17 Cheapest Cities in Europe to Visit in 2022 (+ Live in!)
Have you seen the ridiculously cheap airfare to Europe right now? I’ve found round trip fares from the U.S. for under $300, and intra-European flights for as low as $12. The deals have been phenomenal lately, thanks in part to the difficulties of traveling during the pandemic.
However, while the flights to Europe may be cheap, the bigger expenses don’t kick in until after you arrive. Once you hop off the plane at London Heathrow or Charles de Gaulle, your hard-earned money will be spent on hotels, meals, and tourist attractions. The price of airfare pales in comparison.
Europe’s incredible culture, history, and cuisine come at a cost, yet there are many ways to travel for cheap.
Let’s forget about the popular cities of London and Paris, and instead look to Europe’s lesser-known hidden gems. I’m not just talking about eastern Europe; there are lots of reasonably-priced cities across western and central Europe, too. I’ve done my best to highlight many of them below.
Looking to feed your wanderlust and discover some of the cheapest places in Europe? You’ve come to the right place! Here are the 17 cheapest cities in Europe you should visit in 2022!
1. Kraków, Poland
Kraków is the second biggest city in Poland, and one of the cheapest cities in Europe. It rivals the medieval charm of Prague, yet doesn’t draw the same crowds. You’ll find plenty of cheap hostels here, which make it one of the cheapest European destinations. Here’s what you can look forward to:
What to see in Kraków
If you’re like me and can’t get enough of Europe’s old towns, then you’ll love visiting Kraków.
The city’s Main Market Square (“Rynek Główny”) is the largest medieval square in Europe! Here, horse drawn carriages glide past colorful buildings and a perfectly imperfect basilica.
The city is also home to the Wawel Castle, a 14th-century castle and cathedral built in the Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Romanesque styles. With its unique mix of architectural styles and sheer size, the Wawel Castle definitely has the wow-factor.
The Polish currency, the złoty, has a very favorable exchange rate to the US Dollar and Euro. The prices for accommodations, meals, and attractions are a fraction of what you’d pay in other major European cities.
Kraków is also a very walkable, so you won’t need to spend any money on public transportation to get around.
Estimated budget in Kraków, Poland
This fairytale town offers so much more than a pretty postcard street. In fact, there are dozens of streets that fit the mold, but that’s not the only draw to this magical place. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Český Krumlov is set on a picturesque river with beautiful Baroque and Renaissance architecture as far as the eye can see. A 13th-century castle towers over the historic center, offering panoramic views all around. You can sit outside at a café or restaurant with views of all the above…for cheap!
What sets this town apart from others in Central Europe is the sheer number of well-preserved buildings from centuries past. Formerly an important part of Bohemia, Český Krumlov retains its medieval street layout and hundreds of years of beautiful creations that came after it. While many wars had ravaged the surrounding cities, kingdoms, and empires, this town experienced centuries of peace and calm, thus preserving the personality and heritage we see today.
Estimated budget in Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
3. Porto, Portugal
Porto is a popular coastal city in Portugal, probably the cheapest country in western Europe. It’s often compared to the country’s capital, Lisbon, though it’s less metropolitan and more off the beaten path. Porto is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and vibrant cities in Europe that you should visit in 2022. It’s also one of the most affordable cities in western Europe for budget travelers.
Known for its port wine, Porto is the gateway to the Douro Valley, one of the world’s top wine regions. It also boasts a rich history and sizzling nightlife.
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What to see in Porto, a top cheap European city for foodies and wine lovers
Many of the top attractions in town are free to enjoy, including the Ponte de Dom Luis I and Cais da Ribeira that straddle the Douro River. The riverside promenade is like postcard row, strewn with colorful houses, shops, and cafés.
Another claim to fame for Porto is the Porto Cathedral, a Romanesque church that broke ground in 1100 AD. From the cathedral’s terrace, you’ll have incredible views of the old town (a UNESCO World Heritage site).
In Porto, you could easily get by on $50 a day and still be able to experience it all. For that reason, it deserves a top spot among the cheapest cities in Europe.
Estimated budget in Porto, Portugal
What to see in Athens, one of the top cheap holiday destinations in Europe
Top sights in Athens include the Acropolis, Temple of Zeus, and Agora. The Acropolis—an ancient citadel that sits atop a stone outcrop—contains several historically significant monuments, including the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, and Erechtheion. From the top of its ledge, you’ll have sweeping vistas of the bustling city below.
The city is also home to the Panathenaic Stadium, which was the main venue for the Olympic Games held in 1896 and 2004.
More thoughts on Athens, one of the coolest cheap destinations in Europe
Athens exceeded all my expectations. I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer amount of things to do here, particularly relating to history and culture.
Athens can totally be done on the cheap if you’re willing to choose a budget accommodation. If you’re going to stay in a backpacker’s hostel, then you should choose one in a good area.
I’ve found TripAdvisor and HostelWorld reviews to be particularly helpful with this. I stayed in the Plaka neighborhood, and found it to be centrally located and safe. It’s also not far away from the airport.
Estimated budget in Athens, Greece
Who’s hungary to visit Budapest (see what I did there)? This city is known for having the most delicious cuisine in central and eastern Europe. Goulash (meat and vegetable stew seasoned with paprika) originated here, as did Lángos (fried flat bread) and Halászlé (fisherman’s soup).
If you enjoy Austrian food (who doesn’t?), then you’ll be pleased to know that Hungarian dishes are very similar. Both cuisines were shaped during the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
What to see in Budapest, among the best cheap places to travel in Europe
If you’re a history and architecture lover, you’ll be awe-struck by the Hungarian Parliament Building and Buda Castle. Both of these iconic buildings are absolutely massive, and watch over the scenic waterfront below.
Another must-see sight in town is the Halaszbastya (“Fisherman’s Bastion”). This fortress was built in the late 19th century to embody the Neo-Romanesque style. It resembles more of a fairytale castle than one built for practical or strategic use.
From the top, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the Danube and the rest of the city.
More tips on visiting one of Europe’s cheapest cities
When it comes to visiting Budapest, the other elephant in the room is the Széchenyi Thermal Bath. It’s the largest medicinal bath in all of Europe, and probably something you frequently see on your social media feed. Other popular baths in town include the Rudas Baths and Gellért Thermal Bath.
Though you’ll pay a little extra to enjoy Budapest’s thermal baths, prices for food and accommodation (across the board) are very reasonable here. This makes Budapest one of the cheapest European cities to fly into and visit in 2022. It’s also one of the best places for students to travel in Europe.
