Europe does hide some of the most beautiful and affordable places that are often overshadowed by many touristy towns. Most of the time, these cities are quite expensive no matter the time of the year, so I teamed up with other travel bloggers to give you some of the best cheap places in Europe to add to your summer bucket list.
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- 19 Cheap Countries in Europe for perfect summer vacation
- 28 Medieval & Fairytale Castles to add to your bucket list
- 29 Underrated Romantic Cities in Europe for any occasion
Cheap places in Europe – the Baltics
Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is home to one of the most beautiful old towns in Europe. This jewel of the Baltic States is a lovely destination for those on a budget and is packed with exciting architecture, museums, parks, and viewpoints.
One of the best places to start any trip to Tallinn is Toompae Hill, for incredible views across the city’s rooftops and out over the Gulf of Finland. Follow the winding, cobbled streets down into the picturesque old town and past the Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral with its attractive onion domes.
The old town encompasses ancient medieval walls and the central square, Raekoja Plats, dominated by the town hall, known as the Raekoda. You will find many restaurants and cafes selling delicious local specialties; all served by waiters and waitresses in medieval attire.
Tallinn is also a great base from which to explore nearby Helsinki in Finland. Hydrofoil ferries zip across the gulf throughout the day and the journey time is only one hour. If you want proof that Tallinn is one of the cheap places in Europe, you only have to witness the countless Finns coming over to buy cheap goods before returning home!
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If you visit Vilnius in summer, you’re in for a real treat. After a long, cold Baltic winter, there’s a real sense of joy in the air; cafes and bars bring tables out onto the pavements of the old town, older men play chess in the park, and the skies above the city are filled with hot air balloons.
The joy of Vilnius is how wonderfully walkable it is and how much there is to see. Don’t miss the lovely, wedding cake-like cathedral. A plaque set in the ground here marks the spot where a human chain began in 1989, stretching across Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia to protest Soviet rule. Today, it’s said that if you stand on the spot, close your eyes and spin around three times clockwise, your biggest wish will come true.
Other sights in Vilnius include the 15th century Gediminas Tower, the lovely old town, and Literature Street, commemorating writers with a connection to Lithuania.
You can also visit another country while you’re in Vilnius. In 1997, the residents of an area just across the river from the old town declared themselves the Republic of Užupis, with their own flag, currency, president, and constitution.
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Cheap Places in Europe – Greece
The beautiful Greek island Zakynthos is the perfect getaway if you look for cheap places in Europe to travel for summer. The island is well-known for its crystal blue waters and world-famous Shipwreck beach.
If you are planning a holiday with friends and love to go out Laganas is the perfect place! Situated in the south of the island, Laganas is the island’s largest beach and the most famous holiday destination on the island during summer. The 9-kilometer-long beach is also one of the nesting grounds for endangered Loggerhead turtles.
Are you looking for a quieter place on the island to enjoy a family holiday? Located on the southeast peninsular of Zakynthos, Vasilikos is the perfect area if you like nature and less touristic places. You can explore the area on foot, by bike, or by quad. You will find stunning beaches in the area, and here you can enjoy some traditional Greek cuisine in one of the many family restaurants.
A delicious traditional Greek meal will cost you around 10 Euros per person. Want a cheap place to stay? Make sure to book a room at Tsilivi Admiral. This hotel offers beautiful rooms and a delicious breakfast. Then, enjoy a tasty cocktail at the swimming pool bar to fully enjoy your next holiday.
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One of the best Greek islands to visit on a budget is the beautiful island of Crete. Prices away from the main tourist centers are remarkably cheap and getting around the island is easy as there is a good bus network with tickets between towns costing less than two euros.
There are excellent accommodation choices too, and small family-run tavernas are where you can dine like a king for a reasonable price.
Crete has something for everyone! The Bronze Age Minoan Palace at Knossos is world famous and well worth a visit. If you want to see the birthplace of Zeus, this is a cave on the Lasithi Plateau (1,025 meters). The cave can be reached on foot and is very dramatic with stalagmites and stalactites.
For those who enjoy relaxing on a beach, there are many to discover. The boat trip to the island of Spingalonga from Elounda Bay is enjoyable as it was once a leper colony, and visitors can walk the deserted streets. Walking the 16km Samaria Gorge is a real ‘must do’ as it is wild, uninhabited, and beautiful. Often the only noise that you can hear is the goat bells.
