You don’t have to spend a lot of money on your travels to have a good time. There are many cities in Europe that are budget-friendly and offer a lot of awesome sights to see along with promising you a good time. So, in order to inspire you to travel more even if you’re living on a budget, we created this list of 10 best cheap cities in Europe.
Before we start, be sure to check out our Cultural Places platform and discover the amazing tours that will help you explore your destinations at your own pace.
Let’s explore Europe’s affordable destinations.
Krakow is a Polish visual and historical gem and culturewise most significant city. Its amazing medieval old town is one of the finest in Europe, but it’s often underrated. Krakow’s Main Market Square has been the center of the city for ages and the largest city market in medieval Europe. Today it’s the perfect place for a coffee break and people-watching. One of the most famous landmarks is definitely St. Mary’s Church with its two different towers. Then there is the Wawel Castle which was once home to Polish kings and queens, today it’s housing some museums and courtrooms and if you visit you can enjoy an awesome view of the city. Besides being a very important historical place Krakow is famous for its nightlife, so you’ll have a lot of fun when you visit.
Krakow’s Main Market Square, and gorgeous St. Mary’s Basilica
Poland’s capital is set in the heart of Eastern Europe and it has all the food, art, culture and nightlife you are willing to experience when you visit a new city but with fewer tourists and fewer costs than it is the case in most popular cities in Europe. Warsaw Old Town is amazing, its architecture made up of cobblestone streets and medieval buildings. You have to visit The Royal Castle and the tower of St. Anne’s Church if you desire to get the best view of the city. City also has some nice serene parks and even a beach on the Vistula river. And if you seek a good nightlife, Warsaw has it.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest Greek city and a remarkable one, for sure. If you’ve been to Athens and want to know more about Greece, visit Thessaloniki and you’ll get to explore an amazing multicultural city and see the Byzantine, Roman, Ottoman and Sephardic cultural heritage. One of the most famous landmarks is the White Tower that was a fortification in the Byzantine times and later on it was used as a prison. Besides exploring Thessaloniki history and landmarks, you have to explore its nightlife that is known to be an unforgettable experience.
Interested in exploring Athens as well? Check out our blog post about some picturesque spots in this amazing city, and discover the tours that we have to offer.
White Tower in Thessaloniki
Set in the heart of the Balkans, Sofia – the capital of Bulgaria, is a melting pot of religions, languages, traditions, architecture and culinary experiences. Sofia is a city in which you can find the Square of Tolerance where you can see Orthodox church St. Nedelya, Catholic Cathedral of St Joseph, a Synagogue and The Banya Bashi Mosque. Also, you’ll get a chance to explore the ancient city of Serdica – a part of the Roman empire. When you’re done with exploring its landmarks you have to enjoy its thermal baths or climb to the Vitosha mountain and just relax.
Interested in reading a bit more about Sofia? Check out our blog post about Bulgarian capital.
© Hans Birger Nilsen
Even you may not think so, Poland has plenty of really nice cities to see, one of them being Gdansk that is really amazing and different. Since it is set on the Baltic coast, it does have that feel of any other Baltic city. There are rows of tall colorful, very picturesque buildings everywhere. The Old Town is simply amazing, and there are so many landmarks to see, you can spend all day just wandering around. In the very center, there is the amazing St. Mary Basilica – an extraordinary large church, you can’t miss it. Also, you have to see Gdansk Historical Museum and the Neptune Fountain that are nearby. Our favorite part of this city is the waterfront – it is simply beautiful.
When you think of Bulgaria, there are many more places to visit and explore besides Sofia, and one of those is Plovdiv. Like almost every city in the Balkans, Plovdiv was, too, influenced by many different cultures: Thracians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. That fact gets quite clear once you start exploring this gorgeous Bulgarian city. Once you get to Plovdiv, the first thing you have to do is to wander through the streets of its remarkable Old Town and see its beautiful buildings, mostly from the period of Renaissance. You’ll stumble upon many fascinating museums showing the past of the city, such as the Ethnographic Museum, and the Revival Museum.
Bucharest – the capital of Romania is another gorgeous city that you probably don’t know much about. Its pretty new Old Town (it’s only three years old?) is filled with bars, restaurants, and fast-food shops. You have to check out the Palace of the Parliament building – the second largest building in the world (after the Pentagon) and Romania’s former dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu’s most infamous creation. There is a lot to see in Bucharest since it is a really big city, it deserves a blog post of its own. Oh, did you know that Bucharest is founded by Count Dracula? Now it sounds even more interesting, doesn’t it?
Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest
If you’re traveling to the Balkans, you really need to go to Bosnia and Herzegovina and visit its capital Sarajevo. It’s a true gem of the Balkans and it’s often called the European Jerusalem because of its multiculturality – Christians, Muslims, and Jews have been living there with one another for ages and you can see the impact of different cultures all over the city. The main pedestrian area in Sarajevo is Baščaršija, and if you haven’t been there it’s like you’ve never been to Sarajevo. That’s where you’ll try ćevapi, buy very interesting souvenirs and feel the spirit of the East.
Jocelyn Erskine-Kellie / CC BY-SA 2.0
Kyiv – Ukrainian capital is one of the cheapest cities on this list. You may not think that there is much to do over there, but it is an ancient and modern city at the same time, with interesting sights to see. The city is full of beautiful churches such as Saint Sophia’s Cathedral that is really outstanding, St. Andrew’s Church – a baroque building set on the artificial hill or Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery with its network of catacombs. We could go on and on about amazing landmarks of Kyiv, but let’s not forget some other interesting (and a bit scary) places – when you’re in Kyiv definitely visit the Chernobyl region that was destroyed in a nuclear explosion.
Riga, the capital of Latvia is another cheap and amazing city in the Baltic region that you will love. Most of the stunning landmarks and architectural masterpieces are located in the historic center of Riga – Vecrīga, which is listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just enjoy those amazing buildings in this large Art Nouveau district. Don’t miss the House of the Blackheads – it’s basically to Riga what the Eifel Tower is to Paris and it’s really stunning. When in Riga you have to visit a Latvian spa – it’s cheap and excellent, just perfect.
So that’s the list of some of the best cheap cities in Europe. Have you been to any of these gems? They really are gems, you’ll see it for yourself once you visit them. Do you have any recommendations for cheap traveling? Let us know, we are always looking for great destinations.