan.

55. Aperitivo

In northern Italy, the cheapest way to eat out is in the evening when you can go out for an ‘aperitivo.’  The hours are generally between 7 and 9pm. You order an ‘aperitif’ –glass of wine or martini ( around €6- Beer/Wine. €8 cocktails ) and you get access to a buffet or some tasty snacks are delivered to your table.  The general rule of thumb is to have one plate of food from the buffet with one drink. I always go in for seconds though…..

Cichetti- delicious and cheap Venetian tapas

Cichetti- delicious and cheap Venetian tapas

56. Cicchetti -Tradition of Venetian tapas

In Venice, they have the tradition of eating ‘Cicchetti’ –a Venetian style of tapas served typically in a ‘bacari’-small, traditional local bars where alongside some spritz, you can order some ‘cicchetti’ –these are bite sized snacks that consist of cheese or fresh fish or meat and price ranges from €1 to a few euros. Here’s a guide to where to find the best Cicchetti bars in Venice


57. Check out my cheap eat guides.

Love your cheap eats? Highly recommend you  check out my cheap eats section where you will find guides to over 20 cities including Malta ,  London ( Part 1  , Part 2 ) Seville , Barcelona , Paris , Amsterdam , Munich , Cardiff , Bari ,   Rome , Krakow , Tenerife + Florence   Oslo


58. Cheapest beer in Europe?

Do you decide which city to visit in Europe based on how cheap the beer is? Then you should definitely check out my Europe cheap beer index which gives you a lowdown of what beer prices to expect across Europe and where you can find the cheapest pint.

59. Cheap eats in Spain and Portugal- Empandas

A panadería (bakery) in Spain or Padaria ( Portugal) will often have fresh hot pasties aka empanadas( ESP) / rissois (PT) , making a light lunch for around €3.

60. Head for the caffeteria in Italy.

It may not sound so attractive, but in Rome and other Italian cities, the tavola calda (caffeteria) offers cheap homemade food at lunchtime for locals on a budget.

61. When in Italy…eat at the bakery. 

Bakeries in Italy prepare products that are economical, fresh, and support the local economy (unlike most supermarkets).

62. Free tapas in Spain?

A tradition that is dying out in many parts of Spain, search hard and you can still find traditional bars serving tapas (small dishes) with every caña (small beer, €1-2 ) Your best cities for enjoying free tapas are Granada ( All along c/Elvira ) Leon ( Barrio Humedo area) and Salamanca ( c/ Van Dyck).

63 Athens cheap eats ?

At the €3.50 mark: Savvas & O Thanasis are two of the best gyros & souvlaki joints in Athens, on Monastiraki Square, right across from the Metro station.

64 The best menu del dia in Madrid?

The no-nonsense €10 menu del dia at La Sanabresa ( ), just off Plaza Santa Ana is one of the best deals in the town.

65 . Go to a free concert in the Vondelpark.

There are all sorts of free concerts from June-August, Thursdays till Sundays.

66. Free music concerts across Europe?

Here are some more tips on finding free music concerts in Amsterdam , London, Paris or Berlin.

Visiting Museums

I love visiting museums when travelling in Europe and discovering the cultural and historical heritage of cities. Here are some cool budget friendly tips for visiting museums in Europe

67 Best Free London Museums?

Here is a great list from Laura Porter who is also the authority for all the best free stuff to do in London

68.  Remember that entry to state run museums in the UK is free of charge for people of all ages.

69. in italy, families can take their kids under 18 for free to state run museums like the uffizi., 70. when visiting museums and other notable sites, always ask if they are special rates are available for students, seniors, or small groups. some discounts aren’t clearly visible and can be overlooked, 71. in paris, plan your trip around the first sunday of the month when all the main museums are free., 72. the museum of contemporary art, the hamburger bahnhof in berlin is free for the last 4 hours on thursday. ( 4-8pm ), 73. in berlin you can also visit these following museums for free:.

  • Deutscher Dom, The Berlin Wall Memorial
  • Information centre of the Holocaust Memorial Berlin, Allied Museum
  • Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen, German-Russian Museum Berlin
  • Kunstraum Kreuzberg/ Bethanien,
  • Mies van der Rohe- Haus
  • Museum of Oddities
  • Sugar-Museum

74. Following Berlin museums for free on certain days or hours

1. Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin

Admission free every Monday .10am to 8pm

2. Märkisches Museum

Admission free every first Wednesday of the month

3. Academy of Arts, Pariser Platz

Admission free every first Sunday of the month 11am – 8pm

4. Academy of Arts, Hanseatenweg

-Admission free every first Sunday of the month 11am – 8pm

5. Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design

-Free guided tour every Sunday 2pm. (Admission to the museum 4 – 7 euros)

6. Domäne Dahlem – unique open-air museum of agrarian history

-Admission free Wednesdays from 10am to 6pm

75. Free art in Madrid! 

Contemporary Art Museum Espacio Conde Duque has 3 art galleries with quality exhibitions, plus special events (these sometimes cost)

Other ideas and general money saving tips


Walk the streets of Paris by night or in the rain. For free. No Gill Pender included.

76. How about 2 days in Paris with just €100 ?

77. don’t forget these essential tips from amy for first time visitors to paris, 78. here is a bunch of 20 essential money saving travel apps to download if you are visiting uk on your trip to europe, 79. save money and keep cool in rome and venice’s heat by refilling your water bottle with fresh spring water running freely from their fountains. , 78.  drink coffee at the bar in italy, if you’re only planning a quick coffee in italy, walk to the bar, order it and stand there to drink. sitting down can treble the price., 80. mother of all free festivals- free fringe.

