Travel

Best Cheapest Places to Visit in Europe

Europe doesn’t generally pop up very prominently on a budget traveller’s list. While its gorgeous natural beauty, medieval architecture and fabulous food attract everyone, the generally high cost of living and travelling keeps many budget travellers away. However, if you look a little beneath the surface, you will find that this tiny continent continent has treats in store for all kinds of travellers, even the ones on the tightest of budgets. 

So if you want to travel Europe but don’t want to break the bank for it, this post is for you. 

Here are the best cheapest places to visit in Europe:

Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Kicking off the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is Sarajevo.

The Balkan Wars were blood soaked and terrible, and Sarajevo was right at the centre. The city still bears the scars of that war, in the remnants of mortar shell explosions. Those holes have been filled with red resin to form the “Sarajevo Roses”. The museums of the city also document the horrors of Sniper Alley. However, Sarajevo isn’t just a monument of war which can only interest history buffs, the city is buzzing with life. 

Sarajevo is one of the most welcoming capital cities of Europe. Itts central district of Baščaršija is a joy to walk through. You can browse through the Ottoman-era bazaars or sip some delightful Bosnian coffee. If you are a creature of the night, Sarajevo has got a quirky and cool after-hours scene as well, with lots of drinking holes and clubs. 

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best hostel for city location: Hostel Franz Ferdinand

Best for location to tourist attractions: Hotel Michele

Daily budget: Basic €25, occasional treat €40

Drink: Bosnian coffee €0.50–1

Food: Cevapcici (meat rissoles) €2–4

Hostel/budget: €12/€25

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

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is Czech Republic.

As Prague has become more and more popular among tourists, it has also become more and more expensive. However, the rest of the gorgeous country of Czech Republic is still great value for money for the budget traveller. The country that invented Pilsner is justifiably famous for producing some of Czech Republic – at pretty good prices.

In Czech Republic, 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 Czech Republic, 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.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best location for hostel: Safestay Prague

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

Daily budget: Basic €40, occasional treat €50

Drink: Pilsner Urquell €1.50

Food: Pork and dumplings €5

Hostel/budget hotel: €15/€40

Travel: Train: Prague–Karlovy Vary €12; bus: €6

The Albanian Riviera

The Albanian Riviera

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is the Albanian Riviera.

If your bank balance doesn’t allow for some high end Mediterranean sun and sand at Capri or the Côte d’Azur,  just head eastwards and you’ll stumble upon sun-drenched beaches untouched by modern development. Like the majority of Eastern European countries, Albania is quite cheap. However, it is still under-explored by tourists. Along Albania’s southern Ionian coast, the blue seas and golden sands are framed by colossal grey mountains. 

Saranda lies within touching distance of Corfu. It’s a great entry point to Albania if you are travelling for Greece. The gorgeous beaches of Ksamil lie nearby. Cheap seafood, warm seas and a smattering of isolated Greek ruins and Ottoman towns: the perfect recipe for a classic European sojourn.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best for being on the beach: Vila E Bardhe

Best for great views of the harbour: Hotel Real Sarande

Daily budget: Basic €25, occasional treat €40

Drink: Bottle of red wine €6

Food: Qoftë (minced meat rissoles) €2, seafood €5

Hostel/budget hotel: €10/€30

Travel: Bus: Tirana–Saranda €8; train: Tirana–Shkodra €1.50

Bansko, Bulgaria 

Bansko, Bulgaria

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is Bansko.

Europe features some of the most amazing Alipine ski resorts on the planet. However, they are also some of the most expensive. Hitting some of those slopes will drive your bank balance downhill faster than gravity itself. However, you can have your Alpine fun at a fraction of that cost at the ski resorts of Eastern European countries. One of the best such resorts is Bulgaria’s Bansko on the Pirin mountain range.

Bansko is the main ski resort in Bulgaria. It features both good beginner and intermediate runs. The resort is accessible through a gorgeous but slow narrow gauge railway line. Aside from the ski stuff, the town itself is very charming, featuring numerous traditional old pubs hidden down its cobbled alleyways.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best for guest house experience: Zigen House

Best for great location: Kap House Hotel

Daily budget: Basic €25, occasional treat €40

Drink: Beer (0.5l) €1

Food: Shopska salad €3

Hostel/budget hotel: €10/€20

Travel: Train: Sofia–Plovdiv €4; bus: €7

Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig, Germany

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is Leipzig.

