Europe is a treasure trove of wonderful places. What's more, with low-cost carriers such as the cheap and cheerful EasyJet and Wizz Air flying people about the continent, it's now pretty cheap to get around. Using PayPal and PayPal Credit to pay for flights while you travel around also helps as it allows you to track your travel funds and make sure you are still keeping your travel experiences within budget. The thing is, when you get to where you want to go, the price of having a good time can be steep. Hotels, eating out, sight-seeing and getting around can rack up a hefty bill if you’re not careful. In fact, on the Telegraph’s list of the world's top 20 most expensive countries, 11 of them are in Europe!
It wouldn't be fair to tarnish the whole continent with that brush, however. There are still many cheap and cheerful places to visit in Europe with a lot to offer. Here's a few of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe and a rough price guide to help you weigh up the costs of visiting.
You must watch our handy video that will take you through the cheapest countries to visit in Europe in just a minute!
Budapest is rich with culture, castles and caves, but is mostly known for being the Spa Capital of the World. If you're planning to be kind to your bank account but also want to enjoy a relaxing European-city getaway, Budapest is the way to go. As a city that's full of history, it's a must for any tourist to explore the Castle District - here is where Buda Castle, a former palace for Hungarian Kings, sits atop Castle Hill overlooking the Danube River. Love to shop? Vaci Street, located on the other side of Danube River, offers markets and food stalls brimming with Hungarian souvenirs and cuisines.
Currency: Hungarian Forint
Accommodation: You can get 5 star accommodation in the capital for just under $200, hostels for $9-12
Transportation: With an extensive bus, tram and metro network, public transport can cost between $4-12 depending on how long you're staying
Meals: A three course meal for 2 People at a mid-range restaurant is on average $31
Drink: Beer in the city centre costs around $1.80
Entertainment: Entry for adults into Buda Castle is $3.67
Getting there by air: LOT Polish Airlines, Ryanair, Smartwings Hungary and Wizz Air
Lisbon remains a good bargain among European capitals, and the rest of Portugal offers something for everyone. From its unique architecture to its bustling nightlife and the classic Fado music, you're bound to find somewhere you like. Whether you're travelling on a budget or aiming for a luxurious break in the city, Lisbon accommodates all. Accommodation and flights may be pricier than you'd hope for, but once you land there's an abundance of popular, free tourist attractions to experience including Museu Berardo, a collection of 1000 pieces of contemporary and modern art, and the old neighbourhoods of Alfama and Madragoa.
Church of São Vicente de Fora, Lisbon
Accommodation: A mid-range hotel on average should cost $120, a private double in a cheap hotel around $80
Transportation: Trains, trams, ferries, buses and taxis are available ranging from $1 - $6
Meals: A three course meal for 2 People at a mid-range restaurant is on average $40
Drinks: A bottle of beer or a glass of wine typically costs $2 - $3
Attractions: Castelo de São Jorge, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Oceanário de Lisboa, Torre de Belém and more
Getting there by air: So many low-cost airlines fly into Lisbon, from TAP Air Portugal to Turkish Airlines
A picturesque view of the Acropolis in Athens
Despite only being a day's cycle distance from the capital of Austria, Vienna, Bratislava is not nearly as popular as its neighbouring capital city. A lack of famous attractions doesn't help, though the pleasant and historic town center is worth a day meandering round. However it is worth a detour from Bratislava to the nearby Tatras, the highest part of the Carpathian mountain range. The dramatic scenery entices skiers in the winter and hikers in the summer. With this cheap European destination, you get all the benefits of the Austrian mountains without the extortionate cost.
Fancy a slice of ancient history but want to keep to your budget? Athens is the perfect city for those who want to take in the history of ancient Greece and also delve into modern-day nightlife all in one trip. Take a hike up to the world-famous Acropolis where you can view the entire city of Athens when you reach the top. To make your trip easier, you can purchase an Acropolis Combo ticket which lets you visit the Acropolis as well as the other 6 ancient sites dotted around the city. Wining and dining is cheap around the Monastiraki neighbourhood - why not try some souvlaki or Greek salad?
Accommodation: A mid-range hotel on average should cost $50 per night; a private double in a higher end hotel costs around $80
Transportation: Metro trains, trams and buses are very cheap in Athens, with fares ranging from $1 - $5
Meals: A meal at an inexpensive restaurant should cost about $25
Drinks/Entertainment: Nightlife is everywhere in Athens - a beer/wine costs around $3 with cocktails $10
Attractions: The combo ticket for the Acropolis, 6 ancient sites and the 14 museums around Athens costs around $70
Lake Bled located in Bled, Slovenia
Ljubljana (pronounced as loo-bee-aa-nuh) is the capital of Slovenia and is rich with green spaces, cathedrals and markets. As well as visiting Ljubljana, it's worth visiting Lake Bled which is only an hour away by train from the capital. Lake Bled offers natural landscapes and dramatic sceneries and is perfect for anyone looking for a low-cost hiking holiday away from the capital's nightlife scene.
