Best Budget-Friendly European Destinations

Looking to explore the best cheap places to travel in Europe? Look no further. In this comprehensive guide, we will uncover the top budget-friendly European destinations that will allow you to make the most of your adventures without breaking the bank. As a seasoned travel enthusiast and passionate writer, I have scoured the continent, uncovering hidden gems and diving into diverse cultures to bring you the ultimate list of affordable European destinations. From affordable accommodations to navigating public transportation systems, these destinations have it all. So, grab your passport and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to some of the best budget-friendly European destinations.

Best Cheap Place To Travel In Europe

Key Takeaways:

  • Sofia, Budapest, Riga, Wroclaw, Vilnius, Bucharest, Split, Tallinn, Tbilisi, and Belgrade are budget-friendly destinations in Europe with affordable hostel and hotel prices.
  • Florence, Rome, and Venice also offer budget-friendly options for travelers.
  • is a helpful website for comparing hotel and accommodation deals from multiple travel sites and offers specific categories for different travel preferences.
  • Direct Ferries is a website that allows travelers to book and compare ferry tickets for various routes and destinations in Europe.
  • Viator, a TripAdvisor company, offers a wide range of multi-day tours and attractions in Europe with easy booking and a flexible cancellation policy.

Table of Contents

Best Cheap Places to Travel in Europe

Are you dreaming of exploring the wonders of Europe without draining your savings account? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the best cheap places to travel in Europe, ensuring you have a remarkable adventure without breaking the bank.

Sofia: A Budget-Friendly Gem

Accommodation: Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, offers a plethora of affordable hotel and hostel options. With prices ranging from $10 to $45 per night, you can find comfortable and budget-friendly accommodations to suit your needs.

Attractions: Immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture of Sofia. Explore the iconic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, wander around the charming streets of the Old Town, and visit the historical landmark of Sofia’s Central Market Hall. Experience the local cuisine at affordable prices and indulge in the city’s bustling nightlife.

Budapest: Where Beauty Meets Affordability

Accommodation: Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, is renowned for its unmissable beauty and affordability. You can find budget-friendly hotels and hostels starting from $10 per night, allowing you to make the most of your European adventure without breaking the bank.

Attractions: Discover the grandeur of Budapest by exploring its breathtaking attractions. Take a stroll along the picturesque Danube River, visit the captivating Buda Castle, and relax at the famous thermal baths. Don’t miss out on trying traditional Hungarian street food, which offers a fusion of flavors at budget-friendly prices.

Riga: A Budget-Friendly Baltic Marvel

Accommodation: Riga, the capital city of Latvia, offers a range of wallet-friendly accommodations. From cozy hostels to affordable hotels, you can find options starting from $15 per night, making Riga an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers.

Attractions: Dive into the beauty of Riga’s architecture and rich history. Explore the UNESCO-listed Old Town, visit the remarkable St. Peter’s Church, and uncover the vibrant art scene in the city’s many galleries. Delight in Latvian cuisine at affordable prices and experience the vibrant nightlife Riga has to offer.

Wroclaw: Unveiling Polish Charm on a Budget

Accommodation: Wroclaw, a hidden gem in Poland, offers a range of budget-friendly accommodations. Whether you choose a cozy hostel or an affordable hotel, prices typically start from $15 per night, allowing you to experience the city’s charm without breaking the bank.

Attractions: Lose yourself in Wroclaw’s picturesque streets and vibrant atmosphere. Discover the stunning Gothic architecture of the Old Town, visit the vibrant Market Square, and take a leisurely stroll along the Oder River. Indulge in traditional Polish cuisine at affordable prices and enjoy the city’s lively nightlife.

Vilnius: Affordable Exploration in the Baltic Capital

Accommodation: Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, offers a range of budget-friendly accommodations. With prices starting from $15 per night for hostels and affordable hotels, you can plan a memorable trip to this Baltic gem without worrying about your budget.

Attractions: Experience the unique blend of history and culture in Vilnius. Explore the UNESCO-listed Old Town, visit the iconic Gediminas Castle, and soak in the beauty of Vilnius Cathedral. Indulge in delicious Lithuanian dishes at pocket-friendly prices and embrace the city’s vibrant nightlife.

Bucharest: A Wallet-Friendly Adventure

Accommodation: Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, offers an array of affordable accommodations. With prices ranging from $20 to $45 per night, you can find budget-friendly hotels and hostels that ensure a comfortable stay without breaking the bank.

Attractions: Delve into Bucharest’s fascinating history and charm. Explore the impressive Palace of the Parliament, wander through the elegant Herastrau Park, and admire the stunning architecture in the Old Town. Treat yourself to traditional Romanian cuisine at affordable prices and experience the city’s vibrant nightlife.

