If you dream of visiting Europe, but you’re scared this might put a huge dent in your savings account (if you have one!), don’t worry. There are tons of European cities that offer a wide range of accommodations, stunning architecture, budget-friendly entertainment, and super cheap food.
Some cities like Paris and London can be ridiculously expensive. But you can visit these stunning destinations in Europe without breaking the bank. You just have to figure out when to save money and when it’s worth splurging a bit more.
Here are the top cheapest cities in Europe for an affordable (and magical) getaway!
1. Porto, Portugal
The coastal city of Porto is slowly becoming a hot tourist destination, so make sure to visit while you still can. You can book roundtrip plane tickets from London to Porto for as little as $50. Hotels, Airbnbs, and Bed & Breakfasts are among the cheapest in Europe all year round, even during the hot summer months.
Porto is easily one of the most beautiful locales in Portugal. With breathtaking Art Décor architecture, shimmering sandy beaches, alfresco cafes, and wine bars, this city is full of old-world European charm.
Daily budget for food: While prices can of course vary, the average cost of meals per day is around $34 or €29. But you can easily get a burger for around $2.35.
2. Zagreb, Croatia
The beautiful city of Zagreb is peppered with top attractions you can visit by foot. In fact, the beautiful Zagreb Cathedral, the Stone Gate, and the Lotrscak Tower, three of the most important landmarks in the city, are all within walking distance of each other. Besides the captivating architecture, coffee culture is buzzing in Zagreb, and there are plenty of festivals, quirky museums, and great hiking opportunities, like Medvednica Mountain in Zagreb Nature Park, located just 10 km away from the city.
Daily budget for food: Expect to pay $6 for fast food meals and between $30 to $50 for an apartment on Airbnb.
3. Prague, Czech Republic
The mysterious city of Prague has a lot to offer when it comes to culture, history, and stunning Art Noveau architecture. After all, there’s a reason why Prague is known as one of Europe’s cultural gems. But did you know this medieval city is also known as one of the cheapest destinations in Europe?
The Gothic churches are undeniable architectural masterpieces. Prague Castle, a massive castle complex that stretches over 17 acres of land will make your heart sing. Plus, there are tons of walkable landmarks, budget-friendly restaurants, the Charles Bridge, and even a fully functioning astronomical clock that dates back to 1410.
Daily budget for food: Unless you plan on dining at Michelin star restaurants, you can expect to pay around $7 per meal at a diner. Free walking tours can cost anywhere between $4 and $25, and you can get an entire apartment on Airbnb for $48 per night.
4. Bavaria, Germany
If you’re looking for fairytale castles, delicious beer, and an endless supply of architectural wonders, then make sure to visit the postcard-perfect state of Bavaria in the southeast region of Germany.
While Germany might not be the place that comes to mind when you think about cheap European vacations, Bavaria is surprisingly affordable. From the medieval city of Rothenburg, lined with colorful half-timbered houses and ornate 16th-century gabled houses, to Neuschwanstein Castle (about $15 to visit but you can stop by and admire the castle for free) you can walk around for hours and enjoy the most beautiful sights for free. Get engulfed in the emerald green forests of the Bavarian Alps or cool down with some Bavarian beer for about $0.83.
Daily budget for food: Travelers usually spend around $25 on meals per day, which is not too shabby compared to more expensive European destinations. You can rent a full apartment for around $50, $70, or $90 per day on Airbnb as well, but as low as $25 for a private room.
I know that traveling to Europe can get really pricey, but a trip to Europe doesn’t have to break the bank, and not only are these countries beautiful, but you’ll be able to explore and save some money while doing so, especially if you know where to go. But this mini travel guide is packed with budget-friendly cities in Europe that offer stunning vistas, fun outdoor activities, and affordable accommodations. Need more ideas for the best destinations around Europe? Check out these 7 cities in Europe you have to visit or these top European foodie destinations you should visit if you’re a food lover. We hope your next getaway to Europe will be everything you’ve hoped for and more.