Europe’s Cheapest Cities

Europe’s Cheapest Cities

Anti-Crisis information. Rating of the cheapest cities in Europe according to Price of Travel, where you can live quite cheaply – from $ 24 per day.

Portal Price of Travel has once again published a ranking of the cheapest cities in Europe – Europe Backpacker Index.

For Russian travelers this information is especially relevant: the crisis is raging, ruble is getting cheaper, and the desire to travel does not die away. Fortunately there are still places in Europe, which are not too expensive to visit. Take note and make travel!

How is the rating of budget cities in Europe built? Resource collects and publishes data on the cost of a day spent in a European city, based on the following criteria:

  1. the cost of one night in a cheap hotel/hostel with good reviews and a convenient location;
  2. the cost of two rides on public transport;
  3. the cost of visiting one tourist attraction;
  4. the cost of three meals (of course, inexpensive. To this cost is added 20% in the case of a long vacation);
  5. the cost of three bottles of cheap local beer (or wine). For non-drinkers – coffee and dessert or other equivalent entertainment, such as a concert.

You may also be interested to read the compilation “What country is the best to live in” (rating of countries by quality of life) and the instruction “How to travel to Europe on the most budget.

The prices are in local currency.

So, actually the rating of cities (from the cheapest to the most expensive).

1. Kiev, Ukraine

Due to inflation and the events in Ukraine Kiev leads (and will likely continue to lead) a list of the cheapest cities in Europe.

  • The cost of a night in a cheap hotel: Magic Bus Kiev – 65 hryvnias.
  • Transportation costs: 4 hryvnia.
  • Food: 192 hryvnias.
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 96 UAH.
  • Sightseeing: 10 UAH.

Daily Backpacker Index: 385 UAH, or $24.32 per day.

cheap city in europe

(photo © rennes.i / flickr.com)

2. Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest’s Old Town and the Parliament building are a must-see. The good thing is that recently there has been a downward trend in the prices of hostels.

  • Cost per night per room: Funky Chicken Hostel = 15,64 Romanian lei.
  • Transportation costs: 4 lei.
  • Food: 43,20 lei.
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 12 lei.
  • Sightseeing: 12 lei

Daily Backpacker Index: 99.70 lei, or $26.38 per day.

3. Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia is a beautiful European capital, also very budget-friendly. Almost everything is cheap here, except for flights, but Bulgaria is a pretty small country, so you can travel around the country by bus.

  • A night in a cheap hotel: Hostel Mostel costs 13,70 BGN (breakfast included).
  • Transportation costs: 2 BGN.
  • Food: 16,8 BGN.
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 7.50 Bulgarian leva.
  • Sightseeing: BGN 4.

Daily Backpacker Index: 44.72 BGN or $27.27 per day.

budget city in europe

(photo © jaime.silva / flickr.com)

4. Krakow, Poland.

Krakow continues the list of Europe’s cheapest cities. Low prices for hostels, bars, and restaurants combined with charming architecture and local culture make this city very attractive to budget travelers.

  • The cost of a night in a cheap hotel: Benedict Hostel is 30 Polish zlotys.
  • Transportation costs: 5,60 PLN.
  • Food: 24 PLN.
  • Drinks/entertainment: 18 zlotys.
  • Attractions: 15 zlotys.

Daily Backpacker Index: 100.60 PLN, or $27.79 per day.

5. Belgrade, Serbia.

Belgrade is not known for a huge number of attractions, but it is interesting in its own way. The city center with its nightlife, the Old Town and, of course, the attractive prices.

  • The price for a night in a cheap hotel: City Break Hostel – 4,52 euros.
  • Transportation costs: 1,68 euros.
  • Food: 9,60 euros.
  • Drinks/entertainment: 4.5 euros.
  • Sightseeing: 3 euros.
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Daily Backpacker Index: 25.08 euros, or $29.86 per day.

6. Warsaw, Poland.

Although the bulk of tourists head to Krakow, Poland’s capital city also has something to brag about besides the low prices. Very impressive is the city center, which was renovated after World War II.

