Are you looking for a list of some of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe? I’ve got you covered! After traveling to almost every country in Europe, I can fully attest that traveling around this extraordinary continent doesn’t have to drain your wallet!
A trip to Europe can be quite pricey, especially if you decide to visit popular cities like Paris, London, and Barcelona. Trust me — we honeymooned in Paris and London and it wasn’t exactly friendly on our wallets. However, we came home with priceless memories so it was totally worth it to us.
But, not all European getaways have to be pricey! There are quite a few countries in Europe that are both affordable and remarkable. We traveled all around Europe a few years after our honeymoon and were stunned to find out how budget-friendly some countries were.
You can admire the stunning castles of Romania, learn about the rich history of Poland, visit quiet islands in Greece, and discover the hidden gem of Montenegro. And all of these countries have affordable accommodations, activities, transportation, and food so you can make your getaway even longer!
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck without compromising comfort and luxury, here are 13 of the best and cheapest countries to visit in Europe!
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How to Travel Cheaply Around Europe
I’ve already said this several times and I’ll say it again — traveling cheaply in Europe is easier than you think it is! I want you to have the perfect vacation to Europe while you save as much money as possible so I’m going so share some of my Europe money-saving tips with you.
The most expensive thing you’ll have to worry about is your round-trip flight from wherever you live to wherever you’re going in Europe. If you’re a travel hacker and have some points saved up, this would be the perfect time to use those. If you don’t have points, that’s okay. I use Kiwi.com to help me snag the best flight deals.
If you plan on country-hopping once you get to Europe, you’re in for a real treat. Europe has incredible budget carriers with even more incredible rates. I flew from Frankfurt, Germany to Mykonos, Greece for less than $20!
Some of the most popular budget carriers include Ryanair, Wizz Air, EasyJet, and a few more. You’ll especially find some jaw-droppingly low rates if you’re flexible with your dates. Kiwi.com also does a great job at helping you find flights within Europe.
Additionally, you can also travel around Europe via train or bus. We used FlixBus quite a bit and there were times where we paid less than $10 per person. Talk about a steal!
Lastly, the countries listed below also have amazing accommodation options for affordable prices! For hotels, I highly recommend using Hotels.com. After you stay ten nights, you get a free night. Their loyalty program is seriously the best and we exclusively used Hotels.com when we were traveling all over the world. If you like more private accommodations such as condos and apartments, Vrbo has the cheapest options for those in Europe.
13 of the Cheapest Countries to Visit in Europe
When most people think about traveling through Europe, they almost immediately think of “expensive.” While that can be true depending on where you go, Europe is also home to some of the cheapest countries in the world.
I vividly remember telling my friends that my husband and I were going to travel around Europe for a few months. They all had this misconception that I was going to come home broke after my trip.
Fortunately, we spent most of our time bouncing around cheaper countries and had the time of our lives. The best part is that we didn’t blow through our travel budget and we actually returned home with some leftover money.
I know what you’re thinking — we gave up certain luxuries like fancy dinners and four-star hotels in order to travel through Europe on a budget. Truth be told, I don’t like to give up certain luxuries when traveling. Hostels aren’t my jam and I enjoy gourmet meals. I’m a firm advocate of balling on a budget without compromising on the things I like.
Trust me when I say this — if you do your research and properly plan (which you won’t have to do much of because I’m doing it for you), you can easily travel around Europe with a small daily budget!
If you’re looking for an affordable getaway, Poland is one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe – and one of the most well-known. There are a few different popular places to visit in Poland, and all of them offer a little something different.
Warsaw boasts activities that span a wide variety of interests – from history to politics to nature. You can admire the beautiful Wilanów Palace, visit the Palace of Culture and Science, and spend an entire day at Łakienki Park.
Krakow, on the other hand, is very history-focused. You can pay a visit to Wawel Castle, wander around the historic Stare Miasto, and attend a service at the stunning St. Mary’s Basilica.
Situated just an hour outside of Krakow, there are the Auschwitz-Birkenau Camps. These historic camps were once used as Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
While there, you can learn about the camps through the exhibits and take an informative tour. The most important thing to remember while visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau Camps is to simply be respectful.
Montenegro is a hidden gem and one of my absolute favorite countries in Europe! With a location on the Mediterranean, historic cities, and affordable prices, it is one of the best and cheapest countries to visit in Europe.
The most visited place in Montenegro is the city of Kotor. The coastal town boasts gorgeous fjords, friendly people, and even a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While there, you can wander the historic streets of Old Town, stop by the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, and purchase some local finds at the Kotor Farmers Market.
