Europe is a fascinating continent to explore. Jam-packed with amazing cities, stunning landscapes, epic mountain ranges, beautiful beaches and diverse cultures. But what are the cheapest countries in Europe to visit? If you’re searching for cheap EU countries to make your dollar go further, then read on to discover the cheapest countries in Europe in 2022.

girl in porto cheapest countries in europe

1. North Macedonia

lake ohrid cheapest countries in europe to visit

North Macedonia, located in the Balkans region is one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit. To give you an idea of exactly where this is in Europe, read our post about the difference between the Balkans vs Balticsas many people get them confused.

Either way, it may surprise you how affordable North Macedonia is in comparison to Central or Western Europe. The popular areas such as Lake Ohrid or Matka Canyon are a little pricier and draw bigger tourist numbers, however, you can still find some great deals on Booking.com. We fell in love with Lake Ohrid and we’d say this was the highlight of North Macedonia for us.

Learn more about why we loved Lake Ohrid and things you can do there.

Public transport is cheap in North Macedonia and shared vans (they call them marshrutka) are readily available. Cheap food is everywhere and you’ll find many bakeries serving fresh, hot pastries and borek all day.

Read 8 Foods you need to try in North Macedonia to see what you’ve got to look forward to. Seriously, I can’t wait to return here to get another dose of this beautiful destination that is one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit.

I highly recommend this day trip from Skopje to Kosovo, it was one of the most fascinating tours I’ve experienced.

  • 💰 Estimated Budget to visit North Macedonia: 28 – 35 USD per day
  • 🤑 Local Currency: Macedonian Denar
  • 🛏 Accommodation: $10 – 20 per day (Check Prices & Availability on Booking.com)
  • 🍲 Daily Food Budget: $6 – 12
  • 🚐 Transport: Check Bookaway or Rome2Rio for transport options in North Macedonia

Top Places to Visit in North Macedonia – Skopje, Lake Ohrid, and Bitola.

The Best 3 Travel Experiences in North Macedonia

2. Romania

arefu romania cheapest countries in europe

Arefu in Romania. The cheapest countries in Europe are some of the most beautiful too.

Romania is one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe. The cost of living here is inexpensive. Even though it is a part of the European Union (EU), it does not use the Euro (there are a few countries like this. This is a perfect destination for budget travellers or those wishing to make their cash stretch further.

There’s more to Romania than just the bustling capital city of Bucharest. Get out into the countryside and visit Cluj-Napoca or Timisoara. This is where you can find Dracula’s castle. This popular Day Tour to Dracula’s castle and other highlights is wonderful.

Seriously though, you will meet the friendliest Romanians in the off-beaten regions of the country and as we’ve established, this country won’t break the bank to explore a little further.

Romania is also one of the cheapest countries to live in Europe and is fast becoming quite the digital nomad hub due to how affordable it is.

  • 💰 Estimated Budget to visit Romania: 28 – 40 USD per day
  • 🤑 Local Currency: Romanian Leu
  • 🛏 Accommodation:$10 – 15 per day (Check Prices & Availability on Booking.com)
  • 🍲 Daily Food Budget: $5 – 12 per person
  • 🚐 Transport: Check Bookaway or Rome2Rio for transport options in Romania.

3. Moldova

moldova cheapest countries in europe to visit

Yes, this is easily one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit as well as taking the crown for the least visited country in Europe too. To be honest, we had a great time here. We booked a great little apartment in the capital city of Chisnau on Booking.com and explored from here. 

If you’re a wine lover, then you should enjoy Moldova! A winery tour is highly recommended to learn about Moldovan wine (which is fantastic, I know from experience) and visit some ancient wine cellars. 

In terms of food in Moldova, it’s super cheap. There isn’t a huge list of attractions in Moldova, however I recommend you take a day trip to neighbouring TransnistriaThis could also be on our list of cheapest countries in Europe to visit, except it’s not entirely recognised globally as an official country.

Read more in our post about visiting Transnistria, a country that doesn’t officially exist.

  • 💰 Estimated Budget to visit Moldova: 20 – 25 USD per day
  • 🤑 Local Currency: Moldovan Leu
  • 🛏 Accommodation:$10 – 15 per day (Check Prices & Availability on Booking.com)
  • 🍲 Daily Food Budget: $6 – 10 per person
  • 🚐 Transport: Check Bookaway or Rome2Rio for transport options in Moldova

4. Poland

wroclaw cheapest countries in europe to visit

Poland has a long history, dating back nearly a thousand years. You can discover impressive medieval architecture, palaces and castles and some fascinating, colourful cities too.

