Often overlooked for a city break because of its infamous ‘Sunny Beach’ party scene, away from all of this, at the complete opposite side of the country, lies the capital city of Sofia. The Balkan city has thousands of years worth of history to investigate, including Greek and Soviet occupation. You can enjoy a free walking tour of the city or even a free food tour, browse the abundance of craft markets, soak up some Sofia street art and even enjoy a stroll around the Borisova Gradinia – the oldest park in the capital.
Currency: Bulgarian Lev
Average Food Cost Per Day: £10
Average Accommodation Per Night: £12
A famously affordable city, no countdown of budget-friendly places would be complete without the Hungarian capital. Budapest is a city surrounded by small towns and charming villages, where you can try out local delicacies and learn about the Hungarian way of life. Renowned for stunning scenery and a laid back lifestyle, if you take a walk up Castle Hill, the views from the top are simply breathtaking. Providing a glorious contrast of city views against the neo-gothic
architecture, Fisherman’s Bastion on the banks of the Danube is not to be missed. The famous Parliament Building is also a must-see, along with countless churches to explore, all for free.. A historically rich city, there are many war memorials peppered around Budapest, so it’s beneficial to brush up on a bit of history before visiting, so you can fully appreciate the sites.
Currency: Hungarian Forint
Average Food Cost Per Day: £18
Average Accommodation Per Night: £25
You would be forgiven for questioning why and how an Italian city is on a list of the cheapest places to visit in Europe. Italy is famously expensive, but the small city of Pisa, on the western coast of the famous Italian boot, is one of the most affordable places to visit in the whole country. A short bus ride to the Ligurian Sea, and just over one hour by train to the classic Italian city of Florence, Pisa makes for a great, affordable base for your Italian conquest. Whilst the phrases ‘free’ and ‘Italy’ might not ordinarily go hand in hand, you can enjoy a stroll around the beautiful Piazza Dei Miracoli, undoubtedly one of the most astounding architectural feats in the world, and do not forget the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Average Food Cost Per Day: £25
Average Accommodation Per Night: £18
Located in the south of Poland, not far from the border with the Czech Republic, the medieval city of Krakow is most famous for its Jewish quarter. As with many European cities, The Old town is a must-see, featuring the market square and St Mary’s Basilica, a famous
Gothic church, dating back to the 14th century. With many picturesque parks and squares to explore, don’t forget to take a stroll along the riverside and small, side streets, to get a feeling for the real Krakow on your visit. If you take the time to venture approximately two miles south of the city, you will find Krakus Mound. The prehistoric lump of land stands almost 900 feet tall and makes for some stunning views of the city and can be scaled at your own pace.
Currency: Polish Zloty
Average Food Cost Per Day: £30
Average Accommodation Per Night: £13
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
Known as ‘The City of 100 Spires’ and famous for its Old Town Square, Prague is a city with history at its very core. With pastel-colored buildings, Gothic architecture and the medieval Astronomical Clock, the Czech capital is a stop on many a city-tripper’s lists. With great nightlife, the city is notorious for selling beer cheaper than water. Prague is one of those cities that is best to explore on foot and whilst you can take a free walking tour if you prefer to cut your own route through the capital and avoid the crowds, this is just as easy to do solo. People-watching in The Old Town Square is also a great way to pass a few hours, although as with many tourist hotspots, food is a lot cheaper in the smaller streets than around the main square.
You can also walk across the Charles Bridge, explore Prague Castle and declare peace at the Lennon Wall, all free of charge.
Currency: Czech Koruna
Average Food Cost Per Day: £28
Average Accommodation Per Night: £24
Europe has a large variety of affordable cities on offer. Even in countries such as Italy, which are known to be expensive, there can be a bargain city break to behold, if you know where to look. The prices of food and accommodation are often the biggest budget eaters in any travelers spending money, so knowing where to look for great offers on these things can really help you out. Staying in hotels outside of the city center, or even considering staying in a hostel, can save a lot of money. When it comes to the food, it can often be worth spending a
a little extra on your accommodation to include breakfast, so you can fill up each morning and then not need to eat a lot during the day, budgeting mainly for an evening meal and a few light snacks.
Where will you venture to on your next European adventure?