Discover 8 Budget-Friendly Cities in Europe for Your Dream Vacation

Planning a European getaway doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. With some savvy coordination, you can experience the beauty, culture, and history of stunning European cities without emptying your wallet. Here, we present eight of the cheapest cities in Europe that offer a perfect blend of affordability and memorable experiences.

1. Budapest, Hungary:

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is a city that seamlessly blends the old and modern worlds, boasting jaw-dropping architecture and rich cultural experiences. The Hungarian forint’s weakness makes Budapest the cheapest holiday destination in Europe. With a daily budget of around $60 USD (50 EUR), you can enjoy a hotel room, dinner for two, a bottle of wine, and a cup of coffee.

Must-Visit Locations:

  • Buda Castle: A historic castle with breathtaking views of the city.
  • Fisherman’s Bastion: A terrace offering panoramic views of the Danube River and the city.
  • Széchenyi Thermal Bath: Relax in one of Europe’s largest medicinal bathhouses.

Budget-Friendly Restaurants:

  • Menza: Serving Hungarian classics in a retro setting.
  • Karaván Street Food: A vibrant food truck court offering diverse culinary delights.

2. Porto, Portugal:

Porto, Portugal:

Known as one of the cheapest “tourist traps” in Europe, Porto offers a wallet-friendly escape. This walkable city provides affordable dining options and reasonable Uber prices. Explore the city on foot, discovering free attractions like parks, beautiful views, and abundant art and culture.

Must-Visit Locations:

  • Livraria Lello: One of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.
  • Ribeira District: A picturesque neighborhood along the Douro River.
  • Clerigos Tower: Climb to the top for stunning views of the city.

Budget-Friendly Restaurants:

  • Casa Guedes: Famous for its sandwiches.
  • Mercado do Bolhão: A bustling market with fresh produce and local treats.

3. Athens, Greece:

Athens, Greece:

Athens, a metropolis rich in cultural and historical value, became even more attractive due to the favorable exchange rates caused by the Greek economic situation. Enjoy the famed Greek hospitality and delicious food while exploring iconic landmarks such as the Acropolis and the ruins of Hadrian’s Library.

Must-Visit Locations:

  • Acropolis Museum: Explore ancient Greek artifacts.
  • Plaka District: Wander through narrow streets with traditional Greek architecture.
  • Mount Lycabettus: Hike or take a funicular for panoramic views of Athens.

Budget-Friendly Restaurants:

  • O Thanasis: Known for its delicious souvlaki.
  • Kostas: A popular spot for gyros and souvlaki.

4. Prague, Czech Republic:

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, a gem of a city, captures hearts with its amazing sights, great food, and affordable accommodation. This city, with its vibrant nightlife and historical beauty, offers cheap food options, including its legendary inexpensive beer. Public art, such as sculptures by the renowned David Cerny, adds to the city’s charm.

Must-Visit Locations:

  • Prague Castle: A historic castle complex with stunning architecture.
  • Charles Bridge: Iconic bridge offering beautiful river views.
  • Old Town Square: Home to the famous Astronomical Clock.

Budget-Friendly Restaurants:

  • Lokál: Traditional Czech cuisine in a lively atmosphere.
  • Sisters Bistro: A cozy spot for tasty sandwiches and soups.

5. Valencia, Spain:

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, a beautiful Spanish city, provides a quarter of the price for experiences similar to more popular destinations. Explore the iconic Central Market of Valencia, relax on unspoiled beaches, and indulge in retail therapy at weekly street markets in various neighborhoods.

Must-Visit Locations:

  • City of Arts and Sciences: A futuristic complex with museums and entertainment.
  • Bioparc Valencia: An immersive zoo experience with natural habitats.
  • Plaza de la Reina: A vibrant square in the heart of the city.

Budget-Friendly Restaurants:

  • Central Bar: Tapas and paella in a lively market setting.
  • La Pepica: A beachfront restaurant famous for its paella.

6. Edinburgh, United Kingdom:

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

While the United Kingdom is often associated with high prices, Edinburgh stands out as an affordable destination. The city offers plenty of free activities, from hiking Arthur’s Seat for a beautiful view to exploring the National Museum of Scotland, home to the first successful clone, Dolly the Sheep.

Must-Visit Locations:

  • Edinburgh Castle: Explore the historic fortress dominating the city skyline.
  • Royal Mile: A bustling street with shops, pubs, and street performances.
  • Holyrood Palace: The official residence of the British monarch in Scotland.

Budget-Friendly Restaurants:

  • The Piemaker: A cozy spot for delicious savory and sweet pies.
  • The Mosque Kitchen: Affordable and flavorful Indian cuisine.

7. Istanbul, Turkey:

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, straddling the line between Europe and Asia, offers a unique blend of cultures, architecture, and delicious Turkish cuisine. The city’s affordability shines through with numerous free activities, street food options, and a vibrant atmosphere in the Grand Bazaar.

Must-Visit Locations:

  • Hagia Sophia: A magnificent former cathedral and mosque.
  • Blue Mosque: A stunning architectural masterpiece.
  • Topkapi Palace: Explore the opulent former palace of Ottoman sultans.

Budget-Friendly Restaurants:

  • Doyuran Lokantası: Authentic Turkish dishes in a casual setting.
  • Tarihi Karadeniz Döner: Popular for its flavorful Turkish kebabs.

8. Český Krumlov, Czech Republic:

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Although less known than Prague, Český Krumlov is a charming city filled with beautiful streets, castles, and old buildings. Everything in this fairy-tale-like town, from hotels to dining out, is affordable, making it one of the cheapest cities in Europe.

Must-Visit Locations:

  • Český Krumlov Castle: A UNESCO-listed castle with beautiful gardens.
  • Vltava River: Enjoy a scenic stroll along the picturesque riverbanks.
  • Egon Schiele Art Centrum: Explore an art museum dedicated to Egon Schiele.

Budget-Friendly Restaurants:

  • Krcma v Satlavske Ulici: Traditional Czech cuisine in a charming setting.
  • Laibon: A cozy cafe with a variety of coffee and pastries.

A dream European vacation doesn’t have to drain your bank account. Explore these budget-friendly cities that offer a perfect blend of culture, history, and affordability, proving that you can have a memorable experience without sacrificing your savings.