There are free festivals and then there is the Free Fringe in Edinburgh, the rebellious, lesser known cousin of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival that takes place in August. Last year visitors enjoyed over 4000 performances from 365 different shows. There were 40 *5 star* and 140 *4 star* shows to give you an idea of the quality of the festival.


81. Check out a free open air film festival?

In many cities across Europe you can find free open air film festivals. For example in Amsterdam you can attend Pluk de nacht: One of the best free open air festivals, with national & international films and documentaries.

Visit Bologna from end of June till end of July for their annual open air film festival, the Sotto le Stelle del Cinema , held in Piazza Maggiore. For more about this festival and what to do in Bologna check out my 48 Hours in Bologna .

82. Cheap alternative to Greek Island hopping?

Take Athens metro down to Piraeus then hop on a ferry for a day-trip to one of the Saronic Gilf Islands: Hydra, Poros, Aegina.

83. Try a free walking tour

While I am not the biggest fan of guided walking tours I know many travellers swear by and love free walking tours so it is something I recommend you check out for yourself. Sandeman’s New Europe operate free walking tours on a tips only basis across all major cities in Europe. For a 1-2 hour free walking tour you could tip anything from €5 upwards.

84. When in London…

Always use an Oystercard for London transport

85. Visit Latvia and of course Riga

Latvia for me remains one of the best value destinations in Europe-With a great concentration of hip bars, affordable and excellent range of dining options for travellers of all tastes, a bunch of cool and very affordable hostels to sleep in, a lively and vibrant nightlife plus you have easy access to the Baltic coastline, acres of forests and greenery just a short bus hop away. Checkout my Latvia travel guides that includes my guide to the best places to eat, drink and sleep in Riga

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Hi I am Kash aka the BudgetTraveller I'm the Luxury Hostels guy and for the last 14 years are sharing ways of how you can travel in style on a budget. Say hello to me here or on Instagram/Twitter. Lets connect!

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# 5 say: “Try to find if the city offers an all inclusive pass that gets you access to museums plus also public transportation” My question: to quit visiting cities that have not all inclusive pass?

It is nice if cities offer an all-inclusive pass that gives tourists access to public transport and local attractions. Nevertheless, for some cities you don’t need a pass. Like Edinburgh for example. City is pretty compact and walkable. All the museums are free.

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Zurich, Switzerland has released a website with free things to do (German only). Get Google translate and enjoy one of the most expensive cities on earth.

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Great advice on saving money! Yup, embrace public transport, eat like the locals and choose your destination.:) It is the most common question we get asked after traveling the world. How can you afford it? As you mentioned, if you really want to travel, it should be easy to give up a few luxuries and save for that epic trip! We have now seen over 100+ countries with fairly average wages so yes, it is possible! Keep on traveling and sharing that passion! Happy travels!

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Wow, this is the most comprehensive list I’ve come across for travel tips for Europe. There’s also a startup which focuses on inexpensive yet personalized international trips called Your Local Cousin ( When I traveled to Paris in mid-Feb this year, I connected with one of the Paris locals listed on the site – Amanda – who gave me amazing off beat travel tips for just $10. Used it a couple of more times after that. You should check out the website sometimes. Cheap travel guidance really becomes important when you have traveling as a hobby. 🙂

wow.. you have tips that much. hoping someday i also can travel to europe and try your travelling tips.

Hope you visit soon!

Excellent article! I had totally taken Portugal off my list, but its back on. I will also try Rome in August like you said 🙂 All-in-all, very well put together article. Bookmarked 🙂 Thanks!

Oh you got to come to Portugal.

So much to love about the country-great food, amazing coastline, Lisbon is a dream, Porto with its grand art deco architecture and beautiful river…then you have the island I live on: Madeira…the pearl of the Atlantic, island of eternal spring. Plus its so cheap. Plus the best hostels in the world!

Very interesting article ! Travelling in Europe can actually be a lot expensive, and more particular in London, UK. I work in an events promotion company there and the prices for a living are so expensive, it’s crazy. I hope to move in a different country next year and will for sure follow your hints.

Valentin @ jorlio

Time to brexit? 🙂

Fantastic experience after reading your outstanding blog. My dream is to travel the best and famous place in the world. And I am really glad I have found your blog. Thanks dear for sharing this awesome and informative article with us. Keep it up.

Thank you for all of these awesome tips! Me and my friend Brianna are currently driving from Russia back to the UK and are seriously broke. We’ve been researching a ton of ways to travel Europe for free and so far, a lot of the tricks we’re using are working!

Amazing post dear! I really want to travel but budget is a big issue for me!! I’m still a student but my head says I want to travel. After my graduation, I am going to enjoy the most beautiful amazing country.

One of the best articles I’ve seen on European travel. My family have an apartment out in Portugal so I know how gorgeous and cheap it is. Roll on 2017 as I hope to get away 3 times to Europe!

this article is good for who travelling to aboard every year. Last year i was wend to Europe but travelling in Europe can actually be a lot expensive.

The family travel tips that we’re going to share with you and our stories are very specific to what it’s like for us traveling with our specific little boys. If you have other tips or contrasting thoughts about how to handle family travel and hotels, please go ahead and leave those in the comments because other people probably could use your advice too.

