Europe is no longer the playground of the rich. It’s a budget traveler’s dream come true as well, as I’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.
And it’s hard to know the right way to navigate across this interesting continent, with so many diverse countries crammed side by side, each with its own distinct language, history, and way of life. The good news is that limited-budget travelers can comfortably conquer this labyrinth of countries without exhausting their bank accounts.
I know sticking to a daily allowance isn’t easy, so visiting Europe on a budget is tricky. However, as long as you curtail that spending instinct at Europe’s incredible shopping destinations, restaurants, and bars, you should be able to get by on less in this magnificent continent.
Importance of budget travel in Europe
As someone who’s passionate about travel and travel blogging, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with many fellow travelers who are always searching for ways to make the most of their travel experiences without spending a fortune. It’s common for people to think that Europe is an expensive destination, but in reality, there are plenty of budget-friendly options throughout the continent that offer an authentic experience without breaking the bank.
Budget travel in Europe is not just for young backpackers, but for anyone who wants to explore the continent without spending a lot of money. There are numerous affordable travel options, from historic cities like Prague and Budapest to the beautiful beaches of Portugal and Croatia.
Budget travel can also provide a more immersive experience, allowing travelers to connect with the local culture and people by staying in local guesthouses or hostels, eating at local restaurants, and taking public transportation.
So, if you’re planning to explore Europe without breaking the bank, don’t let the misconception of high costs deter you. With proper planning and research, it’s possible to have a wonderful travel experience that won’t drain your wallet. Whether you’re traveling alone, with family or friends, or as a student, there are plenty of affordable options waiting for you. Get your bags packed, and your passport ready, and get ready to explore Europe like never before!
Why Europe is a great destination for budget travel
Europe is an amazing destination for budget-conscious travelers. Despite the popular perception that Europe is expensive, there are plenty of affordable options available for those looking to explore the continent without breaking the bank.
1. It’s very diverse
Europe is incredibly diverse, with a wide range of cultures, languages, and landscapes to explore. This diversity means that there’s something for everyone, whether you’re interested in exploring historic cities, relaxing on beautiful beaches, or hiking in scenic mountain ranges. Many destinations in Europe offer a unique and authentic experience, without the high price tag that’s often associated with travel.
2. It’s easy to get around
Europe has a great transportation network, with many affordable options for getting around. From trains and buses to budget airlines, there are plenty of ways to travel between destinations without spending a lot of money. This makes it easy for travelers to visit multiple destinations in a single trip, and to explore different parts of the continent without breaking the bank.
3. You can find budget-friendly accommodation
Europe is also a great destination for budget travel thanks to the abundance of affordable accommodation options. Many hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels throughout the continent offer comfortable and clean accommodations at a fraction of the cost of more luxurious hotels. This means that travelers can save money on accommodation without sacrificing comfort and convenience.
4. It’s a foodie’s paradise
Finally, Europe is home to some of the world’s most amazing cuisine, and many of the best dishes are surprisingly affordable. From pizza and pasta in Italy to tapas in Spain, there are plenty of delicious and budget-friendly meals to enjoy. And for those who are really on a tight budget, there are always affordable street food options available.
As you can see, Europe is a fantastic destination for budget travel, offering a wide range of affordable options for travelers to explore the continent’s diverse cultures and landscapes. With plenty of affordable transportation, accommodation, and dining options available, there’s no reason why budget-conscious travelers can’t enjoy all that Europe has to offer.
Top 10 budget travel destinations Europe
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 site 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.
The best time to visit Budapest is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild, and there are fewer crowds. However, Budapest is also a great winter destination, especially during the festive season, when the city is adorned with Christmas markets and twinkling lights.
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, homestays, and Airbnb’s here that are reasonably priced. The city’s public transport system is also affordable, and visitors can save money by purchasing a Budapest Card, which provides free public transport and discounts on attractions.
Food is also fairly economical – the best option would be to buy fresh food from a farm and slap some basic meals together. To further save money on food, budget travelers should try local street food, which includes traditional Hungarian dishes like goulash and chimney cake. There are also plenty of cheap and tasty restaurants and cafes serving up local cuisine.
