7 Cheapest Cities In Europe, Where You Can Go TodayRuss Bily
Despite the relative accessibility of exotic resorts, Europe more and more attracts tourists. After all, here you can find a special atmosphere, a lot of ancient architecture, a worthy service.
To get vivid impressions of the journey, it is not necessary to spend a lot of money and go to the other end of the world. There are many more decent cities, where you can go quite budget.
In this article, we are going to introduce you to the cheapest countries in Europe, 7 best budget destinations.
We are sure that our unique rating will help you to have a great vacation, even on a budget.
There are always cheap flights to Vilnius and this is already a weighty argument for those who want to relax on a budget.
But not the only argument! Vilnius is a cozy European capital, where you can feel at home. The traditional historical center with elegant squares, narrow streets and parks fully harmoniously combines with modern Vilnius, where freedom of self-expression is boiling, and even the echoes of the Soviet past turn into art objects.
The farther south you get in this region, the cheaper things get, so this is a stand-out budget destination. Vilnius is noticeably less touristy than Tallinn or Riga, even though it had more of a grand look to it. This means most things are priced for locals, and finding good deals on meals and drinks is very easy.
There are few attractions in Vilnius so it’s more about just wandering around enjoying the city center and then taking in the view from the castle tower. Many attractions are free and even those that charge admission tend to charge very little.
Hotel rooms and hostel beds are also cheap by European standards), so Vilnius might even be a good place for a little splurge for those who are on the road for extended trips. Three-star hotels offer very good value here, and 4-star hotels can be surprisingly cheap, especially outside of the high season.
Beer is the cheapest and most popular thing to drink here, and the local breweries have above average reputations for quality.
Who likes it: romantics and youth
A budget for a day: from € 23-25
Accommodation: Hostel – from € 5, double room in hotel 3 * – from € 35 per night
Food & drinks: € 15-20
Sightseeing: free; Museums: € 3
Prices in Budapest are relatively inviting to the travelers. You can also find cheap tickets to Budapest. Accommodation here is quite budget: hotels and apartments in Budapest are much cheaper than in other European capitals. Inspection of the Hungarian capital should be devoted at least three days – so many interesting places.
Often referred to as “the Paris of the East,” Hungary’s capital city provides a unique adventure for travelers looking to explore a city which is quietly charming by day and bursting with life by night.
Budget travelers will also find a lot of things to do in Budapest that are free. You can easily choose the free, self-guided tour itinerary and stroll through some of Europe’s most well-preserved historical sites.
For incredible, panoramic views, meander across Chain Bridge or hike to the summit of Gellért Hill. Plan to spend a few hours exploring Castle Hill, the vehicle-free, UNESCO World Heritage site that sits along the Danube River. Here you’ll find the Buda Castle, the underground Castle Labyrinth, Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church, and many more captivating medieval landmarks. St. Stephen’s Basilica is the largest church in Budapest, and it’s also free to visit.
Other spots worth checking out include Károlyi Gardens, Szabadság Square, Heroes Square, Millenáris Park and Lake Balaton.
We recommend walking as your best bet for getting around—especially if you’re staying near the city center or its historic districts. However, Budapest offers plenty of cheap public transportation options, including four metro lines, major tram lines, bus and trolley services, and even a boat service that operates summer through fall.
For the best and most affordable accommodations, your best bet is to book a hostel in the city center or green belt. For a cheap stay, check out some of the quiet side streets or forgo the 2-person room in favor of a dormitory. Hostelworld.com lists a number of highly rated hostels that offer dorms starting at € 5-8 per night.
There are also endless places to eat in Budapest where you can experience traditional Hungarian food at a reasonable price. Keep in mind that the food in Hungary is quite heavy, and the meals here will keep you full for hours – meaning you might be able to skip a meal or two, which will definitely help the budget.
Have a look at the Great Market Hall, Budapest’s oldest and largest indoor market. There you’ll find seasonal, affordable produce, pickled vegetables, meats, and spices. You can also take a table at a self-service restaurant. These diners typically offer a main dish and a soup for around € 2.
Who will like it: everyone, especially fans of architecture
A budget for a day: from € 25-30
Accommodation: Hostel – from € 8-12, double room in hotel 3 * – from € 20 per night.
Food & drinks: € 12-15
Museums: € 3
Related: Travel from Prague to Budapest
If we talk about cheap destinations in Europe, then Romania is in the first line of all ratings. Not indulged by the attention of tourists, Bucharest is struggling to attract it.
Many tourists have already fallen in love with “Little Paris” – as it was once called Bucharest, although the scale and pomposity of the local architecture somehow do not match this name. The majestic city center contrasts with the new part, where from nowhere emerged modern glass skyscrapers. In Bucharest, it is best to go in the spring, when numerous parks blossom and the city is buried in greenery.
