22 Best Cheap Countries To Visit In Europe (2023)


Last Updated on August 18, 2023 by Nicole

There are over 40 countries in Europe, many of which are inexpensive to visit and go on holiday. However, that is where the similarities end. Each country offers different languages, food, history, culture, and landscapes meaning endless possibilities for amazing vacations. Whether you crave beach escapes, city breaks, or time in nature, you will be able to find budget friendly getaways in lots of beautiful European countries. Here are 22 of the best cheap countries in Europe for fantastic low cost holidays.

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Other Options

As you will see from this article, there are many cheap European countries to visit. If you are trying to choose a specific destination within a country, there is even MORE cheap European cities perfect for a vacation, even in countries that are not listed here.

For more information about those cities, please see 27 Best Cheap Cities In Europe For A Fantastic Vacation.

For those looking for inexpensive spring or summer destinations in Europe, please see:

Best Inexpensive Countries In Europe For A Vacation

Here are 22 of the best affordable European countries to visit for an amazing holiday. Some are more budget-friendly in certain seasons – others are affordable all year round – while many are low priced if you know where to stay and eat, and how to find free or reasonably priced activities and attractions.

For each country, one of the best budget-friendly cities or towns will be highlighted, focusing on reasonably priced or free things to do. In addition, low priced restaurants, markets, and areas offering delicious food are included.

How best to reach the destination by public transportation is described and inexpensive accommodation is offered. Finally, the best time to go or avoid is set out to help you plan the best European trip ever.

Remember – Peak season (normally summer but not always) means higher prices and larger crowds even if a country is considered cheap. If you choose to go during peak season, make sure you do lots of research, make a plan, and book early to secure the best flights and accommodation to help you stay on budget.

For simple travel tips to save you money, please take a look at 10 Best Money Saving Travel Tips.

If you would like to Travel Cheaper, Smarter and Easier, then join the thousands of subscribers who receive my weekly newsletter filled with the most up to date and best travel tips around. Sign up with this link!

best inexpensive countries in Europe for an inexpensive getaway
Budapest, Hungary (Photo courtesy of Jami from Celiac Travel Pack)


Hungary is a landlocked country located in Central Europe, bordered by several countries – Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. It has mostly flat or gently rolling plains, with low mountains in the northern and western regions.

Hungary is an inexpensive country to visit in Europe because although it is a member of the European Union, it does not use the Euro. The Hungarian Forint is weaker than the Euro and other major currencies, meaning visitors get a favorable exchange rate for their money.

In addition, accommodation, food and drinks are very affordable, with restaurants offering very well priced meals.

Overall, Hungary offers great value for money for travelers looking for a low cost European destination.

Budpest, Hungary

Budapest is the capital of Hungary. With approximately 1.76 million residents it’s smaller than many other capital cities in Europe. But, Budapest is a hidden gem in Europe. It has a similar vibe to Paris but with a much cheaper price tag.

Budapest is full of fun things to do and most are inexpensive or free!

The Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the most iconic spots in the city and provides some of the best views of the Danube River from Buda Hill. Many of the viewpoints are free and open year-round. But, you can also pay a small fee to go up to the highest part of the walls. 

Matthias Church is next to Fisherman’s Bastion. The tile work and exterior of the church are spectacular. This church has seen the crowning of kings, and the interior is decorated accordingly. It is one of the most unique churches you will ever be able to visit. There is a small fee to enter but it’s worth it!

Finally, walk the banks of the Danube. The river runs through the middle of the city and provides an incredible perspective. Wander past the Shoes on the Danube Memorial (a tribute to the Hungarian Jews shot by the Nazis and thrown into the Danube during WWII) and be sure to take some time admiring the Hungarian Parliament building.

Cheap Food

After visiting Buda, go down the hill and cross the river to Pest. Here, you’ll find Budapest’s Central Market Hall. The first floor is a more traditional market and the second floor is filled with souvenirs. It’s worth a visit even if you don’t buy anything. There are affordable restaurants serving local foods along the exterior of the second floor as well.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

Budapest is a city you can visit in any season. As with any European destination, it is busier in the summer than in spring and fall. But, it isn’t as popular as many other capital cities.

If you can visit in December you should since Budapest is known for its Christmas Markets. You’ll find mulled wine, craft stalls, and seasonal food stalls dotting every square in the city. 

Best Way To Reach Destination

Ferenc Liszt International Airport is the main airport in Budapest. Take the bus from the airport to Deák Ferenc Tér. It will take 30 minutes for this bus ride and then you can transit or walk to your final destination.

Public transit in the city is extensive! There are trams, metros, and buses running throughout the city. Get a travel card from a transit station for affordable unlimited travel. 

Inexpensive Accommodation

Jami from Celiac Travel Pack says, “Hotels and hostels can be found easily in Budapest with the best deals on the Pest side of the river. With so many options you’re sure to find something that fits with what you want.”

best affordable european countries for a cheap escape
Cascais, Portugal (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)


Portugal is located on the southwestern coast of Europe, bordered by Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. The country also includes the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean.

Portugal offers rugged mountainous terrain, rolling hills, and fertile valleys. You will find a beautiful coastline with dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, and picturesque fishing villages.

Overall, Portugal is a fantastic affordable European country for those looking for an inexpensive European getaway. It offers reasonably priced accommodation, food, and attractions while still offering a rich culture, beautiful scenery, and friendly locals.

Cascais, Portugal

Nestled on the western coastline of Portugal, the small and charming city of Cascais offers a memorable experience for travelers seeking an affordable European destination. Home to around 214,000 residents and located just 11 miles (15km) south of the iconic Cabo da Roca (Europe’s westernmost point), Cascais is easily one of the best inexpensive destinations in Europe.

Cascais offers a wealth of budget-friendly activities for visitors to enjoy, such as marveling at the intricate sandcastles on Praia da Ribeira (the artists do this in their free time, so you’re never sure what they’ll make), or browsing the eclectic Citadel Art District known for its six unique studios and five captivating galleries.

A stroll through the bustling cobblestone streets reveals an array of whimsical tourist shops and local artisan vendors selling handmade products at unbeatable prices. 

Cheap Food

Boasting an array of exceptional cuisine, A Nova Estrela is whipping up mouth-watering traditional Portuguese dishes at affordable prices (their octopus is particularly amazing). Or if you’re hoping for some western comfort food, you can pick up a succulent burger and fries for cheap at Majestic Burguer.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

Summer is the peak season, so for a quieter experience, the best time to visit is in May or September, when the weather is still pleasant and the crowds are fewer. However, if you’re someone who enjoys high temperatures, beach time and all the shops and restaurants in full swing, then June through August is the prime time to visit.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Conveniently located less than an hour by train from Lisbon International Airport, Cascais is the perfect destination for budget-savvy travelers seeking a charming and affordable European getaway.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Emily from Emily Embarks says, “Once you’ve had a chance to hit the beach or perhaps take a hike in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, simply walk over to Kasa 23 Cascais to check in! Conveniently located just 300 feet from the center of town, this is the perfect accommodation to keep you in a central location without breaking the bank.”

best affordable countries in Europe for a budget friendly holiday
Sighisoara, Romania (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)


Romania is a country located in southeastern Europe, bordered by Ukraine, Moldova, Hungary, Serbia, and Bulgaria. The country also has access to the Black Sea with some sandy beaches.

The Carpathian Mountains dominate much of the country’s landscape. However, Romania also has rolling hills and the Danube River.

Romania is not part of the European Union and its currency is the Romanian Leu which is weaker against most western currencies, helping make Romania one of the best budget-friendly countries in Europe for a holiday. Its’ accommodation, food and drink are cheaper than many other European countries.

Sighișoara, Romania

Sighișoara is a picturesque town located in central Romania, known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and fortified walls. It is nestled in the rolling hills of Transylvania, offering a stunning landscape with lush greenery and charming cobblestone streets.

Despite its historical significance, Sighișoara remains a relatively small city with an approximate population of around 28,000 residents. The town’s compact size makes it easy to explore on foot, adding to its cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

There are plenty of things to do in Sighișoara, including exploring the medieval citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and admiring the colourful houses that line the narrow streets. Then visit the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, who was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula and climb the Clock Tower for panoramic views of the town and surrounding countryside.

Cheap Food

For affordable dining options, plenty of restaurants and cafes at the base of the citadel offer delicious Romanian cuisine at reasonable prices. Be sure to try local dishes such as mici (grilled sausages) and covrigi (pretzels), which are affordable and delicious.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

Sighișoara has four distinct seasons, and each is a great time to visit, depending on your preferences.

Summer has warm weather, longer days and plenty of outdoor activities, but the town is bustling with tourists and prices for accommodations, activities and dining tend to be higher. 

In spring and fall the weather is cooler, but colourful flowers or beautiful autumn colours create a picturesque setting. Crowds and costs are relatively lower compared to the peak tourist season and it’s a great time to enjoy the town’s charm.

Winter can be cold, with temperatures dropping below freezing, but the town turns into a magical winter wonderland with festive decorations and holiday markets. Crowds are less during this time and costs for accommodations are lower.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The nearest international airport to Sighisoara is Sibiu International Airport, located about 1.5 hours away. Car rentals are available at the airport or you can arrange private transfers from Sibiu to Sighisoara. Public transportation is also available and buses or trains take between 2-3 hours to reach Sighisoara. 

Inexpensive Accommodation

Erin from Wanderlust With Kids say, ‘Plenty of inexpensive accommodation options are available, from budget-friendly hotels to guesthouses or hostels. One fantastic option is Casa Sighişoreană, which is just a few minutes walk from the medieval center.”

best budget-friendly European countries for low cost vacations
Aegina Town, Greece (Photo courtesy of Vicky from Buddy The Traveling Monkey)


Greece is located in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. The country also has coastlines along the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas.

Although Greece is known for gorgeous islands (over 6000 of them) and beaches, over 80% of the country consists of mountains or hills.

Like other budget friendly European countries, the cost of living is lower in Greece than elsewhere which means accommodation, food and activities are less expensive than elsewhere and makes it an ideal spot for a low cost European vacation.

Aegina Town, Greece

One of the best inexpensive places in Europe is Aegina, just off the coast of Athens, Greece. You can easily do a day trip to Aegina from Athens or stay a few days. You’ll find many towns on the island, but Aegina is the largest.

Being an island, Aegina has beautiful coasts and beaches. However, there are also hills inland that are great for hiking. To visit the various areas and towns of the island, you can rent a vehicle, take taxis, or go on a tour. Unfortunately, public transportation isn’t very reliable.

Aegina is known worldwide for its pistachios, so you’ll be offered many free samples. Get some pistachio ice cream while you’re in town, you won’t regret it.

There are also many archaeological sites on the island. Two of the most popular are the Temple of Aphaia and the Temple of Apollo, both of which have very low admission prices.

The Temple of Aphaia is in the northeast area of the island, about 20 minutes from Aegina Town. The very well-preserved site dates to the beginning of the 2nd millennium B.C. The Temple of Apollo is just north of Aegina Town and is an active archaeological site where excavations are still taking place.

Cheap Food

To stay on budget, avoid waterfront restaurants. Instead, head in a few blocks for a more authentic and inexpensive experience. A favorite café is Pitsi’s Coffee & Food. This cute cafe has coffee, tea, pastries, and sandwiches.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

April and October are considered the best months to travel to Aegina. Average temperatures are usually between 68°F (20°C) and 77°F (25°C). However, you can visit at any time of the year. During winter, some shops and restaurants close for the season, so keep that in mind.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To get to Aegina, you’ll have to take a ferry. There are two ferries that make the trip out to Aegina from Athens. One is Hellenic Seaways which takes only 40 minutes. The other ferry, Saronic Ferries, is more budget-friendly, but the trip takes one hour and ten minutes.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Vicky from Buddy The Traveling Monkey says, “To stay, a great option is Afaia Houses. This vacation home is within walking distance of multiple beaches and attractions. They also have free WiFi, air conditioning, and free bikes that you can use.”

best low cost European countries for a cheap trip
Cardiff, Wales (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)


Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and located in the southwest of Great Britain. It is characterized by a rugged, mountainous landscape, with about 75% of the country consisting of hills and mountains. The country is also known for its long coastline, which features dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, and sheltered bays.

In addition to inexpensive accommodation and food, Wales offers an extensive public transit system helping visitors to navigate the country easily and affordably. Overall, Wales is one of the best cheap countries in Europe for a vacation.

Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff is the capital city of Wales; it is a relatively small city with a population of 448,000 people in the metropolitan area of the city but don’t let its small size fool you.

There are plenty of things to do in Cardiff and one of the best ways to explore the city is to take a free walking tour where your guide will show you all the top attractions and monuments around the city.

Cardiff Castle is the main attraction in the city and its easy to see why as the city is built around the castle. Visit the Norman keep or walk along the castle walls and learn all about the uses the castle has had over the years. Entry costs £14.50 for adults and it is open from 10am-5pm year-round.

Visit one of the many Arcades around the city and enjoy some lovely boutique shops and restaurants inside.

Getting around in Cardiff is easy as most places are within walking distance of each other but if you are unable to walk far or the weather is bad consider the hop on hop off bus tour that has stops all around the city and costs £20 for an unlimited journey 24-hour ticket.

Cheap Food

Also stop by Cardiff Market and visit Bakestones for some traditional Welsh Cakes to fuel your adventures.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

The best time to visit is during the summer months when you can explore the beautiful Bute Park in the heart of the city and maybe pack a picnic and sit amongst the champion trees.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The nearest airport is Cardiff International Airport which is around 25 minutes’ drive away from the city centre, there is also a train station inside the airport which has direct trains to the city. Alternatively, it is easy to take a day trip to Cardiff from London by train or coach with prices starting around £30 return for the coach.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Steph from Book It Let’s Go! says, “If you are staying in Cardiff, there are plenty of low cost hotel and private room options with prices starting around £40 ($50) per night for a couple sharing.”

best cheap European country for a low price weekend getaway
Český Krumlov, Prague (Photo courtesy of Imee from The Backpacking Executive)

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a landlocked country located in central Europe. It borders Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Poland.

The countryside of the Czech Republic is diverse, with lowlands, highlands, and mountains. The country also has several rivers and many parks and protected areas allowing visitors the option to not only explore beautiful historic towns and cities, but also to enjoy the outdoors.

