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Cheapest countries in Europe to visit now

TOP 10 CHEAPEST COUNTRIES IN EUROPE TO VISIT THIS YEAR

Wondering how many countries featured here are also part of the EU? You will find 6 countries out of the 10 cheapest countries in the EU listed here.

Let’s begin! 10 of the Cheapest European countries to visit now!

1. North Macedonia

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—definitely one of the cheapest European countries to visit now.

Learn more about why we loved Lake Ohrid and the 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 Omio 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. One of the cheapest European countries to visit now and one 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 stretch their cash 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 recommended.

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 its affordability.

  • 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 Omio for transport options in Romania.

Top Places to Visit in Romania – Bucharest, Timisoara, Sibiu & Brasov

The Best 3 Travel Experiences in Romania

3. Moldova

Yes, this is easily one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit now, as well as taking the crown for the least visited country in Europe. We had a great time here. We booked a great little apartment in the capital city of Chisinau 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 the cheapest European countries to visit now, 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 Omio for transport options in Moldova

Top Places to Visit in Moldova –  Chisinau, Tiraspol in Transnistria (not in Moldova) & Cricova Winery & Old Orhei 

The Best 3 Travel Experiences in Moldova

4. Poland

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.

Don’t miss my list of the 18 most popular Polish foods to try and our 8 favourite cities in Poland to visit. 

For something different, we recommend you try and visit Zalipie, the prettiest village in Poland.

Poland gives you good value for money. It certainly deserves a spot in our cheapest countries in Europe to visit this year.

  • 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 for exploring the city. Check Omio for other transport options in Poland.
The colourful city of Gdansk, Poland. Poland is one of the cheapest European countries to visit now.

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

The Best Travel Experiences in Poland

5. Slovakia

Slovakia is one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit, and it’s also one of the most underrated countries in Europe. One of the cheapest countries in EU to visit? Yes, it is. That’s a win for you!

Slovakia is 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 much to offer.

The capital city of Bratislava is noticeably more expensive than the rest of the country, but I 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 fantastic car rental prices using Europcar.com).

And, this summer, we had the chance to go hiking in Slovakia’s High Tatras. Please read about our hike to the amazing Green Lake (Zelene Pleso).

Hiking in Slovakia Green Lake Zelene Pleso wildflowers

Don’t miss the best places to visit in this country, and check out our post on the 10 best places to visit in Slovakia

It’s worth mentioning that Slovakian food is delicious. Learn more about Slovak Food and the 18 Most Popular Foods to Try.

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 cheaper than water in Slovakia – and the beer is fantastic!

Let me add that Slovakia is different from Slovenia (a country 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 Omio for other transport options in Slovakia.

Top Places to Visit in Slovakia – Bratislava, Trnava, Kolšice, Banská Bystrica & Levoča

The Best 3 Travel Experiences 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 country. I’d 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. 

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 reasonable living costs also make Bulgaria (in particular the city of Sofia) one of the cheapest countries in Europe to live in.

If you’re travelling around and exploring the cheapest countries in Europe, remember when you’re searching for the cheapest flights with Skyscanner, Bulgaria is also one of the cheapest countries in Europe to fly into.

Yes, WizzAir is a low-cost carrier that offers 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 just have to book them in advance and maybe have a little luck.

In saying that, the luggage allowance always 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.

Back to Bulgaria and why it’s one of the cheapest countries in Europe, here are many interesting (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 Omio for transport options in Bulgaria.

Top Places to Visit in Bulgaria – Plovdiv, Sofia, Varna and Burgas

The Best 3 Travel Experiences in Bulgaria

7. Greece

Oh, Greece. I love that this country 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 put this nation among the cheapest countries in Europe.

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

However, our post on two 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 only stop to explore Athens in one day to visit the highlights. If you’re like us, you’ll be searching for the best Greek food in Athens, including street food, which is fantastic and very affordable.

Greece is one of the cheapest countries in the EU that you can visit. Have fun!

  • 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 Omio 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

Albania hasn’t received much attention over the years; it has stayed under the radar. But it seems that over the past five years or so, there have been 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 only heard of the colourful capital of Tirana, but did you know that there are green mountains and fantastic beaches in Albania?

This destination is 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 searching for the best and cheapest countries in Europe to visit?

Once the word gets out there, Albania may be the hottest destination in 2024 and beyond.

Albania ticks all the boxes for being one of the cheapest countries in Europe: cheap food, accommodation, and transport with a range of exciting 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 Omio 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

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, Porto is where you can find beauty and reasonable 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), 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 Omio for other transport options in Portugal.

Top Places to Visit in Portugal – Lisbon, Porto, ÓbidosTavira

The Best 3 Travel Experiences in Portugal

10. Hungary

Hungary is one of the more expensive countries in Eastern Europe. However, it’s still considered one of the cheapest European countries to visit now and still more affordable to visit than travelling in Western Europe. This is why it’s on our list of the cheapest European countries to visit.

Plan a minimum 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 an excellent 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. Visit the surrounding villages and towns, learn about Hungarian culture, and perhaps try local cuisine. You’ll notice that prices are considerably lower 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 will likely 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 Omio for transport options in Hungary.

Top Places to Visit in Hungary – Budapest, EgerDebrecen, Szentendre and Siófok.

The Best 3 Travel Experiences in Hungary

To keep costs down when visiting the cheapest countries in Europe, check out our best travel tips from 20+ years of travel. You may also be interested to read our 6 Top Travel Hacks and these top tips for safe travel on the road.

As I mentioned, there are some incredibly cheap fares to travel in Europe. So, what are the most affordable countries in Europe to fly to, you may ask?

My tip is to visit Skyscanner and search for the best deals on the mobile app. If you enter your country or nearest city of origin, then select EVERYWHERE, you’re bound to nab some cheap deals for onward travel. 

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 countries I’ve listed here are all good options for you. 

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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 recommend Expat Explore. They offer a variety of coach tours around Europe to suit most travellers.

Check out Expat Explore Tours, and if you see a tour 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

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 this year.

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.