These are some very helpful and worth saving tips! This article makes traveling so much easier!

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Great article. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips for saving money while travelling.

This is the best articles I have seen about Euro travel. Thank you very much !

Hi everyone! I need your help , together with my friend we would like to explore Europe next summer . We want to plan our adventure beforehand so that we can save some momey . Can you please give me advice which countries to choose to find cheap buss passes and food. We are just beginners as travelers amd budget travelers , so we would be grateful to listen some tips from you. Thanks a lot!

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Your guide to hostels is awesome. Thanks for sharing such informative blog.

These are must read useful tips for every new travellers.

Wow! Thanks a ton for sharing these tips.

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With the rising cost of living,  you’re likely on the hunt for the cheapest European beach destinations this year. 

I often come across the usual recommendations for cheap holidays in Europe – Algarve and Croatia, but I don’t think they are an affordable option for those looking to save money.

As a Croatian myself, I can tell you that much of the Croatian coastline is no longer as budget-friendly as it was 10 years ago.

As we are priced out of enjoying our beaches, I’m an expert in finding cheap beach destinations in Europe.

Here are the places you’ll want to consider this summer!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. I hope you find the information here helpful!

cheapest european beach destinations

Cheapest European Beach Destinations

Before we get into the list, I wanted to set some expectations, as everybody has a different idea of what’s affordable. 

What is affordable for me as a solo traveler and backpacker might not be affordable for a family. 

Also, your idea of whether is Europe expensive will depend on if you’re coming from a country where the average salary is 700€ or 2000€. 

So, what do I consider cheap?

In all of these places, you should be able to find accommodation in high season for under 50€ per night – if you book in advance!

Also, you should be able to grab dinner for 10-15€ in an average restaurant, coffee for 2-3€, and a drink in a bar for under 10€.

The average cost per day is calculated based on the backpacker’s budget , staying in dorm rooms, or if you share the cost of a private room.

You won’t find the south of Spain or the Algarve on this list. 

While I absolutely loved visiting both of these destinations, I went in shoulder season as high season prices were through the roof.

I want you to have realistic options for beach holidays in Europe in July and June when most people have annual holidays. 

natali facing away from the camera stting on a stone wall looking at kotor from above with sea and mountains in the distance

1. Montenegro Riviera

✈️ Closest airport: Tivat and Podgorica Airport 💸 Average cost per day: 40-50€

If you wanted to go to Croatia but decided it was out of budget this year, consider Montenegro!

I think Montenegro beaches are the best alternative to Croatian beaches. 

Montenegro Riviera is situated on the south border of Croatia, and beaches are quite similar to the ones in Croatia with small pebbles and a clear blue sea.

The most popular beach town in Montenegro is Budva . This beautiful seaside town with stone houses is the perfect place for a summer vacation. 

This is the area where you’ll find some of the most beautiful beaches in Montenegro like Jaz and Trsteno beaches. 

Sveti Stefan with its picturesque beach connecting the small walled island should also be on your itinerary!

As we’re talking about the cheapest beach destinations in Europe you should venture off the beaten track and consider also Dobra Voda, Petrovac, and Ulcinj .

Montenegro uses the euro as a currency but it is not part of the EU, so the prices are way below the European average.

2. Albanian Riviera

✈️ Closest airport: Tirana Airport 💸 Average cost per day: 30-50€

Albania is quickly becoming one of the most popular beach destinations in Europe. 

Situated on the same coastline as Greece and Croatia, you know you can expect beautiful beaches and crystal clear sea. However, the real appeal of Albania is its affordability. 

The prices in Albania are half the price of its more popular neighbors.

Naturally, you’ll still find cheaper and more expensive areas along the coastline.

The most popular and the most expensive beach in Albania is Ksamil in the south of the country. 

This lovely beach was nicknamed the Maldives of Europe, attracting many tourists and increasing prices.

Don’t get me wrong! It is still quite affordable but more expensive than the rest of the country.

However, the coastal town of Vlorë is a better option if you’re really on a budget.

Other beautiful beaches in Albania are Dhërmi, Himarë, and Sarandë .

One thing to consider when planning your budget for Albania is that you’ll need to pay for sunbeds on nearly every beach. 

It surprised me because we usually just put our towels on the beach in Croatia.

sandy beach in the cyclades greece

3. Crete, Greece

✈️ Closest airport: Heraklion and Chania Airpors 💸 Average cost per day: 40-60€

Greece is one of the best summer destinations in Europe , but did you know you can also have a budget-friendly summer vacation in Greece?

With so many islands to choose from, most of Greece is actually quite affordable!

Crete is by far the biggest island in Greece, and if you’re backpacking through Greece it might seem far. However, you can fly into two different airports on the island! 

Naturally, it offers so many different beaches and areas to explore. Some of the most beautiful beaches in Crete are Elafonísi Beach, Mátala, and Frangokástello .

The best way to explore the island is to rent a car; that way, you can stay in smaller, more remote towns with cheaper accommodation. 

natali sitting on a stone wall looking at paleokastritsa bay

4. Corfu, Greece

✈️ Closest airport: Corfu Airport 💸 Average cost per day: 50-60€

Another Greek island you can visit on a budget is Corfu ! It is one of the northernmost Greek islands, situated across the Albanian coastline. 

I spent about 350€ for a week in Corfu , all while staying in well-rated accommodation across the island and eating out every dinner.

You can easily save more money if you buy groceries and prepare meals in your accommodation. The price is also lower if you travel in a friend group, as most accommodations can easily fit 3-4 people!

The trick to staying on a budget is to pick wisely where to stay in Corfu and stay away from Corfu Town. 

The accommodation in Corfu Town is significantly more expensive than in coastal towns, and you’re not even close to the beach!

Some of my favorite beach towns in Corfu are Palaiokastritsa, Kassiopi, and Sidari .

Corfu is such a diverse island and you’ll find both sandy and pebbled beaches. While you can visit Corfu without a car , renting a car will make getting around and discovering the island easier.

sandy beach in naxos chora in greece

5. Naxos, Greece

✈️ Closest airport: Naxos Airport (alternatively Athens and Santorini for international flights) 💸 Average cost per day: 50-60€

Finally, did you know you can also visit the famous Cyclades on a budget ?

Sure, Santorini is expensive and you’ll have to skip the most popular islands like Mykonos, Santorini, or Milos, but there are many less visited islands to visit instead!

Naxos is one of my favorite Greek islands and a perfect destination for a summer beach holiday.

Beaches in Naxos are some of the best beaches in Greece. You can expect to find long, sandy beaches with crystal-clear water. 

You can also rent a car in Naxos to explore the entire coastline. The island is large and the coastline is lined with beaches.

Naxos is not the only cheap island in the Cyclades. However, they all have the same disadvantage – you can’t fly directly there from outside of the country.

You’ll have to fly to Athens or Santorini first and take a ferry to the islands. It is not complicated,  but it does add a journey to a flight.

natali on the steps leading to kaputas beach in turkey

6. Antalya, Turkey

✈️ Closest airport: Antalya Airport 💸 Average cost per day: 30-50€

Turkey is well known as one of the cheapest all-inclusive beach destinations in Europe. 

If you’re not into that type of travel, don’t worry – staying in all-inclusive resorts is not my idea of the perfect holiday either.

Prices in Turkey increased quite a bit in the past year, but it is still more affordable than the South of France, Croatia, or most of Spain in the summer.

Turkey has one of the longest coastlines in Europe and endless seafront villages and beach towns. 

While there are many beach towns along the Black Sea coast, I prefer the beaches along the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea.

Antalya is one of the most popular destinations, with pristine beaches and lots of affordable activities to add to your itinerary.

If you prefer smaller seafront towns you should consider Kaş, Alanya, and Oludeniz .

Those who are backpacking in Turkey should also add Olympos to their itinerary, it is the backpacker hotspot of the Turquoise Riviera.

I suggest you rent a car and drive along the coastline to find the more remote beaches and escape the crowds. 

Rental cars are quite affordable in Turkey and it gives you the freedom to explore this beautiful country at your own pace. 

a cove in pula with a pebbled beach and turqouise sea with people on the beach and swimming in the water

7. Istria, Croatia

✈️ Closest airport: Pula Airport 💸 Average cost per day: 40-50€

While still more affordable than the south of France, Croatia is no longer a cheap beach destination. 

Still, the Croatian coastline is long and there are still affordable towns to discover.

The trick is to skip the most popular cities in the south like Split or Dubrovnik, and head to the northwestern region of Istria . 

If you have a car, staying in some of the smaller coastline villages is the best way to stay on the budget.

Pula is the largest city in the region, and it offers surprisingly affordable accommodation and amenities. 

Also, you can take many day trips from Pula and visit more expensive coastal towns like Rovinj and Poreč.

Beaches in Pula are pebbled or rock beaches like you’ll find in most of the country.

While you could just stay in Pula for a week and enjoy the beaches, it would be useful to rent a car to make the most of your time in Istria by taking day trips from Pula . 

Most tourists actually drive to the region, but you can also fly to Pula and rent a car there!

blue and white striped umbreallas on a beach in cefalu in sicily italy

8. Sicily, Italy

✈️ Closest airport: Palermo Airport 💸 Average cost per day: 50-60€

It is possible to spend the summer in Italy without breaking the bank. However, you’ll have to skip the famous Amalfi Coast and head to Sicily!

I spent several weeks in Sicily and I was quite surprised by the beaches and prices here compared to the north of Italy and Rome.

My favorite spots along the Sicily coast were Cefalu and Taormina . They are some of the most beautiful places on the island.

A popular summer destination is also Mondello Beach close to Palermo. It is a long sandy beach nestled among the mountains. 

sandy beach in varna bulgaria on a cloudy day

9. Varna, Bulgaria

✈️ Closest airport: Varna Airport 💸 Average cost per day: 30-50€

Moving to the Black Sea, we have the coastal town of Varna in Bulgaria. 

Bulgaria is well known as one of the cheapest countries in Europe for a beach holiday, so it had to be on this list.

The city of Varna is worth visiting by itself. It is a charming seaside town with plenty of picturesque corners to discover. You’ll also find several impressive historical monuments in the area. 

The beach in Varna is massive. It is an endless sandy beach lined with beach bars and restaurants. 

10. Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

✈️ Closest airport: Bourgas Airport  💸 Average cost per day: 30-50€

Sunny Beach in Bulgaria is one of the cheapest European beach destinations and has quite a reputation as a cheap summer party destination in Europe . 

