15 Cheapest Places To Visit In Europe Revealed!

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Are you looking for the cheapest places to visit in Europe for a budget vacation? These must-visit spots will satisfy your wanderlust and save you tons of money!

Split waterfront and Marjan hill aerial view, Croatia.

I completely understand that an expensive trip isn’t always on the cards.

But did you know that several incredible European destinations offer unforgettable experiences without costing the earth?

From the gorgeous squares of Budapest and Tallinn to the hip, party city of Belgrade, this list of dream destinations has something for everyone.

And hey, is there any better feeling than scoring a great deal? Nope!

I’ll explain how much you should budget for each location and how to spend your money wisely. Believe it or not, you can get by on under $50 a day in several of these locations.

Now, that’s what I call getting bang for your buck!

15 Cheapest Places To Visit In Europe on A Budget

Budapest, Hungary

Panorama of the Hungarian Parliament building at sunrise in Budapest, Hungary.

Eating out: $15
Accommodation: $17

While Budapest isn’t exactly a hidden gem, it’s a popular tourist hotspot for a reason. It’s extremely budget-friendly, and if you choose the right accommodation, you can get around town for as little as $35 a day (total!)

Budapest boasts a rich architectural scene and is home to the gorgeous Danube River, natural green spaces, and sumptuous squares. While here, you can bathe in thermal baths, head to the Jewish Quarter, or stroll through the impressive Market Hall. For a dive into history, the Museum of Terror is a frightening (but enlightening!) way to spend an afternoon.

You can travel to Hungary as a tourist for up to 90 days from many countries without a visa (which will save you tons). Plus, once you’ve covered your flights, the general cost of accommodation, food, and souvenirs is relatively low. 

Local cuisine is also super filling and incredibly cheap. Whether you’re craving goulash, fisherman’s soup, or paprikash, you can usually grab it for a few Euros (or less).

Porto, Portugal

Historical center of Porto in summertime.

Eating out: $20 (you can usually get an excellent meal for about $8)
Accommodation: $30

If you’re searching for the cheapest places to visit in Europe, you want to make sure you get Porto.

It’s a dreamy place for an affordable city break and is typically way cheaper than spots like Lisbon. You’ll need to head there in winter for the best deals, but it’s worth braving the colder weather.

You can see Portuguese art at the Soares dos Reis National Museum, walk along the Ribeira, and see the bridge Dom Luís. If you’re a wine lover, you need to visit the Port Wine Museum. To save more cash, you can even hop on a tram and see the city for just €3.50 for a single ticket.

Better yet, beer is cheap (around €2.50 a pint!), and you can get a bargain sit-down meal for around $8 at many local restaurants. I recommend shelling out around $30 for a decent hostel. But honestly, you won’t find many rooms for less than that per night.

Krakow, Poland

Old city center view with Adam Mickiewicz monument, St. Mary's Basilica and birds flying in Krakow.

Eating out: $15
Accommodation: $20

With its rich history, stunning Old Town, and exquisite Gothic and Baroque architecture, Krakow should be a bucket list destination for anyone. Oh, and don’t forget its modern coffee shops, sprawling fairytale castles, and genuinely excellent local cuisine!

The salt mines here are a must-visit, but you’ll also want to put the Wawel Royal Castle (and Cathedral) on your list of things to do. Although it’s super somber, Auschwitz Birkenau is also an excellent day trip from Krakow.

If you’re on a tight budget, wander around Market Square, stroll through Planty Park and window shop at Cloth Hall. These attractions are unlikely to set you back price-wise, but they’ll undoubtedly enrich your trip!

Hotels and hostels in Krakow are cheap, and you can generally budget around $30-40 a day for a trip. It’s worth mentioning that everything shoots up in price during the summer months, so you should try to head here during the shoulder seasons. If you dine away from the Main Square, you’ll also see food prices plummet.

The cheapest hostels can cost as little as $10, but I recommend budgeting around $20 if you can. You’ll get something more central and slightly nicer!

Riga, Latvia

Aerial winter view of the Riga old town from above with a view of river, national library and Dome Cathedral.

Eating out: $10-$15
Accommodation: $15-$30

When it comes to budget travel, it’s tough to beat Riga if you want plenty of bang for your buck.

Riga is one of the cheapest cities in Europe by a mile. It’s a cultural hotspot offering theater, art, opera, and everything in between. If you’re a history or agricultural lover, you’re bound to appreciate the Old Town, Art Nouveau buildings, and the glorious bell tower at St Peter’s Church.

Riga’s Central Market is a great place to visit for affordable food, and most of the cafes are super affordable. It’s also good to note that most of Riga’s popular museums offer discounts for students (so it’s worth checking if you qualify!). 

Spots like Cinnamon Sally Backpackers Hostel are cheap and cheerful, giving you a central base from which to explore. If you prefer hotels, the Ibis and the Hotel Viktorija are both solid options that will set you back around $25 during off-peak periods.

Tallinn, Estonia

Toompea hill with tower Pikk Hermann and Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn, Estonia.