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Rhodes is a beautiful island in Greece and the largest of the Dodecanese. It’s easy to see why it’s famous for beaches and water sports. The history of Rhodes goes back more than 3,000 years when Greeks from Argos settled on the island. The Romans invaded Italy in 215 BC and arrived at Rhodes six years later.
They built an impressive fortification which you can explore today – this is all part of what makes visiting such a great experience as there are so many things to do. It’s also one of the cheap places in Europe to visit and an excellent destination for budget-conscious travelers who want to experience some of Europe’s most beautiful sites without breaking their bank accounts.
You’ll find that Rhodes has been both an important trade hub and a significant military power throughout its history, so it is full of quaint villages, landmarks like the Colossus of Rhodes statue, and breathtaking views from Mount Zalongo.
The food is also delicious here – try a gyros pita or souvlaki with tzatziki sauce! And don’t forget to stop by the fish market in Lindos – they have some seriously fresh seafood. And while in Lindos, don’t forget to climb the famous Acropolis (entrance is only 6 Euros) for stunning views over the whitewashed city and the beautiful heart-shapes St Paul’s bay – the perfect destination for couples visiting Greece.
A few other cheap activities include wandering the old town – one of the oldest Medieval towns in Europe – explore the churches and walk down the Street of Knights.
Suppose you want some beach time while in Rhodes, head over to Faliraki Beach or one of the handfuls of others. You can also enjoy some delicious Mediterranean cuisine at one of the many restaurants available.
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If you’re looking for incredible cheap countries in Europe this summer, there can be no better choice than Kefalonia, Greece, located in the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea on the western coast.
It might be one of the best-hidden gems in Europe, not only because it is spectacularly beautiful, but also because it is so affordable!
Kefalonia is a fantastic way to see Greece and experience the culture without breaking the bank. Getting to Kefalonia is very inexpensive from major European cities. You can catch a flight of budget-friendly airlines like Ryan Air while renting a car is also quite affordable. You can stay in an apartment for as little as 35 Euros a night! Food is also reasonably priced.
The weather in Kefalonia during the summer is warm, but the ocean is abundant and stunning beaches lie before you at every turn. You can wander the old fishing town of Fiskardo and eat the best seafood of your life, hike up St. George Castle, explore the peninsula of Asos, take a ferry to the main town of Lixouri, or enjoy the incredible beaches. There is no shortage of nearly-free things to do on Kefalonia.
Make sure to explore Mellisani Cave, a breathtaking underground lake and cave with the most luminous water you have ever seen. You can purchase tickets and ride a boat to explore the lake and cave.
Kefalonia is really one of the best little Greek secrets and makes for a fantastic summer getaway if you’re on a budget.
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Cheap places in Europe – the Balkans
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
A great and one of the cheap places in Europe to visit in the summer is Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If arriving at the international airport, there is an airport shuttle bus that services the city. A one-way ticket costs 5KM (just over 3 Euro).
Sarajevo’s Old Town is perfect for wandering around, with lots of tiny alleyways and cute shops. There are many street-side cafes to stop for a Bosnian coffee and a sweet treat while watching the world go by!
Take a reusable water bottle and fill it up from one of the many free drinkable water fountains. Legend says that whoever drinks from the fountains will one day return to Sarajevo!
A popular thing to do is hike the Sarajevo bobsled track. It was used in the 1984 Winter Olympics and now stands abandoned and covered in graffiti. Located on Mount Trebevic, you can hike up or use a cable car. The track starts a short walk away from the upper station, where there are several viewpoints with fantastic views over the city!
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For city and culture lovers, Belgrade is an excellent destination in Europe. The capital city of Serbia was the seat of administration in erstwhile Yugoslavia.
Many of the sightseeing attractions are in the city center area, starting with the pretty Knez Mihailova Street, Beogradska Tvrđava, Kalemegdan Park, and the Republic Square are free to explore.
The imposing Belgrade fortress provides historical insights into the city, and the Kalemegdan Park welcomes you to views of the Danube and the Sava. Museums in and around Republic Square start at 4 USD.
Sava Temple is another landmark in the city, which is free to visit. The Temple of Saint Sava is a Serbian Orthodox church, and it is dedicated to Saint Sava. This landmark is located away from the center but is easily accessible with a taxi or public transportation. Cab rides are very affordable as compared to other cities like Paris or Amsterdam.
