Europe on a Budget: 23 Best Places to Visit
We all love Europe, it’s home to some of the best spots in the world. But, there’s no getting around the point that it can be kind of expensive. However, if you know where to go, travelling in Europe on a budget is very much possible.
Often, this means going to lesser-known destinations that haven’t been hit by huge waves of tourists yet, but it also means knowing how to get around your favorite cities without spending a fortune, which is 100% possible! Which is why I decided to put together this post filled with some of the best budget friendly places to visit in Europe on a budget.
With a little help from some fellow travel bloggers, this curated list includes some of the top places in Europe with the best tips for visiting these places on a budget, as well as some lesser-known destinations which are incredibly budget friendly.
23 Best Destinations to Visit in Europe on a Budget
1. Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade in Serbia is incredibly cheap for a European capital. While it still receives few tourists, it is quickly developing into one of the most modern and hip cities in the Balkans that also happens to be very budget friendly.
Accomodation and food is cheap and some of the best things to do in Belgrade are free. One of Belgrades top attractions is the Kalamegdan fort with beautiful views on the Sava and Danube rivers. Its a great place to spend an afternoon and walk around the Kalamegdan park where the local men play chess.
Other great neighbourhoods to explore in Belgrade is zemun with its Austrio-Hungarian architecture and the bohemian quarter of Skadarlija beloved by the city’s artists. Belgrades most popular street is probably knez mihailova, the main shopping street where the zeleni venac market is just around the corner.
Throughout the city you will find great and affordable restaurants where you can try Balkan cuisine. One of the cheapest snacks is cevapcici. The Balkan version of kebab. Skadarlija has some of the best cafes and restaurants in town and its here that you will feel Belgrade’s young and dynamic atmosphere.
2. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is easily one of the best places to see in Germany, so most people presume that it will be expensive. But believe it or not, Berlin is actually extremely budget friendly if you know how to go about it. Berlin is full of history, culture and good times. The nightlife, food and art are all next level, and there’s so much to learn and absorb about the city. You’ll fall in love with the vibe of the city the minute you get there.
The best way to travel on a budget in Berlin is to pick your sights and activities wisely, because a lot of the main sights and attractions are actually free to visit. Soak up the history and sights of Berlin by visiting Brandenburg Gate, The Holocaust Memorial, the site of Hitler’s bunker, the Berlin Wall Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie, all for free and all sights that you simply can’t miss.
You also have to go to East Side Gallery to admire the incredible street art, you can also admire Berlin Cathedral from the outside if you want to save more money. There’s so much to see and do, that I recommend at least 4 days in Berlin.
Some of the best things about Berlin is the food, the nightlife and the way you can easily get lost wandering, finding hidden coffee shops, bars and restaurants. You have to try you hand at getting in to the famous Berghain night club, and of course head out of a traditional beer garden, such as Zolpackhof.
3. Bologna, Italy
Bologna is one of Italy’s most underrated cities, a pleasant surprise given its prime location just an hour away from two of the most popular tourist destinations in the country — Venice and Florence. What’s even better is this city is easily enjoyed on a budget, and in some cases for downright cheap.
First time visitors to Bologna will notice the well-reserved medieval architecture of the historic city center, crowned by over 25 miles of covered porticoes which lead through the city and up the hill to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca.
These lovely porticoes shelter visitors from inclement weather and strolling them to the Sanctuary is recommended. It’s one of the best ways to see the city and one of the many budget-friendly things to do in Bologna. At night, the glowing archways make the most spectacular photo ops.
During the day, walk the city or bike around like a local (a daily bike rental is just a nominal fee) and shop for a picnic lunch of local meats and cheeses and fresh baked bread and head to Osteria del Sole, the oldest cafe in Bologna since 1465. Or enjoy a self-guided gelato tour. Bologna has some of the best gelato in Italy.
At night, Piazza Maggiore comes alive throughout the year with movies, live entertainment, or street performers. Grab an espresso and immerse yourself in a city that feels like you’ve stepped back to the Middle Ages. There are a million reasons to visit Bologna for good food, arts, culture, wine, nature, or simply strolling one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.
4. Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava is a lively city located in Slovakia in central Europe. Although it’s much smaller than other European cities, this developing capital should not be missed. Don’t be put off visiting if you’re on a budget, because although prices have risen in recent years, Bratislava is undoubtedly a cheap destination to visit. An interesting history, vibrant culture and great food are more than enough reasons to visit.
Luckily a lot of the top things to do in Bratislava are either free or inexpensive. Firstly, you simply cannot miss walking up the hill to the white castle that was built in the 9th century. It’s always exciting to see a new place from above. Here you can see impressive views over the Danube and the Old Town. Of course, a walk down by the river is a fantastic option too. Begin your walk from the old town, heading towards Eurovera.
Another sight you must see is the beautiful blue Catholic Church. There are lots of beautiful churches in Europe. However this blue church is picture perfect and visiting is like being in a fantasy film.
Of course, you must try some traditional Slovak food and the best place to go is to the rustic Slovak Pub. Order the “Slovenská misa pre osoby”, it costs less than €15 for two people and is a great value delicacy.
Stay in the Old Town ‘Stare Mesto’, as you can walk everywhere and won’t have to take taxis or public transport. You’ll also be a prime spot to see the magnificent modern statues that roam the area. Bratislava is definitely one of Europe’s hidden gems, come and see for yourself.
5. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is one of the most stunning budget-friendly cities in Europe. It’s one of those places where the architecture of every single building catches your eye, so it’s not just a cliche to say that it’s a beautiful city.
Budapest is home to some incredible historical landmarks, museums, and parks, but it’s also known for amazing thermal baths and ruin bars (abandoned buildings turned into quirky, cool, hipster bars). Foodies will also enjoy this city, as there are plenty of traditional Hungarian places to eat, trendy restaurants, cozy cafes, and mouthwatering breakfast and brunch places in Budapest.
As for budget-friendly recommendations, many of the city’s landmarks can be admired for free, including the 19th century Fisherman’s Bastion, the 14th century Matthias Church, the Hungarian Parliament, and the fairytale Vajdahunyad Castle.
You can also take fascinating free walking tours like a street art tour in the colorful Jewish quarter, a Jewish history tour, or even a Communism tour. And, of course, don’t forget to wander around the city freely, because it’s filled with enchanting corners waiting to be discovered by you.
Last but not least, Budapest can be visited all year round (and each season has something unique to offer) – in winter for Christmas markets, in spring for blossoms and festivals, in summer for open-air concerts, and fall for foliage.
6. Cologne, Germany
Cologne is a gorgeous city situated on the Rhine River in the West of Germany with a gothic feel, and is one of the best places to travel on a budget in Europe. One of Germany’s most beautiful yet underrated cities, Cologne is authentic and drenched in charm, and beyond the famous Cologne Cathedral, there is so much more to discover on a budget in the city.
Cologne Cathedral towers over the city, and the impressive artictecture has to be seen from every possible angle. Discovering the inside of the cathedral is free, however if you want to climb the 533 stairs to the top, the cost is 3 Euro (and it’s well worth the price!). Wander through Cologne’s Old Town and discover gorgeous cobblestoned streets and amazing restaurants, cafes, bars and boutique stores, and make sure to visit Hohenzollern Bridge to see the love locks. Wander along the Rhine River, and visit Koln Triangle to get some stunning views of the city for only 3 Euro.
Everything in Cologne is situated close together, so you don’t need to worry about spending money on transport, because you can walk basically anywhere! There’s also plenty of amazing accomodation options on a budget, such as the Opera Hotel Koln, and you’ll find endless opportunities for amazing food and beverage. To save a few dollars on a meal or drink, head off the main roads in search of smaller establishments.
Read more: The best things to do in Cologne, Germany
7. Gdansk, Poland
The Polish city of Gdansk is a fantastic place to visit for those looking for a short break on a budget.
