15 Cheapest European Cities You Have to Visit

The European continent’s history, culture, and natural beauty have always attracted tourists. Although grandiose and luxurious images often come to mind, there are some hidden jewels in Europe for more thrifty travelers. These are some of the cheapest European cities you have to visit.

15 Best Cities in Europe to Visit on a Budget - Kids Are A Trip

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In this guide, you’ll get to know some of Europe’s popular gems. These are places that offer rich experiences without the extravagant price tags.

Whether you’re an intrepid adventurer on a shoestring budget or a savvy traveler looking for a unique experience without the financial strain, these European cities promise to deliver exceptional memories that won’t empty your wallet. Are you ready to save money in Europe?

Cheapest European Cities to Visit on Your Next Vacation

1. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is a city that has beautiful architecture and a lively cultural life. Due to the value it offers, it’s a great place for tourists on a tight budget.

You can soak in the healing waters of its thermal baths and stroll along the majestic Danube River. You can even admire the grandeur of Buda Castle without emptying your wallet.

Budapest offers a range of options. There are budget hostels (starting at $10-20 per night) to mid-range hotels ($20-60 per night). Vacation rentals are also affordable.

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You can enjoy local Hungarian cuisine at restaurants for $10-20 per person. Try traditional dishes like goulash, langos, or chimney cake at affordable prices.

Entry to popular attractions like Buda Castle or the Hungarian Parliament Building is less than $15. A visit to the Széchenyi Thermal Bath is around $20.

Budapest’s efficient public transportation system is budget-friendly. There is a 24-hour pass costing under $5. Trams, buses, and the metro make it easy to explore the city.

2. Krakow, Poland

Krakow is an alluring destination for tourists looking for both meaningful experiences and affordability because it is a city rich in history and culture.

Mid-range hotels in Krakow typically start at $30-70 per night. Hostels and Airbnb accommodations are also readily available.

Dining at local restaurants is budget-friendly, with meals for two costing around $20-30. Don’t miss trying pierogi or kielbasa.

Entry fees for attractions like the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum vary but are generally around $15-20. It is fairly easy to plan an Auschwitz tour from Krakow.

Visiting the historic Old Town is free. An individual ticket for public transit, such as trams and buses, costs less than $1.

3. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon attracts tourists with its balmy weather, stunning scenery, and laid-back vibe. This place is ideal for adventurers on a tight budget.

Guesthouses and hostels are only a couple of the lodging choices Lisbon has to offer. Midscale hotels cost between $40 and $100 per night.

Cheapest European cities Lisbon

At nearby eateries, enjoy Portuguese food for roughly $15–25 per person. Try dishes like bacalhau (codfish) or pastéis de nata (custard tarts).

Visiting attractions such as the Belém Tower or Jerónimos Monastery costs around $10-15 each. Exploring neighborhoods like Alfama is free.

Lisbon’s trams and buses are convenient and affordable, with a single ride costing less than $3. Consider purchasing a Lisboa Card for unlimited public transportation. You may also get discounted entry to attractions.

4. Funchal, Madeira

Madeira is a popular and reasonably priced destination in Europe that you should visit.  Madeira’s lush landscapes, dramatic cliffs, and enchanting hiking trails beckon adventurers seeking an unforgettable experience that won’t break the bank.

Whether you’re immersing yourself in the island’s vibrant forests, indulging in local flavors, or enjoying the best hikes in Madeira, it’s nice to explore without the burden of extravagant costs.

With mid-range hotel prices starting at around $60-80 per night and meals at local restaurants averaging $15-20 per person, it’s a European getaway that offers both nature’s wonders and budget-friendly charm.

5. Riga, Latvia

Riga is less expensive than many other European capitals. It provides visitors with an insight into its fascinating history and lovely architecture. Here, you can enjoy reasonably affordable lodging and dining options.

Mid-range hotels are available for $40-80 per night, making Riga quite affordable. Hostels and budget guesthouses are also accessible.

Enjoy Latvian cuisine at local restaurants for about $10-20 per person. Taste traditional dishes like gray peas with bacon or rye bread soup.

Exploring Riga’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is free. Entry to museums, such as the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, typically costs around $5-7.

Public transportation in Riga, including trams and buses, is economical. A single ticket is priced at less than $2.

6. Prague, Czech Republic

Travelers on a tight budget would adore Prague. The city has a magical ambiance and stunning Gothic and Baroque architecture. Here, you can explore the famous Charles Bridge and take in the view of the Astronomical Clock.

Mid-range hotel prices start at around $50-100 per night. Hostels and affordable guesthouses provide budget options. Dining out is reasonable, with meals at local restaurants averaging $15-25 per person.

Prague Charles bridge

You can also eat hearty Czech fare in welcoming taverns all on a budget. Don’t miss trying traditional Czech dishes like svíčková or trdelník.

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Entry to attractions such as the Prague Castle or Charles Bridge Tower is approximately $10-15. Strolling through the historic Old Town is free.

Prague’s public transportation consists of trams and the metro. They are cost-effective, with a 90-minute ticket priced at less than $2. Consider purchasing a Prague Card for unlimited travel and discounts on attractions.

7. Valencia, Spain

While Barcelona and Madrid may grab the spotlight, for travelers on a tight budget, Valencia is a gem. Here, there are beautiful beaches and verdant parks that won’t break the bank.

There are many different lodging alternatives in Valencia. The mid-range hotel rates begin at roughly $60–120 per night. There are also modest guesthouses and hostels available.

Dining in Valencia is reasonably priced, with meals at local restaurants averaging $15-30 per person. Be sure to try the iconic paella, which is both delicious and budget-friendly.

Many attractions in Valencia are affordable, with entry fees ranging from $5-15. Explore the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences or relax on the beautiful beaches for free.

Valencia’s public transportation system includes buses and trams. This budget-friendly, with a single ticket costing around $1.50. Consider purchasing a Valencia Tourist Card for unlimited travel and discounts on attractions.

8. Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, is a fascinating blend of tradition, culture, and affordability. It’s truly one of the cheapest European cities to visit. Without going over your budget, you can explore antiquated Roman ruins, see stunning churches, and savor hearty Bulgarian meals.

Sofia offers affordable accommodation options. Mid-range hotel prices starting at approximately $30-70 per night. Hostels and guesthouses provide even more budget-friendly choices.

Dining out in Sofia is incredibly affordable. Meals at local restaurants cost around $5-10 per person. Try traditional Bulgarian dishes like banitsa or kebapche.

Sofia’s public transportation system is one of the most affordable in Europe. They include trams and buses. Admission to attractions typically costs $2 to $10.

9. Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest provides an alluring variety of architectural styles. Soviet Era buildings are intermingled with Belle Époque structures. The city’s low cost of living makes it a budget traveler’s dream.

Bucharest offers budget-friendly accommodation options. Mid-range hotel prices start at around $40-80 per night. Hostels and guesthouses provide even more cost-effective choices.

Bucharest Romania itinerary

Dining in Bucharest is affordable. The meals at local restaurants average $10-20 per person. Sample Romanian specialties like mămăligă or sarmale.

Entry fees for attractions in Bucharest are typically reasonable, ranging from $5-10. 

Public transportation in Bucharest, includes trams and buses. They are inexpensive, with a single ticket priced at less than $1. Consider purchasing a travel card for convenience.

10. Split, Croatia

While Dubrovnik can be pricey, Split offers a taste of Croatia’s stunning coastline without the high costs. This ancient city boasts Roman architecture and a lively waterfront promenade. From here, it is easy access to the picturesque Dalmatian Islands and the interior National Parks.

You can enjoy fresh seafood and local wines without straining your budget. This makes Split an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers. Dining in Split is affordable, with meals at local restaurants averaging $15-30 per person. Indulge in fresh seafood and Dalmatian specialties like squid ink risotto.

Cheapest European cities Split Croatia

Split offers a range of accommodation options. Mid-range hotel prices start at approximately $60-120 per night. Hostels and guesthouses provide more budget-friendly choices.

Some attractions may have entry fees of around $10-15. However, you can explore the historic Old Town and the stunning waterfront promenade for free. Take affordable ferry trips to the nearby Dalmatian Islands.

Split’s public transportation system is comprised of buses and ferries. They are reasonably priced, with local bus tickets costing around $2. Consider purchasing a travel card for convenience and discounts.

11. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The city of Sarajevo, another one of the Balkan countries, is one of Europe’s hidden gems. Cobblestone streets, bustling cafes, and one of the oldest mosques in the Balkans can be found here. Sarajevo is a gem because of its affordability for tourists on a low budget. It’s perfect for those wanting a flavor of Eastern Europe.

In Sarajevo, midrange hotels start at around $30 to 80 per night. Hostels and guesthouses provide more affordable lodging choices.

Meals at nearby eateries go between $5 and $10 per person. This makes eating out relatively reasonable. Eat some classic Bosnian cuisine like Bosanski lonac and burek.

The admission prices for several of Sarajevo’s attractions normally range from $2 to $5. Visit the Sarajevo War Tunnel, stroll through the city’s ancient old town, and watch a sunset from the Yellow Fortress.

Transportation is inexpensive. A single ticket for the trams, buses, and other forms of public transit in Sarajevo costs less than a dollar.

12. Belgrade, Serbia

The city of contrasts and coexistence of the past and modern is Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Belgrade has a thriving nightlife, gorgeous historical structures, and beautiful parks. It is a location with a lot to offer.

Belgrade Serbia city walls

In Belgrade, midrange hotel rates start at roughly $40 to $80 per night. However, hostels and guesthouses provide more affordable options.

Dining out is budget-friendly, with meals at local restaurants averaging $10-20 per person. Try Serbian specialties like ćevapi and sarma.

