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Top 10 affordable destinations in Europe for the budget traveler

Easily appealing with its astonishing scenery and diverse landscape, Europe is a dream destination for travelers worldwide. From jagged mountains to fascinating fjords to rolling hills to soothing coastlines to striking history, Europe is fully-packed with multiple flavors to choose from. And when it comes to planning a trip to Europe, most of you have this notion that Europe travel is costly and is only for the rich. But, let us break the ice for you. Not all destinations in Europe are costly. There are so many budget-friendly destinations you could take an escape to. Without further adieu, we present you the top 10 affordable destinations in Europe for a budget-friendly travel.

1. Italy

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Adorned with a long Mediterranean coastline, Italy is an excellent country thriving on a vibrant culture and a simply irresistible cuisine. Right when you land in Italy, you will be spellbound by the charming elegance of the Roman architecture. And as you move through the country, you will come across iconic attractions and artistic wonders in every corner, adding to the wonderful nature of Italy. Regarded as one of the best cities in Europe to visit, Italy is also one of the cheapest European cities to fly into.

Top sights and things to do

Lose yourselves to the picturesquely perfect Amalfi Coast, bask in the beauty of the morning sunrise at Venice, scream to the top of your lungs at the greatest gladiatorial arena of Colosseum, marvel at the intricately designed Gothic styled magnificent dome of the Florence Cathedral, understand the rich history of the Roman empire at the Pantheon, make a visit to the incredible popular one of the finest cathedrals of St. Peter’s Basilica, click a thousand pictures for your Instagram at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and glance through the premier collection of Italian Renaissance art on showcase at the Uffizi Gallery.

Tips

  • Settle down for tap water.
  • Opt for Paninis and Pizzas to save huge on food.
  • Stock your bags with wine bottles rather than drinking at the bar.
  • Go on free walking tours.
Ultimate Italy Guide

2. Austria

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Characterized by monumental mountainscapes, Bohemian forests, amazing Alpine terrain, baroque buildings, and icy glaciers, the fairyland-sque Austria is one of the affordable destinations in Europe. An equally inviting destination for those seeking adventure and relaxation, Austria has a special something for everyone and is in full swing during the time of Summer. Attracting a huge number of tourists, Austria is often referred to as one of the best city breaks in Europe.

Top sights and things to do

Unleash your adventurous side at the undulating Austrian Alps, grab the tickets for the Austria’s number one imperial attraction of Schönbrunn Palace, attend an early morning mass at the stunning St. Stephen’s Cathedral complete with incredible songs, go on a journey back in time at the 13-th century former Imperial Palace of Hofburg, wander around the expansive museum of Belvedere, catch the breathtaking views of the city from atop the Hohensalzburg Castle, spend time at the culturally rich UNESCO World Heritage site of Mirabell Palace, and see the city’s landmark structure of Goldenes Dachl.

Tips

  • When you’re traveling during the peak season, book the mountain huts well in advance.
  • Get the hiking map from the Austrian Alpine Society which includes info on marked trails and shelters.
  • Take a visit to one of the many coffee houses & be a part of the Austrian Cafe culture.

3. Hungary

affordable destinations in Europe
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Placed at the heart of Europe, Hungary is a country of extravagant culture and grandeur. Highlighted by architectural landmarks and neo-classical buildings in excess, the explosion of wealth in Hungary is enormous but ironically is one of the cheapest places to travel in the world. If you are a night person, who loves exploring after dark, then Hungary is the ideal destination for you.

Top sights and things to do

Admire the historical and grand Palace of the Buda Castle, rejuvenate at the naturally wonderful Széchenyi thermal bath, take a stroll across the glamorous Chain Bridge which glows during the night, catch a splendid sunset from the neo-gothic & neo-renaissance styled terrace of Fisherman’s Bastion, take a drive to the uniquely attractive Matthias Church, go shopping around the square of Hősök tere, and find peace at the spectacular St. Stephen’s Basilica. Additionally, you can also indulge in bird watching while you are in Hungary.