As far as capital cities of the world go, Berlin is an anomaly. Berlin’s cost of living is actually lower than the national average of Germany. This unique situation is a result of the country’s previous division. Berlin, which was the capital of communist East Germany, is still cheaper than West Germany cities like Frankfurt and Munich. But as prices gradually rise in gentrifying Berlin, there are other eastern cities to venture to, including buzzing Leipzig.

The fierce, independent spirit of Germany is what kicked off the 1989 protests, which led to the eventual downfall of the Berlin wall. 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.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best for city location: IntercityHotel Leipzig

Best for little luxury: Pentahotel Leipzig

Daily: Budget Basic €55, occasional treat €70

Drink: Beer (half-litre) €2.90

Food: Schnitzel €8

Hostel/budget hotel: €25/€35

Travel: Munich–Berlin: train €55–142; bus €22

London, England

London, England

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is London.

You might be thinking, what the hell is London doing on a cheapest places to visit in Europe list? However, the nation’s currency, pound sterling has reached historic lows, making now, a good time to visit London . London also has a lot of free world-class attractions, far more than any other European city. The British Museum, home to enough treasures to satisfy the most curious of history hunters; 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 that’s not all, there are a host of wonderful open spaces all over London. You can spend a day prancing across Hampstead Heath, the next meandering along the South Bank. You can also spend your time perusing East End markets where 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.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

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

Best for location to Southbank: Park Plaza London Waterloo

Daily budget: Basic €60, occasional treat €85

Drink: Lager €5

Food: Fish and chips €11

Hostel/budget hotel: €27/€80–100

Travel: Train: London–Brighton €25–35; bus: London–Manchester €10–40

The Baltic Coast of Estonia

The Baltic Coast of Estonia

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is Estonia’s Baltic Coast.

Aside from its lovely capital city of Tallinn, the small but serene country of Estonia also has endless swathes of wilderness, with beautiful stretches of coastline, a beautiful collection of islands and verdant forested national parks along its breathtaking Baltic coastline. The 725-square-kilometre Lahemaa National Park is an hour from Tallinn, and is great for exploring 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, while the island of Saaremaa offers soft-carpeted pine forest countryside and very affordable spas.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best for boutique hotel in Tallinn: The Three Sisters Boutique Hotel

Best for boutique spa in Saaremaa: Grand Rose SPA Hotel 

Daily budget: Basic €50, occasional treat €70

Drink: Le Coq beer €2.50

Food: Blood sausage and sauerkraut €5

Hostel/budget hotel: €22/€45

Travel: Bus: Tallinn–Saaremaa €15; Tartu–Tallinn €11

Palermo, Sicily, Italy

Palermo, Sicily, Italy

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is Palermo.

No grand tour of Europe can be complete without going to Italy: fantastic Florence, ravishing Rome and vivacious Venice. While their beauty and brilliance is undeniable, they are also extremely packed with tourists and end up being very expensive as a result, especially during summers.

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, from churches covered in exquisite mosaics to cluttered neighbourhood markets, where you can snack on local street foods, like arancini (rice balls) and panelle (chick pea fritters), as you wander.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best for popular attractions: Hotel Palazzo Brunaccini

Best hostel for location to the city: On The Way Hostel Palermo

Daily budget: Basic €35, occasional treat €50

Drink: Wine €2.50/glass

Food: Local pasta dish €5–8; pizza slice €2

Hostel/budget hotel: €15–30/€45–60

Travel: Train: Rome–Naples €20; bus: €12

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is Budapest.

Straddling the Danube, the twin enclaves of Buda and Pest together make one of the most beguiling capitals in Europe, and their main pleasures won’t break the bank. A day at a spa, such as the glorious yellow baroque Széchenyi Baths, costs around €15.

