Discover Europe with pocket money

Europe conjures visions of sipping cappuccinos in Parisian cafés, toasting with wine in Tuscany, and cruising Venetian canals—but often with a hefty price tag. However, experiencing Europe’s charm and culture need not break the bank. With savvy planning, budget-minded travelers can indulge in local flavors, natural beauty, and Old World ambience across the continent.

This guide highlights 12 affordable European destinations and money-saving tips for couples. Discover you can still have an amazing European adventure, even on a shoestring budget. It’s time to master the art of budget Euro-tripping!

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Wander Lisbon’s Hills in Portugal
  • Bask on Bulgaria’s Beaches
  • Cycle Around Berlin, Germany
  • Hike Slovakia’s Mountains
  • Sail Croatia’s Islands
  • Chow Down in Budapest, Hungary
  • Get Artsy in Bucharest, Romania
  • Enjoy Nature in Sintra, Portugal
  • Slow Down in the Luberon, France
  • Wander Gdansk, Poland
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs About Visiting Europe on a Budget


For years, the dream of backpacking around Europe has drawn budget-minded travelers craving culture and adventure. The good news is, Europe offers accessible experiences even for couples looking to keep costs down. Think picnicking along the Danube, wandering medieval villages, enjoying seaside sunsets—without draining your wallet.

With savvy planning around accommodation, food, and transportation, you can indulge in Europe’s highlights and hidden gems on a budget. Whether sipping Portuguese wine from the source or mingling with Berliners in hip, affordable hangouts, memorable travels await.

Let this guide inspire your budget European dreams! Discover how to still experience the essence of Europe without breaking the bank.

Wander Lisbon’s Hills in Portugal

Portugal’s capital offers postcard looks with wallet-friendly prices. Stroll medieval alleys to whitewashed castles and marries ocean views atop the city’s seven hills. Grab food from vibrant street markets to enjoy picnic-style with inexpensive vinho verde wines.

Take advantage of free walking tours and museum days. And stay at smaller hotels or Airbnbs outside of the center for affordable rates. With its generous sunlight, charming museums, and downhill tram rides, Lisbon delivers budget exploration.

Bask on Bulgaria’s Beaches

Bulgaria remains Eastern Europe’s best-kept budget beach secret with its stretches of Black Sea sand. Base yourself in sunny Sozopol to enjoy old town strolls, open-air seafood restaurants, and umbrella-lined beaches for a steal.

Nearby coastal havens like Primorsko and Tsarevo also offer sun-soaked budget stays. And nature lovers can hike the remote Strandja Nature Park rich with wildlife. Bulgaria brings the Mediterranean within reach.

Cycle Around Berlin, Germany

Berlin comes alive in summer when locals pour into parks, riverside cafés, and beer gardens—without big admission costs. Rent a bike and cycle leafy paths to sites like the alternative East Side Gallery and Reichstag.

Grab currywurst on-the-go, picnic by the Landwehrkanal, or join in volleyball and ping pong in the parks. At night, creative bars and venues host affordable shows and events. Berlin offers a budget-friendly cultural fix.

Hike Slovakia’s Mountains

Fresh air and majestic views await adventure-seekers in Slovakia. Base yourself in budget-friendly Poprad to access the rocky peaks and glacial lakes of the High Tatras mountains via affordable cable cars and chairlifts.

Hike to thundering waterfalls and alpine huts where hospitable owners serve hearty, carb-filled fare. At night, soak in geothermal waters before feasting on Slovakian specialties like bryndzové halušky. The natural splendor is free for all to enjoy!

Sail Croatia’s Islands

With its idyllic Adriatic islands, Croatia now rivals Greece—but at friendlier prices. Base yourself in lesser-visited Šibenik to island hop to pristine beaches and coves via affordable ferry tickets.

Explore historic island villages and sunbathe on their pebbly shores before watching crimson sunsets with local wines. For nautical island-hopping on a deal, Croatia delivers.

Chow Down in Budapest, Hungary

Budapest spreads an all-you-can-eat buffet of culture at bargain prices. Lap up city views from the 19th-century Castle Hill funicular that costs under $4 round-trip.