On a side note: we have an article on how to get to Warsaw (flights with minimal costs).

  • The cost of a night in a cheap hotel: Hoza Hostel – 35 Polish zlotys.
  • Transportation costs: 6.80 PLN.
  • Food: 39,60 PLN.
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 21 PLN.
  • Sightseeing: 18 PLN.

Daily Backpacker Index: 112.40 PLN, or $31.05 per day.

cheap european cities

(photo © paval hadzinski / flickr.com)

7. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Another Balkan city undeservedly neglected by tourists. It is surrounded by picturesque mountains. In Sarajevo, we recommend a visit to the Muslim Old Town, located next door to the modern center.

  • The cost of a night in a cheap hotel: Hostel Ljubicica – 5,56 euros.
  • Transportation costs: 3,6 euros.
  • Food: 9,60 euros.
  • Drinks/entertainment: 3.75 euros.
  • Sightseeing: €4.

Daily Backpacker Index: €26.22, or $31.21 per day.

8. Budapest, Hungary.

Another cheap city in Europe is Budapest. The farther away you get from the tourist center, the lower the prices will be. It is better to look for a cheap hotel also outside the center. The city has many ancient castles and cathedrals, in addition, there are famous thermal spas. Read our article about how to visit the museums of Budapest for free.

  • The cost of a night in a cheap hotel: Lowcostel Hostels is 2045 Hungarian forints.
  • Transportation costs: 700 Hungarian forints.
  • Food: 3120 Hungarian forints.
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 1050 Hungarian forints.
  • Sightseeing: 1500 HUF.

Daily Backpacker Index: 8,370 Hungarian forints, or $31.23 per day.

9. Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

This second most popular city in the Czech Republic is a must-see – it’s hard to imagine a more charming place. Plus, Cesky Krumlov pleasantly surprises with reasonable prices even in the center of town.

  • A night in a cheap hotel: Hostel Merlin costs 265 CZK.
  • Transportation costs: 48 CZK.
  • Food: 288 CZK.
  • Drinks/entertainment: 90 CZK.
  • Sightseeing: 100 CZK

Daily Backpacker Index: 791 kronor, or $34.01 per day.

cheap european cities

(photo © Alex E. Proimos / flickr.com)

10. St. Petersburg, Russia

Because of inflation our St. Petersburg is in the top ten cheapest cities in Europe according to Price of Travel. The city, according to the portal, is much friendlier to tourists than Moscow and cheaper. However, the entrance to the Hermitage for tourists is very expensive, and restaurants and hotels in general are not too cheap.

  • The cost of a night in a cheap hotel: Mozaika Hostel – 370 rubles (read where inexpensive to stay in St. Petersburg).
  • Transportation costs: 62 rubles.
  • Food: 936 rubles.
  • Drinks/entertainment: 360 rubles.
  • Sightseeing: 400 rubles (read how to go to St. Petersburg museums for free).

Daily Backpacker Index: 2,158 rubles, or $34.27 per day.

Other cheap cities in Europe

Next up (in order of increasing cost) are:

  • Riga, Latvia ($36.19 per day);
  • Zagreb, Croatia ($36.19 per day);
  • Vilnius, Lithuania ($37.14 per day);
  • Bratislava, Slovakia ($40.95);
  • Istanbul, Turkey ($42.08 per day);
  • Split, Croatia ($42.14 per day);
  • Prague, Czech Republic ($44.93 per day);
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia ($45.95 per day);
  • Tenerife, Spain ($48.33 per day);
  • Moscow, Russia ($48.44 per day);
  • Tallinn, Estonia ($49.29 per day);
  • Lisbon, Portugal ($51.07 per day);
  • Santorini, Greece ($51.55 per day) and so on.

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What are the cheapest cities in Europe for accommodation and tourism in 2022?

Europe is chock-full of incredible cities, but which are the most budget-friendly? Read on to learn about Europe’s cheapest cities in 2022.

