Hatsvali resort in Mestia

10 Beautiful & Cheap Places to Travel in Europe in Summer You Didn’t Think About

My list of cheap places to travel in Europe in summer consists only of those locations where I went personally (and where I have planned economical trips for this coming June-August season). From my own experience, I can tell that all of them are excellent for a cheap summer vacation to Europe as prices are still reasonable and meet low and mid budgets. 

I don’t know if you noticed but travel in Europe has become much more expensive than it used to be. Not that it has been ever cheap, but it was still very affordable to travel around many European countries on a low budget. But with wars and constant economic turbulences, prices constantly soar up making things very expensive.

Yet with all of that, it is still quite possible to travel Europe on a budget during the busy summer season if you know where to go and plan it right.

So below I am sharing a few thoughts on how to have a cheap summer vacation in Europe and where to go to have an affordable European vacation in June, July, and August, and overall how to have a nice holiday in Europe without spending much.

I don’t talk about the cheapest European countries to visit in summer as all countries these days have expensive locations together with cheaper ones. Instead, I decided to cover specifically cheap European holiday destinations even though some of them are located in prime and pricey countries, but travel on a budget there is still possible!

How to Save on Travel in Europe When Traveling in Summer

Here are a few tips from my experience that help to save money on summer travel to Europe:

  1. Go on Free Tours – with them, you pay as much as you feel like. There are many companies offering free tours, but I like to use this one with tours in all major cities in Europe
  2. Use FlixBus Whenever Available – if you don’t plan to rent a car but want to see many cities on one trip, the cheapest way to move around is to hop on a bus with FlixBus company. I booked rides with them for as little as €3 for a ride from Rome to Naples, €12 from Valencia to Malaga, and from €5 for rides in Germany.
  3. Rent a Car Through Locals – if you are visiting Western Europe and Balkans (with Greece and Turkey included), rent a car through LocalRent which allows hiring a vehicle from locals often without leaving a deposit and without a credit card. Otherwise, if traveling to Eastern Europe, rent a car in Krakow, Vilnius, and Bratislava. These are the cheapest cities for car hire in summer.
  4. Stay Outside City Centers – choose to stay on the outskirts of cities or away from busy centers, accommodation there is often 2-3 cheaper. Just look for options only with good public transportation connections to get to the main attractions quickly.
  5. Choose Private Hostel Rooms – hostels are always cheaper than hotels or airbnbs. But to stay on a budget and have good quality, choose private rooms (with bathrooms) rather than bunk beds. You will surely save and have a comfortable stay. However, book them well in advance as they sell out fast.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you make a purchase or booking by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you).

Ideas for Cheap Places to Go in Europe in Summer

1. Extremadura & Castilla-La Mancha Regions in Spain

cheap place to visit in Europe in summer

Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha are two autonomous regions in central and southwestern Spain that are cheap to visit in any season, but particularly in summer due to their inland location and higher temperatures. As they are away from the coast or mountains, both experience hotter weather, which deters some travelers.

However, this also means that there is less demand for accommodation during the summer months (resulting in lower prices) and the number of things to do is huge.

So you can find more affordable options for accommodation and enjoy a quieter, more authentic Spanish experience away from the crowds that overflow southern regions on the stretch between Barcelona and Valencia, Valencia to Malaga, and even Malaga region which is unbearably hot in summer. 

Both Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha are cheap holiday destinations in Europe for young adults and families that have several must-visit attractions that showcase the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of these regions.

You can visit them both on road trips from Madrid and don’t miss Cáceres, a UNESCO World Heritage town that looks like it was taken from the postcard, Mérida, home to remarkable Roman ruins including a well-preserved theater, amphitheater, and aqueduct (like a small version of ancient theater in Bergama Turkey), Guadalupe with its stunning Gothic and Mudejar architecture and revered Black Madonna, Cuenca with hanging houses on the edge of a gorge, and of course Toledo, a unique cheap Spanish city known for the labyrinthine streets.

NOTE: Many cities in Spain are also among the cheapest places in Europe to fly to. So you may want to start exploring the continent from one of them. And then if you do and decide to rent a car, don’t miss my tips on car hire in Spain to score a cheap car for rent in Madrid in the summer.

2. Gran Canaria Island

cheap island to visit in Europe in summer

Gran Canaria is not really considered the cheapest destination in Europe but it is very affordable in summer because it is actually more popular as a winter sun destination, so in summer prices are usually lower due to decreased demand. 

I can confirm that from my own experience when I traveled around Gran Canaria in August and paid between €50-€70 per night for private accommodation with breakfast (with the exception of a few nights in this beautiful luxurious hotel which cost around €200 per night). Car rental was also quite affordable where we paid around €130 for a car rental for 10 days.

