10 of the Cheapest Places to Visit in Europe
For some, Europe is a dream destination, but the next moment we read a new article on Euronews telling us that it is home to some of the most expensive cities in the world.
Do you then decide not to go? Of course not!
While some destinations like Paris are indeed expensive, you can still find cheap places to visit in Europe, and in this article, we are going to show you a list of 10 of the cheapest cities to visit in the European continent.
In this article, you will find a snippets of things you can do, plus we will also show you where to stay on a budget and a cheap dining spot so that you don’t have to break the bank on your dream vacation!
It will be awesome if you click through the links to book your hotels here. There is totally no extra cost to you, but it gives us a small fee to keep the lights on!
What's covered in this post
- Budapest, Hungary
- Wroclaw, Poland
- Barcelona, Spain
- Krakow, Poland
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
- Bratislava, Slovakia
- Athens, Greece
- Zagreb, Croatia
- Cheapest places to visit in Europe: What’s your favourite?
- Logistics before visiting Europe
The capital of Hungary is blessed with stunning architecture and a distinct landscape, offering you things to do both on the hilly Buda side as well as the flat Pest side.
We love that it is very affordable plus the awesome music scene, and you get to hang out at cool ruin bars.
Budget for Budapest
Accommodation: €65 per night, twin sharing
Food: €17 per day, 2 meals. For breakfast, pop into any pastry shop for a quick bite, or buy cereal and milk.
Transport: €5 per day, could be less if you walk most of the time.
Total per day per person: €54.50
Best things to do in Budapest
Soak in a hot thermal bath. This is where you go to relax and let the natural spring water heal your body.
Wine and dine at a Ruin Bar. Some wise guy decided to turn derelict and abandoned spaces into snazzy drinking holes. What can go wrong here? Check out Szimpla Kert in the Jewish district.
Visit the Jewish district. We love this district for its thriving arts scene and fantastic dining options. You can easily spend a few hours here without noticing it.
Walk along the Chain Bridge. One of 8 bridges that span Budapest, Chain Bridge is the most magnificent, and especially gorgeous at night. It is one of the best spots to cross wander between Buda and Pest.
Dine at the Great Market Hall. While there are many market halls across Europe, this one is huge in scale and offers some of the freshest and tastiest food you can find in Budapest.
Admire the Parliament Building. Quite easily the prettiest building in all of Budapest, this Gothic marvel is right along the Danube, and the best spot to see it is right across the river. We recommend that you visit twice, as night and day makes a world of difference.
Where to stay on a budget in Budapest
- Cozy Studio at the Castle, €65 per night
- Budapest De Lux, €70 per night
- Kalman Apartman, €60 per night
Cheap food in Budapest
We highly recommend Bors Gastrobar, with delicious street food and sandwiches starting at only €4.
Kazinczy u. 10. 1075 Budapest, Hungary
There is no secret we love Poland, and Wroclaw is truly an undiscovered gem. You should check out our 2 days Wroclaw itinerary to find out more about this cool city.
Great food, one of the biggest Old Town Square in Europe, and quirky gnomes waiting to be discovered, you have to put Wroclaw in your bucket list right now!
Budget in Wroclaw
Accommodation: €50 per night, twin sharing
Food: €13 per day, 2 meals. For breakfast, get pastries from the local bakery.
Transport: €3 per day is more than enough to get around, since most of the sights are within walking distances of each other.
Total per day per person: €41
Best things to do in Wroclaw
Walk around Wroclaw Old Town Square. This is one of the largest town squares in Europe, and surrounding it are blocks of colourful buildings that survived both World Wars.
Hunt down the gnomes of Wroclaw. Spread out across the city of Wroclaw are some 300 plus dwarves that are begging to be found! These cute bronze figurines represents an important part of Wroclaw history, but they also make for excellent photos!
Walk down Stare Jatki. This short street is out of sight, and if you didn’t know where to look, you probably won’t find it. However, step inside to discover a row of art galleries by local artists, and don’t leave without a look at the Memorial to Slaughtered Animals.