It is known as the budget alternative to Ibiza in Spain and Zrće in Croatia, usually frequented by young British tourists who want to party on a budget.

I already visited some of the places that have a reputation as British party destinations, such as Albufeira in Portugal and Kavos in Corfu. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either.

If I had to choose a beach in Bulgaria, I’d go for Varna over Sunny Beach.

Large beaches lined with resorts and nightclubs are not my idea of a relaxing summer holiday, but if you’re up for affordable nights out, it doesn’t get much cheaper than here!

11. Mamaia, Romania

✈️ Closest airport: Constanta Airport 💸 Average cost per day: 40-50€

Finally, we have Romania – another cheap beach holiday destination on the coast of the Black Sea. 

In all honesty, I wouldn’t go to Romania solely for a beach holiday.

While I loved backpacking in Romania, I found the mountains and the central region more impressive than the Romanian beaches. 

So, why is it on this list?

Romania is one of the best European countries for backpackers as it offers so many different experiences on a budget.

If you’re seeking a destination where you can enjoy sightseeing, explore cultural attractions, go hiking, and sneak in a quick swim, Romania is a fantastic all-around choice.

Mamaia Beach is the most popular resort in Romania, and the beach there is a long sandy beach lined with resorts and nightclubs. 

Alternatively, you can head to Vama Veche in the south, close to the Bulgarian border. It is also popular for nightlife but has a slightly different vibe.

natali wearing shorts standing on a sandy Arkoudilas Beach lined with high cliffs in the south of corfu

The cheapest beach destination in Europe is Albania, followed by Turkey and Bulgaria. However, you can also have an affordable beach holiday in Greece and Montenegro. 

To spend a cheap summer in Europe head to Albania, Turkey or Greece. All of these countries offer cheap flights, affordable accommodation and food, and stunning beaches. You’ll have to avoid the most popular area though if you want to keep the price low.

Final Thoughts: Cheap European Beach Holidays

There are still cheap summer destinations in Europe and you don’t need to go to Southeast Asia to enjoy beaches on a budget.

Sure, you’ll have to skip the most popular areas like France, Spain, or Portugal if you want to save money.

However, less-visited coastal countries like Montenegro and Albania are some of the cheapest beach destinations in Europe!

Also, you can find cheaper places in the most popular summer destinations like Greece and Croatia. 

Islands like Corfu and Crete in Greece, as well as the northwestern coast of Croatia, still offer affordable options for summer holidays.

There are pros and cons of spending summer in Europe , but there is a good reason European summers are so popular!

cheap beach destinations europe - pinterest pin

Natali is the founder of She's Abroad Again. She is a solo female travel and backpacking expert who traveled to more than 30 country over 3 continents, mostly solo and on a budget! She is a lawyer turned travel blogger as she traded long office hours in Croatia for a digital nomad life and currenly calls France her home.

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Money blog: £2 supermarket pasta that Michelin chef says you should switch to

Welcome to the Money blog, your place for personal finance and consumer news and tips. Leave a comment or your Money Problem/consumer dispute (don't forget to leave a contact number/email) in the box below.

Wednesday 10 July 2024 11:03, UK

Essential reads

  • We asked beauty experts for their top dupes to give you a summer glow - without breaking the bank
  • Michelin chef reveals £2 supermarket pasta that can elevate your dinners - as he picks his Cheap Eats in London
  • Basically... What are the different ways of paying for a car?
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The quality of customer service is deteriorating across the UK's biggest companies, according to a new report.

A survey of 60,000 people about 275 major firms found satisfaction levels were at their lowest since 2010.

Customers reported a decline in complaints handling, as well as worse customer experience and a more negative view of company ethics, the Institute of Customer Service found.

"The current outlook isn't where we need it to be, despite our research showing that higher levels of customer satisfaction correlate with financial stability and growth," said Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service.

"Business leaders need to understand the evolving needs and expectations of their customers, developing their organisations' approach accordingly to unlock the sustainable growth the economy needs."

The ICS's Customer Satisfaction Index rates satisfaction on a scale out of 100, with the overall score across all 275 companies standing at 75.8, a drop of 0.8 points on a year ago and 2.6 points below its high of 78.4 in July 2022.

Utility providers were the worst offenders, with a satisfaction rating of 69.8 out of 100 - though it was the only industry to see a slight uptick (0.3 points).

Digging into the data further, and water companies - plagued by sewage spills and rising bills - were the most disappointing among utilities, dropping to 69.5 points.

Tourism, leisure, retail, banks, automotives, insurance, public services and transport industries all saw a decline.

Satisfaction fell fastest over the last year in the telecommunications and media sector, down 2.1 points to 73.3/100.

On the other end of the scale, Timpson, Nationwide and John Lewis scored highest among individual companies - between 85 and 86 points.

Taylor Swift, Elon Musk and Martin Lewis are among celebrities whose identities are commonly misused by scammers, data suggests.

Martin Lewis's face and name have been used to steal £20m over the last two years, MoneySavingExpert found after analysing Action Fraud figures.

Some £500,000 was reported lost to one scam featuring Mr Lewis.

"It's likely that the criminals pumping out these scam ads effectively use their own in-house dark web digital marketing teams, researching which celebrities and advert types get the best click through rates, and honing the way they work to be able to attract more victims," said Mr Lewis.

"If it's an ad with me in, it's always a scam, as I don't do adverts."

