18 Cheapest Countries in Europe To Visit in 2024

Cazzy Magennis
Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
Last Updated:
March 29, 2024
On a budget? Then our guide to the cheapest countries in Europe to visit will help you plan the perfect European adventure without breaking the bank!
cheapest countries in europe

As you will see below, many of the cheapest countries in Europe are grouped together.

More simply, they are the Eastern European countries.


That’s a pretty complex question that I would really hate to over-simplify, at risk of offending anyone.

But key factors include things like them being ex-Soviet states, experiencing relatively recent war, poor tourism infrastructure, and general under-development.

I won’t go any further as every country is very much unique in its past and its present.

But one thing I do want to point out is that these are all incredible countries to visit!

How do I know that?

Because we have personally traveled through and explored every single country on this list!

Many of them multiple times between 2016 and 2024, and hopefully many more times to come.

So everything below is based directly on personal experience, giving us the ability not just to tell you where is cheap, but also:

  • What we recommend you do there
  • How much we spent, so how much you can expect to spend
  • Our top tips on saving money!

Without further ado, let’s get started …

**Please note: your personal travel style and start location will dictate how expensive your trip is. So do bear that in mind!

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The Cheapest European Countries to Visit Reel

1. Albania

Cost of visiting Albania on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $30-50
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $10-20 per night; Hotel: $20-40 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-2, Fast food: $4-6; Meal at a restaurant: $5-15
  • Top tip: It’s legal to camp anywhere in Albania so you can save plenty of money on accommodation fees if you have a campervan or a tent! 
The beautiful blue seas

Albania is starting to become a popular destination in the Balkans, and all we can say is about time!

With its pristine beaches, epic mountain ranges, and delicious cuisine, Albania is not only one of the cheapest European countries - but it’s also one of the most beautiful. 

It was a huge surprise for us wen we first visited in 2022, and ever since we have been recommending people to go there!

Sharing borders with Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, it’s well connected so is easy to travel to as well!

We drove all across the country, from north to south and east to west. In parts, the roads aren't the best (and err, cough cough) neither are the drivers. But don't let that put you off.

Albania is considered to be one of the sunniest countries in Europe making it perfect for a summer getaway, especially if you’re on a budget. 

What to do in Albania

things to do in albania

Most popular attractions/cities: The Albanian Riviera (our favourite spot), the Albanian Alps, Durres & Tirana

Although this country may not be a ‘tourist hotspot’ just yet, you’ll find tons of amazing things to do in Albania!

The perfect starting point is the capital city of Tirana which is home to plenty of attractions including the National History Museum, The Pyramid of Tirana, and Skanderbeg Square.

If you're looking to explore the best of this city then why not check out this Tirana walking tour?

From there, you can head out to the coast and explore the beautiful Albanian Riviera! This is where you’ll find the country’s finest beaches. 

Other popular coastal areas and towns include Saranda, Vlore, and the Ksamil Islands.

If you’d prefer to explore more of inland Albania, then why not head to the Albanian Alps or the beautiful Lake Ohrid?

Not only does Albania have beautiful coastlines and landscapes, but there are plenty of awesome towns to visit too including Berat, Gjirokastra, and Kruja!

To learn more, I recommend you check out our in-depth guide on the absolute best places to visit in Albania.

2. North Macedonia

Cost of visiting North Macedonia on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $30-50
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $15-25 per night; Hotel: $25-45 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-2, Fast food: $3-5; Meal at a restaurant: $4-12
  • Top tip: Some of the cities within North Macedonia offer FREE walking tours like this Skopje walking tour

Bordering five other countries, North Macedonia is the perfect country to visit if you’re not bothered about visiting the coast.

Again, I simply couldn't believe we had heard so little about this country before visiting.

In my humble opinion, it is perhaps Europe’s biggest hidden gem; and is yet to be hit by hordes of tourists, so it’s a fantastic place to travel through.

With idyllic villages, towering mountains, and beautiful lakes - you’ll be blown away by the natural beauty that’s found here. 

Even the capital city is one of Europe's nicest and absolutely jam packed full of (very recent) history.

North Macedonia is perfect for budget travellers too as it’s one of the cheapest countries out there (not just in Europe).

Trust me, you’ll definitely want to add this place to your bucket list.

What to do in North Macedonia

One of my favourite spots in the world

Most popular attractions/cities: Lake Ohrid & Ohrid, Pelister National Park, Bitola & Skopje

Often the first port of call in North Macedonia is the capital city of Skopje. With an authentic old town, great nightlife, and plenty of culture - this place is a must-visit. We spent 5 days here, living, exploring & catching up on work in a local hotel, as well as in this super quirky Airbnb (definitely worth a stay).