In the Czech Republic, local restaurants and cafes offer affordable meals, and beer is particularly cheap. In addition, it has an excellent public transportation system, including buses, trams, and trains, which makes it easy and inexpensive to travel around the country. It is a stunning reasonably priced European country for a weekend getaway or mid-week escape.

Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Located on the Vltava River in the South Bohemian region of the Czech Republic is Cesky Krumlov, a charming town with approximately 12,000 people, filled with impressive historical sites and delicious food.

Visit the Český Krumlov Castle, a renaissance castle that is a UNESCO heritage site in the historic town center, where you can freely wander around the castle gardens and courtyards.

As you tour the castle complex, take a moment to admire the Church of St. Vitus, which is one of the main attractions in Český Krumlov. You’ll be impressed when you see the stunning interior of this church with its amazing frescoes and magnificent altar.

Afterwards, explore the old town center, one of the best things to do in Český Krumlov.

Cheap Food

Be sure to drop by Krčma v šatlavské Ulici for sumptuous inexpensive food and a superb tavern dining experience. It is one of the best restaurants in Cesky Krumlov, known for its delicious food and traditional meals. You should try their mouth watering pike perch and grilled pork belly.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

The ideal time to visit Český Krumlov would be October when the weather is lovely and mild, and the fall foliage is coming out. You can take advantage of cheaper flights and accommodation outside of the peak summer season.

Best Way To Reach Destination

There are many ways to get to Český Krumlov via Prague from The Vaclav Havel Airport by using public transport like trains and buses (Flixbus) that leave every hour. You can also try car rentals and shuttle services, which are also good options.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Imee from The Backpacking Executive says, “If you are looking for budget-friendly accommodation, Hostel Havana is an excellent option. This cozy hostel is equipped with a fully furnished kitchen and accommodating rooms that offers scenic views of the Vltava River.”

best low price country in Europe for a reasonably priced weekend escape
Ptuj, Slovenia (Photo courtesy of Paul D’Souza of Paulmarina)


Slovenia is a small country located in southern Central Europe, bordered by Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia. Slovenia offers varied terrain, with mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers.

Visitors will find in Slovenia affordable accommodation and good value for food and drink in most of the country, although prices for food and drink can be higher in touristy areas.

Slovenia has a well-developed public transport system and prices are generally low. In addition, it offers many free or nearly free activities and attractions to keep visitors busy and entertained. It is a fantastic low cost European country to visit for an amazing holiday.

Ptuj, Slovenia

Ptuj is a wonderful city located in the eastern part of Slovenia near the university town of Maribor. This city is the oldest large-scale settlement in Slovenia.

Visitors will enjoy the colorful houses with red-maroon roofs and cobbled stone streets. There is also a medieval castle overlooking the town, making this city a special place to discover in Central Europe.

The Minorite and Dominican monasteries take one back in time with their well-preserved building structures from the Middle Ages and stunning gardens.

The city is located right at the Drava river and the soil is known to produce excellent wine in the region. The wine is reasonably priced and delicious. A visit to the oldest winery in Slovenia in Ptuj should be on every ones bucket list, as well as the other attractions in Ptuj.

Fortunately, Ptuj is still a hidden gem. Authentic vibes greet one and all seasons are beautiful in their own way.

Cheap Food

The local farmer’s market is an ideal spot for food lovers and all those seeking traditional food specialities at low prices.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

Flowers markets can be experienced in spring. Summers are hot and a bit more busy. Fall is the season for all wine lovers. Finally, winter offers traditional fairs and feasts such as the annual Carnival celebrations.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The best way to reach Ptuj is to either fly into Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, or to get to Graz in Austria and then to Ptuj. The latter is the shortest way by train and car.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Paul D’Souza of Paulmarina says, “The city offers many traditional and simple accommodation options, but I recommend the Hotel Mitra in the old town.”

best reasonably priced European country to visit for a low price mid week break
Cordoba, Spain (Photo courtesy of Pixaby)


Spain is a country located in southwestern Europe. It is bordered by Portugal, France, and the Mediterranean Sea.

The country is home to several mountain ranges and has a long coastline, stretching for more than 2,500 miles where you can find many beautiful beaches and coastal towns. The country also includes several islands, including the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa.

Travelers who are willing to stay in budget accommodation, eat at local restaurants, and use public transport can have a great time in Spain without breaking the bank. In particular, inexpensive tapas bars, street food, and local markets offer amazing food at low prices.

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba is a fantastic destination for budget travelers who don’t want to miss out on beautiful historical buildings and delicious traditional dishes.

This Andalusian city has a population of approximately 325,708, and despite being smaller than other nearby cities, it has many things to offer.

One of the best things to do in Cordoba is visit the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, known as La Mezquita. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is unmissable for those who love history and architecture.

You don’t even need to spend money to discover Cordoba. Exploring the Jewish Quarter is an experience. Its cobblestone streets, beautiful whitewashed buildings with flower pots and historic buildings like the Synagogue (which is free to visit!) make it another must-see in Cordoba.

It is a fantastic place to take photos, window shop, or even buy an inexpensive souvenir. If you love photography, Calleja de las Flores should be on your itinerary. It is the prettiest street in the area.

Cheap Food

Another reason to visit Cordoba is its food. If you are a foodie, you must try Cordoba’s typical dishes. For example, eat flamenquín (slices of Serrano ham wrapped in pork loin, coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried), salmorejo (a cold tomato soup similar to the famous gazpacho) or arroz cordobés (a paella-style dish).

Many inexpensive restaurants in Cordoba offer menú del día, a set menu that often includes a starter, a main course and a dessert. Taberna El Capricho is one of those restaurants.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

The best time to visit Cordoba is spring, especially May, because the weather is pleasant (not too hot, not too cold), and you can experience Cordoba’s Courtyard Festival and Fair.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The best way to reach Cordoba from outside Spain is by plane. The nearest airport is Seville Airport, which is 1 hour and 30 minutes by car. So you can either rent a car or take the train to Cordoba.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Cristina from My Little World of Travelling says, “Líbere Córdoba Patio Santa Marta is a fantastic hostel near the centre for an affordable stay in Cordoba.”

best low-price European country for a low-cost city break
Tirana, Albania (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)


Albania is a small country located in southeastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. It is bordered by Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Greece, and the Adriatic Sea.

Albania has a diverse topography. There are various mountain ranges and coastal areas offering a long and rugged coastline, with many beautiful beaches and seaside towns. The Albanian Riviera is particularly popular, offering crystal-clear waters and a relaxed atmosphere.

In addition, there are lots of natural wonders, such as forests, lakes, and rivers providing ample opportunity for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping.

Albania is an ideal European country for budget travelers. There is lots of inexpensive accommodation. Public transportation is generally affordable, with moderately priced buses and trains connecting most cities and towns. In addition, there are taxis and shared minivans, known as furgons, that are also widely available and can be a cheap way to get around.

As for cuisine, restaurants are generally cheap. Street food and local markets also provide excellent value for money, while providing an authentic culinary experience.

Tirana, Albania

Tirana is the capital city of Albania. With a population of half a million, it’s smaller than other European capitals, but the largest city in Albania. Located centrally within the country, Tirana is surrounded by mountains. It’s a vibrant city with a unique history and well worth spending at least one day in Tirana if you’re in Albania.

As with many cities, you can take a free walking tour of Tirana (but make sure you tip your guide). In addition, some of the main museums are inexpensive. For example, Bunk’Art2, an exhibition about the secret police who exerted control over the population during communist times, is housed in one of the underground communist-era bunkers and only a few dollars to enter.

Cheap Food

A good place for affordable food is the area around the New Bazaar – itself a market where you can buy food inexpensively. A great restaurant near the bazaar is Zgara AlPazar. It’s a no-frills place with delicious traditional Albanian cuisine which is popular with the locals.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

Being a Mediterranean country, Albania gets hot in the summer months, so visiting in spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) should mean you escape the extreme heat.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Tirana has Albania’s only international airport, so if you’re flying, it will be to Tirana. Tirana is also well-connected with the rest of the Balkan peninsula via bus.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Martha from says, “A great mid-range place to stay, which won’t break the bank, is the Hotel Boutique Gloria. It is located centrally, on a quiet-ish road not far from the main plaza in Tirana, Skanderbeg Square. The decor is a little old-fashioned but the rooms are comfortable and the staff were pleasant and helpful. They also do an amazing breakfast in their top-floor open-air dining room.”

best low cost countries in Europe for an economical getaway
Condom, France (Photo courtesy of Denise from Chef Denise)


France is located in Western Europe and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel, Mediterranean Sea, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain.

France offers something to everyone. It has mountains and coastal regions, providing many opportunities for outdoor recreation and exploration, from the rugged peaks of the Alps to the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean coast.

Big cities in France can be expensive. However, staying in smaller towns and cities outside of the main tourist areas are more affordable.

France has an excellent transportation system, with many low-priced options for getting around. While long-distance travel can be expensive, there are often discounts available for advance bookings or off-peak travel.

To save money, consider shopping at local markets and supermarkets to prepare your own meals, or opt for street food and takeaway options.

It is definitely possible to do an economical trip to France. However, more planning will be necessary than some other European countries.

Condom, France

Looking for a budget-friendly city in France? Then, visit Condom – a hidden gem in the southwestern region that offers a perfect blend of history, natural beauty, and some of the most famous foods of France

The highlight of this historic town is the 14th-century Cathedral Saint-Pierre. Its Gothic architecture, intricate stone carvings, stunning arches, and iconic statue of d’Artagnan and The Three Musketeers make it a must-visit.

Another must-visit, low-budget attraction is the Abbaye de Flaran, just a short drive away. The abbey’s museum houses art by masters such as Monet, Picasso, and Rodin. You’ll be amazed at the breadth of the collection here in what feels like the middle of nowhere.

Take a leisurely drive and explore three of France’s most beautiful villages (literally on the official list) – Fources, Montreal-du-Gers, and Larressingle. Among them, Larressingle stands out as the smallest fortified city in France. These villages are so small you can easily stroll through all three of them in one day.

Cheap Food

In general, eating in Condom costs a fraction of the more touristed French cities. The region is known for its Duck Confit and Foie Gras, which pair perfectly with the local wines or Armagnac. For an inexpensive meal in town, try Au Relais Gourmand.

Best Time To Go Or Avoid

No matter how you get there, you’ll want to be out and about. So, avoid Condom in the cold rainy winters, the rest of the year is glorious!

Best Way To Reach Destination

Although its population is less than 7,000, Condom is one of the largest towns in the immediate area so it makes a great hub for exploring by car.

Condom does have a bus station, but the closest train options are Auch and Agen, each a little over a half hour away. The closest international airports are further, Bordeaux (1 3/4 hrs) and Toulouse (1 1/2 hrs).

Inexpensive Accommodation

Denise from Chef Denise says, “If you stay at the B&B Les Bruhasses, they will provide you with a map and guidance on finding the places that interest you most whether it be villages, ruins, wineries, or hiking the lush green hills.

The owners of this 18th century house speak English and know every inch of the region. A couple of times a week they offer a home cooked meal of local specialties that you should not miss.”

best economical European countries for a moderately priced escape
Krakow, Poland


Poland is a country located in Central Europe. It is bordered by Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic Sea, Lithuania, and Russia.

It is a relatively flat country with some rolling hills. There are also lots of lakes and rivers. The Carpathian mountains are in the south and beautiful forests surround it.

Poland is one of the best moderately priced countries in Europe to go for fantastic vacations. It offers an extensive and inexpensive public transportation system, and lots of restaurants that are affordable for budget travelers. Look out for set menus that offer even better value than ordering a la carte.

In addition, there is lots of reasonably priced accommodation options for all kinds of accommodation, such as hostels, guesthouses, and hotels.

Krakow, Poland

Krakow, is a beautiful city located in southern Poland. It is Poland’s second-largest city with a population of around 770,000. 

The city includes various districts including the Old Town with the infamous Sukiennice Cloth Hall as well as the well known Jewish Quarter.

Some great inexpensive activities to do include strolling through the streets, where you will be sure to find plenty to see.

Wawel Castle is one such stop.  It is a royal complex of a palace and cathedral that sits above the Wisla River. Visitors can enter the castle for free, however a timed ticket may be required in high season.

Another must-visit attraction is the Schindler Factory Museum, located in the Zabłocie district. It tells the story of Oskar Schindler and the Jewish workers he saved during the Holocaust. While not entirely free, the museum offers a discounted rate on some days, making it an affordable worthwhile educational experience.  

A great tag on to this experience would be a day trip to Auschwitz from Krakow.  Auschwitz is free to enter, or a tour can be reserved online for a low cost. It is simple to get to Auschwitz from Krakow by bus or train.

Cheap Food

In regards to food, Polish food is a must try. Authentic Polish food can be purchased for cheap at “bar mleczny” or milk bars that tend to cater to college students and locals, but are great finds for tourists who want a more authentic local feel. One popular milk bar is Bar Mleczny Targowy.

Some Polish dishes to try include kotlet schabowy, bigos, zurek, or even the well known pierogi.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

The best time to visit Krakow is during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. The weather is mild and comfortable, and there are fewer crowds, making it easier to navigate the city streets.

Summer, while beautiful, can get a bit crowded. Winters in Krakow can be cold and snowy, but the annual Christmas Market in December is worth a visit.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The train journey from the airport to the city center takes about 20 minutes, while buses take about 40 minutes.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Diana from Travels In Poland says, “In terms of accommodations, Krakow offers a range of budget-friendly options such as hostels and low cost hotels. Hostels Greg & Tom Party and Mosquito, and budget hotels like Aparthotel Stare Miasto and Astoria Gold Hotel are great places to stay for reasonable prices.”

best European countries for budget travelers looking to go on holiday
Valletta, Malta (Photo courtesy of Linn Haglund from Brainy Backpackers)


Malta is a small island country located in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Italy and east of Tunisia. It consists of three main islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino, as well as several smaller islands.

Malta is characterized by low hills with terraced fields, and a rocky coastline. Malta is known for its beautiful beaches, clear blue waters, and historic architecture.

Malta can be a budget-friendly option but more planning will be necessary than some other European countries. Avoid summer and stay outside of the main tourist areas for more affordability.

There is a good public transportation system, but renting a bike or scooter can also be a less expensive way to get around. Eating out can stretch your budget, so consider buying groceries and preparing your own food.

There is an amazing amount of free and low-cost attractions in Malta so once you sort out accommodation, food and transport, you can pay very little for the balance of your vacation.

Valletta, Malta

One of the best places to go in Europe on a budget is to the quaint UNESCO-listed capital of Malta. Valletta is jam-packed with history, great architecture, and charming cafés and restaurants. Being the smallest capital city in the European Union, it is walkable and only home to approximately 6000 people.

There is no doubt that Valletta is one of the prettiest cities in Malta with its domes and green parks overlooking the port and the Three Cities.

Among the top things to do is to visit the Three Cities which are reached by a 10-minute inexpensive ferry trip from the city. You will find a ruined temple in the center and can explore many churches for free which are just as beautiful from the inside as they are from the outside.

One of the costliest attractions is also one of the most beautiful – St. John’s Co-Cathedral with its golden decors and vibrant frescoes. Even if you are on a budget, you should prioritize going to this one attraction.

It is also affordable to go on day trips to other cities and towns with cheap bus fares.

Cheap Food

No. 43 is a great healthy restaurant where you also find vegetarian food on a budget.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

The best time to visit Valletta is in winter when prices generally are lower for accommodation. Crowds are also fewer and you can still enjoy warm temperatures of up to 68 Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). You may even be able to go swimming (if you dare). However, since Malta is a fairly flat island, it can get windy in winter.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The best way to get from Malta Airport to Valletta is by bus which only takes 20 minutes.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Linn from Brainy Backpackers says, “There are multiple affordable places to stay in the city, like Hotel Castille. But if you are looking for even more budget-friendly accommodation, you could check in at a shared dorm in one of the hostels in Sliema, just a short bus drive from the city.”

best inexpensive European countries for affordable vacations
Bratislava, Slovakia (Photo courtesy of Laura from What Laura Did Next)


Slovakia is a landlocked country in central Europe. It is bordered by Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

Slovakia is known for its natural beauty, with the Tatra Mountains and numerous national parks offering opportunities for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities.

Slovakia is one of the best countries in Europe for a cheap getaway. While it is not as inexpensive as some other Eastern European countries, such as Romania or Bulgaria, it is still relatively affordable compared to Western Europe. Prices for accommodation, food, and transportation are generally lower than in many other European countries, particularly in the countryside.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava has been the reigning capital of Slovakia since the country gained independence in 1993. Boasting a fascinating history with impressive medieval, Gothic, and baroque buildings to show for it, Bratislava also happens to be one of the most inexpensive European cities to visit. With a population of just under 500,000, it is a city that is easy to explore during a short visit. 

The city is great for a cheap city break, with dozens of things you can do for next to nothing. Head up to Bratislava Castle for sprawling views over the orange rooftops of the city, and to explore the newly renovated castle.

Another free activity is wandering around the beautiful Old Town. Walk the cobbled streets and admire the architecture, making sure to admire St Michael’s Gate – you can even climb the tower for panoramic views across the city.

Another must-do in Bratislava is visiting the city’s iconic UFO Tower. Relax here with a cheap cocktail and a snack and people watch from across the Danube. 

Cheap Food

You can’t visit Bratislava and not try some authentic Slovakian food. Delicious local dishes include sheep’s cheese gnocchi, potato dumplings, and goulash. I recommend heading to the Slovak Pub for cheap and tasty dishes – you can’t miss their spicy cabbage soup and sharing platters.

There are some wonderful coffee shops in the city that you simply can’t miss also – my favourite is black, with its cool interiors and delicious flat whites. 

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

The best time to visit Bratislava is either early December when the Christmas markets are in full flight, or early summer before the crowds arrive in the city. With plenty of al fresco dining spots, early summer is a great time to spend outdoors. 

Best Way To Reach Destination

Bratislava Airport is just 6 miles (9 km) north of the city, and the easiest way to reach it. Alternatively, you can catch a Flixbus from nearby Vienna, Austria which takes around 90 minutes and costs just a few dollars.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Laura from What Laura Did Next says, “Although relatively basic, accommodation is very reasonably priced. I stayed in the City Center Best Place apartments, which is clean, super affordable, and comfortable. LOFT Hotel is another great inexpensive option, and also centrally located.”

best affordable European country to take a budget-friendly vacation
Bologna, Italy (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)


Italy is located in southern Europe and borders France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the Mediterranean Sea.

Italy offers a diverse landscape that includes mountains, rolling hills, plains, and coastlines. The Apennine Mountains run down the center of the country. The coastlines of Italy are also varied, with sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and small coves.

Italy is a wonderful European country to visit for affordable holidays, especially for those who enjoy art, history, and culture.

Accommodation can be one of the biggest expenses in Italy, especially in popular tourist destinations like Rome, Florence, and Venice. However, there are many reasonably priced hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels available in these cities, as well as in smaller towns and villages.

Avoid dining in touristy areas. Instead, seek out street food, pizza, pasta, and sandwiches. Local markets offer amazing fresh produce and ingredients for those who prefer to cook their own meals.

Public transportation is good and extensive. In addition, many cities also have bike-sharing programs, which can be a fun and inexpensive way to explore.

Bologna, Italy

Bologna is a city located in northern Italy, in the Emilia-Romagna region and has a population of around 400,000 residents.

It is situated in the Po Valley and surrounded by the Apennine Mountains. The city is known for its distinctive red buildings made from terracotta bricks, giving it the nickname “La Rossa” (The Red). The landscape around Bologna is characterized by rolling hills, vineyards, and picturesque countryside, making it a scenic destination.

The city itself has well-preserved medieval architecture, with narrow streets, arcades, and historic buildings that give it a unique charm.

You’ll find plenty of things to do in Bologna, from food tours to trips to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca. However, some of the best things to do don’t cost a penny.

You can explore the Piazza Maggiore which is the heart of Bologna. It’s a vibrant public square and you can enjoy the lively atmosphere for free. You can sit on the steps of the iconic Basilica di San Petronio, people-watch, and take in the beautiful architecture of the surrounding buildings.

Alternatively, you can wander Bologna’s famous porticoes. These covered walkways line the city streets and are on the UNESCO World Heritage list. You can stroll along the porticoes and admire the unique architecture whilst enjoying the shade they provide, especially during hot summer days.

Or, for a small fee, you can climb the tallest leaning tower in Bologna, the Asinelli Tower. The panoramic view from the top offers stunning vistas of the city and the surrounding countryside, making it a worthwhile and budget-friendly activity.

Whether you’re spending 2 days in Bologna or a whole week, you’re sure to have an excellent but inexpensive trip.

Cheap Food

One good inexpensive restaurant in Bologna is Trattoria di Via Serra. It’s a super cosy spot that offers traditional Bolognese cuisine at affordable prices. The menu includes dishes such as risotto, and meat dishes – and of course, there is no escaping pasta while in Italy!

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

The best time to visit Bologna depends on your preferences and what you want to experience, however, many agree that spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are the best months due to pleasant temperatures, few crowds and reasonable prices.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Bologna is served by the Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ), located about 4 miles (6 kilometres) northwest of the city centre. While you can take a taxi to the centre, the best service to use is the Macroni Express – a monorail which connects the airport to the city centre in just 7 minutes.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Millie from Stay Wild Travels says, “Bologna offers many different types of accommodation to suit different preferences and budgets. For budget travelers, consider We_Bologna.

best low cost country in Europe for cheap trip
Zadar, Croatia (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)


Croatia is a country located in Southeast Europe, on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It shares borders with Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

There is a mix of coastal areas, mountains, and plains in Croatia, making it an ideal destination for anyone interested in not only exploring historic towns and cities, but those who want to have easy access to natural beauty and outdoor activities.

For those who love the water, the country has a long coastline along the Adriatic Sea, and numerous islands, bays, and coves, offering amazing beaches and boating opportunities.

Croatia is a great European country for budget-friendly vacations, as there are plenty of affordable options for accommodation, food, and activities. However, prices can vary widely depending on the location and time of year, so it’s important to do your research.

Avoid Dubrovnik and Hvar during the peak summer season. Alternatively, head to cities like Split and Zadar that offer budget friendly cultural attractions, outdoor activities, and nightlife, as well as having affordable accommodation choices.

Zadar, Croatia

Zadar is a small yet beautiful city with a population of around 75,000 people. It is located on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, and boasts a mix of historic sites and modern installations with stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. 

There are several free or inexpensive things to do in Zadar, such as visiting the Sea Organ, Sun Salutation, and the Roman Forum. 

The Sea Organ and Sun Salutation are modern installations where you can hear beautiful music created by the waves of the sea and admire solar panels that light up in different colors at night. It’s a great spot to relax and enjoy the sunset. 

The Roman Forum is an ancient site that dates back to the 1st century BC, and it’s a fantastic spot for history lovers. Near the forum you’ll find St. Anastasia’s Cathedral. You can climb the bell tower for a small fee and enjoy a panoramic view of the city, the Adriatic and surrounding islands.

Cheap Food

If you’re looking for inexpensive and delicious food in Zadar, head to the local markets. You can find fresh produce, seafood, and local delicacies at a fraction of the cost of restaurants. Or head to Proto Food&More, an affordable restaurant that offers traditional Croatian/Dalmatian cuisine.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

The best time to visit Zadar is in the spring and fall when the weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller. Summers in Zadar can be quite hot, and the crowds can be overwhelming.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The nearest international airport is Zadar Airport, located just 6 miles (8 km) from the city center. From the airport, you can take a bus or a taxi to reach the city center.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Zi from Craving Adventure says, “There are several accommodation options in Zadar, but they get pricier in the old town. Private apartments are generally cheaper than hotels, or consider staying just beyond the walls. The Hotel Kolovare is located just a short walk from the historic city center and has beautiful sea views at a reasonable price.”

best low price European countries to visit for  cheap getaways
Skopje, Macedonia (Photo courtesy of Sarah from Life Part 2 And Beyond)

North Macedonia

North Macedonia is a landlocked country located in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, Greece, and Bulgaria.

North Macedonia is one of the best countries in Europe for someone looking for a fantastic well priced trip. Compared to other European countries, North Macedonia generally has a lower cost of living and lower prices for food, accommodation, and transportation.

It offers many historic sites, museums, and galleries that can be visited for little to no cost. The country is also home to beautiful natural scenery, including mountains, lakes, and national parks, which can be explored on a budget.

Skopje, North Macedonia

With a population of just over 600,000, Skopje, nicknamed “the capital of kitsch”, is the capital and largest city of the Republic of North Macedonia. Many visitors to North Macedonia tend to bypass Skopje, heading immediately to the mountains or Lake Ohrid, Europe’s oldest lake. But there are plenty of free and inexpensive activities to do in Skopje, and it’s definitely worth spending a night or two there.

Begin your trip by exploring Skopje’s Old Town and Bazaar. This bazaar is one of the oldest in the Balkans and dates back to the 12th century. Losing yourself in the ancient streets and alleys is fascinating, and the smells and sights are a feast for the eyes.

From the Old Town, cross the old Stone Bridge to Macedonia Square in the newer part of the city. Admire all the impressive Baroque and beautiful neo-classical buildings you see, but note they are not nearly as old as you think.

In an effort to make Skopje more attractive for tourists and visitors, a controversial project called “Skopje 2014” added hundreds of giant statues to the town squares, and fancy facades to the brutalist architecture. The result is kitsch, it’s weird, but it does actually look rather impressive.

Admire the colossal statues of Alexander the Great dotted around the city, such as the 22-metre-tall one in Macedonia Square.

Mother Teresa is probably the most famous person from Skopje, and close to Macedonia Square is the Memorial House of Mother Teresa, which offers a fascinating insight to the life and works of Mother Teresa.

For a birds-eye view of the city, head up to the old fortress for sunset.

Cheap Food

For dining, head to Skopje’s Bohemian district Debar Maalo for cheap eats. Here you’ll find tree-lined streets and numerous trendy cafes and restaurants. It’s just a short walk away from the chaotic streets of the Old Bazaar and the new town’s kitsch – a totally different atmosphere.

When in Skopje, be sure to try the Sarma, rolled vine leaves filled with rice and meat – delicious!

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

The best time to visit the city of Skopje is during the spring or autumn months. Temperatures drop below freezing in winter, and it gets too hot and sticky during the summer to enjoy exploring.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The closest airport to Skopje International Airport is 23 kilometres / 14.3 miles from the centre of Skopje (Macedonia Square). The most economical option to the city is to take the airport bus.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Sarah from Life Part 2 And Beyond says, “For good accommodation at an affordable price, check out the highly-rated View Inn Boutique Hotel.”

best cheap countries in Europe for cheap holidays
Liverpool, England (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)


England is a country located in the southern part of the island of Great Britain in Europe. It shares borders with Scotland and Wales.

England’s landscape includes rolling hills with a couple of mountainous areas. Coastal areas offer sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and estuaries. The southwest coast is known for its rugged cliffs and picturesque villages, while the southeast coast is known for its seaside resorts and sandy beaches.

England does have expensive spots, especially in major cities like London. However, there are ways for budget travelers to explore and experience this European country without breaking the bank. In addition, there are ways to visit normally historically expensive cities and do it on a budget, provided you know how (for London, please click here.)

One option for budget travelers is to visit smaller towns and cities outside of London, where accommodation, food, and activities will be more affordable. England has a wide range of historic towns, charming villages, and scenic countryside areas that are worth exploring.

Another option is to take advantage of free activities and attractions. Many museums, galleries, and parks in England offer free admission, and there are also many walking tours and self-guided tours that can be done for free or at a low cost.

Public transportation is widely available in England, and using buses and trains can be a more affordable way to get around than renting a car or taking taxis. Planning ahead and purchasing tickets in advance can also help save money on transportation costs.

Overall, while parts of England may not be the cheapest European country to visit, it is still possible for budget travelers to enjoy all that the country has to offer without overspending.

Liverpool, England

Liverpool is a city located in northwest England, known for its rich cultural heritage, music scene, and historic landmarks. As the fourth-largest city in the UK, Liverpool has an estimated population of around 486,100 people.

Liverpool has beautiful waterfront views and a fascinating maritime history that you can learn more about at the Maritime Museum. In fact, visiting museums is one of the best free things to do in Liverpool. There are numerous options to choose from such as Walker Art Gallery, World Museum, or Tate Liverpool.

You can reach Walker Art Gallery from Liverpool Lime Street train station in less than 5 minutes. This fantastic museum has an impressive collection of sculptures and paintings. Moreover, the city is very walkable so you might be able to visit many museums during the day.

Baltic Triangle is also a great area to explore if you love street art because it is filled with famous wall paintings such as For All Liverpool’s Liver Birds (Wings) by Paul Curtis or The Klopp Art Wall.

Cheap Food

One of the best inexpensive places to eat is Baltic Market located on the former site of the Cains Brewery.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

The best time to visit Liverpool is in the summer months, specifically from June to August. However, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder season of April to May or September to October. Keep in mind that Liverpool is a bustling city year-round, with plenty to do and see no matter when you visit.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To get from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to the city center, you can take the bus, train, or taxi. The most affordable option is the bus, which runs between the airport and Liverpool ONE Bus Station every 30 minutes.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Paulina from the UK Every Day says, “For affordable hotels in Liverpool, consider looking at budget hotel chains such as Premier Inn, Travelodge, or Ibis Budget.

Additionally, stay in neighborhoods like Anfield, which may have lower-priced options outside of the city center when there are no football events in the city.”

best budget friendly country in Europe for budget travelers looking for cheap holidays
Sofia, Bulgaria (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)


Bulgaria is a country located in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, and the Black Sea.

Bulgaria has a mix of mountains, valleys, and plains. In addition, it has several nice beaches along its Black Sea coast that offer lively and bustling resorts or quieter and more secluded spots.

Bulgaria is considered one of the best European countries for budget travelers. The cost of accommodation, food, and transportation in Bulgaria is low compared to many other European countries.

Additionally, Bulgaria has many interesting cultural and historical sites, as well as beautiful outdoor settings, including mountains, beaches, and national parks, which can be explored on a budget.

Sofia, Bulgaria

One of the most overlooked cities in Europe is Sofia. The laidback capital of Bulgaria is a great place to visit on a budget and it’s best to spend at least 2 days in Sofia exploring the historic sights.

Over two days you can explore the ancient ruins scattered around the city, learn about the history of Bulgaria and climb to the top of Vitosha Mountain. Did you know? Sofia has mountains right on its doorstep and the city was built on top of the ruins! A lot of them are now uncovered. 

A car isn’t really needed in the city as Sofia is very walkable. Public transport is only needed to visit spots outside of the city such as the nearby mountains for hiking.

Alongside hiking, some of the best affordable things to do in Sofia are easy to find on a free walking tour. Learn about the ancient ruins, visit the picture-perfect St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and ask as many questions as you’d like!

Cheap Food

End your days with a walk down Vitosha Boulevard. There are so many amazing places to eat in Sofia, so it’s the perfect city if you’re a foodie! Satsanga Restaurant and Edgy Veggy are two great spots for healthy nutritious food!

Banitza (cheese pie) is a must-try while exploring Sofia. It is cheap and delicious. It’s also really easy to find with other inexpensive snacks from local stalls.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

The best time to visit Sofia is when it’s warm in the summer months from May to September. However, if you love snow, it’s also worth visiting in the winter for some snow sports such as skiing or snowboarding. As Sofia is an inexpensive city in Europe, prices for skiing are much less than in the French Alps, so it can be done on a budget.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Sofia has good airport links to many major cities around Europe. From the airport, hop on the M2 metro line to get to the city centre. It’s the best and most affordable way to get to Sofia.

It’s also possible to arrive by bus from Turkey, Romania, North Macedonia, Serbia and Greece! Sofia is usually the entry point to the country.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Amy from The Sunrise Dreamers says, “Hostel Mostel is the perfect place to stay in Sofia if you want to meet other travellers. They also offer free food which is great for your budget!”

best low cost European country for an inexpensive trip
Andorra (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)


An off-the-beaten-path country in Europe that’s on the more affordable side is Andorra. The tiny country is located in the middle of the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain. It has approximately 80,000 people and is full of interesting places to explore. All in all, Andorra is a country in Europe offering fairly low price getaways with plenty of interesting attractions that can be done for free or at a very low cost

For starters, one popular activity that visitors can do is visit Saint Esteve of Andorra Church. This Romanesque church was built in the 12th century and is considered a significant historical and cultural landmark.

Afterwards, head downtown Andorra La Vella to view La Noblesse du Temps, a mesmerizing, free-standing art piece created by the famous artist, Salvador Dali.

Cheap Food

You’ll find plenty of affordable restaurants in the downtown area, such as K L’Irina, which has a great lunch menu.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

In terms of when to visit, the weather is most pleasant in the summer. During the summer months, Andorra experiences average high temperatures of 75°F and average low temperatures in the low 60s°F, which is the perfect temperature for wandering around the streets of Andorra. That said, you can expect a decent amount of crowds since it’ll be peak travel season.

Best Way To Reach Destination

You can fly directly into Barcelona’s international airport and then purchase a bus ticket from Barcelona to Andorra. Transport via bus takes about 2.5 to 3 hours depending on traffic.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Kristin from Global Travel Escapades says, “For places to stay, check out Hotel Pyrénées, which is a reasonably priced 3-star hotel that’s centrally located!”

best low-cost European country to visit for cheap getaways
Belgrade, Serbia (Photo courtesy Unsplash)


Serbia is a landlocked country located in southeastern Europe, bordering Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It offers a mix of lowlands, hills, and mountains, and is also home to several major rivers.

Serbia is a fantastic European country offering inexpensive escapes. There are a range of affordable options for accommodation, food, and activities.

Prices in Serbia are generally lower than in many other European countries, and budget travelers can enjoy a variety of experiences, including exploring historic sites, hiking in beautiful national parks, and sampling delicious local cuisine.

Serbia itself is an extremely inexpensive country for Westerners. Every restaurant costs one third of what it would in North America, which makes it easy to dine out.

Additionally, Serbia is known for its vibrant nightlife, with many clubs and bars offering discounted prices for drinks and entertainment.

Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is one of the best inexpensive cities in Europe, offering a diverse landscape and plenty of free (or nearly free) activities. Located on the banks of the Danube and Sava rivers, Belgrade is a medium-sized city with an estimated population of 1.3 million.

Exploring the city offers plenty of unique experiences for travellers looking to stretch their budget. A stroll through Kalemegdan Park, which overlooks both rivers, provides breathtaking views and historical sites, such as the Belgrade Fortress and the Monument to the Unknown Hero.

Free walking tours run regularly to tell you the history of the area, including the protests in Republic Square, the destruction of the Baltic bombings, and the beauty of the Saint Sava Temple.

Additionally, visitors can take a walk down Skadarlija, an old bohemian quarter of Belgrade where many famous Serbian poets and writers hung out in the 19th century.

You will want to get a SIM card with data for your time in Belgrade. Free WIFI is not popular in Serbia, and it can be hard to find cafes that will let you stay for long periods.

Cheap Food

The best inexpensive restaurants for tourists are on Skadarlija Street. You’ll find Turkish cafes, traditional ćevap, and yummy pljeskavica. Another great spot is Zemun, where you can dine along the Danube River.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

The best time to visit Belgrade is during spring (April-May) or fall (September-October), with mild temperatures and fewer crowds. Summers can be hot, reaching up to 95°F (35°C) in July and August, but cooling off after dark. If you like to hike, you can catch a bus or join a tour to explore the nearby forests. They’re gorgeous at this time of year!

Best Way To Reach Destination

The Nikola Tesla Airport is the international airport for Belgrade and serves a variety of routes from all around Europe. Getting into the city center from the airport is a 30 minute drive. Cars are very inexpensive to rent in Serbia, but it is tough to park downtown. You can also take a bus for one hour to get to the heart of the city.

In addition, you can take the train from most of Europe. A common route is to take the train north from Turkey, using the sleeper cars.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Nina from Nina Out and About says, “A three star hotel in Old Town will cost you roughly 50 Euros ($55 USD) per night. The best one is the Hotel Bohemian Garni. But remember that these Baltic hotels are not as plush as Western hotels. Even in the nicest ones, you’ll find they are quite sparse and basic in their amenities.

If you’re staying for a long time or working in Belgrade, opt for a Domovina apartment instead. These are fully furnished apartment rooms with better WIFI for about 40 Euros ($43 USD) a night.”

best economical country to visit in Europe for affordable holidays
Cologne, Germany (Photo courtesy of Jo from World Wild Schooling)


Germany is a country in central and western Europe. It is bordered by the North Sea, Denmark, the Baltic Sea, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Germany’s topography is characterized by a mix of low-lying areas, rolling hills, and mountain ranges. This includes the Alps in the south. The Rhine River is another prominent feature, running through the western part of the country and dividing it into two distinct regions, the Rhineland and the Black Forest.

Germany is a good European country to visit for budget-friendly holidays, as there are plenty of affordable options for accommodation, food, and activities. However, Germany is more expensive country than some other European countries, so you may need to be more selective when and where you go to make the most of your budget.

Additionally, major cities like Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg tend to be more expensive than smaller towns and rural areas. With some research and planning, it is possible to have a great time in Germany on a budget.

Cologne, Germany

Cologne, located in western Germany, is a vibrant and lively city with a population of approximately 1.1 million. The city sits on the banks of the Rhine River and is famous for its stunning Gothic architecture, historic landmarks, and bustling street life.

One of the best things to do in Cologne is to visit the Kölner Dom, the iconic cathedral that dominates the city’s skyline. The entrance is free, although you will have to pay a small fee if you want to climb the tower.

Another must-see attraction is the Old Town, with its colorful houses, cozy pubs, and boutique shops.

Finally, you can take a stroll along the Rhine promenade, which offers breathtaking views of the river and the city, especially at sunset.

Cheap Food

For foodies on a budget, Cologne has a range of options from which to choose. Alter Markt is a lively square where you can find the brewery Peters Brauhaus which serves traditional Cologne specialties at good prices.

There are also a number of markets, called Wochenmarkt (which means weekly market in German), where you can sample local specialties and pick up fresh produce.

Another great recommendation is the Neumarkt area, which is home to several cheap but delicious eateries.

The best option for inexpensive eating in Cologne is Bäckerei Balkhausen, the most well-known bakery in Cologne with a long line in front of the door. You can choose from all types of different bread and the sweet and savory pastries are to die for.

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

A good option is to visit Cologne during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, when the weather is mild, and the crowds are fewer. Summer can be busy and hot, while winter can be quite cold.

However, the absolute best time to visit is in December to see Cologne’s famous Christmas markets which make it a popular destination during the holiday season.

Gluhwein and hot chocolate make up for the cold, you can go ice skating and there are so many different Christmas markets around the center that you are sure to find one you’ll fall in love with.

Most Christmas markets in Germany are also completely free and you can get inexpensive drinks and food at the many festively decorated stalls.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Cologne is easily accessible via the Cologne Bonn Airport, which is served by several international airlines. From the airport, visitors can take a train, bus, or taxi to the city center, with travel times ranging from 15 to 30 minutes.

Once in the city, public transportation is reliable and affordable, with a range of options including buses, trams, and trains.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Jo from World Wild Schooling says, “The most highly-rated hostel in Cologne is Hostel die Wohngemeinschaft – and for good reasons. It is located in a fun neighborhood just 2 kilometers from the Cathedral and the place is gorgeous!

One more recommended option is the A&O Köln Hauptbahnhof, a centrally located hotel that offers comfortable rooms and a range of amenities at an affordable price.

Another budget-friendly option is the centrally located NH Köln Altstadt.”

best cheap European country for reasonably priced European vacations
Sarajevo, Serbia (Photo courtesy of Tina from Veganderlust)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a mostly landlocked country located in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. It has a mix of high mountains, rolling hills, and valleys.

Sarajevo is one of the cheapest capital cities in Europe. Bosnia and Herzegovina is not in the European Union and accordingly, uses the Bosnian and Herzegovina Convertible Mark as its currency which is valued much less than most other western currencies.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the best European countries to visit for cheap vacations. Accommodation, food, and transport are generally economical compared to other European countries.

Some of the top attractions in the country, such as the historic city of Mostar and the stunning landscapes of Una National Park, can be visited for a reasonable price or even for free.

Public transport is also affordable and easy to use, with buses and trains connecting major cities and towns.

Overall, Bosnia and Herzegovina can be a great destination for budget-conscious travelers looking to explore a unique and culturally rich country.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s also the country’s largest city with about 275,000 inhabitants.  

Some people may still associate Sarajevo with the Bosnian War, which ended in 1995. The city has changed a lot since then, although you can still see the remnants of the war, as many buildings are riddled with bullet holes. But now it’s a very safe place to visit and a great example of a city that embodies both Western and Eastern culture.

The best places to learn about the war are the “Museum of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide” or the “Sarajevo Tunnel of Hope Museum”. You have to pay a small entrance fee for both museums but it is worth it.

Nowadays, Sarajevo is a bustle of different cultures where old meets new. You can see this in the architecture which ranges from modern skyscrapers to historic mosques built during the Ottoman Empire.

Strolling through the old town with the bazaar is one of the best things to do in Sarajevo and it’s completely free. The old town also has the only lunar clock tower in the entire world. This clock points to 12 exactly at sunset.

During Ramadan, there’s also a canon fired every day at sunset from the Yellow Bastion – an old fortification on a small hill from which you have an amazing view of the city.

Cheap Food

You can easily get a full meal in a good restaurant for a few dollars. 

Best Times To Go Or Avoid

Every season has its charm to visit, it just depends on your preferences. Exploring the city might be more comfortable during warm weather, but seeing the snow on the surrounding hills can be quite magical as well.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The city is easily accessible by plane, and from the airport, you can catch a taxi to the city centre.

Last Word

There are many European countries that are cheap to visit for a memorable holiday. Whether you want to hang out at beautiful beaches, explore significant historical sites, hike in breathtaking natural settings, eat delicious food, or discover a thriving night life scene, there is something for every budget conscious traveler.

the authorNicole
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