The King, Jeremy Clarkson and Rishi Sunak have also been used by scammers. 

MoneySavingExpert asked Action Fraud to supply the data based on a list of celebrities it had created after asking people on social media who they had seen in scam ads. 

"Topping this list is about the worst compliment I've ever had," said Mr Lewis.

Below are the top 10 high-profile figures whose identities have been misused, with the percentage of total mentions in scams:

Ticket scams are rife as criminals seek to cash in on the popularity of Swift's Era's tour.

Fans have lost out on an estimated £1m since UK tickets for her tour went on sale last July, according to data published by Lloyds Bank.

Mentions of cryptocurrency, investing, retirement planning and promises to get rich quick are also particular warning signs to look out for in scam ads, MoneySavingExpert warned.

Every Wednesday we ask Michelin chefs to pick their favourite Cheap Eats where they live and when they cook at home. This week we speak to Benjamin Ferra Y Castell from one-starred  Pavyllon in London.

Hi Benjamin, can you tell us your favourite places in London where you can get a meal for two for less than £40?

1. Saint George Cafe

This is a French bakery offering delicious sandwiches made with high-quality products. Their bread is made by a French baker with a specially selected flour. 

The pastries are also amazing - using high-quality butter and the chocolate used in the pain au chocolate makes it one of my best sweet treats in the city. On top of all of this, their coffee is some of the best in London.

2. Tachbrook Street Market  in Pimlico

This market is really affordable and convenient and away from the hustle and bustle of Victoria Station. 

I used to go with my wife who loves spicy food, especially to a Thai food stand on the left part of the market which is a must-try. 

If you come back often enough as I do, they sometimes give a nice discount! 

Authentic Thai food made with love, available for less than £10 for a substantial portion.

3. Bar Italia in Soho

Offers great Italian coffee with authentic products from different regions of Italy. 

You can try different sandwiches and they have an excellent burrata. They serve real coffee, how it should be made.

What is your "go-to" cheap eat to cook at home when you have a night in?

I would suggest a nice vegetable appetiser, something fresh and flavourful which is cheap and tasty as long as it's seasonal. 

At home, when the first heirloom tomatoes come into season, I slice them and season with olive oil, fresh herbs and some anchovies on top - seasoning generously is a must! 

Try to buy smart, local and according to the season - that's one of my favourite tips.

I also recommend a nice pasta when cooking at home, using a brand called Rummo (note from Money team: their range is available from Ocado for around £2), served alongside delicious seafood. 

Go early to Billingsgate fish market, to buy quality seafood direct from fisherman. It's also usually cheaper and always fresher. Plus, you can negotiate a bit!

We've spoken to lots of top chefs and bloggers - check out their cheap eats from around the country here...

By  James Sillars , business news reporter  

A stronger open for the FTSE 100 today after financial and energy stocks dragged yesterday. 

The index was 0.3% up at 8,161 following the 0.7% hit of the previous session.

Part of that decline was a double-edged sword as it was linked to lower oil prices.

In better news for drivers, Brent crude touched $84 a barrel and was a further 0.7% down as some market concerns over tight supplies eased.

Chinese economic data was also seen as pouring cold water on prospects for higher demand in the world's second-biggest economy.

Weaker profit estimates from BP also led the market down.

Companies reporting on their progress today included JD Wetherspoon.

The pub giant reported a 5.8% rise in comparable sales over the 10 weeks to 7 July.

It was likely aided by Euro 2024 and in spite of unseasonably wet weather, which has been blamed for hitting consumer spending more widely.

Its shares were 0.1% down in response.

The performance likely reflected the fact that the sales growth figure was lower than the 11% rise achieved in the same period last year.

Wetherspoons also highlighted cost pressures from wages and some products.

By Emily Mee, Money reporter

If TikTok is anything to go by, many of us are seeking that Sabrina Carpenter bronzed look this summer (me included). 

But without a pop star's team of make-up artists and the bank account to boot, how can the rest of us get that perfect glow? 

We've asked four beauty experts to give us their top affordable dupes for high-end products. Here's what they said (before one of them reveals the product you should never skimp on)... 

Suzanne Baum , freelance beauty editor

For Suzanne, affordable make-up brand e.l.f. can't be beaten for its dupes: "Super affordable, long-lasting and provides a perfect finish for a summer glow." 

These are her picks from the brand... 

e.l.f. Bronzing Drops, £12 

It's a dupe for... Drunk Elephant's D-Bronzi drops, £34

"A nourishing tinted serum for a sun-kissed glow," she says. 

Just add one to three drops to your moisturiser, face oil or body cream.

e.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filter, £15 

It's a dupe for...  Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter, at £39

"A multi-purpose, liquid glow booster that gives your complexion a soft-focus social filter effect IRL," says Suzanne. 

Wear on its own for sheer coverage, under foundation as a luminous base, as a highlighter or mixed with foundation for a dewy glow.

e.l.f. Power Grip Primer, £10 

It's a dupe for...  Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer, £35 

"A gel-based, hydrating face primer that smooths skin while gripping your make-up," Suzanne says. 

e.l.f. Halo Glow Contour Beauty Wand, £9 

It's a dupe for...  Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand, £30 

"A liquid contour wand with a cushion-tip applicator for a naturally sculpted complexion," the beauty expert says. 

