Embarking on a European adventure? Now, you do not need to worry because I‘m giving you a list of places with cities and towns that won’t feel heavy on your purse.
This blog unfolds budget-friendly gems of Europe amidst its historic cobblestone streets and gorgeous landscape. Even if you dream of living in an affordable & safest country in Europe, I have got a blog for that too, go on read it!
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I’m sure you’ll find your sweet solace in a tapestry of towns and cities. So, let’s embark on low-cost European trips!
I will provide you with affordable countries, along with cities and towns to explore, as not every place within a country is budget-friendly.
Note: Here, not all the places may be the cheapest, but they are certainly some of the most affordable European travel destinations.
Table of Contents
Factors Affecting Travel Costs in Europe
- Opting for luxury hotels instead of hostels or Airbnb
- Opting for renting vehicles instead of using public transportation
- Not cooking your own food at the hostel, but dining out at touristy or Instagrammable places
- Not having sufficient knowledge of travel credit cards and using cards from your home country to make purchases
- Not purchasing travel insurance, thinking it’s a waste of money
- Not selecting affordable destinations or conducting thorough research, and consequently ending up in expensive cities
- Not choosing to engage with locals and discover hidden gems that are nearly free to explore
- Not planning adequately beforehand and rushing into decisions. Always travel during shoulder season
- Not choosing to explore one place but rather traveling to different destinations within a short period and incurring transportation expenses
Top Cheapest European Destination
Cheapest Places to Visit in North Eastern Europe
- Mid-range budget: 300 € (14 days)
- Shoulder season: late spring and early autumn
From the news of the legalization of same-sex marriage to Estonia, a land adorned with medieval castles, a verdant coastline, delectable food establishments, and progressive ideals, it stands out as one of the most affordable destinations to explore in Europe.
Nestled at the crossroads of Central Europe and Scandinavia, this somewhat lesser-known gem is flanked by Latvia and Russia. Its enchanting capital, Tallinn, is just a short boat journey away from Stockholm and Helsinki. And, without a doubt, shopping for Kopli Culture vintage clothes is a must!
Affordable things to do in Tallinn:
- You’ll definitely fall in love with cobblestone streets, antique stores
- See the jaw-dropping Toompea Hill, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral historic attractions, and Estonian Historic Museum
Affordable things to do in Lahemaa National Park & Vicinity
- To hike head to Viru Bog passing through lush forest, marshy wetlands, observation tower, and varied fauna
- Click the picture in front of Palmse Manor
Affordable things to do in Estonia’s Countryside
- With 60 € per person, you can book an expert at Soomaa National Park to hike and experience collecting mushrooms and berries
- After hiking dip into the water of Kakerdaja Bog
Cons: Public transport facilities are not reliable
- Mid-range budget: 380 € (14 days)
- Shoulder season: April – May and September – October
A destination that has recently opened up to foreign travelers is Lithuania, a cornucopia of buildings and stunning landscapes. To truly savor its essence, it’s advisable to spend at least a week here. If you have the means to hire a campervan, that would be the icing on the cake.
This economical European vacation spot boasts numerous sites waiting to be explored by you. The capital city, Vilnius, is not only rich in history but also holds the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site designation
Affordable things to do in Vilnius:
- But the tickets for € 1 for bus/trolley to reach the Old Town of Vilnius and book a free tour of Vilnius to explore the street art, charming roads, know hidden stories, and more
- Get your passport stamped and cross the border to enjoy and watch art installations by the walls of the main road
- Make your heart’s deepest secret wish at the Miracle Tile
- Click your picture at the Jewish Quarter and at Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn
Affordable things to do in Kaunas:
- Attend any event the city is celebrating. Kaunas is known as the European Capital of Culture
- Walk around the lovely tree-lined pedestrian street of Kaunas
- Watch the 53-meter-tall tower in Kaunas called City Hall
- Come to The Ninth Fort, a World War site
Affordable things to do in Siauliai:
- Watch the impressive religious architecture at the Hill of Crosses
- Shopping at Vilniaus Gatve. You can also purchase great art pieces
- Take a tour of Ruta Chocolate Factory, to learn about the production
Cheapest Places to Visit in South Eastern Europe
- Mid-range budget: € 510 (14 days)
- Shoulder season: winters
Montenegro is an affordable European holiday destination that boasts jaw-dropping landscapes, towering mountains, and a rich history. It’s so small that many North Americans still struggle to locate it on the map.
