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11 of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe on a budget

These are the cheapest places to visit in Europe, and we’ve included the cost of a pint

Sophie Dickinson
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Sophie Dickinson
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Travel is well and truly back, people. Covid testing for tourists is increasingly being scrapped across the board, and travellers are practically being ushered into the once-bustling cities of Europe. But the thing is, lots of us are still strapped for cash after two years of uncertainty. 

The good news is this: there are plenty of interesting and affordable locations on the Continent that you can visit without breaking the bank. Plus, a load of them are off the beaten track, meaning you won’t have to fight your way through crowds to find the best bits. We found out the average price of an Airbnb in each place, and cross-referenced that with data from financial comparison site Finder to work out where you can get a discount pint, too. From the ruin-filled city of Argos in Greece to the foodie-heaven of Graz in Austria, here are 11 of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe.

RECOMMENDED: The 16 best city breaks in Europe for 2022

Cheapest cities to visit in Europe

Festival vibes meet olde-worlde history in Kraków. We recommend packing in as many medieval sites as possible, and then getting stuck into a great night out. Try to plan your trip to coincide with one of the city’s many, many festivals, which range from the typical (think Summer Jazz Festival and the Kraków Film Festival) to the more obscure, like the International Soup Festival. Yum.

Average one-bed Airbnb: £59 ($77)
Average pint:
£2.15 ($2.82)

2. Riga, Latvia

In Riga, it’s all about the art nouveau. The architecture is seriously beautiful, and there’s a huge, buzzy creative scene. Check out Putti, a modern gallery and events space, or Rīgas Birža for something more traditional. Looking for something less refined? The booze here is really cheap – so if you’re looking to let loose, head to the Old Town for all the most established bars. 

Average one-bed Airbnb: £49 ($64)
Average pint: £2.76 ($3.66)

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3. Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Český Krumlov is a lot like Prague, but without the stag dos. Its labyrinthine, baroque streets all lead you, eventually, to the huge castle complex at the centre. It’s beautiful in summer, but for the really picturesque views go in winter, when it’s blanketed in snow. Keep warm in one of the many cosy cafés, or try traditional food in one of the live music parlours. Not a rowdy bunch of blokes to be seen. 

Average one-bed Airbnb:
£76 ($99)

Average pint: £1.44 ($1.89)

4. Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest is great if you’re looking for a good time. Don’t sleep on the nightlife, just make sure to avoid the overhyped bars near the centre and head for one of the sky bars instead. You can try (delicious, hearty) traditional food for bargain prices, too. Our reccomedation is the legendary Caru’ cu Bere – order the grilled pork and a side of sauerkraut.

Average one-bed Airbnb:
£45 ($59)

Average pint: £1.48 ($1.94)

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5. Belgrade, Serbia

Chaotic, gritty, packed and super cheap – Belgrade is anything but a quiet getaway location. Smokey dive bars and gig venues nestle in old socialist architecture, competing for space in the once-desolate Savamala area, which is now home to a thriving culture scene. Head to Ada Ciganlija, a reclaimed island on the Sava river, if you’re looking to find a tiny, tranquil slice of nature.

Average one-bed Airbnb: £39 ($51)
Average pint: £1.53 ($2.01)

6. Kaunas, Lithuania

Kaunas is going to be big this year. It’s one of the European Capitals of Culture for 2022, and an incredible 1,000 events are being planned to celebrate it. If you can’t make it to any of them, there are plenty of seriously impressive exhibition spaces open all year round, like the Mykolas Žilinskas Art Gallery. And if you want something a bit weirder, head to the seriously strange Devil’s Museum

Average one-bed Airbnb:
£58 ($76)

Average pint: £2.90 ($3.81)

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7. Zagreb, Croatia

This city is made for walking – we recommend that you wander from the beautiful, sprawling main square to basically every sight. That’ll keep costs low, and your exposure to amazing sights high. If you do want to get your transport fix, though, jump on the funicular and head up the hill for unbeatable views. Or just hang out in one of the many, many cool cafés.

Average one-bed Airbnb: £51 ($66)
Average pint: £1.82 ($2.39)

8. Argos, Greece

Argos is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. Right in the heart of the Peloponnese, this is Greece as you imagine it: balmy Mediterranean weather with archaelogical beauty sprawling as far as the eye can see. According to legend, it was literally ruled by the son of Zeus at one point, too. It’s largely off the tourist path too, so you can explore the ancient theatre ruins, the prehistoric castle and sixth-century BC Roman Agora in peace.

Average one-bed Airbnb: £38 ($49)
Average pint: £3.66 ($4.80)

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9. Marsalforn, Malta

Head to this quaint fishing village if you’re looking for a properly quiet break. Marshalforn isn’t a porthole-windows and artfully-placed-lobster-crate situation, it’s the real deal. The restaurants have lots of fresh fish and great ocean views, so we recommend you take a book, put on your sunglasses, and enjoy the sea breeze.

Average one-bed Airbnb: £57 ($74)
Average pint: £2.09 ($2.74)

10. Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia is properly, properly gorgeous. The domed churches dotted around the city will be a guaranteed hit on your Insta, as will the elaborate mosques, Soviet statues and grand galleries. As most people overlook it in favour of Bulgaria’s ski slopes and coastline, you won’t feel crowded while you wander. 

Average one-bed Airbnb:
£46 ($60)

Average pint: £1.37 ($1.80)

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11. Graz, Austria

Graz is one of Austria’s unsung heroes. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as being annointed 2003's Capital of Culture and the 2008 City of Culinary Delights. For futuristic art, head to Kunsthaus Graz. The gallery is housed in a building known as the ‘friendly alien’ – you can’t miss its undulating, scaley form on the waterfront. 

Average one-bed Airbnb: £64 ($84)
Average pint: £3.25 ($4.27)

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