Top 20 Cheapest Countries in Europe to Visit for Budget Travelers

by | Published on Jun 26, 2017 | Last update on Aug 8, 2019Published on Jun 26, 2017 | Last update on Aug 8, 2019 | 53 comments

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As an avid shoestring traveler with nuanced tastes, I am always pulled towards countries where I can live large on my small budget. Whether I am looking for a longer stay destination or a weekend break in Europe, I take special note of the prices of hostels or hotels in the main tourist towns and the average prices for drinks and food.

Choosing a cheaper destination can save you anywhere between $20-$50 a day on accommodations, drinks, and food. When I begin to look for my next destination I look for beautiful landscapes and architecture to explore on my (rather small) budget. If this list of the cheapest countries in Europe isn’t on your radar now, then read further – your bank account will thank you.

These destinations are often less popular tourist destinations and some of the hidden gems in Europe which mean more time for me to get to know locals and enjoy less crowded beaches. While I always like to spend a few days in the bigger cities, visiting the less known cities and outdoor-enthusiast destinations is sometimes more gratifying for me, and my wallet. Offering beautiful views of mountains, coastlines, and lakes these destinations are one of a kind and won’t break your budget.

Now, what are some of the ways to get around cheaply? Most backpackers know this and tons move around Europe either by hitchhiking, staying at hostels, and keeping a low budget for the day (most stick between 30-80USD per day) and they managed just fine! Of course, visiting the countries mentioned below will help you lower the cost down as the costs in these places are significantly lower than other more expensive European countries.

So, are you ready to read this post now? To start, a backpacker’s best friend is, well, his or her backpack! Getting a sturdy one will actually save you tons of troubles during your travels so check this guide on how to find the best backpacks for traveling to learn more about it!

RELATED: Are you on a time crunch and would like to see Europe in short amount of time for a decent price? Check out these tours that will take you on a twelve, fourteen, or even twenty days around Europe!

Useful travel tips for every traveler (Budget or not!)

→ Learn how to find cheap flights: Read our Skyscanner guide on how to find flights!

→ Save some money from your hotel bookings: Use this Booking.com link to find deals on hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. Another tip is tp sign-up for an account and refer friends and for every 50USD worth of hotel bookings, you will get 10% of your money back!

→ Save money and use Airbnb: Get up to 26USD in credit to use on your next stay, use this link to avail this!

→ Save on luggage fees: Ditch the suitcase and fit your belongings in a carry-on backpack and start learning on how to be a minimalist traveler!

 

Cheapest Countries in Europe to Visit for Budget Travelers

Underrated Countries in Europe

1. Poland

Want to enjoy the very best that Eastern Europe has to offer? Visit Poland. This culturally rich country provides countless hikes for outdoors-lovers and great nightlife for the night owls.

If you want to escape the real world, go on a hike or a camping trip to the Tatra Mountains. Or if you are looking for a city getaway catch the next train to Warsaw or Krakow. Both cities let you absorb the rich history and culture of Poland and not to mention two of the cheapest cities in Europe that will stretch your budget!

Which cities in Poland you should visit?

The top three popular cities in this lovely Eastern European country are Warsaw (the capital), Krakow, and a lovely quaint town named Gdansk.

It is very easy to get around Poland if you want to visit all of these cities and even see smaller towns around the country and going by bus is one of the most efficient transport to see all cities mentioned above.

If you’re interested in history, take this full-day guided tour from Krakow. If you don’t have accommodation yet, here’s our recommendations on cheap hostels in Warsaw, Krakow, and Gdansk!

Read our posts about Poland:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Polish Zloty
Average food budget per day: 5-10USD
Suggested daily budget: 25-35USD
Accommodation per night: 14-18USD/person
 

Visit Romania for Cheap European holidays

2. Romania

Planning your cheap European vacation or are you looking for some cheap European holidays? Be sure to put Cluj, Romania on your list. Not only does this city host great nightlife, but there are a plethora of daytime excursions to nearby towns that are sure to excite you.

Visit the Turda Salt Mine, this expansive mine was opened to visitors in the 1990s and provides you with a glimpse into the extensive mining industry in Romania.

If you want to start planning your trip, find out the best cheap hostels in Bucharest!

Which cities in Romania you should visit?

Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is one of the upcoming destinations in Europe and has garnered much attention in the last few years. You can’t blame it though, it is a beautiful city!