The standout feature of this place is its picturesque towns surrounded by natural wonders and bordered by Croatia and the Adriatic Sea. Podgorica, the capital, undoubtedly steals the spotlight as it has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Affordable things to do in Podgorica:
- Wander through Podgorica’s Old Town and witness 15th-century houses and fortresses that bear the marks of war. You can enjoy a city tour for just €1.
- Come to see the colourful eclectic interiors of the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
- Walk through the Millennium Bridge passing Old Town with the New Town
- Watch rare birds at Lake Skadar
Affordable things to do in Kotor
- Walk the Old Town of Kotor watching the white stone walls, and hidden courtyards
- Hike 1,300 steep steps of St. John Fortress to enjoy the city view from up! If you’re taking this route, you’ll come across more beautiful trails free of cost
- Come to the seafront Kotor Food Market, for an authentic Montenegro experience
Tip: Enjoy the rustic and natural Montenegro at Sveti Stefan, and Perast, the two amazing coastal town
- Mid-range budget: € 655 (14 days)
- Shoulder season: May
Romania is one of the best-value European destinations, but tourists often struggle to find the ideal starting point. Romania is renowned for its castles, local culture, cobblestone streets, and medieval architecture.
I would also consider it one of the most beautiful countries for budget travelers seeking cross-border road trips, as Romania is bordered by Bulgaria, Hungary, Ukraine, and Serbia. Although you can commence your journey from Bucharest, the capital, I recommend something different.
Affordable things to do in Brasov (the best budget-friendly place in Romania):
- Go for the amazing trip to “Dracula’s Castle”
- Take a free 10 am to 6 pm walking tour starting from the fountain in Piata Sfatului
- Click a picture in front of Catherine’s Gate
- Walk along the smallest alleyway in the country
Affordable things to do in Târgu Mures:
- Watch the architect around the city it’s from the Art Nouveau period
- Look at the 192 feet high spire – Prefecture Building
- Step inside the beautiful church – Big Orthodox Cathedral
Affordable things to do in Transylvania:
- Watch the fortified villages and churches at Saxon Village
- You can explore small villages like – Alma Vii, Richis, Cisnadioara, and Copsa Mare
- Watch the gothic structure of Transylvania – Corvin Castle
- Know what’s the difference between salt mines and others at Turda Salt Mine
Cheapest Places to Visit in Central Europe
- Mid-range budget: € 1,000 (14 days)
- Shoulder season: September- October
Croatia, a former Yugoslavian country, is one of the most affordable romantic getaways in Europe, offering spectacular beaches and breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea. If you’re a food lover, then I’m certain you’ll fall in love with this place.
However, in recent years, it has gained popularity through movies, leading to an increase in costs. The primary reason I came here was to visit Diocletian’s Palace in Split. If you’re more interested in café hopping and enjoying green parks, then Zagreb is the place for you.
Tip: Try out home-made pasta with Crni Rizot
Experience the Dalmatian Coast:
- Come to the coastline of Zadar to experience a unique Sea Organ that is influenced by waves and wind creating beautiful tunes in the air
- See the huge Diocletian’s Palace
- Swim with the view of the waterfall at Plitvice National Park
Affordable things to do in Trogir:
- Join the Skrapa Facebook page to attend some student party
- See the historic Medieval fortress
- Come to Drvenik Mali, and enjoy soaking in the sun among the olive groves
Off-the-Beaten Cheapest Places to Visit in Europe
- Mid-range budget: € 800 (14 days)
- Shoulder season: February
Slovakia is all about quaint charm, romantic pastoral mountain meadows adorned with castles, and breathtaking views of the Carpathian Mountains. Whether you’re sitting by the Danube River, soaking in the culture of Bratislava, or climbing the Tatras, Slovakia is a pure delight for backpackers!
