Budget friendly cities in Europe are hard to come by. Year by year, the cost of travel in Europe increases.
Europe is a continent that can be explored indefinitely because of its diverse cultural heritage, magnificent buildings, and breathtaking landscapes. However, specific European locations are well known for their exorbitant prices. Thankfully, Europe has a second face where authenticity and affordability coexist. In this article, we will share seventeen of Europe’s most budget friendly cities.
In 2023, travel to these hidden treasures has never been more accessible, thanks to many budget-friendly flights. Lesser-known European gems offer equally incredible experiences. From captivating views to mouthwatering cuisine and fascinating activities. All without the premium price tags in cities like Paris or London.
This guide reveals the best ways to have low-cost adventures in Europe. We’ve got you covered, From laid-back lodging to enjoying regional specialties. Let’s go on a voyage to discover the budget treasures that wait in Europe. Lesser-known cities, with daily costs ranging from €45 to €130. Pack your bags and prepare for some of Europe’s best budget-friendly experiences.
Porto, Portugal, proves that you don’t need to compromise on rich cultural experiences, delectable cuisine, or convenient exploration due to budget constraints. In this vibrant city, accommodation options are as diverse as its culture. Therefore, your budget will remain intact.
Whether you like the convenience of an apartment in the bustling city center or the social atmosphere of hostels and guesthouses, comfortable lodgings at hostels and guesthouses cost between €20 and €40 per night, monthly apartment rentals run from €600 to €800.
Dining in Porto offers various choices, catering to different budgets. Suppose you’re searching for a fulfilling yet budget-friendly meal with no problem. Mid-range restaurants are your go-to, typically serving dishes priced between €10 and €20 per person. Porto’s remarkable restaurants are enticing for a more upscale and romantic dining experience. Here, you can relish a three-course meal for two, with prices typically ranging from €40 to €60
Navigating Porto is easy and economical, thanks to its efficient public transportation system. You can easily access the city’s historic districts and picturesque spots. Hop on a tram or bus for just €2 per ride. For those planning an extended stay, there’s the option of a monthly transportation pass, available at around €30. This pass covers trams, buses, and the metro, ensuring you’re well-connected throughout your stay without incurring excessive transportation expenses.
No visit to Porto would be complete without engaging its iconic port wine culture. Wine-tasting tours in Porto are budget-friendly, typically from €10 to €20. This depends on the package and the number of tastings included.
Krakow, which lies in southern Poland, offers travelers in 2023 an alluring blend of adventure and cost-effectiveness. This UNESCO-listed Old Town is home to the medieval market square and the iconic Wawel Castle. Admission costs average between €10 and €15. Its cultural mosaic is the welcoming embrace of diversity, notably in Kazimierz, the historic Jewish Quarter. Here, synagogues and museums, including the Schindler Factory Museum, offer entry for about €7 to €10.
The city’s cultural landscape flourishes with an array of museums. From the National Museum, with fees typically ranging from €4 to €8, to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow (MOCAK), where art enthusiasts can explore for €6 to €10.
Krakow proudly cherishes its culinary heritage, showcasing traditional Polish cuisine at the core of its gastronomic offerings. In local eateries, delicious dishes like pierogi and kielbasa are often priced between €5 and €10 per person. The city’s cultural canvas thrives with a vibrant gallery scene and captivating street art installations. Then, the Krakow International Film Festival stands out as a global attraction. Serenity seekers can find solace in Krakow’s green spaces, such as Planty Park. Or, the scenic Vistula Boulevards along the river, perfect for strolls.
Efficient public transportation ensures seamless mobility, costing approximately €0.80 to €1.50 for a single tram or bus ride and €26 for a monthly pass. The city hosts various events and festivals annually, offering genuine insights into Polish culture. Krakow welcomes visitors, with its residents eager to share the charm of their city. This makes it a captivating destination steeped in history and culture yet accessible to every traveler.