We did a 3 hour walking tour where we learned about this countries very recent independence, it's complex relations with Greece, the birthplace of Mother Theresa, it's Ottoman influences & of course Alexander The Great.

Seriously, one of the most fascinating walking tours we have ever done.

However, this fantastic country also has tons of other awesome destinations to visit including Bitola, Gevgelija, Stobi, and Struga

Not only that but North Macedonia is known for its natural beauty, and you’ll find plenty of this within Pelister National Park.

However, I also recommend heading to Tikves Lake, hiking up Mount Ljuboten, and kayaking through Matka Canyon. This full-day sightseeing tour will take you to Matka Canyon and some other awesome destinations from Skopje!

Like its neighbour to the west, Albania; North Macedonia is home to the beautiful Lake Ohrid which is one of Europe’s deepest and oldest lakes! 

On the shores of this beautiful lake, you’ll find the town of Ohrid which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

There really isn't enough room here to describe everything to do, so instead check out my in-depth guide on the best things to do in North Macedonia.

3. Montenegro

Cost of visiting Montenegro on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $40-60
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $10-20 per night; Hotel: $20-40 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-3, Fast food: $4-6; Meal at a restaurant: $6-$18
  • Top tip: If you visit Montenegro during May or September, you’ll find that accommodation prices are much cheaper! 

Montenegro is probably one of the more popular countries in the Balkans as it borders the tourist hotspot of Croatia. 

Although many people visit as a day trip from neighbouring countries, I highly recommend that you spend at least a week or two here, like we did.

With its stunning coastline along the Adriatic Sea, beautiful national parks, and historical cities, Montenegro has so much to offer, much more than just the coastal city of Kotor which seems to be the most popular spot to visit.

We entered via a border with Bosnia, just near to Tara Canyon. This was a strange and remote crossing, involving crossing a rickety old bridge with nails sticking out of it. But you get the benefit of seeing much of the beautiful rugged inland countryside as you head towards the coast.

As well as Croatia and Bosnia, this beautiful country is bordered by Albania, Kosovo, and Serbia so there are plenty of overland transport options.

Montenegro is also one of the cheapest countries to travel around in Europe, as we soon discovered.

What to do in Montenegro

Most popular attractions/cities: Kotor, Budvar, Lovcen National Park & Sveti Stefan 

Although the capital city of Podgorica is definitely worth a visit, it’s the coastal town of Kotor that often steals the limelight! This old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is over 2,000 years old! 

After spending some time in Kotor, you can visit some of the other towns and cities in the country including Budvar, Perast, and Ulcinj.

However, the highlight of Montenegro has to be its breathtaking national parks! 

There are plenty of them to visit including Durmitor, Lovcen, and Lake Skadar, and each one offers spectacular scenery, a wide variety of wildlife, and awesome hiking trails. 

This country is also home to a variety of unique attractions including the famous Blue Grotto, Tara Canyon, and the beautiful island of Sveti Stefan.

Make sure you allow plenty of time to explore this beautiful country, and for more ideas of what to get up to, check out my guide on the absolute best things to do in Montenegro.

4. Serbia

Cost of visiting Serbia on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $40-60
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $15-25 per night; Hotel: $25-45 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-2, Fast food: $5-7; Meal at a restaurant: $6-18
  • Top tip: Serbian sim cards are extremely cheap and have great data packages if you’re looking to use your phone on the go

Although Serbia isn’t often considered as a travel destination, I can 100% recommend this beautiful country!

Not only is it one of the cheapest countries in Europe, but it’s also one of the least-visited so you won’t have to battle against the crowds. 

Serbia has a very long history too and for this reason, you’ll find the culture here to be extremely interesting. Many of the traditional foods even have an ottoman/Mediterranean influence, so as you can imagine - they are very tasty! 

The country also has such a diverse landscape with historic cities being dwarfed by towering mountain ranges in the background.

It's not all songs and roses though, we did have some negative experiences in Serbia. There are stray dogs absolutely everywhere and the peoplehave a very different relationships with these wonderful creatures than what most other western countries do.

We actually found 5 abandoned puppies at the side of the road and luckily managed to find just one shelter in Serbia willing to take them, called Vucjak. We then even tried to adopt these puppies across to the UK (after finding owners, but the Serbian state made the process impossible and we were never able to get them out).

Okay random detour over, I just wanted to give you a heads up as you can expect mistreatment towards dogs like this in a large part of the Balkans region.

What to do in Serbia

What to do in Serbia

Most popular attractions/cities: Belgrade, Novia Sad, Fruška Gora National Park & Tara National Park

With fantastic cities, spectacular mountain ranges, and beautiful national parks, this country has so much to offer. 

The perfect starting point for your Serbia itinerary is the bustling capital city of Belgrade! Here, you’ll get to visit historical buildings, take a dip in the river, and try some delicious cuisine. 