Many attractions in Belgrade are affordable, with entry fees ranging from $2-5. Explore the Belgrade Fortress, visit museums, and stroll along the Danube River.

Public transportation in Belgrade, includes trams and buses. They are reasonably priced, with a single ticket costing around $1.

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13. Bratislava, Slovakia

The city of Bratislava sits on the banks of the Danube River. Budget visitors seeking history, culture, and affordability should consider visiting this area.

There are several options for low priced hostels in Bratislava. Average hotel rates range from $40 to $80 per night.

In a neighborhood restaurant in Bratislava, lunch frequently runs between $10 and $20 per person. Try the dish bryndzové haluky, which is popular in Slovakia.

The majority of Bratislava’s attractions do require an admission fee, usually between $5 and $10.

Trams and buses are quite affordable. Individual tickets are priced around $1 each. To maximize your convenience and enjoy discounts at various attractions, it’s worth considering the option of obtaining a Bratislava Card. This provides unlimited access to public transit.

14. Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is a popular gem in Europe you can visit on a budget. Its well-preserved old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Even if you only have one day in Tallinn, it’s worth a visit!

Mid-range hotel prices in Tallinn start at approximately $50-100 per night. Budget-conscious travelers can also find hostels and guesthouses.

Tallinn Estonia Baltic itinerary

Dining in Tallinn is affordable, with meals at local restaurants averaging $15-25 per person. Try Estonian specialties like kama and herring.

Entry fees for attractions in Tallinn are generally reasonable, ranging from $5-10. Explore the historic old town and visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. You can also enjoy panoramic views from Toompea Hill.

Tallinn’s public transportation system consists of trams and buses. It is cost-effective, with a single ticket priced at around $2. Consider purchasing a Tallinn Card for unlimited travel and discounts on attractions.

15. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, is a beautiful, green city. It is renowned for its alluring architecture and thriving cultural scene. The city is known for its affordability and European allure.

In Ljubljana, mid range hotel costs range from $60 to 120 per night. There are also inexpensive guesthouses and hostels available.

Ljubljana Slovenia canal

Dinners at nearby restaurants often cost $15 to $30 per person, making eating out a reasonable option. Taste the classic Slovenian foods likrofi and potica.

Most of the attractions in Ljubljana have $5 to $10 entrance fees. The Ljubljanica River, the Ljubljana Castle, and the historic town are all visible.

Transportation in Ljubljana is budget friendly. A single ticket for the buses is approximately $1.50. Consider purchasing a Ljubljana Card. This will help you saving money on transportation and attractions.

Final Thought on the Cheapest European Cities

These budget-friendly European destinations offer a wealth of experiences without straining your wallet. So, whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, or simply seeking an affordable adventure. These destinations are sure to leave you with lasting memories without breaking the bank. Happy travels!

About the author: Jodi Moreno is an experienced content writer and a passionate traveler. With six years of expertise in the field, she has become a valuable asset to the team at “thecrazytourist.com” where she serves as the dedicated author. Jodi’s love for exploring new destinations and immersing herself in different cultures fuels her writing, allowing her to create engaging and informative content for travel enthusiasts around the world.

Europe Travel Tips

Book Your Flights – You can find discounted fares using sites like Momondo or Skyscanner. If you want to keep an eye on discount fares, we suggest signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights, a daily newsletter with flight sales around the world.

If you travel frequently, consider investing in a Priority Pass for airport lounge access. It’s nice to have a space where you can relax before your flight.

Book Your Accommodation

We regularly use Expedia.com and Hotels.com to find lodging when we travel. It’s a great way to compare vacation rentals, hotels, and resorts.

If your family knows they want to stay in a vacation rental, we recommend looking at VRBO and Plum Guide.

Book Your Transportation

For rental car agencies, try Rentalcars.com. We tend to use Hertz simply for the quality of service. If you need airport transfers, we recommend Welcome Pickups.

When traveling in Europe, we use AutoEurope to make our bookings. They find the best rates and allow you to compare different car rental agencies. Europcar is another option. If you plan to take the train, we recommend using Rail Europe.

Book Your Tours and Travel Photos

We regularly used companies like Viator and GetYourGuide to book tours when we travel. Both have great communication and a large variety of activities that work for all ages. Other companies to look at include Tours by Locals and Withlocals.

If you’re visiting a city with multiple attractions, be sure to check out a discount pass, such as CityPASS or Go City. Both are worthwhile investments.

Context Travel is another option and they offer more educational-based activities. The former teacher in me loves their tours. For unique, curated activities, check out Headout.

One of our favorite things to do annually is taking photos with Flytographer. They have photographers around the world and we’ve used them on four separate occasions. This is our favorite travel souvenir.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

With the state of travel these days, it’s important to have some type of travel insurance to cover any unforeseen accidents, illnesses, threats, or cancellations. We always travel with insurance and would recommend SquareMouth, Travelex, or Medjet as good options. And if you want to compare different insurance options, use Travel Insurance Master or World Nomads to find the best policy for your group.