Budapest is a budget-friendly destination with plenty to offer budget travelers, from stunning architecture to delicious food, and it should not be missed when traveling to Europe on a budget.
2. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is a charming destination that should be on every budget traveler’s list. Known for its Gothic architecture, cobblestone streets, and lively nightlife, Prague has something to offer for everyone.
The best time to visit Prague is during the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller. However, summer is also a popular time to visit, with longer days and a lively atmosphere. Visitors should be aware that winter can be very cold, but the city is still enchanting with its Christmas markets and snow-covered buildings.
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 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.
Accommodation and food are relatively cheap here, so if you’re careful with how much you spend on drinks, you’ll do fine. Make sure to include a visit to the Czech Republic as you travel to Europe on a budget.
3. Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia
Lake Ohrid in North Macedonia is a hidden gem in the Balkans that is perfect for budget travelers looking for stunning natural beauty and cultural experiences. The lake is surrounded by picturesque mountains and boasts crystal-clear waters, making it a popular spot for swimming, kayaking, and boating.
Speaking of temperatures, the best time to visit Lake Ohrid is during the summer months of June through August when the weather is warm and the lake is at its most inviting. Visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor activities, including hiking in the nearby Galicica National Park, exploring the charming town of Ohrid, and taking a boat tour of the lake.
There are lodges and homestay 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.
Additionally, the local food is delicious and affordable, with traditional Macedonian dishes like Tavce Gravce (baked beans) and Kebapi (grilled meat) available at low prices.
One budget-friendly activity to try is visiting the ancient churches and monasteries that dot the area around the lake. Many of these historic sites are free to visit and offer a glimpse into the rich cultural history of the region. For example, in Ohrid Town, you’ll find a Roman amphitheater, a fortress you can climb to, and frescoed medieval churches. And 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.
Lake Ohrid is a must-visit destination for budget travelers looking for natural beauty, cultural experiences, and affordability in Europe.
4. Lviv, Ukraine
Lviv, Ukraine is a charming and vibrant city in Eastern Europe, filled with history, culture, and delicious cuisine. Its well-preserved Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasts a mix of architectural styles, from Renaissance to Art Nouveau, and is filled with cozy cafes and quaint shops.
The best time to visit Lviv is from May to September when the weather is warm and the city is alive with festivals and events. The annual Lviv Coffee Festival in September is a must-see for coffee lovers, while the Lviv Chocolate Festival in June is a treat for those with a sweet tooth.
Ukraine is a cheap destination – one of the cheapest in Europe. You’ll find several backpacker hostels here, plus cool cheap coffee houses and quirky bars. This country’s wonderful culture, music, folk dances, and unique art will capture your imagination.
When it comes to budget travel in Lviv, there are plenty of options to save money without sacrificing experience. Walking tours of the Old Town are free and offer a great way to explore the city’s rich history and architecture. For food, local markets and street vendors offer delicious and affordable Ukrainian cuisine, such as pierogies and borscht. Accommodations in Lviv range from budget hostels to affordable hotels and apartments, with plenty of options for budget-conscious travelers.
The situation in Ukraine remains volatile with ongoing conflicts and military tensions between Ukraine and Russia. Therefore, it’s recommended that travelers avoid traveling to the affected regions in Ukraine until the situation stabilizes. Instead, you can show support by donating to humanitarian charities that assist the locals and refugees affected by the conflict. Your contribution can help provide basic necessities and aid to those in need, making a meaningful difference in their lives.
5. Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, is a charming mix of medieval and modern architecture. The city is known for its well-preserved old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and its lively cultural scene. From the stunning Alexander Nevsky Cathedral to the bustling Town Hall Square, Tallinn has plenty to offer for history buffs and culture enthusiasts alike. The city is also home to numerous museums, galleries, and theaters, as well as a vibrant nightlife and dining scene.
The best time to visit Tallinn is during the summer months, from June to August when the weather is mild and pleasant, and the city hosts various festivals and events. However, this is also the peak tourist season, so expect bigger crowds and higher prices. If you prefer a quieter and more budget-friendly experience, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to May) and fall (September to October), when the weather is still pleasant, and the city is less crowded.
Tallinn can be a very affordable destination, especially if you are traveling on a budget. One of the best ways to save money is by staying in a hostel or budget guesthouse, which can be found throughout the city. You can also save on food and drinks by dining at local cafes and restaurants, where you can sample traditional Estonian cuisine at reasonable prices. Another budget-friendly option is to use public transportation or rent a bike to explore the city instead of taking taxis or private tours. Additionally, many of the city’s top attractions, including museums and galleries, offer free admission on certain days of the week, so be sure to plan your itinerary accordingly.
If you want to explore beautiful stretches of coastline, lushly forested national parks, and pristine islands, head to Estonia’s Baltic Coast, just an hour away 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.
6. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, is a unique destination that offers a blend of Eastern and Western cultures. The city has a rich history that dates back to the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, and this is evident in the city’s stunning architecture and historical landmarks. Some of the popular attractions in Istanbul include the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and the Grand Bazaar.
The best time to visit Istanbul is during the spring or fall when the weather is mild, and the crowds are not as overwhelming as during the peak summer season. However, if you want to experience the city’s vibrant atmosphere during Ramadan, plan your trip accordingly.
To save money while traveling in Istanbul, consider staying in budget-friendly accommodations such as hostels or Airbnb rentals. Also, explore the city’s street food scene and local markets, where you can find affordable and delicious meals. To get around the city, use public transportation such as buses, trams, or ferries, which are cheap and convenient. Additionally, take advantage of the Istanbul Museum Pass, which provides access to many of the city’s top attractions for a discounted price.
Istanbul is a captivating city that offers an unforgettable experience to budget travelers. With its rich culture, delicious food, and stunning landmarks, it’s no wonder why Istanbul is becoming an increasingly popular destination for budget travel in Europe.
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.
7. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is a perfect blend of old and new. The city has a rich history, and its unique architecture is a reflection of the different cultures that have influenced it over the centuries. From the picturesque narrow streets of the Alfama district to the modern architecture of Parque das Nações, Lisbon has something for everyone. The city is also known for its delicious cuisine, including fresh seafood and the famous Pastel de Nata, a delicious custard tart.
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.
Lisbon has mild weather all year round, but the best time to visit is during the spring (March to May) or fall (September to November) when the weather is mild and there are fewer crowds. The summer months (June to August) can be very hot and crowded, while the winter months (December to February) can be rainy and chilly.
Lisbon is one of the most affordable destinations in Europe, making it perfect for budget travelers. One of the best ways to save money is by using public transportation, including the metro, trams, and buses, which are inexpensive and efficient. The city is also home to several free attractions, such as the Sao Jorge Castle and the National Museum of Ancient Art. When it comes to food, Lisbon has a variety of affordable restaurants and cafes that offer delicious meals at reasonable prices. Additionally, several excellent and cheap hostels 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.
8. Seville, Spain
Seville is a city that oozes with charm, culture, and history. Located in the south of Spain, Seville is the capital of Andalusia and is known for its lively atmosphere, warm weather, flamenco music, and delicious cuisine. The city is dotted with beautiful landmarks such as the majestic Alcázar Palace, the iconic Giralda Tower, and the grand Plaza de España. Seville is also home to several museums and art galleries, showcasing some of Spain’s most celebrated works of art.
The best time to visit Seville is from March to May or from September to November. During these months, the weather is mild and perfect for outdoor activities. However, if you want to experience the city’s vibrant culture and festivities, then visit during April and May when the city hosts the Seville Fair, or Feria de Abril, and enjoy the flamenco music, traditional dresses, and delicious food.
If you’re traveling to Seville on a budget, there are many ways to make the most out of your trip without breaking the bank. First and foremost, walking around the city is free and is the best way to explore Seville’s beautiful architecture and landmarks. There are also plenty of free museums and galleries to visit, such as the Museo de Bellas Artes, which houses a vast collection of Spanish art from the 15th to the 20th centuries.
