Today we bring you the article to which we have possibly dedicated the most time in the history of interrailing . A new approach, where we want to talk about the cheapest cities in Europe . I hope you like it!

We have written other articles making very subjective rankings on European cities (see the most beautiful cities in Europe , places to visit in Europe …etc), but this time we wanted to give our article a more empirical touch and tell you which are the cheapest European destinations to travel.

So we got to work and decided to select 19 European cities , taking into account the territorial differences and also the tourist importance.

Although we dedicate an entire part to telling you about the criteria we have used to classify the cities, tell you that we have used a points system (out of 100) based on three factors : average price of flights from Madrid and Barcelona, ​​average price per night in a hotel and standard of living.

Without further ado, I leave you with the cheapest cities in Europe .

The 20 cheapest cities in Europe to travel

1. Prague, the cheapest city in Europe to travel to

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First of all, we have to place the capital of the Czech Republic , Prague as the cheapest destination in Europe to travel within our ranking.

Not only the famous Charles Bridge , which you can see in the photo, but also the Prague Castle justifies getting to know the Czech capital . A city that in recent years has managed to enhance its tourist attraction.

2. Krakow

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The next city in our ranking – cornered in its first positions by Eastern European cities – is Krakow, a city that we love with all our might on interrail. In fact, in our article with the best things to see in Krakow I think we made it quite clear.

Its historical heritage, perfectly preserved during the Second World War , something that did not happen in its older sister Warsaw , was quite a discovery. Krakow is possibly one of the most charming cities in all of Europe.

If Poland is known for something, it is for its good prices, in fact we do not remember a trip where we have eaten better and for less than when we visited Polish cities. Accommodation is quite cheap , while food and restaurant prices are among the lowest in all of Europe.

3. Budapest

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Budapest has been one of the last destinations we have visited by interrail. In fact, in the last two weeks we have been full of articles about the capital of Hungary :

  • How to go from Budapest Airport to the city center
  • 12 things to see in Budapest in 3 days
  • Where to eat in Budapest: 10 cheap and good places
  • Visit the Parliament of Budapest: tickets, visits and schedules

And the truth is that we have to confirm that it is a fairly affordable city for tourists , at least for those of Spanish origin. Do not think that they will give you things for free, but eating, staying and taking a flight to Budapest is usually possible with little money .

Talking about the attractions of Budapest is discovering its wonderful Chain Bridge that connects the beautiful Andrassy Avenue with the part of its Buda and its imposing Castle . The thermal areas of the city and the visit to the Parliament are also amazing.

4. Vienna 

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Quite a surprise that Vienna is the fourth cheapest city in Europe to travel according to our ranking. A beautiful city, surrounded by palaces and Neo-Renaissance buildings on the banks of the Danube.

5. Berlin

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The top 5 of the cheapest cities in Europe is occupied, in this case, by Berlin, the capital of Germany and one of my favorite cities. Berlin stands out for having one of the best museum offers in all of Europe, with the Bust of Nefertiti and the Pergamon Museum at the forefront.

Memories of World War II and the Cold War such as CheckPoint Charlie , the Berlin Wall or the Jewish Holocaust Memorial complete the most historic point of view of the city. Although if there are two famous monuments to see in Berlin , those are the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Cathedral .

If you add to all this the good prices in Berlin , as you can see below, you already have the perfect getaway.

6. Rome

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Rome , the eternal, endless, historical, Roman city… few qualifiers do it more justice than wonderful !

No matter how many days you visit, you will never finish, since Rome is simply a journey through the past. Monuments like the Colosseum in Rome , Vatican City , the Pantheon of Agrippa , the Castle of San Angelo are some of my favorites in the city.

As you can see below, the prices in Rome do not reach the level of other large European cities such as Paris or London, although you must bear in mind that Italian hotel standards are much lower than in Spain.

7. Brussels

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Brussels is always spoken of as a sad, lifeless, bureaucratic city, but further from reality , the capital of Belgium is a wonderful city. Only its Grand Place is already one of the most beautiful squares in all of Europe.

Also, coming to Brussels is not only visiting Brussels , but also the surrounding cities, at least Ghent and Bruges . So you get a two for one.

In the case of Brussels, the cheapest of the three items analyzed is, without a doubt, the flights . In the periods analysed, the average prices of flights from Madrid and Barcelona do not even exceed 40 euros.

8. London

The most beautiful and cheapest cities in Europe

London is one of the great European cities. From its museum offer, the most visited in all of Europe, to Buckingham or the Palace of Westminster that Monet painted, there is little that escapes the British capital, more than the European Union.

Neither London nor any of the cities that we present below can be considered “low cost destinations”, but if you are lucky and know how to search the internet, I am sure that you will find good prices. In this case, the most expensive by far is accommodation in the British capital, which contrasts with the low prices of flights from Madrid and Barcelona.

9. Milan

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Milan has been stigmatized, much like Brussels, as an ugly and boring city , or at least in comparison with its sister cities Rome , Florence or Venice .

But how can you visit the Duomo and think that Milan is ugly? Let’s say that there are people for all tastes , and that there are colors for all tastes.

Going back to the purpose of this article. Let me tell you that although the prices of the flights to Milan are very cheap – not only from Madrid and Barcelona – but also, for example, from my native Seville – the accommodations are much more expensive . You have to consider this!

