The Cheapest Destinations in Europe for Budget Travellers

Castle Bar Restaurant Ksamil sunset albania

Europe is the bucket list destination for so many around the world, and for good reason.. it’s amazing! However, many are turned off by expensive cities and locations that blow budgets out of the water. After travelling Europe full time for 6 months, and countless other trips to the continent, we are well places to give our thoughts on some of the cheapest destinations for budget travellers in Europe! Keep reading for our thoughts on some amazing locations you can visit without breaking the bank.

Cheap and budget friendly Europe locations you should check out!

Mostar – Bosnia & Herzegovina

This delightful small town located in Bosnia is truly one of our favourite ‘budget’ destinations. Mostar is located a few hours inland from the popular Croatian coast and is a location we highly recommend. We stayed in amazing accommodation that was very affordable while meals and coffee cost only a fraction of western European countries. Definitely one to visit for a day or two. See our Mostar guide here!

Kotor – Montenegro

The medieval town of Kotor is located a few hours south of the popular Dubrovnik and is often overlooked. However, we think it should be high on your list, not just for it’s budget friendly nature. With prices often more than half of the expensive Dubrovnik, Kotor is great for budget travellers. Additionally, Kotor has beautiful views, great hikes, good food, a charming old town and some good beaches on the lake. Check out our thoughts on Kotor here!

Athens – Greece

Many of the big cities in Europe we very expensive, however we found that Athens bucked this trend. In particular, if you ventured slightly away from the ‘tourist heart’ of Athens, you could find some lovely neighbourhoods with great prices and incredible food. We have detailed a few of our favourite restaurants that won’t break the bank in our Athens guide located here!


We visited Albania in 2022, just before the social media hype of 2023. The Albanian Riviera has been very popular on social media, and for good reason.. it’s stunningly beautiful. However it is still underrated and there are far fewer crowds than the busy Croatian or Italian coasts. Albania is very budget friendly, but as with any up and coming country, the infrastructure is less developed and expect a little more chaos. If you’re keen on a budget friendly beach getaway, Albania should be very high on your list! See our guide to the Albanian Riviera here!

Budapest – Hungary

Budapest has a place as one of our top big cities in Europe. It is underrated, full of great culture, and has an incredible foodie and cafe scene. Budapest is also home to some of the best outdoor bars and ‘ruin bars’ (renovated old buildings) around. The Hungarian capital is definitely a budget friendly option, and has lots of great outdoor and free activities that won’t require spending up big. See our thoughts on Budapest here!

Lake Ohrid – Nth Macedonia

The beautiful lakeside region of Ohrid in North Macedonia may be the true king of budget destinations. The delightful town and lake paradise has a lot to offer, and won’t break that bank! We had coffees for $0.50, omelettes for $3, dinner under $10, and accommodation ranging between $30-50. Many may not have even heard about Lake Ohrid, however we urge you to consider it when you visit Europe! See our detailed Lake Ohrid guide here!

Southern Italy – Puglia & Sicily

Italy remains one of the top destinations that people aspire to visit in Europe, and for very good reason.. Italy is amazing! There’s something special about the Italian history, culture, food and people. Plus the country has so much to offer in terms of cities, beaches and countryside. However.. Italy is often very expensive, especially in big cities and in the north of the country (e.g. Amalfi Coast, Rome, Milan, Lake Como etc). We urge you to visit the south of Italy, particularly coastal regions Puglia, and the island of Sicily. These not only have better food and beaches (in our opinion), the locals are friendlier, and the prices are more affordable! See our Puglia guide here!

Sofia – Bulgaria

The capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, is an underrated and budget friendly city. Filled with a mix of history and culture, Bulgaria is worth considering as an affordable city destination. We loved the food and cafe scene in Sofia, and enjoyed wandering the city streets. See our thoughts on our brief stay in Sofia.

Bucharest (and Romania as a whole)

Romania is underrated and budget friendly! We spent a week in the country between the capital of Bucharest and Transylvania (highly recommended!). Bucharest is an extremely budget friendly city with great food, cafes and history. Transylvania was a little more expensive than Bucharest, but also an affordable option and very underrated! See our thoughts on Bucharest here!

Kas – Turkey

The Turkish Riviera is definitely underrated, and in our opinion, offers an amazing alternative coastal getaway in Europe! We found this region much more budget friendly than many other coastal locations. Our home for a week was the delightful Kas, located a few hours away from Antalya on the coast. Filled with great cafes, bars and beaches, this is a wonderful budget-friendly destination. See our guide to Kas in Turkey here!

The ‘smaller islands’

An island getaway in Europe is high on many peoples bucket list. Many of the popular islands in Europe (e.g. Mallorca, Crete, Santorini, Hvar etc) are busy and expensive. We found that venturing to some of the less popular islands can pay dividends both in affordability, but also authenticity and less crowds. We urge you to do your research when looking into your islands, as in our experience, less popular doesn’t equal less impressive.

Enjoying our posts & advice? Subscribe to our blog!

Jump your email into the list below. We won’t spam you! It’ll just keep you updated whenever we post another travel-related adventure, memory or tid-bid!


WANT TO SEE MORE food recommendations & TRAVEL MEMORIES?

Check out further highlights from our time in the Europe! Take a look!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *