While the allure of Europe is irresistible, the price tag for foreign exchangers can have them hitting the breaks on planning a big trip to the continent. This is especially true for top destinations like Paris, Rome, and London. There's no reason though to let cost crush your dreams of a Euro trip. With so much history, culture, and cuisine, there are tons of places to travel in Europe that won't break the bank and here are our favorites. Before you browse these budget friendly destinations, learn more about how HomeExchange is helpful for finding cheap places to stay in Europe.

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1- Sofia, Bulgaria: The Cheapest Place to Travel in Europe

cheapest places to travel in europe sofia

The Bulgarian capital of Sofia is consistently ranked as the cheapest major city in Europe based on criteria like cost of housing, dining out, transportation and more. While they are part of the European Union, they still use the Lev instead of the Euro. However prices are often shown for tourists in euro as they're more familiar. To get an idea for the cost of things in the cheapest place to travel in Europe, the cost of a beer in Sofia is 0.60 euro cents on average. Not bad, especially if you plan on buying a round or two for your fellow travelers! Cheap drinks aren't the main attraction of Sofia however.

This historic city boasts a wealth of landmarks that reflect its past as a crossroads between Eastern and Western civilizations. Look around and you'll see everything from Roman Ruins to 2oth century neo-Baroque buildings, to stoic Soviet Era structures. There are world class museums and galeries that showcase works by Bulgarian and international artists. For more culture, on any given day there are sporting events, food and drink festival, design fairs, and more that make the city lively. If you want to venture into nature, you'll also love its expansive green spaces and the nearby Mount Vitosha for skiing and hiking.

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2- Krakow, Poland: Vastly Underrated but Not Overpriced

cheapest places to travel in europe 2024 krakow

Krakow is sometimes called Europe's most overlooked city – and that is a shame because with so much to offer there is just as much to see and do here as other capitals that seem to have a stronger calling. The average cost seasoned travelers estimate for a full day stay in Krakow is 65 euros. It's also known for it's affordable car rentals, although you won't need one to enjoy the city. Krakow is over a 1000 years old, so you'll find all the old world European charm you like here. Visit the Old Town, St. Mary's Basilica, and Wawel Castle.

Yet despite its long history, Krakow isn't a city that's stuck in the past. Its affordability attracts people from all over the world, making it a vibrant cultural capital with film and music festivals, a booming restaurant scene, and an abundance of western style coffee shops that take a good brew very seriously. It's even becoming known as a fashion and design capital. If all these things sound enticing to you, than take a chance on Krakow and explore the idea of a home exchange here if you're looking for cheap places to stay in Europe.

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3- Bucharest, Romania: Eastern Europe's Affordable Charm

cheap places to travel in europe bucharest

Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, is generally considered an affordable destination compared to many other European capitals. Travelers often say that typical dining and drinks out, transport like ride sharing, and other services are more affordable here than any other European capital. Don't come to Bucharest through just because it's one of the cheapest places to travel in Europe. Come for the incredible experiences it can offer. Sometimes likened to a "Little Paris" there is an abundance of European charm and romance to be found here, including an ode to the Arc de Triumph!

The Palace of Parliament is one of the biggest buildings in the world and definitely worth seeing. The charming old city streets are inviting with lively cafes and shops where you can try some traditional Romanian dishes like stuffed cabbage rolls and cornmeal porridge. There are many bars that with hidden gardens where you can buy an affordable bottle of wine and sit outside to enjoy it al fresco on a warm night. The Museum of the Romanian Peasant is a great place to see some unexpected Romanian history like woodworking and more, while the city's nightlife is also to be appreciated for those who are looking for drinks and dancing. All in all, Bucharest can offer what any other European capital might, but at a fraction of the price as one of the cheapest places to stay in Europe.

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4- Budapest, Hungary: The Paris of Eastern Europe at a Better Price

cheapest places to travel in europe budapest

We think it's a fair description to call Budapest the Paris of Eastern Europe. Its ornate appearance and the generally romantic experience the city offers has the same appeal as the French capital, but without the price tag. At the start of the renaissance the city became a capital of power bringing it riches we can still see today. Then, during the Austro-Hungarian empire resources were injected into the area making it a cultural center with more beautiful architecture and rich history which earned it UNESCO world heritage status.

If you're ready to save some money, then swap strolls along the Seine for a strolls along the Danube here. Afterall, Budapest is also called the pearl of the Danube. Visit the majestic Buda Castle, perched on a hilltop overlooking the city, to take in an extraordinary view of the river and the city. Take a chic stroll along the elegant Andrassy Avenue, lined with shops and cafes, and instead of a overprice spa day, you can enjoy the extraordinarily beautiful world famous Széchenyi Thermal Bath for under 20 euros with free admission for children under the age of 2.

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5- Zagreb, Croatia: One of the Most Exciting Destinations in Europe

cheapest places to travel in europe zahgreb

While the coast of Croatia garners a lot of attention, and with good reason, you might be surprised to learn that the Croatian capital of Zagreb is an attractive destination as well. In fact, for those in the know they would say one Europe's most exciting destinations is Zagreb, and luckily it's affordable too. Zahreb ranks in the top 25% of cities in Europe for its affordability. So what would bring one here? The city has become known for its high quality of living thanks to its rich history and diverse economy.

Life in this city pulsates through its streets, where public art installations, tantalizing street food (shop the Dolac Farmers Market for good eats!), and gorgeous green parks are free for locals and visitors to enjoy in all their glory throughout the year. Zagreb's essence thrives in its lively urban spaces, with a cultural tapestry that feels like an invitation for all to indulge in its history, food, culture and more while being surrounded by nature. Top attractions include the Zagreb Cathedral, Mirogoj Cemetery, and Saint Marks Church, while for something unexpected try the Museum of Broken Relationships.

