The most affordable places to visit in Europe: Top 9 destinations

By Alina GoncharovaDec 14, 2023 11:17 AMBudget trips
The most affordable places to visit in Europe: Top 9 destinations
Modern and attractive Budapest. Source: Image by Brendan Millard/Pixabay

Vacations in Europe can be expensive, especially when it comes to the most popular tourist destinations such as Paris and London, etc. However, if you know some tricks and tips, it is not difficult to organize a pleasant vacation without paying sky-high prices. Inexpensive places to travel in Europe also have a rich culture, boasting valuable architectural, historical and cultural monuments, delicious food and interesting entertainment.

You can plan a vacation without significant damage to your wallet even to relatively "expensive" cities, especially if you take advantage of offers from budget airlines, book accommodation in advance, visit local markets, and avoid luxury restaurants. For example, a bottle of wine, cheese, and fresh bread is the perfect base for an unforgettable picnic under the Eiffel Tower.

In addition, you will be surprised how many cheap places to visit in Europe there are that are even free of charge. In particular, many museums and galleries organize open days (usually once a month). You can also see unique works of art in churches, which do not require a ticket. The main thing is to check the schedule on the official website in time. In some cities, you can also buy season tickets that cover several attractions at once. As a rule, this method allows art and history lovers to save a lot of money.

Optimizing your budget when visiting the most affordable places to travel in Europe does not mean that you have to sacrifice the quality of your trip. Sometimes, spending less can allow you to immerse yourself in the culture and get to know the locals and their traditions. Staying overnight in an Irish farmhouse with a thatched roof, buying Spanish specialties from street vendors, or finding the perfect souvenir in an antique shop sounds like a dream vacation.

So, where are the cheapest places to travel in Europe? The following list will help you choose the best destination and learn some money-saving tips.

Bavaria, Germany

The most affordable places to visit in Europe: Top 9 destinations
Fairytale Bavarian houses. Source: Image Makalu/Pixabay

Cheap places to travel in Europe include Germany. To get a dream vacation as if from the pages of a book, we recommend choosing Bavaria. For the best views and special accommodation, book a room at the Burg Colmberg. The hotel is located on a cliff, occupying a building dating back to the 14th century. Guests can enjoy the authentic atmosphere of a medieval castle harmoniously blended with modern, comfortable amenities. Be sure to order traditional Franconian cuisine prepared with local products at the hotel restaurant Burg Colmberg. In addition, it is worth seeing the carefully restored 15th-century chapel and rose garden from the inside.

Neuschwanstein Castle, which stands on top of a mountain and looks like it was painted on an old postcard, is also a cheap place to visit. The building was fully completed in 1892 by order of Ludwig II, who never had time to see the final result as he died in 1886.

Another castle in Bavaria that is worth seeing is Hohenschwangau, where the "Mad King" lived. This building is smaller and not as pompous, but it makes up for it with its history and cosiness.

Budapest, Hungary

The capital of Hungary is among the best places to travel in Europe on a budget. Travelling in Budapest, you can get all the benefits of more popular destinations at a fraction of the price. Divided by the Danube River, the city combines ancient architecture and well-kept green parks with modern amenities.

Notable sights include the Parliament Building and the Fisherman's Bastion. In addition, you can find many budget places to stay, nightclubs and great dining options. To save money while exploring the city, take advantage of convenient and cheap public transportation, such as the extensive metro lines.

When organizing a vacation in Europe at the best value European vacations, we advise you not to miss the city's famous thermal baths, some of which are more than a century old. These attractions, which are accessible to the public, also feature amazing architecture.

Puglia, Italy

Located in the south of the country, Puglia is one of the most developed regions, ranking first in wine production in all of Italy. The city of Alberobello is among the best and the cheapest places to visit in Europe, which you can see for free. The iconic architecture of Puglia is the so-called "heel" of the Italian shoe, the prehistoric trullo. It is a whitewashed cylindrical building with a conical gray roof made of stone. It is in Alberobello that the largest number of trulli under UNESCO protection is concentrated. You can walk through entire neighbourhoods consisting of such houses and even stay overnight in one of them. This allows you not only to plan an inexpensive European vacation but also to live like a local. Moreover, renting a trulli is cheaper than a hotel room.