One of my favorite accommodations we stayed at in Europe is in Kotor. We rented a gorgeous, modern apartment overlooking the Bay of Kotor and it was only $27 a night! This apartment seriously looked like something you would see in a high-end interior decorating magazine.
If you’re a foodie, you have to eat lunch or dinner at BBQ Tanjga. Here, you can pick out whatever meats you want to eat and the staff will barbecue them. Not only is your meal out of this world delicious, but it’s also incredibly cheap. Keep in mind that most of the staff don’t speak English so come prepared with a translator app and be patient with them.
If you’d like to visit locations that are a little more under-the-radar, you can explore the coastal city of Budva, spend some time in nature at Durmitor National Park, and visit the picture-perfect town of Perast.
Hungary – or Budapest, Hungary, in particular – is one of the best and cheapest places to visit in Europe.
Technically, it’s one of the pricier spots in Eastern Europe, but it’s still a bargain in comparison to the prices of Western Europe.
Budapest is actually split into two halves: Buda and Pest, with the Danube River acting as the dividing line. Both sides of the city are packed with things to do.
In Buda, you can take a dip in the Gellért Thermal Baths, shop at the Castle Garden Bazaar, and visit the historic Citadella.
And then when you cross one of the many fabulous bridges into Pest, you can stop by the Hungarian Parliament Building, wander around Heroes’ Square, and pop into St. Steven’s Basilica
If you’re really trying to get as much bang for your buck as possible, you’ll want to explore the hidden gems outside of the capital. Lake Balaton, Tihany, and the Bükk Mountains are all stunning destinations that won’t drain your bank account.
Slovenia is one of the most naturally beautiful destinations on this list of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe.
Home to sunny shorelines along the Adriatic Sea, the snowcapped Julian Alps, and the gorgeous Lake Bled, you’ll constantly be in awe of the natural landscapes in this country.
First up, there are adorable beach towns. While only a small sliver of Slovenia is on the Adriatic Sea, the country certainly makes use of it. You can wander around the beautiful town of Koper, relax on the sunny shores of Portorož Beach, and eat all the fresh seafood your heart desires.
Then, there are the mountainous parts of the country. The best way to experience the Julian Alps is by visiting Triglav National Park. While there, you can stop by the beautiful Savica Waterfall, explore the Tolmin Gorges, and even hike to the top of Mount Triglav.
And last but certainly not least, there’s Lake Bled. Most visitors to Lake Bled tend to make their home base in the town of Ljubljana. While in the area, you can take a boat out to Bled Island, admire the views of the lake from Lake Bled Castle, or simply take a stroll around the lake.
Slovakia, which is not to be confused with the previous country of Slovenia, is another fantastic place to visit in Europe while on a budget. If there’s one spot that you must visit, it’s the capital town of Bratislava.
You can easily walk to all of the best attractions in Bratislava (which means you’ll save money on transportation as well, which is a nice added bonus). You can wind your way from the bright Blue St. Elizabeth’s Church to Bratislava Castle to the Slavín War Memorial.
And then you can finish off your day with some delicious Slovak foods, including bryndzove pirohy (a variation of Polish pierogis), zemiakove placky (crispy potato pancakes), and laskonky (meringue cookies filled with butter or cream).
6. Czech Republic (Czechia)
The most popular tourist destination in the Czech Republic is the capital city of Prague. And while traveling to Prague isn’t as cheap as it once was, it’s still very affordable.
As a matter of fact, most of the main attractions in Prague are completely free! You can take dozens of pictures of the gorgeous Astronomical Clock, spend some time in the Old Town Square, visit the famous John Lennon Wall, and walk across the Charles Bridge.
But there’s so much more to the Czech Republic than just Prague. You should also consider visiting Cesky Krumlov, Karlovy Vary, and Brno.
Just about every list of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe includes Bulgaria. Not only does it have affordable prices, but it also has a thriving capital and stunning natural beauty.
The capital of Bulgaria is Sofia, which is one of the most visited – and affordable – destinations in the country. While in town, you can attend a service at the St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, shop along Vitosha Boulevard, and pay a visit to the National Historic Museum.
But if you’d like to take more of a nature-focused trip, there are loads of options! You can head to the coastal town of Sunny Beach, Central Balkan National Park, or the Seven Rila Lakes.
Germany is known for all of its lovely castles, but Romania is an underrated, yet fierce competitor. And since Romania one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe, it’s much more affordable.
