7 best European cities to visit if you’re on a budget

7 best European cities to visit if you’re on a budget

While travelling in Europe is one of the most exciting and thrilling things to do, it can be expensive. To help you plan your next adventure, here are seven great cities that will give you fulfilment without breaking your bank account.

Budget-friendly cities in Europe

On the hunt for a cheap adventure? Try paying one of these cities a visit. 

1. Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig, in the German state of Saxony, has an incredible history. Famously, it was the city where the protests began in 1989 that would eventually bring down the Berlin Wall and reunite the country. That fierce spirit is still alive and kicking in Leipzig today, and history geeks will find plenty to occupy them, from medieval architecture and towering monuments, to interesting museums.

The city also has a thriving art and culture scene, and top-notch nightlife resulting in it being nicknamed the "new Berlin".

Stuttgart in Germany

2. Basel, Switzerland

Switzerland and affordable are two words that aren't often put together but provided you know where to visit and where to stay, one city can be a notable exception: Basel. From visiting the imposing Münster, to strolling in the old town and taking a swim in the river (or local fountain), the city has plenty of activities you can do for next to nothing.

The Basel card (which comes free with any hotel booking) also offers unlimited public transport and cheap or free access to a number of the city's top attractions. The city's location right next to the borders of France and Germany means you could also take advantage of the low food and hotel prices across the border while still visiting Switzerland.

Basel in Switzerland

3. The Hague, Netherlands

One of the most charming places to visit in The Netherlands is Den Haag, also known as The Hague. The city is on the North Sea coast on the western side of The Netherlands, and it contains some of the country's most important buildings. There are some great museums in The Hague as well, many with free or affordable admission. If the weather is fine, there is also a delightful beach at Scheveningen, which is perfect for sunbathing or a stroll with a coffee or ice cream.

The Hague in the Netherlands

4. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Sarajevo is one of the most welcoming capitals in Europe, with an incredible history that is documented through museums and architecture. It is a joy to walk through the Ottoman bazaars, the Old Town called Baščaršija, and the city hall, Vijećnica. Enjoy traditional Bosnian coffee and delicacies while riding a gondola to Mount Trebević or wandering through the beautiful mosques created with Balkan culture and architecture.

Sarajevo in Bosnia

5. Budapest, Hungary

If you have an appetite for a city with striking architecture and scrumptious food, then Budapest is the city for you! It’s known to be one of Central Europe’s most beautiful cities, and it has many affordable entertainment options, including free walking tours, sensational churches, free art galleries, and mouthwatering markets. Finish it all off with a nighttime stroll along the Danube, when the entire city is illuminated by lights. 

Budapest in Hungary

6. Palermo, Italy

Escape from mainland Italy and immerse yourself in the Sicilian capital of Palermo. Discover the many churches with exquisite mosaics, spooky catacombs, and bustling neighbourhood markets, all while snacking on traditional street food. Visit the Norman Palace and Cattedrale di Palermo, and then head to Spiaggia di Mondello, a pristine beach, to eat gelato the Sicilian way - in a brioche bun!

Palermo in Italy

7. Porto, Portugal

Portugal’s second-biggest city sits on the banks of the River Duoro, and the riverside is packed with amazing restaurants offering delicious local dishes and wines at fantastic prices. Porto has many pocket-friendly excursions like window shopping through the Rua de Santa Catarina, walking along the Ribeira, exploring the many stunning churches, or roaming around the Crystal Palace gardens. You could even eat at the McDonalds Imperial, where a burger can be enjoyed with ornate chandeliers and stained-glass windows as a backdrop.

Porto in Portugal

Experience Europe without breaking the bank

Looking for an affordable getaway this summer? These options are all guaranteed great getaways - and kind to your bank balance too! Have you got any more tips for budget-friendly holiday spots? Let us know in the comments below!

Eesha Wirk


Eesha Wirk

Eesha studied in the United States, obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience and Studio Art. She is currently getting her Research Masters in Cognitive Neuropsychology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In...

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