Other than that, cities such as Sibiu, Brasov, and Timisoara are equally stunning cities to visit. You can even visit Transylvania for day from Bucharest

Read our posts about Romania:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Romanian Leu
Average food budget per day: 15USD
Suggested daily budget: 40-50USD
Accommodation per night: 10-15USD/person
 

Hungary, cheap destinations in Europe

3. Hungary

When deciding where to travel in Europe, Budapest is essential. But, there is so much more to Hungary than just Budapest. While Budapest is extremely cheap and should be visited, take a few days to explore Drebecen. In Drebecen you’ll find that food and accommodations are cheaper than Budapest but the views and opportunities to explore are just as stunning as Budapest. After all, this magnificent capital of Hungary is a gem and one of the cheap destinations in Europe one must not miss!

Which cities in Hungary you should visit?

If you’re going to visit Hungary, you must not miss Budapest (the capital) as it has one of the quirkiest yet laid-back lifestyle you’ll certainly like.

However, if you do feel like capitals aren’t your thing, go visit the surrounding towns and villages and try out their local delicacies and learn about their culture. Hungarian cities such as Eger and Siófok are two great examples of smaller cities with awesome personalities.

Top things not to miss when you visit Budapest is spa’s! Now, it can get really busy all year round as it is also a popular activity within the locals so we suggest you get an entrace pass ahead of time!

There are also a good amount of good but cheap hostels in Budapest. Check it out!

Read our posts about Hungary:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Hungarian Forint
Average food budget per day: 15USD
Suggested daily budget: 35-45USD
Accommodation per night: 19-25USD/person
 

Slovakia - Affordable European holidays

4. Slovakia

Looking for affordable European holidays? Slovakia has a myriad of museums and stunning architecture to explore. But, if you’re looking to expand your beer and wine pallet on a budget – Slovakia is your dream come true.

Head to the small town of Modra where just about every house has a vineyard. Be sure to check out local distilleries and microbreweries.

Which cities in Slovakia you should visit?

Have you watched this American comedy film called Eurotrip? If you have then you probably remember that the gang went to Bratislava, the capital of Bratislava, and they portray it as a third-world country and a slum but the truth is far from that as Bratislava is, not only one of the cheapest cities in Europe but also one of the prettiest underrated places a lot of people should be aware of.

If you do want to visit Slovakia and want to see other places, then you should visit Kolšice, Levoča, Trnava, and Banská Bystrica!

You want to learn more about Slovakia, check out this historical tour around Slovakia detailing about the city’s past post war. Here’s also our top recommendations on the cheap hostels in Bratislava.

Read our posts about Slovakia:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Euros
Average food budget per day: 10-15USD
Suggested daily budget: 30-40USD
Accommodation per night: 20-25USD/person
 

Cheap places Lithuanian to visit in Europe

5. Lithuania

Branching out of Vilnius, go camping on the Curonian Spit. This long sand dune extends into the Baltic Sea and is the perfect place to escape the world. Or, stay in a cottage in Nida – the largest town on the split where you can enjoy the Lithuanian Summer with locals.

Not to mention, most of Eastern Europe are well connected by land transport and the journey won’t cost you much either! Lithuania and its neighboring countries are some of the cheap places to visit in Europe.

Which cities in Lithuania you should visit?

Three of the most popular cities in Lithuania are Vilnius (the capital), Palanga, Kaunas, and Klaipeda.

Read our posts about Lithuania:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Euros
Average food budget per day: 10-15USD
Suggested daily budget: 30-40USD
Accommodation per night: 16-20USD/person
 

Visit romantic destinations Greece in Europe

6. Greece

Greece can easily be done cheap; you just have to be careful not to fall into the traps! Santorini, arguably one of the top romantic destinations is Europe can be enjoyed on any budget.

If you avoid sea-view restaurants and book your hotel or hostel in advance you can explore, swim and dive into this awe-inspiring destination.

Which cities in Greece you should visit?

Who doesn’t want to visit Greece at least once in their life? We all have seen the famous destinations in the country repeatedly mentioned in many films, books, and, of course, on Instagram! The top tourist destinations in Greece are Santorini, Athens, and Rhodes – each beautiful on their own.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Top tours in Greece and best cheap hostels in Santorini, Athens, Thessaloniki, and Rhodes.