In addition to the cities, Poland has mountains, lakes and national parks to explore while also keeping on budget. Comfortable accommodation is plentiful, transport is cheap to get around and food (and beer) is very affordable.

For this reason, it certainly deserves a spot in our cheapest countries in Europe to visit.

  • 💰 Estimated Budget to visit Poland: 20 – 30 USD per day
  • 🤑 Local Currency: Polish Zloty
  • 🛏 Accommodation: $11 – 14 per day (Check Prices & Availability on Booking.com)
  • 🍲 Daily Food Budget: $3 – 8 per person
  • 🚐 Transport: The Warsaw Hop-On Hop Off Bus Tour is ideal to explore the city. Check Bookaway or Rome2Rio for other transport options in Poland.
gdansk cheapest countries in europe

The colourful city of Gdansk, Poland. Cheapest countries in Europe.

Top 3 Places to visit in Poland – Warsaw, KrakowWroclaw, Gdansk, and the Tatra Mountains.

The Best Travel Experiences in Poland

5. Slovakia

Bratislava cheapest countries in europe to visit

Slovakia is one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit and it’s also one of the most underrated countries in Europe. It’s a country that seems to get overlooked by visitors who head straight for bordering countries such as the Czech Republic, Austria or Hungary.

I have no idea why because if you ask me, there are so many awesome things to do in Slovakia. If you’re travelling on a budget, you will enjoy Slovakia, a cheap EU country with so much to offer. 

The capital city of Bratislava is noticeably more expensive than the rest of the country, but I do recommend you check out the best 13 things to do in Bratislava Slovakia (including the fun things to do). And, you’ll need our list of the best restaurants in Bratislava too.

My favourite thing to do is to go hiking in the stunning Tatra Mountains of Slovakia during the summer season. This small-group day hike with a private guide is fantastic. Why not book a cosy place to stay in the High Tatras on Booking.com.

We’ve had the chance to explore Slovakia quite extensively by car (we scored some amazing car rental prices using Europcar.com) and can’t wait to explore more this summer. We’d like to update our post on the 10 best places to visit in Slovakia

Oh, and if you enjoy hearty, flavourful dishes of food when you travel, you’ll enjoy Slovakian cuisine. Try and eat at a ‘koliba’, a traditional restaurant in Slovakia, they serve the most wholesome food. Beer lovers beware, beer is literally cheaper than water in Slovakia – and the beer is fantastic! 

Let me add that Slovakia is different to the country Slovenia (which is further south). You wouldn’t believe how often these two countries get confused. Want to know more? We explain here in our post: Slovakia vs Slovenia – what is the difference?

  • 💰 Estimated Budget to visit Slovakia: 22 – 35 USD per day
  • 🤑 Local Currency: Euro
  • 🛏 Accommodation: $20 – 25 per day (Check Prices & Availability on Booking.com)
  • 🍲 Daily Food Budget: $5-15 
  • 🚐 Transport: Hop-On & Hop Off Bus in Bratislava. Check Bookaway or Rome2Rio for other transport options in Slovakia.

6. Bulgaria

I've visited Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria many times over the past ten years due to working for a coach tour company in Europe, yet I haven't seen much of the rest of the country. I'd really like to change that and I'm told by many travellers that Bulgaria is very easy on the wallet, which is precisely why it's one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit. 

As usual, escaping to the countryside or lesser-visited cities is where you can make your Bulgarian Levs (the currency) go further. 

Food is cheap, accommodation is fairly priced and transport is easy and affordable. All these cheap living costs also make Bulgaria (in particular the city of Sofia) one of the cheapest countries in Europe to live in.

Oh, and if you're travelling around and exploring the cheapest countries in Europe, remember when you're searching for the cheapest flights online with Skyscanner.com, that Bulgaria is also one of the cheapest countries in Europe to fly into. Yes, WizzAir is a low-cost carrier that offers some super cheap fares in/out of Sofia.

How does an 8 euro flight from Bucharest in Romania (one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit) to Sofia in Bulgaria? Yes, these deals are there - you've just got to book them in advance and maybe have a little luck on your side.

In saying that, it's always the luggage allowance that bumps the prices up on those low-cost fares around Europe. But, if you travel with a carry-on backpack only, like us, you can avoid all the additional costs. Get the full scope of our ultimate packing list to travel in Europe.

