When it comes to travel, Europe tops the list of the most visited continent. Every year, millions of tourists from all across the world travel across the various European destinations for tourism purposes. After all, with the European Union policies granting access across Schengen states on a single visa and the extensive network of connectivity, the reasons to visit Europe only multiply. One of the key impacts of these policies is that long term travel and accessibility automatically makes traveling across Europe easier.
Here are some of the best budget travel destinations in Europe as recommended by some of the top travel bloggers.
Best Budget Travel Destinations In Europe
Recommended by Leo
Montenegro is a small country on the Balkans with completely untouched nature and is perfect as an adventure holiday. You can hike in stunning mountains, go water rafting or kayaking, swim in crystal clear water and many other outdoor activities.
Traveling to Montenegro and spending holidays there can be budget-friendly while you will still receive good quality services and products. Consider that the most economical period of traveling is the low season (before June or after August).
Food and drink prices
Montenegro offers some reasonable prices of food. Easily you can find a meal in restaurants 5 € – 10 €, the same prices at grocery stores are very cheap. If you visit a local bakery for a typical meat/cottage pie called burek, you will pay about 0.70 €. Take into account that tourist areas (the coast, center of a city,…) are always more expensive. But if you get away from that area, you will pay even less.
Beer (0.5 l): 0.70 € – 0.90 €
Loaf of bread: 0.50 € – 0.80 €
Water (1.5 l): 0.60 €
Banana/Apple/Oranges (1kg): 0.80 € – 1.00 €
Cookies, chips: under 1 €
Coffee in a bar: 0.50 € – 1.50 €
Activities and attractions
Choose to visit the national parks such as Skadar Lake National Park, hike or rent bikes to enjoy the most of wild nature of Montenegro. Traveling by train to the north is cheap with a cost of 2 €- 4 €. The coastal towns are also top attractions and to visit a museum or for example, a fortress in Kotor is 1 € – 3 € only. Wherever you go, you will find a spot on any beach free of charge.
Daily Budget: $25
Cost Saving Tips: Buy food from local markets
Recommended by Sarah Carter
No matter what time of the year you travel here, Bansko Bulgaria is a great budget destination in Europe. It’s been ranked as one of the cheapest ski resorts in Europe for several years now and for the rest of the year, it’s a superb place to spend time for a little money.
You’ll find Bansko just 2 hours from Sofia by car, although it’s also well served by buses too. You can even take a narrow gauge railway here from Bulgaria’s second city, Plovdiv. The town is located in the foothills of the Pirin National Park, but the Rila and Rhodope mountains are also easy to reach.
There’s great hiking here, gorgeous mountain lakes and the freshest of food. You can rent apartments for US$180 a month, pay €3 for breakfast, €4 for lunch and €9 for dinner. A large beer will cost you €1.50, a liter of Bulgarian wine is €5. Buy your own food and cook in and its significantly cheaper too.
There’s horse riding, mountain biking, and throughout the summer in Bansko, which brings the festival season there are a host of free festivals in the town square – the most famous of which is the Bansko Jazz festival, running now for over 20 years!
Daily Budget: $25
Cost Saving Tips: Eat in, buy food at the daily market, free walking tour in town, hike for free
Recommended by Ellis Veen
Bosnia is maybe not the first country you think of as a holiday destination. Many people still think about Bosnia’s civil war even though that was more than 20 years ago. Bosnia is now not only one of the safest, but also one of the cheapest countries in Europe.
Tourism is still developing, but Bosnia has already a lot to offer for those that dare to come. Beautiful mountain sceneries, great hiking opportunities, waterfalls, and lakes are only one reason to come. The trails are being marked as we speak connecting Bosnia with the via Dinarica, a long-distance hiking path along with small mountain villages that dot the landscape.
Culture is another reason to visit Bosnia. It is still a multicultural country with a very interesting past. Many towns have scenic historical centers that allow you to travel back to Ottoman times. Ancient mosques come alongside churches and synagogues. The architecture of the Austro Hungarian empire and the socialist times under Tito’s former Yugoslavia are also well represented in most cities.
Bosnia is definitely one of the more interesting countries to see, but traveling here only costs a fraction of what it would cost elsewhere in Europe. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant will not cost more than 4 dollars. You can have a beer for less than 2 dollars and accommodation is available for less than 20 dollars for a private double room. Museums are also still relatively cheap and hiking in the mountains is free.
To make the most out of your budget you can travel by public transport. Bosnia’s highlights such as its multicultural capital of Sarajevo, Konjic with Tito’s bunker and the historical town of Mostar are well connected with each other. However, even if you want more freedom, Bosnia is one of the cheapest places in Europe to rent a car, starting already from 10 dollars a day.
Daily Budget: $30
Cost Saving Tips: Sarajevo has very interesting free walking tours that show you the city and explain everything about its turbulent past. They are the perfect introduction to Sarajevo.
Recommended by Mary
Vilnius is the capital in Lithuania, which is located in the east of Europe and part of the three Baltics countries. It is undeniably one of the most affordable destinations in Europe that are worth visiting almost any time of the year. Vilnius offers affordable accommodations like hostels (as cheap as $6), while Couchsurfing is also popular. While food is budget-friendly too, for as low as $3, you can enjoy a big size of Shawarma or go raid the supermarket where you can find ready to cook warm dishes and sandwiches.
There are many things to do in Vilnius, such as free walking tours that you can choose from (historically, nightlife, and so much more). During summer, you can enjoy the city at its best time, while winter holiday in Vilnius is not a problem either. You can visit the castles, learn about the Genocide history in Lithuania, or simply enjoy the city itself all day or even at night.
