Planning a budget-friendly European getaway in 2024? You’re not alone in wanting to make the most of your travel budget. With many of us keeping a closer eye on our finances, finding destinations that offer a rich experience without a hefty price tag is key. In this post, we’ll explore five European cities that promise cultural richness, adventure, and affordability (plus, the ease of travel).
Budget-Friendly Travels In Europe: 5 Great Cities to Visit
#1 Tirana, Albania
Tirana is a treasure for travelers on a tight budget: accommodations here are surprisingly affordable. You can snag a bed in a dorm for around €6 per night. Even private rooms in guesthouses or budget hotels are available for about €20 a night.
- Eating out
Eating out in Tirana won’t break the bank either. A basic meal costs around €5, while a more substantial three-course meal is about €10 per person. For a quick, cheap eat, grab a byrek (a savory pastry) from a street vendor for around €0.50. Plus, local markets, like Pazari i Ri, offer fresh produce and snacks at low prices.
Transportation in Tirana is another area where you can save. A one-way ticket on local buses is €0.40. But, much of Tirana is walkable, which is the best way to soak up the city’s vibrant atmosphere.
For attractions, many of Tirana’s key sites are free or have a very low entrance fee. The National History Museum, for example, has an entry fee of €4. BUNK’ART, a must-visit historical and art exhibition, costs €5 for entry. These are great deals for gaining deep insights into Albania’s history and culture.
And let’s not forget about enjoying Tirana’s nightlife. A local beer in a bar costs around €2. Places like Blloku are ideal for mingling with locals and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere without spending much.
Best for history enthusiasts and urban explorers due to the blend of Ottoman, Italian, and Soviet architectural influences.
#2 Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik, known for its stunning Old Town and crystal-clear Adriatic Sea, is surprisingly kind to the wallet. Hostel stays here are a bargain, with beds starting around €25. For a bit more privacy, guesthouses and budget hotels offer rooms at about €50 per night.
- Eating out
Dining in Dubrovnik can be an affordable luxury. A meal at a standard restaurant is roughly €18, while upscale dining experiences can be enjoyed for about €35 per person. Street food, including local favorites like cevapi (small grilled sausages), is a steal at around €3.
Transport is efficient and economical. Local buses charge €2 for a one-way ticket. For a splurge, consider renting a luxury car at rentluxecar.com for a day to explore the surrounding areas. It’s surprisingly affordable here adding a touch of glamour to your trip.
Tourist spots in Dubrovnik, while not always free, are worth their modest entry fees. For instance, walking the famous city walls costs around €36, offering breathtaking views and a unique perspective of the city’s historic beauty.
Best for beach lovers and fans of historical architecture because of its stunning coastline and well-preserved medieval buildings. It’s also a great spot for fans of the TV series “Game of Thrones,” which was filmed here.
#3 Riga, Latvia
Riga, often called the “Baltic Berlin,” is a haven for budget travelers with its mix of culture and affordability. You can find hostel beds for as little as €6 per night, making it a prime choice for backpackers or solo travelers. For those seeking more comfort, budget hotels and guesthouses offer rooms starting from about €34 per night.
- Eating out
When it comes to dining in Riga, the city offers an array of affordable options. A basic lunch in the business district, including a drink, is priced around €10. For those looking for a quick and economical meal, fast food restaurants offer meals for about €7. You can also indulge in local favorites like pancakes and blinis, which are priced between €5 and €7 for a budget lunch.
Transportation in Riga is super efficient. A public bus, trolley, or tram ride will cost you around €1 to €2. For airport transfers, a taxi ride from the airport to the city center is priced between €18 and €27.
Riga is also home to several attractions that offer insights into Latvian history and culture. For instance, the National History Museum of Latvia, a quick and informative way to learn local history, charges an entry fee of around €3.30 for adults. Moreover, the city’s vibrant nightlife and bar scene cater to all tastes, with local lager beers priced between €2 and €4.
Best for cultural travelers and food enthusiasts. The city’s food scene offers an array of affordable local and international cuisines.
#4 Braga, Portugal
- Accommodation & eating out
Braga, in northern Portugal, is a very cool pick for budget travelers. For accommodations, you can find great deals from €24. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant is about €9 and for a more elaborate dining experience, a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is around €45.
When it comes to getting around, local transport is affordable with a one-way ticket costing about €1.65. For those wanting to explore further, monthly public transport passes are priced at €30.
Braga is known for its historical sites and cultural experiences, and many of these attractions are either free or have minimal entrance fees. The city’s vibrant atmosphere extends to its cafes and pubs, where a domestic beer costs around €2.
Best for religious and architectural tourists. It’s also a great destination for those looking to experience traditional Portuguese culture without the crowds of more popular European cities.
#5 Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn is a delightful blend of medieval charm and modern urban life. For accommodation, hostel beds start at around €12 per night. Plus, there are budget-friendly hotels where a double room can be found for approximately €52 per night.
- Eating out
You can enjoy a hearty meal at an inexpensive restaurant for about €9. And if you’re in for a treat, a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is around €45. The local cuisine, influenced by Russian, German, and Scandinavian flavors, includes soups and dishes based on meat and potatoes. For a quick bite, sandwiches and dumpling-based meals are popular and cheap.
Transportation in Tallinn is quite economical, with a one-way ticket for public transport (bus, trolley, tram) costing about €2. For those arriving by air, a taxi from the airport to the city center will range from just €7 to €14.
Exploring the city’s attractions like the National Art Museum Kumu or the Open Air Museum is affordable, with entry fees of €13.19 and €10.99 respectively for adults. For those interested in history, the KGB Museum at Hotel Viru offers an intriguing look into Estonia’s past under Soviet surveillance for a tour cost of €12.
Best for medieval history buffs and tech-savvy travelers. It’s perfect for those who enjoy exploring historical sites during the day and experiencing cutting-edge digital culture by night.
So, there you have it — a little sneak peek into five cities where your euros stretch further, and the experiences are just as rich. So why not make 2024 the year you explore Europe? Pack light, travel far, and remember — the best stories often come from the roads less traveled.