But Wait, There’s More!

While the aforementioned cities are some of the best budget-friendly destinations in Europe, don’t overlook other affordable locations that offer stunning attractions without breaking the bank. Florence, Rome, and Venice in Italy are known for their rich history, breathtaking architecture, and budget-friendly options, making them perfect additions to your European travel itinerary.

Tips for Traveling on a Budget in Europe

Now that you have a list of the best cheap places to travel in Europe, let’s explore some tips to help you make the most of your budget-friendly adventure:

  1. Affordable Accommodation: Consider staying in hostels or budget hotels, and research online platforms like to compare prices and find the best deals.

  2. Public Transportation: Utilize public transportation systems, such as trains and buses, to explore your chosen destinations. This not only saves money but also allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture.

  3. Local Eateries: Experience authentic cuisine without breaking the bank by dining at local restaurants and street food stalls. Don’t be afraid to venture away from tourist hotspots to find hidden culinary gems.

  4. City Passes: Check if your destination offers city passes or tourist cards that provide discounted entry to attractions and free public transportation. These passes can help you save money while maximizing your sightseeing experiences.

  5. Free Activities: Take advantage of free attractions, events, and walking tours available in many European cities. These activities allow you to explore and learn about the destination without spending a dime.

Planning Your Budget-Friendly European Adventure

Now that you have an extensive list of budget-friendly European destinations and insider tips for traveling on a budget, it’s time to plan your adventure. Utilize websites like Direct Ferries for convenient booking of ferry tickets, and explore Viator for a wide range of multi-day tours and experiences.

Remember, with careful planning and the right resources at your disposal, you can embark on an unforgettable European adventure without burning a hole in your pocket. So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of exploration, and embark on a budget-friendly journey through the wonders of Europe!

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Unique Attractions and Activities in Each Destination

Europe is a treasure trove of unique attractions and activities, offering something for every budget-conscious traveler. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in history, indulge in delicious cuisine, or marvel at stunning natural landscapes, there are plenty of affordable destinations that will fulfill your wanderlust. Let’s explore some of the best cheap places to travel in Europe and discover their unique charms and affordable experiences.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Castle: Explore the largest ancient castle complex in the world and admire its stunning architecture and panoramic views.
Vltava River: Take a leisurely cruise along the Vltava River and enjoy breathtaking views of Prague’s landmarks.
Charles Bridge: Stroll across this iconic bridge adorned with statues and soak in the romantic atmosphere.

Old Town Square: Experience the charm of the Old Town Square and witness the famous astronomical clock chiming each hour.
Petrin Hill: Climb Petrin Hill for panoramic views of Prague and visit the Petrin Tower, a smaller version of the Eiffel Tower.
Beer Tasting: Indulge in the rich Czech beer culture by sampling local brews at traditional pubs and microbreweries.

Valencia, Spain

Turia Fountain on the Square of the Virgin Saint Mary: Admire this majestic fountain and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Valencia’s historic center.
City of Arts and Sciences: Explore this futuristic complex featuring an opera house, planetarium, and interactive science museum.
Valencia Cathedral: Visit this stunning Gothic cathedral, home to the Holy Grail according to legend.

Beach Relaxation: Enjoy the sun and sand at Malvarrosa Beach, located a short distance from the city center.
Sip Horchata: Try the refreshing local drink, horchata, made from tiger nuts, at one of Valencia’s traditional horchaterías.
La Lonja de la Seda: Marvel at the striking architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, a former silk exchange.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin Cathedral: Admire the grandeur of this stunning cathedral and climb to its dome for panoramic views of the city.
Museum Island: Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to world-renowned museums such as the Pergamon Museum and the Neues Museum.
Brandenburg Gate: Stand before this iconic symbol of German history and unity.

Berlin Wall Memorial: Learn about the city’s division at this memorial site, featuring preserved sections of the Berlin Wall.
Tiergarten Park: Take a leisurely stroll or rent a bike in this expansive park, known as Berlin’s “green lung.”
Street Art Tour: Discover the vibrant street art scene of Berlin by joining a guided tour through neighborhoods like Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain.

Budapest, Hungary

Danube River: Take a cruise along the Danube River and enjoy breathtaking views of Budapest’s iconic landmarks, including the Parliament Building and Buda Castle.
Fisherman’s Bastion: Marvel at the fairytale-like architecture of this terrace and enjoy sweeping views of the city.
Szechenyi Spa: Relax and rejuvenate in one of Budapest’s famous thermal baths, such as the Szechenyi Baths or Gellert Baths.