Getting back to Bulgaria and why it's one of the cheapest countries in Europe, here's a bunch of amazing (and affordable) things to do in Bulgaria when you get there.

  • 💰 Estimated Budget to visit Bulgaria: 18 - 32 USD per day
  • 🤑 Local Currency: Bulgarian Lev
  • 🛏 Accommodation: 10 - 15 per day (Check Prices & Availability on Booking.com)
  • 🍲 Daily Food Budget: $5 - 10
  • 🚐 Transport: Check Bookaway or Rome2Rio for transport options in Bulgaria.

7. Greece

greece cheapest countries in europe to visit

Oh, Greece. I love that this country that I adore so much remains one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit.

You've seen the photos of the turquoise blue waters, the sailboats breezing across the Mediterranean and the sunset photos with cocktails in hand, right? Well, that's Greece - but it's probably not the places in Greece that puts this nation among the cheapest countries in Europe.

Many of the postcard pics of that part of Greece are taken on the islands of Santorini and Mykonos. They're absolutely stunning, but they aren't entirely affordable for budget-conscious travellers or those looking to hang out longer and enjoy the cheapest countries in Europe.

Although, our post on 2 weeks in Greece on any budget may give you some ideas on how you can enjoy these islands in your favour without breaking the bank.

The Greece I'm talking about, where you can find cheap deals on accommodation and food, transport etc is more so in Athens, Thessaloniki, the island of Corfu and Rhodes. Your money will stretch further if you do a little research on the cheaper regions of Greece. 

Most visitors do stop to explore Athens for one day to visit the highlights. If you're like us, you'll be on the search for the best Greek food in Athens, including the street food which is amazing and very affordable by the way. 

  • 💰 Estimated Budget to visit Greece: 20 - 35 USD per day
  • 🤑 Local Currency: Euro
  • 🛏 Accommodation: $15 - 25 per day (Check Prices & Availability on Booking.com)
  • 🍲 Daily Food Budget: $6 - 15 
  • 🚐 Transport: Check Bookaway or Rome2Rio for transport options in Greece.

Top Places to Visit in Greece - Athens, Rhodes, Corfu. While Santorini and Mykonos are more expensive but gorgeous.

The Best 3 Travel Experiences in Greece

8. Albania

Ksamil cheapest countries in europe to visit

Albania hasn't received much attention over the years, it has kind of stayed under the radar. But it seems that over the past five years or so, there are more curious tourists coming but luckily it is still one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit. How fantastic is that!

Many people may have just heard of the colourful capital of Tirana only, but did you know that there are green mountains and fantastic beaches in Albania?

Yes, this is a destination for outdoor lovers and those wanting something a little different, minus the crowds. But, who knows how long that may last. Aren't we all in search of the best cheapest countries in Europe to visit?

Once the word gets out there, Albania may be the hottest destination to travel to in 2022.

Anyway, Albania ticks all the boxes for being one of the cheapest countries in Europe. Cheap food, cheap accommodation, and cheap transport with such an amazing list of things to do. What are you waiting for? The cheapest countries in Europe are just waiting for you to visit.

  • 💰 Estimated Budget to visit Albania: 20 - 30 USD per day
  • 🤑 Local Currency: Albanian Lek
  • 🛏 Accommodation: $10 - 18 per day (Check Prices & Availability on Booking.com)
  • 🍲 Daily Food Budget: $6 - 10
  • 🚐 Transport: Check Bookaway or Rome2Rio for transport options in Albania.

Top Places to Visit in Albania -  Tirana, Kruja & Sari Salltik & Durrës and the coastal cities that surround the Albanian Riviera

The Best 3 Travel Experiences in Albania

9. Portugal

porto cheapest countries in europe to visit

Some other countries in Southern Europe almost made it to this list of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit, but Portugal is a front-runner. Yes - Portugal offers all the things you need for an affordable destination. In particular, the town of Porto is where you can find beauty and good prices.

Check out the range of amazing things to see and do in Portugal

If you're a food-lover, wine lover, port lover or all of the above (my hand is up), then book that flight ticket with Skyscanner and make your way there. Search on Booking.com for an affordable place to stay and explore Portugal. 

  • 💰 Estimated Budget to visit Portugal: 25 - 35 USD per day
  • 🤑 Local Currency: Euro
  • 🛏 Accommodation: $18 - 25 per day (Check Prices & Availability on Booking.com)
  • 🍲 Daily Food Budget: $8 - 20
  • 🚐 Transport: Get a Lisbon City Card valid for 24, 48 or 72 hr to explore this city. In Porto, the Hop-on Hop-Off Transport Ticket is the way to go! Check Bookaway or Rome2Rio for other transport options in Portugal.