This fantastic guided walking tour will show you all that Belgrade has to offer! From here oyou could rent a car and head almost anywhere!

Why not head to Niš, Novi Sad, and Sokobanja? Each one has something special to offer, but you’ll only need a short amount of time to see the top attractions.

During your time in Serbia, you’ll want to prioritise the national parks as they are stunning!

There are a couple to choose from, but the most popular ones are Fruška Gora National Park & Tara National Park!

Here's some more information on the best places to visit in Serbia.

5. Bosnia & Herzegovina

Cost of visiting Bosnia on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $45-65
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $15-25 per night; Hotel: $25-45 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-2, Fast food: $4-6; Meal at a restaurant: $4-12
  • Top tip: Bosnia’s markets are a great place to grab cheap food and fresh produce if you’d prefer to cook yourself 

Although the country only gained its independence in 1992 and has a complicated history, Bosnia has so much to offer travellers.

It’s one of Europe’s more off-the-beaten-track destinations, which makes it a great place to explore and find some hidden gems.

We've traveled through the country twice now, once back in 2018 and more recently in 2022. But both times doing the Mostar bridge jump (pictured above/video below).

Like many other places in Europe, Bosnia & Herzegovina is bordered by several countries; these are Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia.

Because of this, you’ll find it easy to travel to and there are plenty of overland options that will save you money!

What to do in Bosnia

What to do in Bosnia

Most popular attractions/cities: Sarajevo, Mostar, Kravice Falls & Una National Park 

The capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina is the bustling city of Sarajevo where you’ll find a ton of attractions. This includes Bascarsija, the Museum of Genocide, and the Sarajevo war tunnel

You also don’t want to miss out on visiting Mostar of course, mentioned above.

To travel between Sarajevo and Mostar, you can take one of the world’s most beautiful train rides! Tickets start from just $6 and you’ll be treated to epic scenery along the way. We haven't had chance to do this ourselves, as we drove through Bosnia both times. Buthave heard great things about this ride!

I’d recommend heading to Blagaj too which is a stunning village that’s set on a cliff within the Mostar Basin.

If you’re looking to see some of Bosnia’s spectacular landscapes, then you also need to visit Kravice Falls and Una National Park

6. Croatia

Cost of visiting Croatia on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $50-70
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $20-30 per night; Hotel: $30-50 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-3, Fast food: $6-8; Meal at a restaurant: $8-24
  • Top tip: Many of the popular cities in Croatia offer a tourist pass like this Dubrovnik pass, where you can save money on attractions.

Croatia is easily one of the most popular countries in the Balkans, and it’s not hard to see why!

There are plenty of cheap countries in Europe, but not many can match the beauty of Croatia.

With its pristine beaches, stunning national parks, and endless cities to visit, you’ll want to allow yourself at least a couple of weeks here.

Or, like us, you may even want to live here! We visited multiple times in the last few years. Back in 2018 we even drove here, rented a cheap flat for £80 a month and lived right on the coast! In a town called Kastel Kambelovac, just outside Split. Ah good times.

Nowadays, Croatia is an up-and-coming tourist hotspot and because of this, some areas in the country will be more budget-friendly than others. 

We've been told that the deals aren't quite as good as we first discovered back in 2018, and likely even more so now that Croatia is more firmly in the Eurozone and using the Euro. However, you’ll find some fantastic accommodation deals so you don’t need to worry.

What to do in Croatia

Most popular attractions/cities: Dubrovnik, Split, Krka National Park & Plitvice Lakes National Park

You’ll find a HUGE variety of places to visit in Croatia, but let’s start off with the most popular cities. 

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and is a popular place to visit, although it often gets overlooked by tourists in favour of Dubrovnik.

With its beautiful location on the coast, its historic city walls, and its iconic Game of Thrones filming locations, Dubrovnik has so much to offer!

You will probably even recognise the picture above; it's our shot but that exact spot is the one always used when listing Dubrovnik in any guides.

During your time in Croatia, there are plenty of other scenic cities to visit including Pula, Rovinj, Split, and Zadar.

This country is home to some fantastic national parks too including Brijuni, Krka, and Plitvice Lakes!

Not only that, but Croatia sits along the Adriatic Sea so you’ll find plenty of beautiful islands and beach destinations including Hvar and Brač.

7. Romania

Cost of visiting Romania on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $40-60
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $15-25 per night; Hotel: $25-45 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-3, Fast food: $5-7; Meal at a restaurant: $7-21
  • Top tip: Romania has a ridesharing platform called BlaBlaCar that can help you cut costs on transport! 

Romania is a country close to our hearts as we road-tripped here for around three weeks in our beloved camper. 

