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As a European travel blog, I’ve been to over 30 countries on this continent alone. But man oh man, from the United Kingdom to Scandinavia, this is one expensive place! However, there are so many hidden gems throughout the continent that go unnoticed. I’ve outlined some of my favorite cheap holiday destinations (only ones I’ve visited so I’m sure there are more countries that could make the list) along with some resources for finding your next trip in Europe!
I can’t get over saying how much I absolutely love Bulgaria. Between the culture, scenery, people, food, and outdoor adventures, there is always something to do and see. As one of the oldest civilizations in all of Europe, it is a wonderful mixture of old and new, east and west. Furthermore, the country is incredibly cheap. I think the most I ever paid for a meal was $10 USD and that was considered insanely expensive. Although I stayed with friends in Bulgaria, accommodations in some of the nicest hotels easily run below $100 USD a night with hostels even significantly cheaper at less than $15-$20 USD a night.
Right next to Bulgaria is the small country of Macedonia. With full meals around $5 USD and hostels no more than $10 USD a night, this country is an absolute steal. Macedonia is not overrun with tourists at all, making it a lovely getaway. Besides the capital city of Skopje, head out to Lake Matka and Lake Ohrid for hiking and swimming. While there was political unrest in the country last year, it is perfectly safe and I had no issues traveling as a single female!
Budapest, Hungary is one of the only places in Europe I’ve visited twice because I just love it that much! Besides the history and culture, the nightlife is awesome and quite cheap compared to most other countries. A beer is about $1-2 USD and food is just as cheap. The only real indulgence here are the thermal baths…but well worth it!
4. BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Contrary to belief, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a very safe country! Most people have the impression of a war-torn, dangerous Sarajevo. However, the Balkan Wars ended over 20 years ago and peace has remained since then. An average meal will be between $3-5 USD and a beer is no more than $2 USD. Additionally, an upscale hostel is between $10-20 USD a night in central Sarajevo. While on your way to Sarajevo, stop by the town of Mostar for an afternoon!
I’ll be honest, it was hard to find a “cheap” Western European country to include compared to all the Central and Eastern European countries. While I wouldn’t say that Portugal is “cheap,” it is inexpensive compared to other Western European countries. You can find a decent restaurant meal for less than $10 USD. My friend and I split an Airbnb in the heart of the city and only spent $25 USD a night (altogether). With pretty nice weather year-round (I went for my birthday in January and barely wore a jacket), it is a nice destination for a weekend trip!
If you can brave the cold weather (I went in April and it was barely above freezing!), then you’ll love Estonia. A mixture of Scandinavian and Russian heritage, the city of Tallinn is the perfect weekend city. Between delicious hot chocolate, yummy beer, and hearty meals, the country is not to be missed! A beer will run anywhere from $2-4 USD, depending on the brand, while most meals will be below $10 USD.
I have two bonus destinations: Croatia and the Czech Republic. I was hesitant to put them on the initial list because although they used to be very cheap, they are starting to get more expensive due to the influx of tourists! However, like all places, you tend to find cheaper prices for food and accommodations if you stay away from the touristy areas! The summer months are especially expensive in both places!
Even though this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own. I would never share a product or experience I didn’t 100% love!