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6- Riga, Latvia: Affordable Family Friendly Fun

cheapest places to travel in europe riga

This European city is a family friendly secret we are delighted to let you in on. Riga has been called a low-cost family friendly gem, and we couldn’t agree more. More families should flock to this quaint and kid friendly destination. The city has even developed a system where child friendly restaurants and activities display an orange badge. You’ll see them almost everywhere and it will spare you the tideous task of asking if they have high chair or changing tables.

The city is clean and calm with pretty parks perfect for strolls and areas for little ones to run around safely. Day trips to nearly all of this beautiful country on the Baltic are possible from Riga, so it’s a great place for a family base and one of the best places to travel with a baby in Europe. While the city is already very affordable, it also helps that many of the best things to do here are free: strolling the Old Town, a picnics on the river, or a visit to the square at the Rīgas Doms which is busy day and night with people, vendors, and buskers.

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7- Prague, Czech Republic: A Bohemiam Paradise for Budget Travelers

cheap places to stay in europe prague

While Prague may be the most expensive city in the Czech Republic, it's one of the cheapest places to stay in Europe. Your money here will go much further than in other major European cities, allowing you to see and experience so much even on a small budget. For a tourist, the cost of Prague per day can be as little as $50 all included (accomodation, activities, dining, etc.). The city also offers some cost savings options that are definitely worth it, including the Prague City Pass and Prague CoolPass that give discounted and sometimes even free admissions to major museums and other attractions.

If Prague is your pick for cheap places to travel in Europe, then you'll find the appeal of a bohemian continental lifestyle as you stroll its charming streets and stop to enjoy for a meal or drink in a stylish cafe. When you do, order a beer as Prague is known for its amazing beer culture. The city has a long history of nurturing artists and musicians, so you'll find beautiful art and music all around, in addition to Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings. Top attractions not to miss include The Prague Castle complex, Charles Bridge, Prague Old Town Square, and St. Vitus Cathedral.

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8- Athens, Greece: Affordably Explore Ancient Wonders

cheapest places to travel in europe athens

We've finally made it to the euro currency zone on our list of cheap places to travel in Europe, and to be honest with so much of interest in Eastern Europe we weren't sure we would even get here! If you're not into collecting coins in foreign currencies you won't find useful beyond those borders, then put the accent on Athens when it comes to cheap places to travel in Europe. Athens often ranks as the cheapest place in Europe to travel for a city break. Pack your bag because the Parthenon awaits you, along with loads of other reasons to like this great Greek city.

Athens offers a thriving cultural scene with a wide range of museums, art galleries, and theaters. The Acropolis Museum, National Archaeological Museum, and Museum of Cycladic Art are among the notable institutions that showcase Greece's cultural heritage. As the birthplace of Western Civilization, there is so much to see! Modern urban life here is also lively though, with neighborhoods like Monastiraki and Psirri popular for their lively tavernas, street food vendors, and local craft shops that are as affordable as they are fabulous.

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9- Girona, Spain: Low Cost Catalonia

cheap places to travel in europe girona

Spain remains an attractive destination for budget travels coming not just from the United States, but also from within Europe itself. Its prices are on average lower than other places in the euro zone. Though in high season a trip to Spain can still cost a pretty penny, especially in its wealthiest region, Catalonia, where you'll find the popular Costa Brava and of course Barcelona. Girona however is an excellent option for budget travelers here with a lot to offer. You can find amazing affordable eats in this city that offers a culinary experience to remember.

Other local points of interest includes the beautifully preserved Old Town and the Girona Cathedral, which even appeared in certain scenes from HBO's popular Game of Thrones. For more cultural highlights, discover the Jewish Quarter and the Arab Baths. Visit the Girona Art Museum and experience the Festival of Sant Narcís. Use Girona as a base for day trips to Costa Brava's coastal towns or the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres and gorgeous strolls along the coastline of Begur, Rosas, and more.

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10- Porto, Portugal: Portugal Without the Big Price Tag

cheap places to stay in europe porto

Portugal's attractive pricing pegged to stereotype of southern European affordability has ironically outdone itself in city like Lisbon. In recent years prices for property in the capital have exploded. Porto however remains more affordable and it offers great value for money compared to other European cities. According to recent statistics, Porto is 70% cheaper to live in than New York City. Its affordability also makes it one of the cheapest places to travel in Europe that is worth the trip. Here's why.

The colorful and historic Ribeira District in the heart of Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage site where you can stroll its narrow streets and riverfront promenade while stopping in café's and cute boutiques. Local wine cellars and tastings are also a big calling, but they won't break the bank like in Bordeaux or elsewhere! The local port wine pairs well with the culinary delights you can dig into all over the city. Plus, Porto has no absence of culture, with amazing museums and concerts.

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HomeExchange is the Cheapest Way to Stay in Europe

cheap places to stay in europe home exchange

If you're traveling on a budget to Europe, our best advice is to think outside the box. Ever since the Euro first surpassed the U.S. Dollar in 2002, it's more or less stayed that way. So if you're on a budget, start by thinking outside of the Euro currency zone and look at amazing destinations like Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and more. Then, steer clear of hotels and opt for an authentic and affordable experience with a home exchange.

HomeExchange is the largest and most renowned home exchange community in the world, and also one of the most affordable ways to stay as it's based on mutual exchange that doesn't cost money beyond a small annual membership fee of ___ offering unlimited exchanges. Sign up today join our extraordinary community of world travels and try this affordable way to stay on your next trip to Europe!

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