Top 10 Cheapest European Countries to Visit

Let’s forget about tourist hot spots like London and Paris for a moment, and explore some of Europe’s hidden gems. The continent is jam-packed with incredible destinations full of impressive history, magnificent nature, and delicious cuisine. And many of them can feed your wanderlust without breaking the bank.

Let’s discover the cheapest European countries to visit!

Cheapest Countries to Visit in Europe

We’ve listed the cheapest European destinations in order of approximate daily expenses. Take these spending estimates with a grain of salt, though. The ultimate cost of your vacation depends on several factors, including your travel style, planning efforts and time of the year.

Now, ready to fill in your travel bucket list with some of the cheapest European destinations?

North Macedonia

  • Currency: Macedonian Denar (Approx. exchange rate 1USD=62.40MKD)
  • Lodging: $10-$35 per night
  • Street food: $1-$4
  • Restaurant meal: $4-$8
  • Domestic beer: $1.60
  • One-way ticket (local transport): $0.56
  • Attractions entrance tickets: $12
  • Estimated daily expense: $40-$55
  • Main international airports: Skopje, Ohrid
  • Top tourist destinations: Skopje, Ohrid, Bitola, Prilep, Mavrovo National Park, Matka Canyon

A bit off the beaten path, the Republic of North Macedonia is full of natural wonders, like the world’s deepest cave, picturesque lakes and mountains. Outdoor enthusiasts may also find their next great adventure in the Manrovo National Park.

The capital city of Skopje boasts countless cultural attractions you can explore on foot. And sitting on the lakeshore, Ohrid offers Mediterranean-style scenery, but without the crowds. If that’s not enough reason to visit North Macedonia, the country’s award-winning wineries and delicious food are definitely a draw.

The local cuisine combines Mediterranean flavors with Ottoman Turkish influence. Farm-fresh and tasty, restaurant meals are also very cheap. For $4-$6, you can try pita (stuffed pie), Pastrmajlija (fried dough pie), and tavce na gravce (beans cooked in a skillet).

It’s not just the food prices that make North Macedonia one of the cheapest destinations in Europe. Hotel accommodation in the centre of Skopje is just around $35 per night, while in Ohrid, you can expect to pay around $30 per night. And you can get from Skopje to Ohrid by bus for as little as $13.


  • Currency: Bulgarian Lev (Approx. exchange rate 1USD=1.98BGN)
  • Lodging: $10-$38 per night
  • Street food: $2-$6
  • Restaurant meal: $5-$8
  • Domestic beer: $1.51
  • One-way ticket (local transport): $0.80
  • Attractions entrance tickets: $18
  • Estimated daily expense: $54-$79
  • Main international airports: Sofia, Varna, Burgas
  • Top tourist destinations: Sofia, Plovdiv, Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo, Sunny Beach, Rila Lakes

Bulgaria has an impressively rich historical and cultural heritage, stunning landscapes and great nightlife. In addition, the diversity of this small country allows tourists to visit picturesque mountains and sandy beaches in a single trip.

But let’s focus on Bulgaria’s affordability. This is one of the cheapest European countries.

Dining out costs around $10, while street food meals start at $2. And the cuisine is delicious and diverse. On top of its traditional dishes, Bulgaria offers a mixture of European, Middle Eastern, Greek, and Turkish cuisine. Transportation is also very cheap, with long-distance train tickets starting at $5.

If you’re up for a little splurge, you can stay at a luxurious hotel on the beach during the peak summer season for less than $100 per night. Off-season prices drop significantly, though. A standard hotel room in one of the major cities is around $40 per night. Backpackers who want to experience the authentic life in Bulgaria can find even more budget-friendly options, including renting a small village house room for as little as $10. And if you’re into winter sports, you’ll love to come to Bulgaria. In Bansko, one of Europe’s top ski resorts, a day pass costs $35.


  • Currency: Euro (Approx. exchange rate 1USD=1EUR)
  • Lodging: $10-55 per night
  • Street food: $3-5
  • Restaurant meal: $6-$8
  • Domestic beer: $1.97
  • One-way ticket (local transport): $1
  • Attractions entrance tickets: $15
  • Estimated daily expense: $46-$81
  • Main international airports: Tivat, Podgorica
  • Top tourist destinations: Budva, Kotor, Perast, Njegos Mausoleum

Sitting on the Adriatic sea, Montenegro is a petite country at the border of the east and west. Its rugged mountains, beautiful coastlines and rich cultural heritage make it an intriguing travel destination. And what’s even better, it’s one of the most affordable places to visit in Europe.

You can stay at a decent hotel for around $40 per night. Eating out can set you back around $6-$12 if you choose to dine at a restaurant and as little as $3 if you opt for street food. The cuisine is a nice mixture of Mediterranean, Turkish and Italian, with a distinguished Montenegrin flavor.

Transportation is also fairly cheap. Due to its mountainous nature, Montenegro doesn’t have many train lines, but it has a robust bus infrastructure. Bus tickets within the country cost up to $15. You can also use public transport for short distances and pay just $1 for a one-way ticket.

And if you feel like splurging, visit Sveti Stefan. Five-star hotel rooms there go up to $750 per night. Yes, it’s a lot, but the exclusive resort can rival some of the most luxurious places in the world.


  • Currency: Romanian Leau (Approx. exchange rate 1USD=4.5RON)
  • Lodging: $10-$30 per night
  • Street food: $1-$4
  • Restaurant meal: $4-$8
  • Domestic beer: $0.76
  • One-way ticket (local transport): $0.51
  • Attractions entrance tickets: $18
  • Estimated daily expense: $53-$74
  • Main international airports: Bucharest (Henri Coanda), Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara
  • Top tourist destinations: Sinaia, Oradea, Iasi, Transylvania

If you’re keen on visiting Medieval towns, old castles and fortified churches, Romania is the place to go. Its diverse scenery offers something for everyone, from high mountain peaks to hills, vineyards and seashores. And… your dollar goes a long way in Romania, as this is one of the most affordable countries in Europe.

Hotel rooms cost around $30 per night, while staying at a hostel will set you back just around $10. Public transport tickets cost $0.50. Dining is also cheap. In fact, food prices in Romania are the lowest in the EU. A meal at a budget restaurant starts at $4, while street food is a real bargain – covrigi, the Romanian version of pretzels, costs $0.25-$0.75.

Now, something curious – you can enter Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania for $8.50. Not exciting enough? You can go on a bear-watching adventure trip in the Transylvanian forest for $55. Romania is home to the largest brown bear population in Europe, thanks to the preservation of its wildlife.


  • Currency: Hungarian Forint (Approx. exchange rate 1USD=338HUF)
  • Lodging: $10-$32 per night
  • Street food: $1.50-$5
  • Restaurant meal: $8-$15
  • Domestic beer: $1.45
  • One-way ticket (local transport): $0.86
  • Attractions entrance tickets: $15
  • Estimated daily expense: $60-$89
  • Main international airports: Budapest, Debrecen
  • Top tourist destinations: Budapest, Transdanubia, Lake Balaton, Eger

There are many reasons to put Hungary on your travel bucket list. This central European country offers charming countryside with beautiful natural landscapes and a cosmopolitan capital city with buzzing nightlife. Budapest’s fascinating architecture, one-of-a-kind museums and healing thermal baths are a must-see. The city also has a great annual event lineup, including festivals, concerts, fairs, and markets.

All in all, you won’t get bored… or hungry in Hungary. You can try stuffed cabbage, fish soup, beef soup, and the famous goulash. The traditional Hungarian cuisine is very inexpensive. A meal at a mid-range restaurant costs around $15, while a set meal in a local eatery will set you back around $8.

Accommodation options vary from fancy hotels to hostels and Airbnb apartments, all very reasonably priced. And getting around is no hassle. Budapest has a tram network, with a one-way ticket cost of less than a dollar. And if you decide to visit Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe famed for its beaches, you can get there by train. Tickets from Budapest are less than $14.

As you can see, there’s a good reason why Hungary counts as one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe.


  • Currency: Poland Zloty (Approx. exchange rate 1USD=4.2PLN)
  • Lodging: $12-$60 per night
  • Street food: $2-$5
  • Restaurant meal: $5-$15
  • Domestic beer: $2.06
  • One-way ticket (local transport): $0.84
  • Attractions entrance tickets: $16
  • Estimated daily expense: $61-$77
  • Main international airports: Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, Katowice, Poznan
  • Top tourist destinations: Warsaw, Krakow, Tatra Mountains, Wroclaw, Bialowieza Forest Reserve

Poland’s favorable conversion rate, inexpensive lodging and dining options make it one of the cheapest countries to travel to in Europe. But affordability isn’t the only thing that makes this place worth-visiting. Poland offers stunning medieval architecture and virgin nature, with expansive national parks, lakes and mountains.

The capital city of Warsaw is an interesting place for history lovers. Remnants of World War II and its devastation, museums and cultural sites in every corner chronicle all major events from Poland’s thousand-years-old history.