Vibrant and atmospheric, Bucharest is a very budget-friendly destination. Major landmarks in Bucharest include Parliament Palace, Lipscani, Revolution Square, the Arch of Triumph, Romanian Atheneum, and the WWII American Memorial. Museums include the Village Museum, the Museum of the Romanian Peasant, the Art Museum, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the Old Court Museum, Cotroceni Palace Museum, and the Bucharest History Museum, among many others.
There are also many churches and monasteries in the city. These include Curtea Veche Church, Patriarchal Cathedral, Stavropoleos Church, Coltea Church, New St. George Church, Kretzulescu Church, Plumbuita Monastery, and Otetari Church.
Eating out in Bucharest is cheap by European standards. There are restaurants that range in price and style and you can usually find something you like whether you’re looking for fine dining, are quick and cheap. Many restaurants have a menu option that includes an appetizer, main dish, dessert and drink for about 7 euros. It’s possible to find traditional Romanian food as well as international options such as Turkish, Italian, French, Chinese, Spanish, Indian, Greek, and Japanese.
Public transportation in Bucharest is very comprehensive, although it is often crowded and chaotic. The underground covers most areas in the city. It’s very cheap and is a relatively easy way to get around. There is also a very elaborate network of buses, trams, and trolleybuses. It can feel confusing at first, simply because it is so large, but once you’ve figured out where you’re going, it can be a great way to travel.
Who will like it: discoverers, lovers of large squares
A budget for a day: from $ 25
Accommodation: Hostel – from € 7, double room in hotel 3 * – from € 21 per night.
Transportation: € 2
Food & drinks: € 9-12
Sightseeing: € 4
A visa-free country with the possibility of an inexpensive and fast flight – what could be better? Istanbul is always relevant for everyone who wants to have a busy weekend.
In this city, there is something to see, what to try and where to relax your soul and body. And even if you come to Istanbul, not for the first time, there will always be something new and amazing, which again will make you fall in love with this city.
There are many free events all around Istanbul that you can enjoy without paying a dime. A lot of museums have specific times or days where the entrance is free, the metros always have local musicians playing, Istiklal Street is full of street performers, and it definitely doesn’t cost anything to explore the many amazing historical neighborhoods such as Balat.
Istanbul has a lot of accommodation and there are plenty of great options when it comes to staying tight on the budget. Stay in hostels rather than hotels to get the cheapest price, especially dorm rooms that you can share with other travelers, which will also mean you’ll meet some new people. Hostels can be pretty cool, Istanbul happens to have some pretty great design hostels at great prices.
One of the best places to eat in Istanbul for great prices is tradesmen restaurants. These restaurants are always open for lunch and you’ll quickly recognize them because of their cafeteria style display of the day’s freshly made home-cooked dishes.
Don’t buy a single ticket to get on the metro or bus because it’s almost double what you would pay if you just get yourself an Istanbul Card. These cards are available at kiosks all over the city and you can fill them up with cash at every metro station via the machines, which also offer English instructions. Istanbul has a pretty sophisticated public transport system and there is a bus, metro, tram, or boat to almost every destination. To travel around the city, take a dolmuş, a small bus, instead of a cab.
Who will like it: everyone, especially lovers of history and those who appreciate the oriental flavor
A budget for a day: from € 30
Accommodation: Hostel – from € 12, double room in hotel 3 * – from € 42 per night.
Transportation: € 2-3
Food & drinks: € 7
Sightseeing, entertainment: € 4-5
Krakow has long been dubbed the most beautiful city in Poland. But in fact it is worth exploring the whole country, after all, Warsaw, Wroclaw, and many small, but very cozy Polish towns are simply adorable!
But Krakow is the place where you can touch the pages of European history. This is the place where there are unity and tranquility.
There are a lot of free events and places of interest in Krakow. Moreover, a great number of museums offer free admission for one day each week, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (MOCAK), Schindler’s Factory, Rynek Underground Museum.
When it comes to budget accommodations, consider snagging a bed in a hostel. A stay in a hostel dormitory starts at around € 4 per night, with private rooms typically ranging from € 20-€ 70. Visit HostelWorld.com for the best options.
If hostels aren’t your cup of tea, consider booking a bed-and-breakfast or a guest house. There are many holiday apartments for rent in Kraków, especially in Old Town and Kazimierz Town. And if you’re traveling in the summer months, consider staying in a student-dorm-turned-cheap hotel.
The train is your best bet for cheap transportation from the airport; the 15-20 minute ride to the City Center costs about € 2 for a one-way ticket. And while Kraków offers sufficient bus and tram lines, single tickets within the city are only about € 1, the city is small enough to explore by bike or foot. Bike rentals and docking stations are scattered all along the streets and rides under 20 minutes long are free of charge.