Budapest, Hungary – One Of My Favorite Budget Friendly Cities In Europe
Undoubtedly, Budapest is one of my all-time favorite budget-friendly cities in Europe! It might even be my all number one!
Budapest is known for its historical sites like Buda Castle, Matthias Church, and Fisherman’s Bastion. The entrance fees generally range from €8 to €12.
The scene is enriched with museums and galleries like the Hungarian National Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. All of which have affordable entry fees, typically €4 to €10. This allows you to explore both history and culture without straining your budget.
Budapest’s thermal baths, like Széchenyi and Gellért, are a highlight. A day pass to these thermal baths typically costs between €15 and €20, offering a perfect experience.
The Danube River divides the city into Buda and Pest. Strolling along the Danube Promenade provides scenic views of landmarks like the Parliament Building and Chain Bridge. All are easy to access at no extra cost.
Budapest’s food scene offers budget-friendly options. You can enjoy Hungarian cuisine in local eateries, cafés, and traditional restaurants. You can easily dine out daily for about €10 to €20 per person.
Prague, Czech Republic
Most people do not think of Prague as one of the budget-friendly cities in Europe – but it is.
Prague, often known as the “City of a Hundred Spires,” beckons travelers with its striking architecture and rich history. Its UNESCO World Heritage site’s historic center boasts architectural marvels like Prague Castle and the Astronomical Clock.
Exploring these treasures, with entrance fees typically ranging from €8 to €12, offers a glimpse into Prague’s storied past. The city’s cultural scene thrives with museums. For example, the National Gallery and the Museum of Communism. Entry fees average €6 to €10 and provide opportunities to delve into its artistic and historical heritage.
The Vltava River further enhances Prague’s beauty, which winds through the city, offering beautiful views of iconic landmarks. The best free way to see Prague’s charm is to stroll across Charles Bridge. Or along the charming riverside promenades.
The city’s food scene is diversified and reasonably priced for dining. You can enjoy hearty Czech favorites like goulash and schnitzel without breaking the bank. Visit neighborhood bars, known as “hospodas,” where prices range from about €6 to €12 per person.
Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital, offers a unique fusion of history and modernity in 2023. It’s very affordable, with entrance prices typically between €5 and €10. The historical center includes attractions like Bratislava Castle and St. Martin’s Cathedral, which offer an educational experience.
A trip around the city’s historic Old Town provides a window into its illustrious past. A few galleries and museums comprise the rich cultural environment: the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum and the Slovak National Museum. The cost ranges from €4 to €8. It is very reasonable for those who wish to experience Slovak culture.
The mighty Danube River gracefully winds through Bratislava, offering scenic promenades and glamorous city views. A walk along the Danube’s banks, including the UFO Bridge, allows you to savor the city’s beauty without additional cost.
Bratislava’s culinary scene is equally inviting. Local restaurants and cafes serving traditional Slovak dishes like bryndzové halušky a kapustnica for about €7 to €12 per person, ensuring you can enjoy Slovak flavors without straining your budget.
The city’s efficient public transportation system, including trams and buses, is cheap. Single tickets are priced at around €0.90 to €1.20, and a monthly pass at approximately €28. This makes exploring Bratislava easy.
Riga, Latvia’s dynamic capital, invites exploration in 2023 with its rich history and affordability. An example of its historical importance is its Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its cobblestoned lanes are home to architectural wonders. For example, Riga Cathedral and the House of the Blackheads, whose entrance prices range from €6 to €10, provide a peek into the city’s colorful past.
The Latvian National Museum of Art and the Riga Art Nouveau Center are only two intriguing cultural institutions in Riga. Entry fees, averaging €4 to €8, make it accessible for travelers eager to immerse themselves in Latvian culture.
Situated along the shores of the Baltic Sea, Riga boasts serene landscapes and scenic parks. Take Bastejkalns Park; it is perfect for strolls and picnics, all free of charge.