Accommodation in Belgrade city center starts at 65 USD for a mid-budget hotel, and meals are affordable at 5 USD per person. Public transportation is also cheap, but the center is very walkable with parks, shopping streets, and historical/religious landmarks.
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Budget travelers know that visiting Albania is an affordable choice at any time of year. Tirana, Albania’s capital city, has a vibrant hostel scene and lots of free activities on offer, making it an ideal location when looking for cheap places in Europe for summer break.
Tirana is an outdoor city with countless alfresco cafes and wine bars. In the summer months, the city comes to life with people wandering the main pedestrian street, Toptani, and eating out. The dining precinct inside the grounds of the old castle is a great place to grab a bite.
A free walking tour is a great way to see the highlights, including Skanderbeg Square, Et’hem Bej Mosque, and the iconic Pyramid of Tirana. Don’t miss wandering through Blloku, a trendy neighborhood filled with cafes and street art.
Bunk’Art and Bunk’Art 2, two old nuclear bunkers transformed into museums, are ideal for visiting on hot summer days – because the displays are underground, the temperatures inside are very cool.
Summers in Tirana are dry and warm, with temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius during July and August. If the heat is too much, you can easily escape the city for the hills – Dajti Mountain and the cable car are easy to reach from the center.
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Ohrid, Northern Macedonia
Nicknamed the “Jerusalem of the Balkans,” Ohrid is a beautiful and affordable city in North Macedonia. Situated on the southwestern part, on the banks of Lake Ohrid, this enchanting Balkan city draws many travelers during summer for its unique charm and beauty. Once home to 365 churches, like one church for each day of the year, Ohrid is dotted with many beautiful religious buildings and castles that make this place perfect for a summer visit.
The town of Ohrid is filled with cobbled streets, quaint alleys, and beautiful lakeside restaurants. Lake Ohrid, one of the deepest and oldest European lakes, makes the city a cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage site.
Seeped in history, Ohrid attracts travelers for its glimmering beaches, stunning views, and a wealth of Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine – all available on a budget. The city offers free walking tours, reduced entrances to museums, and extremely cheap day activities that are popular among budget travelers. Also, one can rent an apartment for a few hundred dollars for an entire month, so it’s perfect for digital nomads!
The monastery of St. John of Kaneo is one of the most remarkable sights, with spectacular views overlooking the lake. Other notable sights not to miss are Samuil’s fortress, Ohrid amphitheater, stroll around Lake Ohrid, and a day trip to Sveti Naum. Ohrid is one of the cheapest European gems yet full of surprises and spectacular views, making it a remarkable summer destination without breaking your wallet.
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Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast
The Mediterranean isn’t the only stretch of sea to keep in mind for a summer break; there’s also the long shoreline of the Black Sea. One of the best and cheapest places to visit is along the coast of Bulgaria, including the cities of Varna and Burgas.
Varna makes it one of the cheapest destinations in Europe and the most comfortable cities to stay. Apartment availability and price are not an issue here, compared to other popular seaside destinations during the summer months.
All along Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast, you’re never far from an excellent beach. But there’s also plenty of history to explore. One of the things to do here is to explore the ancient remains of Nessebar, a peninsula that juts into the city and has been UNESCO World Heritage-listed. Shopping for a bargain is also a popular activity here, as is dining at one of the many restaurants.
The seafood options are fresh and tasty, plus far cheaper than elsewhere in Europe. Try the juicy calamari, in particular, ideally washed down with a glass of local wine. Another popular dish throughout Bulgaria is
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Cheap places in Europe – Croatia
Zagreb is the beautiful capital of Croatia, and it’s surprisingly well priced compared to most capital cities. The city itself is compact and easy to wander through – you can take a trip on the world’s shortest funicular here to get to the Old Town.
One of the most atmospheric and free things to do is to head to the Old Town at dusk to see the lighting of the gas lamps, which first arrived in the city in 1863. Another free activity in this area is to see the Grič cannon being shot from the top of The Lotrščak Tower each day which is also incredibly evocative.
If you’re looking for things to do in Zagreb with kids, then definitely head to the Art Museum, which has a slide from the third floor down to the ground floor! A great way to get down quickly, and one adult will love too.