Take your lunch at a Milk Bar. These budget cafeterias are a relic of the communist era, but they make for an interesting experience today. Try your best to order a local dish without knowing any Polish!
Explore Cathedral Island. You will find a small enclave in this island where the stunning Cathedral of St John the Baptist stands. Right around it, you will find some of the best preserved religious monuments in Wroclaw, and be sure to venture northwards to the botanical gardens.
Where to stay on a budget in Wroclaw
Cheap food in Wroclaw
While this is not the cheapest place to have a meal, we highly recommend Jaffa Bar & Market for its delicious fusion menu.
Plac Solny 14, 50-062 Wrocław, Poland
Steep in history, home of Gaudi and a city that is visitor friendly.
You need to visit Barcelona to witness its amazing architecture and soak in the vibrant atmosphere, along the way eating some of the best food in Europe.
Budget in Barcelona
Accommodation: €70 per night, twin sharing
Food: €23 per day, 2 meals. Breakfast from supermarkets or local bakeries.
Transport: €10 per day. The city center is easily walkable though, as one of the most pedestrian friendly cities in Europe.
Total per day per person: €68
Best things to do in Barcelona
Admire the La Sagrada Familia. There are outstanding architecture in Europe, then there is the Sagrada Familia. Still in the process of construction after 100 years, this Gaudi is a must see in Barcelona.
Eat at the Boqueria Market. Housed in a 19th century building, the market is now one of the best places in Barcelona to eat at, and make sure you don’t miss out the fish section right in the middle of the action.
Watch football in Camp Nou. Not only for football fans, the casual observer should consider a visit to one of the largest football stadiums in the world, and relish the rowdy atmosphere at one of the team’s games.
Walk through La Ramblas. It is like visiting Paris and not having a look at the Eiffel Tower. La Ramblas is the main pedestrian street in downtown Barcelona, and is filled with some of the best restaurants and street art in the city.
Feast on Tapas. In the country of tapas, you would be missing out on a culinary delight if you didn’t indulge in some. All across the city, you will find bars and cafes that has their own specialty, and be sure to try out the classic patatas bravas.
Where to stay on a budget in Barcelona
Cheap food in Barcelona
We recommend you check out Escairon, which is excellent for its Galician dishes.
Fontrodona 5, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
The city that got away during World War, Krakow.
While most of the capital Warsaw had to be rebuilt, Krakow has managed to preserve all its original buildings, creating a charming town centre, together with one of the most upbeat people in Poland.
Be sure to explore the quaint streets, marvel at the historical architecture, and take part in the growing cafe culture.
Related: 4 days in Krakow
Budget in Krakow
Accommodation: €40 per night, twin sharing
Food: €12 per day, 2 meals. Breakfast at local bakeries.
Transport: €3 per day. Old Town is all about walking, but there are some sights you may need to travel out to.
Total per day per person: €35
Best things to do in Krakow
Explore Krakow Old Town. Cobble stone streets, historical monuments and large areas to hang out and people watch. Here, you must pay a visit to St Mary’s Basilica in the Market Square, as well as picking up souvenirs at the Cloth Hall.
Admire the Wawel Castle. Perched on a hill, this majestic castle spans a huge area, and is one of the must see spots in Krakow for its impressive exterior and wide collection of art inside it.
See the Jewish Quarter on foot. Explore Kazimierz, a dynamic neighbourhood that is dotted with cafes and bars, alongside excellent restaurants. At night, the area transforms into a lively spot to appreciate live music and party into the wee hours.
Go subterranean at Rynek Underground. This is the best place to learn about the history of Krakow’s Old Town, showcasing over a thousand years of its past.
Hike up Kościuszko Mound. Stay active and walk up the mound built to commemorate Tadeusz Kościuszko, a national hero in Poland. The hike is steep, but well worth the effort when you reach the top for its amazing views.