Firstly, getting to Gdansk is cheap, with budget airlines offering dirt cheap flights to Gdansk from many cities across Europe. Once you arrive in Gdansk, you’ll find a great range of city-centre accommodation at very reasonable prices. For the cheapest places to stay, there are backpacker hostels where you can stay in a shared room, or upgrade to a private room with an en-suite bathroom for a little more. Even luxury hotels in Gdansk are priced much cheaper than in other European cities.
Gdansk has a fantastic old town where you can wander around, taking in the architecture of the beautiful historic buildings. There are some incredible landmarks to see, including Neptune’s Fountain, St Mary’s Church and The Golden House. The pretty Oliwa Park is also worth a visit.
From Gdansk, you can take a boat trip to Sopot, which is a seaside town which has a lovely white sandy beach, lots of cosmopolitan bars and restaurants and interesting street entertainment.
If you stop for a bite to eat in Gdansk, a quality meal will easily cost less than 40 Zloty ($10 USD). Drinks are pretty cheap too, especially vodka, which is a favourite drink of the Polish people.
8. Ghent, Belgium
This quaint city of Belgium with its magical charm is the perfect budget friendly destination in Europe. Not as popular as Belgium or even Antwerp makes it an ideal place, for it is comparatively less crowded and equally, if not more, beautiful than the neighboring cities.
Ghent, being a student friendly city, you are sure to find some great deals here on everything from accommodations to eateries. In addition, most of the points of interest are in walking distance, also saving you the cost of travel.
There are several great ways to explore and learn about the city for a nominal price.
An ideal way is to get on a boat tour for about 8-10 euros. Enjoy this picturesque place while you float over the rivers & canals that flow through the city and see the castle and the medieval monuments that add to the beauty of the place.
If you are feeling a bit adventurous you can even paddle out your kayaks and maneuver through the canals or simply see quite a lot of points of interests from land through the walking tours that take place.
You can get access to free walking tours when you stay at this budget friendly hostel in Ghent that we highly recommend. Located right in the city centre, over the waters is this quaint hostel that has a Hogwarts (Hogsmeade to be precise) feel to it. With easy access to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, cathedrals and Ghent’s mascot, this hostel is easy on the pocket and the eyes for the beauty of the city that surrounds it.
Besides the extra buck saved can always go towards the countless world famous and refreshing Belgian beers you certainly can’t miss out on.
9. Istanbul, Turkey
There are so many budget-friendly things to do in Istanbul that it would take multiple blog posts to go through them all! In fact, that’s what makes it one of my favorite cities on the planet: Istanbul is such a packed and bustling city that there’s something for everyone here.
Foodies can try delicious Turkish dishes (like shawarma or baklava) without having it blow their budget; culture vultures can walk along streets containing thousands of years of history; and shoppers can score vintage finds for just a handful of Turkish lira at one of the many bazaars and boutiques across the city. Besides, I haven’t even started on the beautiful streets, friendly locals, bustling nightlife… You get the point.
Here are some of my favorite ways to explore Istanbul on a budget:
- Roam around the colorful neighborhoods of Istanbul. It’s practically free (just pay for a bus or metro ticket to get there!) and you’ll live like a true local. Some of my favorite neighborhoods are the colorful Balat, up-and-coming Kadikoy, cozy Uskudar, and always-busy Beyoglu.
- Did you know that you can travel from Europe to Asia for about a dollar? I’m serious! Do as the locals and take a ferry for only a few Lira across the Bosphorus, where you’ll get to see a unique view from the water. To add a touch of Turkish charm, don’t forget to order some cay (tea) onboard.
- Stuff yourself full with a Turkish breakfast. For only about $5 (30 TLR) per person, you’ll get dozens of small dishes — like hams, cheeses, jams, honey, bread, and more — to enjoy. It’s a must-do when traveling to Turkey!
Once you’re done and want to explore more of Turkey, no worries, Istanbul has you covered: thanks to its airline hub (IST airport is the 28th busiest airport in the world!), adventurers can even buy a ticket to other cities in Turkey for cheap. It’s not uncommon to get $20 round-trip tickets from IST to places like Antalya or Cappadocia!
10. Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev is the capital city of Ukraine and a fantastic place for a budget friendly break. We were pleasantly surprised by how cheap everything was in Kiev – accommodation, food and public transport are all extremely affordable meaning a weekend visit here won’t break the bank. Dorm beds in highly rated hostels can be as low as 6 euros a night, and rooms in a decent hotel are around 40 euros a night.
A great way to explore many of Kiev’s main sites is by foot and the city centre is fairly compact and easy to walk around. Many main attractions are completely free to visit or cost just a few euros. We recommend heading to the viewing platform at St. Sophia’s Cathedral Bell Tower where the entrance fee costs 30 cents.
If you do want to venture out further than the city centre, then Kiev’s metro system is easy to use and super cheap (approximately 20 cents a journey).
You won’t go hungry on your visit here and eating cheaply in Kiev is no problem at all – popular spots such as Bilyi Nalyv offer a menu of items such as hot dogs, oysters, beers, ciders and apple pies for just a euro each, whilst nearby hole in the wall joint Kyivska Perepichka sell delicious fried hotdogs for just 50 cents (there is always a long queue of hungry locals and tourists). Also look out for Puzata Hata – a popular chain restaurant found all over town serving cheap buffet style local dishes.
11. Krakow, Poland
Poland isn’t always the most popular choice for travelling in Europe. However, Poland has a lot to offer especially because it provides value for money. Travelling within the country and buying essentials is cheaper than most other European countries! I happened to spend an afternoon in Krakow and found it to be one of the most budget-friendly destinations in Europe.
Krakow is a more popular destination than the capital Warsaw with more options to explore in and around Krakow. Krakow with its cobbled streets, rustic architecture, horse carts around the church gives a very medieval vibe. The best thing about visiting Krakow is there is something interesting for every kind of traveller. From museums to palaces, from gardens to town squares, from churches to markets, there is a lot to get immersed in.
I visited Krakow around Christmas and I felt there couldn’t be a better time to visit with all the festivities, Christmas markets, food and snow! Right in the middle of the city square and road junctions, I noticed cribs called ‘Szopki’ featuring Krakow’s baroque and gothic buildings. These models are made by locals every year around Christmas. I had great walking in Europe’s biggest Christmas market squares and indulging in Glühwein and Obwarzanek overlooking the St. Mary’s Basilica.
I noticed that the food, public transport and even accommodation is super affordable in Poland. There is the easy availability of vegan and vegetarian food in Krakow and even Uber rides are cheap. This is certainly a budget-friendly destination in Europe!
12. Lagos, Portugal
Located in the Algarve region of southern Portugal, Lagos is known for its spectacular beaches, limestone cliffs, and historical charm. Lagos is an awesome budget-friendly travel destination because there is so much natural beauty that visitors can enjoy for free.
One of the best things to do in Lagos is to walk along the cliffs from Praia da Batata to the Ponta da Piedade headland. Rugged paths will take you past some of the most scenic viewpoints in Lagos and reveal pristine hidden beaches along the way. Stop to rent a kayak or paddleboard, or soak up the sun on a sliver of secluded sand. The hike is about a mile and a half with views out to sea the whole way.
It’s free to do this hike on foot, but you can also book a boat tour from Old Town to the famous headland without breaking the bank. Boat tours start at around $20 USD and are available all day.
Budget Tip: Accommodation costs go down considerably if you travel outside of peak season. July and August tend to be the busiest and most expensive months, but you can find lower prices and fewer crowds if you in the Autumn of Spring.
13. Lyon, France
Located at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, Lyon offers fascinating historical sites, breathtaking views, countless scenic walks, and world-class gastronomy that can all be enjoyed on a budget.
Fourvière Hill is home to two of the most important historical sites of Lyon, the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière and the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. The Gallo-Roman theatre dates back to 15 BC, when Lyon, or Lugdunum as it was known then, was part of the Roman Empire. Entrance to the theatre is free, but the adjacent museum costs 4 €.
Perched above the city, the impressive Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière can be seen from all over Lyon, especially walking along the Saône river. The ornate interior of the basilica is even more impressive, and its grounds provide some of the best views of Lyon. You can walk up Fourvière Hill or take the funicular for 2 €.
