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The 3 Most Affordable Western European Countries to Visit on a Budget

May 9, 2023 | Europe | 0 comments

Traveling to Western Europe has always been a dream for many people, but the high costs associated with it can often deter budget-conscious travelers. However, there are several beautiful and culturally rich countries in the region that can be explored without breaking the bank. In this article, we will delve into the cheapest Western European countries to visit, and how you can make the most of your budget-friendly trip.

Introduction to Budget Travel in Western Europe

Western Europe is a region filled with history, picturesque landscapes, and an array of cultural experiences. But, as with any travel destination, costs can quickly add up. When planning a budget-friendly trip, it’s crucial to consider factors such as accommodation, transportation, and attractions. By doing so, you can create a memorable and affordable experience.

In this article, we will explore three of the cheapest countries in Western Europe – Portugal, Spain, and Greece – and provide tips for saving money while traveling in the region. We will also discuss affordable travel packages and resources that can help you plan your dream vacation without breaking the bank.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Budget-Friendly Destination

When selecting a budget-friendly destination in Western Europe, consider the following factors:

  1. Exchange Rate: Research the currency exchange rates and identify countries with a favorable exchange rate against your home currency. This will help you stretch your budget further during your trip.
  2. Cost of Living: Look for countries with a lower cost of living, as this will directly impact the prices of accommodations, food, and transportation.
  3. Affordable Attractions: Choose countries that offer a variety of budget-friendly attractions and activities, allowing you to explore and enjoy the destination without overspending.

With these factors in mind, let’s take a closer look at the three cheapest Western European countries to visit.

Cheapest Western European Countries: Overview

The cheapest countries in Western Europe that offer a fantastic experience for budget travelers are Portugal, Spain, and Greece. Each of these countries boasts a rich history, diverse landscapes, and unique cultural experiences that can be enjoyed without straining your wallet.

Country #1: Portugal

Portugal is a hidden gem in Western Europe, blessed with stunning landscapes, friendly locals, and a rich history. The country offers a range of budget-friendly attractions and accommodations that make it an excellent destination for those looking to explore Western Europe without breaking the bank.

Top Budget-Friendly Attractions in Portugal

  1. Lisbon: Portugal’s capital city is a treasure trove of historical landmarks, vibrant neighborhoods, and beautiful views. Explore the narrow streets of Alfama, visit the iconic São Jorge Castle, or take a ride on the famous Tram 28.
  2. Sintra: A UNESCO World Heritage site, Sintra is home to the stunning Pena Palace and the enchanting Quinta da Regaleira. Both can be visited with a combined entrance ticket, offering great value for money.
  3. Porto: This charming coastal city is famous for its port wine and picturesque Ribeira district. Take a walking tour to explore its rich history, and don’t miss the chance to visit the stunning Livraria Lello, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.

Affordable Accommodations and Transportation

Portugal offers a variety of budget-friendly accommodations, from hostels to guesthouses and affordable hotels. Public transportation is also reasonably priced, with options like buses, trams, and trains connecting major cities and towns.

Country #2: Spain

Spain is a diverse and captivating country that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With its variety of budget-friendly attractions and accommodations, it’s an excellent choice for those looking to explore Western Europe on a budget.

Top Budget-Friendly Attractions in Spain

  1. Barcelona: This vibrant city is home to some of the world’s most famous landmarks, such as La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. Be sure to explore the Gothic Quarter and the bustling La Rambla street, and don’t forget to indulge in some delicious tapas.
  2. Madrid: Spain’s capital city offers a wealth of budget-friendly attractions, such as the renowned Prado Museum, the beautiful Retiro Park, and the bustling Puerta del Sol. Additionally, many museums in Madrid offer free entry during certain hours or days.
  3. Granada: This enchanting city is home to the stunning Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Be sure to wander through the narrow streets of the Albaicín district and enjoy the beautiful views of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Country #3: Greece

Greece is a country steeped in history and breathtaking natural beauty. With its affordable accommodations, transportation, and attractions, it’s a fantastic destination for budget travelers looking to experience the best of Western Europe.

Top Budget-Friendly Attractions in Greece

  1. Athens: The birthplace of democracy, Athens is home to iconic landmarks such as the Acropolis and the Parthenon. Be sure to explore the vibrant Plaka neighborhood and visit the numerous museums that the city has to offer.
  2. Meteora: This UNESCO World Heritage site boasts a collection of spectacular monasteries perched atop towering rock formations. A visit to Meteora is a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
  3. Crete: Greece’s largest island offers an array of budget-friendly attractions, from the ancient ruins of Knossos to the stunning beaches of Elafonisi and Balos. Additionally, Crete’s diverse landscape provides numerous opportunities for hiking and outdoor adventures.

Tips for Saving Money While Traveling in Western Europe

  1. Travel Off-Peak: Visit during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) to enjoy better weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices on accommodations and attractions.
  2. Use Public Transportation: Opt for public transportation over taxis or rental cars to save money and experience the local way of life.
  3. Eat Like a Local: Enjoy meals at local eateries and markets instead of touristy restaurants to savor authentic cuisine at affordable prices.
  4. Utilize Free or Discounted Attractions: Research free or discounted entry times for museums and attractions, and consider purchasing city passes that offer discounts on multiple attractions.

Affordable Travel Packages and Resources for Western Europe

Several travel agencies and websites offer budget-friendly travel packages and resources for exploring Western Europe. Some popular options include:

  1. Eurail Pass: This train pass offers unlimited travel on participating rail networks across Europe, providing an affordable and convenient way to explore multiple countries.
  2. Intrepid Travel: This tour company offers small group tours that focus on local experiences and responsible travel, with a range of budget-friendly options available.
  3. Hostelworld: This website is an excellent resource for finding affordable hostels and budget accommodations across Western Europe.

Why Choose the Cheapest Western European Countries for Your Next Holiday

Selecting the cheapest countries in Western Europe for your next holiday not only allows you to stretch your budget but also enables you to experience the region’s rich history, diverse cultures, and stunning landscapes. By making smart choices and utilizing the tips and resources provided in this article, you can create unforgettable memories without breaking the bank.


Western Europe is a dream destination for many travelers, and with the right planning and budgeting, it can be an affordable and unforgettable experience. By choosing to visit the cheapest Western European countries – Portugal, Spain, and Greece – you can immerse yourself in the region’s history, culture, and natural beauty without straining your wallet. So pack your bags, and get ready to embark on the European adventure of a lifetime!