The city’s food scene complements this charm by offering a taste of Latvian cuisine without stretching your budget. Local restaurants and cafes serve traditional dishes like cepelinai and sklandrausis, typically priced between €7 and €12 per person. This ensures you can savor the flavors of Latvia without breaking the bank.
The city’s efficient public transportation system, with trams and buses, provides affordable options for getting around and exploring Riga.
Tallinn, Estonia’s enchanting capital, offers a captivating journey through time and culture in 2023. The city’s heart, Old Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage site adorned with remarkably preserved medieval architecture.
Landmarks like Toompea Castle and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral inspire awe and offer budget-friendly access. Entry fees typically range from €5 to €8, allowing you to immerse yourself in Tallinn’s rich history.
Beyond its historical allure, Tallinn’s cultural scene thrives with various museums and galleries. These include the Kumu Art Museum and the Estonian History Museum. These cultural havens welcome visitors with accessible entry fees, averaging €4 to €7.
Tallinn’s strategic location along the Baltic Sea grants access to scenic coastal retreats. The city’s parks, such as Kadriorg Park, offer tranquil green spaces for strolls and picnics. This provides a rejuvenating escape without any additional cost.
Tallinn’s culinary landscape complements this charm by providing a delightful range of options to savor Estonian cuisine without straining your wallet. Local restaurants and cafes proudly serve traditional dishes like herring and rye bread. Prices range from €6 to €10 per person, ensuring you can relish Baltic flavors without breaking the bank.
The city’s efficient public transportation system of trams and buses is affordable. Single tickets start at around €2; a monthly pass is available for approximately €23. This makes exploring Tallinn’s multifaceted offerings both convenient and budget-friendly.
Sofia’s cityscape blends history and modernity. The city’s historical center boasts landmarks like Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the ancient Serdica complex. Entry fees are typically between €3 and €8, offering insights into Bulgaria’s past. Sofia’s cultural scene includes many museums and galleries. For example, the National Palace of Culture and the National Archaeological Museum have accessible entry fees of about €5 to €10.
Sofia’s location near Vitosha Mountain allows for outdoor activities like hiking in Vitosha National Park. Parks like Borisova Gradina Park offer free leisure spaces. Dining in Sofia is budget-friendly. Local restaurants serve traditional dishes like banitsa and kavarma for about €5 to €10 per person.
Sofia’s public transit system, including trams, buses, and the metro, is convenient and cheap. Single tickets are priced at around €0.80 to €1.20, and a monthly pass for about €20. Sofia’s locals often provide local knowledge about their city and culture, which is a great travel experience.
The Belgrade Fortress, Kalemegdan Park, and St. Sava Temple are iconic landmarks that offer historical insights. Entry fees range from €3 to €7. The city’s cultural scene is equally intriguing, with museums like the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Nikola Tesla Museum. Entry fees average €5 to €10, making it easy for guests to immerse themselves in Serbian culture.
Belgrade’s location at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers offers lovely river views. The Ada Ciganlija area and the promenade along the Sava River are popular spots for strolls.
Belgrade’s cuisine is vast and well-priced. You can enjoy Serbian delicacies without breaking the bank. Neighborhood restaurants serve traditional fares like cevapi and sarma for about €5 to €10 per person.
With single tickets costing between €0.90 and €1.20 and monthly passes being offered for about €27, Belgrade’s public transport system, which includes trams, buses, and trolleys, is both practical and affordable, making it simple to explore the city without going over your budget.
Athens is not just a city with historical sites; it’s a living canvas of ancient civilization. The Acropolis, an iconic hill crowned with the Parthenon, epitomizes Greece’s historical significance. As you ascend this revered hill, you’ll find a modest entry fee of €12 to €20. This is a small price for the views and the connection to Greek history. You can also explore the Plaka neighborhood, nestled at the base of the Acropolis, for free.