Walking is definitely the preferred way to see the lower parts of Lyon. Strolling the riversides and crossing the bridges costs nothing and offers countless opportunities for capturing beautiful photos. In addition, the charming old town offers colorful cobblestone streets and a network of secret passageways called “traboules” to explore. The Office of Tourism on Bellecourt Square has a map of the 40 traboules that are open to the public.
If all the walking is making you hungry, do not fret, Lyon is often referred to as the food capital of France. Head over to Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, an indoor market where regional and French specialties of the highest quality abound. This is a great place to grab a Lyonnaise Salad, brioche aux pralines, quenelles, cheese, or charcuterie of any kind—all at a reasonable price. Or just stroll through and gawk for free!
14. Madrid, Spain
The Spanish capital of Madrid is filled with beautiful sights, good food and good vibes, and the best thing is, you can experience the best of Madrid on a budget. You could easily spend a week in Madrid, or opt for at least 3 days in Madrid if you are short on time.
There’s so many amazing things to do in Madrid, so you will never be bored. On a budget, there’s also plenty of things to do for free. Wander through El Retiro Park and enjoy the sun, and soak up the atmosphere of the famous Gran Via. Visit the Royal Palace (you can experience so much of the beauty from the outside, which is free!), and of course, stop by Plaza Mayor. For art lovers, there’s plenty of museums to explore. Namely the world famous Prado, but there’s also a lot of smaller museums which offer cheaper entry fees, so it’s worth doing a little research before you go.
For cheaper eats, check out the endless tapas bars which often offer great deals. Market eats are another great way to save money, and dropping by Mercardo San Miguel Market to try some great food. Make sure you head to the 7th floor bar of Circulo de Bellas Artes for those epic views over Gran Via, and maybe a cocktail (or 4) while you are there!
15. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mostar, a city which perfectly encapsulates European ‘old town’ vibes, is located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, though many tourists visit on a day trip from nearby Dubrovnik in Croatia. Being part of the Balkans region, which is one of the most budget backpacker accessible regions in the whole of Europe, you can expect a different experience to its Western counterparts.
From the medieval architecture of its famous centre point Stari Most (which translates to ‘old bridge’) to the tragic 90s war during the break up of Yugoslavia, Mostar is brimming with a diverse culture and devastating history.
Watch people jump from the 24m-high Stari Most with local coffee and cuisine (there are even great vegan restaurants in Mostar), walk around the old town and the Ottoman-era bazaar and see the view from the beautiful Koskin-Mehmed Pasha’s Mosque.
It’s also a must to learn about the horrors of the Bosnia war and genocide and pay our respects to the terrors that have passed through this small city. Visit one of the thought-provoking museums or, better yet, take a walking tour of Mostar with a local guide.
Day trips to Blagaj Tekija (a Dervish Monstarey built aside a rockface and reflective pool), stunning old town Pocitelj, or Kravice Waterfalls are also popular.
16. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is without a doubt one of the best budget-friendly destinations in Europe. This charming city located in the Czech Republic is full of beauty, history and great things to do.
One of the most amazing things about Prague is the wide variety of free activities that are on offer. For those wanting to find out more about this incredible city, make sure you join the Sandeman’s free walking tour! This tour gives you a fantastic insight into the history of the city and the tourist hotspots that cannot be missed.
Alternatively, other free things to do in Prague include strolling across Charles Bridge, snapping some cool photos at the John Lennon wall and wandering the castle grounds. Furthermore, you can also admire the views from Letna park, watch some street performers and discover Golden Lane (which is completely free to do after 5pm).
Once you’re done exploring, head to some of the city’s best bars. Despite being more expensive than the £1.50 beers, Prague boasts some of the cheapest cocktail bars in Europe. Parlour is hidden away down a quiet backstreet and although it is hard to find, it is 100% worth a visit. Here, there are no menus and the bar staff will whip you up a cocktail based on your personal tastes. Yum!
Another great way to visit Prague on a budget is to stay in a hostel. Not only are hostels a great way to save a lot of money, but you will also meet other likeminded individuals. It truly is a win-win situation! Personally, I recommend Dream Hostel for location, cleanliness, friendly staff and its chilled-out vibe.
