10 of the Cheapest Countries to Visit in Europe & 10 of the Most Expensive

10 of the Cheapest Countries to Visit in Europe & 10 of the Most Expensive

The biggest barrier to entry for any kind of travel is price. Unless you’re extremely savvy when it comes to finding the best deals, expenses can quickly add up and this often limits your ability to venture out and see the world. Europe — a hub for tourism — is no stranger to the high cost of living that often serves as a major hurdle for those looking to explore the continent. Luckily, there are still many places in Europe that you can travel to that won’t cost an arm and a leg, so here are 10 of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit as well as 10 of the most expensive.

1. Poland

This Central European nation offers tourists a vibrant cultural experience that won’t hurt your pockets. Home to wonderfully picturesque cities like Warsaw and Krakow, Poland is teeming with art, culture, and history while also offering tourists affordable accommodations and delicious cuisine. 

PolandthumbPhoto by Kamil Gliwiński

2. Hungary

Home to its bustling capital city, Budapest — the often-cited “Paris of the East” — Hungary is the perfect budget-friendly destination for any tourists looking for a true European experience that won’t break the bank. Situated on the Danube River, Budapest offers breathtaking architecture, as well as its famous thermal baths and ruin bars, making for a uniquely affordable experience that you won’t soon forget. 

Ervin-Lukacs-Smyqb3I9Bna-UnsplashPhoto by Ervin Lukacs

3. Romania

Romania’s eclectic mix of natural beauty, history, and vibrant city life make it an excellent choice for any traveller on a budget. Its capital city, Bucharest, offers travelers a vibrant and affordable nightlife that rivals any other in Europe, along with a multitude of historical and cultural landmarks that make Romania a must-see destination. 

Zoltan-Rakottyai-Sumf3Kn-Kyc-UnsplashPhoto by Zoltan Rakottyai

4. Bulgaria

Home to Black Sea beaches, ancient ruins, and breathtaking mountain ranges, Bulgaria has a little bit of everything. This Southeastern European country is not only cost-effective, but brimming with history, culture, and plenty of dining and lodging options, especially in the bustling capital of Sofia. 

Hristo-Sahatchiev-2Cgpfknxwpc-UnsplashPhoto by Hristo Sahatchiev


5. Serbia

Offering tourists a host of attractions, sights, and a diverse landscape, this landlocked nation at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe is the perfect budget-friendly destination for your next vacation. Along with its bustling and vibrant capital, Belgrade, Serbia is also home to astounding natural beauty and delicious and affordable cuisine. 

Nikola-Johnny-Mirkovic-2Izuc-Lk7Eq-UnsplashPhoto by Nikola Johnny Mirkovic

6. Slovakia

With its charming and affordable capital, Bratislava, and unique hiking opportunities in the Tatra Mountains, this underrated gem in Central Europe has plenty to offer for any tourist on a budget. From historic castles to breathtaking natural beauty as well as a vibrant nightlife, Slovakia has a little bit of everything to suit any kind of traveller. 

Martin-Katler-8Rtzkhmqsn4-UnsplashPhoto by Martin Katler

7. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Brimming with history and culture, Bosnia and Herzegovina is certainly a sight to behold. From the picturesque city of Mostar to the vibrancy of Sarajevo, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this charming and affordable Southeast European nation situated on the Balkan Peninsula. 

Omer-Nezih-Gerek-Exffxnsncng-UnsplashPhoto by Omer Nezih Gerek

8. Turkey

Although really only about 3% European (as most of Turkey is technically situated in Asia), the country’s European part is home to its most culturally rich city, Istanbul. This unique and affordable city offers tourists bustling bazaars, loads of historical sites, and phenomenal cuisine, not to mention breathtaking beaches.

Ibrahim-Uzun-9Fkqpb2Rvjw-UnsplashPhoto by Ibrahim Uzun

9. Georgia

Somewhere at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, this underrated travel destination provides tourists with incredible bang for their buck. Home to both the stunning natural landscapes of the Caucasus Mountains, as well as the old-world charms of its capital, Tbilisi, Georgia is a unique country that tourists on a budget can’t afford to overlook. 

Neil-Sengupta-Emwzyc5Xc A-UnsplashPhoto by Neil Sengupta

10. North Macedonia

This landlocked Southeast European nation not only offers tourists unparalleled affordability, but it's also home to loads of scenic beauty (including lakes and mountains). North Macedonia’s capital, Skopje, boasts a fascinating blend of historical and modern influences that, combined with its cheap and delicious cuisine, make it an indispensable destination for any traveller on a budget. 