Krakow is more popular with tourists due to its preserved medieval architecture. Having avoided most of the World War II destruction, Krakow’s Old Town still offers a fairytale-like scenery. Know, however, that the city is a bit more expensive than the rest of Poland.

And when it comes to prices, expect to pay as little as $35 per night for a hotel room and $12 for a hostel dorm bed. Eating out is affordable too. Especially if you opt for one of the milk bars called Bary mleczne. These cheap restaurants, preferred by locals, offer great homemade traditional dishes. Make sure you try the delicious Polish soups, pierogi (filled dumplings), and Szarlotka (apple pie).


  • Currency: Euro (Approx. exchange rate 1USD=1EUR)
  • Lodging: $12-80 per night
  • Street food: $6-8
  • Restaurant meal: $8-$12
  • Domestic beer: $2.46
  • One-way ticket (local transport): $1.28
  • Attractions entrance tickets: $20
  • Estimated daily expense: $55-$105
  • Main international airports: Ljubljana, Maribor
  • Top tourist destinations: Ljubljana, Lake Bled, Piran, Triglav National Park

Home to beautiful nature, rich history, delicious food, and friendly people, Slovenia deserves a spot on your travel bucket list. Do a quick Google search, and you’ll likely already be convinced that this small country on the sunny side of the Alps is a great getaway destination. Its proximity to some of the most expensive places in central Europe may be misleading, though. Slovenia is actually among the most affordable European countries.

The highest cost you need to consider is the accommodation price, especially if you stay in the capital of Ljubljana, where a room in a mid-range hotel is around $75 per night. However, hostel dorm beds start at around $12.

Transportation prices are fairly low, and we recommend you use the country’s national rail and bus network to explore this diverse country. There is so much to see outside of Ljubljana, plus lodging costs drop significantly in smaller towns.

Visit the nearby Lake Bled with its serene waters and the Venetian-inspired Piran. You won’t be disappointed! You can also stay in one of the many coastal cities on the Adriatic and enjoy the beaches for free. Yes, all of Slovenia’s beaches are public and free!


  • Currency: Croatian Kruna (Approx. exchange rate 1USD=6.9HRK)
  • Lodging: $12-$60 per night
  • Street food: $5-$8
  • Restaurant meal: $14-$20
  • Domestic beer: $2.23
  • One-way ticket (local transport): $1.19
  • Attractions entrance tickets: $16
  • Estimated daily expense: $68-$120
  • Main international airports: Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, and Zadar
  • Top tourist destinations: Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Hvar Town

With picturesque ports, magnificent nature, hundreds of islands, and more than 2,500 hours of sun per year, Croatia has long been a backpacker’s dream destination. The country has been gaining popularity in recent years. Specifically, Dubrovnik, whose ancient fortresses, cobble-stoned streets, and castles were used for the setting of Games of Thrones.

While Croatia is still one of the cheap countries to travel to in Europe, this uptick in tourist interest has also pushed up prices in the tiny city of Dubrovnik. So, if you’re not a huge fan of the hit fantasy series but still want to explore the Adriatic Sea area, consider visiting Split. You will encounter beautiful landscapes but with fewer tourists and more reasonable prices. Also, don’t miss to see the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Listed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites, these turquoise-colored lakes and waterfalls are Croatia’s biggest tourist attraction.

In terms of costs, expect to pay an average of $50 per night for a hotel room in one of the major cities. However, a bed in a dorm room will set you back just around $15-20. A meal in a nice restaurant away from tourist attractions will probably cost you $10-15.

And a word about some of the fun activities Croatia offers – cruises. Expect to pay $25-40 for a full- or half-day boat trip, where you can enjoy stunning views, snorkelling and swimming.

Czech Republic

  • Currency: Czech koruna (Approx. exchange rate 1USD=24.50CZK)
  • Lodging: $15-$65
  • Street food: $3-$5
  • Restaurant meal: $8-$15
  • Domestic beer: $1.80
  • One-way ticket (local transport): $1.23
  • Attractions entrance tickets: $22
  • Estimated daily expense: $75-$92
  • Main international airports: Prague, Karlovy Vary, Ostrava
  • Top tourist destinations: Prague, Karlovy Vary, Cesky Krumlov

The Czech Republic is incredibly rich in culture, history, food, and art. And you won’t need to dig deep into your pockets to enjoy them. This is one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit. It’s also one of the happiest. Why? Well, maybe because the standard of living in the Czech Republic is similar to that of Germany, but costs are significantly lower.

A night at a hostel costs around $15, and hotels charge around $50, which is still very reasonable. A meal and drink in a nice restaurant will set you back about $30, while street food options start at $3. There are also some cheap eateries where you can order a plate of homemade goulash with bread dumplings for $5.