Where to stay on a budget in Krakow
- Agnes Apartments Old Town, €45 per night
- Camera Apartments, €42 per night
- Rister Apartments, €42 per night
Cheap food in Krakow
There is so much good food in Krakow, but Marchewka z Groszkiem takes the cake.
Excellent Polish food, lively atmosphere plus reasonable prices, you must visit it!
Mostowa 2, 31-061 Kraków, Poland
The first city we visited in Europe, Lisbon brings back lovely memories.
We loved its laid back vibe, mixed in with classic buildings and large boulevards. The food was really excellent and we were able to stretch our dollars well here.
Budget in Lisbon
Accommodation: €84 per night
Food: €30 per day, 2 meals. Breakfast at local cafes for €2 or less.
Total per day per person: €84
Best things to do in Lisbon
Get lost in Alfama district. A maze of cobbled stone streets and alleys that seems to lead you to nowhere, but the next thing you realise is that you are almost up at Sao Jorge Castle, enjoying the splendid view of the city.
Half day in Belem. A maritime district of Lisbon, Belem is a truly magical place to visit in Lisbon, a place where great explorers once used to set sail to undiscovered lands. The Tower of Belem, Jeronimos Monastery, Monument to the Discoveries are all must sees, and definitely don’t miss out the best Portugese pasteis de Belem.
Shop for ceramics at Ceramicas na Linha. This is hands down the best place in Lisbon to buy a unique souvenir or some earthenware for your own home. Beautiful designs and an unbelievable price tag makes this a can’t miss.
Check out Barrio Alto. The central district of Lisbon, you might as well call it bohemian central. Fado bars and eclectic shops highlight the confluence of old and new, and the neighbourhood is full of character, suitable for both day and night.
Day trip to Sintra. One of the best day trips out of Lisbon is to Sintra, where you can find the picturesque Pena National Palace. The palace is extravagant, and the parks around it is lovely to walk around in.
Where to stay on a budget in Lisbon
Cheap food in Lisbon
The only restaurant that you cannot miss in Lisbon is this tiny family run joint, Tu e Eu, in Alfama district.
R. Adiça 58, 1100-538 Lisboa, Portugal
Prague, Czech Republic
The City of a Hundred Spires, it is easy to see why when you walk through the old medieval streets of Prague.
One of the most charming cities we have been to, Prague is a paradise for discovering a wide variety of styles that lived since a thousand years ago.
Besides having the biggest castle complex in the world, it is also home to a great arts and music scene, and the people’s energy is filled with positivity.
Related: 4 days in Prague itinerary
Budget in Prague
Accommodation: €70 per night, twin sharing.
Food: €15 per day, breakfast at hotel or pastries from local bakery.
Total per day per person: €55
Best things to do in Prague
Explore the castle district. Where the world’s largest castle complex is found, Prague Castle is one of the top spots to visit in Prague. Come here to admire its grandeur and complexity of its designs, which encompassed almost all styles from the last 100 years.
Stroll around the New Town. In Nove Mesto, start from Wenceslas Square, where history was made during the Velvet Revolution, and head on the streets around it to check out some of the best food establishments in Prague.
Take a walk on Charles Bridge. Or any of the other 16 bridges along the Vltava River. Just remember, please don’t buy love locks and put them on the railings on the bridge! Come during day break for the quietest moments.
Relax on Strelecky Island. Hidden in plain sight in the middle of Prague, this small strip of land is perfect for a day out in the sun and relaxing. Bring a picnic with you.
Roam around Old Town Square. One of the most beautiful town squares in Europe, you have to visit the Church of Our Lady Upon Tyn and take a look at the world’s oldest functioning astronomical clock.
Where to stay on a budget in Prague
Cheap food in Prague
Check out Ferdinanda, a local cuisine cafe that focuses more on the quality of the food rather than its presentation, which means budget friendly prices for all.
