Western Europe: Top cities to visit & travel costs

We already know that visiting Europe can be expensive, but there are a lot of places you can travel to where your money will get you a long way. On this page, we will be covering countries from Western Europe, with a focus on the top destinations in each. Click on a city and you’ll get a detailed list of daily travel expenses (accommodation, food & drinks, transportation, attractions, and city passes).

Which countries are in Western Europe?

As I am splitting up Europe in more specific regions than just Eastern and Western Europe, I will be using the CIA classification for countries in Western and Southwestern Europe. In alphabetical order, these European countries are:

houses in Belgium, Western Europe


Although Belgium is a small country, it has a lot to offer. Travelers can choose between modern cities, like Brussels or Antwerp, or fairy-tale destinations, such as Bruges.

Belgium can be pricey, but with some tricks up your hat, you can find it a proper destination to budget travel Western Europe. 

View over Antwerp in Belgium, Western Europe


Well-known as a center for diamond trading and fashion, Antwerp is not limited to that. This beautiful city has a well-preserved medieval architecture to spark up your interest by day, and a vibrant nightlife to keep you up till late.

Continue reading about Antwerp →

Bruges, in Belgium, Western Europe


A medieval town in northwest Belgium, Bruges (or Brugge) looks like it’s taken out of a storybook. Its beautiful buildings, canals, and cobblestone streets make it a great travel destination, especially for couples on a romantic getaway.

Continue reading about Bruges →

Brussels in Belgium, Western Europe


The city of Brussels is the capital of Belgium, the capital of the European Union, and a business center. Its regular visitors are very well-paid and therefore can afford the high costs of hotels and restaurants available in Brussels.

Continue reading about Brussels →

Ghent in Belgium, Western Europe


One of Europe’s best-kept secrets, this port city is also a university center and a cultural hub. It’s well worth spending a couple of days exploring this hidden gem of Belgium, discovering its beautiful medieval architecture and cool events.

Continue reading about Ghent →

lavander fields in France, Western Europe


France isn’t cheap, especially when compared to Romania and other countries from Eastern Europe or the Balkans. But it has a lot to offer beyond the major cities. If you go out into the countryside or in smaller towns close to the popular travel destinations, you’ll see that it’s possible to discover France even while on a budget.

ferris wheel at night in Lyon, France


Lyon is France’s gastronomic capital, thus heaven for foodies! It’s also more affordable than other French cities. You can find reasonably-priced accommodation, meals, and wines.

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Fortress in Marseille, France


Another foodie favorite in France is Marseille. In this port-city, you can discover French gastronomy, especially seafood. You can also explore the nearby beaches and the local attractions.

Continue reading about Marseille →

Nice, on the Côte d’Azur of France, in Western Europe


The Côte d’Azur is not a cheap place to visit, I can tell you this much from the start. However, if you really want to visit and/or stay on the French Riviera, Nice is the most affordable destination to do so.

Continue reading about Nice →

Paris, the city of lights, in France, Western Europe


Ah, Paris! The capital city of the French Republic, the city of light, the city of love, and one of the most expensive cities in Europe. However, it’s difficult to visit Europe without considering Paris.

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imagepath in the mountains of Ireland, Western Europe


Land of fairy-tales and legends, Ireland is a dream destination for many budget travelers. Ireland’s beautiful countryside, its rich history and culture, and most of all the friendly Irish people make the Emerald Isle a destination one simply must add to their itinerary of the perfect trip to Europe.

Ireland isn’t a cheap travel destination, yet we all know magic comes at a cost.

sailing boats by Cork, in Ireland, Western Europe


Located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Cork is Ireland’s third-largest city. When you visit Ireland, you can kiss the nearby famous Blarney stone or take the ferry to the fort on Spike Island.

Continue reading about Cork →

Temple Bar in Dublin, the capital of Ireland, in Western Europe


Dubliners are friendly and good-humored people who will make everyone feel at home in their city. After a few pints of beer, you’ll be joining in to sing and dance like the Irish in no time.

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path by Galway in Ireland, Western Europe


Galway is a popular coastal city and college town. Though small, there’s a lot to see in Galway. It’s got a beautiful historic center, old churches, and animated markets. And, like any other Irish city, its pubs are amazing!

Continue reading about Galway →

Kilkenny Castle in Ireland, Western Europe


Kilkenny is a medieval town that has more to offer than its beer: it’s also a city of craftspeople. Its streets are packed with artisans exposing and selling their pottery, jewelry, and other types of handmade art.

Continue reading about Kilkenny →

bicycle on a canal bridge in Amsterdam, Netherlands in Western Europe


When you think about the Netherlands, you imagine windmills on fields covered in tulips, bridges over canals, and bicycles. However, you probably also imagine the hole in your pocket after visiting the Netherlands! But don’t worry, budget travel in Holland is possible, with a bit of planning. To properly assess your travel budget, check out Netherlands travel costs in top Dutch cities below.