Apply to your hairline, temples, sides of your nose, hollows of your cheeks and jawline, then blend with a brush. 

e.l.f. Camo Liquid Blush, £7

It's a dupe for.... Rare Beauty Soft Pink Liquid Blush, £24

"A long-lasting liquid blush that delivers a high pigment pop of colour to cheeks with a dewy finish," says Suzanne. 

e.l.f. Glow Reviver Lip Oil, £8 

It's a dupe for... Dior Lip Glow Oil, £32 

"An ultra-glossy tinted lip oil that nourishes, hydrates and enhances your lips' natural colour," Suzanne says. 

Joyce Connor , make-up artist  

For Joyce, she'll often go for the high-end brands over dupes - but there was one product that she thought was even better than the original. 

Here are her picks... 

Revolution Pro CC Perfecting Skin Enhancer, £10

It's a dupe for... IT Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow, £37

The IT Cosmetics product is Joyce's go-to, but she says the Revolution version makes for a "very good" dupe. 

She says it gives a "nice glow without being shiny, because in the summer we don't want to be caked in make-up". 

It is worth noting that the IT Cosmetics version includes SPF 40, whereas the Revolution one does not. 

Apply before foundation for an added glow. 

Boots Glow Essence Serum, £5 

It's a dupe for... Glossier Future Dew Facial Oil Serum Hybrid, £30

There's quite a difference in price here, and Joyce says the Boots version gives a "nice sheen" under your foundation. 

However, she notes the Glossier product has a more golden tint. 

Massage two to three drops onto your skin before moisturising. 

Avon Radiance Ritual Touch Of Gold Body Oil, £5

It's a dupe for... Sol De Janeiro GlowMotions Glow Body Oil, £35

For added glow, massage into the skin and do not rinse - or you can use it as a bath oil. 

NYX Professional Makeup Fat Oil Lip Drip Lip Gloss, £7.99

It's a dupe for... Dior Addict Lip Glow Oil, £32

"To be honest, I prefer the Fat Oil to the Dior one," says Joyce, picking it out as her favourite dupe. 

"It lasted longer on my lips. I didn't have to top it up as quickly. I like the sheen of it. The colour was lovely," she raves. 

Sue Moxley , beauty expert  

Sue believes you don't have to spend a fortune to get quality products - and she's a fan of "good old" Revlon and L'Oreal. 

Revolution Fix and Glow Setting Spray, £8.99

It's a dupe for... Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, £39

Okay, this isn't a direct dupe as it's a setting spray rather than a foundation. But Sue says if you pair this with your favourite foundation, it should give you that "wonderful flawless glow" similar to Flawless Filter. 

She recommends spraying it about 10 inches from your face all over and allowing it to dry for a few minutes. 

NYX Bare With Me Blur Tint Foundation, £9.99

It's a dupe for... Jones Road What the Foundation, £42

A good alternative to the trending Jones Road foundation is NYX's Bare With Me, which Sue says "smoothes pores but looks really light and natural". 

"Apply with a make-up brush all over your face for a professional finish," she says. 

Lacura Luminous Filter Foundation, £5

It's a dupe for... Clinique Even Better SPF15 Foundation, £34.50

TikTok went wild for this Aldi dupe, which Sue says is an alternative to the "high end glossy foundations". 

"It's such a bargain - it's definitely up there," she says. 

She recommends applying all over with a sponge, pressing rather than rubbing into the skin. 

Rimmel Natural Bronzer, £6.99 

It's a dupe for... Iconic London Kissed By the Sun Bronzer, £25

Sue says this is a light bronzer that "glides on easily with a blusher brush". 

Swirl it on the hollows of your cheeks, up to your temples, down underneath your jawline and on the bridge of your nose. 

So, how much difference is there between the dupes and the high-end products? 

You might be wondering just how noticeable the difference is if you go for the cheaper alternative. 

It's a difficult question to answer as it can vary from product to product - and not all the experts we spoke to were in total agreement. 

Sue Moxley says a lot of the lower end budget brands use similar ingredients to their more expensive counterparts. 

"You can get better packaging or the quality of the packaging is better, but it's also the brand name that is putting the prices up," she says. 

The high-end brands do put extra ingredients in, she says, but "they don't warrant the amount of difference in price". 

"It's still lovely to go and buy a Chanel lipstick or something and have it in your bag and it makes you feel wonderful. You get it out and it's gorgeous packaging and you put it on in the restaurant," she says.

"It does make you feel good, but I do believe that there are products out there that are equivalent in quality and ingredients wise." 

But Joyce Connor says the high-end brands are often worth it - although she does say you can "mix and match". 

More expensive brands rarely sell single-ingredient products, she says, and this can make a difference in terms of what you're getting. 

For example, she says an own-brand hyaluronic acid cream will often have that single ingredient but a similar product from a high-end brand will likely include peptides and ceramides - all providing extra value. 

One item not to skimp on

Joyce says if you're going to spend money on anything, it should be your moisturiser so you can get a perfect base for your make-up. 

"There are plenty of dupes out there that that are going to be effective as long as you are moisturising," she says. 

Her pick is the Goldfaden MD Vital Boost Even Skintone Daily Moisturiser - but at £60 for 50ml, that might be a bit much for some. 

EE has launched a subscription service designed to protect users from nuisance calls and scams.

Called Scam Guard, the system will use AI to spot likely spam calls and alert users to them.

It will also notify the owner if their personal information has been found on the dark web, and offer tips on how to secure any in-danger accounts. 