Hotels, meals, and activities are all very well priced in Zagreb, making it a really cheap place for a European city break that all the family will love.
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The Istria region in Croatia is one of the cheapest destinations in Europe for a summer holiday. But it all depends on how you’re planning your vacation. The most touristic cities here are more expensive, and you could pay more for accommodation. The best choice to save money while not renounce to the beautiful beaches in the pretty city of Pula.
This is one of the main cities in Istria. Here, you can find cheap apartments to stay in and good connections to each attraction of the surrounding area. You’ll be in front of the Brijuni National Park, amazing wild islands where you can enjoy nature. Gorgeous cities of Rovinj, Porec, other towns of the Istrian coast, together with lavender fields, are also reachable in less than one hour or so.
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Cheap places in Europe – Romania
Brasov is a beautiful city in the Transylvania region, with lots to see and do in the summer. It’s nestled in the Carpathian mountains, a gorgeous backdrop, and a great place for adventures. The hills are an excellent place for a summer walk or to enjoy a picnic in purpose-built areas in the mountains, such as Solomon’s Rocks.
Mount Tampa is the most famous mountain to climb. The hike starts in the center of Brasov and overlooks the town.
Medieval city walls surround Old Town Brasov with some stunning gates, towers, and bastions. The city has many churches, the most iconic being The Black Church, a 14th-century gothic building. Also nearby and very popular are two stunning castles, Peles Castle and Bran Castle of Dracula fame.
The town square is the place to be on a summer evening to enjoy alfresco dining or just a drink along with the live music. Try local specialties like mici, a skinless sausage, and some delicious traditional soups.
Brasov is a great summer destination for those that enjoy history or exploring the mountains.
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Cluj-Napoca is the capital of Transylvania, Romania, and another great alternative for cheap countries in Europe. The city is one of the most visited towns in the country. Served by an airport, a train station, and a bus station, Cluj-Napoca is super easy to get to. Should you prefer to drive, you won’t have problems reaching it, either.
Romania, in general, is (still) considered an affordable country to visit, and Cluj-Napoca makes no exception. Affordable accommodation is plentiful but does book in advance, especially if you plan your trip for early August. The month kicks in with a popular music festival (Untold), followed by a Tango festival (Tango Casino). It is also one of the best places to visit in Romania if you plan to tour around the country.
There are many free things to do in Cluj-Napoca, which will keep you busy for a good while. If you have your eyes on visiting the Botanical Garden, you may want to check when it’s free to visit (many Sundays would fall into this category).
Stroll in Central Park and then climb to the top of Fortress Hill for some amazing views of the city. If you love nature, pack your daypack, make your way to Gilau (there are public buses for less than 2 USD one way), and then hike to the Gilau lakes.
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Cheap places in Europe – Poland
Situated in the heart of the Lower Silesia region in Poland, Wroclaw is a vibrant city with rich history, great shopping, bustling nightlife, and a fantastic food scene. Wroclaw is a perfect destination to visit in the summer and a very affordable one compared to similar European cities.
The city is best known for its historic Market Square called Rynek, surrounded by elegant townhouses painted in different colors of the rainbow. The market square is home to a large modern fountain and a Town Hall that hosts various interesting art exhibitions throughout the year. ‘Rynek’ is also the central meeting point and heart for the city’s social life. Visit Pierogarnia to sample traditional Polish dish – dumplings that come with different stuffing.
If you’re a fan of beer and ale and visiting in the summer, you can sit in one of the beer gardens and sample some regional brews.
Wroclaw is an excellent place for an afternoon stroll in one of its many river parks. There are 12 islands and about 130 bridges in the city, and one of the most exciting islands to visit is Ostrow Tumski, home to many beautiful churches and monasteries.
The city is also an excellent base for exploring the Polish mountain range – Karpaty with many stunning trekking routes that you can reach in less than two hours.
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The city was utterly destroyed in World War II, as the ground zero for the war, but has been beautifully built up again, so now you can enjoy the pastel streets as if it was pre-war. Some things were preserved, though, like Neptune’s Fountain, which the Poles took apart and hid together with other treasures.
Among the best things to do in summer is to stroll around the old town or take a tall ship through the Motlava River to Westerplatte, ground zero of the war. You should also make the trip to Sopot Beach, the most beautiful coast of Gdansk. Here you can also walk the longest wooden pier in Europe.