For budget-friendly food options, head to the Mercado de Triana or the Mercado de la Encarnación, where you can find fresh produce, seafood, and other local delicacies at affordable prices. You can also try some of Seville’s famous tapas bars, such as El Rinconcillo or La Brunilda, where you can sample a variety of traditional dishes at reasonable prices.
Finally, to save money on transportation, consider purchasing a Seville Tourist Card, which offers discounts on public transportation, attractions, and restaurants. With a little bit of planning and research, you can enjoy all that Seville has to offer without breaking the bank.
Andalucía is 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. Make sure to also 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. Homestays and farmstays are available, so do check them out. Make sure to apply for your Schengen Visa in Dubai to explore Spain this summer if traveling from the UAE.
9. Berlin, Germany
Berlin, the vibrant and historical capital of Germany, is a must-visit destination for budget travelers in Europe. The city is a fascinating mix of old and new, with remnants of its troubled past juxtaposed with modern architecture and street art. The iconic Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall are must-sees for history buffs, while the bustling Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain neighborhoods are full of trendy cafes, bars, and vintage shops.
Berlin is one of the most-visited cities among those traveling to Europe on a budget. The economy is booming. Every attraction, even top museums and operas, is priced reasonably. If you get hold of a Berlin Pass, you can get further discounts on already reasonable prices.
The best time to visit Berlin is during the summer months, from June to August when the weather is warm and there are plenty of outdoor events and festivals to enjoy. However, visiting in the off-season, from November to March, can be a great way to save money on accommodation and avoid crowds.
For budget travelers, Berlin offers plenty of free or low-cost activities. The city is known for its many parks, including the expansive Tiergarten and the trendy Mauerpark, which both offer free entry. The Museum Island, home to five world-class museums, offers a discounted ticket that allows entry to all five museums for a lower price. Additionally, the city has a great public transportation system that is affordable and easy to use, making it easy to explore all that Berlin has to offer.
The city’s many hostels compete with each other to draw the maximum number of 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.
10. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a hidden gem in Europe that deserves more attention from budget travelers. The city boasts a rich history and culture, with a fascinating mix of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Yugoslav influences. Visitors can stroll through the old town, known as Baščaršija, where they will find traditional craft shops, street vendors, and delicious local food. The city also offers many historical sites to explore, including the Latin Bridge, where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, and the Tunnel of Hope, a museum that showcases the role of the underground tunnel system during the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s.
You can still see the scars that Sarajevo bears as a 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 wartime, but the city buzzes with life, and Sarajevo is one of Europe’s most welcoming capitals.
The best time to visit Sarajevo is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild, and there are fewer tourists. However, if you are looking for a winter adventure, Sarajevo is a great destination for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.
For budget travelers, Sarajevo is an affordable destination with plenty of options for cheap accommodations and food. Hostels and guesthouses are widely available and offer comfortable stays for a reasonable price.
You can also find delicious street food and traditional dishes like cevapi and burek at affordable prices in Baščaršija. 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.
Additionally, many of the city’s museums and historical sites have free or low-cost admission, making it easy to experience the city’s rich culture and history without breaking the bank.
Sarajevo is a unique and affordable destination that offers travelers an opportunity to explore the cultural and historical richness of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Don’t miss out on this underrated gem on your next budget travel adventure in Europe!
Top 10 additional budget travel destinations in Europe
11. Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest, Romania is an underrated gem of Eastern Europe that is perfect for budget travelers. The city is a mix of old and new, with communist-era buildings standing next to modern skyscrapers. Visitors can wander through the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, filled with quaint cafes and restaurants, and marvel at the grandeur of the Palace of the Parliament, the second-largest administrative building in the world. The city also boasts beautiful parks, like Herastrau Park, where visitors can rent a boat and enjoy a peaceful afternoon on the lake.
The best time to visit Bucharest is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller. Summer can be hot and humid, while winter can be quite cold and snowy. During the shoulder seasons, visitors can enjoy pleasant temperatures and take advantage of lower prices on flights and accommodations.