Many people say that other Canary Islands are cheap in summer too but I don’t agree much with that as I have another experience. Tenerife Island, for example, (I live in northern Tenerife) is becoming more and more expensive because of its different climates that offer a cool escape in Europe in summer. La Palma Island is the same. Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are more expensive because of their beautiful sandy beaches that attract people in summer for beach vacations. 

sand dunes in Maspalomas
Gran Canaria has sand dunes that are reminiscent of the desert in Morocco and Dubai
cheap summer destination in Spain
Gothic Church in Gran Canaria

So Gran Canaria offers different things from different worlds – you’ll find there a mix of sun, sea, culture, and you won’t spend much. However, I advise you to research and compare prices and book in advance to make your trip more budget-friendly. For the car rental, rent a car from OrlandoRentaCar or OkayMobility company as they have the cheapest fare.

And then if you go, I have a few posts about Gran Canaria with lots of inspiration and helpful tips such as beautiful hotels in Gran Canaria for different tastes and budgets, Las Palmas to Guia awesome road trip, and post about the best length of vacation in Gran Canaria to help you decide how much time to spend there.

3. Svaneti Region in Georgia Country

hiking in Svaneti
On a hike in Svaneti – one of the best experiences we had there, and had it cheap!

Svaneti is a cheap and beautiful place in Europe that stands out as one of the best places to travel in the Caucasus region from June to September. It has a plethora of outdoor activities and is untouched by mass tourism.

Some people will say that Svaneti is not in Europe as it is in the Caucasus. Yes, but geographically it is in southeastern part of the European continent, so I am including it on the list too. Plus, among all the places on this list, Svaneti is the cheapest summer destination in Europe for travel to the mountains.

When you travel around Svaneti, it feels like entering another realm entirely. The landscape is simply out of this world – towering peaks piercing the sky, lush valleys carpeted with wildflowers, and rivers that seem to dance through the mountains. It’s a place where nature reigns supreme, and you can’t help but feel humbled by its grandeur.

And the best part? It’s all untouched, untamed, and in some spots so remote (even though close to all infrastructure) that you ask yourself if it’s all real. Trust me, you won’t find views like these anywhere else on Earth. Maybe there are similar views in different parts of Switzerland but overall Svaneti region is so unique in its nature. See my reel below:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Anya | Travel Planner (@roadiscalling)

When I lived in Tbilisi, I visited Svaneti a few times and every time it was a budget-friendly trip filled with unforgettable landscapes – our hike to Chalaadi glacier and places around Mestia are just a couple of examples.

I plan to return this summer and know it will be a cheap trip again!

NOTE: Accommodation in Svaneti is very cheap. There are many guest houses (and even hotels) where you can spend 3-4 nights and pay for the entire stay less than €100 for 2 people. Examples of such properties are Guesthouse Data. But there are also even cheaper properties like Travel Inn House where 3 nights stay in a twin room costs €50 per night – this is the cheapest price for accommodation you’ll find in Europe in July and August!

4. Pyrenees Mountains

Barcelona to Andorra by car

One of my personal favorite cheap European holiday destinations (that I discovered just recently when on a road trip from Barcelona to Andorra) is the Pyrenees mountains that form a natural border between France and Spain, stretching approximately 430 kilometers (267 miles) from the Bay of Biscay in the west to the Mediterranean Sea in the east. 

They are very impressive thanks to their high peaks and rocky slopes with cute small towns nestled in between. Each town seems to have its own unique character and history, with narrow cobblestone streets, centuries-old stone buildings, and quaint village squares.

You can find everything there – bustling markets in towns like Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port or Aínsa, cute shops with outdoor seating and delish crepes, medieval charm, and rapid rivers. And with the impressive mountain backdrops and panoramic views, these towns provide the perfect base for exploring the natural wonders of the region or simply relaxing and immersing in the tranquil beauty of the mountain range.

cheap summer vacation to Europe nature
My favorite part about the Pyrenees is nature. Pretty much any town or village has grandiose landscapes that simply make me want to open my mouth and stand in awe 

I always thought that travel to France would be expensive. And it kind of is. But the Pyrenees Mountain region turned out to be quite affordable with many accommodation options costing between €40-€70 per night for a family and couples. 

I also noticed that food prices in the Pyrenees are rather cheap (I just compare them to prices in Istanbul and in Tenerife where I live), especially vegetables, fruits, cheeses, and dough-based products.

If you are interested in a cheap Europe trip that combines time in nature, history, and a touch of French or Spanish culture, then look closer at such towns as Cauterets, Bagnères-de-Luchon, Loudonvielle, Luz-Saint-Sauveur, Formigal, Huesca and others in that area.