If you’re most looking forward to indulging in the local fare, you’ll be pleased to learn that you can do so quite easily on a budget. Just stop by one of Kraków’s popular farmer’s markets, like Stary Kleparz, for fresh, low-cost products.
Travelers seeking an old-world Polish experience should visit one of Kraków’s notorious milk bars, known as “bar mleczny.” These cheap cafeterias, leftover from the Communist era, continue to offer subsidized meals to locals and foreigners alike.
Who will like it: those who are interested in history
A budget for a day: from € 25-30
Accommodation: Hostel – from € 4-8, double room in hotel 3 * – from € 26 per night.
Transportation: € 2
Food & drinks: € 9-10
Sightseeing: € 2-3
Not only Tbilisi, but all Georgia is worthy of attention. To fly cheaper in Kutaisi, where you can quickly get to the capital, and to the sea of Batumi.
Because of the influx of tourists, prices in Georgian top cities have jumped a little, but if you go not to the most popular places – you will be very pleasantly surprised. In any case, Georgia is a good choice because you do not need to issue a visa, cheap tickets and accommodation can be found without problems, especially in March-April and October, when the weather is quite warm, and tourists are already fewer times. Well, as for the hospitality of Georgians, many legends have already been composed, and all of them are truthful!
Though you’re probably more likely to visit Georgia for amazing rural churches or the beaches of Batumi, you will almost certainly spend time in the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi. Rather than rushing through on the way to other adventures, take some time to explore. The prices are low, the people are friendly, and Tbilisi is a place of cheap coffee and pastries.
You can get by as a tourist in Tbilisi for about 25 Lari (€ 9) per day, but this is going to be a pretty unhealthy diet of delicious fried foods and not much in the way of museums or pay-to-play activities during the day. If your budget allows for around 50 Lari (€ 9) per day you can absorb some culture, eat some really tasty foods, and drink a bit of that famous Georgian red wine.
Who will like it: those who love nature and freedom. And, of course, wine!
A budget for a day: from € 18-20
Accommodation: Hostel – from € 5, double room in hotel 3 * – from € 52 per night.
Transportation: € 2-3
Food & drinks: € 8-10
Sightseeing: € 2-3
The final chord in our list of cheap destinations is another Baltic country. Latvia is a European, well-groomed and clean city. And the Europeans do not expect anything special from Riga as a standard European city, but in fact, they always remember the pompous buildings that have remained here since the Stalin era.
The historic center was completely restored in the middle of the 20th century, and there really is not the spirit of Old Europe like, say, in the same Vilnius, but Riga still pleases its colorful squares, narrow streets and a canal with boats right in the middle of the city. There is a sense of slowness and dimensionality, which so many European capitals lack.
Like most of Eastern Europe, hostels in Riga are cheap. And they’re usually much nicer quality than you’ll find in Western Europe. Airbnb rentals are also super affordable, so that’s a great option if you want some privacy or are traveling in a group. Hostels cost €9-18 (bed in a shared dorm room). You should budget about €12 /night per person for a decent hostel, although many hostels raise their prices on the weekend.
Transit access can be purchased by the number of trips or for a set amount of time. 24-hour access for all routes is € 5. Airport transit from the city center via bus is 2 €.
Food is cheap in Riga, so there are plenty of affordable restaurants — but you’ll want to do a little research to find the best quality. However, if you plan on eating in Castle Square, you’re going to pay a premium, so watch out for that. But no matter where you eat, a meal in a normal restaurant is going to be cheap. Many places offer business lunch, which is a fixed-price menu that consists of a starter, a main, and a drink. Expect to pay anywhere from € 3-5.
Like most Baltic and Eastern European cuisine, traditional Latvian food is heavy on the pork, potatoes, and cabbage. Pickled vegetables – mushrooms, cucumbers, and beets – are a common accompaniment to all meals.
Who likes: nostalgic and wanting tranquility
A budget for a day: from € 25
Accommodation: Hostel – from € 9, double room in hotel 3 * – from € 37 per night.
Transportation: € 2-3
Food & drinks: € 9
Sightseeing: € 5
For a traveler looking to explore the ancient cities of Europe on a budget, a stop in these 7 cities is a no-brainer.
But before you set sail on your international adventure, remember that prices can vary depending on when and where you are booking, so try to book in advance to get the cheapest deals for tickets and accommodation.
Use tourist cards to save a lot of money on public transport and city attractions. Finally, you can eat tasty national food without spending too much money.
By the way, if you want to visit Europe without wasting money but with a lot of comfort and fun, you can choose a private car with a local English-speaking driver using our service.