Best Places to Visit in Europe when you are on a Budget

We don’t all have the luxury of an unlimited cash supply. We can’t always stay in 5-star hotels. Not everyone can fly first class. This is why budget travel was created! Budget travel opens up the world to the masses. It is possible to travel for next to no expense. Europe, in particular, is a continent full of budget travel destinations. Many European cities have cheap accommodation and flights. Locations such as Rome and Paris are NOT cheap. Less popular locations however are. You just have to know where to look! To help, we have created a list. We have scoured the continent of Europe.

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Read on to find out the best places to visit in Europe on a budget:

1. Krakow, Poland

Krakow is a historic city. It is located in the south of Poland. Approximately 4 hours from Warsaw, and 1 hour from the Slovakian border. Krakow airport accepts many European and international flights. Airlines such as Ryanair, KLM, and EasyJet operate here. Flights are cheap. The city center is full of budget hotels and hostels too. This is certainly one of the best places to visit in Europe.

So what stunning attractions and sites do Krakow have to offer? First, the historic town center is packed with gorgeous architecture. The main square, for example, has the iconic Cloth Hall and St. Mary’s Basilica. Moreover, you can see the stunning Wawel Castle and explore the narrow streets of the old Jewish Ghetto. Finally, you can venture further afield and take a tour to Auschwitz or to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Krakow really is a pretty cheap place for a tourist to visit!

Wawel Castle in Krakow is one of the best places to visit in Krakow

 

2. Vilnius, Lithuania

The Capital of Lithuania is often overlooked by your average tourist. It is, however, one of the cheapest places to travel – the cost of food, drink, and wine is cheap. You can get by on a minimum daily budget and see some brilliant sites in the process, thus including this in our list of best places to visit in Europe.

Read more: How Safe Is the Channel Tunnel?

If you love trying new food and drink, Vilnius will deliver. You can try a hearty traditional meal with potatoes and pork that will fill your stomach. Alternatively, you can try some of the strong locally brewed beers such as the popular Bamb Alyne. Aside from superb architecture such as the Gates of Dawn and Gedimina’s Castle, Vilnius also has a unique attraction – The Museum of Genocide Victims. This interesting and grisly museum was a former KGB office and contains some insightful exhibits.

Panoramic view of Vilnius, Lithuania

 

3. Riga, Latvia

Riga sits on a coastal area in Latvia in the Gulf of Riga. In recent years this destination has seen a rise in popularity. Despite this, it remains a superb location for budget travelers and is one of the cheapest and best places to visit in Europe.

One of the main attraction is Old Riga – designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, the architecture here is amazing. Following the theme of architecture, Riga has a myriad of Art Nouveau buildings too which create an eclectic and mixed style. Aside from this, you can also visit the Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga Zoo, and the Riga Motor Museum.

Old Town Riga, Latvia is one of the most desirable places to visit in Europe when you're in a budget

 

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4. Warsaw, Poland

Poland really is one of the cheapest countries in Europe – the cost of living here is superb. This is why Warsaw is one of the best places to visit in Europe for a city break. Warsaw caters to everyone whether you love art, history, music or architecture.

For architecture lover’s, a stroll down The Royal Route is a must. Here you can see such buildings as The Church of St. Anne, the upscale Nowy Swiat street, and the Three Crosses Square. Alternatively, if you enjoy the outdoors, you can visit the Royal Lazienki Park. This immense Public Park and garden is truly beautiful. It contains baroque architecture and even a neoclassical orangery. Don’t forget to check out the iconic Palace of Culture and Science. This Soviet Era structure has an observation deck for epic views of the city.

Castle Square with Zygmunt's Column, Royal Castle and Warsaw's Old Town and St. John's Cathedral

 

5. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, capital of Czech Republic, has a history that spans hundreds of years. It is one of the oldest and historic European destinations making it one of best places to visit in Europe. Regardless of its popularity, Prague certainly won’t break the bank. Food and drink are cheap. Moreover, many attractions are free.

If you see one site in Prague, it should be the Charles Bridge. This iconic structure crosses the Vltava River. It is one of the finest pieces of medieval architecture in the country. If you love pop culture, you can check out the famous Lennon Wall. This stretch of wall features graffiti of the legendary Beatles member and written song lyrics. Finally, don’t forget to explore the old town square which has some of the finest architecture the city has to offer.

