Do you want to travel to Europe? Are you under a small budget? The Gods of Travel took care of that already. There are plenty of affordable European destinations you can choose from, or you can include them in a European itinerary.
Don’t break the bank but get the very best in spectacular views, nightlife, history, sightseeing, great beaches, people, alternative activities like a yoga retreat in Europe or some of the best destinations for Christmas.
Are you are a student who wants to travel? Then this post is for you.
Affordable European Destinations 2019
There is a secret list of affordable European destinations that frequent travelers know.
Countries and cities included in this list are considered a pivot point for your travel experience. Traveling through these cities gets you acquainted with the essence of Old Europe and its history.
We are here to share these secrets with you.
Prague, Czech Republic & top things to do
Right in the heart of Europe, this spectacular city hides lots of secrets, even a medieval astronomical clock that seems to come from a fiction novel. Read a fascinating post for 3 days in Prague Itinerary.
What are the best things to do in Prague?
- Old Town Square (Staromestské námestí)
- Charles Bridge (Karluv most)
- Prague Castle
- St. Vitus Cathedral (Chrám svatého Víta)
- Jewish Quarter (Josefov)
- Dancing House
- Prague Astronomical Clock
- National Theatre (Národní Divadlo)
- St. Nicholas Church (Chrám svatého Mikuláse)
When to go to Prague?
To avoid large crowds better go to Prague in spring and early fall (March-May), when weather is mild. Avoid the holiday seasons (Christmas, Easter). During May there is a range of important events taking place too: Prague Marathon, Czech Beer Festival, Prague Food Festival, Prague International Music Festival.
Prague is fantastic among all European Destinations.
Porto, Portugal & top things to do
A stunning coastal city with great architecture, history, food and museums (museums are free to enter on Sundays). The city hosts the UNESCO World Heritage Ribeira District.
What are the best things to do in Porto?
- Dom Luís I Bridge
- Sé do Porto (Porto Cathedral)
- Jardins do Palácio de Cristal (Crystal Palace Gardens)
- Avenida dos Aliados (Avenue of the Allies)
- Estação de São Bento (São Bento Railway Station)
- Mercado do Bolhão (Bolhão Market)
- Porto’s fantastic beaches
- Livraria Lello & Irmão (Lello Bookstore)
- Igreja de São Francisco (Church of Saint Francis)
- Port Wine Tastings & Tours
- Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace)
- Fundação de Serralves (Serralves Foundation Complex)
- Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis (National Museum Soares dos Reis)
- Dragão Stadium
When to go to Porto?
From May to September the weather is warm and sunny. Some significant events happening during that time are Optimus Primavera Sound, Serralves em Festa, Festa de São João, Regata dos Rabelos, Festival Mares Vivas.
Porto is one of the best summer European destinations.
Read our post for Porto.
Athens, Greece & top things to do
There are plenty of things to do in Athens, despite Parthenon and Acropolis. Many prefer this city for two days itinerary but when you read posts like this one, this and this (all Athens section) you will understand that it is for much more. Due to its geographical location and weather conditions, it is ideal for 10 out of 12 months.
What are the best things to do in Athens?
All parks in Athens are free to enter and churches too. Free admission museums are:
- The Museum of the History of Greek Costume
- The Philatelic and Postal Museum
- Railway Museum of Athens
- Theatrical Museum of Greece
- Natural History Museum of Maroussi
- Athens University History Museum
- Museum of Greek Folk Instruments
- Centre of Folk Art and Tradition
- Hellenic Children’s Museum
Free admission holidays
- 6th of March – Memory of Melina Mercouri
- 18th of April – International Monument Day
- 18th of May International Museum Day
- 5th of June World Environment Day
- European Days of Cultural Heritage (The last weekend of September)
- 27th of September – International Tourism Day
When for Athens?
It’s in Greece! If you avoid December and January, then all other months are fantastic to go to Athens. Even in wintertime, there are ski resorts in less than 2 hours distance from Athens (two in Peloponnese and one in Parnassos mountain). There are options for hiking, all museums are open, and food remains excellent all year long.
Athens is one of the greatest European destinations as it is a pivot point for the Greek islands.
Valencia, Spain & top things to do
Affordable and easy to reach with a high-speed train from Barcelona or Madrid. A coastal city, vibrant with history and museums. It is famous for its oranges too, so taste some while there.