Athens pulses with culture, and its museums are treasure troves. The National Archaeological Museum takes you through Greece’s ancient artifacts. Entry fees average €5 to €10. The Acropolis Museum, priced similarly, bridges the gap between past and present.
Greek cuisine is a part of Athens’ allure. Dining here is an adventure that suits every budget. Local pubs beckon with hearty dishes like moussaka and souvlaki, generally priced at €10 to €15 per person. Yet, the true magic lies in the Central Market, Varvakios Agora. Here, you can savor Greece’s sights, sounds, and flavors without spending a euro. Engage with vendors, sample olives, feta cheese, and aromatic herbs, and let your senses guide you through this playground.
Athens’ public transportation system consists of trams, buses, and the metro. It is cost-effective, with single tickets starting at €1.20 and monthly passes around €30. This enables you to navigate its diverse neighborhoods easily.
In 2023, Lviv emerged as a hidden gem, inviting all to delve into its rich history, cultural tapestry, and affordability.
Lviv’s architecture reflects the story of history that has shaped it. The Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a living picture of its significance. Explore its narrow, cobblestone streets to uncover hidden gems. You’ll see places like Rynok Square and the Latin Cathedral, highlighting Lviv’s medieval charm.
Lviv’s cultural scene is an ever-evolving masterpiece. The Lviv National Art Gallery and the Lviv History Museum offer glimpses into Ukraine’s artistic and historical heritage. With cheap entry fees averaging €3 to €6. Yet, cultural richness extends beyond famous attractions. Places like the Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko National Museum of Arts and the vibrant art scene of Virmenska Street provide an unfiltered look at Lviv’s creative soul.
The dinners in Lviv are essential explorations that won’t dent your budget. Local eateries, known as “kolybas,” make traditional dishes like varenyky and borscht, often priced at €5 to €10 per person. But the outdoor markets of Lviv are where the real gem may be found. Stroll through the Vernissage Market or the Bazaar Square. You can sample local delicacies, chat with vendors, and soak in the free market ambiance.
Lviv’s public transportation system, including trams and buses. It is efficient and budget-friendly, with single tickets typically priced at around €0.20 and monthly passes averaging €6. Navigating the city is a breeze, leaving you more time to explore. Lviv’s hospitality is renowned, with locals often eager to share stories and guide you through their city. Engage in conversation at a coffeehouse. Stroll through the Lychakiv Cemetery to gain insights into the city’s history and the warmth of its people.
This is by far one of my favorite budget-friendly cities in Europe!
Brussels’ cityscape is a budget-friendly place in Europe you should visit in 2023. The Grand Place is a captivating ensemble of historic buildings that narrate the city’s past. While some attractions, like the Atomium, may have modest entry fees. The true essence of Brussels lies in its multicultural neighborhoods. Molenbeek and Saint Josse-ten-Noode glimpse the city’s diverse and vibrant communities. Here, you will experience an authentic fusion of cultures.
Brussels’ cultural scene is alive and thriving. Beyond traditional museums, the city boasts an open-air art gallery.
The Comic Book Route
This route features larger-than-life murals of iconic comic book characters. For example, Tintin adds a playful and artistic dimension to the city. Street performances and buskers often entertain visitors in the bustling streets. This provides an impromptu cultural experience that’s both delightful and free.
Brussels is a haven for food enthusiasts, offering a diverse culinary journey that suits various budgets. Indulge in traditional Belgian dishes like moules-frites and waffles. You can savore these at local eateries for approximately €15 per person. However, Brussels’ authentic culinary charm is found in its street food scene. The city’s markets, such as Place du Jeu de Balle, are culinary treasure troves. Here, you can sample local delicacies and mingle with vendors and foodies.
Brussels’ public transport system, including trams, buses, and the metro, is pocket-friendly. Single tickets are usually priced at around €2, with various travel passes readily available to explore the city. Brussels is known for its liberal and warm atmosphere. Locals represent diverse backgrounds and languages. Engaging with locals at community events or sipping a coffee in a lively neighborhood café provides an opportunity to experience the city’s warm welcome.