The Most Affordable City

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1. Krakow, Poland

Krakow is the second largest city in Poland and one of the cheapest cities in Europe. It rivals the medieval charm of Prague, but it doesn’t draw the same crowds. There are plenty of cheap hostels here, making it one of the cheapest travel destinations in Europe.

If you can’t get enough of Europe’s old cities, you’ll love Krakow.

The market square of the city (“Rynek Główny”) is the largest medieval square in Europe! Here horse-drawn carriages glide past colorful buildings and a perfectly imperfect basilica.

There is also the 14th century Wawel Castle, built in Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance and Romanesque styles. With its unique combination of architectural styles and its huge size, Wawel Castle definitely makes an impression.

Polish currency, the zloty, has a very favorable exchange rate against the U.S. dollar and the euro. Prices for accommodation, food and entertainment are times less than in other major European cities.

In addition, Krakow is very convenient to walk, so you do not have to spend money on public transport to get around.

Krakow is the cheapest city in Europe (prices in U.S. dollars):

  • Rent for a month for a one-bedroom apartment: 500
  • A night in a hotel room: 30-45
  • Daily food expenses: 15
  • Approximate daily budget: 30-40.

2. Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Located in the Czech region, Cesky Krumlov is one of the cheapest cities in Europe to live in. It is just a couple of hours south of Prague and looks like it has been ripped off the pages of a fairy tale with a well-preserved Old Town.

This fabulous cheap European city offers much more than pretty streets from a postcard. In fact, there are dozens of streets that fit the pattern, but that’s not the only attraction in this magical city of Europe. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cesky Krumlov, with its beautiful Baroque and Renaissance architecture, sits on a picturesque river. The 13th-century castle towers over the historic center with panoramic views. You can sit in a café or restaurant overlooking all of the above…at a cheap price!

What distinguishes this city from the rest of the cheap cities of Central Europe is the huge number of well-preserved buildings of the past centuries. Cesky Krumlov has preserved the medieval street layout and hundreds of years of beautiful creations that came after it. While many wars ravaged the surrounding cities, kingdoms and empires, this city survived centuries of peace and tranquility, thereby preserving its personality and heritage.

Cesky Krumlov is the cheapest city in Europe (prices in dollars):

  • Rent for a month of a one-bedroom apartment: 400-500
  • A night in a hotel room: 45-65
  • Daily food expenses: 20
  • Approximate daily budget: 40-80.

3. Porto, Portugal

Porto is a popular coastal cheap-living city in Portugal, probably in Western Europe as well. It is often compared to the country’s capital, Lisbon, although it is less metropolitan and more off the beaten path. Porto is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most interesting and vibrant cities to visit in 2022. It is also one of the most affordable and cheapest cities in Western Europe for travelers on a tight budget.

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Porto, famous for its port, is the gateway to the Douro Valley, one of the best wine regions in the world. It also boasts a rich history and a vibrant nightlife.

Guests are free to visit many of the city’s main attractions, including Ponte de Dom Luis I and Cais da Ribeira on the banks of the Douro River. The waterfront by the river looks like a series of postcards dotted with colorful houses, stores, and cafes.

It’s easy to live on $50 a day in Porto and still be able to experience all the emotions. For this reason, it may deserve first place among the cheapest cities in Europe.

Porto is the cheapest city in Europe (prices in dollars):

  • Rent for a month for a one-bedroom apartment: 800
  • A night in a hotel room: 35-55
  • Daily food expenses: 25
  • Approximate daily budget: 40-60.

4. Athens, Greece

This is a cheap European city with a fascinating history. Athens is an open-air museum with thousands of years of history. As the capital of ancient and modern Greece, Athens is home to some of the world’s oldest temples, statues and monuments. It is one of the cheapest cities in Europe to visit and live in 2022.

Athens’ main attractions include the Acropolis, the Temple of Zeus, and the Agora. The Acropolis, an ancient citadel perched atop a stone outcrop, contains several historically significant monuments, including the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion. From the top of the outcrop, you have a spectacular view of the bustling city below.