Accommodation: $35 for a room in a mid-range hotel, $130 for the best place in town
Transportation: Buses are available to get around the city with fares starting from $1.30
Meals: If you eat and drink at nice places all day, prepare to spend around $40
Drinks: $2 for great pint of beer, slightly more for a coffee
Attractions: Ljubljana Castle entry costs $13 per adult, the Dragon Bridge is free to view and the markets are budget-friendly
Getting there by air: Some of the cheapest airlines to fly with to Ljubljana include Lufthansa, Wizz Air and SWISS
Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Of Ta' Pinu, Gozo, Malta
The island of Malta may be small but it's packed full of culture and activities that are perfect for any traveller looking for a low-cost break within Europe. Take a tour of Mdina, otherwise known as Malta's Silent City, which was once inhabited by Malta's noble families and made up of Norman and Baroque architecture. Why not take a look at the Popeye Village, where the 1980 musical production of Popeye took place! The natural beauty of Malta cannot be missed - the island is surrounded by crystal clear water and beautiful beaches, all of which are free to visit.
Accommodation: You can get a hostel bed for less than $5, or a 3-star room for less than $70
Transportation: Buses connect towns around the island, with fares ranging from $1.50 - $2. Taxis are also available.
Meals: A three course meal for 2 People at a mid-range restaurant is on average $40
Attractions: Mdina (Silent City), The Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum, Golden Bay, Marsaxlokk and St. John's Co-Cathedral
Getting there by air: Air Malta, easyJet and Ryanair all offer cheap flights to Malta from within Europe
Bratislava is home to Slovakia's historic castles, palaces and statues. Remember the Danube River we mentioned earlier than passes through Budapest? It also passes through Bratislava - it's the perfect place to find accommodation where you can view the river and be in the centre of the city at the same time. If you're planning a tour through Eastern Europe, you can also take a riverboat from Bratislava all the way through to Budapest or Vienna along the Danube River - a much cheaper alternative to flying. You might notice the quirky, whimsical statues dotted around the city's streets. The grounds of Bratislava castle are free to view, however, if you'd like a tour of the castle interior, it's only $10 per person. If you're not much of a city person, opportunities to hike and explore caves are not far from Bratislava - a great free activity if you're on a budget!
Accommodation: During peak season, rooms are rarely over $50 and usually this price includes breakfast
Transportation: Buses, trams and trolleybuses navigate around Bratislava - rates usually range from $0.70 (15 mins) to $3.50 (24 hours)
Meals: A three course meal for 2 at a nice restaurant may cost $40
Drinks: Beers are around $1.40 per bottle and wine $5 per bottle
Attractions: Entrance fees can vary between $0-10 per person
Warsaw, Poland, lighting up the night sky
Ever heard of visiting a beach inside a city? Well in Warsaw, this is an actual thing - it's called Vistula and its a stretch of natural, sandy beaches located alongside the River Vistula where you can sit back and enjoy the view of the city or even play a game of volleyball! If you don't want to break the bank, you can take a wander around the Old Town, visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or visit the Warsaw Uprising Museum.
Currency: Polish złoty
Accommodation: City-centre hostels available from $10 per night, otherwise you can stay in a mid-range hotel for $60 per night
Transportation: Transport in Warsaw consists of buses and trams with fares starting from $0.90
Meals: You can get a decent breakfast, lunch and dinner for $37 per person
Drinks/Entertainment: A beer may be about $3 and a bottle of wine may cost around $6 in the supermarket
Attractions: Palace of Culture and Science, Wilanow Palace, Lazienki Park and more
Getting there by air: If you're flying from the US, the cheapest airline that flies direct to Warsaw is LOT Polish Airlines
Alhambra in Granada, Spain
When travelling to Spain on a budget, it all depends on where you're staying if you don't want to break the bank. One of the cheapest cities to visit in Spain is Granada. Packed with mountainous views, ancient architecture and traditional Spanish markets, Granada is the perfect setting for those looking for a cultural visit to Spain while on a budget. A must-do for any tourist is to visit the Alhambra, an ancient palace full of beautiful flowers, pools and fountains - tickets are very affordable and it's well worth the views once you get inside the palace! Other low-cost attractions in Granada include the Plaza del Principe, a square with an abundance of restaurants for wining and dining, and Granada Cathedral, a Spanish Renaissance church built in the 16th Century (tickets only €5 EUR for adults!).
Accommodation: For $40 EUR a night you could find a very nice hotel to stay in
Transportation: Hop-On-Hop-Off Train costs $8 EUR a day; taxis range from $0.82 - $1.30 EUR per km; bus tickets start from $1.40 EUR
Meals: A three course meal for 2 People at a mid-range restaurant is on average $50 EUR
Drinks: A crisp pint of beer costs around $2.50 EUR and a soothing bottle of wine can cost around $5 EUR
Attractions: The Alhambra Palace, Granada Cathedral, Alcaicería Market, Turkish bathhouses
Getting there by air: Iberia, American Airlines, Vueling, Turkish Airlines
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Using PayPal or PayPal Credit to pay for your flights when you're on the go also helps for packing light (no need to carry plastic cards!). Also using the PayPal app helps keep track of the funds going in and out of your bank account.
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