As inflation keeps affecting all aspects of the economy, planning a budget-friendly trip can be challenging.
Make the most of your trip by following this list of the cheapest European countries to visit.
This way, you will be able to see more and spend less. And who doesn’t want that?
Whether you are travelling for a few days only or for a longer period of time, knowing all the practical travel details will make your trip run smoothly.
Cheapest European Countries to Visit
Located in central Europe, Hungary is undoubtedly one of the cheapest European countries to visit. The country is known for its famous thermal baths – Hungary has one of the biggest natural hot spring spa bath complexes in Europe and is open year-round.
Cost of Accommodation – As a general rule of thumb, the closer to the city, the more expensive everything will be. So, expect to pay anywhere between $60-90 per night in Budapest for a private room in a 3-4 star hotel. However, there are, of course, cheaper options. For example, a dorm room will be around $16 per night.
Cost of Transportation – Public transportation is the most affordable option. A monthly bus ticket is $24.
Cost of Food – While it depends on whether you are visiting an expensive or mid-range restaurant, eating and drinking cost are substantially cheaper than in other places in Europe. A meal costs $5.49, whereas a nicer dinner for two can be up to $25.04.
Main Attractions in Hungary
These are some of the most popular places to visit when you are in Hungary:
- Buda Castle. The Buda Castle is the first on the list of all those who visit Budapest. You can either walk or take the bus. Whichever way you decide to get to Buda Castle, it will be well worth it. The view from the top is spectacular, and if you are lucky enough to visit during the Budapest Wine Festival – you will get to enjoy a glass of locally brewed beer as well as Hungary’s popular ‘palinka’.
- The Danube River. While in Hungary, you can’t miss Danube riverfront walks. A river at the heart of Europe – visiting the Danube River will be a special experience.
- Historic Spa Towns. Hungary is mostly known for its thermal baths, so if you really want to experience Hungary pay a visit to the spa towns. Moreover, it is said that water in these spas has many health benefits.
Portugal’s Azores Islands and Madeira are on every visitor’s list. These stunning subtropical islands are a must-see, and the good news is Portugal is one of the cheapest European countries to visit. If you want to enjoy the good weather and stunning beaches while also saving money, then look no further.
Cost of Accommodation – Visitors have found double rooms in 3-star hotels for as little as $11 per night. You can find 4+hotels for $51.
Cost of Transportation – A monthly pass is $41, and a one-way ticket is $1.60.
Cost of Food – A meal in a cheap restaurant costs $8, whereas eating out in McDonalds or other fast food restaurants is $6. You should, however, look for restaurants close to tourist attractions if you want to save a couple of bucks more.
Main Attractions in Portugal
When in Portugal, make sure to visit these popular tourist spots:
- Braga. Braga, located in northern Portugal, is a welcoming university town and an attractive tourist destination. When visiting, you should stop by Republic Square and start your journey there. A must-try dish in Braga is ‘Fransecinha’, which is otherwise called ‘The Queen of Sandwiches’. You might want to wrap up your tour in Braga by having a coffee at Café A Brasileira, which is one of the town’s oldest cafes.
- Porto. Porto is one of the most popular and beautiful cities in the country. At first glance, Porto looks expensive; however, this city offers affordable accommodation, activities and entertainment, food and more. On top of that, you will get to see some of the most stunning views.
- Sintra. Sintra is another Portugal gem you should not miss when you are in the country. The city is only 45 minutes away from Lisbon, and you can take the train there. The castles are many and beautiful.
Slovenia is every budget traveller’s paradise. When compared to the nearby Austria, Italy, and Switzerland, Slovenia is way cheaper and, therefore, is increasingly becoming a favourite tourist destination.
Cost of Accommodation – Expect to pay between $38 to $96, as that is the average accommodation price in Slovenia. Hostel dorms are normally cheaper, and you can stay for $11-15 per night only and not more than that.
Cost of Transportation – If you find yourself using public transport on a regular basis, you might want to consider purchasing a ticket which is valid for a longer period of time. A monthly bus ticket is $15. You should always remember to have your card with you, as there is a penalty for riding without a ticket.
Cost of Food – Another major budget factor is the price of food. You will get to choose from a variety of cuisines for $12-15. Fast food costs about the same everywhere, so if you are on a smaller budget, you can get a meal at McDonalds for $6.
Main Attractions in Slovenia:
- Ljubljana. Known as ‘Europe’s Greenest City’, Ljubljana is home to several parks and green spaces. Whether you want to take a walk along the river or sit at the park and enjoy all of what Ljublana has to offer, you won’t regret paying this beautiful city a visit.
- Lake Bled. Lake Bled is one of Slovenia’s most attractive places to visit. You might either take a stroll around the lake or visit the Bled Castle, which offers a breathtaking view. And the best thing of all, you can swim in the lake as well.
- Triglav National Park. The Triglav National Park is a national treasure. It is one of Europe’s oldest parks and home to one of the most diverse flora and fauna, green Alpine valleys and more. When in Slovenia, Triglav National Park is a must-visit.
If you are thinking of backpacking in Europe, Bulgaria should be on your list of places to visit. Not only is it one of the cheapest European countries, but one of the most interesting as well. Whether you want to head east to the beach or visit many of Bulgaria’s mountains and parks, you are guaranteed to have a good time.
Cost of Accommodation – You will be able to find a place for as little as $14 per night. In case you want a nicer place, 4+ hotels start from $36.