Politických vězňů 1597/19, 110 00 Nové Město, Prague
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
A small quaint town south of Prague, or you can in fact call it a village, Cesky Krumlov is extremely easy to fall in love with in spite of its tiny stature.
Lovely streets to stroll along and cute shops to discover local artwork, the budding coffee scene just adds to its allure.
You can easily see it in a day or two, and you can find out more in our Cesky Krumlov day trip here.
Budget in Cesky Krumlov
Accommodation: €50 per night, twin sharing
Transport: €0, since the entire city is walkable, but do factor in cost to get there, which is about €14 return.
Total per day per person: €57 including return bus fares
Best things to do in Cesky Krumlov
Start at the Svornosti Square. The center of Cesky Krumlov, come here to admire its modest architecture, and explore the side streets that connects to it. The corners are lined with some excellent cafes, so get your coffee fix here too.
Museum of Torture. For those who has an interest in medieval torture techniques and apparatus, and learn about how crimes were being punished in the past.
Climb up Cesky Krumlov Castle. The most noticeable structure in Cesky Krumlov is this huge castle that dominates the skyline. Climb your way up to the top to get the best panoramic views of this gorgeous little town. Don’t forget to say hi to the 2 bears in the castle moats!
Visit the Minorite Monastery. Previously used to house Minorites and Claire nuns, it is now open to the public to view its Baroque art pieces and sculptures. Right around the corner is where you can get the best sight of the Vltava River.
Where to stay on a budget in Cesky Krumlov
Cheap food in Cesky Krumlov
Hearty Czech food and delicious local beer, all priced like it’s meant for students. You know what to do guys, don’t miss out Hospoda Na Louzi.
Kájovská 66, 381 01 Český Krumlov, Czechia
A lot of visitors to the area focus on the golden triangle of Vienna, Budapest and Prague. However, there is something special about Bratislava, an old school vibe catching up with the world.
Come explore the well preserved Old Town and the imposing white Castle, and you can learn more in our One Day Bratislava Itinerary.
Budget in Bratislava
Accommodation: €65 per night, twin sharing
Food: €14 per day, 2 meals
Transport: €0, Bratislava Old Town is walking only, unless you intend to venture out to other parts of Bratislava.
Total per day per person: €46.50
Best things to do in Bratislava
Take a walk in Grassalkovich Palace and Gardens. While the Palace is out of bounds, the gardens behind it is one of the green spaces in Bratislava and you should have a look at the presidential office from the outside too.
Get the best view from St Michael’s Tower. An icon of the city, it is one of the last remaining gates in Bratislava from medieval times, and the tower offers a beautiful look across the charming Old Town.
Explore the Old Town and Town Square. The streets of leading to Old Town are full of cute little shops selling trinkets and quirky cafes bringing up the status of Bratislava’s cafe culture. Sit for a coffee and people watch.
Hunt down the Man at Work. Who? His name is Cumil, and he is one of many statues placed around the city. Lying along the floor in Old Town, he can be easy to miss, but not when everyone is trying to snag a selfie with him.
Hike up Bratislava Castle. The shiny white castle across the Danube is eye catching, and is the grandest of all buildings in Bratislava. You should take the alleys to get up there rather than taking a bus, as that lets you pass by some of the coolest street art as well as rustic bars.
Where to stay on a budget in Bratislava
- In the heart of Bratislava, €63 per night
- Amazing City Apartment, €70 per night
- Rooftop Studio in absolute centre of Bratislava, €66 per night
Cheap food in Bratislava
An authentic and rustic restaurant tucked away in Old Town, Cafe Verne is a must visit for its delicious black pasta and the roast meats on offer. Prices are not the lowest but certainly worth every penny.
Hviezdoslavovo namestie 175/18, 81102 Stare Mesto, Slovakia
One of the world’s oldest cities, and the shining example of Greek architecture, Athens.
In the mish mash of chaos and noise, it is easy to find a corner for yourself to relax and admire this beautiful capital.
