Not everyone has a huge budget to work with when planning their next vacation. If you’re hoping to visit a European city this year but don’t want to blow your whole year’s budget during your trip, choose your city wisely. Some of Europe’s top destinations will certainly set you back and drain your spending money, while others are far more budget-friendly. Here are our top choices for travellers exploring Europe’s historic city’s on a tight budget.

Barcelona, Spain

If you want your city break to involve tons of culture, seafood and art, look no further than Barcelona. Spain’s famous Mediterranean city has a plethora of interesting museums, galleries and architecture, as well as beautiful beaches and scrumptious food. Best of all, Barcelona is a bargain to visit, with tons of hotels offering discounted rates and food and museum entry available at a reasonably low cost. Avoid the high season in the spring if you’re looking for the best possible prices.

Istanbul, Turkey

For travellers hoping to spent their vacation somewhere a little more exotic than the cities of Western Europe, Istanbul is a wonderful, inexpensive option. Turkey’s largest and most cosmopolitan city has a rich, fascinating history as well as plenty of art and culture to offer visitors. The city is divided into districts and quarters, some of which are hip and modern while others are a glimpse into Istanbul’s ancient past. The winter is chillier than the glorious heat of the spring and summer, but will come with cheaper flights and discounts on your hotel room.

Budapest, Hungary

The capital of Hungary is a diverse and beautiful city that will charm even the most jaded traveller. Particularly when compared to cities like Vienna and Prague, it’s an inexpensive vacation destination with cheap food, reasonable rates at top quality hotels and plenty to see and do. As soon as you arrive, purchase the low cost Budapest Card, which will get you discounted entry to a range of sites and museums, as well as free travel on the city’s public transport. Exploring this historic and exciting city has never been easier.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is a great choice for people who like to combine city and beach vacations into one getaway. This small and charming Mediterranean city has gloriously hot summers and pristine, clear beaches, making it perfect for a relaxing, bronzing city break. The city center itself is full of old-time charm, with historic architecture, ornate buildings and streets that climb upward to diverse neighborhoods and quarters. Avoid the hottest month of August and visit Lisbon during the spring for the best city break temperatures, as well as reasonably priced flights and hotel rates.

Nice, France

France’s most famous cities can be a little outside of many people’s budgets, with Paris racking up some impressively high hotel room rates and travel costs. For a taste of French culture without the shocking price tags, journey to the south of France to visit the stunning city of Nice. The heart of the French Riviera has a world famous nightlife, spectacular cuisine and some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, so it’s a great choice for anyone looking for a city break that’s both relaxing and invigorating. Nice is a wonderful destination for families, couples or retired people, with something to offer everyone.


Italy’s most romantic city destination is also one of the more reasonable areas of the country to visit in terms of costs. The food, galleries and transport in Venice is far cheaper than the other major Italian cities like Rome and Milan, and the sights and atmosphere is unmatched by any other European city. Visit Venice off-season for an unforgettable romantic city break that won’t break your budget.

Image: “Hungarian Parliament Building by Night” by Costel Slincu