17. Riga, Latvia
One of the most budget-friendly countries in Europe is Riga, Latvia. Riga is located in The Baltic’s between Lithuania and Estonia. Riga may seem like a small city, but there is so much to do. You can easily explore Riga for as little as $10 a day. One of my favorite things to do is wander the museums. Riga has over 15 museums, some of which are free or just a few dollars to enter.
When it comes to cheap food in Riga, there is a lot to choose from. A couple of my favorites are, Lido, which is a buffet-style restaurant that serves Latvian food. It’s a popular spot to grab a quick bite to eat. The central market is another place to grab cheap eats. There are lots of stalls selling all sorts of yummy food.
Riga is home to several delicious bakeries such as Rigensis, which has a wide selection of delicious cakes and pastries – plus excellent coffee. For cheap drinks, Aussie Bar is a fun and popular place among locals and tourists. It’s a great place to go for some cheap shots before heading to the club.
18. Sofia, Bulgaria
Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria, as well as the largest city in the country. However, tourists often overlook Sofia and head to the ski resorts or the seaside destinations of Bulgaria. Still, Sofia has had a long history and has plenty to offer to the visitors. From 2000 years old ruins of the ancient Roman city, Serdica to remains of Ottoman occupation and communist buildings, Sofia has it all.
Besides that, Sofia is one of the most budget-friendly European capitals, if not the cheapest. For instance, you can easily find a studio to stay in for about 30 Euro a night on Airbnb, but there are even lower options.
Start your visit with a free walking tour of Sofia to understand a bit about the city. Visit the churches, parks, and museums of the city, but save some time to spend walking or in a cafe on Vitosha Boulevard for example.
Food is also affordable in Sofia. The Bulgarian cuisine absorbed Greek and Turkish influences mixed them with fresh and tasty local ingredients. Have a banitsa pie for breakfast and make sure to try the shopska salad and grilled kebapche (minced meat specialty).
Sofia is also a great base to take day trips to the nearby Rila Monastery or to hike Vitosha Mountain, over 2000m heigh.
19. Tallin, Estonia
One of the most beautiful and affordable destinations that you can find in Europe is Tallinn. The Estonian capital features a picture-perfect medieval Old Town, with cobblestone streets and red roofs, surrounded by Watch Towers.
One of the best activities in Tallinn is entirely free – going for a walk. You can easily spend a few hours exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful city. We highly recommend St Catherine’s Passage, a tiny alley where you can also find many traditional handicraft stores.
While walking through the Old Town and soaking up the atmosphere, make sure to stop by Town Hall Square. Here, you can find the III Draakon, which is a great place for trying Estonian food without breaking the bank. For only a few Euros, you can try either elk soup or elk pastries. Wash down your meal with a glass of cowberry juice.
After having explored the Old Town, you should walk up to Toompea Hill to see the city from above. Here, you can also find Kiek in de Kök, an old watchtower with a museum inside. Go inside if you want to learn more about Tallinn and its many fortifications.
Tallinn is already much cheaper than many other European capitals, but a great way to save money is to buy the Tallinn Card. It includes entry to lots of museums all over the city as well as free public transport, so make sure to look into it before going there.
20. Tbilisi, Georgia
Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia and often doesn’t find it onto the list when people are considering a European city break. But this city should not be dismissed. It has pretty cobble stoned streets, an atmospheric old town, modern architecture and lots of nice cafes and restaurants. And to top it all, Georgia is one of the cheapest destinations, not just in Europe, but in the world.
Most of the sights in Tbilisi are close to the old town, which is the best area to stay. Things not to miss are the brightly painted old houses with overhanging balconies around the Royal baths, the Narikala viewpoint and the futuristic buildings around the Bridge of Peace. All these attractions are free.
After spending a day or two exploring the capital there are lots of interesting day trip options to choose from. The most popular are hiking in Kazbegi, a visit to Stalin’s hometown of Gori, the monastery of David Gareja or wine tasting in Sighnaghi, a Tuscan-esque hill town. These all can be done by public transport or by group tour.