Getting to and around Gdansk is easy as the city is well connected with cheap flights from all over Europe, and both bus and train stations are within walking distance from the old town.
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Cheap places in Europe – Spain
Barcelona in sunny Spain is one of the most fun and budget-friendly cities you can visit this summer. Like the majority of cities in Spain, it’s the cheapest destination in Europe than a lot of its neighboring countries. Barcelona is full of bars and restaurants that offer typical Spanish tapas or pinchos, tasty meals that won’t break the bank.
- Barcelona itinerary – what to do in Barcelona on a budget
- Barcelona restaurants – where and what to eat
- Barcelona neighborhoods – where to stay with accommodation options
Pinchos, are usually served at a buffet where the food is served skewered on a piece of bread. You can take as much as you want and at the end of the meal, you pay depending on the number of skewers you have on your plate. The price per skewer is usually around 1 Euro so you can see how nice dinners outs in Barcelona can be budget-friendly.
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In Barcelona, there are also plenty of free attractions that you can enjoy. For example, the Barcelona Cathedral has free entry every morning, excluding Sundays. Other popular attractions such as the Sagrada Familia, Casa Battlò, and Park Guell you will have to pay a small fee to access, or if you’re not interested in seeing the interiors, you can enjoy Gaudì’s architecture for free from the outside.
Bunkers del Carmel, a park where locals go to hang out, is one of the popular places for tourists too. You can have picnics and enjoy the stunning view over Barcelona. It’s also completely free to visit.
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The reason Madrid is so budget-friendly is that everything is so reasonably priced! Because of the Spanish economy, someone accustomed to an American or more expensive country will be amazed at how far they can stretch a Euro. Everything from groceries to eating out to goods is generally cheaper. Only a few random things can be costly; for example, over-the-counter vitamins that are normally about $15 for a 90-day supply in the US were about a dollar per pill in Spain!
That being said, the sites that you’ll want to see around Madrid are usually free, cheap, or available at certain times/for students. For example, Madrid has some world-famous museums that you can check out for free if you go at certain times or get a significant discount by flashing a student ID. Other things to do, like Retiro Park or Puerta del Sol, are completely and utterly free.
Spain is famous for its tapas – in particular, free tapas when you purchase a beer. This isn’t the case in all restaurants (in fact, it’s more common in Southern Spain than Madrid), but you can pay a visit to El Tigre, which gives you a free plate of tapas when you spend 5 Euros on alcohol! While the tapas may not be the highest quality, it’s free food!
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Valencia is a very different city from Barcelona and Madrid, but it might be my favorite city in Spain. The city has everything you could wish for: it has modern architecture, historic buildings, and Roman ruins. Moreover, the sea is very close. It is also the perfect place to eat paella since this dish originates from Valencia!
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The city is also surprisingly cheap. Valencia Tourist Card (22.50 Euros for 72 hours if you purchase it online) includes free public transport, free entry to municipal museums and monuments (such as the Llotja de la Seda, the old silk exchange), and discounts for many other attractions. Valencia also has several things you can do for free, such as exploring The City of Arts and Sciences complex. You don’t need to go inside these modern buildings. Instead, you can admire the architecture of the exterior for free.
If you’d be spending 3 days in Valencia, you would only need around 15 Euros a day for tourist attractions and public transport (using the 72 hours Valencia Tourist Card). You would typically need 30-40 Euros for meals. Budget tip: there are several lunch deals which give you quite a large meal, so you can have a lighter meal at dinner.
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Andalucía is one of the most popular regions of Spain due to its beautiful cities and mostly the best weather in the whole country. The autonomous community is divided into 8 provinces. The whole community was once reigned by the Muslims who crossed the Mediterranean Sea. Over the whole region, you can find many ruins and rests on their reign.
Traveling in your campervan means that you brought your home with you. That way you don’t have to pay for accommodation, and you can cook for yourself. Hotels can be expensive, but if you rent an apartment, it won’t cost that much. You can also cook yourself and save some extra money!
Eating out in Andalucía is never a problem. There are so many cute bars and restaurants to choose from. Usually, you get tapas when you order a drink; aioli with bread, crisps, olives, etc. Do you want to eat some more? Just head for a cheap “Menu del día”. It mostly costs about €12 and you get a 3-course meal! There is not always a vegetarian option, so don’t forget to ask!
When looking at the restaurants, remember to go where all the Spanish go. The restaurant may not seem that classy or good-looking, but the Spanish know best. Follow them and you’ll be surprised.
For breakfast try a “Tostada Tomato” with a “café con leche”. This is toasted bread with tomato and a coffee with milk, usually for €2 to €3. The Spanish eat out a lot since it’s almost cheaper than cooking yourself. Don’t get confused if you want to eat around
Get yourself a map of the city at the tourist office and a handout with all the prices and opening hours of the touristic sights. Most national museums are free for European citizens. Believe it or not, even the biggest attractions have opening hours that are free or for half the normal fee. Make sure you definitely get that handout because it’s the golden ticket!
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Cheap places in Europe – Portugal
Porto is one of the few places where you can feel like you live a high life on a shoestring budget. You can easily have a wonderful time in Porto for no more than 55 Euros as a daily budget, including accommodation.
One of the most popular things to do in Porto is a stroll along the gorgeous Douro river and cross the Dom Luis I Bridge, and this experience costs absolutely nothing.
Porto is also popular for its elaborate blue and white tiles, and you can see as many of those as you like just by wandering around the city. If you’re willing to spend a little money, the best attraction in Porto is the Torre dos Clerigos. From the top of the Torre, you can get amazing views of the charming orange-red tile roofs that give Porto its special character.
The city is famous for its food, and much of the food is available at budget-friendly prices. A
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If you want a European vacation that’s both a budget destination and an off-the-beaten-path, check out the islands of Portugal’s autonomous region known as the Azores.
The chain of volcanic islands is a budget traveler’s dream with inexpensive accommodations, amazing food (a good meal can cost $5 and a bottle of wine $3), and astounding natural beauty that costs nothing to explore. Frugal travelers can easily enjoy a holiday here for less than $50/day.
Sete Cidades, the twin volcanic lakes on the western tip of the island of Sao Miguel, are one of the most popular and postcard-worthy attractions. A hike from the picturesque lakes to the caldera’s rim takes a few hours and provides some of the most stunning views of the island.
At the summit is an unexpected treat for urban explorers – the abandoned Monte Palace Hotel. Built in the late-1980s when islanders believed hordes of tourists were just around the corner, it now sits as a vacant shell beckoning adventurous travelers to wander its interior.
You can also experience the island’s healing volcanic waters (and overpowering sulfuric stench) in the town of Furnas, near the eastern edge of the island. The Poca da Beija hot springs are free, though you’ll want to wear some older swimwear as the orange-tinted waters will permanently stain it. You can also opt-in for the experience of having dinner at one of those hot springs.
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Despite its popularity, the Algarve in the South of Portugal is one of the cheapest destinations in Europe for summer. The region is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. In terms of costs, coffee will often be as little as €0.50, while a beer will cost around €1. A three-course lunch with wine at a traditional restaurant typically costs less than €10 and sometimes as little as €5.
It’s not always this cheap, of course, particularly in the towns closest to the coast, which is why it often makes sense to stay a little further inland. Accommodation prices here are much lower than nearer to the coast, and restaurants and cafés are similarly much more affordable. You’ll need a car, of course, but that’s always a good idea for the Algarve. Although it has good bus and train services, they don’t connect to all of the towns and rarely go to beaches and other attractions.
Planning a solo trip to Algarve? Here’s a solo traveler’s guide to Algarve
You can cut your costs down even further by avoiding July and August when accommodation is at its most expensive. June and September are always cheaper, and it’s actually a better time to visit the Algarve as well. The weather in July and August is often so hot it’s unbearable, and the sheer number of tourists means that the beaches and restaurants are often crowded. Although busy, June and September are much quieter and it’s a much more enjoyable time to visit the Algarve.
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Other cheap places in Europe
If you’re looking for cheap places in Europe for summer vacation, make sure to take a look at Budapest! Although the Hungarian capital is not that cheap as the countries in the Balkans, it is still significantly more affordable than the popular destinations in Western Europe.
- 19 awesome & free things to do in Budapest – your perfect itinerary
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- 13 day trips from Budapest – to explore Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Serbia, & Romania
Summer is one of the best periods to visit Budapest if you want to see the city when it’s most lively. Long and warm days will welcome you, which means you’ll have plenty of time to explore even if you only spend a weekend in Budapest. The city has its own airport, and you can often find some great deals with low-cost airlines.