Ruin Bars: Experience the unique atmosphere of Budapest’s ruin pubs, located in formerly abandoned buildings and courtyards.
Margaret Island: Escape the city bustle and enjoy nature on Margaret Island, a tranquil oasis in the middle of the Danube River.
Central Market Hall: Browse through stalls filled with local produce, traditional handicrafts, and delicious Hungarian street food.

Kotor, Montenegro

Bay of Kotor: Experience the breathtaking beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounded by towering mountains and crystal-clear waters.
St. Tryphon Cathedral: Admire the stunning architecture of this Romanesque church, a symbol of Kotor’s rich history.
Kotor City Walls: Embark on a climb to the top of the city walls for panoramic views of the bay and the medieval old town.

Hiking at Lovcen National Park: Explore the scenic trails of this national park and marvel at its rugged landscapes.
Boat Tour to Perast: Take a boat trip to the picturesque town of Perast and visit the nearby islets of Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George.
Seafood Feast: Indulge in delicious seafood dishes at the local restaurants lining the harbor of Kotor.

Seville, Spain

Plaza Espana: Marvel at the grandeur of this landmark square, featuring beautiful tile work and a canal where you can rent a rowboat.
Alcazar of Seville: Step into the past as you explore this magnificent royal palace, known for its stunning gardens and intricate Moorish architecture.
Seville Cathedral: Visit the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, home to the tomb of Christopher Columbus.

Flamenco Show: Immerse yourself in the passionate art of flamenco by attending a mesmerizing live performance.
Tapas Tasting: Sample a variety of delicious tapas in Seville’s vibrant tapas bars and experience the city’s gastronomic delights.
Maria Luisa Park: Take a leisurely stroll through this beautiful park, which houses the Plaza de España and lush gardens.

Warsaw, Poland

Old Town Square: Explore the charming Old Town Square of Warsaw, lined with colorful buildings and lively cafes.
Royal Castle: Visit this reconstructed palace, which offers a glimpse into Poland’s royal history and houses a collection of artwork and historical artifacts.
Lazienki Park: Enjoy the tranquility of this expansive park, known for its stunning palaces, manicured gardens, and resident peacocks.

Chopin Concert: Attend a classical music concert dedicated to Poland’s famous composer, Frederic Chopin, at venues like the Chopin Museum or Lazienki Park.
Warsaw Uprising Museum: Learn about the city’s history and the Polish resistance during World War II at this engaging museum.
Vistula River Cruise: Take a relaxing boat ride along the Vistula River and admire the beautiful skyline of Warsaw.

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn Old Town: Wander through the cobblestone streets of this beautifully preserved medieval town and visit landmarks like Toompea Castle and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
Kadriorg Palace: Explore this elegant baroque palace surrounded by manicured gardens and visit the Kadriorg Art Museum, housing a collection of European artwork.
Tallinn TV Tower: Enjoy panoramic views of the city from the observation deck of this iconic TV tower.

Visit Kalamaja: Discover Tallinn’s hipster neighborhood, Kalamaja, filled with trendy cafes, street art, and bohemian vibes.
Marzipan Gallery: Learn the art of marzipan-making and create your own edible masterpiece at this unique gallery.
Estonian Open-Air Museum: Step back in time and experience rural Estonian life at this open-air museum, featuring traditional farmhouses and demonstrations of traditional crafts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Prague offers attractions such as Prague Castle and the Vltava River, as well as activities like visiting Old Town Square and indulging in beer tasting.
  • Valencia boasts attractions like the Turia Fountain and the City of Arts and Sciences, with activities including beach relaxation and sipping horchata.
  • Berlin’s attractions include Berlin Cathedral and Museum Island, while activities like exploring the Berlin Wall Memorial and taking a street art tour provide unique experiences.
  • Budapest captivates with the Danube River and Fisherman’s Bastion, with activities like ruin bar hopping and relaxing at thermal baths.
  • Kotor entices with the Bay of Kotor and St. Tryphon Cathedral, and offers hiking at Lovcen National Park and boat tours to Perast.
  • Seville beckons with Plaza Espana and the Alcazar of Seville, and enthralls with flamenco shows and tapas tasting.
  • Warsaw charms with the Old Town Square and the Royal Castle, and offers activities like attending Chopin concerts and cruising along the Vistula River.
  • Tallinn enchants with its medieval Old Town and Kadriorg Palace, and offers experiences like exploring the hipster neighborhood of Kalamaja and visiting the Marzipan Gallery.