It can get very hot in the middle of the summer and it is also busier due to local holidays. The best time to visit is spring or autumn. Travelling here has become easier after many direct flights were launched from European cities during the last few years so make sure you visit before everybody else discovers this delightful city and country.
21. Trogir, Croatia
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly destination in Europe, head to Trogir, Croatia. This small, historic city is situated on an island in the Dalmatia region of Croatia. After a long history of being controlled by the Venetians, the city is now listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list for its well-preserved Medieval architecture.
To get there, it’s an easy, cheap day trip from Split, Croatia, by bus or by boat. You can either take Bus 37 from Split to Trogir, or jump on a Bura Ferry that leaves right from Split’s harbor.
The best part about spending a day in Trogir is that most of the significant sites are free to enter or view. Visiting the Town Loggia, the facade of St. Sebastian’s Church, and the front of Grand Cipika Palace are all easy to see on your own. Walk along the beautiful promenade to take in the city’s coastal views, or even spend your day lounging on the beach, only a 15-minute walk from the city center.
For nominal entrance fees, you can climb to the top of the Town Clock Tower or Kamerlengo Castle for incredible panoramic views of the city from different angles. And, if you need to purchase food, menu prices are reasonable. Trogir is a great, budget-friendly excursion when you’re visiting this area of Croatia.
22. Venice, Italy
Venice probably isn’t the first city to come to mind when thinking of budget travel in Europe, but this picturesque city can be wonderfully experienced for way cheaper than you think!
The best way to get to know Venice is by strolling around and taking it all in. You can do this on your own or on a free walking tour, just be sure to tip your tour guide. If you get tired of walking and want to see the city while sitting, skip the gondola (which can set you back up to €120) and buy a 75 minute waterbus ticket for €7.50. Take the 1 or 2 line along the Grand Canal, and go on a roundtrip ride through the canals of the city.
Typical tourist attractions in the city are also overall budget friendly. It’s between €5-10 to enter Doge’s Palace, the Bell Tower, and San Marco’s Museum, with the square and Basilica San Marco having free entry. Be aware this area can get crowded.
Amazing quality and great prices are perfectly balanced at many eateries in Venice. Dal Moro’s Fresh Pasta to Go is a cult favorite in Venice, and super affordable. Here you can get a generous serving of freshly made and boiled pasta with a heaping amount of sauce starting at just €5.
Torrefazione Cannaregio is a coffee lover’s haven with quality espresso beginning at €1, and pastries starting at €1.80. Osteria Al Squero is an incredible spot for drinks and cicchetti. Glasses of wine and Aperol Spritz start at €2.50, and their tasty crostini begins at €1.40 per piece. Plus it’s in a calmer neighborhood so it’s the perfect place to take pictures!
23. Vilnius, Lithuania
Vilnius is the capital city of Lithuania, the southernmost of the Baltic countries in Europe. A charming blend of old and new, Vilnius is a city you can quickly fall in love with as a traveler – and, an added bonus, it is also a great destination for budget travelers.
Many of the most notable sights to see in Vilnius are completely free and reachable by foot. St. Anne’s and St. Bernardine’s churches are an amazing example of architecture, blending stunning gothic-style and Baroque elements together.
The churches are right next door to one another and seeing them side by side truly highlights the beautiful contrasting styles. Both are free to enter, and the interiors are stunning. Gediminas Tower offers a spectacular view of the city, and the Gates of Dawn is must-see. So much of the city’s history can be found on a walk around Old Town Vilnius. Even the attractions that charge admission tend to charge very little.
Hostels can be found for as low as 10 Euros per dorm bed, and budget hotels are available all around the city. Breakfast is often included with your room, and a large lunch and dinner can be bought for a very reasonable price.
Vilnius offers a lively and interesting sample of what this country is all about, and without a doubt will leave you wanting to see more of Lithuania. This Baltic gem (that you have probably heard little about) should be on the top of your list!
A huge thanks to all the travel bloggers who contributed to this Europe on a budget post, sharing their best tips, tricks and destinations for budget travel in Europe.