Estimated budget in Budapest, Hungary
Ljubljana has a reputation for being a green and pedestrian-friendly city. The Old Town has been car-free since 2008, and the city hasn’t looked back since.
In 2016, Ljubljana was deemed the European Commission’s Green Capital of Europe. Since then, the city has received numerous other awards for its sustainable and responsible tourism. It’s also one of the cheapest European cities, and the perfect place for budget travelers in 2022.
What to see in Ljubljana
The Slovenian capital is home to a potpourri of cultural attractions. Chief among them are the Ljubljana Castle, Ljubljana Cathedral, and Triple Bridge (Tromostovje) in the Old Town.
In addition to the city’s green and cultural initiatives, Ljubljana is a popular destination for its trendy restaurants and cafés. During the summer months, many of them set up shop right along the Ljubljana River, making for a lively alfresco scene. And the best part of all? It won’t break the bank.
Estimated budget in Ljubljana, Slovenia
What to see in Sevilla, one of the Cheapest Places to Visit in Europe
Sevilla is home to a treasure trove of historic and cultural landmarks. Protruding from this smorgasbord of culturally significant sights is the Real Alcázar of Sevilla, a royal palace with a mix of Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture.
The Alcázar was heavily influenced by the Moors who ruled Spain during the Middle Ages. More recently, it was used as a filming location for Season 5 of Game of Thrones.
Visiting Sevilla, one of the cheapest places to stay in Europe
Like most of Andalusia, food and drinks here are a fraction of the cost compared to other Spanish cities. Though you will need to venture off the beaten path a bit to find the best spots to enjoy your tapas.
As such, Sevilla is one of the best places for students to travel in Europe.
Estimated budget in Sevilla, Spain
What to see in Sofia
Ancient architecture is on full display around the city, particularly in its houses of worship. Boyana Church is a Bulgarian Orthodox church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the inside, you’ll find beautiful frescoes dating back to the 1100s.
Another cultural gem is the Banya Bashi Mosque, which was built in the mid 1500s under Ottoman rule. This mosque is a surviving testament of the Ottoman’s five-century rule over Bulgaria.
Sofia also boasts an array of unique sights dating back to the turn of the 20th century. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, built in the neo-Byzantine style, is cladded with a massive gold dome. Though built in that fin de siècle era, it certainly has an ancient eastern European feel to it.
Sofia is a cheap foodie destination
In addition to its hodgepodge of historic sights, Sofia is also a popular destination for its cuisine. The food here is similar to what you’d find in Istanbul and other eastern European destinations.
A traditional Bulgarian meal includes a fine balance of meats, cheeses, vegetables, and yogurt. Like other cities in eastern Europe, Sofia is also sprawling with bars and clubs. Thankfully, they won’t break the bank, as it’s one of the cheapest holiday spots in Europe.
Estimated budget in Sofia, Bulgaria
Take a walk around the miniature city of Valletta and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The city is entirely encapsulated by walls dating back to the 1500s. Although it’s one of the best cheap holiday destinations in Europe, you won’t find many tourists here outside of the peak summer season. The city is only 1 km by 600m, making it tiny when compared to other European countries.
Take in the beautiful Baroque architecture, indulge in the local Maltese cuisine, and do some day trips to surrounding fishing villages and historical sites. It’s easy to see why this is among the top cheap European cities to visit.
Estimated budget in Valletta, Malta
With many hotels and hostels to accommodate visitors, Lviv is a prime Ukrainian city for tourism. The prices are also incredibly cheap, especially when compared to Western and Central Europe.
Take in the stunning views of the city center from an old-fashioned tram. Stop in one of the 1,500 cafés sprawled around the city. With its relaxed old town, fairytale vibe, and unbeatable prices, it’s no wonder Lviv is among the most affordable European cities.
Estimated budget in Lviv, Ukraine
11. Bologna, Italy
It only felt right to include Italy on this list of the cheapest (and best) places in Europe. After all, this country has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than anywhere else in the world (54 in all!). Tucked between Florence and Venice, Bologna is one of Italy’s lesser known gems that deserves to make the cut.
Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy. It’s known for its historic Renaissance-inspired architecture, lively piazzas, and gritty Old World charm. It also holds the prestigious title for having Europe’s oldest university, the University of Bologna, which was founded in 1088.
Visitors are drawn to Bologna for many reasons. The whys and wherefores can be summed up into one common theme: authenticity. While most international travelers set out for the saturated streets of Florence, Rome, and Venice, Bologna has retained its quaint and quiet demeanor. Surprisingly, Bologna is also one of the cheapest European cities to fly into.
What to see in Bologna
Top sights in Bologna include the Piazza Maggiore and Basilica di San Petronio, which date back to the Italian Renaissance era. The medieval center is among the largest and best preserved in all of Europe. It’s sprawling with pastel-colored buildings and life.
Bologna is also home to the Asinelli Tower, the tallest leaning tower in Italy. Not only does it dwarf the Leaning Tower of Pisa, it also tilts more (yikes!).
Bologna is one of the best + cheapest places to visit in Europe, hands down
Though having a mild disposition on the surface, Bologna emits a lively music scene. For this reason, UNESCO considers it a Creative City of Music. Past and present, this city has inspired music on an international scale and been the stomping ground of famous musicians like Andrea Mingardi, Francesco Guccini, and Cesare Cremonini.
Today, Bologna’s harmony is on full display at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Arena del Sole, two historic performing arts theatres.
For all that you get during a trip to Bologna, the price tag is extremely reasonable. You’ll probably want to spend a little extra on the food, which (by the way) is much better than the deli meat offered in grocery stores under the same name. However, the cost can easily be offset by the affordable accommodation prices. This makes Bologna one of the cheapest and best cities in Europe to visit in 2022.
Estimated budget in Bologna, Italy
What to see in Bratislava
From the Danube River, you can look up and see different slices of Bratislava’s wide-ranging and tumultuous past. From colorful buildings that appear to have been cut out from the pages of a fairy tale, to bleak buildings that remind you of Slovakia’s Communist era, there’s a lot to take in during a visit to Bratislava.
The Old Town is a great place to begin your journey on foot through Slovakia’s capital. Quaint churches, shops, and cafés line its narrow lanes. The main square is surrounded by colorful baroque buildings and alfresco eateries. When you look up, you’ll likely see the Bratislava Castle, perched high above the city, that offers amazing views of the Old Town below. Though it was originally built in the 10th century, the castle was left in ruins and rebuilt during the mid 1900s.