Tips

  • Check the prices of the food on the menu before ordering.
  • Try staying the farmhouses for an off-beat experience in Hungary.
  • Closely examine the change cab drivers offer you as they might be outdated Romanian currency.

4. Czech Republic

affordable destinations in Europe
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Wedged in-between countries in the Central Europe is the historically deep country of Czech Republic. Standing testimony to the country’s rich historical roots are the ornate castles, medieval towns, ancient ruins, and the wineries. While there is too much history to learn about, there is also too much beer to dance in. Compact in size, Czech Republic packs a punch in terms of the rich heritage on offer.

Top sights and things to do

Stroll across the historical arch bridge of the Charles which is one of the favorite things to do for the tourists in the Czech Republic, spend time ogling at the magical Prague astronomical clock, pay a visit to the largest & the important temple of St. Vitus Cathedral, go on an informative tour of the interesting Prague Castle, be a part of a live musical held within the walls of the art-nouveau building of the Municipal House, head to the distinctively inspiring Church of Our Lady before Týn, and take a picnic to the Vyšehrad National Cultural Monument.

Tips

  • Get the train and bus tickets well in advance at discounted prices.
  • Go on free walking tours to soak in the history.
  • Try eating along with the locals for a cheaper price.

5. Poland

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Bordered by a long Baltic Sea coastline, Poland is one of the least explored travel destinations in Europe and is one of the cheapest European cities to live in. Characterized by its contagious Jewish history and medieval architecture, Poland has a lot to offer for the intriguing traveler. The dynamic country with its enticing food is highly unspoiled and will leave you bespectacled.

Top sights and things to do

Go on a guided tour to the extremely special Wieliczka Salt Mine, get the best of nature at the misty Alpine beauty – the Tatra Mountains, explore the lush primeval Białowieża Forest, gaze at the opulence on offer at the Royal Wawel Castle, stretch your legs at the well-manicured Łazienki Park, find your way through the fascinating photogenic Malbork Castle, and trek the serene Ojców National Park.

Tips

  • Save money by eating at the Milk bars.
  • Get your hands on the tourist card to have unlimited access to public transportation.
  • Stay with a local.

6. Spain

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Shimmering in all its beauty with its dramatic coastlines and sophisticated buildings, the exotic country of Spain is a destination like no other. Highly affordable, Spain is one of those places that will stir your soul offering you a memorable experience of your lifetime. Adding to the innate feel of the country are the intriguing traditions and festivities which makes the place even more special.

Top sights and things to do

Seek the blessings of the divine at the monumental Roman Catholic church of Sagrada Família, book for a guided tour in the mind-numbingly gorgeous Palace of Alhambra, hike the awesome site of Park Güell which comes loaded with wondrous views, wander through the ornately decorated Mosque of Córdoba, go on a visit to the unconventional modernist building of Casa Milà, for the art lovers – a trip to the Museo Nacional Del Prado is highly recommended, bask in the luxury on offer at the Royal Palace of Madrid, and take a pill at Ibiza! Additionally, do try to travel to Spain during the time of the world famous festival of Tomatina.

Tips

  • Try asking the ‘Menu for the day’, they are generally inexpensive.
  • Camping and CouchSurfing can save you huge bucks.
  • If you are planning to explore Spain extensively, then get the city pass.

7. Slovenia

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Famous for its ski resorts, lakes, and towering mountains, the country of Slovenia is one of the best affordable destinations in Europe which looks as if it is taken right off from a storybook. Painted by turquoise-green waters and snow-capped mountains, Slovenia is an eye-catchy country of colors which is as wild as it can get and when are you there, strike a harmony with nature and embrace Slovenia to the fullest.

Top sights and things to do

Drift along the tranquil waters of Lake Bled to get lost in the Bled Castle that feels like heaven, unwind at the Tivoli City Park, hike the wilderness of the Soča Valley, go on an exhilarating journey into the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Škocjan Caves and if you are not satisfied, explore the Postojna Cave as well, camp at the Triglav National Park, take up a picnic to the Lake Bohinj & be captivated by the soothing visuals.

