The cheapest countries in Europe: traveling on a tight budget
Let's take a tour around Europe without spending much
After our article about the best cities in Europe you must see in your lifetime, a lot of emails started coming in asking for advice on finding a cheap country to go on vacation to in Europe.
Asking the question is a good starting point for those who want to learn to travel in Europe, as part of the preparation for a tour of Europe or for a weekend with friends or as a couple. Hence, we’ve put together a list of ten cheapest countries in Europe.
However, before we proceed to the emphasized cities we’ve highlighted some details that helped us reach the conclusion of the cheapest cities in Europe. Let’s check them out.
The budget of a trip to Europe
To reach on a worth conclusion about the cheapest countries in Europe, we considered notable details through the cost of living in major European capitals and the most touristic cities.
During summer and high season, some destinations quickly become overpriced. The cost of plane tickets, hotel rooms and even the prices of restaurants and museums are increasing enormously.
Let’s first eliminate the issue of accommodation, often one of the main expenses before the trip. However, for each destination, we are often spoiled for choice and a wide range of prices between hotels, guest houses, apartments and youth hostels.
The other big expense is transportation, especially if you want to fly. Quickly compare ticket prices using the biggest metasearch engines on the market. They have the advantage of including low cost airlines in their results. To lower the overall bill for your trip, don’t forget to also compare the prices of alternative modes of transport to the plane.
The cost of living
Now that the accommodation and transportation expenses are settled, we can look at the cost of living. Although it seems difficult to avoid the overcrowding of summer tourists, it is quite possible for students or young couples to explore Europe on a tight budget.
Now, we offer you a selection of the cheapest countries in Europe, based on personal experiences of our expert on this platform.
1) Sofia, Bulgaria
“Always growing, never ageing”, the Bulgarian capital is at the crossroads of multiple cultural influences. Beyond the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Sainte-Sophie church and the free access hot springs, it is especially the student district that marks.
Travellers return with mixed reviews due to the lack of tourist sites to visit. We should also note the scarcity and cost of flights to Bulgaria, even with low cost companies from Paris-Beauvais (Wizz Air). However, Sofia seems to be the ideal choice if you want to travel inexpensively while enjoying the local life, with many bars, restaurants and clubs.
2) Bucharest, Romania
The old Petit Paris is marked by the architectural legacies of the Ceausescu regime, symbolized by the Palace of the Parliament. Admittedly, it is not the most beautiful city in Romania and in fact Bucharest hardly attracts tourists. It must also be said that hotel infrastructure is partly lacking. For those who make the effort to go to the Romanian capital, attractive prices await you.
3) Krakow, Poland
Krakow has everything to tear your heart out. Medieval heritage, royal past, the tears of the 20th century in Europe and the omnipresence of the memory of Pope John Paul II… The atmosphere of a provincial town, without certain negative aspects of museification at work in Europe, a phenomenon avoided by the massive presence of students.
Without doubt among the most beautiful experiences of my tour of Europe, thanks to the warm welcome of Polish youth and the fantastic gastronomic discoveries that you can make there.
4) Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
This martyred city recalls a very recent European past. The old Muslim city is worth a visit, as is the modern city center. Surrounded by mountains, Sarajevo does not lack charm, even if it remains very far from mass tourism.
5) Belgrade, Serbia
In recent years, the Serbian capital has become an attraction for weekend getaways. Belgrade’s night-life is enjoying a growing reputation. For lovers of culture and history, Belgrade also offers a few assets. The quality of life is good, even in the cheapest restaurants within Europe.
6) Riga, Latvia
Riga is the largest of the three Baltic capitals. The most cosmopolitan too, thanks to its past as a port of La Hanse. Between the old town which dates from the 13th century and the sublime Art Nouveau buildings, the Latvian capital is very rich.
Since independence, several buildings from the pre-Soviet period have been completely rebuilt, helping to tell the story of the Latvian nation. Another personal crush we assure you’ll get with this cheap European country.
7) Budapest, Hungary
Everything leads to love the Hungarian capital, a curious mix between post-Sovietism and savage capitalism. A past greatness also which is not only due to the majestic presence of the Danube, the great synagogue or the Parliament. A quiet life between baths, tea rooms and gastronomic culture of great diversity. Budapest is waiting for you as an abode for European city in Canada.
8) Warsaw, Poland
The city is so steeped in history that it is difficult for us to talk about it without thinking of Bronislaw Geremek. Born a Jew, converted to Catholicism as a child after escaping from the Warsaw ghetto, a dissident historian under the communist regime, become a politician and fervent European… To walk in the Polish capital is first of all to cross the European 20th century.
Besides the aristocratic heritage of Lazienki Park, Warsaw also offers a city center where skyscrapers multiply and, slightly out of the way to the north-west, the largest shopping center in Eastern Europe.
9) Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava has become a popular destination for a weekend. This is undoubtedly due to the quiet sweetness of this city 60 km from Vienna. You enjoy working with cosmopolitan youth, internationally oriented and always ready to provide information Yes, that’s exactly what the you’ll find in this city.
10) Zagreb, Croatia
Zagreb is a good surprise. The capital of the most recent member country of the Union is entirely in the colors of the European flag, all to its enthusiasm for joining the EU.
If the tourist attractions are limited, one appreciates the numerous markets and the visit of the districts inherited from communism. The food is good, the bars and clubs full.
As aforesaid, we arrived at a decision for the ten cheapest countries in Europe, we compared the budget it takes for a couple sleeping one night in a four-star hotel, consuming two cocktails, a two-course dinner and a bottle of wine as well as a 6 km round trip by taxi.
We also consider two indices, one for backpackers, the other for those who go to three-star hotels.
The backpacker’s budget takes into account one night in the cheapest dormitory in the city, two trips by public transport per day, three budget meals, the entrance ticket to a major attraction in the city and three drinks of alcohol.
The three-star budget includes one night in a central hotel, a 6 km round-trip taxi, the entrance ticket to a major attraction, three budget meals, three drinks of alcohol. However, we have tried to synthesize the two to enable you get the best of experience for the cheapest counties in Europe.