Bratislava is an emerging destination in central Europe that still embodies an authentic, Old World vibe. For now, the prices are very reasonable, making it one of the cheapest cities in Europe.
Estimated budget in Bratislava, Slovakia
Another structure in the heart of Dresden that’s equally impressive and sacred is the Frauenkirche.
A beautiful side to Dresden, a top cheap holiday destination in Europe
At the river bank below, you’ll discover some of Dresden’s beautiful gardens, parks, and forests. If you take a steamboat down the river (highly recommended), you can check out Saxon Switzerland, a hilly national park peppered with hundreds of climbing peaks.
Dresden Christmas Markets
When winter rolls around, Dresden becomes decked out with its festive Christmas Markets. They’re known to be some of the best in all of Germany, which is quite the accomplishment given the sheer number of them strewn across the country (like in Munich and Heidelberg). Even during the peak tourist seasons, you’ll find the prices here to be reasonable, hence Dresden deserves a top spot among the cheapest cities in Europe.
Estimated budget in Dresden, Germany
What to see in Split
Much of the city lies within the former palatial walls. Diocletian’s Palace is a remarkably well-preserved complex filled with life, charm, and more than 200 buildings. The white stone walls give off a feeling of mystique, and make you feel like you’re back in ancient times. Today, there’s no shortage of shops, restaurants, homes, and hotels that are jam-packed inside these walls.
What makes Split one of the coolest cheap European cities
One of the most iconic sights in town is the Saint Domnius Cathedral. It was built back in AD 305, and is one of the oldest surviving Christian churches. Another point of interest you won’t want to miss is the Riva, a waterfront promenade that slightly resembles the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France. The picturesque adjacent harbor will also make you wonder why Split has eluded the crowds so far.
If your budget permits, a culinary walking tour is a great way to experience the city. Split has the oldest fish market in Europe, where you’ll get to taste local delicacies including Adriatic sting rays, squid, and mussels. Croatia is also known for its wines (DNA research suggests that Zinfandel grapes were first discovered in Croatia rather than California).
Even if you take a food tour and don’t hold back on the seafood, you’ll be able to save a boat load of money by visiting Split. It is perhaps the cheapest city in Europe, and certainly one of the most fun!
Estimated budget in Split, Croatia
What to see in Tallinn
The walled city of Tallinn is extraordinarily well preserved and vibrant. Many top sights date back to the 13th century, including the Gothic Town Hall, St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Nicholas’ Church, and Toompea Castle. All these marvels roll up to Tallinn’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Whether you plan to stop by briefly on a Baltic cruise or choose to spend more time exploring the nooks and crannies, you’ll find your Euros go a long way in Tallinn.
Estimated budget in Tallinn, Estonia
What to see in Bucharest
Bucharest is probably the most modern city on this list, though not in a high-tech kind of way. Many of its streets are lined with communist-era buildings from the late-20th century, painting an austere picture of the city’s not-so-distant past.
The Palatul Parlamentului (“Palace of Parliament”) is the most striking aide-mémoire of this. The building isn’t the prettiest or most opulent, but it certainly is one of the biggest. With 12 floors and 1,100 rooms, it’s the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon.
More to see in one of the best cheap places in Europe
Other top sights in town are the Romanian Athenaeum, Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum, and King Michael I Park. For a glimpse of the city’s older side, it’s worth checking out the Old Town, which is home to medieval ruins and some of the city’s best restaurants and bars.
Overall, there are seemingly hundreds of outdoor drinking spaces, or beer gardens, scattered around the city.
Bucharest is a great launchpad for exploring the other cultural and natural gems strewn around the country. It’s an interesting city that can easily be explored on the cheap.
Estimated budget in Bucharest, Romania
What to see in Prague
Prague is most recognized by its Old Town Square, the historic center of the city. This area is jam-packed with baroque buildings, colorful churches, and the world’s oldest Astronomical Clock (built in 1402).
A stone’s throw away is the Charles Bridge, a 14th-century Gothic stone bridge that connects the Old Town with the Lesser Town. When you look up, you’ll see the Prague Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is known to be the largest “coherent castle complex” in the world.
Other highlights of Prague, among the cheapest places to visit in Europe for budget-savvy travelers
In Prague, a special aura dangles in the air that makes you feel like time has stood still for a thousand years. Experiencing this radiant and mystical city will not drive up your credit card bill, either.
Given how cheap and fun of a city Prague is, it’s considered one of the best places for students to travel in Europe.
Estimated budget in Prague, Czech Republic
Discovering the cheapest (and best) cities in Europe
I hope you enjoyed reading through this list of Europe’s cheapest cities! Hopefully, your bucket list grew a little longer and gave you some inspiration for your next Europe adventure.
I’ll be updating this article periodically as I discover more of Europe’s hidden gems, so please do share your favorite cheap destinations in Europe with me.
Happy Travels! – Jon
Disclosure: *As an Amazon Associate and CJ Affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases from the affiliate links in this article.
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The 9 Cheapest Places to Visit in Europe on a Budget
Is it possible to visit Europe on a budget? Yes, but you need to pick your destinations carefully. You will spend 1/3 as much in the bargain spots as you will in Europe’s most popular places to travel.
First, a bit of advice on bargains and some preparations to take care of before you head to the nine cheapest places in Europe for travelers.
Things to Take Care of Before a Budget Trip Through Europe
Before you take off for Europe, take care of these items for better deals and a smoother trip.
Buy a quality backpack and good walking shoes. These two things will be your companions every day. Invest in them properly and you will avoid many problems.
Get a good VPN server. Don’t forget about cybersecurity once you are traveling. Remember that these connections are notoriously unsafe since you will be using public Wi-Fi in hotels, restaurants, and cafes. Using a VPN will encrypt your connection and make data you send or receive impossible to crack by a third person. This app is a travel essential that could allow you access to geo-blocked websites too.
Buy a sleep sack. Trust me on this one: there are some beds you flop down in as a budget traveler that you really don’t want to have direct contact on your skin. Mountain huts might not even have sheets.
Sort out your mobile connectivity. Either get a plan that covers you around the world (like T-mobile) or have a phone where you can easily replace the SIM card with a local one.
Get an ISIC Card if you’re a student. You can get a lot of discounts at museums and attractions if you have an official student identification card that’s recognized internationally. The ISIC card is available to grad students too, plus a teacher one that gets you discounts in some places.
Have a “permanent address.” You may be bopping around the world for three years, with no real home, but financial institutions seem to like stability. Make sure you sort out where tax bills, new credit cards, and financial statements will arrive with a relative’s house or a commercial service that will provide you a permanent address while traveling or living abroad.
Have financial back-ups. Europe on a budget is tougher when you lose your bank card or your wallet gets stolen. Ideally, If you’re a couple, it’s easier because you have redundancy between you if you have different bank accounts. Otherwise, have multiple cards and accounts in case of theft, a lost card, or one getting rejected.
Bargains in Bulgaria
In most respects, Bulgaria is the cheapest destination on the European continent, for sure the cheapest that wasn’t involved in the Balkan conflict of the ’90s. Transportation for a pittance, bargain meals, and $1 glasses of wine allow you to travel well for cheap. Despite the bargains, there aren’t many tourists here outside of the Black Sea in summer. You can visit major sites and be one of the few visitors there. Hiking in the wilderness in Bulgaria’s many mountains really feels like hiking in the wilderness, not being part of a hut-to-hut pedestrian freeway.
An independent budget couple can do okay on $30 to $50 per day and a mid-range couple should be comfortable on $50 to $80, but it takes a bit of work to find good accommodation values. You’re often better off with an apartment rental service in some locations because then you’re getting the real market price and you can find a place to stay for less.
Attractions include imposing castles, charming villages, intact historic city centers, and the beaches of the Black Sea coast. Nature is the best asset. Hiking is good in warm weather and there are places to stay along the trails. In the winter, you can also go skiing in the mountains, where an all-day lift ticket can be as little as 10 euros. Historic and picturesque cities like Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo would be thronged with tour buses if they were in Western Europe somewhere. Here you can almost have them to yourself.
Sofia may not rival Prague or Budapest for architecture and culture, but it’s no slouch either. The Byzantines, Slavs, and Turks all made their mark here, and then the city really took off at the end of the 19th century and became more European. Sightseeing is interesting and the National Opera and Ballet Theatre offer cultural performances at bargain prices.
Airbnb rentals under $40/night in Sofia – 300+
Hotels $40 per night or less: 100+
Local bus or subway price: 60 cents to $1.25
Budget Bosnia Travel
World travelers—especially Americans—have very long memories about former war zones. If you tell people you’re going to Bosnia, they’re probably going to scratch their head and tell you to look out for land mines. The European country of Bosnia and Herzegovina may not be a natural for the top of your vacation list, but if you’re on a budget, it’s one of the best bargains on the continent. It offers some great sites and adventures, plus every tour in this country turns out to have a lot of stories behind it.
Wages average out to less than $500 per month, so you don’t have to be a big spender here to be laying out more than your average local.
In general, Bosnia is a pretty good deal at the low end and a terrific deal for mid-range travelers on vacation. It’s not quite as cheap as Romania and Bulgaria in some respects if you’re a backpacker staying in hostels and cooking for yourself, partly because of a lack of competition in lodging, but mostly cheaper than Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
A single backpacker could get by for under $50 a day with a few excursions thrown in now and then, $75 for a couple would be quite comfortable. Outside the two main tourist centers of Sarajevo and Mostar, prices are lower in restaurants. If you cook where you live and buy a few things from bakeries each day you could get by quite cheaply as a backpacker couple: maybe $60 a day for two if you spent a few weeks here and weren’t doing paid sightseeing every day.
Food is a good value outside of the tourist restaurants. In a place where locals eat you can easily get by for under $6 and leave full. A glass of local wine in a restaurant will average $1.70 to $3.50. Cherry brandy is the cheapest hooch, as little as one euro in a bar.
Airbnb rentals under $40/night in Sarajevo – 300+
Hotel doubles under $40/night – 150+
Local bus or streetcar ride: 80 cents to $1.20
Less Money in Montenegro
If you don’t need a lot of nurturing with your two-euro bottles of wine and four-euro meals, you’ll find this to be one of the best values in Europe, however. Montenegro has the gorgeous Bay of Kotor with its walled cities and forts ruled by the Romans, the Byzantines, the Serbs, the Venetians, the Hungarians, and even the French for a brief time. It’s the most popular area of the Balkan countries after Dubrovnik. I biked all the way around it on a cycling trip in 2017 and it was one of the most stunning routes I’ve ever experienced.
Beyond that, there are miles of coastal beaches (some sand, most rocky), with outdoor cafes offering reasonable seafood with a view. Then there’s a wilder eastern area with rugged hiking trails, rafting rivers, and interesting villages to explore. Giant Lake Skadar is shared with Albania and it feels as big as an ocean in some parts when you’re crossing on a ferry.
Wages in this country average less than 500 euros per month, so anything the locals use and consume is going to cost a whole lot less than in more developed parts of Europe. Whether you’re hopping a bus, getting a haircut, stocking up on groceries, or ordering a coffee, you’ll find budget-friendly prices that may remind you of Southeast Asia or Central America.
Even in the seaside tourist places, it’s easy to find a filling meal for $3.50 to $7 (Goulash, personal pizza, pasta dish, or kebabs). Groceries are very cheap across the board. One night I got a bottle of wine, a giant loaf of whole wheat bread, some olives, and a chunk of cheese for €4. The next morning I had a meat-stuffed burek and a yogurt for €1.30. Keep in mind too that when you get away from the tourist areas, prices plummet even more for eating out. You’ll be able to stuff yourself and keep the local wine flowing without having a big impact on your travel budget— a nice contrast with more popular European destinations like England, France, and Italy.
There’s only one international train route in the country, a line coming from Serbia, but there is a train between the two largest cities. That costs around $3.50 in second class, $5 in first.
Number of Airbnb rentals under $40 in Herceg Novi (because nobody stays in Podgorica): 158
Number of hotels with doubles under $40 in Herceg Novi: 60+
Local bus or ferry ride: 60 cents to $2
Stick Around for a While in Albania
Most people probably can’t find Albania on a map, but it is in an enviable spot on the globe. It’s on the Adriatic Sea, north of Greece and south of Croatia. If you had a reasonably seaworthy sailboat you could easily get to the boot of Italy from the coast of Albania. (Or there’s a ferry you could hop on instead.) So there’s a southern European climate, lots of great beaches, and costs are often a quarter of what they would be in Italy.
In this long coastal country you will find nice beaches, yes, plus mountains to hike, big lakes to explore, and even a UNESCO World Heritage historic town with a castle: Gjirokastër. A couple could easily get by on $40 or $50 a day here if not moving around too much. Just be advised that the public transportation system leaves a lot to be desired: there’s not even a central bus station in the capital and there are no passenger trains.
