Best places in Europe to visit on a budget

Europe is no longer the playground of the rich. It’s a budget traveler’s dream-come-true as well, as we’ll prove to you. Europe, on the one hand, is a terrific mix of landscape, history, culture, and architecture. On the other hand, it’s this monster that gobbles up cash as fast as you’re able to dole it out. Sticking to a daily allowance isn’t easy, so visiting Europe on a budget is tricky. However, as long as you curtail that spend instinct at Europe’s incredible shopping destinations, restaurants, and bars; you should be able to get by on less in this magnificent continent.


budapest, hungary, seen at night

1. Budapest, Hungary

The lovely Danube River cuts through the twin cities of Buda and Pest, giving you one capital city – Budapest. If you want to enjoy a more dignified, suburban experience, go to Buda. This is the side where you’ll find the Presidential Palace and the historic Buda Castle. Towards evening, cross the river and get to Pest, where an exciting night of entertainment and excitement awaits you. Budapest is a very stable city and great for travelers. It’s also very affordable, and very easily navigable, which is important for visitors. You’ll find friendly hostels, home-stays and Airbnb’s here that are reasonably priced. Food is also fairly economical – the best option would be to buy fresh food off a farm and slap some basic meals together.


prague, czech republic, at night

2. The Czech Republic

If you love artisan beer, then a visit to Prague is a must. The Czech Republic invented Pilsner and is still producing some cool local beers, and at good prices. In this country, when you get the urge to drink, you can find traditional beer halls, a whole range of microbreweries and monastery taverns. Check out the Pilsner Urquell brewery in Plzeň to taste the original Pilsner. While you’re at it, you can check out lesser-known breweries which produce a good bottle. Stays and food are relatively cheap here, so if you’re careful with the drink to spend, you’ll do fine. Be sure to include a visit to the Czech Republic as you travel to Europe on a budget.


lake ohrid in north macedonia

3. Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia

North Macedonia’s true jewel is the enormous, deep and richly-blue Lake OhridAt Ohrid Town, you’ll find a Roman amphitheater, a fortress you can climb, and frescoed medieval churches. The lake will pull you back, time and again, to its pristine blue depths. You can boat on it, or swim in it if it’s not too cold. There are lodges and home-stay options near the lake, in case you want to stay close to it. Stay at one of the cheap rooms for rent and explore the nearby Galičica National Park to your heart’s content.


square with fountain in lviv, ukraine

4. Lviv, Ukraine

Lviv offers an excellent taste of Central Europe, situated as it is close to Kraków and Budapest. You’ll find Polish, Catholic, Orthodox and Armenian influences in the magnificent churches. Ukraine is definitely a cheap destination – one of the cheapest in Europe. You’ll find a number of backpacker hostels here, plus cool cheap coffee houses and quirky bars. Ukraine’s wonderful culture, music, folk dances, and unique art will capture your imagination. While you’re visiting Europe on a budget and you get to Lviv, do try on one of their national costumes and take selfies.


estonia's baltic coast, one of the popular destinations for europe on a budget

5. Estonia’s Baltic Coast

If you want to explore beautiful stretches of coastline, lushly forested national parks and pristine islands, head to this region. Estonia’s Baltic Coast is just an hour from Tallinn. You can explore the national parks by foot or by bike, and bicycle the many coastal paths, discovering delightful hidden coves, fishing villages, and beaches. Stay is cheap here – if you want to rough it out, you can sleep at farms, or even camp out. You can even enjoy a very affordable spa treatment on the island of Saaremaa!


mosque, in istanbul, turkey, at night

6. Istanbul, Turkey

Tourism is a bit down in Turkey right now owing to the currency downfall but you can take advantage of that. If you visit now, Istanbul is an amazing bargain city, with hotels, hostels, and homestays being more affordable than ever before. This atmospheric city has no shortage of mosques, Ottoman markets, museums and more. You can enjoy a nice long stay in Turkey without breaking the bank.


lisbon, portugal

7. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is a tourist-friendly city but because it’s a little out-of-the-way, it doesn’t get as many tourists as it deserves. It’s a charming city, and a good bargain when it comes to budget travelers. There are several excellent and cheap hostels that try to outdo each other by offering lower rates and better amenities. You, the visitor, will be the ultimate winner of this competition. This port city has many wonderful attractions and is rich in history and culture.

Discover Portugal’s travel costs to better plan your budget!


andalucia in spain

8. Andalucía, Spain

Andalucía is definitely more budget-conscious when compared to Madrid and Barcelona. Explore the beautiful showpiece cities of Seville, Granada, and Córdoba, with grand monuments from their Moorish past. Be sure to visit the city of Málaga, the birthplace of Picasso. The burgeoning art scene here is sure to thrill. The port city of Cádiz is budget-friendly and interesting. For a couple of euros, you can enjoy tapas. Home-stays and farm-stays are available, so do check them out. Be sure to apply for your Schengen Visa in Dubai to explore Spain this summer.