Seville is another budget-friendly city in Europe you should visit. The Alcazar of Seville, a UNESCO World Heritage site, invites you to explore its intricate Moorish designs and lush gardens. The entry fee is about €12.
The Giralda Tower, once a minaret, offers city views for a modest fee. Seville is the home of flamenco. Its cultural scene pulsates with passionate performances. Beyond traditional theaters, the city’s flamenco tablaos provide traditional experiences with prices starting at around €20. For local culture, stroll through Triana, a vibrant neighborhood known for its pottery and lively atmosphere. Here, you’ll often find random street performances and festive get-togethers.
Seville is a foodie’s paradise. Offering a taste of Andalusian flavors without breaking the bank. Local tapas bars serve up small plates like gazpacho and patatas bravas for around €2 to €4. Dining in traditional restaurants allows you to savor dishes like paella and rabo de toro. Prices range from approximately €15 to €25 per person.
Visit the Mercado de Triana or the Mercado Lonja del Barranco, vibrant food markets. They offer a sensory journey to sample local specialties and engage with vendors.
Seville’s public transit system is vast. It includes trams, buses, and the metro. It is a budget-friendly way to get around. Single tickets are priced at about €1.5,0, and various travel passes are available for easy exploration.
Seville’s lively vibe is evident in its busy plazas and friendly locals. Join a lively conversation at an outdoor café. Or, witness spontaneous street performances allows you to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant spirit.
In 2023, Bucharest invites travelers to uncover its hidden charms, where history, contemporary culture, and affordability harmoniously converge.
Bucharest’s architecture tells the story of a city that thrived through change. The Palace of Parliament is the world’s heaviest building. It is an imposing testament to the city’s history. While there’s an entry fee to explore its opulent interior, Bucharest’s true architectural treasures are found in its eclectic neighborhoods. The Old Town, Lipscani, is a vibrant hub of creativity, where historic buildings house modern art galleries and chic boutiques.
Bucharest’s cultural scene is alive and thriving. Beyond traditional museums, the city offers an array of artistic enclaves. The Village Museum has a collection of over 200 historic buildings. It provides a glimpse into Romania’s rural heritage for a modest entry fee.
Creative spirit thrives in neighborhoods like Dianei 4, where art studios, design shops, and quirky cafes reflect the city’s modern culture.
Bucharest is a food lovers delight, offering a diverse culinary journey that caters to various budgets. Tradițional Romanian dishes like mămăligă and sarmale can be savored at local places for around €5 to €10 per person.
Bucharest’s public transportation system includes trams, buses, and the metro. It is efficient and budget-friendly, with single tickets typically priced at around €0.50 and various travel passes available for hassle-free exploration.
In 2023, Split beckons travelers to immerse themselves in its captivating blend of history, coastal beauty, and affordability.
The Diocletian’s Palace is Split’s historical center and a beguiling mix of ancient architecture and modern life. The Riva, Split’s sun-drenched beachfront, captures the city’s inherent spirit despite some places requiring an entrance fee to explore. Roam here for free while taking in the Adriatic Sea vistas and the marine culture of the city.
Split’s cultural scene is a vibrant canvas. Beyond historic sites, the city boasts artistic enclaves. The Mestrovic Gallery, with its collection of sculptures and artwork, offers a creative journey for a reasonable entry fee. Additionally, Split’s streets are an open-air gallery with colorful murals and street art that reflect the city’s contemporary creativity.
Split is a dining heaven with a taste of Dalmatian food available without breaking the bank. Local konobas serve traditional dishes like pasticada and cevapi for about €10 to €15 per person. Yet, Split’s authentic culinary charm lies in its fresh food markets. The Pazar and Green Market are busy hubs. Sample local delicacies, chat with vendors, and immerse yourself in the lively market atmosphere.
Split’s public transportation system includes buses, ferries, and the local boat line. All are budget-friendly, with single tickets typically priced at around €1.50 and various travel passes available for convenient exploration. Split’s warm atmosphere extends to its friendly residents.
Lisbon is a city that wears its history proudly. The São Jorge Castle offers panoramic views of the city and the Tagus River. The entry fee is approximately €10. But the true essence of Lisbon is found in its historic districts, with its narrow winding streets and Fado music echoing from tiny taverns. Alfama, for example, provides an authentic glimpse into the city’s soul. Exploring these neighborhoods is like stepping back in time.
Lisbon’s cultural scene is a vibrant tapestry. Beyond traditional museums, LX Factory is a creative hub. A former industrial site has transformed into a dynamic art, design, and culture space. Entrance is free, and you can explore galleries, boutiques, and street art installations. The city’s street art scene, especially in the Bairro Alto district, adds a contemporary edge to Lisbon’s cultural heritage.
Lisbon is a culinary center offering diverse flavors without breaking the bank. Local tascas serve up traditional dishes like bacalhau à brás and pasteis de nata for around €5 to €10 per person. Yet, Lisbon’s authentic culinary charm is found in its local markets. The Mercado da Ribeira and the Mercado de Campo de Ourique are foodie havens. Here, you can sample Portuguese delicacies, mingle with locals, and soak in the vibrant market atmosphere.
Lisbon’s public transportation system, including trams, buses, and the iconic yellow tram 28. Transportation is efficient and budget-friendly, with single tickets priced at around €1.50 and various travel passes available for easy exploration. Lisbon’s warm atmosphere extends to its people.
Conversation at a fado club or simply sipping a bica (Portuguese espresso) at a local café. Take advantage of ways to experience the city’s genuine hospitality and hear captivating stories.
As you plan your European adventure for 2023, consider visiting Zagreb, Croatia’s vibrant capital. This stunning city has all you need for an enriching travel experience. From historical charm to cultural richness, all within a budget-friendly framework.
Start your journey in Zagreb’s Upper Town (Gornji Grad). The past comes alive with its cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and the iconic St. Mark’s Church. The best part? Wandering through this aged gem is free. As you explore the city, you’ll be transported through time. As you do, you’ll take in the tales of Zagreb’s rich past.
The Museum of Broken Relationships is an experience that explores human emotions. Entry costs usually vary from €3 to €5, providing a low-cost glimpse into the city’s soul.
Dining out in Zagreb is not just a foodie journey. It is a grand, budget-friendly affair. Local restaurants beckon with traditional Croatian dishes. You can savor the flavors of štrukli and čevapi for around €10 to €15 per person. The local cuisine offers a delicious taste of Croatia without breaking the bank.
Maksimir Park, Zagreb’s oldest public park, invites you to bask in the beauty of nature. With free entrance, it’s a perfect place for relaxation and exploration. The park’s green expanses, serene lakes, and winding trails provide a tranquil escape within the city.
Getting around Zagreb is easy and budget-friendly, thanks to its efficient public transportation system. A tram or bus ride costs approximately €1.30, ensuring you can easily explore the city’s attractions.
Closing Thoughts About Budget-Friendly Cities In Europe!
In 2023, Europe welcomes guests to its lesser-known destinations, where experiences come without the premium price. From Split’s ancient charm to Bucharest’s artistic vibrancy and Lisbon’s coastal beauty, these cities offer a blend of history, culture, and affordability.
Daily spending varies, making these destinations accessible to travelers of all budgets. With cozy places to stay, local flavors, and unique atmospheres, Europe’s hidden gems promise experiences that won’t strain your wallet.
Europe isn’t just about famous, expensive cities—it’s a continent of affordable adventures. So, pack your bags, book your flights, and embark on a journey to discover the most budget-friendly cities in Europe! Your next adventure awaits!
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