10. Hungary

hungary cheapest countries in europe to visit

Hungary is one of the more expensive countries you'll find in Eastern Europe, but it's still considerably cheaper to visit in comparison to travelling in Western Europe. This is the reason why it's on our list of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit. 

Plan a minimum of 2-day itinerary in Budapest to visit this beautiful capital city.

If you’re a history buff or an admirer of magnificent architecture, you’ll be mighty impressed by the Buda Castle and the Hungarian Parliament Building in the capital city of Budapest. Both of these iconic buildings are enormous and overlook the Danube river below.

There are many great things to see and do in Budapest, so make a plan and enjoy this gorgeous city. The Hop-On Hop-Off Bus with Cruise and Walking Tour is a good option to see more of the city with local information provided. To discover the beauty of Budapest in the evening, a 2-hour cruise with a Hungarian dinner is highly recommended. 

There's more to see in Hungary than just the beautiful capital city though. Visit the surrounding villages and towns and learn about Hungarian culture and perhaps try local cuisine. You'll notice that prices are considerably cheaper for accommodation and food once you leave the capital city and explore the rest of the country.

Food is very affordable in Hungary. There are two small supermarket chains, Aldi and Lidl and they offer everything you need at great prices. Also, you are likely to find many great food markets around the country, a great place to try traditional dishes and snacks. Hungary, is one of the cheapest countries in Europe and has so much to offer; don't miss it!

  • 💰 Estimated Budget to visit Hungary: 28 - 35 USD per day
  • 🤑 Local Currency: Hungarian Forint
  • 🛏 Accommodation: $12 - 20 per day (Check Prices & Availability on Booking.com)
  • 🍲 Daily Food Budget: $8 - 15
  • 🚐 Transport: Check Bookaway or Rome2Rio for transport options in Hungary.

To keep costs down when visiting the cheapest countries in Europe, check out our best travel tips from 15 Years of travel. You may also be interested to read these top tips for safe travel on the road.

As I mentioned earlier, there are some incredibly cheap fares to travel in Europe. So, what are the cheapest countries in Europe to fly into you may ask? My tip is to visit Skyscanner.com, enter the city you are travelling from and in the destination tab, select EVERYWHERE. For more money-saving tips about how to book the cheapest flight deals, read my detailed post.

If you're wondering what are the cheapest countries in Europe to live in? The 10 countries I've listed are all good options for you. 

The Best Group Tours in Europe

And, if you want to discover beyond the cheapest countries in Europe, then a group tour could be the answer. We highly recommend Expat Explore. They offer a variety of coach & rail tours around Europe to suit everyone, and you'll have a fantastic crew to take care of all the details. Your only task is to turn up and have an amazing time.

Check out Expat Explore Tours, and if you see a tour that you want to book, use our promo code VERYHUNGRYNOMADS at checkout for an additional 5% discount off your trip!

My other suggestion is to check the small-group adventures offered by G Adventures. The groups are smaller with this G Adventures and they focus on maximum fun and more free time during your trip.

A Final Word about the cheapest countries in Europe to visit in 2022

Have you noticed that many countries on this list of the cheapest countries in Europe happen to be in Eastern Europe? Read more about which countries are defined as being in Eastern Europe and the 7 misconceptions about travelling in Eastern Europe

I'd like to mention both Italy and Portugal as being serious contenders for the cheapest countries in Europe to visit in 2022. Once you escape the popular tourist cities such as Venice, Florence and Rome in Italy (only after you've explored Rome with the perfect 3-day itinerary of Rome) or Lisbon in Portugal, you will soon discover that these countries could easily be in my top 10 of cheapest countries in Europe. 

And as you make your way around Europe (exploring Europe by train or otherwise) by travelling further east or into the Balkans, you will find that prices decrease. More information about the Balkans vs Baltics - what is the difference? 

The countries in the Balkans tend to have cheaper prices as the average salary is lower than in Central or Western Europe and prices for food, accommodation and transport reflect this.

We've got you covered for your adventure to explore the cheapest countries in Europe and beyond! We've explored this part of the world many times over and our ULTIMATE Packing List for Europe has all the essentials you'll need on the road. And last, but certainly not least - don't miss our Food Map of Europe to plan what you need to eat along the way.