Anti-virus and malware protection for two devices and tools for stronger password creation can be included as well.

The mobile operator is offering the service to pay-monthly phone customers, starting from £1 a month. 

EE, which is part of the BT Group, said it hoped the system would eliminate the stress of cybersecurity and educate users on the subject. 

It comes after government research published earlier this year showed 40% of crime committed across the UK was fraud-based, and almost all phone users experienced nuisance calls on a regular basis.

"We have always prioritised the protection of our customers and our investment in Scam Guard is something we are all incredibly proud of," said Helen Burrows, policy director for BT. 

"This is something we take seriously, and while we already block an impressive number of scams, there is always more that we can do. Scam Guard covers all bases, so customers can feel safer on our network."

Aldi will open 10 new stores across the UK this summer.

The German supermarket chain has already opened stores in Skelmersdale in Lancashire, Newport in Wales, Castle Gresley in Derbyshire, Goole in Yorkshire and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire this year.

And it is now set to open sites in Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, and Olney Park in Milton Keynes, in the next month.

Towns such as Aberdare in Wales, Broughty Ferry in Dundee and Leytonstone in London are also set to open new stores.

In total, the UK's fourth-largest supermarket is on track to open 35 new stores this year, with each creating around 40 new jobs on average.

The openings form part of Aldi's long-term target of 1,500 stores in the UK.

Jonathan Neale, real estate managing director at Aldi UK, said the store wanted to "ensure that high quality yet affordable food is available to everyone" and that was why the chain would "expand across the UK".

Where will the new branches be opening?

  • Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire
  • Olney Park, Milton Keynes
  • Aberdare, Wales
  • Broughty Ferry, Dundee
  • Leytonstone, London
  • Beckton, London
  • Middleton, Leeds
  • Rugeley, Staffordshire
  • Gosforth, Tyne and Wear
  • Holloway Road, London
  • Shepshed, Leicester 

Over half a million pensioners are still paying off their mortgages, research shows.

In its survey of 2,000 people over 50, the financial services firm SunLife found that retired mortgage holders still owed more than £30,000 on average.

Data found that of the 68% that were homeowners, 23% were still paying off their mortgage.

And while 87% of those with outstanding mortgages were still working, the research showed that 13% of those still paying off their mortgages were retired.

This means that of all retirees in the UK,  7% - the equivalent of just over 500,000 older people - may still be paying monthly mortgage payments.

On average, these retired mortgage holders still owe £33,627.

The data follows a recent Bank of England report which revealed nearly half of all mortgages issued in the last three months of 2023 were for 30 years or longer.

Last month, worried homeowners told the Money team they would have to work longer and later in life to pay their mortgages.

You can read more here ...

Crisis-hit Thames Water has warned its cash remains on track to run dry by the end of May next year due to a lack of new investment, forcing it to prepare a plan for its lenders.

The country's biggest water company, which serves almost a quarter of the population, previously said it had £2.4bn of liquidity as of the end of March.

The company said on Tuesday that the sum had fallen to £1.8bn by the end of June.

Cash-strapped Thames Water has been struggling to secure fresh funds from existing shareholders after they withdrew promised investment of £500m amid a funding row with the industry regulator.

Read more from our business news reporter James Sillars below... 

The UK's largest hotel brand has had to change its marketing after a complaint to the advertising regulator - removing claims which said buying early means getting the best price.

The complaint against Premier Inn was "informally resolved" by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), meaning the hotel chain agreed to amend the communication and details of the issue were not made public.

No formal ruling was published but the ASA told Sky News a complaint had challenged Premier Inn's claim that booking early gave the best deals on the basis the statement was misleading and could not be substantiated.

The ad in question said: "Book early to secure your choice of hotel and dates for the best price!"

Read more from our business news reporter Sarah Taafe-Maguire here... 

Card spending fell last month for the first time in more than three years, according to Barclays.

It's the first time there's been a drop in card spending values since February 2021, the bank's June data showed.

The figures cover nearly 40% of the nation's credit and debit card transactions and combine it with consumer research.

It's due to a combination of prices rising less than before, as inflation weakened, and wet weather dampening clothes, pub and garden centre sales early in the month.


Dyson has revealed plans for 1,000 job losses in the UK.

The manufacturer of innovative vacuum cleaners and other products said the cuts, which amount to more than a quarter of its UK workforce, followed a review of its global workforce needs.

It is understood that the redundancies are not linked to the general election as the process had begun beforehand.

The company's founder Sir James Dyson had previously been  critical of the Conservative government 's approach to economic growth and science.

Follow this breaking story here ...

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inexpensive travel in europe


  1. The 6 Cheapest Ways to Travel Europe in 2024 (Must Read!)

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    Food costs: Street food: $1-2, Fast food: $5.50-7.50; Meal at a restaurant: $8-24. Top tip: Wild camping is legal in Lithuania which can save you a ton of money on accommodation costs. Despite being one of Europe's cheapest countries, Lithuania is not often a place that first comes to mind for visiting.

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    🏟 Day 1-3: Rome, Italy. Start your 10 day Europe trip in the ancient capital of Italy. Rome is home to endless historical monuments, artsy squares, and scenic lookouts. Learn about the gladiators' world at the majestic Colosseum and admire world-famous art in Vatican City, where the Pope resides.. As touristy as it is, tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain is a must.

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