Planning an upcoming trip and looking for some of the cheapest cities in Europe to visit on a budget? Well, you’ve come to the right place, because I spent over three years living around Europe, and am quite experienced as a budget-traveler/ backpacker! 

While Europe is typically known for being a rather expensive continent to explore, there are actually loads of amazing and beautiful destinations you can visit without breaking the bank. You can dive into rich cultures, discover historical buildings, eat delicious food, party the night away or relax on the beautiful beaches. And all of this can be done in the most affordable European cities. As well, these destinations are suitable for every kind of traveler, and have so much charm! 

If you are a thrifty traveler that wants to experience the magic of Europe, read on for our list of the cheapest European cities to visit.  because Europe really doesn’t have to be as expensive as you may think! So if your upcoming holiday is limited to your budget, this shouldn’t stop you from having an amazing time. Here are some of the most affordable cities that are also well worth visiting. 

1) Budapest, Hungary

Budapest - Cheapest Cities in Europe To Visit

Budapest is not only one of the most affordable cities in Europe, but it is also one of the most spectacular! The Hungarian capital has been landing on more and more travelers bucket lists, due to all that the city has to offer. With plenty of beautiful architecture, historical landmarks, and unique culture, Budapest is a worthy destination for any visitor. 

If you are traveling on a budget, then Budapest is always a good choice. The city has many fantastic backpacker’s hostels, and it is known for its affordable nightlife. There are also many great free sights to enjoy. 

Some highlights of Budapest include the stunning Parliament Building, the Fisherman’s Bastion, Buda Castle, and the Danube River that separates the city in two halves. Whether you are looking for history, architecture, parties or museums, Budapest will be a really fun destination. 

Hungary uses the forint as its currency, which is significantly weaker than the euro. This allows you to stretch your money further. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €34

The best cheap/free things to do in Budapest: 

  • Explore the historic Fisherman’s Bastion
  • Walk up the Castle Hill for amazing views
  • Wander through the interesting Jewish Quarter
  • Pay a visit to Heroes Square

2) Krakow, Poland

Krakow - Cheap Cities in Europe To Visit for a City Break

Poland is a very affordable European destination, and Krakow is one of the best places to visit here. You could spend a couple of really enjoyable days wandering through this city, seeing all that there is on offer. 

Not only is Krakow a really cool city to explore, but you can also get exceptional value wherever you go. Krakow has become a pretty popular destination to visit for a weekend, and so it caters well to young, budget-conscious travelers. 

The backpacker hostels offer particularly good value. There is also a brilliant nightlife scene here – thanks to the really cheap alcohol available. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €34

The best cheap/free things to do in Krakow: 

  • Enjoy the many bohemian cafes and bars at Plac Nowy
  • Visit Wawel Royal Castle for free
  • Walk around the city’s main square
  • Visit the Contemporary Art Museum for free

3) Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius - Cheapest Cities in Europe

Vilnius cityscape in a beautiful summer day, Lithuania

Vilnius is a pretty small city. It may not have the kind of tourism draw of other European destinations, but this shouldn’t stop you from visiting! Vilnius is an absolute hidden gem. Lithuania’s capital is jam-packed full of stunning sights and exciting things to experience. 

You could marvel at the Gediminas Castle Tower, the Vilnius Cathedral, and plenty of beautiful 16th-century architecture. If you are considering a trip to Eastern Europe, then Vilnius will provide an excellent insight into the culture and life of the area. 

Vilnius has plenty of brilliant hotels, backpacker hostels, and self-catering accommodation. If you are planning a very cost-effective trip, buying food from supermarkets is incredibly cheap (restaurants here could raise your budget). 

Nightlife here is also really affordable, so why not give it a try during your visit. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €39

The best cheap/free things to do in Vilnius: 

  • Visit the impressive Cathedral Square
  • Admire the magnificent Gediminas Tower
  • Explore the Uzupis Constitution old town area
  • Enjoy the many affordable cafes

4) Porto, Portugal

Porto - Cheapest Cities in Europe 2020

Just because you are traveling through Europe on a budget, it doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on some amazing experiences. Porto is a city that allows you to experience all kinds of wonderful luxuries. 

You can enjoy delicious (but still cheap) food, the famous port wine, and enjoy well-priced accommodation. For budget-conscious travelers, we would recommend renting an apartment in the city center (the value for money is brilliant). 