With stunning castles, bustling cities, and vast underground cave systems, you won’t run out of things to do here. 

Even more recently, we revisited in February 2024 so Bradley could spend his 30th Birthday here with friends! In fact, it was cheaper to fly everyone out to Bucharest, stay in an apartment for 2 days, and then spend a full day enjoying the incredible Therme Spa, than it would have been to go away for even just one night in the UK.

This is because Romania is easily one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe, so you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck.

Bordered by Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Serbia, and Ukraine, it’s also the perfect location for a cross-country European trip.

So, make sure you add Romania to your bucket list! 

What to do in Romania

Most popular attractions/cities: Bucharest, Brașov, Salina Turda & Bran Castle

I’d recommend allowing at least 2-3 weeks in the country. If you can, hire a car or campervan to offer you the most flexibility.

The first stop for many people is the beautiful city of Bucharest which is the country’s capital. Here, you’ll get to explore the old town, explore museums, and marvel at the world’s largest parliament building. And of course Therme Bucuresti, mentioned above.

From there, you’ll want to explore some of the other cities including Brașov, Sibiu, and Sighişoara.

Although Romania has plenty of incredible cities and towns to visit, you’ll also find lots of other attractions in the country.

One of these is the famous Bran Castle which is often associated with Bram Stoker’s ‘Count Dracula’.

During your time exploring Romania, I’d also recommend heading to Salina Turda, the Liberty Bear Sanctuary, and Peles Castle!

There's far too much to go into here, so instead check out my in-depth guide on the most incredible places to visit in Romania.

Also, give my YouTube video a watch ...

8. Bulgaria

Cost o visiting Bulgaria on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $30-50
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $15-25 per night; Hotel: $25-45 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-3, Fast food: $5.50-7.50; Meal at a restaurant: $7.50-22.50
  • Top tip: Throughout the year Bulgaria hosts a variety of FREE festivals and events, so make sure you check what’s on during your stay!

Bulgaria is one of the cheapest Schengen countries and one of the most beautiful! 

It can be visited during any time of year, as this country offers a variety of winter sports opportunities and pristine beaches for the ultimate summer getaway. 

We were there for a few weeks in October; so not exactly the hottest months; but still a fantastic time to visit.

Not only are the crowds very much less, but things are still open and you get to enjoy the beautiful autumn colours the country offers.

Seriously, just look at the pictures above (it's actually the screensaver on my laptop still 3 years after taking it).

But if you do decide you fancy the warmer weather, Bulgaria is actually home to some of the best beaches in Europe as it borders the Black Sea to the west, so is a place you’ll definitely want to visit. 

Like with the other countries in this guide, it’s extremely budget-friendly too so is a fantastic choice if you're looking for cheap places to visit in Europe! 

What to do in Bulgaria

Most popular attractions/cities: Sofia, Sunny Beach, Belogradchik & Pirin National Park

As Bulgaria is one of the cheapest European countries to visit in summer, it’s no surprise that it’s become a popular party destination.

With its lively boulevard, cheap deals, and variety of nightclubs, Sunny Beach has gained a great nightlife reputation. This makes it a popular spot for young travellers, especially.

However, if you’re not looking to party the night away - Bulgaria still has plenty to offer.

One of the best places to visit is the capital city of Sofia with its incredible architecture, culture, and endless attractions. 

If you’re looking to explore the more natural side of Bulgaria then make sure you head to Belogradchik Fortress. Here, you’ll find unique rock formations unlike anything you’ve ever seen before! (This is the first picture of Bulgaria above).

Pirin National Park is also a must for the bucket list, as there are plenty of fantastic hiking trails and wildlife-watching opportunities here. 

Road tripping the country is a lot of fun, especially by camper. We actually wild camped by the famous Devils' Bridge above which was a very cool/spooky experience.

9. Hungary

Cost of visiting Hungary on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $40-60
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $20-30 per night; Hotel: $30-50 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-2, Fast food: $4.50-6.50; Meal at a restaurant: $6-18
  • Top tip: Many of the cities in Hungary are extremely walkable which is great for cutting transport costs

Hungary is a fantastic country for a cheap European getaway (especially if you're already based in Europe).

Flights here are extremely cheap, and after our first time visiting, we actually revisited on a weekend getaway with friends to celebrate Brad's 28th.

Situated in central Europe, Hungary is bordered by seven countries including Austria, Croatia, Slovakia, Romania, and Ukraine and well connected by trains, planes, and buses.

Home to beautiful lakes, plenty of world heritage sites, and bustling cities, this beautiful country has so much to offer. 

You’ll also find plenty of fantastic things to do in Hungary, and even better - many of these attractions are extremely budget-friendly or FREE!

What more could you need?