For those who want to explore the Amalfi Coast while avoiding the crowds of tourists and sky-high prices, we recommend going to the Gargano Peninsula in Puglia. This is an inexpensive trip to Europe, which is especially popular among locals.

Andalusia, Spain

After spending time on the hot and crowded beaches of the Costa del Sol, take a break to take a tour by choosing the Casa Balcones route, which offers many cheap places to go in Europe. From the Moorish city of Arcos de la Frontera and a number of picturesque mountain villages to Ronda, a maze of medieval streets.

For beautiful architecture, classic tapas, and flaming flamenco dancing, stop in Seville, the capital of Andalusia. Be sure to visit the Museum of Fine Arts, located in a former monastery of the XIV century. Particularly noteworthy are the works of the masters of the Seville Baroque, for example, the masterpiece The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables by Murillo.

Bath and the Cotswolds, England

The charming villages of the Cotswolds seem to take you to a real fairy tale. When choosing affordable places to travel in Europe, we advise you to pay attention to Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Campden and Bourton-on-the-Water, which are striking in their beauty and atmosphere. It is better to stay in Bath overnight. This Roman-era city offers a variety of accommodation options and is known for its unique healing springs and numerous attractions, including:

  • Historic Roman baths;
  • Bath Abbey;
  • Pulteney Bridge;
  • Royal Crescent, a street with 30 crescent-shaped houses.

Another advantage is that Bath is less than a two-hour train ride from London, so this budget trip to Europe can be easily planned for a weekend.

Berlin, Germany

Modern architecture, vibrant authentic galleries, mystical Cold War stories, and even cheap places to travel to Europe can all be found in Berlin. The cultural capital embodies the cosmopolitan style of "East meets West", attracting travellers, dreamers and adventurers from all over the world.

We recommend starting your trip by exploring the fashionable Mitte district, which will be the starting point for the main attractions, including Potsdamer Platz or the Reichstag. Some of the important locations are free to visit:

  • Brandenburg Gate;
  • Eastside Gallery;
  • the Topography of Terror information and exhibition centre.

If you plan to see other attractions that can be quite expensive, we recommend purchasing a Berlin WelcomeCard, which also provides discounts on public transportation.

To taste traditional dishes, visit the oldest restaurant in the German capital, Zur letzten Instanz, where you can order, among other things, pork shank served with sauerkraut and beans.

The most convenient way to get around the German capital is the metro system, which includes 173 stations, and you can also rent a regular or electric bicycle. This will help to adhere to the concept of eco-friendly and budget European vacations.

Porto, Portugal

The most affordable places to visit in Europe: Top 9 destinations
The fantastic architecture of Porto. Source: Image Nahália Segato/Pixabay

If you don't want to go beyond your budget and find the most inexpensive places to travel in Europe, explore the incredible city of Porto, located in northern Portugal. Admire the fantastic Art Deco architecture and be sure to order a glass of port. It is also worth a day trip to the Douro Valley, a picturesque region with many vineyards along the river of the same name.

Istanbul, Turkey

In most cases, you'll have to pay a lot to enter the most popular attractions in Turkey, but there are some of the best cheap places to visit in Europe, where tickets will cost a minimal amount. We are talking about the Grand Palace Mosaic Museum, located in Istanbul near the Arasta Bazaar and the famous Blue Mosque. Mosaic scenes from myths, hunting or just everyday life once covered the floor of the Grand Palace, built between the IV and VI centuries.

Alternatively, you can even take an affordable Europe trip between the two continents.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia., is among the most affordable places to visit in Europe. You can enjoy the architectural masterpieces of Jože Plečnik, who managed to create his own style, inspired by romanticism, modernism, and expressionism. It was this master who shaped the modern look of Ljubljana. Like Gaudi, who worked in Barcelona, Plečnik paid special attention to even the smallest details. For example, the doorknobs at the entrance to the National and University Libraries are decorated with Pegasus. Be sure to take a walk along the Ljubljanica River embankment and take a few photos in front of the legendary Triple Bridge.

If you have enough time, take a bus to get to the incredibly beautiful Lake Bled, which is not only an inexpensive place to visit in Europe but also an attractive one.

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