Cost of Transportation – Most of the country is connected by rail and road services, as public transport is heavily dependent on them. Those visiting Bulgaria get around with either buses or trolleybus networks. A monthly public transportation ticket costs $18.19.
Cost of Food – Wherever you decide to eat, prices of food are not overwhelmingly high in general. You will pay around $8 to $15 for a main dish or $5 for a sandwich at any fast food place.
Main Attractions in Bulgaria:
- Burgas. Located on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, Burgas is a beautiful country full of colours. It is one of the largest cities in the country. If you are drawn to the Bulgarian coast, you should consider Burgas.
- Bansko. Bansko is the most popular skiing and snowboarding destination. If you are visiting during the cold months of November and December, make sure to take advantage of the views from the top of the mountain, ski and take a long relaxing mineral bath afterwards. If, however, you are visiting during the summer, you can go mountain hiking or horseback riding.
- Plovdiv. Plovdiv, right after Sofia, is the second-largest city in Bulgaria. The city is very attractive and youthful. The Old Town is the most visited place – it is stretched into three hills, and the town’s history dates back to 8000 years ago.
Romania is another European country that offers beautiful places to explore and plenty of activities to do at an affordable price. In the last few years, it has become an incredibly famous Eastern European destination for visitors. Tourists are both surprised and delighted at how inexpensive Romania is.
Cost of Accommodation – Hostel dorms start at only $10 per night. Visitors have been amazed at the hospitality and quality when visiting Romania.
Cost of Public transportation – Many Romanians depend on trains, light rails and bus networks as means of public transportation. One bus ride will cost you $0.30. A monthly pass will be $16.52.
Cost of Food – A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Bucharest will be $6.61, whereas a meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant will cost $14.45. That is, of course, always considering the type of restaurant you go to and whether it is in the city centre or not.
Main Attractions in Romania:
- Bran Castle. We all have heard of Transylvania and the many myths associated with this region. The Bran Castle, located in the forested town of Transylvania, is identified with the fictional Dracula. It is one of the most popular attractions in Romania and worth seeing.
- The Old Town. The entire town is surrounded by museums and other historical buildings that date back hundreds of years ago. As well as churches, shops, cafes and bars where you can sit and enjoy a nice day in Romania’s most visited town.
- Transylvanian Alps. Transylvanian Alps, otherwise known as The Southern Carpathians, are another one of Romania’s gems. The mountains are ideal for hiking and nature lovers.
Slovakia is one of the cheapest European countries to visit, perhaps the reason being that it still has not been discovered by masses of tourists. However, that is simply a matter of time because Slovakia is full of gems.
Cost of Accommodation – As per accommodation, prices are generally very affordable. You can find a nice place for $10 a night, including modern air-conditioned room with free Wi-Fi and all private facilities. A 4.45-star rated place can be as low $30, which is considered very cheap compared to European standards. Naturally in more metropolitan areas and city centres, the prices will be slightly higher.
Cost of Transportation – The easiest and the cheapest way of getting around Slovakia is by bus. Locals also depend on trains and tramways.
Cost of Food – A typical meal at an inexpensive restaurant will be $6, and a meal for two at a relatively expensive restaurant is around $30.
Main Attractions in Slovakia:
- Bratislava. You can get to Bratislava quite easy from any other European country. Although it is a relatively small city, it still offers a lot to see. The architecture is very interesting, and there are still remnants from the Communist era, mixes of buildings built in two different eras and so on. The city was not built to be a capital city, however, it has its own charm and uniqueness.
- Orava Castle. The Orava Castle is the first thing locals will recommend to visitors, and that is because of the engaging and exciting experience which the place offers. Slovakia has the highest number of castles per capita in the world, and Orava Castle is just one of many. You will get to see the knight’s hall and archaeological exhibition rooms.
- Domica Cave. Besides all the beautiful castles, Slovakia is home to thousands of caves as well. Domica Cave is one of the most popular and the most beautiful. It has also been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The entrance fee is $9.50.
Moldova is best known for its wine, therefore, if you are a fan of wine – Moldova is your place to visit this summer. Tourists are increasingly looking for places that are less crowded and known. Moldova is yet to be discovered, and the country has preserved its cultural and historical heritage.
Cost of Accommodation – Prices in Moldova are comparatively lower than in most other countries, especially those in Western Europe. There are not many capital cities where you can find a place to stay for as little as $5 per night. If you are looking for a fancier place, a five-star hotel costs $150, whereas a two-star hotel will be $30.
Cost of Transportation – Prices usually vary between cities. For example, a single public transport ticket costs $0.41 in Chisinau, whereas $0.48 in other cities such as Tiraspol and Bender.
Cost of Food – When it comes to Moldovan food, meals at most restaurants are under $10. A bottle of their locally brewed wine, which is one of the world’s best, is around $12.
Main Attractions in Moldova:
- Chisinau. The good thing about Chisinau, otherwise known as Kishinev, is that because it isn’t a famous tourist attraction like the other capital cities in Europe, everything you would want to see can be seen within a day. The Soviet-Realist architecture characterizes the city mostly. It is very affordable and interesting to explore.
- Cricova winery. For such a tiny nation as Moldova, they are the second largest wine explorer in the world as well as one of the best. Whether you like wine or not, you cannot visit Moldova and avoid Cricova Winery.
- Transnistria. Transnistria is probably the most unusual piece of land in Eastern Europe. Whenever visiting Moldova, tourists are intrigued by this town. It is, as well, one of the oldest-looking places you will get to see.