What are the best things to do in Valencia?
- Central Market (Mercado Central)
- Plaza Ayuntamiento
- Cathedral (Seu)
- Fine Art Museum of Valencia (Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia)
- Instituto Valencia d’Arte Modern (IVAM)
- Albufera Nature Park (Parque Natural de la Albufera)
- La Lonja de la Seda
- Valencia Beaches
- Bioparc Valencia
- City of the Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias)
When it is great to go to Valencia?
April to May is best, though there are plenty of visiting in the wintertime. Keep in mind that museums operate under short ours in the winter. Critical events in that period are The Superbike World Championship, Fiesta de San Vicente Ferrer, Holy Week, Festival of Our Lady of the Forsaken.
Budapest, Hungary & top things to do
What are the best things to do in Budapest?
- Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya)
- Danube River
- Castle Hill (Várhegy)
- Széchenyi Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd)
- Heroes’ Square (Hosök Tere)
- St. Stephen’s Basilica (Svent István Bazilika)
- Buda Castle (Budai vár)
- Matthias Church (Mátyás-Templom)
- Dohány Street Synagogue (Dohány Utcai Zsinagóga)
- Gellért Hill (Gellért-Hegy)
- Hungarian State Opera House (Magyar Állami Operaház)
- Hungarian Parliament (Országház)
- House of Terror Museum (Terror Háza Múzeum)
- Hospital in the Rock Nuclear Bunker Museum (Sziklakórház Atombunker Múzeum)
- Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden
- Legenda Sightseeing Boats
- Thermal Baths
When is it fantastic to be in Budapest?
March to May and September to November is best. That is if you want to avoid huge crowds of tourists (in summertime). Weather is generally mild. Special events happening during these months are:
March to May: Budapest Dance Festival, Macaron Day, Budapest Spring Festival, Budapest100, Rosalia Festival, OTP Bank Gourmet Festival, Budapest Beer Week.
September to November: Jewish Cultural Festival, Budapest Wine Festival, Sweet Days Chocolate, and Candy Festival, Oktoberfest Budapest, Design Week Budapest, Budapest Christmas Markets.
Lisbon, Portugal & top things to do
The city offers in a fraction of the cost whatever you expect to find in a European city. This is another city that emits mystery from Old-World, despite the growth of the modern building. Read this insider’s guide for things to do in Lisbon.
What are the best things to do in Lisbon?
- Torre de Belem and Monument to the Discoveries
- Feira da Ladra
- Santa Justa Elevator (Elevador de Santa Justa)
- St. George’s Castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge)
- National Tile Museum (Museu Nacional do Azulejo)
- Gulbenkian Museum (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian)
- Monastery of St Jerome
- Oceanarium (Oceanario de Lisboa)
- Taste of Lisboa Food Tours
- Lisbon By Boat
- Tram 28
When is it best to visit Lisbon?
March to May and September to October is ideal, not excluding other months too of course. From March to early June these events take place: Lisbon Half Marathon, Lisbon Fish & Flavours, Music Days in Belem, IndieLisboa, Festival de Sintra, Out Jazz Festival. On the other hand the MOTEL X – Lisbon International Film Festival happens in September, while the Out Jazz Festival continues too (May to September).
Lisbon and the nearby cities make it another great spot among all European destinations.
Istanbul, Turkey & top things to do
A jewel of the Orient. A city of thousands of secrets and legends, with different locations that drive your mind to thousands of mystical stories. Herbs & spices, Bosporus, belly dancing, fantastic architecture and all kinds of landmarks. Istanbul will fill your days with many things while acting as a pivot point for many nearby cities. It is famous for Agia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, but that is just a fraction of the things to see and do. Read the post from our trip there. For what to eat in Istanbul, read this.
What are the best things to do in Istanbul?
- Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii)
- Grand Bazaar (Kapaliçarsi)
- Süleymaniye Mosque (Süleymaniye Camii)
- Taksim Square
- Hagia Sophia Museum (Ayasofya Müzesi)
- Istanbul Archaeological Museums (Istanbul Arkeoloji Müzeleri)
- Topkapi Palace Museum (Topkapi Sarayi Müzesi)
- Istanbul Modern Art Museum
- Chora Museum (Kariye Müzesi)
- Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici)
- Dolmanbahçe Palace
- Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi)
When it is amazing to visit Istanbul?