View of Prague Castle, Vltava and Charles Bridge. Prague is one of the most beautiful Europe destination to visit when you're in a budget

 

6. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is the capital of Hungary. This city offers a combination of awesome tourist attractions, cheap restaurants, and excellent food. You certainly will not break the bank when visiting this destination! Located in the center of Hungary, Budapest is easily accessible by plane. The Ferenc Liszt International Airport has experienced growth in recent years. It is serviced by numerous airlines including British Airways, Emirates, EasyJet, FlyBe and Qatar Airways. Furthermore, it is also accessible by train or bus.

Read more: The World’s 5 Best Airlines For The Economy Class Flyer

If you love architecture and historic buildings, Budapest is one of the best places to visit in Europe. Notable landmarks include Bud Castle, the Hungarian Parliament Building, Fisherman’s Bastion and the Szechenyi Chain Bridge. Don’t forget about St. Stephen’s Basilica and the gorgeous Matthias Church too. Finally, what could be better than a boat trip along the majestic River Danube? The capital of Hungary should certainly be on your list of where to travel in Europe and it is affordable too!

Elisabeth Bridge in Budapest, Hungary. Bridge connect Buda and Pest across the River Danube.

7. Bosnia-Herzegovina

During a trip around Europe, most people would not consider a visit to Bosnia. This country has a war-torn history. That is changing, however. Bosnia-Herzegovina is now open to travel in Europe. Additionally, it is one of the cheapest countries with a favorable exchange rate.

In terms of locations and sites, Bosnia has some fantastic gems. Mostar, Trebinje, and Višegrad, for example, are three stunning locations. The Stari Most is an exceptional Ottoman Bridge – it is one of the most photogenic sites in the country. Alternatively, the city of Trebinje has a beautiful old quarter and some gorgeous 18th-century architecture. With the below average cost for food, drink, and transport, Bosnia can provide a good time for the budget traveler!

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Image of nature and old town in Bosnia

8. Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor has been rated as not just one of the best places to visit in Europe but also one of the top destinations in the world to visit. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. As Montenegro is still blossoming as a tourist destination, it is unbelievably cheap. Kotor, therefore, is a prime location for a budget city break.

The old town center has a plethora of gorgeous architecture such as the San Giovanni Fortress and Saint Typhon’s Cathedral. Aside from this, if you love animals, you must check out the Cat Museum of Kotor (Yes there is a cat museum!). The city is known for its feline friends and the museum pays tribute to these beautiful animals. To top it all off, you can take a boat trip through the Bay of Kotor to see the dazzling Montenegro landscapes.

Beautiful panoramic view on Bay of Kotor and Kotor town in Montenegro.

9. Lviv, Ukraine

As with other best places to visit in Europe, Lviv has an extensive history; it spans back to 1240. As the 7th largest city of Ukraine, Lviv is one of the best places to visit in the country. It has a multitude of historical attractions. Furthermore, it has a cool vibe and the people are friendly and welcoming to tourists.

If you love arts and culture, Lviv will simply delight. It has a myriad of ornate opera houses, interesting museums, and superb architecture. The Lviv Theater of Opera and Ballet, for example, has a stunning façade and is renowned throughout Europe. Moreover, the Baroque artwork of the Bernardine Church is simply magnificent to behold. Lviv is also extremely cheap – you can pick up a meal or enjoy a night out for next to nothing.

Lviv State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet

10. Athens, Greece

Athens is often labeled as the cradle of civilization. It has a history spanning over 3000 years – it was also the birthplace of legendary scholars such as Socrates and Pericles.

Today, Athens has a cool mix of old and new. For example, you can see the iconic Acropolis temple with its huge columns. You can then visit the re-built Panathenaic Stadium which replicates the original that stood in 335 DC. Practically every corner of this city is bursting with something to explore. Furthermore, due to the recent economic crisis in Greece, prices are unbelievably low. Right now Greece is certainly one of the best places to visit in Europe when you are on a budget.

And if you’re considering Greece, don’t forget to take some time off in Samos. Explore and see the most of Samos in a weekend in our piece here!

Athens, Greece overlooking the Panathenaic Stadium

Forget about Paris, Rome, and London. Why not travel Europe on a budget instead? These locations have a cheap price tag. Despite this, they still have so much to offer. If you want to save, visit one of these budget tourist destinations!

But if sky is the limit why not see the world, check out our Top 10 Must-see Tourist Places in the World!