For budget tips, visitors can take advantage of the city’s public transportation system, which includes buses, trams, and a metro system. Walking is also a great way to explore the city, with many attractions within a reasonable distance of each other. Food and drinks are also reasonably priced, with street food vendors and traditional restaurants serving up tasty and affordable fare.
Additionally, visitors can find good deals on accommodations by staying outside of the city center or opting for a hostel or Airbnb rental. As you can see, Bucharest is a great destination for budget-conscious travelers looking to experience a unique and vibrant European city.
12. Athens, Greece
Athens, the birthplace of Western civilization, is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, culture, and mythology. The city is home to numerous ancient ruins, including the iconic Acropolis, which boasts breathtaking views of the city below. Visitors can also explore the historic neighborhoods of Plaka and Monastiraki, filled with winding streets, charming cafes, and souvenir shops.
The best time to visit Athens is in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall when the weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller. However, if you’re looking for budget travel in Europe, winter can be an excellent time to visit as the prices are lower, and the tourist crowds have thinned out.
When it comes to budget tips, Athens offers plenty of affordable options for food, accommodation, and attractions. You can save money by staying in hostels or budget hotels, taking advantage of public transportation, and enjoying delicious street food. Don’t forget to check out the free walking tours and visit the numerous museums and archaeological sites with reduced or free admission on specific days.
13. Krakow, Poland
Krakow, Poland is a vibrant city with a rich history and charming architecture that is sure to captivate any traveler. The city’s bustling streets are lined with stunning Gothic and Renaissance-style buildings, and its historic Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
If you’re looking to explore Krakow on a budget, the best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). During these times, you’ll avoid the summer crowds and find lower prices on accommodation and activities.
One of the top budget-friendly attractions in Krakow is the Wawel Royal Castle, which offers free admission on Mondays. Another must-visit spot is the Main Market Square, where you can enjoy street performances and soak up the atmosphere of this bustling city center. Krakow also has many museums, such as the Schindler’s Factory Museum and the Polish Aviation Museum, which offer affordable admission fees.
If you’re searching for budget accommodation in Krakow, many hostels and budget hotels in the city center offer comfortable rooms at affordable prices. To save money on food, head to local markets and street food vendors to sample some of the city’s delicious and affordable cuisine.
Krakow is a fantastic budget travel destination in Europe, offering a wealth of history, culture, and charm at a reasonable cost. With its stunning architecture, vibrant nightlife, and affordable attractions, Krakow is sure to leave a lasting impression on any budget-conscious traveler.
14. Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is one of Europe’s most underrated and affordable destinations. The city offers a unique blend of history, culture, and nightlife, making it an excellent choice for budget travelers.
Belgrade is a vibrant city with a rich history and stunning architecture. It is situated at the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers, giving it a unique charm. Visitors can explore the city’s impressive landmarks, such as the Belgrade Fortress and St. Sava Temple, or immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere of Skadarlija, the city’s bohemian quarter. Belgrade also has a thriving arts and music scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues.
The best time to visit Belgrade is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) when the weather is pleasant, and the crowds are thinner. Summer (June to August) can be hot and crowded, but it is also when many festivals and events take place. Winter (December to February) can be cold, but it is an excellent time to experience the city’s cozy cafes and winter markets.
Belgrade is one of the most affordable destinations in Europe, making it an excellent choice for budget travelers. Accommodation options range from hostels to budget-friendly hotels, and there are plenty of affordable restaurants and cafes throughout the city. Visitors can also take advantage of the city’s excellent public transportation system, which includes trams, buses, and trolleybuses. Walking and cycling are also popular ways to explore the city and save money on transportation costs.
15. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, the charming capital city of Slovenia, is a hidden gem in Europe that’s often overlooked by budget travelers. However, with its stunning architecture, lively culture, and affordable prices, Ljubljana is worth a visit.
Ljubljana is a picturesque city that sits on the banks of the Ljubljanica River. The city is known for its stunning architecture, including the iconic Triple Bridge, the baroque-style Ljubljana Cathedral, and the medieval Ljubljana Castle. Visitors can explore the charming streets of the old town, relax in one of the many parks, or discover the local food scene at one of the city’s many restaurants.