Athens can be completely cheap if you’re willing to choose budget accommodations. If you are going to stay in a hostel for hikers, you should choose one in a good neighborhood.

Athens is the cheapest city in Europe (prices in dollars):

  • Rent for a month for a one-bedroom apartment: 700
  • A night in a hotel room: 35-55
  • Daily food expenses: 25
  • Approximate daily budget: 40-55.

5. Budapest, Hungary

Go to Budapest, one of the cheapest and most interesting cities in Europe. And you’ll be in for a surprise! It’s one of the most romantic cities on this list and the perfect city for an inexpensive vacation and cheap accommodation in Europe. Budapest is gracefully situated along the Danube River with access to the region’s best thermal baths, a hot attraction since Roman times.

This city is known for the most delicious cuisine in Central and Eastern Europe. Goulash was invented here, as was langos (fried flatbread) and jalasle (fish soup).

If you like Austrian cuisine, you’ll be pleased to know that Hungarian dishes are very similar to it. Both cuisines were formed during the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

What to see in Budapest, among the best cheap cities to travel in Europe. If you are a lover of history and architecture, you will find yourself amazed by the Hungarian Parliament building and Buda Castle. Both of these iconic buildings are absolutely massive and look out over the picturesque waterfront below.

Another attraction of the city is Halasbastia (“Fisherman’s Bastion”). This fortress was built in the late 19th century in the neo-Romanesque style. It looks more like a fairy tale castle than a palace built for practical or strategic use.

In Budapest the prices of food and accommodation (in all directions) are very reasonable. This makes Budapest one of the cheapest cities in Europe to stay and visit in 2022. It is also one of the best cities in Europe for students.

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Budapest is the cheapest city in Europe (prices in dollars):

  • Rent for a month for a one-bedroom apartment: 400
  • A night in a hotel room: 30-50
  • Daily food expenses: 30
  • Approximate daily budget: 45-60.

6. Ljubljana, Slovenia

As the capital of one of the cheapest countries in Europe to live in, Ljubljana is a charming city that gives excellent value for money. Despite being one of the most affordable cities in Europe to live in, it has somehow managed to go unnoticed.

Ljubljana has a reputation as a green and pedestrian-friendly city. The old city has been car-free since 2008. In 2016, Ljubljana was recognized by the European Commission as the Green Capital of Europe. Since then, the city has received many other awards for sustainable and responsible tourism. Ljubljana is one of the cheapest cities in Europe and an ideal destination for travelers on a tight budget in 2022.

The Slovenian capital is home to many cultural attractions. The main ones are Ljubljana Castle, Ljubljana Cathedral and the Triple Bridge (Tromostovje) in the Old Town.

In addition to environmental and cultural initiatives, the city of Ljubljana has made everything to become a popular destination with trendy restaurants and cafes. During the summer months many of them open right on the banks of the Ljubljana River, creating a lively atmosphere in the fresh air.

Ljubljana is the cheapest city in Europe (prices in dollars):

  • Rent for a month for a one-bedroom apartment: 700
  • A night in a hotel room: 35-55
  • Daily food expenses: 25
  • Approximate daily budget: 45-55.

7. Seville, Spain

There is no shortage of Spanish cities worthy of this list of Europe’s cheapest cities. However, we chose Seville because it offers exceptional value for entertainment and lodging. Generally, it’s much cheaper than Barcelona and Madrid, but has all the advantages of a big European city with a rich culture. As one of the largest cities in Spain, Seville is also one of the cheapest cities in Europe for tourism.

Seville is home to a treasure trove of historical and cultural attractions. Standing out from this smorgasbord of culturally significant sights is the Real Alcázar of Seville, a royal palace with a mixture of Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

The Alcázar was heavily influenced by the Moors who ruled Spain during the Middle Ages. More recently, it was used as the filming location for the fifth season of Game of Thrones.