What to do in Hungary

Most popular attractions/cities: Budapest, Eger, Lake Balaton & Aggtelek National Park

There’s nowhere better to start your Hungary trip than in its capital, Budapest! 

This charming city has tons of attractions to visit including the Hungarian Parliament building, Heroes Square, and the Central Market Hall. However, one of the best ways to experience Budapest has to be hopping on this 1-hour sightseeing cruise!

We did this at night and were shocked by how cheap it is, and it includes free wine!

I’d also recommend heading to Eger which is famous for its medieval fortress and historic sites. 

Aside from these two cities, you’ve got plenty of other options too including Pecs, Debrecen, and Sopron

As Bulgaria is known for its hot springs, you’ll also want to head to Heviz which is where you’ll find one of the world’s largest thermal lakes.

During your stay in the country, make sure you visit Aggtelek National Park too as you’ll get to see the largest stalactite Cave in the whole of Europe! 

Hungary is also home to the scenic Lake Balaton which is the largest lake in Eastern Europe!

10. Poland

Cost of visiting Poland on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $35-55
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $15-25 per night; Hotel: $25-45 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-3, Fast food: $5-7; Meal at a restaurant: $6-18
  • Top tip: Many of the cities in Poland offer FREE walking tours and entry into specific museums so take full advantage of this!
Warsaw at Christmas

Regardless of the time of year you go, Poland should be right at the top of the best cheap European countries you want to visit.

We seem to have developed a strange soft spot for Poland, ever since first visiting Warsaw for a day back in 2019.

Here we learned about Poland's incredibly long and rich past. But one with a very sad 20th century.

Although they had a devastating history in regard to WWII and subsequent years, Poland is now one of the most up-and-coming tourist destinations in Eastern Europe

Not only can you travel on a low daily budget, but this country can be visited at any time of year. We've been in all seasons now, and have discovered it's becoming an increasingly modern and exciting place to be, but without the hefty price tags of neighbouring countries like Germany.

Christmas is definitely a great time to visit as the markets are incredible!

What to do in Poland

what to do in poland

Most popular attractions/cities: Krakow, Warsaw, Auschwitz & Tatra National Park

Honestly, I could be here all day naming all the places you need to visit in Poland!

For starters, the capital city of Warsaw is a must-visit followed by Krakow, Gdansk, and Wroclaw. All of these cities have so much to offer, and many of them have tourist passes.

I (Cazzy) spent a week exploring Krakow as my first ever solo trip. I wanted to go somewhere I could feel safe but have plenty to do for a full week right on my doorstep. And it didn't disappoint. You can read about my visit here.

Although you could spend weeks exploring Poland's cities, you need to leave some time for its diverse landscapes too. 

One of the best places to appreciate the country’s beauty is Tatra National Park! However, try to visit Bialowieza Forest Reserve, the Bieszczady Mountains, and Ojcowski National Park during your time here too.

Although it’s not the most joyful place to visit, no trip to Poland is complete without a visit to Auschwitz. Here, you’ll get to learn about the atrocities that took place and pay your respect to the 1 million+ people who lost their lives. 

I found this day to be incredibly sad, but also eye opening to visit.

11. Lithuania

Cost of visiting Lithuania on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $40-60
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $15-25 per night; Hotel: $25-45 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $1-2, Fast food: $5.50-7.50; Meal at a restaurant: $8-24
  • Top tip: Wild camping is legal in Lithuania which can save you a ton of money on accommodation costs

Despite being one of Europe's cheapest countries, Lithuania is not often a place that first comes to mind for visiting.

In fact, for us it was quite a random first visit; kind of on a whim as result of a collaboration opportunity we found online with the company Tinggly.

We went and stayed in the capital for 5 nights with the brand, and when there ended up embarking on our own road trip to discover more of what the country had to offer.

It did not dissappoint.

It is easily one of the most scenic countries to visit on the continent. Again, having a rich and immersive history dating back hundreds of years. With all the bloody wars, castles, and ancient tales you come to love from European nations.

Not only is it cheap, but it has a little bit of everything ranging from pristine beaches to bustling cities so there’s something for everyone.

To make the most of your visit to Lithuania, I’d recommend spending at least a week in the country. This means you won’t have to rush, and if you can hire a campervan - even better!

What to do in Lithuania

what to do in lithuainia

Most popular attractions/cities: Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, & Aukstaitija National Park

Although not many people realise it, there are tons of fantastic places to visit in Lithuania

The first port of call is often the capital of Vilnius where you’ll get to wander around old castles, explore museums, and taste some of Lithuania’s delicious cuisine. 

However, there are plenty of other fantastic cities in the country too including Kaunas, Klaipeda, and Siauliai.

Lithuania also has a beautiful coastline, with the best places to visit for a beach getaway being Nida and Palanga! 

