Europe can be costly but exactly how much so? On this travel blog page, we will cover the countries located in Central Europe, focusing on the top travel destinations in each one of them. Once you click on a city, you can study a detailed list of the daily travel expenses, such as accommodation, food and drinks, transportations, top attractions, and city passes.
Which countries are in Central Europe?
In alphabetical order, the countries located in Central Europe are:
A beloved destination for ski lovers, Austria is a country located in Central Europe made out of nine federal states. Around 32% of Austria finds itself at altitudes under 500 meters, the rest of the terrain being highly mountainous, thanks to the Alps.
This medieval old town is also the capital city of Styria, a province located in the south of the country. Despite the historical setting, across the River Mur, travelers can feast their eyes with contemporary art at the Kunsthaus Graz.
Innsbruck is an Austrian city located in the Alps. It is also the capital of Tyrol, a western Austrian province A favorite travel destination for those who love winter sports, Innsbruck is also visited for its Imperial and Modern Architecture.
The birthplace of the famous Mozart and the story from The Sound of Music, Salzburg is located at Austria’s border with Germany. Crossed by the Salzach River, Salzburg is divided by it into the Old City (Altstadt) and the New City (Neustadt).
Vienna is Austria’s capital city. With a bit of planning, you could find a budget hostel and affordable restaurants. The attractions are kind of expensive, but there’s plenty of cheap beer to drown your sorrow if you have any regrets.
The Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, is a landlocked country located in Central Europe. Next to the hilly Czech Republic, you will find Slovakia to its east, Germany to its west, Poland to its north, and Austria to its south. Though not as cheap as it used to be, Czech Republic travel costs make it a good-value-for-money destination.
Brno is a city in the Czech Republic now known for its modern architecture. Despite that, in Brno you can still let history sink in, as you visit the medieval Spilberk Castle and the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, with baroque altars.
Olomouc is a beautiful city in Moravia, an eastern province of the Czech Republic. Here, you can visit St. Wenceslas Gothic Cathedral and the Romanesque Bishop Palace found on Wenceslas Hill.
Plzen or Pilsen is a city located in the west of the Czech Republic. Here, travelers can visit the Pilsner Urquell Brewery and the old town center with its 16th-century St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral and 19th-century Great Synagogue.
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic. The city will charm you with its Old Town Square and the medieval Astronomical Clock, its baroque buildings full of color and the pedestrian Charles Bridge over the Vltava River.
Germany is a country located in Central Europe, though its political influence usually gets it categorized as a Western Europe country. With Denmark and the North Sea to its north, its southern neighbors are Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria. To the east, there are the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, and to the west, we find Poland and the Czech Republic. With a wonderful and varied landscape, Germany has over 2 millennia of history, waiting to be discovered by travelers.
Berlin is Germany’s capital city. With reminders of the city’s dark history from both World Wars, Berlin is not just for history buffs. A true symbol of diversity today, the German capital is also famous for its modern landmarks and its art scene. No wonder that Berlin is the second-most-populous city of the EU, after London.
Cologne (or Koln) is among the most populated cities in Germany and the largest city in Germany’s federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Home to some of Europe’s oldest and largest universities, Cologne is also a large cultural center. Within its limits, travelers can visit over 30 museums and hundreds of art galleries.
Frankfurt is a city located in the heart of Germany, on the river Main. Home to the European Central Bank, it is one of Europe’s main financial hubs. It is also the birthplace of Goethe and you can visit the Goethe House Museum where he once lived. And, around Christmas time, you can go to the market in Römerberg Square.
Hamburg is an important port city in the north of Germany, connected through the Elbe River to the North Sea. Despite being crossed by hundreds of canals, the city still has wide areas of parkland. Split into the New Town (Newstadt) and the Old Town (Altstadt), the city is seamed together by the Jungfernstieg Boulevard.
Hungary is a landlocked country located in Central Europe. Its neighbors are Romania to the east, Austria and Slovenia to its west, Slovakia to the north, and Croatia and Serbia to its south. Classified as a medium-sized country in Europe, Hungary attracts a lot of travelers, especially in Budapest, the capital city.
Crossed by the Danube River, Budapest is a very popular travel destination in Europe. Its beautiful architecture showcases styles ranging from baroque to art nouveau. The city is also known as the spa capital of Europe, thanks to its many wonderful thermal bathhouses.
Debrecen is the second-largest city in Hungary, after Budapest, and also the former capital. Once called The Calvinist Rome, Debrecen is home to many important religious sites. This Hungarian town also attracts travelers with its great museums and lively nightlife.
Pecs was founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans. This is why it has many interesting archeological sites. Besides those, Pecs attracts travelers with its local wines and Hungarian art museums. It’s also a university town, so expect a colorful nightlife, too.
Siofok is a popular holiday destination for both locals and travelers. Located on the shore of Lake Balaton, Siofok has beautiful beaches and an animated nightlife. It’s a good travel destination to practice watersports and relax by day, then party by night.
Only twenty-five kilometers long, Liechtenstein is among the smallest countries in Europe. However, it’s well-known for its mountain landscape, medieval castles and its villages connected by rail. Vaduz, the capital city, is both a cultural and financial center.
Luxembourg is a small country in Central Europe. Its neighbors are Belgium, France, and Germany. Its rural setting attracts travelers with its thick forests and beautiful natural parks in the north and its wild gorges in the east. The capital, Luxembourg City is a fortified medieval town, on a high cliff.
The sixth most populated country in the EU, Poland is located in Central Europe. It shares borders with Belarus and Ukraine in the east, Germany in the west, the Baltic Sea, Lithuania, and Kaliningrad Oblast (Russia) in the north, and Slovakia and the Czech Republic in the south.
This is the largest city in northern Poland. Located by the Baltic Sea, Gdansk is also Poland’s main seaport. With a rough history behind, the city rebuilt itself after the last World War, restoring its Old Town. While here, you should see St. Mary Church, the largest brick church in the world.
The second-most important city in Poland, Krakow is loved by leisure and business travelers alike for its cultural, artistic, academic, and financial opportunities. Once the former Polish capital, Krakow has an amazing Old Town, and all its attractions seem to radiate from it.
Warsaw is the capital of Poland and its largest city. Mostly destroyed during World War II, the city rebuilt itself into a lively historical and cultural center. Once named the Paris of the North, Warsaw is also the home of the famous composer Fryderyk Chopin.
Wroclaw is the largest city in western Poland. Among the main attractions, you will find St. Elizabeth’s Church with a wonderful panorama over the city, the Old Town Hall, and the market square. Located on the Oder River, it’s also a great destination for those who are into sailing.
Slovakia is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Its neighbors are Ukraine to the east, Austria to the west, the Czech Republic and Poland to the north, and Hungary to the south. Bratislava is Slovakia’s capital and its largest city.
Banska Bystrica used to be a copper mining town in the Middle Ages. Now, it is a beautiful town located between the mountains of Central Slovakia. The historical center has a lot of building raised with the money earned from the copper industry, so you can get an idea about the architecture of that time.
The capital city of Slovakia is located on the River Danube, right at the border with Austria and Hungary. You can admire this beautiful location during your visit to Bratislava Castle. In the area, you can also explore wonderful parks and lakes, while in the city you can discover the Old Town and the eclectic music scene.
The 2013 European Capital of Culture, Kosice is a charming city. Here, you can explore its Old Town with medieval architecture and visit the Gothic St. Elisabeth Cathedral and St. Michael Chapel. You could also visit the East Slovak Gallery to discover Slovak art or learn about Slovakia’s history in the East Slovak Museum.
Levoca has an Old Town still encircled by its original town walls. In the main square, the Old Town Hall is now a museum where travelers can learn more about this region. Those who adore Renaissance architecture will love Levoca’s buildings and should aim to visit the Roman Catholic Church of St. James.
Switzerland is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Europe. Its neighbors are France to the east and northeast, Germany to the north, Liechtenstein to the west, and Italy to the south. Home to fairytale villages spread through the tall Alps, Switzerland is well known for its hiking trails and ski resorts. The country is also famous for its banking and finance industry, but also for its precise watches and delicious chocolate.
Basel is a city located at the border of Switzerland with both France and Germany, on the banks of the Rhine river. Home to amazing museums and art galleries, Bern is a beautiful city with old buildings and stunning architecture. Foodies should feel right at home in Basel! They’re advised to visit Kleinbasel for fine dining experiences by the river.
Bern is the capital city of Switzerland, located on a peninsula on the Aare River. Bern’s Old Town cobblestone streets are an open invitation to get lost while admiring fountains and beautiful buildings, some over 500 years old. Under more than 6 kilometers of covered arcades, Bern is waiting for travelers to discover its bars, restaurants, and shops.
Located by a lake and surrounded by mountains, Lucerne is an amazing travel destination. Besides admiring the beautiful nature surrounding Lucerne, one can visit the wonderful medieval quarter. Seeing the 14th-century Chapel Bridge is a must-see while you’re here, just like taking a walk on the old streets by the river banks.
Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich is located on the shores of the lake bearing the same name. At the same time, it is crossed by the Limmat River and surrounded by tall mountains. Besides the enchanting surrounding landscape, Zurich is a vibrant cultural and art scene. It is an interesting destination for history lovers, too, as they will adore Zurich’s old center.