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Spend the day lounging by the pools, taking the occasional dip, cooling off under the fountains, and watching the old men play chess at the waterside tables. Come evening, the “ruin 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.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best for location to city centre: Arcadia Hotel Budapest

Best for a little luxury: Hotel Palazzo Zichy Budapest

Daily budget: Basic €40, occasional treat €60

Drink: Beer (large) €2–2.50

Food: Goulash €3–4

Hostel/pension: €15–30

Travel: Train: Budapest–Eger €8.50

The Peloponnese Region, Greece

The Peloponnese Region, Greece

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is Greece’s Peloponnese region.

The term budget travel in Greece, pops the image  of island-hopping, camping on beaches and sleeping on ferry decks. However, the main resorts of Greece are very expensive and the slow pace of island hopping increases 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. The trail is filled with beautiful Byzantine towns, ravishing rack-railway tracks and medieval villages. 

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best for beaches in Foinikounda: Hotel Golden Sun Foinikounda

Best for location in Nafplion: Pension Eleni

Daily budget: Basic €30, occasional treat €40

Drink: Ouzo €3

Food: Souvláki (shish kebab) €3

Hostel/budget hotel: €20/€30

Travel: Bus: Athens–Delphi €16; ferry: Athens–Crete €40

Northwest, Slovenia

Northwest, Slovenia

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is Slovenia’s Northwest.

The compact country of Slovenia is sandwiched between Italy, Austria and Croatia. Aside from the charming capital city of Ljubljana, Slovenia also features easy travel, a budding wine industry and a gorgeous coastline. It is an appealing destination for anyone undertaking a European journey. 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.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best guest house for views of Lake Bled: Guest House Mlino

Best for lake views: Grand Hotel Toplice

Daily budget: Basic €45, occasional treat €65

Drink: Pivo (beer) €2.50 for half a litre

Food: Pizza €5–7

Hostel/budget hotel: €18/€60

Travel: Train: Ljubljana–Maribor €9; bus: Ljubljana–Bled €7

Kotor, Montenegro 

Kotor, Montenegro

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is Kotor.

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.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best for boutique hotel: Boutique Hotel Astoria

Best for location to the city centre: Palazzo Drusko Deluxe Rooms

Daily budget: Basic €30, occasional treat €50

Drink: Nikšičko Tamno beer €1 (bottle from shop)

Food: Sarma €2.50–4

Hostel/budget hotel: €20/€50

Travel: Bus: Budva–Kotor €3; train: Podgorica–Virpazar €1

Andalucia, Spain

Andalucia, Spain

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is Spain’s Andalucia region.

Andalucia is the southernmost province of Spain, and is extremely popular among tourists from all over the world. The province features beautiful cities like Seville, Granada and Córdoba. These cities feature wonderful monuments highlighting the area’s Moorish past. Compared to other famous Spanish cities like Madrid and Barcelona, the Andalucian cities are quite inexpensive.

If you head a little further ahead, you will reach the beautiful but underrated city of Málaga. The city has a Picasso connection and consequently, a wonderful art scene. If you want to enjoy the southern Spanish vibe, you can also head over to the atmospheric port city of Cádiz. You can sample wonderful Iberian cuisine for just a few Euros per plate, and to continue your budget adventure, simply hop on the ferry to Morocco, tantalisingly close by.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best guest house location to city centre: El Riad Andaluz

Best for style on a budget: Villa Lorena Malaga

Daily budget: Basic €65; occasional treat €85

Drink: €1.70–2.50 per caña (small beer)

Food: Menú del día €10–12

Hostel/budget hotel: €16/€35–80

Travel: Madrid–Barcelona: bus €32–43; train €60–125

Lake Ohrid, Macedonia

Lake Ohrid, Macedonia

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is Lake Ohrid.

Macedonia is the country of Alexander the Great and Lake Ohrid is the crown jewel of the country. 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 more interested in terrestrial activities, a hike through the Galičica National Park might be worth your while. 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.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

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

Best for views of Lake Ohrid: Villa Kale

Daily budget: Basic €25, occasional treat €35

Drink: Wine from €2.50 per bottle

Food: Tavče gravče (bean casserole) €1.50

Hostel/budget hotel: €10/€25

Travel: Bus: Skopje–Ohrid €7; train: Skopje–Bitola €4

Lviv, Ukraine

Lviv, Ukraine

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is Lviv.

Lviv is situated on the western side of the vast country of Ukraine. The city is located in close proximity of famous Central European cities like Kraków and Budapest. A trip to Lviv will give you the perfect 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. Loaded with backpacker hostels, quirky bars and wonderful coffee houses, Lviv is an amazing budget friendly destination in Ukraine. 

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

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

Best for style on a budget: Taurus Hotel

Daily budget: Basic €40, occasional treat €60

Drink: Horilka (vodka; 50ml shot) €1

Food: Ukrainian borshch €0.80

Hostel/budget hotel: €8/€30

Travel: Train: Kyiv–Odesa €10; bus: €18

Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list is Porto.

Portugal’s second city, appealingly set on the banks of the river Duoro, is a place for people-watching and wandering. The riverside district of Portugal is loaded with wonderful excellent local restaurants. Whichever street you choose, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to local food and wine. With the city set on either side of the river, you can easily find accommodation on the side that suits you best.

The Portugal park, with its wonderful art museum forms another highlight in the city. However, it is port that the city is famous for. 

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best for walks along the waterfront: 1872 River House

Best for value with style: InPatio Guest House

Daily budget: Basic €45, occasional treat €65

Drink: Bottle of vinho verde in shop €3.50

Food: Grilled sardines €8

Hostel/budget hotel: €20/€45

Travel: Train: Lisbon–Faro €22.20; bus: Porto–Lisbon €20

The High Tatras, Slovakia

The High Tatras, Slovakia

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list are the High Tatras of Slovakia.

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.

The Tatras are not tiny hills for a small weekend hike, the terrain is for serious hikers, so always heed to 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.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best for location to popular attractions: Penzion Reitmayer

Best for families: Apartmanovy Dom TatraTravel Smokovec

Daily budget: Basic €35, occasional treat €45

Drink: Beer €1.70

Food: Gnocchi with bacon €4

Hostel/budget hotel: €15/€30

Travel: Bratislava–Košice (train) €19

Gdánsk, Poland

Gdánsk, Poland

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list, is Gdánsk.

The northern Polish city of Gdánsk is packed with oodles 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.

The shipyard crane dates back to the 15th century, and the city was the birthplace of the Solidarity anti-communist movement. Once the temperature starts rising and the summer hits, all the action shifts to the coastal resort  of Sopot. It has beaches with golden sand and a lively party scene. It also has the longest pier in Europe.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

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

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

Daily budget: Basic €50, occasional treat €70

Drink: Vodka (50ml shot) €1

Food: Żurek soup €2–3

Hostel/budget hotel: €12/€35

Travel: Train: Warsaw–Kraków €33; bus: €15

Novi Sad, Serbia

Novi Sad, Serbia

Next on the best cheap places to visit in Europe list, is Novi Sad.

If you want to attend a great summer music festival but can’t afford Glastonbury, Serbia’s now famous EXIT Festival held in July might be just the ticket. 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. A couple of hours from the capital city of Belgrade lies the Petrovaradin fortress. It looms regally above the lively city of Novi Sad. 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.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

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

Best hostel for city location: Downtown Hostel Novi Sad

Daily budget: Basic €25, occasional treat €40

Drink: Beer (0.5l) €1

Food: Pljeskavica (hamburger) €1–2

Hostel/budget hotel: €12/€35

Travel: Bus: Belgrade–Novi Sad €6; train: Belgrade–Niš €7

Transylvania, Romania

Transylvania, Romania

Think Transylvania, and you’ll probably think Dracula and his castle, and you can certainly go in search of Dracula, aka Vlad the Impaler, connections here. The town of Sighişoara is the birthplace of Vlad and it features a wonderfully 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. Sink your teeth into this wonderful place which also rounds off our list of the best cheap places to visit in Europe.

STAYING SUGGESTIONS

Best for visiting Vlad the Impaler: Pension am Schneiderturm

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

Daily budget: Basic €25, occasional treat €40

Drink: Beer €1.80; bottle of Romanian wine €5

Food: Tochitura moldoveneasca (Moldavian stew) €2

Hostel/budget hotel: €10/€30

Travel: Bus: Bucharest–Braşov €10; train: €10

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Thaddeus Hopkinson November 24, 2019 at 11:29 pm

very good post, i undoubtedly really like this website, continue it

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