Cheapest Countries in Europe for an Affordable Vacation
Yes, Europe can be expensive, but you can save money by going to the continent’s most underrated destinations.
10 Cheapest Countries in Europe for an Affordable Vacation
Europe is often considered the most expensive continent — and for good reason. For the rest of the world, it's not cheap to spend in euros, Swiss francs and British pounds.
But that doesn't mean budget travelers can't enjoy this beautiful continent. If you forego Western Europe and Scandinavia, you can have the trip of a lifetime without burning through your savings.
Wondering where to go? Here are the cheapest countries in Europe that we highly recommend visiting, ordered from most to least expensive.
Average daily cost: $103*
If you visited Croatia 10 years ago, you would have found this alluring destination to be even cheaper. But the world has wisened up to its charms, and it is now one of Europe's hottest destinations.
Still, if you do things right, you can spend just over $100 a day here for the privilege to swim in the Sparkling Adriatic Sea and to walk among medieval cities like Dubrovnik.
*All average daily costs are based on estimates from Budget Your Trip.
Average daily cost: $102
If you want to visit a country that is still a hidden gem (yes, they do exist in Europe), go to Slovenia. Overshadowed by its neighbors — Italy, Croatia and Austria — many travelers skip over this beautiful country. Given that it also has access to the Adriatic Sea and was once part of the Venetian Empire (which gave its coastal cities impressive architecture), this is an obvious mistake.
Besides being a budget-friendly alternative, as you wander around the capital, Ljubljana, you'll be relieved to be in a European old town that's not crawling with other tourists.
Average daily cost: $101
Perhaps because of their proximity to Scandinavia, people tend to assume that the Baltics are also expensive. But these former Soviet countries are more affordable than you'd think. The cheapest — and less frequented by travelers — is Lithuania.
The absolute best place to visit in this country is Vilnius, the capital. An artsy city with a thriving underground and rebellious spirit, this is Berlin without the hipsters and the pretentiously wild rave clubs that only let certain people in.
Average daily cost: $89
Anyone who's been to Budapest wonders why Hungary isn't a more popular destination. Split by the Danube River, the capital is one of Europe's most beautiful (and most unique) cities. Go ahead, we dare you not to be impressed by the twirling Buda Castle or the intricate Parliament building.
But Hungary has many visit-worthy spots outside of its capital — and they haven't yet been discovered by most tourists. Take, for instance, Hortobagy National Park, where you can see wild horses roaming around, or Heviz, which boasts one of the world's largest thermal lakes.
Average daily cost: $87
One of the least-visited countries in the continent, Belarus is often overlooked, perhaps because of its proximity to conflict-ridden Russia and Ukraine. If you like to go where other people don't, though, you'll be happy to find yourself amongst a handful of non-national tourists in cities like Minsk and Brest.
But we also encourage you to enjoy the country's nature, which is astonishing in a quiet and solitary way. Go on an excursion, for instance, to the Braslav Lakes, or see herds of European bison at Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park.
Average daily cost: $84
Romania is mostly known to outsiders for a fictional character made up by a British man who never set foot in the country. But while Dracula the vampire isn't real, he is based on a real man, and you can visit the castle whose picture inspired the now legendary character.
Outside of dark lore, spend time in mountain resort towns like Sinaia or beach towns along the Black Sea like Mamaia. Make time to also visit Brasov. While not the capital, it may be the country's best city.
4. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Average daily cost: $75
Landlocked but for a tiny strip of land along the Adriatic Sea, Bosnia and Herzegovina is still followed by the reputation of its violent wars that took place during the turn of the century. But don't let these outdated ideas deter you from visiting. While it is now safe to visit, the country's tourism infrastructure isn't as developed as that of neighboring countries like Croatia.
If you're an intrepid traveler, this is a good thing. You might find yourself in towns where you're the only foreigner, and you'll get to explore medieval and Ottoman old towns that aren't yet overrun by souvenir shops and overpriced restaurants. Don't skip Sarajevo, the capital, and beautiful Mostar.
Average daily cost: $70
Yet another ex-soviet country that can't seem to shake the reputation of its past, Bulgaria is a destination of great appeal.
To begin with, it boasts the oldestcity in the entire continent, Plovdiv. This spot alone is worth buying tickets to Bulgaria, as you'll get to walk along streets and see amphitheaters that have been around for thousands of years. The capital, Sofia, is also an exciting city with beautiful architecture. And then there are, of course, all the resort towns on the Black Sea, like pretty Burgas.
Average daily cost: $66
We almost don't want to let people into the secret that is Albania — we're scared it'll be overrun by influencers.
But in the spirit of not gatekeeping gorgeous places, we'll share that Albania is a country that has it all: ski resorts in the Albanian Alps, beach towns along the Adriatic Sea, medieval castles in the countryside, and ancient Roman and Greek ruins. And it offers all this for a fraction of the price of places like Croatia and Greece.
Average daily cost: $62
Despite its prominence in Europe's history, Poland is often forgotten, and we can't figure out why. For history lovers, it is one of the most poignant places to learn about the Holocaust and the horrors of World War II.
It also has some of the best-preserved medieval old towns in Europe, which you can find in Krakow and Warsaw. And there are breathtaking nature preserves and national parks like Ojcow, with limestone cliffs that rise out of the forest, or the Tatra Mountains, dotted with postcard-perfect villages, crystal-clear lakes and Alpine forests.
And the best part? You won't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the country's jewels.