Fill up on hearty pork, paprika-spiced stews, and creamy sweets at no-frills eateries. Catch free concerts at Potter’s Park across the Danube. With disciplined sightseeing, dining, and hotel choices, regal “Paris of the East” is kind to your wallet.

Get Artsy in Bucharest, Romania

Romania’s capital emerges as an up-and-coming budget destination with trendy cafés, beer gardens, and art spaces taking over former palaces and banks. Stroll the vast People’s Palace, sip $1 beers in beer gardens, and discover art galleries in converted mansions and warehouses.

Stay at places like Rembrandt Hotel for comfort at small prices. Bucharest has creativity and culture that astound and inspire.

Enjoy Nature in Sintra, Portugal

Hilltop castles and palaces nestled in the Sintra Mountains have lured royals and artists for centuries—at accessible prices. Explore opulent 19th century Pena Palace before hiking the surrounding nature trails and coastlines for breathtaking ocean views over Lisbon.

Try local delicacies like travesseiros pastries or Portugal’s famed custard tarts. Have an immersive royal and natural escape for less in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Slow Down in the Luberon, France

Base yourself in charming villages of Provence’s Luberon region to discover hilltop hamlets and local markets selling bright apéritifs, olive oils, soaps, and more. Appreciate daily life’s simple pleasures like lingering at the bar with locals or taking a long walk through vineyards.

Stay at French gîtes, budget B&Bs, or rent cottages to save. With its deep breath of the good life, the Luberon nourishes the soul.

Wander Gdansk, Poland

On Poland’s northern coast, lively port city Gdansk tells a deep story through its red-brick churches, proud shipyard history, and streets lined with bars pouring cheap beer.

Feast on herring, dumplings, and vodka before strolling medieval lanes and striking amber-hued architecture. With its resilience and affordability, Gdansk has bohemian budget appeal.

Istanbul, Turkiye

Beautiful and panoramic city on the banks of the Bosphorus. This city has great events to offer, from gastronomy, which is available at very affordable prices, to artisanal products and high commercial fashion.

With food and sweets you will be satisfied every time and every evening you will want more.

We are used to traveling with a peaceful mind, but in a city like Istanbul you manage to stimulate all the senses from its streets, its animals and the hospitality of its people, the art, the architecture, the singing of the mosque; It is advisable to stop there out of season, so you can enjoy the streets of the local and mestizo people, eat delicious food, make good purchases and meet future friends for life.

The people in Turkey are special, they are the center of the east and the west. It is full of contrasts and I assure you that you will not come out the same from there.


Experiencing Europe need not equate to high costs or ruptured budgets. With some strategic planning around cheap epicenters and saving on dining, activities and lodging, couples can still indulge in la dolce vita on a budget.

Share a street food crawl in an edgy Berlin neighborhood. Explore aquamarine bays in Croatia via ferry. Bike along castle-topped rivers in Slovakia. Let new adventures unfold frugally.

Europe still waits to captivate you, if you know where to go and how to unleash your inner budget backpacker. Grab your partner in crime and get ready for an affordable Eurotrip brimming with culture, nature and fun. Your dream trip awaits!

FAQs About Visiting Europe on a Budget

What are the cheapest ways to travel around Europe?

Advance booking budget airlines, overnight buses or trains, rideshares, and low-cost rental cars can save substantially on transport.

Where can I find affordable accommodations?

Private rooms on Airbnb, hostels, budget hotels outside city centers, camping, home swaps, working for housing, and overnight trains.

What tips do you have for eating on a budget?

Have picnics, shop at markets, grocery stores or bakeries, eat street food or share plates at restaurants.

When is the best time to visit Europe on a budget?

Late spring and early fall have good weather and fewer peak crowds. Eastern Europe/Balkans are great value year-round.

What free activities do you recommend?

Walking tours, free museum days, enjoying parks, beaches and nature, people watching, local festivals, and discovering hidden gems.

How can I save money on sightseeing?

Multi-city travel passes, combo museum passes, free walking tours, visiting cathedrals at no cost, enjoying budget nightlife.

What top things should I avoid for budget saving?

Overspending on fancy hotels, taxis, tourist traps, everything in Iceland, restaurant main courses.

Time to stop dreaming and start planning your budget European adventure! With some strategic tips, you can do it all for less.

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