Tirana is one of the most mellow capital cities I have been to. Plus, some of those beaches are close enough that you can drive there from the capital and come back the same day&mdashor have an easy weekend getaway. You can rent a beach chair and umbrella for two there for the equivalent of $3 per day. Hostel beds in Albania are often under $10 and it’s easy in most spots to find a double room for less than $25. A cup of espresso is often 50 cents or less, fresh produce often comes out to a dollar or less per kilo.
This is a great country for outdoor activities since almost no place you go will be crowded. Part of the Via Dinarica hiking trail that winds through the Balkans goes along the mountains of Albania and you can find places to mountain bike, go white-water rafting, or explore big lakes by kayak.
Here’s one of the prime reasons to put Albania on your long-term travel list: if you’re American, you can spend an entire year there on a tourist visa. If you’re looking for a way to get around the three-month Schengen limit in Europe, or you need somewhere to go after using up three months already on the continent, Albania will welcome you with open arms and tell you to stick around if you want. If you like it enough to put down roots and move to Albania, you can apply for residency after that and get a permit good for five years. Here’s what it costs to live there.
Number of Airbnb rentals under $40 per night in Tirana: 300+
Number of hotels with doubles under $40 in the capital: 150+
Local bus or subway ride: 30 to 70 cents
Europe on a Budget in Romania
It doesn’t get written up a lot as a “hot new destination” and it lacks the kind of iconic bucket list attractions you see in your weekly Instagram feed from other parts of Europe, but Romania has a lot for budget travelers to like. No place in Romania has seen the flood of new visitors experienced by emerging European hotspots like Krakow, Budapest, and Prague. There’s not as much weekend getaway money floating around here like you see in other Ryanair destinations. In the picturesque towns of Transylvania, however, you’ll see plenty of other tourists&mdashespecially German tour groups and other backpackers.
The country has more than 400 parks and nature reserves, plus lots of castles to explore. The food is hearty and plentiful and alcohol prices here are some of the lowest in Europe.
Romania is outside of the Schengen Zone for now, which means you can stay here for three months, go elsewhere, then return again for another three months, all on a tourist visa. If sharing a place to live with a friend or partner, it would be very easy to get by here on $1,000 a month or less. It also has some of the fastest internet speeds in the world, so it’s a good place to work remotely.
A train ticket from the capital to Brasov runs around $10. A 100km train trip is generally $5 to $9. A bus from the capital to further north in the Transylvania region will come in under $15. The train network covers the whole country and is still quite popular.
Airbnb rentals under $40 per night in Bucharest: 300+
Number of hotels with doubles under $40 in the capital: 150+
Local bus or subway ride: 40¢ to 80¢
Traveler Deals in Hungary
Hungary is a great place to start or end a trip through the region and it’s a great place to travel Europe on a budget. Many travelers who have been through Europe rate Hungary at or near the top of their list, or rank Budapest as their favorite city. The castles, beautiful baroque buildings, and good food keep things interesting. Tens of millions of people come here each year in normal times, but most only head to Budapest or possibly to Lake Balaton.
For those willing to get into the countryside, the language can be a challenge, but it’s one of the few places in central Europe where you can still get way off the beaten path without going very far. The architecture varies by area, often medieval, 18th century baroque, or Ottoman in nature. The country is small enough to explore thoroughly if you have about a month but you could cover a lot of it in two weeks.
Wine lovers will have a heyday here: the winery tours and festivals are a great way to get familiar with the local styles and the prices are universally a bargain except for the most coveted vintages. You’ll often pay less than $4 for a good glass of wine in a bar or restaurant and you can pick up a decent bottle for not much more.
Then when you’re ready to move on, you can get to the Czech Republic, Romania, or Bulgaria overland for a reasonable price.
Number of Airbnb rentals under $40 per night in Budapest: 300+
Number of hotels with doubles under $40 in the capital: 72
Local bus or subway ride: $1 to $2
Slovakia on Sale
While Prague and Budapest see millions of visitors each year, Slovakia subsists on a few tourism scraps in the way of river cruise visitors to Bratislava and…little else.
This is a shame because the country really has a lot to offer and Košice, Levoca, Bardejov, Banska Bystrica and Prešov have some of the most pleasant historic centers you could wish for. Here you can eat well, drink well, and find plenty of sights to marvel over at a fraction of the cost of the countries to the west. The hiking trails through the high mountains are mostly filled with locals. Without the loads of tour buses and big groups led by someone with a megaphone or a flag, here you can relax on vacation and not have to work so hard at taking a photo without mobs of people.
This was the other half of Czechaslovakia before the two countries split, so it shares a lot of traits with the Czech Republic, including domed churches, castles, and good beer at bargain prices. There are serious mountains for hiking and skiing and a good wine region in the south of the country close to Hungary.
Number of Airbnb rentals under $40 per night in Bratislava: 108
Number of hotels with doubles under $40 in the capital: 12
Local bus or subway ride: 80 cents to $1.50
See a full rundown here of travel prices in Slovakia.
Check in on the Czech Republic (Outside Prague)
Prague is the best-preserved city on the continent, full of some of the finest Baroque, Art Nouveau, and Cubist buildings in Europe. Unfortunately, it also represents one of the most stunning tourism explosions in history, in many ways becoming too popular for its own good. Hotel prices in the capital are almost on par with the cities of Western Europe in high season. The mobs pouring out of bus tours turn the city into a sort of gothic Disneyland in the summer (when there’s not a pandemic going on, that is.)
This is the Czech Republic that 80% of the country’s visitors see: they never go anywhere else. Outside the capital of the Czech Republic, however, it’s easy to get away and find a more relaxed and inexpensive atmosphere. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of hiking opportunities; you can enjoy spectacular views, and bargain ski resorts are open in the winter. At least a dozen major chateaux and castles are a day trip away from the capital, and you can find folk festivals and local wineries in the Moravia region.
This is perhaps the best country for biking in all of Europe apart from Holland. There’s a really well-marked and properly maintained system of trails covering much of the country and extending across borders to Austria, Slovakia, Germany, and Poland.
The small medieval city of Cesky Krumlov is a highlight for many travelers, and Jindrichuv Hradec will work even better for beauty without the crowds. But you can visit dozens of places nobody you know has heard of, from Teplice to Ostrava, and have a great time.
As in Budapest, lodging is an expense that’s out of proportion to other costs in Prague. Costs drop in half elsewhere. Couples can get by on $50 to $75 a day as backpackers here, much of that budget depending on how much you’re moving around and what the local lodging choices are like.
Food and transportation are a good deal here, so if you are staying with friends, the country can be as cheap as many others in this book. Getting from the second-largest city of Brno to Prague runs less than $10 on a train or nice bus.
The best value of all is beer, glorious beer! The Czech area is one of the world’s great historic beer producers and Pilsner originated here. It’s uniformly excellent and it flows freely and cheaply. Expect to pay around $1 to $2 in a local bar for a half-liter, more in Prague unless you get into a real neighborhood where the clientele is local. This, for a beer that makes the new world version of “Budvieser” taste like nothing more than yellow fizzy water. Many bars have a dark beer on offer too, usually a marzen and usually delicious.
Airbnb rentals $40 and under in Brno: 51
Hotels for $40 or less double in Brno: 9
Local subway or bus ride: $1
Other Good-Value Countries to Consider
Since every list like this generates “What about ____?”, here are some other relatively cheap countries in Europe for travelers. I chose these particular countries above because low costs are joined by a lot of things worth seeing and doing. You can read more details about them in The World’s Cheapest Destinations. There are other countries that are quite cheap but don’t get many visitors because they’re not as attractive. (Sorry Moldova!)
Some would probably put Poland on this list. Costs there are similar to what you’ll find in Slovakia. I haven’t been there yet, but I hope to make it on my next trip through Europe. Higher on my list is the country of Georgia, but it’s hard to consider that Europe since you have to fly hours across the Asian part of Turkey to get there. It’s further east than much of the “Middle East” or Moscow. Their neighbor Armenia is also a good value.
Speaking of Turkey, that’s a bargain too right now because their economy is floundering and their currency has lost a lot of value under Erdogan’s iron fist leadership. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend spending money there right now to support the Putin-esque dictatorship. Hopefully, real democracy and freedom of the press will return at some point. For what it’s worth, Hungary and Poland have veered toward this one-party set-up as well, with racist and nationalistic tones, so there are some dark clouds in Europe these days.
Portugal is a relatively cheap place to live, especially compared to the rest of western Europe, but the travel bargains are more at the mid-range than the backpacker level.
17 Cheapest Places to Fly to in Europe (Updated for 2023)
“What are the cheapest places to fly to in Europe?” This is a question I get a lot, and one that I’ve done a fair amount of research on over the years. I’ve visited 30 countries in Europe, always striving to find the best flight deals on sites like Skyscanner, Hopper, and Google Flights. It all comes down to three things: the airport, the airline, and the time of year. Keep reading to discover the cheapest European cities to fly into in 2023.
Right now, there are some amazing fares to (and around) Europe. This comes amid rising prices for domestic flights in the U.S., so there’s truly no better time to go to Europe. Through the summer of 2023, you can find reasonably priced flights to the European continent – and I’m not only talking about budget airlines either. Sure, you can fly with Ryanair and easyJet or take a last-minute flight to find cheap European flights. But you can reap huge savings on premium airlines and flight routes as well.
The price of roundtrip flights to Europe will vary depending on when you’d like to visit (high vs. low season), the airline you take, and where you fly (to/from). For this article, I’ve analyzed the mean price of roundtrip tickets throughout the year for destinations with regular flight routes to and from the US. By taking an average throughout the year, I’ve filtered out the variability in seasonal flight prices. Here’s more on how to discover the cheapest flights to Europe:
Other considerations when finding cheap places to fly into Europe
To find the cheapest places to fly to in Europe, I limited my search to major airports in the US. Sure, some small airports have cheap fares to Europe occasionally, but more likely than not, you’ll be connecting at a larger US airport (i.e., Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, LA, NYC, or Philadelphia) before making your way across the pond.
As such, it’s more practical to use data from larger US airports, which handle the vast majority of European flights. Smaller airports have fewer daily flights, a higher variability in prices, and less complete data. So, it doesn’t make sense to include them when analyzing the cheapest places to fly into Europe from the US.
Note that prices can vary immensely between different U.S. cities. For example, a flight to Iceland will cost more if you’re traveling from the west coast vs. east coast. If you’re looking to visit Europe from a secondary airport like in Louisville, KY, you may have to connect somewhere and pay a little more. The price of a roundtrip fare may be different, but generally, the cheapest destinations to fly to in Europe should remain the same, regardless of where you’re flying from.
From the Mediterranean to the Baltic Sea, here are the 17 cheapest places to fly to in Europe in 2023!
Cheapest Places to Fly to in Europe in 2023: European Cities with Cheap Flight Deals
Below are the cheapest flights to Europe from the US. Planning to visit Europe from another country – such as Canada or Australia? Skip to the bottom to see which flight routes are most affordable for you.
For most people in the US, this is the cheapest European city to fly to. Depending on the time of year and where you’re flying from, you can expect to pay anywhere between $260-$550 roundtrip on Icelandair. The deals I’m seeing to Reykjavik right now are generally higher than in prior years. However, due to more transatlantic flights being added every day, I expect that prices will drop in the coming months.
Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, is the gateway to all the epic outdoor adventures that Iceland is known for. Relax at the Blue Lagoon, chase waterfalls and geysers on the Golden Circle, and take a road trip around the island to see nature at its finest. From seeing the northern lights in the winter to backpacking in the summer, you won’t run out of fun things to do in Iceland anytime of year.
Even if you don’t plan to stay in Iceland, it’s still a cheap airport to fly into. From there, you’re guaranteed to find cheap airfare to mainland Europe.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Looking for a cheap flight to Europe? Give Amsterdam a try. As the busiest airport in Europe, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is a cheap and convenient airport to fly into. This is all thanks to KLM, a Dutch airline that offers direct flights to Amsterdam from nearly 20 U.S. cities. Expect to pay as low as $300-$450 roundtrip from major airports in the U.S.
From Amsterdam’s main airport, you’ll be connected by rail to countless destinations in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg. In addition, with flights to more than 300 destinations in 117 countries around the world, Amsterdam is a popular place for layovers. I recently had a 10-hour layover here, which was plenty of time to explore the city center before heading off to Austria. Cheap Europe flights truly don’t get any better than Holland!
In 2023 you can expect to pay $380-$730 for a roundtrip fare to London from many US cities. The cheaper flights are connections through airports like Reykjavik (Icelandair) and Lisbon (TAP Air Portugal). From a select number of major US airports, you can pay a little more for a direct flight to London Heathrow Airport with British Airways or Norwegian Air.