Amsterdam canal in Netherlands, Western Europe


The party capital of Europe, Amsterdam has accommodation and food costs pretty similar to those in London and Paris. Therefore, if you’re traveling through Europe on a tight budget, you should limit your visit to Amsterdam to a couple of days.

Continue reading about Amsterdam →

Delft in Netherlands, Western Europe


Delft is a traditional Dutch town, famous for its white and blue ceramics. However, it has a lot of modern aspects too, to entertain all the university students living here. Delft is close to Amsterdam, so you can easily plan a day-trip here.

Continue reading about Delft →

Leiden windmill, in Netherlands, Western Europe


Another Dutch university town with tradition, Leiden is full of entertainment opportunities. By day, you can visit its historical and anthropological museums. By night, you can take discover Leiden’s animated nightlife.

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Rotterdam skyline in Netherlands, Western Europe


Rotterdam is a Dutch port town with unique architecture and a modern city center. It has a rich cultural life, with many free festivals and concerts available mostly in summer. It’s a great Dutch destination for budget travelers!

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cliffs by Madeira, in Portugal, Western Europe


Rich in culture and tradition, Portugal is one of the best value for money destinations not only in Western Europe but in all of the old continent. The budget-friendly Portugal travel costs make this European country a favorite with solo travelers, couples, and families looking for a perfect vacation without breaking the bank.

Algarve beach, in Portugal, Western Europe


Algarve is a region in southwestern Portugal. In the past, Algarve used to be Portugal’s hidden gem and a budget destination. Nowadays, it’s one of the most popular travel destinations in the Portuguese Republic.

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waterfall in the Azores Islands, in Portugal, Western Europe

Azores Islands

The Azores Islands are an archipelago located around 1,500 kilometers off the coast of Portugal. Their stunning landscapes got these volcanic islands to be listed by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve in the year 2009.

Continue reading about the Azores →

Tram on a street of Lisbon, in Portugal, Western Europe


Portugal’s capital has many attractions and activities fit for any type of traveler, and the low travel expenses of visiting Lisbon make it one of the top budget travel destinations in Western Europe.

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Porto in Portugal, Western Europe


Considered one of Europe’s most affordable cities to visit, Porto welcomes travelers with beautiful medieval architecture, authentic Portuguese cuisine, and its famous red Port wine, plus a vivid nightlife.

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castle in Spain, Western Europe


Spain is one of the most affordable travel destinations in Western Europe. Though accommodation prices are high in Barcelona and Madrid, its two most popular cities, the rest of Spain is a budget traveler’s paradise. One can discover the country’s rich history by day and try to keep up to the local nightlife by night.

Alhambra in Granada, from the Andalucia Region in Spain, Western Europe
The Alhambra in Granada, Andalucia


Andalucía is a region in the south of Spain which is a perfect destination for budget travelers. It has great museums, delicious tapas, cheap beer, and friendly locals.

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Cudillero in the Asturias region of Spain, Western Europe
Cudillero in the Asturias region of Spain


By the Bay of Biscay, the Asturias covers over 45 kilometers of coast in the north of Spain. UNESCO recognizes 6 biosphere reserves in this region, and 1/3 of its territory is environmentally protected.

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Barcelona skyline with Gaudi's Sagrada Familia, in Spain, Western Europe
Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia on Barcelona’s skyline


Barcelona is among most travelers’ favorite cities to visit in Europe. Its animated nightlife makes it a popular destination with younger travelers. However, Gaudi’s wonders make it a fascinating city for visitors of all ages.

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Puerta de Alcala from Madrid, in Spain, Western Europe
Puerta de Alcala in Madrid


Madrid, Spain’s capital city, is a very popular destination with budget travelers. Even if it has become more crowded in recent years because of its low prices, it still has some good bargains to offer.

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United Kingdom

Ribblehead Viaduct in England, United Kingdom


With a rich and complicated history, England is fascinating to visit. You can learn about its history in its many exquisite museums or by walking the streets of its old towns, big or small.

England travel costs →

Scottish cow, in Scotland UK, Western Europe


Explore Scotland’s wilderness to discover the lochs surrounded by the famous Highlands or go on a road trip on the famous North Coast 500. Or uncover Scotland’s history and Scottish culture in its old and beautiful cities.

Scotland travel costs →

Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is well-known for its Norman castles, Celtic monuments, and its beautiful landscapes. Two of the best British destinations in Northern Ireland are Belfast (capital) and Derry (or Londonderry). Look below to discover Northern Ireland travel costs in these popular cities.

Northern Ireland travel costs →