If I’ve still not managed to convince you then this country is home to some fantastic national parks too.

During your time in Lithuania, you’ll want to visit some of these beautiful parks including Aukstaitija, Dzukija, and the Curonian Spit which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

12. Latvia

Cost of visiting Latvia on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $40-60
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $20-30 per night; Hotel: $30-50 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $2-3, Fast food: $6-8; Meal at a restaurant: $8-24
  • Top tip: You’ll find plenty of FREE parks throughout Latvia so make sure you take full advantage of them! 

Although Switzerland, Denmark, and Iceland are all beautiful destinations with beautiful autumnal colours and ancient castles, if you’re looking for cheaper European countries to visit, why not head to Latvia?

Latvia is one of the lesser-known countries in Europe and doesn’t attract nearly as many tourists as other destinations on the continent. 

So, not only will you often have places to yourself but prices here are much cheaper too! 

Bordered by the Baltic Sea, Belarus, Estonia, Lithuania, and Russia - Latvia is a great destination for a road trip as you can simply hop over the border and explore more of the EU. 

Our journey took us north from Lithuania where we spent a week here before heading further north into Estonia.

What to do in Latvia

riga lativa

Most popular attractions/cities: Riga, Sigulda, Jurmala & Gauja National Park

You’ll find endless things to do in Latvia so be prepared for an action-packed visit! 

Riga is the capital city and is undoubtedly one of the top places to visit in the country. With stunning architecture, a quaint old town, and a bustling central market, the city has plenty to offer.

You’ll also find other awesome cities and towns throughout the country including Ludza, Liepaja, and Sigulda.

However, if you head to Jurmala you’ll get to relax on its beautiful beach and enjoy some epic sea views. 

Latvia is also home to plenty of spectacular castles including Turaida, Rundale, and Cesis among others! 

Make sure you head to Gauja National Park too.

As you can see there are so many awesome places to visit, so I’d recommend spending at least a week in this amazing country if you can.

13. Estonia

Cost of visiting Estonia on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $35-55
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $15-25 per night; Hotel: $25-45 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $2-3, Fast food: $6-8; Meal at a restaurant: $10-20
  • Top tip: The Tallinn Card is great value for money as it includes FREE travel on public transport and FREE entry into over 50 attractions

With relatively cheap accommodation, plenty of awesome destinations, and delicious cuisine - it’s no wonder that this country is finally starting to get the recognition it deserves. 

We spent about 2 weeks here,after passing through north from Latvia, and before boarding the ferry to keep heading further north on to Finland.

Which, (spoiler alert) didn't make this list of Europe's best cheap countries. Yes it's amazing, but no it's not cheap!

Although it may not be one of Europe’s most popular destinations, it’s a country that I can 100% recommend! We loved it here.

What to do in Estonia

tallinn estonia

Most popular attractions/cities: Tallinn, Parnu, Lahemaa National Park & Soomaa National Park

The starting point for many people is often the capital city of Tallinn, which is located off the Gulf of Finland. You’ll find plenty of attractions to visit here including Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Lennusadam Museum, and the TV tower

I recommend staying in or near the OldTown for a few nights. There are lots of delightful small restaurants hidden amongst the cobble stone streets. And so much history to take in.

You can learn more in my more in-depth guide on what to get up to in Tallinn.

From there you can head to the coastal city of Parnu or Tartu which is considered to be one of the oldest cities in Estonia.

Not only does this country offer plenty of awesome cities, but it’s also known for its scenic natural landscapes.

There are six national parks found throughout the country although the two most popular are Lahemaa and Soomaa

You’ll find plenty of striking castles in Estonia too including:

You won’t find a shortage of things to do in Estonia as this country is full of awesome adventures!

14. Czech republic

Cost of visiting the Czech Republic on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $35-55
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $20-30 per night; Hotel: $30-50 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $2-3, Fast food: $6.50-8.50$; Meal at a restaurant: $7-21
  • Top tip: If you’re travelling through the country by bus or train, always try to buy your tickets in advance as you can get some great discounts. 
Czech republic

The Czech Republic is still one of the cheapest European countries to visit, even though prices have started to rise over the years! 

The majority of the country is extremely affordable for travellers, but just keep in mind that the capital of Prague is the exception to this rule. 

Prices here can be up to 50% higher which is quite a step up, even though you do expect the big cities to be more expensive. 

Either way, it’s a great option if you’re looking to save money whilst travelling through Europe!

We have visited numerous times since 2016, often for just a day or two getaway. There is a lot of charm and culture here, but I will be honest, Prague is also a fantastic place for letting loose.

The selection of bars here is surprisingly good, one of the best we've found anywhere in the world. It's even where Brad's fiancee had her Hen Do, and yes, I was responsible for planning the bar crawl ...