Porto is a truly spectacular city with loads on offer. You can explore the pretty riverside area, wander through the cities old buildings, visit many fascinating museums, and eat incredible Portuguese cuisine. 

Porto is a romantic place, and it is definitely one of the best cheap European destinations. From the visible history and culture to the stunning scenery and amazing food, this is the kind of place that any kind of traveler can enjoy. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €35

The best cheap/free things to do in Porto: 

  • Walk along the charming Ribeira and the Luis I Bridge
  • Indulge in some port wine tasting
  • Visit the crystal palace gardens
  • Relax on Matosinhos Beach

5) Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul - Cheapest Cities in Europe

Istanbul presents a unique mashup of cultures. This is where east meets west, allowing you to experience all kinds of interesting sights and attractions. Istanbul has always been a top travel destination for all that it has to offer. Luckily, it is also one of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe. 

Explore the bustling streets, smelling the piles of spices, and tasting all kinds of wonderful foods. The city is full of markets, historical buildings, and a lovely riverside setting. As Istanbul is a popular tourist destination, some aspects of traveling here can be pretty expensive. 

This includes hotels, upmarket restaurants, and visiting the main, paid attractions. However, if you rent an apartment (Airbnb is a great option here), and stick to the amazing street food, your wallet will be very happy.

Istanbul is one of the most exciting cities in Europe. With all of the sounds, smells and sights to take in here, your visit will be loaded with fun things to experience. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €35

The best cheap/free things to do in Istanbul: 

  • Taste the delicious and cheap street food
  • Shop around the Bomonti flea market
  • Visit Yildiz Park
  • Visit Istanbul Modern for free on Thursdays
  • Admire the impressive Suleymaniye Mosque

6) Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw - Cheap Cities in Europe

Poland’s capital city is more exciting than many people may realize. This city has all kinds of wonderful museums and historic points of interest on offer. Beyond this, you can enjoy a really vibrant nightlife scene, busy shopping, and unique local culture. 

Spending time in Warsaw does not have to set you back much. Food and drinks are really affordable, as is the public transport. You can also get some pretty good deals on hotels around the city. 

Not only is Warsaw an amazing city to visit in its own right, but it is also a great base for exploring more of the affordable Poland area. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €34

The best cheap/free things to do in Warsaw: 

  • Visit the Warsaw Rising Museum and all other museums for free on Sunday
  • Enjoy the peaceful Vistula River Beaches
  • Wander through the old part of town

7) Prague, Czech Republic

Prague - Cheapest Cities in Europe on a Budget 2020

Prague is an iconic European destination, but this doesn’t mean that visiting here has to be expensive. While Prague is definitely more pricey than the rest of the Czech Republic, it still manages to be one of the most affordable European capitals.  

One of the best things to do in Prague is to just wander the old streets and admire the historic architecture. This won’t cost you a thing. While the city has plenty of brilliant attractions, just soaking up the atmosphere and surroundings are the best thing to do here. Prague is also known for its incredibly cheap beers (less than €1 for a pint). Needless to say, the nightlife here is cheap and loads of fun. 

As long as you plan your trip wisely, and avoid possible tourist traps, Prague can be one of the cheapest cities to travel in Europe. Try to avoid hotels in Prague, as these can really inflate the cost of your trip. We would recommend the many brilliant backpacker hostels or staying a short distance outside of the city hub. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €40

The best cheap/free things to do in Prague: 

  • Admire the Old Town Square
  • Enjoy the cheap beer and local food
  • Visit the impressive Astronomical Clock
  • Explore the Jewish Quarter
  • Take a free walking tour

8) Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria - Cheapest Cities in Europe

St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the center of Sofia, capital of Bulgaria against the blue morning sky with colorful clouds

Exploring the Balkan nation of Bulgaria can be really budget-friendly. If you would like to experience this magnificent country, then staying in the capital city, Sofia, is a great idea. 

Sofia is a completely beautiful city to walk around and explore. The architecture here dates back more than 2000 years – reflecting periods of Roman, Greek, Ottoman, and Soviet occupation. The food here is tasty and cheap, and you can find some really affordable accommodation around the busy parts of the city. 