The public transportation is pretty amazing as well, there are public bikes that you can rent for $5 for 30 days and the buses are at a flat rate of less than a Euro around the city. Going from Vilnius to the other part of Lithuania shouldn’t be a problem, there are buses (as cheap as $10), trains (as cheap as $5), and even flights across the country or outside the country are affordable enough.
Daily Budget: $30
Cost Saving Tips: Look for free tours, stay in hostels, use public transportation
Recommended by Mark
For reasons unknown, Romania has yet to explode onto the world stage. One of the cheapest countries to travel in all of Europe, this often-overlooked destination has it all. From colorful, rolling landscapes and towering mountains to quiet, time-forgotten villages and buzzing modern cities. Throw in a few postcard-perfect beaches and you have one of the best budget destinations in the world.
Accommodation prices are fantastic, a double room in a hostel, an Airbnb or a home-stay can easily be found for under $20 per night. Mid-range hotels in major cities are often in the $50 range, while even higher-end, boutique hotels can cost $100 or less.
When it comes to eating, cheap snacks are plentiful. Grilled sausages and deep-fried gogoși (a Romanian doughnut of sorts), for example, are commonly found for around one dollar. In many restaurants, an entire meal for two – including wine – can easily be found for $15 – $18.
Wine, a growing industry in Romania, can be found for a few dollars for a decent bottle. In restaurants, you can pay as little as $1 for a glass. Beer in restaurants is often as low as $2 dollars, while in supermarkets it’s often found for under a dollar.
Getting around the country is equally affordable. Whether you’re taking trains, buses or a ride-share service like BlaBlaCar, there are few destinations that can’t be reached for only a few dollars.
However, to really experience the vast beauty of the country, a Romanian road trip is the way to go. And while renting a car is rarely considered a budget option in most countries, things are different here. With prices under $10 per day, even budget travelers can enjoy the experience!
Daily Budget: $50
Cost Saving Tips: Free walking tours in larger cities and a really great city card in Bucharest. The city card is included when you take the Walkabout free tour in Bucharest.
Recommended by Joanna
Wroclaw is a beautiful city located in southwest Poland on the Oder river banks. It is also known as the City Of 100 Bridges – there are about 130 bridges in Wroclaw!
One of the best things about this city is that it is budget-friendly. Generally, prices in Wroclaw are much lower than on other touristy Polish cities like Warsaw, Krakow or Gdansk. And Wroclaw is still awesome!
Wroclaw offers many interesting tourist attractions, some of them are free of charge, some barely cost a few USD.
One of the most fun things to do in Wroclaw is looking for gnomes. Those charming figurines lurk in random, sometimes very unexpected places. Taking photos of such hidden gnomes is free and fun!
To save on the cost of sightseeing you may purchase Wroclaw Tourist Card. There are two options: 48-hour and 72-hour card. Such card gives you points which you can pay with to visit some of the best places in Wroclaw, e.x.: Hydropolis, Museum of Architecture, Royal Palace, etc. The card also gives a considerable discount to many Wroclaw attractions: Battle of Raclawice Panorama (the biggest panorama painting in Poland!), National Museum in Wroclaw (an absolute must), Wroclaw zoo and many more. Thanks to this card you get up to 13% discount on many restaurants, cafes, hotels and gift shops.
Another great way to limit your spending is dining at milk bars (Polish: bar mleczny). Those are restaurants which are partly funded by the Polish government. Thanks to this funding, the food is much more affordable than in “normal” restaurants. Two-course dinner with a soft drink costs only about 5 USD. There are six milk bars in Wroclaw.
Daily Budget: $30
Cost Saving Tips: Wroclaw Tourist Card
– milk bars
– tourist attractions free of charge: Multimedia Fountain show, visit in Ostrow Tumski island, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
– Some museums offer free sightseeing days: Four Domes Pavilion – Tuesdays, Museum of Architecture – Wednesdays, Museum of Modern Art – Thursdays, National Museum and Ethnographic Museum – Saturdays
Recommended by Valentina
Valencia is one of the cheapest cities to visit in Spain, and Spain is one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe. Valencia is a great travel destination because it has pristine beaches, vivacious culture, rich history, world-class museums and delicious wine. The largest aquarium in Europe is located in Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences. Also, Valencia’s Silk Exchange is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you don’t stay in the city center, you could easily find budget accommodations in Valencia for $50 per night. Similarly, it’s not too hard to get a solid meal for less than 10 euros (per person) at many Valencian tapas bars. There are restaurants for every price range. Budget travelers could easily spend less than 40 euros per person per day. Another perk –you can get a decent bottle of wine for 15 euros at a restaurant or 5 euros at the grocery store. Grocery stores have meats, cheeses and other sustenance staples for a few euros.
Beaches are the top free attraction in Valencia. However, you can also visit many attractions cheaply –for less than 10 euros per person. Some of these cheap attractions include the Valencia Cathedral, the Valencia City Hall, the Tower of Serranos and the Silk Exchange Building. You can also visit Valencia’s Science museum for 8 euros and the planetarium for 12 euros. The most expensive attraction at Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences is the aquarium. It cost 30 euros per person to visit the aquarium. However, you can get better deals by purchasing a combined ticket that gives you entry to a few museums. Also, the City of Arts and Sciences can be visited for free if you choose not to go inside any of the museums.
Daily Budget: $40
Cost Saving Tips: Valencia City Pass, Valencia Tourist Card
Excited to take your next trip? Feel free to add more budget travel destinations in Europe in the comments below!