A very personal selection with six of the most beautiful and cheapest countries to travel to throughout Europe without breaking the bank. A tour of Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Montenegro, Portugal and beautiful Albania. Are you coming on a low-cost trip?
Are you looking for cheap and, at the same time, fascinating destinations within the Old Continent? Throughout this article, I will describe 6 destinations to take into account for your next vacation. Cheap countries to travel in Europe, 6 low-cost options for all tastes: from the always recommendable Portugal, Poland and Romania to much more unknown destinations for the general public such as Montenegro, Bulgaria or Albania.
This recommendation is valid for any time of the year. But the summer season is the strong point of most of them. Especially those that offer a coastline full of super-appetizing beaches, such as Portugal, Albania or Montenegro. And they are also the months when the different living standards of the European countries are most noticeable in our pockets.
I assure you that, about your travel economy, it is not the same to go out to explore the Swiss Alps in August as the Romanian Carpathians or to enjoy a few days on the crystalline beaches of Corsica compared to the beaches of Albania or from Montenegro. Equally incredible landscapes without leaving an eye on your face.
6 low-cost destinations: cheap countries to travel to Europe
It is one of those beautiful destinations with its beach, mountain and heritage, and all at super affordable prices. Albania has become known in recent years as one of the most exciting destinations in Eastern Europe for its incredible beaches on the Albanian Riviera. However, this country has so much more to offer. And I say this from experience. It has been one of the trips I remember most fondly in recent years.
Far from mass tourism, it maintains affordable prices to live a dream vacation. In two weeks of travelling around the country without depriving myself of any luxury in terms of accommodation and meals, I spent around 900 euros per person, all-inclusive. A total budget that you can still adjust much more. You can live without problems with 20 euros a day per person without making any reservations in advance. The most expensive is the air transport to Tirana and the car rental.
Of course, you should avoid August when organizing your trip to Albania. This is the holiday period of the Albanians themselves. During these weeks, there are more problems when looking for accommodation in the coastal area, and you can find beaches and many tourist attractions full of people.
One of my latest discoveries. A country that still does not know what mass tourism is. It treasures a large amount of artistic heritage within its many charming cities and towns. Where you can bathe on a beach with crystal clear waters in the Black Sea, climb the impressive peaks of the Pirin and Rila National Park, close to 3,000 meters, recreate yourself with the beauty of its glacial lakes and sleep in a 16th-century Orthodox monastery.
A country that is well worth visiting from start to finish and with prices suitable for all budgets. During my two-week road trip in the middle of July, I could choose accommodation on the fly and savour local cuisine daily in bars and restaurants without depriving myself of luxuries.
To give you an idea, I paid an average of 20 euros a day for a single, double room (which in Spain could cost between 50 and 70 euros a day) and about 5 euros per person to eat in a restaurant with the main course, drink and dessert. Not bad, right? If you add to that the fact that some of the most important tourist attractions in the country, such as the Rila Monastery, have free admission…Bulgaria has become an ideal option within the old continent.
I discovered it a few years ago and have not hesitated to return. And it is that Romania hooks. And also the prices. Although some of the most touristic places in Transylvania and the Black Sea coast are taking advantage of the surge to raise rates, most of the country remains at super low prices.
The area most visited by international tourism is the Transylvania region. Wonder is full of charming towns and cities where the mountains of the Carpathians star in the landscape. However, Romania is so much more. From the navigable channels of the Danube Delta to places as impressive as the painted monasteries of Bucovina or the wooden churches of Maramures in the north.
Regarding the standard of living, today you can travel around Romania with a daily budget of between 15 and 30 euros. That in terms of budgets low cost. If you feel like travelling without straits and with some whim, with 40 or 50 euros per person, you will have done it.
Wonderful!. From the first day I set foot on Polish soil, I knew it was a success. Monuments, super colourful traditional architecture and, above all, a lot of history. And it is that in any trip through Poland, it is impossible to ignore the deep mark that the Second World War left throughout the country, beyond Auschwitz and other places as popular as the Schindler Factory in Krakow.
On your first trip around the country, you cannot miss a complete visit to the beautiful city of Krakow. Without a doubt, the most beautiful in Poland. Also highly recommended discovering other super exciting locations such as its capital, Warsaw, Poznan, Wroclaw or Gdansk, a beautiful coastal city in the north of the country.
You can travel a good part of the country both by rented car and by public transport. And the best thing is that accommodation and meals are kept at relatively affordable prices. Perhaps it is not a European country as cheap as Bulgaria or Albania, but it maintains a much lower standard of living than Spain.
Despite the more than evident tourist boom that Portugal has experienced in recent years, we can still consider it one of the cheapest countries in Europe to travel to. Or, at least, from Western Europe. From its beautiful and decadent cities of Porto and Lisbon and a stunning interior full of heritage to its Atlantic coast dotted with wild beaches and countless kilometres of virgin sand. It doesn’t look bad. Well, reality always beats it.
Wherever you look at it, Portugal has historically been a country underestimated by the Spanish. A massive mistake that, fortunately, we have amply corrected. And it is that, at present, our neighbouring country has become one of our favourite destinations for a weekend getaway and a multi-day road trip.
The further we get from the big cities and the most crowded destinations in Portugal, such as the Algarve coast, the more we will notice the drop in prices. If we talk about the average, a double room in simple accommodation can cost between 20 and 40 euros. When it comes to meals, Portugal takes the cake. Good pretty, and cheap. Of course, the further away from the tourist areas, the better for your palate and economy.
Many tourists who visit Dubrovnik, the most touristic city in Croatia, cross the border to enjoy a day trip through Montenegro. And the proximity of the famous Bay of Kotor is a problematic claim to resist. But the same thing happens to everyone; one day, it is very little, and they are left wanting much more. And it is that Montenegro is a small but thug country.
Small, very small. With a size similar to that of the community of Castilla y León, Montenegro treasures 5 impressive national parks and a 290-kilometre-long coastline that has little or nothing to do with its neighbours to the north (Croatia) or south (Albania). . If you add to that impressive town like Kotor, Perast or Herceg Novi, we could say that Montenegro offers enough attractions to dedicate an entire trip to it.
Regarding the prices, I have to warn you that they can be very variable depending on the area of the country through which you move. Higher prices on the coast and real bargains in the interior. Still, it is a long way from reaching Croatia’s level and super high prices. Montenegro is, and will be for many years to come, a cheap country to travel to in Europe and where, despite not belonging to the European Union, the euro currency is used.
More cheap countries in Europe to travel
Be careful because this list could increase considerably if we talk about other countries that I still do not know in the first person. We are talking about the east of the European continent. Some of them are authentic jewels yet to be exploited.
For example, one could also mention Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Kosovo within the Balkans. Neighbouring countries such as Albania and Slovenia have unique natural resources (one of the great attractions of the Balkan countries), a more interesting cultural diversity and super attractive prices. I’m already looking forward to returning to the area to see my next destination: Bosnia.
Many of us had not even heard of them a few years ago, and now they are part of the wish list of many adventurers, mine too. I am talking about Armenia and Georgia. At the foot of the mountains of the Caucasus, these countries offer us abundant heritage, culture and nature.
Another trio of countries super attractive for our cameras and our pockets are the Baltic republics of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, especially the latter. Of course, I can’t forget about two great giants of the European continent, such as Ukraine and Belarus. Two former Soviet republics that I have to admit I know almost nothing about. However, I have heard great things about both. We will have to check it in the first person.