What to do in the Czech Republic

Most popular attractions/cities: Prague, Český Krumlov, Bohemian Switzerland National Park & Moravian Karst 

Although Prague isn’t one of the cheapest cities in Europe, it’s still much cheaper than the likes of Paris or Zurich. 

As it’s the capital city, you’ll find plenty of fantastic things to do here like visiting Prague Castle, walking over the iconic Charles Bridge, and exploring Old Town Square. 

If you're looking for a unique activity then why not check out this medieval dinner experience.

Other popular cities to visit in the country include Brno, Český Krumlov, and Pilsen! 

Although the Czech Republic is full of magical cities, one of the country’s highlights has to be Bohemian Switzerland National Park

Not only is this national park home to the largest rock arch in Europe, but you’ll find plenty of awesome hiking trails here too.

I’d also recommend visiting Moravian Karst during your time in the country as you'll find 1,000 caves here that sprawl out for over 90 km! 

15. Slovenia

Cost of visiting Slovenia on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $45-65
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $30-40 per night; Hotel: $40-60 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $2-3, Fast food: $6-8; Meal at a restaurant: $9-25
  • Top tip: Using the bus company Flixbus is an efficient and affordable way to get around the country as you can find great deals on ticket prices.

Slovenia is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in Central Europe and is known for its striking mountain ranges, glacial lakes, and lush forests. 

This country is mostly landlocked with only a small area being located along the Adriatic Sea. 

The rest of Slovenia is bordered by Austria, Croatia, Hungary, and Italy so you’ll have plenty of overland travel opportunities. 

We have naturally passed through a few times when road tripping Europe, simply due to it's fantastic location and many bordering nations.

What to do in Slovenia

Most popular attractions/cities: Ljubljana, Piran, Lake Bled & Kranjska Gora

Many people choose to start their Slovenia trip in the capital of Ljubljana. This is a great choice as you’ll get to explore Ljubljana castle, wander through the old town, and cross the famous Dragon Bridge

From there, you can explore some of Slovenia’s other cities including Koper, Maribor, Piran, and Ptuj

This fantastic country is home to diverse landscapes too, and Kranjska Gora is one of the best places to admire Slovenia’s beauty. 

I’d also try to squeeze in a visit to Postojna Cave Park, Škocjan Caves, and Triglav National Park!

No trip to Slovenia is complete without visiting the gorgeous Lake Bled either (photographed above), so don’t leave this off your itinerary. 

Situated in the Julian Alps, this beautiful glacier-formed lake is known for its breathtaking backdrop and the famous Lake Bled Cake! 

If you're short of time then this awesome day tour leaves from Ljubljana and includes a visit to Lake Bled, Bled Castle, Lake Bohinj, and Vintar Gorge.

16. Spain

Cost of visiting Spain on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $50-70
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $25-35 per night; Hotel: $35-55 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $3-4, Fast food: $8-10; Meal at a restaurant: $12-36
  • Top tip: Eating tapas is often a surefire way to save some cash, and many bars will give these dishes out for FREE if you’re ordering drinks. 

Okay, we are leaving Eastern Europe, and making our way west. Very west!

Despite being regarded as a much more developed European economy, Spain has always been incredibly cheap despite where it's located.

Popular tourist hotspots like Barcelona and Madrid can be a bit pricier. But head out from these cities and there are ample affordable getaways available. (And no I'm not talking about a cheap weekend break to Benidorm with all the British tourists).

Brad's parents actually decided to buy a home in the south of Spain, in a more rural area where there is a relatively well developed expat community. This home costs less than half of their one back in the UK and has amenities (and weather) you can only dream of in the UK.

Spain alsooffers a HUGE variety of Airbnb properties which are often the best option if you’re travelling on a budget. This means you can cook for yourself, rather than eat out. 

What to do in Spain

what to do in spain

Most popular attractions/cities: Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, & the Spanish Pyrenees

Although visiting the more popular cities will be expensive, you’ll always find good bargains if you find accommodation outside of the tourist areas.

For this reason, we can’t leave out the awesome city of Barcelona! Home to the iconic Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and a vibrant central market. Hiring a car in Barcelona is also a great idea, as you can easily explore the surrounding area.

You’ve also got Madrid, Valencia, Seville, and Mallorca (Majorca) so there are plenty of well-known options.

However, if you’re travelling on a strict budget you’ll want to visit some of the countries more off-the-beaten-track destinations.

This includes the cities of Cordoba, Granada, Malaga, and Murcia.

Alicante is also pretty affordable, which is great if you’re looking for a beach getaway, and you won’t want to miss out on the island of Gran Canaria either! 