As the capital of the UK, London is one of the most popular European destinations. Explore iconic sights like Buckingham Palace and Big Ben and eat your way through London’s international food scene. It certainly isn’t a cheap city once you’re there, but it won’t cost a lot to get to.
Dublin is a cheap place to fly to from several states across the US. Most of the cheapest fares are between $400-$750, depending on the airline and number of layovers. Expect to pay a little more for a direct flight with Aer Lingus or Delta.
With great beer, medieval castles, and abounding scenery, there’s so much to see in and around Dublin. In addition to being the capital of Ireland, it’s also the cultural hub of the country with a charm that’s unlike other European capitals. Be sure to explore the west of Ireland as well to really experience the best that this country has to offer.
Over the past couple of years, many budget airlines have been sprouting up between the US and Europe. One of the best is LEVEL, which offers super cheap fares to Barcelona from NYC, Boston, and San Francisco. You can also bank on Iberia and Vueling — two international airlines based in Spain — to get you to Madrid and Barcelona. In 2023, the cheapest roundtrip fares to Barcelona from many US airports are between $260-$700.
Barcelona is one of the most beautiful European cities for art and architecture lovers. Marvel at Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, which are among the most unique sights in all of Spain. Or, hit the beach, eat tapas and paella, and watch a soccer game at Barcelona’s famous stadium, Camp Nou. There’s so much to see and do in Barcelona, and the cheap flight prices certainly make it enticing.
Is Lisbon one of the cheapest places to fly to in Europe? Absolutely!
Lisbon is cheap and accessible to get to from the US, thanks to airlines like TAP Air Portugal and Azores Airlines (formerly SATA). Roundtrip fares range from $350-$600 from much of the US, including both east coast and west coast cities.
Once you get to Lisbon, the colorful capital city of Portugal, you’ll quickly see what makes it so special. Lisbon boasts 7 imposing hills, each overlooking the vibrant cityscape and coastline below. It’s a grittier version of San Francisco, and even has a Golden Gate Bridge doppelgänger to prove it. As the second oldest European capital (after Athens), Lisbon is home to countless historic and cultural treasures, including Belém Tower and São Jorge Castle.
During a trip to Lisbon, don’t forget to try the Pastéis de nata, a delicious custard tart that the city is known for!
Madrid, Spain is one of the cheapest places to fly to in Europe from several US cities
Madrid’s international airport is the second largest in Europe by size and the fifth largest in terms of passenger traffic. It’s no wonder, then, that Madrid is among the cheapest places to fly into Europe in 2023.
During the off season, you can find cheap fares ranging from $400 to $745 roundtrip from most US cities. Expect to pay less on connecting flights through Lisbon (TAP Air), Istanbul (Turkish Airlines), or Paris (Air France). Air Europa, Spain’s third largest airline after Iberia and Vueling, is currently offering some amazing nonstop fares from Miami and NYC. Direct flights operated by Iberia will cost a little more.
Once you arrive in Madrid, you’ll have a lot to take in. The Spanish capital is home to world-class attractions, including the Prado Museum, Royal Palace of Madrid, and Plaza Mayor. Madrid is also famous for its food and football (soccer) clubs. You won’t run out of things to do, and fortunately for budget travelers like ourselves, the prices in Madrid are very reasonable! Next to Lisbon, it’s one of the cheapest major cities to visit in Western Europe.
With direct flights from 10 U.S. cities, Rome is another cheapest city to fly into Europe. Rome Fiumicino Airport (“Leonardo da Vinci”) is the busiest airport in Italy, so it’s no wonder you can find lots of great airfare deals here.
Over the years, I’ve found many incredibly low fares to Rome from Boston. This includes a $325 roundtrip fare this past year. For the 2022-2023 timeframe, expect to spend between $500-600 for an economy flight from the east coast of the US.
Rome is a hub for many budget airlines, including Ryanair, easyJet, Wizz, Vueling, and more. From the Italian capital, it’s cheap and convenient to get to places in Italy, Greece, Spain, and Malta. So, it’s easy to see why this has some of the best cheap European flights.
This European city flies under the radar but is nevertheless one of the cheapest places to get to in Europe from the USA.
Take a direct flight to Oslo with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), the main airline carrier in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. Or pay a little less for a connecting flight through a major European airport. The cheapest flights to Oslo in 2023 tend to hover between $350-$800 from cities like Boston, Chicago, LA, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.
Oslo is best known for its maritime heritage, most notably its Viking past and delicious seafood. It’s definitely worth visiting, but be warned: it’s going to cost you a pretty penny once you get there!
Helsinki, Finland is among the cheapest European cities to fly to in 2023
Helsinki is one of the cheapest places to fly to in Europe from NYC, Boston, and LAX (among other major cities). Expect to pay between $450 and $820 roundtrip, with the upper part of that range accounting for Finnair, which offers non-stop services from several U.S. cities.
Helsinki is best known for its seaside charm, sustainability, and contemporary architecture. It’s easy to fall in love with a city so beautiful, and the locals agree, who consistently rank it among the happiest cities in the world.
Zurich is a European city that’s cheap to get to, but expensive once you get there. Its international airport is regularly listed among the top ten airports in the world according to Skytrax World Airport Awards (2016-2019). Many travelers from the US fly to Zurich before continuing by train or car to the Swiss Alps.
Swiss Air Lines is the flag carrier of Switzerland, servicing many routes between Europe and the US. You’re looking to pay between $420 and $715 roundtrip on the cheapest dates throughout the year.
If you’d like to visit the most beautiful part of the Alps, flying into Zurich is your best bet. As the largest city in Switzerland, Zurich is seamlessly connected to the rest of the country via public transportation. There are lots of awesome day trips nearby, too!
Some of the cheapest flights to Europe from the US go through Frankfurt. Expect to pay between $480 and $690 for a roundtrip fare from large US airports; the cheaper flights tend to have layovers while the pricier ones are direct flights with Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.
Having traveled extensively throughout Germany, I can’t say that Frankfurt is one of my favorite places to visit. However, it will get you close to popular destinations like Heidelberg, Würzburg, and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The northernmost point of the Romantic Road, a top tourist route in Germany, isn’t far away. And you’ll also be within reach of Rhine River sightseeing cruises, which depart from the Rhine Gorge and Mannheim.