Sofia may not be the most popular tourist destination – but this doesn’t mean that it is not a magnificent city to visit! With the history, culture, and all-round beauty, any visitor will be sure to have an amazing time in Sofia. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €40

The best cheap/free things to do in Sofia: 

  • Visit Sofia’s Art Gallery (free to enter)
  • Enjoy the hot mineral water from the Banya Bashi Springs
  • Watch the changing of the guard in front of the president’s office

9) Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest - Best Cheap Cities in Europe 2020

Bucharest is certainly on the rise as a tourist destination – especially for those that aren’t traveling on a massive budget. Bucharest is one of the most affordable cities in Europe, especially when food and drink are concerned. You can enjoy the rich cafe scene (similar to Paris), and the many awesome bars, without spending much money at all. 

The Old Town of the city has been restored fairly recently. This means that there are all kinds of shops,  bars, guided tours, restaurants, and other fun things to do around here. 

Whether you just want to wander around this beautiful city, or indulge in some of the really fun nightlife, you will be pleasantly surprised. Your money can go a long way in Bucharest – something that allows you to have a fairly indulgent holiday here. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €30

The best cheap/free things to do in Bucharest: 

  • Check out the graffiti at Garajul Ciclop
  • Admire the impressive Palace of Parliament
  • Explore the old streets in the city and visit the affordable cafes

10) Riga, Latvia

Latvia - Europe Cities on A budget

Even though Riga is one of the least expensive European cities, there are still so many reasons to visit this fantastic destination. Riga is a beautiful city, loaded with historic charm and plenty of unique Latvian culture. One of the best things to do in Riga is to just walk between the colorful old buildings, absorbing the one-of-a-kind atmosphere that can be found here. 

One of the big reasons that many people don’t include Riga in their European travel itineraries is that it is a pretty removed city. If you do make the effort to get there though, you will be rewarded with cheap prices and amazing attractions. 

Hostels here are really cheap (and of good quality), food and drink are low priced, and nightlife is plentiful. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €39

The best cheap/free things to do in Riga: 

  • Admire the views from St Peter’s Church
  • Visit the Central Market
  • Indulge in the cheap nightlife
  • Visit the War Museum for free

11) Tallinn, Estonia

tallinn - Best Cheap Cities in Europe To Visit on A Budget

If you want to explore the Baltic region, then Tallinn is one of the most spectacular destinations to visit. Sure, this Estonian gem is a little bit more expensive than other cities in the region. However, it is one of the most beautiful and enticing Baltic cities for travelers. 

Compared to other European cities, Tallinn offers exceptional value. Accommodation is cheap (there are many fantastic hostels here), food and drinks are always low priced, and the nightlife is really popular. As Tallinn is so close to Finland, it has become quite a well-known place to go for a cheap weekend away. 

Visiting Estonia is not always so popular, as it is pretty far away from other major destinations. However, when it comes to cheap European cities that are well worth making the effort to find – Tallinn rates very high. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €45

The best cheap/free things to do in Tallinn: 

  • Enjoy the beautiful views from Kohtuotsa viewing platform
  • Explore the Balti Jaama Market
  • Visit the Town Hall Square
  • Take a free walking tour of the city

12) Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade - Cheap Cities to VIsit in Europe 2020

Belgrade from river Sava with tourist riverboats on a sunny day

Belgrade is a unique city that offers plenty of bang for your buck. The Serbian capital is not so well known for world-famous landmarks and attractions. Rather, this is a destination worth visiting to soak up the authentic character and atmosphere that Serbia has to offer. 

The country uses the dinar as its currency – this is significantly weaker than the euro. This allows you to stretch your money pretty far during a visit. The vibrant character of Belgrade can be experienced through its many bars, nightclubs, and prominent street art. 

Food is very affordable here – even if you are eating at a high-end restaurant. The coffee here is also delicious (and cheap). As Belgrade is known for being quite a party hotspot, there are many really good, fun backpacker hostels to choose from. These all offer excellent value for money. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €25

The best cheap/free things to do in Belgrade: 

  • Explore the bustling area of  Knez Mihailova
  • Admire the view from Kalemegdan Fortress
  • Visit the bustling markets
  • Party the night away in cheap nightclubs

13) Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava - Cheap Places to visit in Europe

Bratislava is an absolute European gem. The Slovakian capital is definitely worth visiting for anyone that wants to soak up some beautiful sights and rich cultural heritage. Bratislava a stunning destination,  and it is also one of the cheapest cities in Europe to visit. 