Affordable things to do in Bratislava:
- Explore the oldest stone buildings and Castles around the Old town of the Bratislava City Museum
- Learn about the history of the bridge and click some photos with it
- See the home of the President – Grassalkovich Palace
- Take a walking tour and watch the beautiful murals on the wall
- Check the pretty The Little Blue Church
- Bratislava is one of the must-visit European cities on a budget. If you’re a lover of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, from here you need to check Spis Castles and Kosice
- If you’re in search of affordable winter vacations in Europe, check out Bratislava as the town is free from crowds and covered in snow. In the month of January attend the Ice Hockey Match
- Mid-range budget: € 630 (14 days)
- Shoulder season: Summer
Backpackers, are you in search of great winter holiday festivals? Welcome to Sarajevo, an affordable European city for solo travelers. Every year, hikers and water sports enthusiasts come to Bosnia and Herzegovina to explore the central Dinaric Alps and go water rafting in the deepest river canyon.
Affordable things to do in Sarajevo:
- Take a stroll along the Miljacka River, looking at the skyrise buildings, Austro-Hungarian grandeur, and Ottoman-era shops
- Take a foodie walking tour tasting the Bosnian-style brunch
- Go for free morning with cooking classes. You’ll learn how to prepare Bosnian coffee and typical meals
- Visit the old Jewish cemetery to explore the Tunnel of Hope
- Come to Lukomir, the oldest village to spend a day
Affordable things to do in Mostar:
- Take selfies with the Old Bridge which I call a fairy-tale bridge and come to the bridge and see the Old Town
- Walk the entire Old Town and shop from the street cafes and souvenir shops. For shopping, you can also come to Old Bazar Kujundziluk
- Spend a small fee to take a tour of the Kosi Mehmed Pasha mosque
Note: I recommend coming to Mostar in the month of September. It is the most budget-friendly European destination for families as the environment is much more peaceful and easy to explore
Tip: Restaurants can be expensive on your pocket, but you should try regional cafes that serve Cevapi, Pljeskavica, and Duvec
Affordable European Weekend Breaks Destinations
- Mid-range budget: € 670 (14 days)
- Shoulder season: Late July
Albania is one of the cheapest European getaways for shoestring travelers looking for Mediterranean sun and sand. However, a lot of people do not know that it is a melting pot with Turkish, Italian, and Greek culture. You’ll be amazed to see the stunning mosques and cathedrals around the city.
Affordable things to do in Albania:
- Come to Tirana to see the angular communist era Opera House and National History Museum
- Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of Albania’s Alps
- Come to Shkoder to explore the hidden flea market and some beautiful photography spots
- Explore the UNESCO-protected cobblestone streets of Gijrokaster
- Did you hear about the Photography Museum – “Gjon Mili” that gives you a vivid idea of life in the 20th century
- Go for a stunning manageable hike from Theth to Valbones
Tip: Taste the traditional spinach-and-cheese-filled-Byrek if you’re in Albania
9. Czech Republic
- Mid-range budget: € 940 (14 days)
- Shoulder season: March-May
I’m completely in awe of Český Krumlov, one of the fairytale towns in the Czech Republic. You won’t believe just how gorgeous this little town can be, with its cobblestone streets, minimal car traffic, and numerous castles. However, it does attract a lot of tourists. Also, you can visit Prague, the capital city during Christmas to take part in its Christmas celebration.
Affordable things to do in Český Krumlov:
- You should try out coffee at Non Solo Caffe. You can try some other places but here the coffee is really different
- Visit the museums around Old Town like the Egon Schiele Art Centrum, the Regional Museums, the Castle Museum, and Cesky Krumlov Monastery
- Come to see the Cesky Krumlov Castle to climb the top of the castle and enjoy the sweeping views
- Put “Křížová hora” on your Google Map to enjoy the walk watching the small chapel, monasteries, and best views of the town
Affordable things to do in Prague:
- Beer lovers, you need to try dark Kozel from the corner stores
- Strike a pose in front of The John Lennon Wall, the graffiti wall
- Enjoy the city view while paddle boating
- If you want to see the mini Eiffel Tower, look for Petrin
Cheapest European Countries to Visit in Summer
- Mid-range budget: € 1,088 (14 days)
- Shoulder season: April – May
Watching the wind shake the shrubs and rosemary, gazing at the blue Aegean Sea, and savoring the salt-filled air, Marmaris in Turkey is one of the best-value European cities to visit. The location is naturally gorgeous with a natural harbour by the bay surrounded by the mountains.