Paris is among the cheapest European cities to fly to from the US, including Chicago, Philadelphia, LAX, Seattle, Dallas, NYC, and more. France’s capital is home to three airports, with most non-stop flights going to Charles de Gaulle Airport. Some reasonably priced airlines include United, American Airlines, and Air France, each offering direct flights to Paris from major US cities. Expect to pay as low as $300-$500 on connecting flights with other major airlines.
Paris is a top bucket list-worthy destination in Europe, home to iconic sights like the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and Louvre Museum. You can spend a week here and barely scratch the surface, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore one of Europe’s prettiest cities!
Seeking a cheap European city to fly into? Copenhagen is a solid option. As the second busiest airport in Scandinavia, you can find many cheap flights in Europe to here. This includes direct flights from 7 destinations in the USA. Expect to spend anywhere between $350-$850 roundtrip from major airports on both coasts.
From Copenhagen, you’ll be well connected to destinations throughout Northern Europe, as well as the Faroe Islands. You can also find cheap fares to cities like London, Paris, Rome, and Barcelona. Is this one of the cheapest flights to Europe? You bet!
Milan, Italy is among the cheapest places to fly to in all of Europe
From time to time, American travelers can find amazing flight deals to Milan. Big cities like NYC have daily non-stop flights to Milan via American Airlines, Delta, and Alitalia. Even in smaller cities, like Burlington VT and Louisville KY, it’s not uncommon to find cheap flights throughout the year. The best deals that are currently available in 2023 range from $400-$800 roundtrip. As is the case with most European destinations, the cheapest time to fly to Milan is in the winter (January and February).
Milan is considered the fashion capital of the world, as it’s home to countless high-end designer and luxury stores. But a trip to Milan isn’t complete without a visit to its grandiose gothic cathedral, the Duomo di Milano, and its sprawling restaurant scene. The surrounding Lombardy region also merits a visit.
While many destinations in Italy are filled with historic charm, Milan offers a more contemporary, cosmopolitan vibe. This definitely makes it among the most unique places to visit in Europe!
Wedged between Europe and Asia, Istanbul is one of the cheapest European cities to fly to any time of year. This is made possible by Turkish Airlines, the largest airline carrier in the world, which services 315+ destinations.
Expect to pay somewhere between $470 and $840 on roundtrip fares from the US. Sometimes, you can get an even better deal by doing a layover in Istanbul en route to another destination. Turkish Airlines offers a stopover program where you can receive free hotels and a city tour during a long layover.
Istanbul is one of the most incredible cities I’ve ever visited, and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves history, shopping, and food. Explore the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar, and you’ll see why it’s one of the most unique destinations to visit in Europe!
This is a funny one. Cork isn’t your typical world-class city, but surprisingly, you’ll find some amazing flight deals here from select US destinations. Every once in a while, as I’m perusing cheap flights to Europe, I’m inclined to take one…though I haven’t been yet!
Fun fact: Cork is the second largest city in Ireland and is considered the foodie capital of the country!
Visiting cheap airports in Europe from other parts of the world
Here are some budget-friendly flight routes to Europe from other countries around the globe.
Looking for cheapest places to fly to in Europe from Canada? Whether you’re looking to depart from Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, or Calgary, here are some cheapest airports in Europe to fly into. Note that these destinations are in order based on average flight prices over the past 6 months:
1. London Heathrow Airport – London, UK
2. Charles de Gaulle Airport – Paris, France
3. Schiphol Airport – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4. Dublin Airport – Dublin, Ireland
5. Brussels Airport – Brussels, Belgium
Australia offers some cheap flights to Europe, too
Given its sheer distance away, there are not a whole lot of cheap airports to fly into Europe from Australia. However, from Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney, you can reach 48 cities across Europe. Here are the most budget-friendly airports:
1. London Heathrow Airport – London, UK
2. Charles de Gaulle Airport – Paris, France
3. Berlin Brandenburg Airport – Berlin, Germany
4. Madrid-Barajas Airport – Madrid, Spain
5. Rome Fiumicino Airport – Rome, Italy
Discovering the cheapest places to fly to in Europe
Though the cities above are almost always the cheapest destinations to get to in Europe, you will discover other great deals from time to time. I’ve found incredibly cheap fares to secondary and tertiary destinations in Europe, and I attribute this to the following tips:
Tips for finding the cheapest place to fly into Europe
– Book your flights at least 3 months in advance. The best flight deals are posted way ahead of time. Sure, you can occasionally find last-minute deals, but I wouldn’t bank on that. As the date of the flight draws near and seats fill up, airlines tend to hike up the prices. Be sure to browse 3+ months in advance, and you’re all but guaranteed the lowest rate on airfare.
– Compare multiple search engines. I always start my flight search with Skyscanner, but then check a couple of other sites including Hopper and Google Flights before pulling the trigger. Most of the time, Skyscanner comes in at the cheapest, but sometimes one of the latter options offers a flight deal to Europe that I can’t refuse.
– Sign up for airline newsletters. There are lots of sites out there that show discounted flight fares, including Scott’s Cheap Flights. Sign up for this newsletter, and others, which you can find in my other article: top travel hacks for flying.
– Be flexible with your dates. Give yourself a little bit of wiggle room on the dates, and you’ll be able to unlock the cheapest fares. Try to avoid major holidays like Christmas, and choose midweek over weekends. I’ve found that the spring and fall are amazing for flying to Europe, where you can luck out on the weather and save a bundle in the process.
– Fly during off times. Late-night and early-morning flights are king if you want to cheap it out when you’re flying to Europe. I prefer taking late flights, anyway, because it gets me into Europe by mid-to late-morning. That way, I can hit the ground running and not lose a travel day.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Flying to Europe on a Budget
What is the cheapest month to fly to Europe?
Historically, the cheapest time to fly to Europe is in the early spring and late fall months. This includes March, April, October, and November.
How far in advance should I book a flight to Europe for cheap fares?
For low-priced fares, plan to book flights to Europe at least 3-4 months in advance. This is the timeframe when airlines tend to have the most availability.
What is the cheapest European country to fly into?
Overall, the cheapest European city to fly to is Reykjavik, Iceland. In mainland Europe, the most budget-friendly city to get to is Paris.
Which U.S. city has most flights to Europe?
John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York has 14 direct flights to Europe on several airlines. This makes it among the cheapest airports to get to Europe from the US.
Here are more travel tips and hacks when flying:
For more travel tips, be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my Instagram account, where I share details about how I’ve been able to travel the world on the cheap. Happy Travels -Jon