Bratislava is conveniently located near Vienna, so it is often included in travel itineraries. Those that come to visit will be impressed at how much more affordable everything is here. You can find quality accommodation, really delicious meals, and plenty of great bars without spending loads of money. 

Walk around the beautiful old town, and take in all the amazing sights and landmarks around you. Slovakia is definitely an underrated destination, with Bratislava being the crown jewel. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €30

The best cheap/free things to do in Bratislava: 

  • Walk around the beautiful historic part of town (free walking tours are also available)
  • Climb up to Slavin
  • Visit one of the brilliant museums for free on the first Sunday of each month
  • Wander through the Mileticova open-air market

14) Split, Croatia

Split Croatia - Cheap Cities To Visit in Europe

Split, Croatia with the Mosor mountains in background.

Croatia is one of the world’s most amazing travel destinations, and Split is a fantastic city to visit here. Located along the coast, Split offers that classic Croatian beach holiday experience. You can swim in the warm sea, explore historic parts of the neighborhood, or take in the unique Croatian culture. 

Most Croatia visitors will head straight to Dubrovnik, but the city of Split also has so much to offer. If you are after cheap places to travel in Europe that still offer a quality experience, then Split should be on your list. You can visit fantastic local restaurants, stay in all kinds of different and affordable accommodation, whilst still being based in a truly marvelous city. 

Split has a pretty busy port, so it is a great city to start your Croatian trip if you are planning on visiting some islands. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €37

The best cheap/free things to do in Split: 

  • Enjoy the great beaches located around the city
  • Explore the historic Diocletian’s Palace
  • Walk up to the top of the Marjan Hill
  • Visit the Starigrad Fortress

15) Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal - Cheap Cities To Visit in Europe

Portugal has become one of the most popular destinations in Europe, due to its affordability. If you are traveling to this budget-friendly country, then visiting the capital city of Lisbon is a must. Lisbon offers visitors a spectacular experience without a major price tag. 

You can enjoy the quality of food and wine that Portugal is famous for. Being situated along the coast, there is plenty of natural beauty to soak up while you are here. The city is definitely a European highlight – with its old buildings, prominent architecture, and many famous landmarks. 

Restaurants here are very budget-friendly, as are the many hostels scattered throughout the city. You can also really enjoy your time around Lisbon without spending anything, as so much of your trip will just be spent walking around, taking in your surroundings. 

Average daily cost (on a budget): €37

The best cheap/free things to do in Lisbon: 

  • Relax on Carcavelos beach
  • Explore the Mercado de Santa Clara
  • Enjoy the sunshine in Poetas Park
  • Visit the Church of Sao Roque

What are your favorites among the Cheapest European Cities?

I hope by now you’ve found some travel inspiration for your next budget trip to Europe, but this list really could have gone on for much longer! There are so many cheap cities in Europe to visit, and with some travel-hacking/ being wise with your money, it’s actually pretty easy to explore Europe! 

Best Cheap Destinations in Europe

Planning a Trip To Europe….?

My site is filled with helpful travel articles, destination guides, and detailed itineraries to help you explore this beautiful continent! I’ve for you to take a look through a few of my favorites below, and let me know what you think! As always, if you ever have any questions about traveling Europe on a budget, feel free to reach out to me on social-media or shoot me an email and I’d be happy to assist any way I can!

Cheap Places to Visit in Europe


Final Thoughts on the Cheapest European Cities to Visit

If you are after the cheapest destination in Europe, this doesn’t mean that you will have to compromise the quality of your trip. Although it is generally an expensive continent, Europe actually has plenty of amazing cities to visit that are wallet-friendly. 

You can still witness the remarkable historic architecture, landscapes, and unique culture that makes Europe so desirable, without spending loads of money. As long as you are smart with your spending, your money can go a long way. 

There is no reason to avoid visiting Europe based on your finances. This is a continent that everyone can actually enjoy, as long as you visit the right destination.

Cheapest cities in Europe to visit 2020


Thanks for reading my guide on the Cheapest Cities in Europe!

Share these budget-friendly European cities with your backpacker friends! 

2 replies
  1. Mljet national park things to do says:

    For regular traveler they know which European city is cheaper in price and which is not although you need to do research before going if you don’t know moreover you can also hire travel agency for arrangement works.


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