28 Best Cheap Summer Destinations In Europe (2023)


Last Updated on August 18, 2023 by Nicole

Europe offers budget travelers a lot of choices when it comes to fantastic destinations for inexpensive summer vacations. Whether you prefer to explore large European cities or small towns, or relax on beautiful beaches, there are lots of affordable places to visit in Europe for your summer trip. Some of these budget-friendly European destinations are also hidden gems and offer fewer tourists in the months of June, July, August and September. Here are 28 of the best places to visit in Europe for cheap summer holidays.

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Other Options

After reviewing this article, you may be curious about other destinations in Europe. Here are some other topics that may be of interest.

For those looking for cheap destinations, regardless of the season, please see:

If you are solely looking for a summer beach destination in Europe, many of which are also inexpensive, please review:

If you are interested in the best travel destinations in Europe in specific summer months, check out:

For those looking for fantastic destinations with cooler summer temperatures, please see 24 Best Places To Visit In Europe For Mild Summer Weather.

If you only have time for a quick summer trip, then check out 26 Amazing Summer Weekend Getaways In Europe for some ideas.

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 Affordable Places In Europe For Summer Holidays

Here are 28 of the best places to visit in Europe for cheap summer vacations.

For each destination, some of the best inexpensive or free things to do are highlighted, including summer festivals or events. In addition, affordable restaurants or budget friendly areas offering delicious food are included.

How best to reach the destination by public transportation is described and accommodation for budget minded travelers may be offered. Finally, expected temperatures are outlined so that you can be properly prepared for your amazing European summer getaway.

best cheap destinations in Europe in summer
Rome, Italy (Photo courtesy of Tori from Tori Pines Travels)

Rome, Italy

By Tori from Tori Pines Travels

When looking for the best cheap places to visit in Europe in summer, look no further than the Eternal City. Rome, Italy offers history, activities, beautiful landscapes and delicious food and drinks. And, a visit to Rome can be done on a dime, if you are looking for a cheap summer holiday in Europe.

The summer also features special activities like the Lungo il Tevere, a festival along the river and Rock in Roma, rock concerts on select nights throughout the summer.

There are many tours, activities and museums for which you can pay to do or see, but Rome is also filled with free sights and activities. Start by downloading the Rick Steves’ Europe app and take his many free audio tours around the city.

As for free sights, the best is the Pantheon. It is huge, beautiful and located right in the heart of Rome. You’ll also want to check out the Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Basilica, Appian Way, Piazza Navona, and the Spanish Steps.

Try to plan your trip to include the first Sunday of each month. The city offers free admission to many top sights including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Borghese Gallery and more. Similarly, the Vatican Museums offer free entry on the last Sunday of each month.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

Head to Trastevere to try Roman street food, the cheapest food in town. You’ll want to grab Trapizzino, Suppli, and pizza from Casa Manco. And of course, gelato from Otaleg, it’s Gelato spelled backwards!

If you have a little bit of wiggle room in your budget, consider a food tour. You will get a local guide with lots of valuable information about the best and cheapest food around for your whole stay. Usually, you also get enough food to last you for a couple of meals.


Summers in Rome can be hot, with average high temperatures between 81 °F and 87℉ in June, July, August, and September. You will see very little rain. You can cool off easily from the heat with several scoops of gelato. Finding the best gelato in Italy is very important, so do your research before you go!

Best Way To Reach Destination

Flights to Rome are usually the cheapest in the country, so fly into Rome’s international Airport and jump on the train for a 30 minute ride into the city. The city is extremely walkable as it is mostly flat, but they have a good bus system if needed as well.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Tori says, “You’ll want to book somewhere to stay for several nights, and the hotels are cheapest around the train station or the outskirts of the city. Many people prefer to book a VRBO or Airbnb instead, as you can find cute little apartments around town for cheaper rates.

Stay in the Trastevere neighborhood for a local feel while still close to all of the main attractions.”

best places in Europe for an inexpensive summer vacation
Faro, Portugal (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Faro, Portugal

By Linn from Amused by Algarve

One of the more budget-friendly summer destinations to visit in Europe is Faro, the capital of the Algarve in southern Portugal. Often overlooked as a summer getaway over the more popular resort towns like Albufeira and Portimao, there are surprisingly many incredible things to do in Faro.

Being the gateway to Ria Formosa Natural Park, you can enjoy lovely hikes along the saltwater lagoons. Particularly interesting for bird watchers, this is an important resting space for migratory birds traveling the long stretch between northern Africa and northern Europe. This is also a hotspot for flamingos which can be seen most of the year.

For those that prefer exploring the natural park’s barrier islands, take a boat tour which will let you in on pristine beaches and small fisherman’s communities. While hiking is free, the boat tours are reasonably priced for what you get – a few hours in paradise.

Also, Faro beach is a delight and in the summer months, it beckons you to spend lazy days at the beach sipping a cold drink from one of the beach bars. For the tightest budgets, head to one of the small shops selling cold drinks by the beach and bring it with you.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

For cheap food, head to the Faro Municipal Market or try local dishes at Sabores Magia restaurant.


Boasting daytime temperatures around 80 Fahrenheit in the summer months and hardly seeing any rain, this is a safe and amazing beach destination for a summer trip in Europe.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Faro is well connected internationally through Faro airport which is only a 15-minute drive from the city center. And there are buses taking you there for a couple of Euros. It is also easy to get from Seville in Spain by bus in 2.5 hours for a few dollars each way.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Linn says, “For budget accommodation, Faro has plenty of hostels to choose from, Hostellicious being among the most budget friendly yet best rated of them all.”

best affordable places in Europe for a summer holiday
Seville, Spain (Photo courtesy of Becki from Meet Me In Departures)

Seville, Spain

By Becki from Meet Me In Departures

Seville is one of the alluring cities in Southern Spain, and considering this is the capital of Andalucía, it’s an incredibly affordable destination in Europe for a summer vacation. 

The city is compact, so it makes it perfect for a weekend break, wandering around the UNESCO-listed historical centre in the glorious sunshine and admiring the world-class architecture. 

Compared to other cities in Europe, the major attractions are all inexpensive. If you’re visiting Seville for just a few days, then certainly put the Alcazar and Cathedral with its towering Giralda on the top of your to-do list. These are all in the historical centre, next to Barrio Santa Cruz, the old Jewish district. Spend some time wandering the photogenic narrow cobbled streets getting lost. 

One of the most iconic landmarks in Seville is the mighty Plaza de Espana. This famous landmark was built in 1929 for the Great Exhibition and features intricate red-bricked alcoves, filled with signature colourful tile work.

The great thing about Plaza de Espana is it’s free to visit. Spend time around here ogling at the architecture, and if you time your visit right, you can also catch Flamenco dancers dancing under the middle spire. If not, for an inexpensive treat, book tickets to a Flamenco show.

Another free activity is the neighbouring Maria Luisa Park. In the balmy heat of the summer, this is a nice shady respite filled with pavilions and fountains to explore or relax under. 

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

The cheapest place for food and accommodation is around Alameda and the streets leading off of it. This is the more diverse area of the city and about 20 minute’s walk to the historic centre. This is also the best place for the liveliest bars.


Summer temperatures are extremely hot. Average highs in June and September are high 80s Fahrenheit and in high 90s F in July and August. There is practically no rain.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Seville has an airport and a metro bus that connects it to the city. It runs several times an hour and the journey takes about 40 minutes. It drops you right in the centre where you can easily walk. Seville is an extremely flat city and pedestrian friendly so walking and cycling are easy.

best budget-friendly summer getaways in Europe in summer
Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

By Jessica from The Uprooted Traveler

Prague in the Czech Republic in Eastern Europe offers a little bit of everything, from stunning architecture to history and, of course, its famous nightlife – all at an incredibly affordable price. 

Prague is perhaps most famous for its Old Town, a fairytale-looking neighborhood stuffed with Gothic churches and candy-colored baroque buildings. You could spend days moseying around its streets and gazing at the buildings. For example, the nearby Charles Bridge, built in 1357, is a not-to-be missed site, thanks to its 75 larger-than-life statues of saints lining its sides.

Prague Castle should also be on your bucket list. It is actually the largest castle complex on the planet! You can stroll through the hallowed halls, which date back over 1,000 years and are still used by the Czech president to this day.

The city is known for its vibrant, and, at times, chaotic nightlife. For an easy introduction, consider booking a river cruise along the Vltava River, many of which include a complimentary drink or very affordable glasses of beer.

For a super unique experience, consider checking out a Prague beer spa, where you’ll get to bathe in warm bath of hops, barley, and yeast, all while within arms’ reach of two taps of Czech beer (for the best price, be sure to book a room with some friends). 

One of the original beer spas and still one of the best in Prague is Bernard Beer Spa. You even get some free beer to go.

For something a bit more highbrow, the International Jazz Festival usually takes place in the city in the first few weeks of July, where beloved classic and contemporary musicians perform for jazz enthusiasts.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

If you’re feeling hungry, Prague is usually quite affordable, but you’ll find higher prices in the touristy neighborhoods. So venture outside to try restaurants like Bistro Váleček, with two friends serving up incredibly tasty dumplings or ROH družstevní kavárna, for comfort food in a homey setting.


Temperatures in summertime are perfect for wandering aimlessly, with clear skies and temperatures in the mid to high 70s.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To get to Prague, you can fly into Václav Havel Airport Prague, which is usually less than a half hour bus ride from the city center. You can also book an inexpensive airport shuttle.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Jessica says, “Once you reach the downtown area, you’ll have plenty of hostels or other affordable lodging to choose from. For example, the Madhouse is incredibly popular with budget travelers, thanks to its convenient location, incredibly clean facilities, and accommodating staff.”

best places in Europe in summer for budget travelers
Paros, Greece (Photo courtesy of Natali from She’s Abroad Again)

Paros, Greece

By Natali from She’s Abroad Again

If you daydream of strolling the streets along whitewashed Greek houses and swimming in crystal clear waters on long sandy beaches, look no further than Paros, Greece. This small island is located in the most popular group of the Greek islands, the Cyclades. Most people flock to Mykonos and Santorini, its famous and luxurious neighbours, but in doing so, miss out on this budget-friendly European vacation.

Depending on what kind of European holiday you are after, Paros offers a perfect summer getaway for every type of traveller.

If you are looking for an affordable alternative to Mykonos nightlife, stay in the charming fishing village of Naoussa and enjoy seafront bars and bustling restaurants for a fraction of the price. 

However, for Paros, Naoussa is a high-end town, so for a taste of authentic and cheap Greek island life, consider staying in the island’s capital Parikia, or one of the fishing villages along the coastline – Aliki or Piso Livadi. The accommodation is inexpensive, the food in restaurants is fresh and delicious, and spending a day on a beach is a free and fun activity.

There are a lot of day trips that you can add to your Paros itinerary. Take a bus from Parikia to the mountain village of Lefkes, and hike along the Byzantine road – the oldest trail on the island, connecting Lefkes and Prodromos.

If you want a taste of island hopping, take a ferry to Antiparos or Naxos. Both can easily be visited on a day trip. To get to Naxos, you take a ferry from the port in Parikia, and for Antiparos, take a bus to Pounta for a 5-minute ferry crossing.


Temperatures in June, July, August, and September often reach 86 °F or higher, so you will want to stay close to the sea.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The best way to reach Paros is to fly into Athens and then take a ferry or a flight to the island, as Paros airport only serves national flights. A ferry takes about 4 hours, depending on how many stops there are.

Paros port is in Parikia, so if you arrive by ferry, take a bus or walk to your accommodation. Public transportation in Paros is excellent. Every village on the island is within the bus network. 

best budget friendly European summer trips
Carcassonne, France (Photo courtesy of Kristin of Global Travel Escapades)

Carcassonne, France

By Kristin of Global Travel Escapades

A European city that’s perfect for a cheap summer vacation is the beautiful city of Carcassonne, located in the South of France.

One of the best free things to do in this picturesque city is to wander around the Cité de Carcassonne. Here, you’ll be able to admire the awe-inspiring fortifications that enclose the city on the hill and take in the fascinating history entrenched in all the mesmerizing medieval architecture. You can also book an inexpensive group walking tour that will highlight all the key sights and important history for you.

Carcassonne was also occupied by the Nazis during WWII. For a fascinating look into this history, life under the Nazis, the resistance and more, book an affordable WWII tour.

And for those interested in music, the city hosts an annual event known as the Festival de Carcassonne. During this two-week event in July, there are several free and paid performances from famous artists.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in taking in the local art and culture, then be sure to explore Carcassonne’s Museum of Fine Arts. The museum displays lots of regional artwork from the 17th-19th centuries, making it a great way to appreciate some of the area’s history while also admiring some beautiful artwork.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

When it comes to food, Carcassonne has plenty of affordable options. From local food stalls in the city’s Old Town to charming bistros within the city center, there’s something for everyone.


During the summertime, the city experiences average temperatures of about 80°F with about 5 days of rain.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Any visitors interested in visiting Carcassonne can fly into the Toulouse-Blagnac International Airport. From Toulouse, it’s a short journey to the medieval city. You can either drive about an hour and 45 minutes or ride the train for an hour directly into Carcassonne.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Kristin says, “if you’re looking for places to stay, consider the Hôtel L’Aragon. It offers affordable housing and is located right outside the Cité de Carcassonne!”

best European cities for a cheap summer vacation
Ljubljana, Slovenia (Photo courtesy of Nicole from Go Far Grow Close)

Ljubljana, Slovenia

By Nichola from Global Mouse Travels

Ljubljana is one of Europe’s hidden gems. It’s a beautiful city that feels like a little bit of Venice and Paris. The Slovenian capital is often overlooked by tourists and yet it is packed full of amazing sights and experiences at a much lower cost than many of its other European counterparts. Ljubljana is one of the best places to visit in Europe for a budget-friendly summer holiday and Slovenia is one of the most affordable countries in Europe.

Overlooking the whole city is the beautiful Ljubljana Castle perched on top of a tall hill near the Old Town. You can visit much of Ljubljana Castle for free and it has the most spectacular views. One of the best times is at sunset, so grab a picnic dinner, a bottle of wine, and enjoy.

There’s a funicular that takes you from the Old Town to the top that is a really fun way to travel. However, if you’re trying to keep costs low, you can also walk up.

There are some pay-to-enter exhibitions at the top, including the Watchtower, Chapel of St George and the Puppet Theatre, amongst others, but there’s also plenty to enjoy for free.

There are lots of boat rides to take along the Ljubljana River, the main river flowing through the Old Town centre. This is another great way to see the city as it gives you a different perspective. Since the boats are covered you can visit in any weather. This is a lovely and inexpensive way to see the whole of Ljubljana.

One of the best attractions do in Ljubljana with kids is the city’s museum in the wonderful setting of the Auersperg Palace. You learn about this beautiful capital and what makes it tick. There’s also a great cafe here.

There are lots of budget-friendly day trips within an easy drive of Ljubljana. You can join guided tours, but can just as easily rent a car and do them yourselves. The roads are very good and safe. Consider going to Lake Bled, Vintgar Gorge, Predjama Castle and Postojna Cave. You can read more about these destinations in Postjona Cave, Lake Bled And More: An Epic One Day Road Trip.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

The river front is lined with some wonderful cafes, all at a fraction of the price of many other European cities. Even in winter, they are open and offer blankets so you can enjoy the hot chocolate and pastries. The ice creams rival that of nearby Italy but at a much cheaper price.


Average highs in summertime is mid to low 80s Fahrenheit with about 10 days each month with some rain.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Ljubljana is a well connected city. You can fly in to the airport which is the quickest way to access the city. Alternatively, you can easily rent a car or travel from any of the surrounding countries. 

Inexpensive Accommodation

Nichola says, “Hotels in Ljubljana are also far less expensive than lots of the big capital cities. The Radisson Blu is right in the centre and has some fantastic views from its restaurant on top.”

best cities to visit in Europe in June, July, August and September for inexpensive summer vacation
Berlin, Germany (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Berlin, Germany

By Ali from Berlin Travel Tips

Berlin is a wonderful affordable European city to visit, and it’s especially fun in the summer. As the capital and biggest city in Germany, there’s something for everyone. With so many free things to do in Berlin, you won’t have to spend much money to enjoy the city.

To learn about the German government and history, book a time for the free tour of the Reichstag Building. This is the seat of the German Parliament, and the free tour takes you into the unique glass dome and provides interesting info via an audio guide. It’s a popular activity and books up weeks in advance, so plan ahead.

Berlin has plenty of free sights where you can learn about World War II and Cold War history. You can also book a low priced walking tour to have someone else highlight the key monuments and history. Alternatively, take a Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Bus Tour and see all the sights at your own pace over 24 hours.

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is the city’s most well known Holocaust Memorial.

Topography of Terror is a museum that sits on the former location of the headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS between 1933 and 1945, and it’s where the genocides were planned out.

Check out the East Side Gallery, the most famous section of the Berlin Wall that is now covered in street art. But to learn about the Berlin Wall, visit the Bernauer Strasse Wall Memorial. You can see markers that show where escape tunnels were dug, a section of the Wall, a watch tower, a section of the former death zone, and more. Don’t miss the two short films in the visitors center.

The TV Tower is a popular place to go for views of the city, but tickets can be rather expensive. Instead climb the Victory Column, located in the center of Tiergarten, which only costs a few euros. There’s no elevator though, so you’ll have to climb up 285 stairs to get to those gorgeous views.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

Summer is a great time for going to beer gardens, and many of them also have sausages and other inexpensive food on offer. If you’re in Berlin on the weekend, check out Thai Park where you’ll find cheap Thai street food.


Summer temperatures can be anywhere from mild to super hot. Average highs are in the 70s Fahrenheit in June, July and August, and high 60s F in September. There is about 7 days of rain in each month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The BER Airport is located south of the city and is well connected by regional trains and Sbahns. The FEX (airport express train) takes a little more than 30 minutes from the airport to the central train station.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Ali says, “Keep in mind that not all hotels have air conditioning, so check the listing before you book. Generator Hostel Mitte is a popular low cost option, and some of their rooms do have air conditioning.”

best affordable European destination in summer
Budva, Montenegro (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Budva, Montenegro

By Fernanda from Mauka Travels

Budva, located on the coast of Montenegro, is a fantastic summer destination for travelers looking for an affordable European holiday. Budva’s Old Town is a beautiful medieval city full of narrow alleys, picturesque buildings, and cozy restaurants.

If you are looking for free activities to do in Budva, exploring the Old Town on foot should be at the top of the list. Budva’s Old Town is a beautiful medieval city full of narrow alleys, picturesque buildings, and cozy restaurants.

Take some time to check out the main churches of Budva – Church of St Ivan and Church of Sveti Trojica. For only $2 per person, you can also get a ticket to go to the Citadel, the Fortress of Budva. The Citadel is known to have some of the best views in town, with Budva Old Town on one side and the Adriatic Sea on the other. It is definitely worth the ticket price.

Being a beach destination, it goes without saying that exploring the amazing beaches around Budva is another great thing to do that won’t cost you a single penny. Many incredible beaches are located within walking distance from Budva’s Old Town, such as Mogren or Slovenska Beach. Bring your beach towel and find a nice spot on the public areas of the beach for the day.

If you are feeling energetic, take a stand up paddleboard or kayak guided tour around Budva and its caves to see it from a different perspective.

When it comes to entertainment, Budva is known for its lively nightlife, including bars and summer festivals. The Sea Dance Festival hosts international DJs in August every year at quite affordable prices compared to other European festivals.

If you have additional time in Montenegro, you can also make day trips to other nearby destinations, such as Kotor, Perast, Sveti Stefan, Lake Skadar National Park, and the Lovcen National Park – all located a short drive away. They are stunning to see.

Booking a rental car and exploring on your own would be an inexpensive option, although there are some very well priced full day tours compared to other European destinations. For more information about fantastic day trips from Budva, please see:


During the summer months, you can expect average highs to be in the mid to high 80s Fahrenheit with the chance of a few days of rain each month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

If you are coming from abroad, the easiest way to get to Budva is by flying into Montenegro’s two international airports: Tivat or Podgorica. Tivat is located closer to Budva, only 30 minutes by car.

best places in Europe for a cheap summer trip
Budapest, Hungary (Photo courtesy of Pixaby)

Budapest, Hungary

By Cris from LooknWalk

One of the most beautiful cities in Central Europe – Budapest, Hungary’s capital – is also considered one of the most affordable European cities to visit. Between plenty of free and inexpensive things to do, you’ll be sure to have loads of fun without putting much of a dent in your budget.

If you love to walk, then you’ll be in for a treat. The Danube Embankment is a great place to get to know the capital and should be on your Budapest itinerary. It offers lovely views of the Buda side of the city.

Walk from the Central Market all the way to Parliament. Once there, find the Shoes on the Danube Bank, a memorial to the Jews shot and dumped in the Danube during World War II.

A bit further away, Margitsziget (Margaret Island) can keep you busy for hours even if you just admire the views as you walk along its many pathways.

Andrassy Avenue, on the Pest side of the city, is also gorgeous. You can see the Opera House, as well as window-shop the upscale stores. At the end of the avenue, there’s Heroes’ Square, a huge plaza filled with historical statues, next to the beautiful City Park.

The Jewish Quarter, compact and charming, is also worth your time. Between the many murals, historical buildings, ruined bars, and excellent eateries, you’ll be delighted to spend time in one of the capital’s best neighborhoods.

Want to walk some more? On the Buda side, Climb Gellert Hill to the top and reach the Citadella. The views towards Pest are incredible!  

To rest your weary feet and give you a different perspective of Budapest, take an inexpensive evening cruise along the Danube with unlimited Prosecco.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

When in Budapest, you must visit the Central Market. It’s possible to eat at the restaurants (located at the higher level) or simply purchase inexpensive Hungarian food and find a spot for a picnic. There are plenty of affordable places to eat across the city. If you are a vegan, try the Hummus Bar.

As a souvenir, you should get hot paprika at the Central Market, an inexpensive and flavorful spice that is integral to many Hungarian dishes.


Summers in Budapest are hot and summer storms are quite common. The average high temperature is 79F (in July and August) with about 7 days of rainfall each month. However, temperatures do spike with the highest temperature recorded at 99F (in August).

Best Way To Reach Destination

Budapest is served by Budapest Franz Liszt International Airport (BUD). It is also a big hub for WizzAir, one of the best low-cost carriers in Europe. From the airport, catch the bus to get to the city center. It takes about 45 minutes.

If you prefer to travel by train, Hungary’s capital has three railway stations: Keleti pályaudvar (Eastern Railway Station), Déli pályaudvar (Southern Railway Station), and Nyugati pályaudvar (Western Railway Station). International connections are plentiful and you can arrive by train from places as close as Vienna (Austria) and Cluj-Napoca (Romania) to as far as Munich (Germany). Additionally, five bus stations also offer plenty of connections with the rest of Europe and Hungarian cities.

Consider buying a travel card for either 24 hours or 72 hours. They allow you to use the metropolitan public transportation without restrictions (but if you want to visit Szentendre, for example, you need to purchase an add-on). They are easy to use and great value for money. Between the metro, buses, and trams, a budget traveler will be able to cover long distances and explore the capital easily.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Cris says, “If you are looking for no-frills accommodation, Haller Camping is a great choice. It’s within easy reach of public transportation stops and offers showers and wi-fi!

If you prefer solid walls, Fanni Guesthouse is close to Keleti pályaudvar, offers private rooms with bathroom ensuite, wi-fi, and a common kitchen.”

best inexpensive summer getaways in Europe
Puglia, Italy (Photo courtesy of Samantha from Undiscovered Path Home)

Puglia, Italy

By Samantha from Undiscovered Path Home

Centuries-old olive trees, sparkling blue waters and authentic Nonnas (Grandmas) making Italian pasta on the side of the road… If you’ve visited Puglia, Italy before, you’ll understand just how special this region of the country really is.

Puglia lies in the “heel of the boot”, the southern part of Italy, but remains undiscovered by most tourists – making it the perfect cheap destination in Europe to visit in the summertime. It’s stunning, has beautiful warm weather, and is completely local.  

If you’re visiting in the summer, base yourself in Monopoli, just an hour south of Bari by train. You can visit some of the best beaches in Puglia, rent bikes for a couple Euros a day, and grab a focaccia sandwich at a beach bar, all the while soaking up the sunshine.  

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

The Puglia region is known for its local, homemade food. In fact, if you walk through Bari’s Old Town, you’ll often find Nonnas making homemade pasta. Because much of Puglia is frequented by Italian tourists, you often won’t pay more than 10 to 12 Euros for a full meal (approximately $10-$12 USD). 

Pizza Princessa in Bari, for example, has entire pizzas for just a few dollars. In addition, in summer, focaccia spots are most popular for lunch, and they cost just a couple dollars for a delicious local treat.


Temperatures in summer can easily reach over 90 °F in July and August. You can expect low 80s F and high 70s F in June and September, respectively.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To visit Puglia, you’ll want to fly into Bari’s airport. Bari is your gateway to the area. You can take trains to many of the region’s most beautiful places. Most popular destinations can be reached within a few hours by train.

For example, Polignano a Mare is just 30 minutes by train and the popular Lecce is under two hours by train.

best affordable summer getaways in Europe
Dubrovnik, Croatia (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Dubrovnik, Croatia

By Nina of Nina Out and About 

Dubrovnik is an amazing place to visit during the summer months. It is situated on the Adriatic Sea and offers great views of the small islands that line its coast. It is also an inexpensive European city for a summer vacation.

The city has plenty of free or inexpensive things to do, such as visiting one of its many stunning beaches, taking in some of the historical architecture, or exploring Dubrovnik’s Old Town.

However, avoid having a drink in Old Town, as bar prices are CRAZY high. Instead walk about 5-10 minutes along the shore to find off the beaten path spots for reasonably priced options. 

In addition, there are lots of public fountains throughout the city. Accordingly, water is free in Dubrovnik so you can avoid paying for bottled water.

If you are feeling energetic, consider climbing the mountain behind Old Town for stunning views of Dubrovnik and the Adriatic Sea.

For an amazing day trip, take a ferry and visit Lokrum, a featured location in Game of Thrones tours. Once you pay a nominal amount for the ferry, you can hike, sun bathe, snorkel, and more for free. Or treat yourself and take this full day boat cruise with lunch and unlimited drinks that explores the three Elaphiti Islands.

Dubrovnik is home to a number of summer festivals and annual events, such as the Summer Carnival in July and Morske Orgulje (Sea Organ) Festival at the end of August.  

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

There are plenty of local restaurants that offer Croatian cuisine at reasonable prices. 

You can pop by any bakery for a gibeniza – typically cheese and dough but sometimes with meat or spinach – to have a massively filling dish for only a few dollars.

Or visit the weekly markets and make your own food. You can dine on a feast of fresh seafood for less than $10.


Summer is a great time to visit Dubrovnik, as it only rains a few days a month and temperatures range from 75-85F on average. 

Best Way To Reach Destination

The closest international airport is Dubrovnik Airport. It’s about 12 miles (20 km) from the city center and can be reached by car or bus. Once in the city, there are plenty of buses connecting you to all parts, including the Old Town, beaches, and even residential areas that are less expensive/touristy. 

best European cities to visit for budget travelers
Krakow, Poland

Krakow, Poland

By Taylor from Traverse With Taylor

One of the most talked-about destinations in Europe for budget travelers is a trip to Krakow, Poland.

Krakow is the second-largest city in Poland. It offers so much old-town charm that you feel as though you’re experiencing history.

Although it’s a larger city, Krakow is still quiet and welcoming, meaning that a stroll around the Stare Miastro (center city square) is as cultural an experience as ever. You can even take free walking tours.

Perusing the vendors at Cloth Hall, hearing the trumpeter play from St. Mary’s Church, and enjoying a bite to eat as you enjoy outdoor entertainment are some of the best things to do in the Stare Miastro. The city center comes alive in the summertime with performances, artists, and shows right in the middle of the streets.

One thing you should absolutely not miss during your time in Krakow is a visit to Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Easily the largest Nazi concentration camp complex in Europe, Auschwitz was a massive killing center during World War II and the Holocaust. The camp grounds have been well-preserved and turned into a museum meant to educate the world so that history is not repeated. 

Very reasonably-priced tours from the city center include transportation to and from Oświęcim, where Auschwitz is located. 

Finally, be sure to visit Wawel Castle during your time in Krakow. This castle sits atop Wawel Hill and overlooks the Vistula river and the entire city of Krakow. Entrance to the grounds of the castle is free, though there are specific wings of the museum area – such as the Crown Treasury- which require paid tickets. Alternatively, take a guided tour and see and hear about everything.


Average highs in Krakow are very pleasant in June, July, August, and September with temperatures in the mid 70s Fahrenheit. It rains about 10 days each month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Reaching Krakow is relatively easy. Take a cheap flight into the nearby Kraków John Paul II International Airport which is about 30 minutes from the city center. As well, you can also take a train from most nearby capital cities in Europe, including one from Warsaw, Poland’s capital, which takes about 2 hours.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Taylor says, “Make sure to stay near the city center within walking distance so that way you can properly enjoy your time in Krakow. The Apartamenty Parkside is a beautiful apartment hotel that has enormous, modern rooms and is just a few minutes walk to downtown.”

best budget-friendly small towns in Europe for a summer holiday
L’Isle sur la Sorgue, France (Photo courtesy of Mary from Be Right Back)

L’Isle sur la Sorgue, France

By Mary from Be Right Back

L’Isle sur la Sorgue is a small town located in the department of Vaucluse which is included in the wider Provence Region of France. Visiting L’Isle sur la Sorgue is like immersing yourself in the true French life. Forget about Paris and Marseille, bring a few basic French words with you, and head to this idyllic town! 

One of the best things about visiting L’Isle sur la Sorgue is that there are lots of inexpensive things to do in and around the town.

For example, go for a walk along the canals. As the town is built around the Sorgue River, water is very present. Two of the main attractions of the canals are the waterwheels and the bridges covered in beautiful flowers.

Additionally, you should walk around the town and its church, and explore the market.

L’Isle sur la Sorgue is also famous for hosting some of the best antique shops in the country. People spend hours looking for the most unique antique items that are displayed in the numerous boutiques across the town.

In summer, there is actually a large event that brings together over 500 antique dealers. With items from all over the world, it’s a show you don’t often see and is definitely worth coordinating your visit for this event if you are an antique lover.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

For a cheap local lunch, you should visit the year-round farmers market in the centre of the town. You’ll find everything French from cheese to charcuterie. Collect your favorites for a picnic next to the canals. 


L’Isle sur la Sorgue is one of French people’s favourite destinations in the summer. With temperatures over 77 Fahrenheit, everyday sunshine and the famous “farniente” vibe, it’s hard to resist spending a couple of weeks here.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To reach L’Isle sur la Sorgue, you will need to fly to France (e.g.: Paris or Marseille) and then pick up a rental car and drive or take the train. From Paris, it takes about 8 hours to drive to L’Isle sur la Sorgue while it only takes about 2 hours from Marseille.

Taking the train from Paris will take about 6 hours with a couple of connections. From Marseille, taking the train takes about 3 hours with a couple of connections as well.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Mary says, “To enjoy your stay as much as possible, the Camping La Sorguette is a great place to stay. You’ll be staying by the water with a choice between traditional camping or glamping.”

best budget friendly cities in Europe for travel in June, July, August, September
Amsterdam, Netherlands (Photo courtesy of Min from Amsterdam Travel Blog)

Amsterdam, Netherlands

By Min from Amsterdam Travel Blog

Summer is the best time of the year to visit Amsterdam. It offers perfect summer temperatures, sunshine on beautiful canals, and free events. It is also a great European destination for budget travelers looking for an affordable summer trip.

There are lots of free and inexpensive things to do in Amsterdam. Walk around the canal area in Jordaan and Canal Belt and savor the uniqueness of Amsterdam canals.

Visit museums, like Heineken Experience, Rijksmuseum, and Van Gogh, keeping an eye on when museums offer free days each month.

Finally, have a picnic at Vondelpark or Museumplein to enjoy the local vibe.

There are many events in Summer, but you should not miss Gay Pride and Grachtenfestival, two free festivals in August.

The Netherlands is the first European country to recognize gay marriage, and Gay Pride hosts the world’s largest parade. During the event, everyone is welcome to “celebrate LOVE.” Everyone can express themselves and embrace the freedom of love!

If you enjoy classical music, you should attend Grachtenfestival. This festival hosts many music events across the beautiful canal area.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

Food plays a vital role in Dutch people’s lives, and you can find local food at markets like Albert Cuypmarkt Market or Prinsengracht Market. If you are in the city center but want a cheap, quick lunch, you can try Wok 2 Walk, La Place, or STACH Food.


Amsterdam offers average highs in the low 70s Fahrenheit in July and August, and high 60s F in June and September. You can expect around 8 days of rain each month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Once you arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport, you can take the Intercity train from Schiphol Airport Station to Amsterdam Central Station. The ride is short – around 15 minutes only.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Amsterdam is a city for everyone. You can find inexpensive but comfortable accommodation in the city. If you are a backpacker, choose hostels like ClinkNOORD, MEININGER Amsterdam City West, and Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark.

If you want to stay at affordable hotels, book a hotel around Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station, such as Hotel2Stay, and Amsterdam Teleport Hotel.

best summer destinations in Europe for cheap summer vacations
Riga, Latvia (Photo courtesy of Pixaby)

Riga, Latvia

By Asha from HomeTravelGuide

Riga is one of the cheapest places in Europe for budget-minded travelers. This Latvian capital has a lot to offer, from stunning architecture to delicious food to a lively nightlife scene. And best of all, it’s affordable compared to other European cities, especially in the summer months. 

One of the best things to do in Riga is to do an inexpensive walking tour of the Old City. You will see all the beautiful architecture including the Town Hall Square and the House of Blackheads.

There are also many free museums in and around the Old Town. Make sure to visit The Latvian War Museum in the Powder Tower. 

Riga is also home to a number of festivals throughout the summer making it one of the best times to visit. Some of the most popular festivals include: Riga Jazz Stage, which features performances by both local and international jazz musicians; Positivus Festival, which is Latvia’s biggest music festival; and Art Week Riga, which showcases the work of local artists and musicians.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

Riga offer many amazing places at which to eat. For some fresh food, plan a visit to Riga Central Market where you can try some local specialities like pickles, smoked meats and cheese. 


Riga offers cool summer temperatures in the low 70s Fahrenheit with around 8 days each month of rain.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The best way to reach Riga is by flying into Riga International Airport (RIX). There are cheap flights from major airports across Europe, including ones offered by several budget airlines. The airport is located about 11 miles (15 km) from the centre and you can easily take the bus to the centre.

best cheap beach destinations in Europe in summer
Malaga, Spain (Photo courtesy of Cristina of My Little World of Travelling)

Malaga, Spain

By Cristina of My Little World of Travelling

Malaga is a beautiful coastal city in Andalusia, in the south of Spain. It is one of the best places for a cheap European summer vacation.

There are many reasons to visit Malaga. It has incredible things to do while also being inexpensive. If you love sightseeing, there are a few attractions you can’t miss. 

