Summer travel to Europe can often be a pain. Famous destinations are overrun with crowds, and the cost of flights, hotels and tours skyrockets. Luckily, the continent has a few hidden gems you can travel to on the cheap this time of year. Discover cheap summer vacation destinations in Europe and learn how to make the most of your money.
One of the most beautiful and affordable summer vacation spots in Europe is the small island nation of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. There are many free activities offered and rooms here usually cost less than €138 per night.
It costs you nothing to enjoy the beaches, cliffs and sea caves. Malta’s coastline is home to well-known attractions such as the Blue Grotto, Azure Window, and Xlendi Cliffs. There are also the charming Upper Barrakka Gardens, which offer sweeping views of the port of Valetta, the country’s capital.
Estimated daily expenses: €180–190
7. Costa de Sol – Spain
Most of the beaches in Spain offer free entrance. That’s why the Costa del Sol is one of the most popular summer vacation spots in Europe. Powder-sugar sands, rocky shores, and a wide range of water sports, from jet skiing to kayaking, can be found at this sun-drenched paradise in Andalusia.
Estimated daily expenses: €170–180
6. Faro – Portugal
Faro, a resort town in southern Portugal, is one of the continent’s most underrated budget summer destinations. The Ria Formosa Natural Park, where you can hike to salty lagoons and watch migratory birds, is accessible from the city. In the park you can observe flamingos, turtles, foxes and badgers. Entrance to the park is free, but a boat tour costs between €24 and €34.
Estimated daily expenses: €150–160
5. Porto – Portugal
One of Porto’s many charms is that it’s a laid-back coastal city in northwestern Portugal, best known for its port wine production. Turn back time and stroll through the picturesque Ribeira neighborhood, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. You’ll feel like a character from a fairy tale thanks to the neighborhood’s charming cobblestone streets and winding passageways.
Estimated daily expenses: €120–130
4. Ljubljana – Slovenia
The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, is a beautiful place to visit at a reasonable price. Due to the mountains that surround it and its location on the Ljubljanica River, it offers spectacular natural beauty. Considering that 75% of the city is covered by green areas, it was named the Green Capital of Europe. The city center is pedestrian friendly, so you will not experience traffic chaos here.
Estimated daily expenses: €80–90
3. Puglia – Italy
One of the cheap summer vacation spots in Europe that should get more attention is Puglia. The region is known for the production of olive oil, which accounts for 12% of the world’s production and 40% of Italy’s. Explore the countryside and enjoy the sight of olive trees lining the sunlit hillsides. Visit the south and experience the award-winning, pristine beaches on the Ionian Sea. One of these beaches, Marina di Pescoluse, is particularly beautiful and is sometimes referred to as “the Maldives of Italy”
Estimated daily expenses: €70–80
2. Sarajevo – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a hidden gem among the cheap summer destinations in Europe. You can explore this part of the Bascarsija bazaar from the Ottoman period. The most famous sight is the Sebilj Fountain, a wooden fountain built by Mehmed Pasha Kukavica in 1753. It is said that anyone who drinks from this fountain will eventually return to Sarajevo.
Estimated daily expenses: €60–70
1. Gdansk – Poland
Besides visiting the museums, you can also stroll through the city’s vibrant main street, Dlugi Targ, and take a photo of the famous Neptune Fountain. The 13th century Dlugi Targ trade street includes many preserved historical structures. Here’s the explanation for the famous name of Neptune’s Fountain: legend has it that the fountain used to spew out goldwasser (Gdansk liquor) and the sea god Neptune was surrounded by locals clamoring for free alcohol.