Traveling to Europe is usually more expensive for frugal travelers. The cities have higher costs than those countries in South East Asia in which you can live on pennies. Europe does have a variety of affordable cities to visit. Here are the 16 cheapest cities in Europe to visit for frugal travelers.
1. Prague, Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is known for being one of the cheapest cities in Europe to visit. The food is much more affordable, and a pint of beer is about 2 Euros. It is hard to beat. Prague is the capital, and all bring tourists from far and wide. It is not as cheap as it once was, but compared to many European cities, it still beats them in price. Budget travelers would love to visit Prague and enjoy one of the best cities in Europe.
2. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is by far one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It has castles, a tremendous parliamentary building, massive churches and synagogues, and a whole host of Austrian Hungarian Empire architecture that delight you.
One of the most incredible things about Budapest is the affordability of the city. Food can be dirt cheap, the accommodation has low prices, and transport is efficient and affordable. It is hard to beat Budapest as a great destination to travel to.
3. Kotor Montenegro
About a three-hour drive from Dubrovnik, Croatia, sits the small town of Kotor, Montenegro. For tourists and frugal travelers looking for a much cheaper place than Croatia, Kotor comes to mind. It is a walled city sitting off the port and entrance to the sea. They use Euros, and the food and accommodations there are super cheap. It is a small town that can be used for relaxing for a day or two or even a day visit from Croatia, but it is one of the best budget cities for frugal travelers.
4. Krakow, Poland
Krakow should be on your list of must-see places in Europe or your bucket list. It is not only known for being affordable but also for having a beautiful old Town surrounded by colorful buildings. The city is full of museums and galleries. Krakow can be a hopping-off point to see other sights in Poland, such as the infamous Auschwitz. So adventure to Poland and visit one of the best budget European cities.
5. Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
If you thought Prague was cheap, you must check out Cesky Krumlov. Cesky Krumlov is a little town southwest of Prague. Most people may do a day visit here from Prague, but spending a couple of days here could be a significant part of a trip.
They have some super affordable bed and breakfast places, and the activities can make a relaxing visit to the Czech Republic. If you are there for the summer, you can take a trip down the river in a kayak and enjoy the fantastic weather. Save some money and head to Cesky Krumlov.
6. Porto, Portugal
Portugal is full of amazing things to do and see. It is one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe. So where should you go? Most people would go to Lisbon, but a much more affordable destination is Porto. Porto is located in the northern part of Portugal near the sea and offers port wine, beautiful houses, and steep alleyways.
It is full of things to do, like going on a Port wine tour, tasting a delicious Pastel De Nata, or taking a free walking tour. It has one of the lowest costs of living in all of Europe and is an amazing place to visit.
7. Belgrade, Serbia
Traveling to Belgrade, Serbia, offers many travelers affordability through activities that do not cost much. Belgrade offers many sights to see, such as Kalemegdan Park and Belgrade Fortress, and if you want, go to Ada Ciganlija lake for a day of watersports. Belgrade offers many travelers a taste of Balkan culture at an affordable price.
8. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Most people have probably yet to hear of Ljubljana, Slovenia. That could be a good thing. You will notice this beautiful town sitting on a river if you visit. It has beautiful Baroque architecture and a charming river walk full of cafes, restaurants, and scenery.
The castle overlooks it and provides a great place to visit if you are looking for a budget-friendly city. The food is very cheap, and the price of wine is around 2 Euros a glass at many restaurants. This charming city in Slovenia is a place not to be missed. So come and check it out.
9. Athens, Greece
As the capital of Greece, you wouldn't think that Athens would be on the list of the cheapest cities in Europe to visit, but the city is full of many things that make it affordable. Most ancient ruins you may want to see are free to enter, like the Acropolis. Then you visit many of the streets near the Acropolis for some genuine Greek Cuisine, and much of the food is very affordable for many frugal travelers.
10. Valencia, Spain
Valencia is the third largest city in Span and offers a quieter and more relaxed pace of life. That being said, Valencia is not a boring place. It has beautiful beaches, festivals, food, and sports parks and is has the City of Arts and Sciences that you can explore. Spain is a very cheap place compared to the rest of Europe, making Valencia one of Europe's most affordable cities to visit. Compared to Barcelona, the prices can be lower by 15-20%, and food and transportation costs are much cheaper.
11. Palermo, Italy
Palermo is the capital of Sicily and one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe. It is full of attractions that can bring joy to many different people. It has beautiful cobblestones in the streets, beaches to see, and places to hike. The magnificent churches and famous palaces offer culture and architectural delight to your eyes. There is something for everyone in this affordable city in Italy.
12. Sofia, Bulgaria
Sofia could be one of the cheapest European cities on this list to visit. The food and drinks are some of the cheapest in all of Europe, and that makes people traveling on tight budgets to be able to travel longer. It also offers excellent views from Mount Vitosha and makes sure to visit historical sites like Alexander Nevsky Cathedral or Boyana Church. There are many things to see and do in Sofia, and it is such an affordable place to visit.
13. Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn has something for everything and at an affordable price, which allows budget travelers to continue to travel even longer. There are museums, a view of the Baltic sea, cobblestones, an old town, and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy. So many things can be done, and Tallinn will offer a frugal traveler a great vacation at a low price.
14. Bucharest, Romania
Romania is one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit, and visiting the capital city Bucharest, should be on your list. Bucharest, unlike many other famous places in Romania, is relatively cheap. It is also full of fantastic things to see, like Stavropoleos Church and the People's Palace.
You can also walk through the old town, explore the streets of Bucharest and explore some of the cafes and restaurants. The accommodations and attractions are affordable, offering tourists and visitors a budget-friendly place in Romania.
15. Bratislava, Slovakia
Just an hour east of Vienna sits the capital of Slovakia. Bratislava is a destination few people talk about. If you visit, you will notice many different cafes, little restaurants, and many places to visit. This tiny town is a place where many Viennanes may visit for a nice dinner because the costs are super cheap and affordable compared to Vienna. The beautiful castle overlooks the city, and you will have a chance to enjoy their different types of food and have a good beer for less than 2 Euros.
16. Zagreb, Croatia
Many people visit Croatia for the beaches, island hopping, and wine sipping off the Adriatic sea. Zagreb is an overlooked city in Croatia, but it offers so much at a lower price than Dubrovnik or Hvar. Zagreb has fantastic restaurants, museums, galleries, and iconic landmarks. Ban Jelacic Square is a must-see for visitors. It is in the center of Zagreb, an iconic landmark. Escape the tourist-infested coastline for a more tranquil visit to Zagreb.
Related: 15 Epic Things to do in Croatia
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I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.