Viator – Things to Do in Europe
Planetware – Top-Rated Cheap Places to Visit in Europe

Tips for Budget-Friendly Accommodations and Transportation

As a seasoned traveler, I understand the value of finding budget-friendly accommodations and transportation options. In this guide, I will share my top tips and recommendations for ensuring you have an affordable yet comfortable European adventure without breaking the bank.

Plan Ahead and Be Flexible

One of the best ways to save money on accommodations and transportation is to plan ahead. By booking in advance, you can often find better deals and discounts. Additionally, being flexible with your travel dates can also help you snag the best prices.

Consider Alternative Accommodations

When it comes to budget-friendly accommodations, there are plenty of options beyond traditional hotels. Consider staying in hostels, guesthouses, or even renting an apartment or room through platforms like Airbnb. These alternatives often offer more affordable rates and can provide a unique and authentic experience.

Research Affordable Destinations

Not all European cities are created equal when it comes to affordability. Do your research and look for destinations that offer great value for your money. Cities like Sofia, Budapest, Riga, Wroclaw, Vilnius, and Bucharest have gained a reputation for being budget-friendly and offer a wide range of affordable accommodations and transportation options.

Utilize Public Transportation

Public transportation is not only cost-effective but also a great way to experience the local culture. Instead of relying on taxis or rental cars, use buses, trams, and trains to get around. Many cities also offer travel cards or passes that provide unlimited access to public transportation for a certain period, which can save you money in the long run.

Eat Like a Local

Dining out in Europe can be expensive, but there are ways to save. Instead of eating at touristy restaurants, opt for local eateries and street food vendors. You’ll not only get a taste of authentic cuisine but also save a significant amount of money.

Take Advantage of Discounts and Coupons

Before your trip, research and take advantage of any discounts or coupons available to travelers. Many attractions, museums, and even transportation services offer special deals, especially if you book in advance or purchase tickets online.

Consider Overnight Transportation

If you’re traveling long distances between destinations, consider overnight transportation options like trains or buses. Not only will you save money on accommodation for that night, but you’ll also wake up in a new city ready to explore.

Pack Light and Avoid Extra Fees

When it comes to transportation, packing light can save you from extra baggage fees. Stick to a carry-on suitcase or backpack, and only pack the essentials. This will not only save you money but also make it easier to navigate public transportation systems.

Stay in Central Locations

Staying in central locations can save you both time and money. By staying in the heart of the city, you’ll have easy access to attractions, public transportation, and affordable dining options.

Connect with Locals for Insider Tips

Lastly, don’t be afraid to connect with locals for insider tips and recommendations. Locals often know the best budget-friendly spots that may not be found in guidebooks. Engage with the locals and get their insights to uncover hidden gems and save money along the way.

Now that you have these tips in hand, you’re well-equipped to plan a budget-friendly European adventure. Remember, with a little research, flexibility, and the right resources, you can enjoy all that Europe has to offer without breaking the bank.

Key Takeaways:

  • Plan ahead and be flexible to get the best deals.
  • Consider alternative accommodations like hostels or vacation rentals.
  • Research and choose affordable destinations like Sofia, Budapest, and Riga.
  • Utilize public transportation to save on getting around.
  • Look for local eateries and street food to save on dining expenses.
  • Take advantage of discounts and coupons for attractions and transportation.
  • Consider overnight transportation to save on accommodation costs.
  • Pack light to avoid extra baggage fees.
  • Stay in central locations to save on transportation and maximize your time.
  • Connect with locals for insider tips on budget-friendly options.

Local Cheap Eats and Dining Options

Europe is not only renowned for its stunning architecture, rich history, and diverse cultures but also for its mouthwatering cuisine. Exploring local cheap eats and dining options can be an exciting part of your budget-friendly European adventure. Whether you’re a foodie or simply looking to save some money on meals, here are some tips and suggestions for enjoying delicious yet affordable local cuisine in Europe.

1. Seek Immigrant-Run Restaurants and Buffets

When it comes to finding affordable options for dining out, immigrant-run restaurants often offer great value for money. Look for all-you-can-eat buffets in these establishments where you can fill up on delicious food for a low price. This not only allows you to try a variety of dishes but also supports the local immigrant community.

Source: Journey Wonders – How to eat in Europe on a tight budget: 4 euros a day

2. Embrace Kids’ Meals

Another clever way to save money on dining in Europe is by ordering from the kids’ menu. These meals are often more affordable compared to regular portions, and they can still be quite filling. Don’t be shy to order from the kids’ menu; it’s a smart budget hack that won’t leave you hungry.

3. Explore Street Stands for Local Delights

If you’re looking to experience the authentic flavors of a city without breaking the bank, street stands and food stalls are your go-to option. These are where you’ll find affordable local cuisine that showcases the culinary traditions and cultural heritage of the region. From savory treats to sweet delicacies, your taste buds are in for a treat.

Source: The Savvy Backpacker – Grocery Stores

4. Shop and Dine at Shopping Malls

When hunger strikes and you’re on a tight budget, consider dining at shopping malls. These establishments often have food courts or affordable eateries where you can find a variety of budget-friendly options. From fast-food chains to local vendors, shopping malls provide a convenient and reasonably priced dining experience.

5. Cook Your Own Meals with Local Ingredients

For a truly immersive and affordable food experience, take advantage of the local grocery stores and cook your own meals. By preparing your own dishes, you not only save money but also have the opportunity to experiment with local ingredients and flavors. This can be especially fun if you’re staying in accommodations with kitchen facilities.

6. Visit Farmers’ Markets for Fresh and Affordable Produce

Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting farmers’ markets, which are abundant throughout Europe. These markets offer a wide variety of fresh produce at reasonable prices. Indulge in the vibrant colors and flavors as you gather ingredients for a delightful picnic or a homemade meal.

7. Discover Affordable Greengrocers

In addition to farmers’ markets, greengrocers are another treasure trove for affordable fruits and vegetables. These local stores specialize in fresh produce and often offer competitive prices. Stock up on healthy snacks or ingredients for your home-cooked meals, all while supporting local businesses.

8. Embrace Street Food and Budget Takeout Places

While cafeterias and food stalls are great for quick and inexpensive meals, street food and budget takeout restaurants offer a wider variety of options. Take a culinary journey through Europe by trying out different street foods that are both delicious and pocket-friendly. Grab a quick bite and savor unique flavors as you immerse yourself in the vibrant street food culture.

9. Seek Out Budget-Friendly Restaurants

Europe is filled with hidden culinary gems that offer incredible value for money. Do some research and seek out budget-friendly restaurants that provide delicious meals at affordable prices. Look for local favorites or family-run establishments that prioritize quality and affordability, allowing you to savor the flavors of Europe without straining your budget.

Key Takeaways:
– Immigrant-run restaurants often offer all-you-can-eat buffets, providing a great value for money.
– Opting for kids’ meals can save you money while still satisfying your hunger.
– Street stands and food stalls offer a taste of authentic local cuisine at affordable prices.
– Shopping malls often have food courts and affordable eateries, perfect for budget-friendly dining.
– Cook your own meals using ingredients from local grocery stores to save money and experience local flavors.
– Farmers’ markets and greengrocers are great places to find fresh and affordable produce.
– Explore the world of street food and budget takeout restaurants for a diverse range of cheap and quick meals.
– Seek out budget-friendly restaurants that prioritize quality and affordability.

Journey Wonders – How to eat in Europe on a tight budget: 4 euros a day
The Savvy Backpacker – Grocery Stores

Best Cheap Place To Travel In Europe


Q1: What are some of the best cheap places to visit in Europe?

A1: Some of the best cheap places to visit in Europe include Sofia, Budapest, Riga, Wroclaw, Vilnius, Bucharest, Split, Tallinn, Tbilisi, and Belgrade. These cities offer affordable hostel and hotel prices, ranging from $10 to $45 per night, making them ideal for budget travelers.

Q2: How can I find affordable accommodations in Europe?

A2: Websites like can be helpful in finding affordable accommodations in Europe. Kayak allows travelers to compare hotel and accommodation deals from hundreds of travel sites at once, offering price comparison, easy and fast booking, and enhanced cleaning options. They also provide specific categories like budget hotels, romantic hotels, and family hotels to cater to various travel preferences.

Q3: Are there any websites that offer deals on ferry tickets in Europe?

A3: Yes, websites like Direct Ferries offer the best ferry deals in Europe. Direct Ferries allows travelers to book and compare ferry tickets online, offering a wide choice of routes and destinations. With 2339 routes available, travelers can find the best ferry price and book their tickets conveniently.

Q4: Where can I find multi-day tours in Europe?

A4: Viator, a TripAdvisor company, offers over 345,000 things to do in Europe, including multi-day tours. Travelers can find and book skip-the-line tickets, museum tickets, day tours, guided tours, and bus tours. Viator provides a quick and easy purchase process and offers a full refund up to 24 hours before the tour date.

Q5: Are there any budget-friendly locations in Europe with stunning attractions?

A5: Yes, Florence, Rome, and Venice are budget-friendly locations in Europe that offer stunning attractions without breaking the bank. These cities provide a mix of historical landmarks, cultural experiences, and iconic sights that can be enjoyed on a budget.

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