Discover Spain’s travel costs to plan your budget easily!


berlin, germany

9. Berlin, Germany

Berlin is one of the most-visited cities among those traveling to Europe on a budget. The economy is booming. The museums and the concerts and endless things to do are major draws for visitors. Every attraction, even top museums, and operas are priced reasonably. If you get hold of a Berlin Pass, you can get further discounts on already reasonable prices. The city’s many hostels compete with each other to draw the maximum tourists, which bodes well for budget travelers. Berlin is also safe, which makes it one of the best cities in Europe for solo travelers, especially solo women travelers. Germany is one of those European countries which offer not only a rich cultural advantage but rich natural landscapes. The forests, hills and snow-clad mountains make this country a must-visit and must-stay.


bosnia and herzegovina bridge

10. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

You can still see the scars that Sarajevo bears as mute testament to its violent past. The famous ‘Sarajevo Roses’ are nothing but mortar shell explosions filled with red resin. Everywhere you turn you’ll see something of the wartime, but the city buzzes with life, and Sarajevo is one of Europe’s most welcoming capitals. The central district is called Baščaršija and has an atmospheric Ottoman-era bazaar that’s worth exploring. The Bosnian coffee makes for a great sip during the chilly evenings. For the Happy Hour person, the good news is that Sarajevo has many tucked-away drinking holes and plenty of clubs everywhere, which makes it one of the best to-visit places in Europe.


Conclusion

Europe has its ups and downs – currencies fall, leadership changes and some areas also see war and strife. What’s important for the budget traveler are safety, reasonable prices, good food, and accommodation. The countries and cities we’ve listed definitely offer all of these. However, it’s best you do your budget homework for each destination before you decide to travel.


About the author

Priya is an avid travel writer who specializes in adventurous travel writing. Her blogs and articles give deep insight into various tourist places and act as a perfect travel guide for someone who is traveling to a place for the first time. Priya has exemplary research, writing, and editing skills which make her easily match the reader’s intellect and interest. She has blogged extensively about her travel experience while traveling to several places like Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Europe, Dubai, USA, Canada, etc.



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16 Thoughts to “Best places in Europe to visit on a budget”

  1. I am planning a budget trip in Europe for this summer and was thinking about a few places on the list. So will definitely use is for planning the trip! Thanks!

  2. Sippin Gypsy

    Europe is often intimidating because some of the cities can be so expensive, but this is a great list with beautiful locations rich in history and culture!

  3. Thanks for sharing that list. A big factor of budget friendly is cost of flight. Some of these countries are extremely expensive to fly to when living in North America. Many are on my list, and a few I have been fortunate enough to visit.

  4. alison

    These are amazing suggestions, especially for me traveling as a family of five. We are always looking for ways to keep to a budget and the big cities will not always allow that.

  5. Budapest, Prague and Portugal are all on our bucket list for when we make it to Europe- we’re hoping to do a couple of months there to see as much as we can. Glad to see these places made your list!

  6. I’ve been to half of this list and can attest that they are perfect for budget travellers. The Czech Republic especially. Dinner at a restaurant rarely cost more than $5. A fancy dinner with dessert might be $20 at a tourist/luxurious place!

  7. I done 90% of the list on this blog but for me next is Lake Orhid, North Macedonia! I cant wait to explore this region in the summer months. I have been to the country before and found it a great budget destination but havent been to Orhid. It needs to be done. 🙂

  8. A great list, I have been to a few of these. Hoping to try Lviv some time this year as flights from London are very cheap. We’ve been focusing a lot of our recent travels on short and cheap getaways in Europe, and so it’s always great to get some extra inspiration!

  9. Czechoslovakia has always been known as a budget destination in Europe – good to see that is still true.

    Eastern Europe has always appealed to us with it’s forests and castles. The architecture in the cities and towns here is strikingly different, too.

    Can you recommend any spa towns or spa complexes to enjoy on a budget?

    1. I can recommend some in Romania, my home country. You can visit Herculane, where the thermal baths have been appreciated from the times of the Romans, when they came to these lands. Or you could visit Therme, which is a complex with swimming pools with thermal water, wet and dry saunas, a water slide area and other interesting things. The latter is between Bucharest, the Capital of Romania, and the airport. It costs under 15 euros to have full access for an entire day. I recommend going during the week because it is less crowded. Also check out their daily schedules, as there are various themes associated to the days of the week, involving aromatherapy, body scrubs, water aerobics, all included with your ticket.

  10. I’ve been to Europe several times but haven’t made it to any of these cities yet! But I am headed to Lisbon in April 😀 Europe is definitely budget friendly if you want it to be. Greece is another place that should be included – I was shocked at how cheap everything was there when we visited.

  11. Amber

    Lviv has been on my list for quite a long time. I also got so close to booking flights to Macedonia and I now regret it! Such a great post for the budget conscious!

  12. Some great ideas here! I’ve visited about half of the places on your list and would love to visit the others. I think if you are prepared to stay in air bnbs or hostels in Europe, you can reduce costs substantially. Just putting in a word for Edinburgh! – all the museums and galleries are free and if you go outwith festival time, accommodation is much cheaper!

  13. Lance

    Very interesting. I would not think of Berlin or Lisbon as budget friendly destinations. I guess I learned something. I definitely want to get to Budapest, Czech Republic and Macedonia. I like your thoughtfulness in picking a lesser known part of Estonia.

  14. This is such a great list! Montenegro, Czech Republic and Bosnia-Herzegovinia are on our bucket list! But we’d also love to return to Lisbon and visit Southern Spain again!

  15. So glad you mentioned Portugal! I think it’s very underrated in terms of a Western European country. As an alternative, I’d highly suggest Porto in the north. Even cheaper and less touristy 🙂

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