If you're a fan of a campervanning adventure, Spain is great for this as there are ample wild camping or even just cheap 5 euro per night camping opportunities to be had. We road tripped the entire coast of Spain back in 2021 over about a 3 week period and spent on average less than 5 euros per night on accommodation!

Another great budget adventure Brad had back in 2018 was walking the Camino De Santiago, a 30 day trek across the north coast of Spain. Read more in his guide to the Camino here.

17. Portugal

Cost of visiting Portugal on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $45-65
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $25-35 per night; Hotel: $35-55 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $3-4, Fast food: $6.50-8.50; Meal at a restaurant: $8-24
  • Top tip: Many of the museums in Portugal are FREE on Sundays, so you can save some money on attractions by visiting this way! 

Just next door to Spain we have another surprising addition to the list here ... Portugal!

Although Portugal may not be the cheapest country in Europe, you can still find some fantastic deals.

We were shocked by how affordable road tripping Portugal can be, but also by how astoundingly beautiful it is.

If you avoid the more expensive touristy areas, you’ll find plenty of bang for your buck - especially when it comes to accommodation and food. 

As there is so much to see in this beautiful country, one of the best ways to see it all is by doing a road trip. If you decide to hire a campervan in Portugal you'll also cut costs on accommodation.

Alternatively, renting a car in Portugal is also very cheap. Allowing you to save money on tours, but also enjoy stunning regions such as the Douro Valley (pictured above).

What to do in Portugal

portugal porto

Most popular attractions/cities: Porto, Lisbon, The Algarve, & the Azores

To get the more expensive destinations out of the way, you’ll want to head to Porto, Lisbon, and the Algarve first. 

If you don’t mind travelling from the mainland, you can also head to some of the country’s best islands. This includes the Azores, and Madeira, however, you’ll find prices here to be less affordable! 

After you’ve visited many of the ‘tourist hotspots’ you’ll find Portugal to be very budget-friendly, especially if you’re travelling through lesser-known areas.

Some of the cheapest cities in Portugal include Alcobaça, Castelo Branco, Santarém, and Viseu. Each one offers cheap monthly rentals, and some of them are just an hour or two away from the more popular cities. 

This country is home to some stunning landscapes too including the iconic Bengali Caves, Peneda Geres National Park, and Douro Valley!

For a more detailed rundown on why we love it so much here, check out my guide on the best things to do in Portugal.

18. Greece

Cost of visiting Greece on a budget

  • Recommended budget per day: $45-65
  • Estimated accommodation costs: Hostel: $20-30 per night; Hotel: $30-50 per night
  • Food costs: Street food: $2-3, Fast food: $7-9; Meal at a restaurant: $11-33
  • Top tip: Greece is full of delicious street food including the popular gyros, and this will save you tons of money rather than dining at restaurants. 

Last, but certainly not least, is the beautiful country of Greece!

Like Spain and Portugal, Greece may not be as cheap as some countries at the very top of this list, but it is still extremely affordable.

This is especially the case if you’re travelling from more expensive countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, and Singapore! 

Although it’s not the cheapest Mediterranean country, it’s definitely up there as you’ll find accommodation options for as little as $20 per night.

We found deals like this, not just on the mainland, but also on the myriad of stunning islands the country offers.

What to do in Greece

what to do in greece

Most popular attractions/cities: Athens, Milos, Mykonos, & Santorini

Before we take a look at the more affordable side of Greece, we of course need to detail the most popular places to visit first. 

Athens is the Greek capital and although it’s not the country’s cheapest destination, you will find it to be much less expensive than other European capital cities. 

You’ve also got the popular islands of Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, and Milos! We visited some of these incredible places during our time island-hopping in Greece.

However, if you’re looking for somewhere a bit more budget-friendly there are plenty of other stunning islands to choose from.

This includes Alonnisos, Astypalaia, Ikaria, and Lefkada - all of which, you can find an apartment for between $30-$35 per night! 

The majority of mainland Greece is also affordable as it’s not as ‘famous’ as the Greek Islands.

Which country is best for you?

Discovering every one of the countries on this list took us years. But I hope that all of that valuable research has helped you out.

Trust me ... it was a pleasure!

Having visited all but 2 European countries, I can say confidently that this list is complete and useful; with all costings based directly on our own myriad of experiences over the last 30 or so years of our lives.

The hardest part will be deciding which ones you choose to visit! 

Below I will link to some useful guides to help you in planning your adventures further.

But if you are limited for time, remember that renting a car or camper can be a great way to squeeze a dozen or more countries all into one epic trip to Europe!

If you have any more questions, just let me know below ...

Disclaimer: Fully research your destination prior to travel, or any products prior to purchase. We can accept no responsibility for anything you experience as a result of the information found on this website. Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for some purchases, at no additional expense to you. Read more here
Some images courtesy of Deposit Photos.
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