The best time to visit Ljubljana is during the spring or summer months, from April to September. During this time, the weather is warm and pleasant, and the city comes alive with events and festivals. The Ljubljana Festival takes place in the summer months and features a variety of music and cultural events. Winter in Ljubljana can be cold and snowy, but it’s also a great time to experience the city’s festive holiday markets.
One of the best things about Ljubljana is that it’s a budget-friendly destination. Visitors can save money by staying in hostels or budget hotels, eating at local markets or street vendors, and using public transportation. The Ljubljana Card is also a great way to save money, as it includes free admission to many of the city’s top attractions and discounts on restaurants and tours. Another budget-friendly activity is renting a bike and exploring the city on two wheels, which is both affordable and environmentally friendly.
16. Riga, Latvia
Riga, the capital of Latvia, is a hidden gem in Europe that offers visitors an authentic experience of the Baltic region without breaking the bank. Known for its medieval Old Town, art nouveau architecture, and rich history, Riga is a must-visit destination for budget-conscious travelers.
Located on the banks of the River Daugava, Riga has a rich cultural and historical heritage that is reflected in its stunning architecture, museums, and landmarks. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring cobblestone streets, charming cafes, and historic buildings like St. Peter’s Church and the Riga Castle. The city also boasts several art museums, including the Latvian National Museum of Art, which features a collection of more than 50,000 works by Latvian artists.
The best time to visit Riga is from May to September when the weather is warm and sunny. During these months, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as walking tours, river cruises, and music festivals. However, if you’re looking to save money, consider traveling in the off-season, from October to April, when the prices for accommodation and activities are much lower.
Riga is one of the most affordable destinations in Europe, making it an ideal choice for budget travelers. To save money, consider staying in a hostel or budget hotel, which can cost as little as €10-€20 per night. Additionally, many of the city’s top attractions, such as the Riga Central Market, the Riga Castle, and the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, offer free admission or reduced prices for students and seniors. For dining, try local Latvian cuisine at traditional restaurants like Lido, where you can enjoy a hearty meal for under €10. Finally, take advantage of the city’s public transportation system, which includes buses, trams, and trolleybuses, all of which are affordable and efficient.
17. Vilnius, Lithuania
Vilnius, Lithuania is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by budget-conscious travelers. The capital of Lithuania boasts a unique blend of cultures and architecture, with its charming old town recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Vilnius is a city with a rich history that can be seen in its stunning Gothic and Baroque architecture. The city’s Old Town is a labyrinth of winding streets, picturesque courtyards, and colorful buildings that have stood for centuries. It’s a perfect destination for those who want to immerse themselves in the culture of Eastern Europe without breaking the bank. The city also has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with a plethora of museums, galleries, and theaters to explore.
The best time to visit Vilnius is during the summer months from June to August when the weather is warm and pleasant. During this time, the city is alive with festivals, concerts, and other cultural events. The shoulder seasons of May and September can also be a great time to visit, with fewer crowds and lower prices. However, be prepared for cooler temperatures during these months.
Traveling to Vilnius on a budget is easy. One of the biggest expenses while traveling is accommodation, but in Vilnius, there are plenty of affordable options. Hostels and guesthouses can be found for as little as €10 per night, and many offer free breakfast. Food and drink are also inexpensive, with local cuisine available for reasonable prices. Street food stalls and local markets are great options for those looking to save even more.
To get around the city, consider using public transportation, which is reliable and cheap. The city also has a bike-sharing system that allows visitors to rent a bike for a minimal fee, making it an excellent way to explore the city while getting some exercise.
Vilnius, Lithuania, is an excellent budget travel destination in Europe, with plenty to offer for those looking to experience Eastern Europe’s culture and history without breaking the bank. With affordable accommodations, delicious local cuisine, and plenty of free or low-cost activities, Vilnius is a must-visit for budget-conscious travelers.
18. Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava, Slovakia is a charming city located on the banks of the Danube River. Its small size and laid-back atmosphere make it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a more relaxed pace. Bratislava is also one of the most affordable capital cities in Europe, making it a top choice for budget travelers.
