5 Budget European destinations (+ saving tips for Europe

There are a lot of wonderful ways to experience Europe while staying on a budget. For most travelers, backpacking through Europe is at the top of their bucket list.

With numerous things to do in Europe, it’s a huge milestone for every traveler to backpack in Europe.

As with any backpacking trip, it’s important to know the best ways to see Europe on a budget. So in order to help you, we created this list of important tips you must be aware of to save money and time while exploring beautiful European travel spots.

5 European Cities to Travel on a Budget

We know that Europe can be expensive but there are a lot of places in Europe where you can take your money far.

Here are out top 5 choices for European cities to travel to on a budget.

LEÓN, SPAIN: for foodies

Spain on a budget

In the towns close to the cathedral of León, delightful tapas are served which comes free with your drinks. This is not rare when you are in Spain, but they do it best in this particular city.

You can enjoy an excellent glass of Rioja which only costs €1.50 and is escorted by a large portion.

You might not even need to order dinner after having a couple of drinks as they will leave you filled up with hearty morcilla stew, piquant sopa de ajo, or delicious jamon or cecina piled on top of crusty bread.

KRAKOW, POLAND: For partygoers

Sharing tips on how to travel Europe on a Budget. Plus five European destinations on a budget for travelers.

It is believed that Krakow has the most bars per square kilometer in the world. So, this is a paradise for those who are looking for a great nightlife but also wants to save money.

Exploring the place will make you feel like you are in a medieval town filled with cellar bars.

This city that never sleeps offers impressive drinking lairs and you’ll see how vodka flows and live music puts life to the place.

BERLIN: for culture lovers

people walking on a street

If you are looking for something that will make you feel the richest culture, there’s no better place to be than Berlin.

Eccentric, cool and a bit wild, this diverse city is famous for its originality, with cool walkways, independent museums, great music, contemporary arts, and theaters thriving along with major historic and cultural attractions like the Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie, and Museum Island, and Daniel Libeskind’s extraordinary Jewish Museum.

PORTUGAL: for water enthusiasts

people on the beach

The long shoreline of Western Europe’s most affordable country is best known for being one of the best watersport destinations for those travelers who are conscious of their expenses.

Enjoy the water while you are in Lisbon or Algarve without breaking a bank. Here are  Things to do in Algarve Portugal for an Unforgettable Trip

TRANSYLVANIA, ROMANIA: for those looking for adrenaline rush

houses on a mountain

Thanks to the perfect geography, Romania is becoming a popular destination for those who are looking for the best ways to see Europe on a budget.

The Transylvanian Alps are one mountain ranges that are known best for hiking, rock-climbing, horseback riding, wild camping, and whitewater rafting together with wonderful caving in the wide network hidden under the hills.

Finding Budget Accommodation in Europe


Hostels in Europe

One of the benefits of traveling alone and the best ways to see Europe on a budget is by staying in hostels. You might think that hostels are entirely suitable for only young backpackers who want to party, but the truth is that they are made for all types of travelers.

There are also many hostels that offer private rooms that are affordable for those who are not comfortable with sharing rooms with other travelers.

Camping in Europe

If you are looking for something even cheaper than a hostel, then camping would be a good choice. There is an endless number of campsites in Europe even when you are in major cities. These campsites also offer facilities like bathrooms and cooking areas.

Finding Cheap Food in Europe

chefs making food

Cook your own

If you choose to stay in a hostel or at a camping site, then you’d probably have a cooking facility.

One of the biggest expenses when traveling goes to food, so in order to save, the best thing you could do is to buy fresh or instant food from the groceries and cook them yourself. It doesn’t have to be like this all the time, but by doing this, you are saving yourself a lot of travel cash.

Eat like a local

Foods tend to be expensive at tourist spots, so your best bet when trying to travel on a budget in Europe is to eat the way like a local eat.

These restaurants are normally found just a few blocks away from where most tourists go. So, take a walk and find the eating places that offer the best deals.

Eat street food

Lucky for those who are saving money, it is very common to see food stalls around any European cities. For example, you can grab a slice of pizza in Rome for only a couple of euros and a crepe while in Paris!

Finding Budget Transport in Europe

bike riding Adelaide

European Rail Pass

Riding a train is one of the best ways to see Europe on a budget, so don’t forget to buy a rail pass. 

There are a lot of different passes available; from a single country pass to a complete pass that lets you ride the train anywhere in Europe. It completely depends on your trip, but depending on a rail pass helps you save a lot of euros.

Tourist Passes

There are a lot of European cities that offer special tourist passes for travelers, and they normally offer public transport systems that are free, so make sure to take advantage of them.

For example, The Berlin Pass gives you free entry to 60+ top Berlin attractions, Hop on and Off sightseeing tours, and an optional travel card for unlimited travel. Get yours and save money your visit to Berlin.

Cycling or Walking

If you truly want to immerse yourself in a European country or city you are at, then explore it by two wheels or feet. It does not only help you save money but also improve your health while on the road!

Budget Airlines

Take note of the two reliable budget airlines in Europe: RyanAir and EasyJet. These two budget airlines offer cheap deals to anyone who wants to explore the continent.