Affordable things to do in Marmaris:
- Just spend time doing “nothing” on this “Paradise Island” looking at the green Cennet Adasi. The environs are truly magical
- Check the Marmaris Castle built in the 16th century
- Hike along the subtropical forest of red pine at Marmaris National Park
- Go for a day trip to Yildiz Island
- If you love shopping, enjoy barraging at Marmaris Bazar
- Walk along the coastal path to reach Icemeler Old Village
- Mid-range budget: € 1,264 (14 days)
- Shoulder season: May and June
If you want to chill by the beach or hike in the Troodos Mountains in the summer come to– Cyprus, the most economical European backpacking place. The temperature here is nearly always warm and you’re going to love Paphos, the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Affordable things to do in Paphos:
- Anyone wanting to experience the cultural whilst and want to cherish archaeological ideas of Cyprus come to Tomb of the Kings
- You can go on a date by the harbor and enjoy a romantic walk
- Explore Pafos Castle. If you’re lucky you can watch festivals or functions performed here
- Stop to admire the Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa, Roman Catholic Church
- Walk a little way down to reach Paphos Old Town
Interesting fact: It is said that Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love was born in Paphos
- Mid-range budget: € 550 (14 days)
- Shoulder season: March
Greece is indeed one of the gorgeous budget-friendly European spots that you should include in your itineraries. However, spots around Santorini and Athens is a hell lot more expensive as compared to exotic island like Zakynthos which is very affordable.
Affordable things to do in Zakynthos :
- Get a tan and explore the white sand and blue water at Navagio Beach
- Soak yourself in sulfur hot springs at Xigia Beach
- Look at the old ruins of the Venetian Castle
- Park your car just next to the cliffs to enjoy the gorgeous view from The Cliffs of Keri
Accommodation Tips for Budget Travellers
- Find volunteering opportunities in hostels, homestays, or hotels. You offer them a service that can be as basic as helping in the kitchen or as good as making cinematic videos in exchange for free accommodation and free food
- Use apps like Couchsurfing and BeWelcome, where you can choose your host from the place you’re staying, in exchange for your love of traveling and any service you’re good at.
- Stay at hostel rooms in dormitory style. You need to share your room with other 4-6 fellow travelers but with all the amenities like Wi-Fi, curtains, lockers, big bathrooms, toiletries, and a lot more
- Exchange your home with some other fellow travelers in exchange for your living in their home. However, if you’re sure that there is no worry about valuable things at your place. Apps you can use are – Mind My House and House Carers
- Stay in a Monestry, live a life like a monk
Travel Hacks and Money-Saving Tips
- Check flights in incognito mode
- Buy flight tickets by using airport hub pricing
- Choose a free walking tour
- Start saving credit card points to buy flight tickets
- Talk more to locals
- Buy local tourist cards and transportation cards
- Carry your own water bottle and a lot of snacks and dry fruits
- Always bargain
- Keep your travel stories flexible. Do not rush
- Learn from your mistakes and try to come up with new solutions next time
FAQ: Cheapest Places to Visit in Europe
1. When is the best time to travel to Europe to get the cheapest deals?
A. To find affordable accommodation in Europe and secure other cheap deals, consider traveling during the shoulder season, which typically spans from October to early November and from March to April. It’s a transitional period between the off-season and peak season.
2. Which European cities offer the best value for money in terms of sightseeing and experiences?
A. Although I’ve provided a list of the cheapest places to visit in Europe above, you can also consider traveling to Warsaw in Poland and Lille in France.