10. Florence

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Valme always says that her favorite city in all of Europe is Florence . And the truth is that it is easy to understand how attractive the Tuscan capital exudes. Capital of the Renaissance and world art, each of the most important monuments to visit in Florence shine by themselves: the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella , Santa Maria de Fiori, the Boboli Gardens or the Medici Chapel .

11. Edinburgh

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I always say that Edinburgh is one of those destinations where whoever visits the city ends up being amazed, one of those cities that ignite the traveling vein and doesn’t let you move forward. The Scottish capital is a beauty that leaves few indifferent, yes, if I’m sure of one thing, it’s that you’re going to get bored with castles.

12. Paris

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City of love, of museums, of beauty; The nicknames of Paris are already so many and cover such wide fields, that it is better to define it as the most beautiful city in Europe . As is well. Three monuments that you will hardly not know: the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower are just the tip of the iceberg, of a city in which you fall in love wherever you go.

13. Copenhagen

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Little is said about Copenhagen , but when it is, only good words come out of it. As in almost all Nordic countries, it seems that you arrive in a fairy tale. In this case, the Nyhavn and the city’s canals are the jewel in the crown, which are combined with different royal palaces, the famous Tivoli amusement park and the strange – but surprising – Christiania.

It is clear that the proximity of Denmark to Spain, unlike the rest of the Scandinavian countries, plays in favor of better prices. Of course, the standard of living in the Danish capital is high , and so are its prices.

14. Dublin

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Next on the list is quiet – but interesting – Dublin , the capital and most populous city of Ireland. Its essential monuments are Dublin Castle and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, with more than 8 centuries of history.

15. Amsterdam

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Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities in Europe, and one that, unfortunately, I don’t visit as often as I would like. One of the reasons is because of their prices. It is a city with a fairly high standard of living, but what really makes a trip to the Dutch capital more expensive is accommodation , which is absolutely prohibitive.

I could tell you all the positive aspects of Amsterdam that have made me enjoy like a dwarf every time I visit it, but it’s almost better that you read our article where we recommend the best things to see in Amsterdam .

16. Venice

What cheap cities in Europe are there?

If there is a city that cannot be missing in any tourism classification, it is Venice . Sometimes due to the prevailing overcrowding in the city and unsustainable tourism, other times due to the potential and beauty of the city. The city between canals has little to envy the world: Piazza San Marco, the Doge’s Palace or the Rialto Bridge are just the beginning.

17. Ginebra

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The next city on our list, in this case at number 17, and therefore one of the most expensive cities of all those analyzed is Geneva . The city of diplomacy lives up to its nickname and stands as a very expensive city. In this case, the flights, with Easyjet or Ryanair, are usually quite affordable, but not so in the case of hotels and accommodation, which are very expensive.

18. Stockholm

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Stockholm is known as the Venice of the North, due to the large number of canals that surround and cross the city. Surely the historic center and the most touristic area of ​​the city is the Island of Gamla Stan , but the song of the Swedish capital can be found in its streets, parks and museums, among them the Vassa, which houses a 17th century warship .

19. Helsinki

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In this last position, quite predictable on the other hand, we find Helsinki , the capital of Finland . Surely life in this city is the cheapest of all those in the Scandinavian countries , but the distance and fewer connections with Helsinki mean that it ends up falling in this ranking. It is much less touristy than its Nordic neighbors, which does not mean that it is a very special city.

Ranking of the cheapest cities in Europe

When determining the cheapest cities in Europe, we must take into account the items on which tourists spend their money. Since we do not have specific data on how Spaniards spend our money abroad, but we do have data on how they spend in Spain, we can use this data.

According to the tourist expenditure survey (Egatur) that is published every month. The total amount that foreign tourists spent in Spain without tourist packages amounted to 73,792 million euros in 2019 . This amount can be broken down into:

➜ Spending on international transport : 18,660 million euros (25.30%)

➜ Expenditure on accommodation : 14,060 million euros (19.05%)

➜ Living expenses : 13,958 million euros (18.91%)

➜ Expenses on activities : 18,233  million euros (24.70%)

➜ Other expenses : 8,881 million euros (12.03%)

If we eliminate the last two items, which are difficult to quantify and determine, we would be left with the fact that tourists who visit Spain spend around 40% of their budget on transport , 30% on accommodation and the other 30% on maintenance .

These data assume that Spanish tourists behave in the same way when deciding their spending as foreigners in Spain , something that may not be true, but this simplification is necessary for this analysis.

1. Expenditure on international transport

In this case, we have taken into account the average price of a one-way plane ticket from the two most important airports in Spain: Madrid and Barcelona.

Some considerations:

  • Data from Google Flights and Skyscanner have been used.
  • For each day, the lowest price of a direct flight has been taken into account, regardless of the company and departure time.
  • Added amounts have not been taken into account, as in the case of Ryanair baggage.
  • The data used corresponds to the month of October 2020 on the date this article was prepared (February 2020).
2. Expenditure on accommodation

We have used the data provided by the Booking, Google and Skyscanner platforms as a measure of the price level in accommodation. In this case, we have used the average price of a double room for one night regardless of the location – as long as it is within the city limits – and the category of the establishment.

3. Living expenses

For the third item that we have used to organize European cities, we have taken into account the Big Mac Index published every year by The Economist magazine. This allows us to know the standard of living in each of the countries.

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