Doing Europe on the cheap – the best destinations to save a buck

Comparing prices across 36 cities, these are the best value places to visit in Europe.

cheap european destinations

SJ is a regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices. Her favourite place in the world so far is Positano, where she spent most of her time enjoying the view from her balcony at Hotel Buca Di Bacco.

It’s that time of the year again when Australia’s winter weather is  dragging you down and you can practically hear the European summer sun calling your name. But before you rule out a trip to the northern hemisphere, or throw away your life savings to get some sun on your bones, make sure you read this.

Doing everyone a massive favour, Post Office Travel Money recently released its annual report. The City Costs Barometer compares prices across 36 cities to reveal the best value places to visit. It looks at 10 typical purchases while travelling including coffee, beer, wine, a travel card, airport transfers and a hotel for a couple for two nights. This year’s results revealed that the sunny cities are among the best value – breaking the previous stranglehold of Europe’s historic eastern capitals.

So which European cities can you visit without breaking the bank?

1. Paphos, Cyprus

paphos cyprus

With the 10 typical costs coming in at $232. Two nights in this sunny city was the cheapest you’ll find in Europe.

  • Coffee: $4.31

  • Beer: $3.85

  • Wine: $4.74

  • Cola: $3.12

  • Meal for two with a bottle of wine: $56.39

  • Return airport transfer: $4.46

  • 48-hour travel card: $14.83

  • Sightseeing city bus tour: $25.23

  • Top tourist heritage attraction: $6.67

  • Top museum: $4.46

  • Top art gallery: Free

  • Hotel stay for two-night stay for two adults: $103.93

2. Vilnius, Lithuania

vlinius lithuania

Hot on the heels of Paphos, two nights in Vilnius will only set you back $234.

  • Coffee: $2.23

  • Beer: $3.12

  • Cola: $2.66

  • Wine: $3.55

  • Meal for two with a bottle of wine: $72.72

  • Return airport transfer: $1.96

  • 48-hour travel card: $10.33

  • Sightseeing city bus tour: $17.80

  • Top tourist heritage attraction: Free

  • Top museum: $5.20

  • Top art gallery: $2.66

  • Hotel stay for two-night stay for two adults: $112.31

3. Riga, Latvia

riga latvia

Described as the ‘Paris of the North’ at $252 Riga was the third cheapest European city to visit.

  • Coffee: $4.46

  • Beer: $3.70

  • Cola: $3.55

  • Wine: $5.20

  • Meal for two with a bottle of wine: $89.04

  • Return airport transfer: $3.42

  • 48-hour travel card: $14.83

  • Sightseeing city bus tour: $22.26

  • Top tourist heritage attraction: $4.46

  • Top museum: $5.20

  • Top art gallery: $5.20

  • Hotel stay for two-night stay for two adults: $90.52

4. Warsaw, Poland

warsaw poland

Two nights in the Polish capital will only cost you $257.

  • Coffee: $3.60

  • Beer: $2.88

  • Cola: $2.16

  • Wine: $5.40

  • Meal for two with a bottle of wine: $54.04

  • Return airport transfer: $3.17

  • 48-hour travel card: $8.65

  • Sightseeing city bus tour: $21.62

  • Top tourist heritage attraction: $10.81

  • Top museum: $7.21

  • Top art gallery: $5.40

  • Hotel stay for two-night stay for two adults: $132.43

5. Budapest, Hungary

budapest hungary


Arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest is the fifth least expensive choice coming in at a total of $263.

  • Coffee: $2.78

  • Beer: $3.81

  • Cola: $2.28

  • Wine: $6.08

  • Meal for two with a bottle of wine: $58.33

  • Return airport transfer: $3.55

  • 48-hour travel card: $16.75

  • Sightseeing city bus tour: $30.44

  • Top tourist heritage attraction: $7.61

  • Top museum: $8.11

  • Top art gallery: $9.14

  • Hotel stay for two-night stay for two adults: $114

Rounding out the top 10 were Krakow, Poland ($269), Lisbon, Portugal ($271), Prague, Czech Republic ($305), Athens, Greece ($321) and Palma on Majorca, Spain ($329).

And if it’s beaches you’re after, Post Office Travel Money also release an annual Holiday Costs Barometer – focusing on the cheapest beach resorts in Europe. Similar to the City Costs Barometer, the report uses 10 holiday essentials usually purchased at resorts to group 18 European beach resorts into three price categories; budget (up to $134), medium price ($134-$168) and expensive ($168+).

Spoiler alert; The Black Sea resort in Bulgaria’s Sunny Beach is the best value destination for the fourth year in a row. And, in terms of regions, the Algarve in Portugal has the lowest prices in Europe, with beach resorts in these areas less than half the price of those in the south of France, southern Italy and the Spanish isle of Ibiza.

Forget researching your vacation plans and look up the full City Costs Barometer and Holiday Costs Barometer at Post Office Travel Money.

Do these results surprise you? Would this research impact on where you travelled to in Europe?


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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Arisaid
    29th Jul 2017
    10:04am
    As far as the prices in Budapest go - we were there about 2 years ago and the beer, wine and food were much much cheaper than stated. We stayed away from the main street areas. We also stayed in a one bed apartment (3 nights) and it was so much cheaper than a hotel. We were still within easy walking distance of the main tourist areas.
    niemakawa
    29th Jul 2017
    2:07pm
    All the Central/Eastern European countries are safe, welcoming and good value for money. Forget anywhere in Western Europe, dirty, dangerous, and very expensive.


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