Take in the excellent Greek cuisine and make friends with the locals, who are always ready to help a traveller out.
Budget in Athens
Accommodation: €70 per night, twin sharing.
Food: €18, 2 meals. Breakfast at local bakery.
Total per day per person: €59
Best things to do in Athens
Head up the Acropolis. There is nowhere more iconic or representative of Athens than the Acropolis. Marvel at the ancient ruins of the Parthenon and the sites around it. At the top, you will have sweeping views across the whole city of Athens.
Visit the Acropolis Museum. To learn more about the history of the Acropolis and see the original pieces of archaeological discoveries, you should definitely be at this museum. Every floor offers something amazing to discover, and be sure to head to the basement right outside the main building to see the preserved ruins from olden days.
Explore Monastiraki. One of the liveliest neighbourhoods in Athens, come here for the markets where you can pick up locally made handicrafts and chill out at the stylish bars.
Hike up Lycabettus Hill. While it is a great activity to head up the Acropolis, the best view is from afar. And on Lycabettus Hill, which requires a steep but short hike up, you can have the best view of Acropolis. Come during sunset.
Take a free walking tour with a local. Totally free, unlike some other tours that requires a donation. Plan with a local where you would like to visit, and he or she will take you through the places and give you insights and local tips.
Where to stay on a budget in Athens
- Central Athens Loft with Large Terrace, €78 per night
- Connect Studios and Apartments, €50 per night
- Deluxe furnished apt in central Athens, €73 per night
Cheap food in Athens
Great service and tasty local food, the prices here are reasonable and the atmosphere is excellent. Be sure to dine at Mylolithos.
Panormou 20, Athina 115 23, Greece
The capital of Croatia can seem a bit stale, considering that there are so many wonderful cities in Croatia that are just begging to be discovered.
However, this big modern city has its fair share of activities for all kinds of travellers, from culture to nature, all well within reach of the city center.
Spend a couple of days here before venturing out to the coastal cities such as Split and Dubrovnik.
Budget in Zagreb
Accommodation: €47 per night, twin sharing.
Food: €20 per day, 2 meals.
Total per day person: €49.50
Best things to do in Zagreb
Shop at a farmer’s market. With more than 20 to choose from, the farmer’s markets are some of the best places to experience local activities and eat delicious and cheap food. Try Dolac or Britannac.
Visit Zagreb Cathedral. One of the most famous landmarks in Croatia, a visit to the Zagreb Cathedral should be on the top of your list. It reminds us of the one in Cologne, but at a slightly smaller scale. Still beautiful though, and easily accessible since it is in the city center.
Explore Old Town. While it might not be the most popular old towns around Europe, it does have its charm. Wander around the winding streets and make your way to St Mark’s Church. The colours and designs that adorn the roof is exquisite.
Day trip to Plitvice Lakes. It looks like paradise, and you would be forgiven for thinking that way. Just under 2 hours away, put on your walking shoes to hike through the stunning emerald lakes that is so pure and clear. The forest helps put your mind at peace, and the views, to die for.
Where to stay on a budget in Zagreb
- Apartment Perla, €47 per night
- Apartments Simple Teslina, €47 per night
- Sasha Apartment, €40 per night
Cheap food in Zagreb
The best place to have reasonably priced and delicious local cuisine in Zagreb: Pri Zvoncu. Hands down.
Ul. Vrbik XII 1, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Cheapest places to visit in Europe: What’s your favourite?
Look, we know there are possibly many other cities in Europe that are cheaper than those mentioned above, but we chose them for the easy access, its diversity, and also because we love them.
So, what’s yours? Is it in this list or do you have somewhere else to suggest?
Leave us a comment if you do!
We hope this post has helped opened your eyes to budget travel destinations in Europe, and can help you plan your trip better. You should also check out more of the best places to visit in Europe and get inspired for your next adventure!
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Logistics before visiting Europe
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Find the best accommodation.
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Handy travel guide.
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