Bratislava’s picturesque Old Town is filled with narrow cobblestone streets, pastel-colored buildings, and charming cafes, bars, and restaurants. The historic center is surrounded by medieval walls and gates and features landmarks such as the Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral, and the 18th-century Primate’s Palace. Beyond the old town, visitors can explore the imposing Bratislava Castle, located on a hill overlooking the city, or take a stroll through one of Bratislava’s many green spaces, such as the beautiful Sad Janka Kráľa Park.
In addition to its rich history and architecture, Bratislava is known for its lively cultural scene, with many festivals, concerts, and exhibitions throughout the year.
The best time to visit Bratislava is during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Summer is the peak tourist season, with higher prices and more crowds. Winter can be cold and snowy, but it’s also the time for traditional Christmas markets and festive holiday events.
Bratislava is an affordable destination, especially compared to other European capitals. Travelers on a budget can find reasonably priced accommodation and food options, as well as free or low-cost attractions. Some budget-friendly activities include exploring the Old Town on foot, visiting the castle grounds for free, and taking advantage of the city’s extensive network of public transportation, which includes trams, buses, and trolleybuses. Additionally, visitors can take a day trip to nearby Vienna or Budapest by train, which is an affordable and convenient way to see more of the region.
19. Porto, Portugal
Porto, located in northern Portugal, is a charming city with a rich history and culture that is sure to captivate budget-conscious travelers looking for an affordable European destination. From its iconic bridges and colorful buildings to its delicious wine and flavorful cuisine, Porto offers a truly unique experience.
Porto is best known for its historic center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is built along the Douro River and is famous for its stunning bridges, including the Dom Luís I Bridge, which is a popular spot for tourists to take photos. Porto’s historic center is full of narrow streets and alleys, lined with colorful buildings covered in traditional azulejo tiles. One of the most impressive buildings is the Clérigos Tower, which offers incredible views of the city from the top.
In addition to its stunning architecture, Porto is also known for its wine. The city is the birthplace of port wine, and there are plenty of opportunities to sample the local varieties. Travelers can take a tour of the Port Wine Cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, located across the river from the historic center, where they can learn about the production process and sample some of the finest wines.
The best time to visit Porto is during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Summer is the peak tourist season, so prices for accommodations and activities tend to be higher, and the streets can be quite crowded. Winter can be rainy and chilly, but it is also the time when visitors can experience the city’s holiday markets and festive decorations.
One of the best ways to save money in Porto is to explore the city on foot. Many of the main attractions, such as the historic center and the port wine cellars, are within walking distance of each other. Additionally, travelers can save money on transportation by taking the local buses, which are inexpensive and efficient.
When it comes to food, travelers on a budget should look for local cafés and pastelarias that offer affordable meals and snacks. Porto is known for its seafood, so be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as grilled sardines or codfish. Finally, consider booking accommodations outside of the city center, where prices tend to be more affordable. Hostels and guesthouses are popular options for budget travelers, and many offer comfortable accommodations at a fraction of the cost of a hotel.
20. Valencia, Spain
Valencia, located on the eastern coast of Spain, is a charming city that offers a perfect mix of history, culture, and modernity. It’s a great destination for those looking to experience the Spanish lifestyle on a budget.
Valencia is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and delicious cuisine. One of the highlights of the city is the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences), a modern complex of futuristic buildings that includes a science museum, planetarium, and opera house. The old town, with its winding streets, Gothic architecture, and buzzing squares, is perfect for an afternoon stroll or a romantic dinner. The Mercado Central, one of the largest fresh food markets in Europe, is a must-see for foodies. And of course, the beaches – the golden sand and crystal-clear waters of Malvarrosa Beach and El Cabanyal Beach are just a short tram ride away from the city center.
The best time to visit Valencia is during the spring and fall months when the weather is pleasant and there are fewer crowds. This is also a great time to find good deals on flights and accommodations.