Tips

  • Get the map of Slovenia from the gas station and indulge in hitchhiking which is also the best way to get around.
  • Avoid eating at restaurants and try buying food directly from the local supermarkets.
  • Do not sleep outside of the designated camping grounds.

8. Slovakia

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Landlocked in Europe, Slovakia is a highly underrated travel destination in Europe. Bound by countries on all its sides, the beauty of Slovakia can be best discovered by exploring the country to the fullest. From natural scenery to inspiring history to rich heritage to non-stop entertainment, Slovakia has it all. Marking the terrain of Slovakia are the dramatic natural landscapes and captivating castles. Compact in size, Slovakia is a perfect destination for those who are interested in outdoor adventures.

Top sights and things to do

Start your exploration in Slovakia by going Castle hopping from Devín Castle to Spiš Castle to Bojnice Castle, rejoice at the appealing Church of St. Elisabeth painted in baby blue, walk through the medieval Michael’s Gate into a completely different world, find time to visit one of the oldest churches of St. Martin’s Cathedral, pay homage to the brave souls by visiting the memorial monument & military cemetery of Slavín, and have a sight of the offbeat bronze statue of the Man at Work – Čumil.

Tips

  • Camping on the protected landscape areas and outside national parks are illegal.
  • Reach out to the nearest Italian Pizzeria for affordable options.

9. Greece

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Often referred to as the ‘Cradle of the Western Civilization’, Greece is a country of ancient ruins that will teleport you to a world never-seen-before. If you are a history buff looking for an affordable destination in Europe to satiate your love for history and architecture, then Greece will come in as a paradise for you. Just make sure you head to Greece during the time of Summer when the country is fully alive!

Top sights and things to do

Go on an incredible journey exploring the historical landmark destinations of Acropolis of Athens and Parthenon, be charmed by the panoramic views from the magnificent structure of Meteora, challenge yourself by taking up the highly enduring hike journey to the Samariá Gorge, be awed by the archeological findings on display at the world famous Acropolis Museum, glance through the varied artifacts at the National Archaeological Museum that best reflect history, dine at the incredibly romantic neoclassical neighborhood of Plaka, and take a visit to the ancient Greek Temple of Erechtheion.

Tips

  • Binge on Gyros and other local street snacks to keep your appetite at bay at low cost.
  • Rent a moped to get around Greece.
  • Book on overnight ferries to save up to 25% on travel.
  • Explore Greece on the off-beat path.

10. Portugal

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Blessed with a beautiful countryside and a unique culture, Portugal is one of the liveliest and affordable destinations in Europe. Carpeted by golden sand beaches, cobblestoned villages, architecturally splendid cities, and mouth-watering seafood, Portugal is a perfect holiday spot during the summer which comes at a cheaper price. When you are there, feel the vibrancy and the magic of the place working wonders.

Top sights and things to do

Soak in the pristine views on offer at the iconic Belem Tower, go on a scenic drive along the winding Tagus river, walk around the serene site of Jeronimos Monastery, admire the fairy tale Moorish castle of Pena Palace, get a bird’s eye view of the city of Lisbon from the magnificent Sao Jorge Castle, pack a picnic to the green-tinged Peneda-Geres National Park, ride on the historically popular cable-car at Bairro Alto, and take a guided tour of the Palace of Sinatra.

Tips

  • Try visiting the museums on Sundays, when it’s free.
  • Avoid getting into taxis. They are highly expensive.
  • Stay at family-run inns of pensão.

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3 comments

  • Poland is my favorite from your list 🙂 It is so inexpensive but beautiful and modern at the same time. I think that many people actually underrate it, while it is worth visiting at least once! My favorite Polish city is Warsaw, it is diverse and fascinating. I always enjoy visiting all the bars and restaurants there, as I love Polish cuisine:) My absolute favorite is the Akademia Restaurant, that I was once recommended. It is so nice and their food is incredible, I never leave this place disappointed 🙂