Budapest is a totally walkable city so you can quickly get around on foot, but if you need a bus ticket, it only costs 350 HUF (1 Euro).
Most of the best things to do in Budapest are free, such as walking around the Castle District, going inside the St. Stephen’s Basilica, admiring the panoramic view from Fisherman’s Bastion, or taking a stroll along the Danube river. So if you’re looking for a great budget destination, you’re going to love Budapest!
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Crystal blue sea, golden sand beaches, and beautiful nature landscapes make Paphos one of the cheap places in Europe to visit in the summer.
The city also has incredible historical places, including Tombs of the Kings, a UNESCO world heritage site that needs to be on your list.
When visiting Paphos, it’s worth exploring its surroundings too. An hour and a half drive away is the Akamas National Park, with some of the best beaches, flora, and fauna in Cyprus.
Inside the park, you can’t miss exploring Lara Beach, Avaka Gorge, Blue Lagoon, and Baths of Aphrodite. One of the best ways to do it is by a guided 4×4 tour as it isn’t easy to drive through the park.
In addition to all these great activities, the local gastronomy is another reason you may want to choose Paphos as your summer destination. Its neighboring countries – Greece and Turkey – have influenced the traditional food. Some of the dishes you must try are halloumi, souvlaki, and the famous mezes.
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The fusion of cultures, cuisine styles, archaeology, traditions, and stunning beaches make Sicily a charming holiday destination. Not to mention that staying in Sicily is more about budget-friendly independent properties than big-name hotel chains. With 1000 kilometers of beaches ranging from sandy lagoons to rock formations, everyone can find their piece of paradise.
Along the well-deserved rest, make sure to step back in history by visiting medieval towns like Erice, Castelmola, or Sutera, relive the Godfather movie, and spoil your palate with Italian pasta and pizza. Or explore numerous archaeological treasures under UNESCO World Heritage Sites (you can find them in Segesta, Selinunte, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, Syracuse, and Taormina).
Expect to be seduced by Sicily culture, history, and nature and driven crazy by the way locals drive. To calm you down, it’s not quite as daunting as you might think. The island can be circulated in a week or preferably 14 days if you rent a car, which is highly recommended. See the suggested in-depth itinerary for 14 days in Sicily.
Regardless of your available time, make sure to stop by Palermo to indulge in the best street food. Try the famous arancini (deep-fried stuffed rice cones), onion pasties, or calzoni, and be prepared to come back from holidays with a few extra kilograms.
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Wandering through Bruges is like walking into a fairytale during medieval times. Many free and affordable things to do in Bruges make it a budget paradise. Admire the impressive medieval Flemish architecture, bridges, and canals. The cobbled lanes will make you feel the magic of this charming city.
Bruges is easy to discover on foot. However, exploring by bike is another budget-friendly option, as is joining a free walking tour.
Every Wednesday starting in May and throughout the summer, Markt Square hosts a local farmers market each afternoon. Make sure not to miss admiring the Belfry of Bruges at the square.
It would not be an authentic Belgian experience without sampling a Belgian Waffle, frites, and beer. There are a variety of waffle toppings and frite dipping sauces.
The price for waffles starts at just 3.50 Euros, while a generous portion of frites is around 4 Euros. Enjoy some Belgian chocolate samples on Wollestraat. Support local at a family-owned brewery, De Halve Maan Brugge. A tour includes a drink and one of the best views of Bruges, for only 10 Euros.
Don’t forget to stop at Markt Square after the sunset. Seeing the buildings after dark creates a different atmosphere than you witness during the daylight.
Amsterdam can be an expensive city to visit on this list of the cheapest destinations in Europe, but here are some tips to make it a budget-friendly city.
Sites like Booking.com are a great way to find discounted accommodations, which often have free cancellation options up to 24 hours before arrival. This way, travelers can hold a booking and cancel if they find something less expensive.
You can easily find a delightful hotel with Canal views for a super reasonable price. Group canal tours can be quite expensive. Instead, rent a small motorboat from a company like amsterdamrentaboat.com. They offer maps so travelers won’t get lost, but can see the city at their own pace.
Lastly, consider an all-in-one city pass where one price provided entrance to a wide variety of city attractions. Many with “skip-the-line” access as well. Most of these passes also include free use of city buses and trams.
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