One of them is the Alcazaba de Malaga, a Moorish fortress palace with lovely gardens and breathtaking views of the city. You can visit this attraction for free on Sundays from 2 pm. 

Any art lover will enjoy visiting Picasso Museum Malaga. The museum has a wide collection of the famous painter’s work who was born in the city. You can also visit this museum for free on Sunday afternoon. 

Other amazing free activities in Malaga include relaxing at La Malagueta Beach, the nearest beach to the city centre, and walking in Parque de Malaga, a beautiful park home to unique vegetation and green parakeets. 

For something fun and different, take a reasonably priced private guided electric Tuk Tuk tour of all the key sights of Malaga.

Another good reason to visit Malaga in the summer is Feria de Agosto (Malaga’s Fair) which takes place in the middle of August. Malaga Fair lasts 7 to 9 days depending on the year. You can see traditional dances, try the local food and wine like Cartojal (Malaga sweet wine) and go on rides. 

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

During your time in the city, head to the Atarazanas Market to taste local dishes like pescaito frito (fried fish) at cheap prices. 


Average highs in Malaga in summer are high 80s Fahrenheit with basically no rainfall.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGP) is the closest airport to the city. It receives many international flights from around the world. One of the easiest ways to get to Malaga’s city centre is by train which takes 20 minutes.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Cristina says, “If you are looking for central and affordable accommodation, Dulces Dreams Boutique Hotel is an excellent choice.”

best European cities to visit for summer getaways
Bucharest, Romania (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Bucharest, Romania

By Joanna from The Romanian Cookbook

Bucharest is the capital of Romania in Eastern Europe, and one of the most affordable places to visit in Europe. The city has grown a lot during the past couple of years, becoming a fantastic tourist destination for people looking for a budget holiday.

There are plenty of inexpensive things to do in Bucharest. One of them is visiting the Village Museum, which is an open air museum displaying traditional Romanian houses from the 18-19-20th centuries. The museum is large, and you can spend a good few hours there. The entrance fee is less than a few dollars.

Another great place to explore in Bucharest is the historical centre. There are several residential areas to explore and see the most beautiful architecture the city has to offer from when it used to be known as “Little Paris”. Guided walking tours of this area are budget-friendly.

The commercial area of the historical town is filled with restaurants, bars, and cafes. This is also the area where you want to go to at night for some amazing night life. The bars and clubs stay open until the early hours of the morning, and serve food until at least midnight. Join a pub crawl to make sure you experience the best ones.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

The Old Town is where you can find inexpensive restaurants. The national dish of Romania is sarmale, which you must try at a traditional Romanian restaurant.


Bucharest has very hot summers so prepare accordingly. It’s best to visit in June and September with average high temperatures are around 81 °F. It can easily reach over 90 degrees Fahrenheit in July and August.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Bucharest has its own airport, connected with most of Europe. The airport is located half an hour drive from the city centre and is easily accessible by either train or bus.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Joanna says, “Usually, you can get very good deals at the hotels in Bucharest. A good 3-star hotel will cost around 50 euros a night.”

best cheap beach destination in Europe for summer holidays
Pelion, Greece (Photo courtesy of Annelies from Travelers & Dreamers)

Pelion, Greece

By Annelies from Travelers & Dreamers

If you are looking for one of the cheapest places to spend your summer in Europe then look no further than the Pelion peninsula in Greece. The Pelion peninsula is located on mainland Greece with views that are dominated by the mighty Mount Pelion. The landscape is truly beautiful and diverse and consists of beautiful coves with crystal-clear blue water, gorgeous beaches, lush green mountain slopes, and picturesque villages.

The best way to experience Pelion is by doing a road trip through the peninsula. If you need to rent a car, this may take a lot of your budget but you will get a lot in return as there are so many free things to do once here.

Free activities are all related to the natural beauty of the peninsula. There are countless hiking trails on Pelion, with some of them being a network of “kalderimi”. Kalderimi are cobbled stone paths that are hundreds of years old and were used for hoofed traffic during the Ottoman empire.

If you are tired of all that walking, then relax at Mylopotamos or Fakistra beaches, go snorkeling at the natural pools of Damouchari, take a reasonably priced kayaking tour or visit Makrinitsa to enjoy its superb views over Volos and the Pagasetic gulf.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

Great local restaurants with inexpensive but incredibly tasty food are Café Victoria in Damouchari and The Beautiful Beach at Papa Nero beach.


Summer temperatures are very high in Pelion. Expect average highs well over 90 °F in July and August, and mid to high 80s F in June and September.

Best Way To Reach Destination

It is a four hour drive from Athens. However, you could take a domestic flight from Athens to Nea Anchialos in the summer.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Annelies says, “Wild camping in Greece is not allowed and you can be fined if caught. However, since Pelion is off the tourist radar, you may get away with putting up your tent at one of the more secluded beaches for the night.

If you want to play by the rules (recommended), there are also many cozy camping sites on the Peninsula. Camping Papa Nero, near Agios Ioannis, is a nice base from which you can explore the rest of the Peninsula.

On the other hand, if you prefer to stay in a local guesthouse, Katerina Fotopoulos Rooms and Apartments is a cheap and great option a little bit further but right by the sea. She offers rooms with a little kitchenette in which you can do your own cooking to save money.”

best European summer destination for cheap summer vacations
Lisbon, Portugal (Photo courtesy of Rebecca from Veggies Abroad)

Lisbon, Portugal

By Rebecca from Veggies Abroad

If you’re looking for an affordable city in Western Europe with warm and sunny summers, look no further than Portugal’s capital, Lisbon.

The City of Seven Hills is known for its charming pink and yellow pastel neighborhoods, historic tram system, intricate tile work, and hilltop coastal views — what more could you want? Whether you’re interested in art and culture or dancing the night away, Lisbon has something for everyone.

One of the best things to do in Lisbon is to wander the steep streets of the Alfama neighborhood. Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood is filled with charming cafes, independent shops, and a terrific flea market, Feira de Ladra. In addition to exploring the area, this is also one of the best spots for views of the city.

If you’re interested in learning a little more about Lisbon, consider joining one of the free walking tours that visit the city’s famous sights and neighborhoods. Although these tours are free, make sure you bring some cash for a gratuity.

To capture this beautiful city from a different perspective, take a sunset cruise with complimentary wine.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

After all that exploring, you’ll be hungry — luckily, Lisbon is home to a diverse and affordable culinary scene. For a mix of globally-inspired eats, check out Mercado da Ribeira, also known as the Time Out Market Lisboa. Since the late 1800s, this has been the primary food market in Lisbon. Although it has changed over the years, you can still buy fresh produce while dining at one of the 26 restaurants. The market is also home to various independent shops, multiple bars, and features live music throughout the week.

One other food stop you can’t miss is for a traditional Portuguese specialty — Pastel de Nata. The best place to go is Pastelaria Batalha. In addition to the traditional tart, they are one of the only spots in Lisbon with a vegan version!


Average highs in June, July, August, and September range from high 70s F to low 80s F with little to no rain.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The easiest way to get to Lisbon is to fly into the Humberto Delgado airport and then, take the metro directly into Lisbon’s city center. The metro ride is only 20 minutes and only costs around a couple of dollars.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Rebecca says, “You’ll find a great selection of affordable hotels and hostels throughout Lisbon. One excellent option is Hotel Miraparque — it’s only a 5-minute walk to the metro or a 20-minute walk to downtown.”

best European summer getaways for inexpensive holiday
Ohrid, North Macedonia (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Ohrid, North Macedonia

By Sinead from Map Made Memories

North Macedonia is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Kosovo, Serbia, Albania, Greece and Bulgaria. It is a fascinating country with a rich cultural heritage and stunning scenery as 80% of North Macedonia is mountainous. It is one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe for a summer holiday.

One of the most popular places to visit in Macedonia is Ohrid, home of Lake Ohrid which is one of the largest, deepest and oldest lakes in Europe. It is an important ecological site as the lake is home to over 200 endemic species. 

Ohrid old town is famous for its overhanging buildings and narrow cobbled lanes. The Old Town is packed with churches – allegedly one for every day of the year – and visitors could spend many happy hours, or even days, wandering around the atmospheric Old Town.

In addition, you can visit the hilltop Tsar Samuel’s Fortress or the picture-perfect St Jovan Kaneo, the church on the lakeside that you see on most Macedonian postcards. 

Walk along the pedestrian promenade to either visit the Old Town, or in the opposite direction, the small beaches and parks lining the lake. Bike hire is inexpensive and cycling this promenade is a popular thing to do.

You should not miss the opportunity to take a boat trip on the lake. Boat trips range from one hour to a full day, sometimes with complimentary wine tasting, or you can hire a kayak or stand-up paddleboard for a low fee.

One of Ohrid’s most popular festivals is the Summer Festival which runs from mid-July to mid-August. It is a celebration of Macedonian culture and features singing, music and dance performances.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

Pick up cheap groceries at the daily market or dine out cheaply at any of the old town restaurants. 


Average highs range from 72°F to 80 °F in the summer months with a few days of rain each month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

You can fly directly to Ohrid airport from where it is a 20-minute taxi ride to the Old Town. Alternatively, fly to Skopje and rent a car or take a public bus to Ohrid which will take around three hours.

best beaches in Europe for affordable summer trips
El Puerto de Santo Maria, Spain (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

El Puerto de Santo Maria, Spain

By Linn from Amused by Andalucia

On the southern tip of Spain, you will find El Puerto de Santa Maria, a charming fishing town that not many tourists reach. However, it is an excellent budget destination in summer in Western Europe.

Most travelers explore it as day trips from Cadiz or Seville, but you should spend a few days and experience a true Andalusian coastal town. This is a popular destination among Spanish tourists which might be why the town has kept its authenticity.

El Puerto de Santa Maria boasts some of the most splendid beaches in Cadiz. In particular, Valdelagrana Beach is amazing in summer with its fine white sand. While there are sun beds for rent on the beach, it will save you a lot of cash if you lay your own beach towel directly on the beach and buy a parasol from one of the cheap beach shops nearby.

Other than lazing at the beach, El Puerto de Santa Maria has a wonderful Old Town that is worth discovering.

A day trip to Cadiz can also easily be done on a budget. The ferry takes you there in half an hour and ticket fares are at regular public transport prices.

Most of the attractions you can see in one day in Cadiz, and if you skip the cathedral, museums, and the Tavira Tower, you can literally see the rest of the city’s attractions for free! Alternatively, take a low cost walking tour and make sure you see everything!


Like the rest of Andalucia, you can expect 320 days of sun in a year and it is very rare that it rains in the summer (though not impossible.) Temperatures are usually around 80 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the summer months.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The closest international airport to El Puerto de Santa Maria is in Jerez de la Frontera. From there, the train ride is only 20 minutes and costs less than a few dollars one way.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Linn says, “There are a few places to stay in El Puerto de Santa Maria on a budget, like in Costal Costa Luz.”

best cities in Europe for budget travelers in summer
Gdansk, Poland (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Gdansk, Poland

By Linn from Brainy Backpackers

An extremely budget friendly summer destination in Europe is the enchanting city of Gdansk in Poland. In fact, Poland is one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe.

Gdansk was the Ground Zero for World War Two and most of the city has been rebuilt after the war. However, the Poles did an amazing job and the pastel colored houses are a true delight to walk through. Some buildings are rebuilt using the bombed pieces found on the ground after the war, in particular those on St. Mary’s Street.

The good thing about a summer vacation in Gdansk is that everything is cheap, so even touristy things can be done without breaking the bank.

One of the best things to do in Gdansk in summer is to take the tall ship through the Motlava River to Westerplatte – which is a monument of the war that is situated exactly on ground zero.

Gdansk is also home to some of the best beaches in Poland, and a trip to Sopot beach is a must. Famous for the longest wooden pier in Europe (1700 feet or 511.5 meters), it is a lovely long white sandy beach on which to relax on hot summer days.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

Delicious budget friendly eats can be found at Pyra Bar and Nie/Mięsny, though it is truly hard to find expensive food in this cheap country.


While temperatures do not reach the same heights as in southern Europe, you can easily get temperatures above 70 Fahrenheit which makes for lovely beach weather. It rains about 7 days each month in summer.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Gdansk airport is only 10 miles to the city center with public transportation options.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Linn says, “The same goes for accommodation, it is hard to find expensive accommodation in Gdansk, where you can have an exceptional stay in a private room in places like Hostel Filip 2.

best budget-friendly summer European destinations
Ptuj, Slovenia (Photo courtesy of Paul from Paulmarina)

Ptuj, Slovenia

By Paul from Paulmarina

Ptuj in Slovenia is a medieval town at the banks of the Drava river, located in the east of the country. The city is the oldest in the country as it was a settlement in the Stone Age and later on a Roman administrative colony. The area was part of the Austrian empire and the multicultural influence is still very visible in this vibrant town.

The cobblestone roads and tight passages in Ptuj encourage one to discover the colorful neighborhoods.

The castle and museum overlooking the area invite visitors to explore the history of the region. The exhibition ticket is priced at a few dollars per adult. This includes a visit through the castle rooms, the carnival traditions exhibitions, the roman exhibition, the musical instrument halls, the galleries, and the weaponry.

The Dominican and Minorite monasteries are both open to visitors. The former is even free for visitors and the caretakers are very welcoming.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

The local farmer’s market is a treasure trove for food lovers and all those seeking cheap and traditional food specialties.

The region boasts one of the best wine territories in the area, so getting hold of some top wines should be on your list if you love good inexpensive wine.


Summers are hot with an average high of 79 °F in July and August, and low 70s degree Fahrenheit in June and September. You can expect around 9 days each month with some rain.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The best way to get to Ptuj is to either fly into the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, or to fly into Graz, a city in Styria in Austria across the border, then rent a car. The drive takes about 1 1/2 hours from Ljubljana to Ptuj and by bus it’s 2 1/2 hours. From Graz it’s just 1h 15 mins by car and 1h 40 mins by train.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Paul says, “If you are looking for a place to stay, hotel Mitras is well situated in the Old Town near the castle and every other landmark. Plan on spending at least 2 days to make the most of your trip to Ptuj.”

best summer getaways in Europe for budget travellers
Naples, Italy (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Naples, Italy

By Amber from Amber Everywhere

Naples, Italy is the home of Neapolitan pizza, located near the infamous ruins of Pompeii that were destroyed in 79 AD by Mount Vesuvius. The city is bustling, with old and new buildings that stack on top of each other in a way that seems perplexingly seamless. The people of Naples love food, and they take it very seriously – so it’s the perfect European destination for foodies who may be traveling on a budget. 

Eat pizzas that have been painstakingly perfected from L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Starita, and/or Gino e Toto Sorbillo. If you have the time, go for a self-guided pizza tour over the course of a day or two to try each of the most famous pizzerias in Naples. Order one pizza per person while in Naples, and pair it with beer, wine, or bottled water.

In the mornings, try a cappuccino and a pastry from Caffe Mexico, a traditional coffee shop with hand pulled espresso shots and fresh pastries.

Be sure to also visit Caffe Gambrinus, a landmark in Naples that has long been popular with writers and politicians near the historical center. Try a rum-soaked baba at Gambrinus, which you can pair with a cappuccino in the morning or an espresso later in the afternoon. 

An alternative approach is to take a food tour with a local and be offered all of the specialties within easy walking distance of each other.


Summer in Naples is quite warm, with highs in the 80s F. There are a few rainy days during the summer, but the average rainfall is less than 2 inches per month from June to August.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Travelers can reach Naples by train from most major cities in Italy. Naples is about four hours from Milan, three hours from Florence, and one hour from Rome by high speed train. There is also a small international airport in Naples. 

Inexpensive Accommodation

Amber says, “There is affordable accommodations throughout Naples. To be in the middle of the action, stay near the Centro Historico. If you prefer a more tranquil stay, choose a hotel in the Vomero neighborhood, like B&B CasaZeni.”

best budget friendly places in Europe in summer
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Photo courtesy of Amber from Amber Everywhere)

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

By Olivia from Inspired by Croatia

If you want to experience the Balkans in summer on a budget, look no further than the city of Mostar. Situated in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mostar is a unique blend of east meets west. The ancient town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers a glimpse into the region’s colorful past, which has shaped it into the culturally diverse province it is today.

Mostar is a picturesque city that can be comfortably seen in less than 24 hours. For this reason, you might consider planning a day trip from Dubrovnik to Mostar. Once there, you can take a cheap walking tour and see the highlights.

Start your visit by walking across Mostar’s famous landmark, Stari Most (Old Bridge). The town itself gets its name from the iconic bridge that crosses over the Neretva River.

If you’re visiting in July, make sure to attend the annual bridge jumping competition that has been ongoing for more than 450 years. Each year, spectators gather on the bridge and the riverbanks below to witness professional jumpers plunge into the freezing, fast-flowing river.

Other free things to do in the city include wandering around the Kujundziluk Bazaar. Here you can peruse the stalls selling rugs, scarves, Turkish coffee pots, and other trinkets.

Budget-Friendly Food And Restaurants

While strolling down the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, be sure to stop for a traditional Turkish coffee at Sadrvan. Stepping into the restaurant is like being transported back to Ottoman times.

For just a few dollars, you’ll be served freshly brewed Turkish coffee the traditional way in a copper cezve accompanied by sweet Turkish delights. The experience is absolutely priceless.


While visiting in the summertime, be prepared for some serious heat. The average temperature during the summer months fluctuates between 30-34 C (86-93 F).

Inexpensive Accommodation

Olivia says, “If you do decide to spend the night, you’ll be pleased to know that low-cost accommodation is plentiful. Stay in the modern Central Located Guest House for just $25 a night in a double room with your own private bathroom.”

best European small town for affordable summer getaways
Meteora, Greece (Photo courtesy of Amber from Get Lost In Wanderlust)

Meteora, Greece

By Amber from Get Lost In Wanderlust

Located in central Greece, Meteora is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site that is within driving distance from Athens. Meteora consists of six monasteries that are atop unique rock formations.

These monasteries were built by monks seeking solitude in the 13th and 14th centuries. The fact that these monasteries were built on these high rock formations before modern technology is truly a wonder.

The best inexpensive thing to do in Meteora is to visit the monasteries. Entrance fees are only a few dollars at each monastery. It is important to bring cash as cards are not yet accepted at all of the monasteries. 

You can drive up to Meteora, and then take the stairs to each monastery or by hike up from the village of Kastraki.

One of the best free things to do while at Meteora is to watch an incredible sunset. The views on top of the rock formations are out of this world, and the sunset views are truly unique.

As Meteora is located in central Greece, prices for accommodation and food are very affordable. The landscape at Meteora is truly incredible and a perfect budget-friendly place in Europe to visit in the summer.


Temperatures in central Greece can average 70-85 F in the summer, and it is typically very sunny with only a slight chance of an occasional rain shower.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Meteora can be visited by flying into Athens International Airport, renting a car and driving 4 hours north. The drive is relatively easy and the roads are in good condition, but there are a few tolls along the way.

Meteora can also be reached by taking a direct 4-hour train from Athens to the town of Kalambaka.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Amber says, “When visiting Meteora, it is best to stay in Kastraki or Kalambaka.

Kastraki is a small, quiet village that is located right under the monasteries. This is a great option for a more peaceful stay or as a base for hiking to the top. Kalambaka is a town that is only a few minutes away, has more restaurant options and a train station.”

best inexpensive European cities for a summer break
Zagreb, Croatia (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Zagreb, Croatia

By Nichola from Family Hotel Expert

Zagreb is a beautiful city with lots of history and culture. This Croatian capital is also the largest city in the country and a wonderful place to visit. There’s something for everyone here, no matter what you’re interests.

No matter what the weather, The Museum of Contemporary Art is well worth a visit. It is inexpensive to visit and, on the first Wednesday of every month, it is free. The whole museum is packed full of interesting and interactive art. The best bit though? The curling slide from the top floor to the bottom that the young and young at heart love to ride. 

Something that’s free to do in Zagreb and one of the best things to do is to head to the Old Town to watch the gas lamps being lit. In the Upper Town, as dusk falls, the lamps are still lit by hand. They have been turned on this way since 1863. It’s one of the few places in Europe where this still occurs and it really is incredibly atmospheric to see the gaslighters at work. 

Another completely free activity that you shouldn’t miss is the firing of the city’s cannon. Everyday at noon, the Grič cannon at the top of The Lotrščak Tower fires. There are a lot of legends attached to this ceremony and crowds always gather to see the spectacle.


Average highs in summer are high 70s to low 80s Fahrenheit. There is an average of 9 days with rain for each summer month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Fly into Zagreb itself or travel by car or train from one of the surrounding countries. It is well connected and easy to travel around.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Nichola says, “Restaurants and cafes tend to be very budget friendly for a capital city. If you’re planning a Croatian family holiday, there are some fantastically well priced hotels both in the center of the city or with an easy commute. For couples or solo travellers, the HI Hostel Zagreb comes highly recommended.”

Last Word

There are many wonderful places in Europe to go for cheap summer holidays. Whether you wish to go to northern, southern, eastern or western Europe, or visit cities, small towns, or beaches, there is something for everyone and every budget.

the authorNicole
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