If possible, make sure to book your flights, too, as airfares tend to be cheaper when booked in advanced.

Download the new Skyscanner App, which makes it easier for you to find the best travel deals for Europe. It’s an all in one flights, hotel and car hire search engine app!

Europe is, generally, a great budget destination, but as more and more tourists flock in particular regions, digging a little deeper to find the best deals would be necessary.

So, pack your backpack for travel now and start planning your itinerary and follow the best ways to see Europe on a budget!

Looking for Destinations in Europe on a Budget?

Check out this list of European destinations that are amazing and affordable 

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21 thoughts on “5 Budget European destinations (+ saving tips for Europe”

  1. Great article, being a backpacker is a great opportunity to know the world, especially when you are single, when I went to Portugal last year, I saved a lot, and many of the tips I read here I had practiced abroad, always tried to walk, eat In places far from tourist places, and stayed in hostels, I loved, mainly because I knew people of other nationalities, traveling is all good in this life.

  2. TRANSYLVANIA, ROMANIA is awesome. One tip is that if you have a drone they won’t let you fly it near the main castles. So, just walk off the property and launch from there keeping your drone at a decent distance and you’ll still get your footage without being told no.

    I have a great way to get to Europe cheap if you have time to travel slowly. You go to South America first then on to Europe cheaply. Once you know how it’s super easy and you get to see South America this way too.

    1. Or you could be respectful and not fly a drone where they’ve asked you not to? Posting this seems kind of disrespectful and something that could get people into trouble.

  3. I got seriously excited when I saw the picture of Krakow in your post! It is such an underrated city in Europe. Not enough people head that far east.

    My friend and I were there last winter. The cathedral is beautiful, Schindler’s factory is about a 2km walk away and the best Mange history museum is there too. Krakow is a city of surprises. Not to mention the dragon near the palace.

    Thank you for adding it to the list.

    1. Is Krakow alright in winter? I’m scheduling a Europe trip for Feb-May, and I REALLY want to go to Poland, but I’m trying to find places for Feb and March when things will still be cold. I’m saving April for my first trip to France. Would you recommend Krakow that time or year/any other recommendations for winter?

  4. Great piece of information about travelling to Europe. I have been to European countries several times, but I think I did not follow the code before. I now have great new tips about my next journey. Thank you!

  5. I’m so glad I came across this because I’m actually in the process of planning a trip to Europe for this summer. Portugal is definitely on my list!

    1. I’m actually about to have another post about planning a trip to Europe published on another site with more planning tips. I’ve recommended Portugal as a place to go in 2017. I’ll come back and post a link here for you when it’s published so you can read it.

      1. Do you have book out on these tips or can you recommend one? Also what about hostels for a 60 year old couple. What info could you provide me for that please?

  6. Travelling through Europe is definitely on my bucket list, and I haven’t done it yet specifically because of the cost, so thank you for sharing this. It’s been a great read and there’s lots of useful stuff in here!

  7. Prague, Czech Republic should definitely be on your list of budget European cities! We are one of the cheapest in Europe. What’s great about travelling in Europe is you can start with one country and then easily reach the rest by bus/train or even hitch hiking.

  8. Sensational Article ! Is my dream to do a trip for romania, some friends already went and they tell me it is amazing. I’ll try to go this year.. when i look this pictures my desire increase more …

  9. Krakow as many other cities in Poland is really wallet friendly destination. Last year I have got unforgettable experiences there. I have been in Wieliczka and Zakopane for some days. Beautiful nature, dozen of awesome activities and reasonable prices. That is all I could say about these towns. However, I think that Lithuania is also great destination for budget travelers. Food and accommodation are quite cheap. Moreover, there is a great infrastructure, so traveling in the country will by as a piece of cake for you. More info that would be useful for budget trip to Lithuanian cities you can read here: http://www.travelbaltics.eu/things-to-know-before-traveling-in-lithuania/

  10. Great tips for visiting Europe! We’ve visited Europe 6 times and have spent time in 16 European countries. One tip we tell everyone is “Make your plans far in advance for the best rates and availability. Last minute bookings will cost you a fortune and probably end you outside the best areas.” Great post hope all is well and Travel On!

  11. I’ve actually just been to Poland and I love this country! I loved Krakow, and I also went to Warsaw for few days and it is also worth recommending! It is more modern, but very diverse and beautiful. It will be perfect for anybody – partygoers, history lovers, foodies… Warsaw has it all 🙂 As I am in the last category, a huge foodie restaurants were my main destinations. The one restaurant that I liked the most in Warsaw was called the Akademia Restaurant. I had the best Polish dinner there, in a little bit modern version. Anyway, it was truly delicious and high quality, and most importantly in a reasonable price! I will for sure go back one day!

  12. Good read! Do you recommend any travel essentials or travel tips that would make traveling safer and easier?

  13. I am planning to visit few of the mentioned places. Poland is a worth to visit place because of its historical importance. Looking forward to use some of your tips. Cheers

  14. Transylvania is a blast. Not only due to Dracula, but also due to the beautiful landscape, picturesque village life, medieval towns and castles and delicious food.

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