A few of the most beautiful castles in Romania include Corvin Castle, Peles Castle, and Pelisor Castle. But the most famous of them all is Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle. This castle garnered its unique name from being the home of the fictional character, Dracula, in Bram Stoker’s novel of the same name.
And while these towering, historic buildings are one of the main highlights of the country, there are other attractions that are worth your time as well. You can hike in the Carpathian Mountains, enjoy one of the awesome beaches along the Black Sea, and even ride an underground Ferris wheel in the Turda Salt Mine.
Sure, a trip to Greece can be pricey, especially if you go to tourist hot spots during peak season. But, a Greece getaway can also be surprisingly affordable. It’s also one of the only destinations on this list of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe that’s on the lovely Mediterranean Sea.
Instead of visiting extremely popular Greek islands like Mykonos and Santorini that can cost a fortune, opt for some lesser-known hidden gems. Not only will you save a ton of money, but you’ll also be able to avoid the crowds!
If you visit the island of Agistri, you can lounge on Dragonera Beach, admire the Church of Agioi Anargyroi, and wander around the historic village of Metochi. On the island of Tinos, you can swim at Kolymbithra Beach, visit the Sacred Shrine of Panagia, and stroll through the artsy Volax Village.
Or you can visit the island of Sifnos instead, where you can make the two-hour trek to the Prophet Elias Monastery, swim at Avlaki Bay, and explore the fishing village of Vlichos.
Albania is one of the best hidden gems on the entire continent. So it’s quite a treat that it’s also one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe. I didn’t have very high expectations for Albania, but it has easily secured a spot on the list of my top five favorite countries in Europe.
Situated along the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea, Albania is perfect for a budget-friendly beach getaway. The stretch of coastline called the Albanian Riviera is absolutely picture-perfect, thanks to its golden shores and turquoise waters. A couple of the best Albanian beach towns include the popular Saranda and the stunning Ksamil.
But if you’d like to head inland, Albania also boasts fabulous mountain towns. There are a few different mountain ranges spread throughout the country. And the mountain towns of Gjirokastra, Kruja, and Theth boast greenery-laden peaks, historic landmarks, and charming towns.
There are a few different countries that will never make it onto a list of the cheapest places to visit in Europe, including Sweden, Norway, and Finland – or basically all of Scandinavia if I’m being honest.
Estonia is sort of like an affordable blend of Scandinavian and Russian culture, so it’s a good budget-friendly alternative.
The most visited place in Estonia is the beautiful capital city of Tallinn. With its red rooftops, thriving greenery, and breathtaking views of Tallinn Bay, it looks straight out of a storybook! While there, you can stroll through the iconic Viru Gates, admire the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and wander through the adorable streets of the old town.
And if you’d like to explore more of Estonia, you can gape in awe at the beauty of Sooma National Park, visit the “second city” of Tartu, or take a day trip to the gorgeous Saaremaa Island.
The former Soviet country of Ukraine has managed to stay off the tourist radar since it gained its independence over 100 years ago. And that’s a shame because Ukraine boasts a rich history, amazing architecture, delicious food, and more – all while maintaining its status as one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe.
The vast majority of people who do visit Ukraine head to the capital city of Kyiv. While there you can explore the beautiful Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Church, climb to the top of the Great Lavra Bell Tower, and take a few pictures of the Motherland Monument.
It’s well-known that visiting Western Europe is much more costly than visiting Eastern Europe. But if there’s one Western European country that can snag a spot on this list, it’s Portugal.
There are a couple of budget-friendly Portugal hot spots that are worth your time, including Lisbon and Porto. Since Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal, it has always been somewhat popular, but the prices have remained reasonable. While there, you can climb to the top of Torre de Belém, hop on the iconic Tram 28, and take a day trip to the one-of-a-kind town of Sintra.
Porto, on the other hand, is a relatively up-and-coming destination. So while it might be cheap now, it likely won’t stay that way for long. While in Porto, you can stroll through the Crystal Palace Gardens, cross the Dom Luís I Bridge, and visit the Porto Cathedral.
Resources to Help You Cheaply Travel Around Europe
Resources to Help You Cheaply Plan Your Europe Getaway
Travel Insurance: SafetyWing
Do you have any suggestions to add to this list of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe? Let me know in the comments below!
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Disha Smith is the founder of Disha Discovers. She quit her job in 2017 to travel the world to explore new cultures and experience new adventures. She has since been to 95+ countries and counting and has lived in South Africa, Thailand, Croatia, and Australia. She has done all kinds of travel ranging from luxury to budget backpacking, and her mission is to inspire others to discover their own sense of adventure and to help them plan a life full of meaningful experiences through travel.