5. Prokletije National Park in Montenegro

cheap beautiful destination in Europe
In the heart of the Prokletije National Park – if you have a camper, it is going to be even more cheaper trip

During the last few years, Montenegro turned into an expensive destination for summer travel due to its increasing popularity for vacations by the sea. Yet, this applies mainly to the coast and there are still a few places in Montenegro that stay quite cheap.

Like Prokletije National Park, for example, in the eastern part of the country which has Alpine scenery (similar to the Alps in some ways but on a smaller scale) where the landscape is dotted with lakes and towering peaks. 

You can go there on a hiking trip while camping or staying in one of the huts or just spend a few days in a remote area away from the busy coast.   

Prokletije Park is much less developed than the popular Durmitor National Park or even Lovcen Park. It has decent guesthouses and cafes but they are more simplistic compared to Montenegro mountains in the north. Yet, they are very affordable. 

cheap holiday place in Europe

To give you an example, Ethno House Bektesevic (one of my favorite places) and Eko Katun Vusanje cost around €35 per night in July and August when accommodation by the coast is quite expensive. 

You can always combine a trip to Prokletije National Park with sightseeing around Montenegro, including Kotor Bay with must-visit towns.

Check my tips on visiting Herceg Novi, Kotor Bay, Tivat, and where to stay in Montenegro to know where to find budget-friendly accommodation and activities in this country in summer. Also, go through my tips on cheap car hire in Montenegro to find reasonable car rentals and know what driving in Montenegro is like.

6. Tatra Mountains in Slovakia

cheap place to visit in Europe in July

Another place that I love where to travel in Europe on a budget is the Tatra Mountains in northern and central Slovakia which are part of the larger Carpathian Mountain range.

These mountains consist of two main sections – the High Tatras (Vysoké Tatry) and the Low Tatras (Nízke Tatry) where the High Tatras stand tall and majestic (dominating the horizon with their impressive height and distinct profiles) and Low Tatras present a softer, more undulating landscape with more gentle slopes in shades of green.

Both of them are great choices for hiking, camping, and rock climbing in summer or just spending time in nature. Both have some hidden gems like hot springs and rare gorges with deep canyons where also to go on adventurous hikes that fit different levels and also suit well families with children. Just one of them below in my reel:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Anya | Travel Planner (@roadiscalling)

I lived in High Tatras 2 times (in Poprad and Liptovsky Mikolas) and visited all over the region. It is absolutely beautiful in any season (if you can, come here in October when it is completely quiet and cheap!) and summer is not an exception.

So my recommendation for you to save money – come here by car from Krakow (rent a car there and by the way car rentals are much cheaper in this city) or Bratislava and choose accommodation in towns in the southern part of Poprad, Pribylina village, Veľká Lomnica, or anywhere on Liptovska Lake. There are cheaper airbnbs, guesthouses, apartments and vrbos in these places.

7. Chisinau, Moldova

cheap city in Europe

Chisinau, the capital city of a tiny country Moldova, is an interesting and cheap capital city to visit in Europe in summer, although it is not as popular as other European cities.

Moldova in general is the cheapest country in Europe due to its economic challenges and lower average incomes, which result in lower prices for goods and services. So anywhere in the country summer travel will be cheap.

Chisinau is well connected by air travel with many cities in Europe, so buying an airplane ticket will be also very affordable which will help to keep all expenses for the trip low.

The city on its own has many cultural attractions, including museums, art galleries, and Soviet-era sites which will be interesting for people who want to delve into Moldova’s soviet past. But Moldova is also known for its wine production and Chisinau is a great starting point for exploring the country’s wineries and vineyards.

I highly recommend you go to “Milestii Mici” (a huge underground city famous for its extensive network of wine cellars, which make up the world’s largest underground wine cellar complex) and do Highlights of Moldova tour to cover it all in just one day. 

8. Lake Ohrid on Both Albanian & Macedonian Side

Lake Ohrid cheap place for summer vacation

It is not only one of the cheapest places to travel in Europe in summer but also one of the least crowded places compared to many other destinations that offer vacations by water.

Lake Ohrid is one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe, known for its natural beauty and cultural significance. Its eastern shore is a historic and cultural center with roots dating back to ancient times. The main town on the lake named Ohrid is often referred to as the “Jerusalem of the Balkans” due to its numerous churches and religious monuments that overlook the lake from cliffs.