Read our posts about Greece:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Euros
Average food budget per day: 12-18USD
Suggested daily budget: 45-55USD
Accommodation per night: 22-30USD/person
 

Visit Bulgaria, cheapest countries in Europe

7. Bulgaria

If you’re looking for the cheapest countries to visit in Europe, Bulgaria has to be on your list. Beyond Sofia and Sunny Beach, head up to the Rila mountains. Visit the Seven Rila Lakes and stay at one of the numerous mountain lodges that host stunning overlooks of the lakes and mountains for a price that won’t break the bank. Head to the city of Plovdiv for beautiful examples of Roman architecture and visit one of the many cultural museums there.

Which cities in Bulgaria you should visit?

Yet another upcoming country that has been on many travelers radar, Bulgaria has garnered a lot of attention from the media lately. Its capital, Sofia, has been on a lot of “Top 10” list of places you must visit (much like this one) and that is for a reason, this city is indeed beautiful! Other than that, cities like Plovdiv, Burgas, and Varna are all popular destinations in the country.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Full-day tours from Sofia and cheap hostels in Sofia, Plovdiv, and Burgas.

Read our posts about Bulgaria:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Bulgarian Lev
Average food budget per day: 5-10USD
Suggested daily budget: 20-30USD
Accommodation per night: 11-15USD/person
 

Visit Ukraine in Europe

8. Ukraine

In Ukraine, venture to Lviv – a lovely historic city in the West. From there, you can venture out to the smaller towns and villages next to the Carpathian Mountains. The atmosphere there is impossible to describe.

There, you have the chance to be closer to the natural environment around you and enjoy the variety of views available to you. The locals there are extremely welcoming so don’t be afraid to ask for restaurant and accommodation advice.

NOTE: Tourists and travelers are asked to take extra precautions when visiting Ukraine as it is marked as an unsafe travel destination from June 2016. Plan your route safely!

Which cities in Ukraine you should visit?

Some of the popular destinations in Ukraine are Kiev (the capital), the coastal city of Odessa, and the young city of Lviv.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Day trip to Chernobyl from Kiev and top cheap hostels in Odessa, Kyiv, and Lviv.

Read our posts about Ukraine:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Ukranian Hryvnia
Average food budget per day: 3-5USD
Suggested daily budget: 30-40USD
Accommodation per night: 7-15USD/person
 

Visit Montenegro in Europe

9. Montenegro

One of the most beautiful places to visit in the world, the Bay of Kotor is well preserved and accessible to travelers. Situated on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast, Kotor is a perfect place to soak in picturesque views of medieval architecture and the turquoise bay.

In Montenegro, you’ll find accommodations and dine relatively cheap compared to many of its Mediterranean neighbors.

Which cities in Montenegro you should visit?

Yet again another underrated destination in Europe, Montenegro has surprised many of its visitors as it shows it charms you would think you’ll only see from places such as the south of Italy and France.

The coastal cities like Budva, Kotor, and Herceg Novi has proven its beauty over and over again and you have to see these yourself, too! That said, cities like Podgorica and Ulcinj are also worth the visit.

If you want to explore Montenegro, here’s a really good day trip that will take you to Durmitor, Tara, and Ostrog Monastery for an affordable price. Also, if you’re looking for cheap accommodation to stay at, here’s our recommendations where to stay in Budva and Kotor!

Read our posts about Montenegro:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Euros
Average food budget per day: 10-15USD
Suggested daily budget: 30-40USD
Accommodation per night: 11-15USD/person
 

Cheapest Portugal Cities in Europe

10. Portugal

While accommodations in this country may be a bit pricier than those previously listed, Portugal is without a doubt one of the cheapest cities in Europe to enjoy your cheap European holidays.

For adventure and music lovers alike, head to Algarve where you can soak up the coastline in the day and drinking refreshing wines at night.

Which cities in Portugal you should visit?

Who does not want to visit a country full of culture and traditions? Well, Portugal is boasting of not only those but also of beautiful sceneries and amazing food! The top cities in Portugal are Lisbon, Porto, and Funchal.

Another awesome thing you can do while traveling around Portugal is to check out Benagil Caves from Portimão on 2-hour boat tour.

If you’re looking for cheap accommodations on where to stay, check out these cheap hostels in Lisbon and Porto.

