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Krakow Old Town at Christmas
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Revealed: the best budget-friendly cities to visit in Europe this winter

One city has claimed the top spot for the third year in a row

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

With autumn suddenly well underway, and the winter months looming miserably around the corner, what better time is there to get away? 

Sure, summer holidays are great, but the December to February period is when most of us genuinely need a pick-me-up. Thankfully, there are plenty of brilliant places in Europe where you can do so on a budget. has announced its annual ranking of the best winter getaway destinations in Europe, and Krakow has been crowned at the top for the third year in a row. 

The Polish city’s Old Town is packed with basement bars, so you can shimmy away those seasonal blues, and there’s plenty of fascinating Eastern European history to absorb, too. 

According to the research, Krakow has exceptionally low car rental and hotel costs, as well as a whopping 665 reasonably-priced restaurants. What’s more, the price of a pint will only set you back a measly £1.95 (€2.25, $2.35) — dzięki!

Prague is the second-best European winter destination, only marginally behind Krakow with a score of 37 out of 50 (Krakow scored 38). The Czech capital boasts an astounding 1,206 cheap places to eat and also scores well for its cheap accommodation options and flights. 

In third place it’s Brussels, which ranks high thanks to the abundance of free attractions on offer, including the stunning Grand Place. Flights to the Belgian capital from London Heathrow are also the cheapest on the list, averaging at around £98. 

Here are the best budget-friendly cities to visit in Europe:

  1. Krakow, Poland
  2. Prague, Czech Republic
  3. Brussels, Belgium
  4. Paris, France
  5. Budapest, Hungary
  6. Tallinn, Estonia
  7. BerlinGermany
  8. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  9. Vienna, Austria
  10. Copenhagen, Denmark

Explore Europe with Time Out

From finding the coolest neighbourhoods in Europe for 2023 to covering the cities which are about to become more expensive to visit, we work hard to keep you up-to-date on everything you need to know about travelling to Europe. Check out our hub for the best things to do in Europe

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