Fisnik-Murtezi-Evcwk9Z8Gss-UnsplashPhoto by Fisnik Murtezi


1. Switzerland

With its sprawling Alps, breathtaking landscapes, and charming cities, Switzerland is no doubt a great place to visit — but it will come at a cost. Zurich and Geneva are easily two of the most expensive cities in the world, with staggering price points when it comes to food and lodging that prove to be quite the hurdle for any would-be travellers. 

Henrique-Ferreira-6P-I-X-Spuy-UnsplashPhoto by Henrique Ferreira

2. Norway

Norway is often cited for its astonishingly high standard of living — and while that’s great for the people living there, it certainly makes matters difficult for tourists, as this often translates to a higher cost of living. The country’s cities (like Oslo and Bergen) are uniquely expensive with food, activities, and accommodations quickly racking up quite a hefty bill. 

Ignacio-Ceballos-Vod0Rb4Twte-UnsplashPhoto by Ignacio Ceballos

3. Iceland

Brimming with natural beauty (geysers, volcanoes, and glaciers), Iceland is surely a destination that should be on everyone’s list. Sadly, the country also ranks among the highest in Europe in terms of cost of living, making the prospect of travelling there very unlikely for tourists on a budget. 

Cassie-Boca-06Jgtferpwo-UnsplashPhoto by Cassie Boca

4. Denmark

Dining, lodging, and attractions will take you back a pretty penny in this lovely yet expensive Northern European country. Brimming with picturesque towns and countryside, along with its charming capital, Copenhagen, Denmark has a lot to offer prospective tourists — but it’ll come at a price that many won’t be willing to pay. 

Nick-Karvounis-Ic2Fhfd3Tum-UnsplashPhoto by Nick Karvounis

5. Sweden

A perfect blend of natural beauty and modern urban landscapes, Sweden is certainly an intriguing travel destination. Unfortunately, many travellers will be thrown off by the high cost of living (particularly in places like Stockholm and Gothenburg) that will no doubt serve as a pricey barrier to entry to the country’s pristine natural beauty. 

Dylan-Shaw-Xnogg2Msgpk-UnsplashPhoto by Dylan Shaw

6. Finland

Like the other Northern European cities on this list, Finland is no exception when it comes to a high standard of living that translates to high costs. Everything from food and accommodations to the country's plentiful activities are all stunningly expensive. Even still, it’s hard to forgo experiencing natural wonders like the midnight sun and northern lights despite Finland’s steep price points.

Alexandr-Bormotin-Kyyyxzwffoq-UnsplashPhoto by Alexandr Bormotin


7. France

Brimming with a rich history, culture, and natural beauty, it’s not surprising that so many people think of France when they plan their European vacations. Unfortunately, this travel hotspot also comes with a hefty price tag, making places like Paris and the French Riviera harder and harder to visit due to their increasingly luxurious and upscale nature. 

Jules-D-Iqg3Rb C2Vy-UnsplashPhoto by Jules D.

8. United Kingdom

Boasting one of the most expensive cities in the world, it should come as no surprise that many tourists are put off by the UK’s increasing cost of living. Along with London, destinations like Cotswold, Edinburgh, and the famous Lake District also offer wonderful sights at a steep cost. The UK is certainly well worth a visit but its high prices are likely to dissuade many would-be travelers. 

Ming-Jun-Tan-O6Icdlt5 2K-UnsplashPhoto by Ming Jun Tan

9. Ireland

Boasting lush landscapes and picturesque cities, Ireland is no doubt a hotbed for tourism in Europe. Sadly, the cost of food, accommodations and transport are notoriously high, especially during peak months. Dublin and Galway are known to be particularly expensive, making the prospect of traveling to Ireland a far cry from many tourists on a budget.

Sean-Kuriyan-Skm0Rzjogie-UnsplashPhoto by Sean Kuriyan

10. Netherlands

While brimming with canals, museums and a distinct urban vibrancy, Amsterdam is also infamous for its high price points. Even cities like Rotterdam and Utrecht are plagued with a high cost of living, making cheap accommodations and dining options hard to come by in this inviting yet pricey Northeast European nation. 

Liam-Mcgarry-Mkhhuehrxnq-UnsplashPhoto by Liam McGarry