Read our posts about Portugal:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Euros
Average food budget per day: 12-15USD
Suggested daily budget: 45-55USD
Accommodation per night: 20-25USD/person
 

Cheap Czech Republic in Europe to Visit

11. Czech Republic

Why does the Czech Republic land a spot on so many of my lists? Because this country has boundless opportunities for solo travelers and families alike. If you’ve been to Prague, journey out into the other wonderful cities that the Czech Republic has to offer.

The romantic town of Český Krumlov is a great destination for a weekend getaway and because it’s out of the hustle and bustle of Prague, your euro will go even farther.

Which cities in the Czech Republic you should visit?

The top cities to visit in the Czech Republic are Prague, Karlovy Vary, and Brno.

Read our posts about the Czech Republic:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Czech Koruna
Average food budget per day: 8-12USD
Suggested daily budget: 35-45USD
Accommodation per night: 18-23USD/person
 

Visit Albania in Europe

12. Albania

Perfect for a city break – visit the pastel capital city of Tirana. In Albania, you can eat for about 10 euros a day (drinks included!) while taking in the breathtaking architecture. But, a trip to Albania is incomplete without a stop in Saranda to visit the immaculate Blue Eye Spring. You can stay at a hotel with its own private beach and pool, or meet backpackers at the cheaper hostels nearby.

Not to mention, Albania is an uprising digital hub and one of the top cheap destinations in Europe for nomads.

Which cities in Albania you should visit?

If you want to holiday in the Mediterranean without breaking the bank, Albania is your place to go! With its coastal cities that surround the Albanian Riviera, Tirana (the capital), and Durrës.

Read our posts about Albania:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Albanian Lek
Average food budget per day: 6-10USD
Suggested daily budget: 20-30USD
Accommodation per night: 8-12USD/person
 

Visit Croatia in Europe

13. Croatia

For outdoor enthusiasts, travel to the island of Lastovo in Croatia. It’s the youngest nature park and furthermost inhabited island. Far away from the crowds, you can enjoy swimming in crystal clear blue seas during the day and star gazing at night.

For city lovers, Zagreb is a perfect city break. Zagreb offers beautiful cathedrals and exceptional nightlife much like the other beautiful Balkan countries you must explore, too.

You can also take a day tour to Plitvice Lakes National Park from big cities such as Dubrovnik and Split, as well.

Which cities in Croatia you should visit?

Croatia has received fame in the last few years thanks to The Game of Thrones that gave the country its spotlight highlighting its beautiful forts and old medieval cities. The famous places in Croatia are Dubrovnik, Split, and Istria.

That said, you must not miss Plitvice National Park as it is such a magical place to see.

Read our posts about Croatia:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Croatian Kuna
Average food budget per day: 9-15USD
Suggested daily budget: 30-40USD
Accommodation per night: 17-22USD/person
 

cheap places to visit in Europe, Turkey

14. Turkey

In Istanbul, you can eat like a king for about 5 euros. This not to miss the city is rich in culture, nightlife, and excellent foodie. Jump on a plane and make Istanbul your next city break.

Wander through the grand bazaar in the morning and spend your afternoon exploring the extravagant blue mosque.

So, if you’re really looking for an experience of a lifetime then Turkey should be on your list as it is certainly one of the cheap places to visit in Europe.

Which cities in Turkey you should visit?

The top places to visit in Turkey are Istanbul, Pamukkale, and Antalya.

Read our posts about Turkey:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Turkish Lira
Average food budget per day: 4-10USD
Suggested daily budget: 15-25USD
Accommodation per night: 10-15USD/person
 

Places to visit in Estonia

15. Estonia

Estonia is located in the Baltics and its capital is Tallinn, a beautiful small city with a charming medieval fortress. A UNESCO World Heritage protected site, you’ll get a glimpse of what life used to be including vendors in old clothing, paved streets, and old buildings. A backpackers hub, you can make sure that your budget will do well in Estonia for what it is worth.

Also, not to mention, Tallinn is one of my favorite city in Europe. I’ve personally been here so many times it is almost like home! If capitals aren’t your thing but plan to visit Estonia anyways in the near future then please read my post about other places to visit in this marvelous of a country.

Which cities in Estonia you should visit?

Estonia may be a very small country that houses not even a million citizens, it still do have one of the quaintest capital you’ll ever visit! Tallinn is indeed a lovely place where you’ll be transported to medieval times but student cities such as Tartu and the coast city of Pärnu are also worth the visit if you come to Estonia!

Read our posts about Estonia:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Euros
Average food budget per day: 7-12USD
Suggested daily budget: 25-35USD
Accommodation per night: 11-16USD/person
 

Macedonia, cheapest cities in Europe

16. Macedonia

One of the cheapest cities in Europe – see the picturesque capital city, Skopje from above by visiting the Kale Fortress. Even better: you can get this amazing view of the city for free. Head down to the Old Bazaar if you are looking for to view beautiful mosques and markets. No matter where you end up in Skopje, this capital is sure to impress.

Which cities in Macedonia you should visit?

The top places to visit in Macedonia are Skopje, Ohrid, and Bitola.

Read our posts about Macedonia:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Macedonian Denar
Average food budget per day: 10-15USD
Suggested daily budget: 35-45USD
Accommodation per night: 22-28USD/person
 

Malta boasts cultural hubs and beaches

17. Malta

This island country is full of hidden gems. Starting your trip in the cultural hub of Valletta, you can explore aged marketplaces and beautiful homes. The city is nothing short of beautiful. Head to the “silent city” of Mdina to find the old capital of Malta. Malta boasts cultural hubs and beaches alike, let this be one of your next weekend breaks in Europe.

Which cities in Malta you should visit?

Malta may be a very small island slash country but it sure does a lot to offer! From swindling hills to beautiful cliffs, there are many places in Malta you can’t miss and some of its highlights are Valetta, Gozo, and the Comino Islands!

Read our posts about Malta:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Euros
Average food budget per day: 10-15USD
Suggested daily budget: 40-50USD
Accommodation per night: 25-30USD/person
 

beautiful place in Italy you must visit

18. Italy

No, Italy is not exactly one of the cheapest countries in Europe but if you plan your trip well, this destination can be done on a small budget. Cinque Terre is a series of picture-perfect fishing towns. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a perfect place to explore by foot, as cars are banned from the towns, just like Venice – another beautiful place in Italy you must visit (but only in low season!).

Which cities in Italy you should visit?

How can we even narrow this down to few cities? It feels like one should visit ALL places in Italy as they are all stunning and worth the visit. However, our top recommendations are Rome, Florence, and Bologna – all are so close to each other and are equally beautiful.

Read our posts about Italy:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Euros
Average food budget per day: 15-20USD
Suggested daily budget: 55-65USD
Accommodation per night: 30-35USD/person
 

Kosovo, cheapest places to travel in Europe

19. Kosovo

A bit off the beaten track and one of the cheapest places to travel in Europe, Kosovo offers some of the grandest churches in Eastern Europe. It’s no wonder this country is a premier Eastern European destination for Balkan travelers. In Kosovo, you can enjoy macarons and coffee for about a euro – what is better than that? Be sure to spend time in the Ottoman city of Prizren!

Which cities in Kosovo you should visit?

The top cities to visit in Kosovo are Pristina, Fierza, and Prizren.

Read our posts about Kosovo:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Euros
Average food budget per day: 4-10USD
Suggested daily budget: 30-40USD
Accommodation per night: 22-27USD/person
 

Visit Latvia European Destination

20. Latvia

Looking for cheap European holidays? Visit old Riga to get your fill in of oversized churches and cobble-lined paths. If you’re an aquatic lover, be sure to spend time in the old harbor town of Andrejsala which has now turned into a top art destination in Europe. For more information about the places to see and things to do, check out this guide to Latvia for more details!

Which cities in Latvia you should visit?

The top places to visit in Latvia are Riga, Jūrmala, and Sigulda.

Read our posts about Latvia:

Budget suggestion and estimates

Local Currency: Euros
Average food budget per day: 6-10USD
Suggested daily budget: 25-35USD
Accommodation per night: 10-15USD/person
 
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Cheap travel destinations in Europe for shoestring travelers! You want to travel Europe but you're on a budget? Fret no more! Here are top 20 cheap countries in Europe you can visit under 30USD a day!
Cheap travel destinations in Europe for shoestring travelers! You want to travel Europe but you're on a budget? Fret no more! Here are top 20 cheap countries in Europe you can visit under 30USD a day!

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