To save money while in Valencia, consider exploring the city on foot or by bike. Many of the city’s top attractions, such as the Central Market and the City of Arts and Sciences, can be accessed for free or at a low cost. Additionally, Valencia has a fantastic street food scene, so consider trying some local eats from food trucks or small vendors to save on dining expenses. Finally, make sure to check out the many free or discounted events and festivals that take place throughout the year, from concerts to exhibitions and more.
So what is the cheapest city to travel in Europe?
When it comes to budget travel in Europe, one city that stands out as an affordable destination is Riga, Latvia. Not only is it one of the cheapest cities to fly into from major European hubs, but it also offers a range of budget-friendly accommodation options, from hostels to cozy guesthouses.
One of the great things about Riga is that many of its top attractions are free or very low-cost, such as exploring the charming old town, visiting St. Peter’s Church, and admiring the stunning art nouveau architecture. Food and drink are also very reasonably priced, with local specialties like potato pancakes and black balsam liqueur available at affordable prices.
Overall, Riga offers a great balance of affordability and charm, making it an excellent choice for travelers looking to experience Europe on a budget.
Overall, what is the cheapest country in Europe to visit?
When it comes to budget travel in Europe, Lithuania is one of the most affordable countries to visit. Lithuania is a hidden gem in Europe and one of the most budget-friendly destinations in the continent. There are several reasons why Lithuania is the cheapest country to visit in Europe:
First, the cost of living in Lithuania is relatively low compared to other European countries. This means that everyday expenses such as food, accommodation, and transportation are much cheaper. Even in the capital city of Vilnius, travelers can find budget-friendly options for meals and accommodation.
Second, Lithuania is still an off-the-beaten-path destination, which means it hasn’t yet experienced a surge in tourism like some other European countries. This lack of mass tourism keeps the prices low, allowing visitors to experience the country’s rich culture, history, and natural beauty without breaking the bank.
Third, the Lithuanian government has made a conscious effort to promote the country as a budget-friendly destination. This includes initiatives such as the “Vilnius City Card”, which provides discounts and free entry to attractions, as well as free public transportation in the city.
And finally, Lithuania is a small country with a well-developed infrastructure, making it easy to travel around and explore different parts of the country on a budget. The country has a reliable network of buses and trains that connect major cities and towns, and affordable car rental options for those who want to explore the countryside at their own pace.
As you’ve noticed, Lithuania is a budget-friendly destination that offers plenty of opportunities for travelers to explore its unique culture, history, and natural beauty without spending a fortune. Whether you’re looking for a city break in Vilnius or an outdoor adventure in the countryside, Lithuania is definitely worth considering for your next budget travel destination in Europe.
In conclusion, Europe offers a plethora of budget-friendly destinations for travelers looking to explore the continent without breaking the bank. From the stunning architecture of Budapest to the charming streets of Porto, there is no shortage of destinations that offer both affordability and adventure.
Of course, like any other continent, 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 offer all of these. However, you should do your budget homework for each destination before you decide to travel.
As you plan your budget travel experiences in Europe, keep in mind that the best time to visit these destinations will vary depending on the season and the crowds. However, with careful planning, flexibility, and an adventurous spirit, you can experience the best of Europe on a budget.
You will discover on your own that budget travel in Europe is not only possible but also highly rewarding. By taking advantage of affordable transportation options, budget accommodations, and local street food, you can immerse yourself in the cultures and histories of some of the most fascinating destinations in the world.
I encourage The Travel Bunny’s readers to plan their own budget travel experiences and explore Europe’s hidden gems for themselves. With so many affordable and captivating destinations to choose from, there’s never been a better time to start planning your next budget-friendly adventure. So pack your bags, grab your passport, and start exploring Europe on a budget today!
Priya is a seasoned travel writer with a particular focus on adventurous travel, who provides detailed insights into various tourist destinations. She is a trusted guide for those embarking on their first journey to a new place.
Her extensive travel experience includes trips to most countries in Europe, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, UAE, the USA, Canada, and other destinations across the globe. Priya’s expertise in budget travel and her passion for exploring new cultures and destinations make her a go-to resource for anyone seeking to maximize their travel experiences while minimizing their expenses.
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