Best go there from September to November and from March to May. In the first period, you will have the opportunity to attend these too: Contemporary Istanbul, Istanbul International Puppet Festival, Akbank Jazz Festival, Istanbul Theatre Festival. In the March to May period, these things happen at the Istanbul Film Festival, Istanbul Music Festival.
Brussels, Belgium & top things to do
If you crave for some delicious chocolate, then you can visit Brussels even for one day. Take the train from Paris or Amsterdam and savor all these from kiosks you will find in all streets. Restaurants will be pricey, so no need to pay more for chocolate than needed. There are lots of museums and don’t forget that this is a multicultural & multilingual country. People here speak Dutch, French & English of course.
What are the best things to do in Brussels?
- Manneken Pis
- St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral
- Royal Museum of the Army and Military History
- Palais de Justice
- Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
- Musical Instruments Museum
- Horta Museum
- Belgian Comic Strip Center
- Cantillon Brewery
When is it nice to be in Brussels?
March to May and September to October is best. In the first case because it is Springtime while in the second case, prices drop significantly, while the weather stays mild enough.
Florence, Italy & top things to do
Have we been to Florence, Italy? Yes, twice. First one was as part of a road trip that involved crossing Europe to the UK driving at the North. The second one was as part of another road trip getting from the UK to Greece from the South part fo Europe!!! Read this great post for Florence (Firenze). We have traveled to many cities in Italy (including Sicily island).
What are the best things to do in Florence?
- Piazzale Michelangelo
- Ponte Vecchio
- Piazza della Signoria
- Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore)
- Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi)
- Baptistry (Battistero)
- Galleria dell’Accademia
- Palazzo Pitti
- Basilica di Santa Croce
- Giotto’s Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto)
- Boboli Gardens (Giardino di Boboli)
When it is most nice to visit Florence?
Preferably from May to September. Lots of sunshine, but you need to search thoroughly for accommodation as in touristy places prices get high. There is no need to stay in, such though as the city is easy to walk. You can quickly get into the historical center with public transportation. Either way, you will walk all the historical center to see the things mentioned above.
Florence is one of the best cultural European destinations, that is also depicted in video games.
Madrid, Spain & top things to do
There are so many plaza’s (Madrid is Spain’s largest city) that are free to the public. You can spend days just visiting each. However, Madrid is far more than that. Read our post for things to do in Madrid and check the list below too.
What are the best things to do in Madrid?
- Plaza Mayor
- Gateway of the Sun (Puerta del Sol)
- Plaza de Cibeles
- El Rastro Market
- Temple of Debod
- Retiro Park (Parque del Retiro)
- Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real)
- Prado Museum (Museo Nacional del Prado)
- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
- Mercado San Miguel
- Sorolla Museum
- Bernabéu Stadium
- Queen Sofia Arts Center
When is it excellent to visit Madrid?
The March to May and September to November rule holds for Madrid too. The weather temperature is the main reason for this. Summer in Madrid is scorching due to the city geographical location. In Autumn you can attend the Autumn Festival.
St. Petersburg, Russia & top things to do
Russia is a destination where you will get reasonable prices if you book early. Most people will visit Moscow, St. Petersburg, or both on a trip. Moscow is great for New Year’s Eve too, while St. Petersburg offers an entirely different experience.
What are the best things to do in St. Petersburg?
- Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace
- Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
- Grand Market Russia Interactive Museum
- St. Isaac’s Cathedral
- Summer Garden
- Peterhof Palace & Garden
- Russian Museum
- Yusupov Palace
- The Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt
- Chapel of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg
- Yelagin Island
When is it great to visit St. Petersburg?
Avoid winter. Better to visit from June to September. Hot events taking place are White Nights, International Festival of Choral Art, International Early Music Festival. Winter is cheaper, but lots of activities are not happening and cold in Russia is rather extreme.
Rome, Italy & top things to do
The city of Rome is a living, walk-through museum. It is an unbelievable destination suitable for all seasons (not so good when rains fall but still beautiful). We have been multiple times in Rome with kids or not (Read that guide. It is suitable for going without kids too). Prepare for lots of walking as a car is useless in the vast historical center which covers most of the city of Rome.
What are the best things to do in Rome?
- Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)
- Church of San Luigi Dei Francesi
- Santa Maria Della Vittoria
- Ancient Appian Way
- Basilica di San Clemente
- Piazza Navona
- Gianicolo Hill
- Campo de’ Fiori
- Porta Portese
- Spanish Steps
- Musei Capitolini
- St. Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)
- Colosseum (Colosseo)
- Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
- Roman Forum (Foro Romano)
- Palatine Hill
- Galleria Borghese
- Gruppo Storico Romano Gladiator School
When is it wonderful to visit Rome?
Prices are lower from October to April. Weather is hot in summer, but Rome has free water fountains all over the city, and you will be amazed by the colors of the city with summer light. You can find lots of affordable accommodations outside from the historical center, but it will still be close to it, so no worries. Better to go there with sun, than rain. The cold will not be an issue with all the walking (if you plan for winter). Food is affordable if you avoid tourist restaurants.
Corfu, Greece & top things to do
Corfu is a contradictory island, suitable for many different tastes. One of its sides/coasts has lots of beaches while the other one is rocky. Best beaches will be revealed by the locals when they like you, so make sure they do. This post will be rather revealing for you. The islands hold the essence from the Venetian history, and you will notice that in the architecture of its capital.
What are the best things to do in Corfu?
- All the beaches
- Paleokastritsa Monastery (and beach)
- Corfu Donkey Rescue
- Church of Saint Spyridon
- Corfu Museum of Asian Art
- Achillion Palace & Museum
- Palaio Frourio (Old Fortress)
- Aqualand (lots of fun)
When is superb to visit Corfu?
Summertime is the best season. In case you want to hit the lowest prices ever then visit Corfu from April to May and September to November. Corfu is in the West part of Greece, and you can encounter lots of rain during those times. In case you can be there in Orthodox Easter time you will see lots of local customs happening.
Berlin, Germany & top things to do
Berlin is a somewhat controversial city with extreme nightlife. If you are after nightlife, then it won’t be very cheap. Many other things come at really affordable prices. Here is a post with ideas for three days in Berlin and another one for five days in Germany.
What are the best things to do in Berlin?
- Brandenburg Gate
- Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
- Potsdamer Platz
- The topography of Terror
- East Side (Wall) Gallery
- Museum Island
- Zoologischer Garten Berlin
- Checkpoint Charlie
- TV Tower
- Charlottenburg Palace
When is it thrilling to visit Berlin?
From May to September you can additionally attend these events: Formula E ePrix Championship, Carnival of Cultures, Fete de la Musique, Berlin Fashion Week, Lesbian and Gay City Festival, International Berlin Beer Festival, Berlin Marathon. Berlin is at the center of Germany but also in the North of Europe so that any other months will be rather cold.
Seville, Spain & top things to do
With hotels moving around the USD100 per night, this city is affordable too. There are hostels and such if you want to lower the accommodation fees. There are lots of parks, promenade locations, museums, bull-fights, and tasty food. See more great places to visit in Spain.
What are the best things to do in Seville?
- La Carbonerí
- Guadalquivir River Cruise
- Metropol Parasol
- Museum of Fine Arts
- Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza
- Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium
- Torre del Oro
- Isla Mágica
When it is great to visit Seville?
Better to visit from March to May due to mild temperatures. The famous events of Semana Santa and Feria de Abril, happen in these months.
Munich, Germany & top things to do
Munich maybe not the first destination that comes in your mind when you plan to visit Europe, but it is a great one. You can read our experiences in Munich from here, here and here. By the way, beers and food are fantastic.
What are the best things to do in Munich?
- English Garden
- Church of Our Lady
- Nymphenburg Palace Gardens
- Biergarten am Chinesischen Turm
- St. Michael’s Church
- St. Peter’s Church
- Deutsches Museum
- Residenz Royal Palace
- Old Picture Gallery
- Bayerische Staatsoper Opera House
- Nymphenburg Palace Museum
- Modern Picture Gallery
When is it amazing to visit Munich?
March to May is best, though the weather may get a bit chilly. Things are happening in the summertime, but there are lots of crowds too.
Summary of affordable European destinations
As you see, there are lots and lots of places to visit. This list will expand more in the following days, so make sure you subscribe to it!
Traveling is fun and budget or/and affordable traveling is preferred by many.