7 budget-friendly European cities to visit this summer

7 budget-friendly European cities to visit this summer

While undoubtedly an enjoyable and adventurous way to pass the time, travelling can be pretty expensive. If you're looking to explore more of the world but don't have much saved up in your bank account, here are seven unmissable cities in Europe that you can visit on a budget.

European city breaks for travellers on a budget

On the hunt for a budget-friendly holiday destination this summer? One of these cities might be just what you're looking for. 

1. Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig, in the German state of Saxony, has an incredible history. Famously, it was the city where the protests began in 1989 that would eventually bring down the Berlin Wall and reunite the country. That fierce spirit is still alive and kicking in Leipzig today, and history geeks will find plenty to occupy them, from the medieval architecture and towering monuments, to interesting museums. The city also has a thriving art and culture scene, and top-notch nightlife resulting in it being nicknamed the "new Berlin".

2. Basel, Switzerland

Switzerland might not be the most obvious destination for a cheap holiday, but there are bargains to be had in Basel - if you know where to look. From visiting the imposing Münster, to strolling in the old town and taking a swim in the river (or local fountain), the city has plenty of activities you can do for next to nothing. The Basel card (which comes free with any hotel booking) also offers unlimited public transport and cheap or free access to a number of the city's top attractions. The city's location right next to the borders of France and Germany mean you could also take advantage of the low food and hotel prices across the border while still visiting Switzerland.

3. The Hague, Netherlands

One of the most charming places to visit in the Netherlands is Den Haag, also known as The Hague. The city is on the North Sea coast on the western side of the Netherlands, and it contains some of the country's most important buildings. There are some great museums in The Hague as well, many with free or affordable admission. If the weather is fine, there is also a delightful beach at Scheveningen, which is perfect for sunbathing or a stroll with a coffee or ice cream. 

4. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Sarajevo is one of the most welcoming capitals in Europe, with an incredible history that is still documented through museums and architecture. It is a joy to walk through the Ottoman bazaars, the Old Town called Bascarsija, and the city hall, Vijecnica. Enjoy traditional Bosnian coffee and delicacies while riding a gondola to Mount Trebevic or wandering through the beautiful mosques created with Balkan culture and architecture.

5. Budapest, Hungary

If you have the appetite for a city with striking architecture and scrumptious food, then Budapest is the city for you! It’s known to be one of Central Europe’s most beautiful cities, and it has many affordable entertainment options, including free walking tours, sensational churches, free art galleries, and mouthwatering markets. Finish it all off with a nighttime stroll along the Danube when the entire city is illuminated by lights. 

6. Palermo, Italy

Escape from mainland Italy to Sicily and immerse yourself in the capital of Palermo. Discover the many churches with exquisite mosaics, spooky catacombs, and bustling neighbourhood markets, all while snacking on traditional street food. Visit the Norman Palace and Cattedrale di Palermo, and then head Spiaggia di Mondello, a pristine beach, to eat gelato the Sicilian way - in a brioche bun!

7. Porto, Portugal

Portugal’s second-biggest city sits on the banks of the River Duoro, and the riverside is packed with amazing restaurants offering delicious local dishes and wines at fantastic prices. Porto has many pocket-friendly excursions like window shopping through the Rua de Santa Catarina, walking along the Ribeira, exploring the many stunning churches, or roaming around the Crystal Palace gardens. You could even eat at the McDonalds Imperial, where a burger can be enjoyed with ornate chandeliers and stained-glass windows as a backdrop.

Holiday destinations in Europe to fit any budget

You don't have to spend loads of money in order to explore the continent - there are holiday destinations to fit just about any budget. Regardless of what you're willing to spend, these cities are perfect options for a city break. Got any other tips for someone looking to travel on a budget? Let us know in the comments below!

This article originally appeared on IamExpat in Switzerland.

Eesha Wirk


Eesha Wirk

Eesha studied in the United States, obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience and Studio Art. She is currently getting her Research Masters in Cognitive Neuropsychology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In...

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