DAILY BUDGET: $30-$50 (you can do it cheaper, but you’ll be relying on hostels and supermarket food).
Eating out: $15-$20
Accommodation: $10-$40

Tallinn is Estonia’s capital city, and it combines a stellar nightlife scene with a lush, historical setting.

This spot is probably best known for its medieval walls, cobblestone streets, and ancient churches. But you can also explore vibrant street art and admire the Town Hall Square without spending a penny.

Tallinn has a lovely old-school charm, and eating and traveling here is incredibly cheap. A meal at a fast-food spot usually costs less than 10 Euros, while a mid-level restaurant can be around 15 Euros. It’s not quite as cheap as other European spots, but certainly not back-breaking.

You can pick up a 1, 3, or 5-day Smartcard for travel. If you’re traveling around the city, you’ll only need to pay for a single-day ticket cap for unlimited trips. If you pick up a Tallinn Card, you’ll also get free access to Tallinn’s top museums AND free travel. So, there are certainly ways to keep your costs down.

Sofia, Bulgaria

Aerial view of National Palace of Culture in the city of Sofia, Bulgaria.

Eating out: $10
Accommodation: $15-$20

Tucked away in Bulgaria, Sofia is absolutely one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe. Not only are accommodation, food, and travel incredibly affordable, but you can see so much for free!

Just so you’re aware, Sofia is one of Europe’s oldest cities. So, it’s home to gorgeous cobbled streets and sights like the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky and Boyana Church.

The Neo-Byzantine architecture around Sofia is impressive, and you can see much of it on a free walking tour. Donations towards the tour are always appreciated (and kind of expected), but you can pay what you think it’s worth. If you want a change from the main sights, try a graffiti or communism tour!

You can book an economical hostel for a decent price if traveling solo. But even the cheapest twin rooms will be less than €20 if you’d rather have privacy and a private bathroom. The buses are incredibly cheap, and a single trip is usually under a Euro.

I recommend grabbing budget pastries or pizza slices around lunchtime. If you head to Mekitsa e Kaffee, you can grab a traditional fried bread breakfast for under €5.

Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb Cathedral, Croatia.

Eating out: $18
Accommodation: $15-$40

With its eclectic museums, world-class street food, and vibrant architecture, it’s no surprise that Zagreb is a bustling tourist hotspot.

The city’s large Main Square offers the best of the city, and the area’s walkability means you can save TONS on travel. Better yet, several free walking tours take you through the major sights for a bargain price.

While in town, check out the Museum of Broken Relationships, Tkalčićeva Street (for cafes and boutiques) and the famous Stone Gate. Oh, and don’t forget one of the oldest buildings in Zagreb – Lotrščak Tower!

You can grab cheap food from local restaurants for under $10 when winding down for the day. To make things even better, your average pint will set you back just under €3. Happy partying, folks!

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Panorama of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Europe.

Eating out: $15
Accommodation: $15-$25

No list of the cheapest places to visit in Europe would be complete without lovely Ljubljana! This cultural city offers everything from beautiful green spaces to striking architecture and delicious eats in an affordable package.

You’ll want to wander through the hills of Golovec and Tivoli Park (they’re packed with recreational trails and forestry!). Then, you can stroll through Ljubljana Old Town and the Central Market.

If you visit on the first Sunday of the month, you can check out most of the museums and galleries for FREE. While it gets busy, it’s a great way to see incredible sights on a budget. You can also hop on free tours, travel around the city by bus (great for covering a lot at once), or visit the free green spaces.

Several casual hostels and hotels are located near the center, and some of them are as cheap as $15 a night. I recommend sticking with tasty eats like Idrijski žlikrofi (potato dumplings) at local restaurants during your trip. They’ll be far cheaper than tourist spots and will give you a taste of the area’s most authentic dishes.

Belgrade, Serbia

Panorama of Belgrade with river Sava on a sunny day.

Eating out: $10
Accommodation: $25-$30

Not only is Belgrade one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe, but it’s easy to see over a long weekend (perfect for those last-minute trips!). It offers excellent wine, great food, an active night scene, and plenty of Balkan charm.

It’s not exactly the prettiest town in my rundown of affordable European cities. But it offers incredible attractions like the Belgrade Fortress, the Temple of Saint Sava, and the striking St. Mark Orthodox Church.

If you’re feeling brave, you can even book an affordable Splav on the river. Splaves are nightclubs on a boat, and you’ll get seriously cheap booze and a great view of the city. 

For a quieter experience, book during the week and choose a more upscale floating lounge—trust me! And as pints are less than 2 Euros here, you’ll undoubtedly get your money’s worth as a party animal.

Tirana, Albania

Cityscape view of Tirana, Albania as seen from the Dajti Express.

Eating out: $15
Accommodation: $10-$30

Tirana is Albania’s largest city and is home to some of Europe’s most impressive churches, parks, and Mussolini-era architecture.

This place flies relatively under the radar, but anyone who visits is instantly blown away by its quirky coffee shops and sprawling National History Museum. Plus, almost all the major attractions are within walking distance of one another – so you won’t need to splurge on transport!