Seville is also prized for its Plaza de España, one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. It was built for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition, and it really makes you feel like you’re in the Old World.

Like much of Andalusia, food and drinks are several times less expensive than in other Spanish cities.

Seville is the cheapest city in Europe (prices in dollars):

  • Rent for a month for a one-bedroom apartment: 700
  • A night in a hotel room: 55-75
  • Daily food expenses: 25
  • Approximate daily budget: 50-65.

8. Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia is one of the most underrated cities in Europe right now. It is slowly making its way to the “Best in Europe” lists, but it still somehow goes unnoticed.

The Bulgarian capital has a fascinating history of more than 2000 years. Sofia was first ruled by the Greeks and then by the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. As recently as 35 years ago the city was under Soviet occupation for much of the 20th century.

Ancient architecture is on full display throughout the city, especially in the houses of worship. The Boyana Church is a Bulgarian Orthodox church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Another cultural gem is the Banya Bashi Mosque, built in the mid-1500s under Ottoman rule. This mosque is a surviving evidence of five centuries of Ottoman rule over Bulgaria.

In addition to the mishmash of historical sites, Sofia is also a popular and cheap city in Europe for its cuisine. The food here is similar to what you would find in Istanbul and other Eastern European countries.

Traditional Bulgarian food includes a fine balance of meats, cheeses, vegetables and yogurt. Sofia is full of bars and clubs. Fortunately, they won’t cost a tidy sum, as it is one of the cheapest vacation spots in Europe for tourists.

Sofia is the cheapest city in Europe (prices in dollars):

  • Rent for a month for a one-bedroom apartment: 500
  • A night in a hotel room: 40-50
  • Daily food expenses: 25
  • Approximate daily budget: 45-55.

9. Valletta, Malta: One of Europe’s cheapest cities for history buffs

Europe’s cheapest cities don’t get much better than this Mediterranean resort.

As the capital of Malta, Valletta is a treasure trove of unique cultural and historical monuments. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also one of the cheapest cities to live in Europe.

Walk around the miniature city of Valletta and you’ll feel transported back in time. The city is completely surrounded by walls from the 1500s. Although this is one of the best regions for cheap vacations in Europe, you won’t find many tourists here outside of the peak summer season. The city is only 1000 meters by 600 meters, which makes it tiny compared to other cities in Europe.

Enjoy the beautiful Baroque architecture, taste the local Maltese cuisine and take day trips to nearby fishing villages and historical sites. It’s easy to see why this is one of Europe’s cheapest cities for digital nomads to live in.

Valletta is the cheapest city in Europe (prices in dollars):

  • Rent for a month for a one-bedroom apartment: 1,000
  • A night in a hotel room: 70-90
  • Daily food expenses: 35
  • Approximate daily budget: 60-100.

10. Bologna, Italy

It would be wrong not to include Italy in this list of the cheapest (and best) cities in Europe. After all, this country has more UNESCO World Heritage sites than anywhere else in the world (54 in total!). Hidden between Florence and Venice, Bologna is one of Italy’s little-known gems that deserves to make our list.

Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy. It is known for its historic Renaissance architecture, lively squares and rugged Old World charm. It also holds the prestigious title for having the oldest university in Europe, the University of Bologna, founded in 1088.

Visitors and expats are attracted to Bologna for many reasons. All the “whys” can be boiled down to one common theme: authenticity. While most international travelers head for the bustling streets of Florence, Rome and Venice, Bologna has maintained its quaint and quiet demeanor. Surprisingly, Bologna is also one of the cheapest cities in Europe for freelance living.

Bologna’s main attractions include Piazza Maggiore and San Petronio Basilica, both built during the Italian Renaissance. The medieval center is one of the largest and best preserved in all of Europe.

Bologna is the cheapest city in Europe (prices in dollars):

  • Rent for a month for a one-bedroom apartment: 500
  • A night in a hotel room: 50-70
  • Daily food expenses: 30
  • Approximate daily budget: 50-70.

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