European city breaks are hardly renowned for being affordable and kind to the wallet. A lot of that, however, is due to ‘crowd mentality’ – we all wanna go where everybody else is going. Despite this, there are so many other cities in Europe that pack in as much charm and beauty and the old favourites and at a fraction of the cost. This is why I wanted to show you some of my favourite cheapest cities in Europe.
These cities are places that will leave you wondering why you hadn’t considered other alternatives outside of the usual suspects and leave you somewhat more open to exploring all the other difference facets and parts of Europe that you would otherwise not think of going to see.
I’ve tried to not just share the obscure cities, but also include some more famous cities that are also cheaper than the likes of Paris or London (for instance). This way, you can visit well-known cities that are not just random places you might never have heard of.
Take a look, below, at the cheapest cities in Europe to visit. Have the best trip.
1.) Budapest, Hungary
I was totally surprised at how much cheaper things were in Budapest, from the likes of London or Paris (for example).
We lived like Kings visiting here and you can have the luxury experience that you would struggle to have in most other European cities for a fraction of the cost. It really is one of the cheapest cities in Europe to visit and perfect if you’re on a budget.
Oh, and don’t forget to check out the best tours to book whilst in Budapest (below). There are heaps of sunset cruises, spa packages and historical tours – all with cancellation options up to 24 hours before the tour. This makes it really easy to reschedule or cancel if your plans change.
Read more: Best things to do in Budapest
2.) Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
This picturesque city isn’t one you hear lots of people talking about all the time but even taking a peek at photos will leave you wondering why you never thought to visit.
All that beauty at a more affordable price – I don’t know why you’re not already looking for flights to take you there now!
To be honest, outside of the capital, there are quite a few of the cheapest cities in Europe that are based in the Czech Republic. Just make sure to do your homework and visit more regional cities.
Plus, you can easily book a one-day tour from Prague that’s well worth doing if you’re short on time. We loved it.
3.) Istanbul, Turkey
Okay, I know some people are weird about classing Turkey as European or Asian but I think it is both (It really doesn’t have to be one or the other).
In any case, this is a grand city with a lot of history and stunning architecture that needs to be on your radar.
There is honestly so much to see in Istanbul, especially as it’s one of the cheapest cities in Europe if you’re looking for a more global city.
Whilst here, don’t forget to book the Topkapi Palace Guided Tour that allows you to skip the line. This way, you’ll get straight inside without all the hassle of the queues.
Read more: Best things to do in Istanbul
4.) Valletta, Malta
The capital of Malta is one of the most affordable capital cities to visit – plus the city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s too gorgeous to miss.
Plus, it’s not just the cheapest cities in Europe. Malta, as an Island, can be relatively cheap too. Just make sure to travel out of the summer season and avoid the holidays.
Finally, don’t forget to save money and book an all-in-one tour of Gozo, Comino, and Blue Lagoon by boat. It’s an incredible way to see a huge chunk of the islands and well worth it so you’re not wasting money with multiple journies.
This will keep costs lower and you’ll also miss most of the crowds.
Read more: Best things to do in Malta
5.) Valencia, Spain
This Spanish city packs in as much excitement and sights as its sister cities except at a fraction of the price. It’s so much cheaper than the likes of Barcelona, especially for accommodation.
Plus, lots of historic buildings and churches cost very little to enter. This all means that you can enjoy one of the cheapest cities in Europe without breaking the bank.
Oh, and be sure to check out all the epic tours that you can book for your visit to Valencia (below). Though, be sure to book them in advance, places do fill up fast.
Read more: What to see and do in Valencia
6.) Porto, Portugal
So much wine was drunk and so much food eaten on our trip to Porto and we left surprised at how little we’d spent – even dining at some of the more expensive ‘tourist trap’ places.
Definitely recommended for travellers on a budget. this is especially true when comparing it to the capital, Lisbon. Just make sure to travel in the winter months and it’ll definitely keep costs lower.
Read more: What to see in Porto
7.) Nîmes, France
Everything from our trip to Nîmes was so cheap. Accommodation, transport, food, drinks – everything. And it was not lacking in beautiful spots, either.
For instance, did you know the Arena of Nîmes is a much better preserved and grander Roman Amphitheatre than the Colosseum in Rome?
Read more: How to visit Nimes
8.) Bratislava, Slovakia
Recently visited and haven’t stop raving about Bratislava. It’s a pretty city which won’t cost you ridiculous amounts of money to visit either. Plus, it’s pretty easy to get to from the likes of Budapest if you’re travelling in this region.
The food prices are on par with most of Europe but asides that, most things are pretty cheap.
Read more: What to see in Bratislava
9.) Prague, Czech Republic
This city packs in so many sights and is a must to see in Europe. The handy prices also help sway you if you still need convincing. Though Prague can be more expensive than cities like Bratislava, it’s still one of the cheapest cities in Europe that’s really popular. It’s much more budget-friendly than, say, Oslo or Copenhagen.
Read our guide on free/cheap things to do see and eat in Prague
10.) Riga, Latvia
Pretty as a picture and kind to the bank account, this city has so much going for it. It’s quickly becoming a favourite travel destination for travellers and for a good reason!
11.) Athens, Greece
Pretty much anyone you speak to who has been to Athens, will not only tell you how amazing it to visit (all that Greek history, the delicious food, the Acropolis…etc).
They’ll also be quick to tell you how pleasantly surprised they were at the price of things here.
Read more: Seeing the hidden spots in Greece
12.) Bruges, Belgium
The stunning Belgian city of Bruges doesn’t compromise when it comes to sights to see and things to do, despite the fraction of the price attached to it.
I’m a huge fan of Belgian cities so I may be slightly biased but at those prices, you should go check it out for yourselves. although not one of the very cheapest cities in Europe, it’s still much more affordable than, say, Stockholm (which can be pricey).
Read more: Best things to do in Bruges
13.) Edinburgh, United Kingdom
This was home for quite a few years so I feel like I know the in’s and out’s of the city but one of my favourite things to do in Edinburgh was discovering cheap and free sights to see and things to do.
It’s an amazing capital city and so much cheaper than London to visit.
Read more: Best things to do in Edinburgh
14.) Krakow, Poland
A traveller’s delight – this city is perhaps the most popular city to visit in Poland and comes up trumps whenever you look for cities to visit in Poland.
It’s also very cheap (accommodation here is an epic bargain) and it is one of those cities that is not only great to visit but easy to do so too, price-wise.
Read more: Best places in Poland to visit
15.) Zagreb, Croatia
Zagreb is one of the beautiful Croatian cities (and towns) that you have to visit.
Also, with the fact that you can drive to the world-renowned Plitvice Lakes National Park is more than enough temptation for this to go straight on to your travel list.
Read more: Gorgeous spots to see in Croatia
11 Beautiful Croatian Towns And Cities To Visit
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