In addition, some of the best things to do in the Czech Republic are absolutely free. The capital city, Prague, boasts magnificent architecture with picturesque, pastel-colored streets, medieval castles, and a perfectly-preserved Old Town centre. The countryside, on the other hand, offers visitors fairytale scenery. So you will have no shortage of wonderful things to see and do in the Czech Republic.


  • Currency: Euro (Approx. exchange rate 1USD=1EUR)
  • Lodging: $22-$80
  • Street food: $5-$7
  • Restaurant meal: $8-$12
  • Domestic beer: $1.97
  • One-way ticket (local transport): $1.60
  • Attractions entrance tickets: $22
  • Estimated daily expense: $77-$109
  • Main international airports: Lisbon, Porto, Faro
  • Top tourist destinations: Lisbon, Porto, Madiera, Sintra, Azores islands

With its charming old towns with tiled buildings, surfer beaches bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, and melancholic Fado music, Portugal is no less than a treat for all avid travelers.

While not the cheapest European country to visit, Portugal is still among the most budget-friendly destinations on the old continent. While lodging costs can be steep, food is particularly inexpensive. You can explore the local cuisine, including excellent seafood dishes, for around $10 per meal at a mid-range eatery. And you can never go wrong with a fresh pasteis de nata for a snack while you’re on the go. This traditional egg custard tart pastry is just around a dollar, and a box of six is enough to feed even the sweetest tooth.

Cities like Lisbon and Porto also have great public transport, and there are usually many options, including metro, buses, trams, and trains. All major cities are also connected by an old but functional train network. Tickets are fairly cheap, starting at around $20, but if you book your trip in advance, you get as much as a 65% discount. So we advise you to plan your route ahead of time and take the most out of this sunny country. Oh, yeah, have we mentioned that Portugal enjoys approximately 3,000 hours of sun per year?

How to Travel on a Budget?

Even if you decide to visit these cheap European countries, costs can creep up if you don’t plan your trip carefully. Here are a few tips for traveling on a budget without sacrificing the quality of your vacation:

Be flexible to stretch your dollar

This may sound odd, but you can invert the travel planning process. Instead of choosing the destination first, research which is the cheapest European country to fly to during your target timeframe. Or, if you can afford some flexibility with timing, wait for a good flight deal. Speaking of which…

Jump on good flight deals

In addition to using a flight scanner and booking your tickets in advance, you can choose to fly between Tuesday and Thursday. This will save you some money since demand is stronger during the weekends, and prices are higher.

Book in advance

Flights, train tickets, activities, and accommodation are all cheaper when booked or paid ahead of time. Also, it’s much less stressful. That being said, avid travelers always keep their eyes open for good last-minute deals for inexpensive Europe vacations.

Sharing is caring… for your budget

Take the most out of the growing sharing economy. You’ll save a lot of money on lodging if you’re willing to stay in a dorm room in a hostel with a shared bathroom or if you use a ride-sharing service.

Cherrypick your activities

Some of the cheapest places to go in Europe are small countries yet full of opportunities. Sightseeing, hiking, swimming, museums, churches, and spa resorts are just part of the abundance of options. Unfortunately, you can hardly find time to do them all. And if you want to avoid a dent in your budget, you should limit those that require money. So, do your research and cherrypick those activities you don’t want to miss.

Consider alternative accommodation

In addition to the traditional hotel and hostel options, consider staying at a family-owned home. You can find some really nice AirBnb properties, but Europe is also full of small villages near tourist sites, where locals offer rooms for short-term stays. This way, you can save money and taste the most authentic experience, plus a home-cooked breakfast.

Join travel reward programs

Travel credit cards are the budget-conscious traveler’s best friend. Some of your biggest expenses, such as hotels and flights, can be wiped away by using reward points during your trip. There are some hefty sign-up bonuses, too.

Final Words

Have we sparked your wanderlust and muted the money-conscious voice in your head?

We hope so!

Contrary to popular opinion, the cheapest European countries to visit are not all on the eastern side of the continent. Neither do they offer a “cheap” experience. These are places rich in history, culture, and nature, with vibrant nightlife and warm people.

Explore the options from our list and start your budget-friendly journey!


Statistics show that the average parent has just 32 minutes of free time a day. And as a mother of two boys, I hardly get to enjoy my hobbies. But, lucky me, I love my job! My Journalism degree has opened the door to the fulfilling career of content creator and editor. Over the past decade, I’ve been covering financial news, writing educational materials and refining other writers’ work. I’m now dedicated to providing SpendMeNot readers with quality content and accurate information on all things financial.

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