Although the attractions are worth mentioning, Tirana also offers some of the cheapest hotels and hostels on the continent. Hostels usually cost under $10 to $20, while hotel rooms cost just $30 or so.

Refuel with traditional Tavë Kosi (lamb with rice), Dolma (stuffed vine leaves), and Byrek (spinach feta pie), and you’ll sail through your trip with cash to spare.

Palermo, Italy

The cathedral of Palermo in Sicily, Italy.

Eating out: $15
Accommodation: $40

You might be surprised to see anywhere in Italy on a list of the cheapest places to visit in Europe. But Palermo is affordable as public transport is cheap, most beaches are free, and you can easily scrimp on accommodation.

It’s arguably cheaper because it’s less “touristy” than hotspots like Rome, the Amalfi Coast, or Lake Como. But either way, you’re bound to love the bargain Aperol spritzers and beers!

While you’re here, check out the UNESCO-certified architecture. This spot has seen numerous ruling empires, so you’ll find everything from Roman and Byzantine to Norman influences in spots like the Palatine Chapel and the Norman Palace.

Once you’ve covered the main sights, you can grab a tasty serving of arancini or a pane e panelle sandwich for incredibly affordable prices. You can usually pick up a bougie three-course meal for as little as 40 Euros, with cafes and street eats being far cheaper.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava skyline, Slovakia.

Eating out: $10-$15
Accommodation: $20-$30

If you can’t get enough of European Old Towns, you’ll adore Bratislava. This city is brimming with cobblestone streets, medieval buildings, and iconic landmarks that will give you serious wanderlust.

The area is incredibly walkable, and you can spend your time spotting statues, stopping by picturesque cafes or even tasting wines. If you want to save money (and see the best sights!), GPS My City will help pinpoint the must-see tourist attractions on walking routes.

While you’re here, try traditional Slovak food like bryndzové halušky (potato dumplings with sheep cheese). Vyprážaný syr (fried cheese) is also a must-try, and these dishes will cost very little at local cafes and restaurants.

To stretch your dollars further, a Bratislava Card is a great idea. It includes a walking tour AND gives you access to museums and transportation during your trip.

Split, Croatia

Split waterfront and Marjan hill aerial view, Croatia.

Eating out: $25
Accommodation: $25-$30

Split is known for its glimmering waters, preserved ruins, and centuries-old buildings that scream historic chic. And honestly, I love that you can be strolling through an ancient church one minute and lounging by the Adriatic Sea the next!

You’ll want to visit Diocletian’s Palace, hike the Marjan Hill, and see the nearby islands for a dip. If you’re around downtown Split, you can even head to the local Bacvice Beach for sunbathing and a few drinks. Oh, and remember to check out the waterfront promenade (AKA: The Riba!) for glorious sea views.

If you’re visiting Split for over a day, it’s worth picking up the SplitCard. This discount card offers free entrance to museums and attractions around the city. It also gives you discounts at restaurants and shops around the local area! Just be aware that you need to stay five nights in summer or two nights in winter to get it for free.

Rethymno, Crete, Greece

Old venetian harbor in Rethymno, Crete, Greece.

Eating out: $20 for basic meals
Accommodation: $27-$30

If you’re looking for the cheapest places to visit in Europe with some serious architectural wonders, you’ll love Rethymno in Crete.

Several empires have occupied this place over the years, so you’ll see Hellenistic, Byzantine, Roman, and Ottoman influences through its iconic Old City. And the cobblestone streets and handicraft shops you’ll find around every corner? Adorable.

You shouldn’t leave without seeing the Porta Guora, the Fortezza of Rethymno, Rimondi Fountain (that still works!), and the Archaeological Museum. The museum houses artifacts that date 9000 years, and that’s worth the price of admission alone.

The best way to cheaply see this part of Greece is to visit during the shoulder seasons. But you can also pinch pennies by taking the public buses and trying to walk everywhere. You can also pay as little as 25 Euros daily for accommodation in a decent hostel or cheap hotel.

Sibiu, Romania

Old Town Square in the historical center of Sibiu, Romania.

Eating out: $20
Accommodation: $30-$50

While Bucharest or Brașov might be more popular destinations, Sibiu is an underrated gem that’s incredibly affordable.

The city is idyllic and even home to Romania’s oldest museum (Brukenthal Palace)! However, the Large Square, Bridge of Lies, and Piața Mică are all completely free to visit. So, you can do plenty in Sibiu without parting with your hard-earned cash. Before you leave, fully cover Huet Square to explore its medieval alleys and Gothic/Baroque buildings!

There are plenty of affordable hotels around Sibiu, with hostels offering decent guest rooms with shared kitchens for under $30. If you want to spend money on a hotel, budget around $50 a night.

To save on food, try heading to local spots like Kulinarium (which serves terrific local specialties). If you really want to save money, you can grab cheap street food like gogosi (donuts) from most bakeries!

Ready To Travel In Europe on a Budget?

This is just the beginning! Europe is filled with fantastic destinations that are perfect for budget-friendly travel.

If you know of other affordable spots in Europe, I’d be delighted to hear your suggestions.

You really don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy a fabulous vacation!

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