It is a popular tourist destination among travelers from the Balkans (but not so much among international visitors), offering a wide range of recreational activities such as hiking, birdwatching, swimming and sunbathing as well as different water sports.

cheap place to travel in Europe in summer

The lake is really big and shared by two countries – Albania and Macedonia. I personally prefer the Macedonian side of Lake Ohrid because it is more developed and offers a wider range of amenities and attractions. And even in July and August, it has room on its beaches for families and young adults.

You can choose different types of accommodation there from budget-type rooms in guest houses to a room in a nice hotel. There are quite a few cheap options to book.

When compared to the coast of Albania or Montenegro, prices for accommodation on Lake Ohrid are quite cheap. You can rent a big room with a private bathroom in the center of Ohrid Town (like for example in a Villa Trofej) for as little as €35 per night in the busiest season in July and August (just make sure to book at least in spring to score this price).

9. South Bohemia & South Moravia, Czech Republic

cheap summer destination in Europe

I thought I knew the Czech Republic well until the moment I traveled in the southern part of the country this past summer when on a mega road trip from Krakow to Munich.

It was then that we discovered two regions of the country South Bohemia and South Moravia and paid between €50-€70 per night for accommodation in old palaces and charming local guesthouses with vintage furniture and old touch. And food cost us between €30-€50 per day for two with occasional eating out in traditional taverns.

These two regions are lesser-visited in the Czech Republic (well, South Bohemia is more popular but people mainly go there on day trips from Prague), both are very beautiful but different in nature and activities. 

South Bohemia has captivating rolling landscapes, medieval towns, and beautiful lakes. Southern Moravia has a lot of wineries and spa towns.

I seriously loved Mikulov, Valtice, Ceske Budejovice, Cesky Krumlov, and Podyji National Park. But there are many more towns and small villages to visit. And for some reason, what is very clearly etched in my mind, is our stay in Hotel Podhrad in Hluboka nad Vltavou, a small town with its fairytale-like chateau called Hluboká Castle (you can see on photos below) even though we stayed in a few other old hotels along the way.

visiting a castle in Czechia
cheap European vacations

If you want to have a real adventure and see a lesser-visited part of Czechia with good prices, then you can combine a trip to Bratislava or Vienna with a road trip to South Bohemia and/or South Moravia. Spend a couple of days in Vienna (or/and Bratislava), rent a car there (at Bratislava airport will be cheaper), and drive north to Southern Moravia which is less than 2 hours away.

Another option is after a couple of days in Prague, rent a car there and go on a road trip to South Bohemia with must-have stops (besides Ceský Krumlov and Ceské Budějovice) in Telč and Jindrichuv Hradec.

10. Kos Island, Greece

cheap Greek island in summer
A natural view of the Kos Island and Kefalos Beach in Greece under a clear sunny sky

Among all the summer holiday destinations in Europe on my list, Kos Island stands out as the best place for a cheap beach holiday in Europe as it is the cheapest island in Greece for summer travel. It has a nice combination of beautiful beaches (there are yellow and white sand beaches here), ancient ruins, and nightlife meaning it will suit different types of travelers, including families and young adults.

Kos is the homeland and kingdom of Odysseus (based on the myths of Ancient Greece) and from above, the island resembles a sandcastle framed by the waters of the Aegean Sea. In summer, it gets covered with dense greenery of olive groves.

Among all Greek islands, Kos is the most budget-friendly mainly because of the high number of 2-star hotels on the island. I found out about it from one of my friends who is a travel agent in Ukraine who sells cheap packaged tours to Kos. 

You can find there many hotels and guest houses for about €70-€80 per night in July and August, with breakfast being often included in that price. Just some examples are the Olive Tree Garden one-bedroom house or room in a Fourtounis Hotel on the opposite side of the island in the city of Kefalos. And if you plan ahead of time, you can score a nice cheap beach vacation in Europe. 

Once there, I’d suggest you also take a ferry to the popular Turkish resort Bodrum. It is only 25 kilometers (15 miles) across the Aegean Sea. I got lucky to spend there one of the summers and it was one of the best places for summer vacation with blue waters and hidden coves, some of the most beautiful sunsets, and many memorable things to do

I am going to add more cheap Europe holiday destinations to this list as I am traveling more through Europe. Before I do, check out my other posts for travel around Europe:

cheap places to travel in Europe in summer

Similar Posts


  1. Thank you for being original and sharing these places, I didn’t even know about some of them!
    I saw other articles of other people who mention many more cheap destinations for summer but most of those destinations are actually quite expensive. You really shared something unique and affordable.
    I planned already 2 trips to two places you mentioned and am so excited to go this summer!

    1. Hi Miriam, glad to know it was helpful! I experienced all these places on my own, that’s why wanted to share. I’ll be adding more of them to this list once I travel this summer to a few new destinations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *