The cheapest big cities for a city trip in Europe 2022

Food and energy prices are skyrocketing, lockdowns and reduced work have done the rest – many of us are on tight travel budgets at the moment, but our desire for vacation and adventure is even greater. Although Europe isn’t necessarily the cheapest travel destination: a city trip doesn’t have to be expensive, depending on the destination you choose.

City breaks in Turkey and Greece, for example, are relatively cheap, while the UK has some of the most expensive cities to travel to in Europe. This is evidenced by the “City Break Index” compiled by the British price comparison website

The company analyzed and classified the costs of an overnight stay in an Airbnb accommodation, a day ticket for local transport, a cheap meal, a glass of white wine and a visit to the most famous attractions of the city. We present the ten cheapest major cities for a city trip.

10th place: Antwerp in Belgium

Shopping, gastronomy, culture and architecture – whatever is on your checklist for a city trip, Antwerp has a little bit of it all.

In the bustling port city on the Schelde, you can admire buildings such as the Church of Our Lady and the Grote Markt as you stroll through the old town, discover the history of design and fashion in the Museum of Fashion and taste the “black gold” that made Belgium so famous in the Chocolate Museum.

For an overnight stay you pay around 110 euros, but visiting Antwerp is particularly cheap.

Daily index (costs for accommodation, transport, food, drinks, attractions): about 142 euros

Antwerp – port city of Belgium.

9th place: Lisbon in Portugal

In the capital of Portugal, the sun shines up to 290 days a year and a cool sea breeze from the Atlantic always blows through the streets of the city – no wonder Lisbon is such a popular travel destination.

In the historic but modern city you can visit monasteries, churches and museums, take a boat trip on the Tagus River and enjoy spectacular views from the seven hills of Lisbon.

Absolutely to try the Pastéis de Belém, the puff pastry tarts filled with custard. But the city is also known for delicious food, which is very affordable at around 8 euros compared to other cities.

Daily index (costs for accommodation, transport, food, drinks, attractions): around 140 euros

Lisbon: view of the city with the seven hills.

8th place: Bologna in Italy

Bologna is known as the homeland of tortellini, the stuffed donut-shaped pasta. The city is also called “La Grassa”, “la fat”. Not only because the oldest university city in Europe has been rich since the Middle Ages, but also for the sausages and ham that you can buy here of the highest quality.

But there are also many historical and cultural attractions in the lively capital of Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy.

Characteristic are, for example, the two leaning towers Asinelli and Garisenda. And the medieval arcades of Piazza Maggiore, with a length of 38 kilometers, are even listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

Daily index (costs for accommodation, transport, food, drinks, attractions): around 139 euros

Bologna – home of tortellini.

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7th place: Valencia in Spain

A place full of contrasts awaits you in Valencia with a charming old town and futuristic buildings. The Spanish city on the Mediterranean Sea is ideal for exploring on foot. One of the most fascinating places is La Reina square with the cathedral and the Miguelete tower, which can be climbed over 207 steps.

Foodies can sample the city’s signature dish, paella, and experience Europe’s largest fresh produce market in the modernist covered market at Mercado Central. If you need a break from the pulsating cultural life, you can take a leisurely stroll on the beach and dive into the Mediterranean Sea.

Plus: holiday apartments (around 83 euros) and white wine are particularly cheap in Valencia compared to other cities.

Daily index (costs for accommodation, transport, food, drinks, attractions): around 133 euros

Valencia – port city on the southeastern coast of Spain.

6th place: Athens in Greece

The capital of Greece is a wonderful place to stroll. For a long time Athens was the hub of the Greek world, today almost no other city in Europe has so many preserved monuments from antiquity.

A visit to the Acropolis is a must. Greece’s best known and most popular tourist attraction has been enthroned on the so-called Holy Hill for thousands of years and not only enchants architecture enthusiasts with its spectacular ancient buildings.

In addition to historical sites, Athens also has numerous museums that tell the history of the city: from art and natural history to folk musical instruments and ancient coins. Especially in summer, numerous concerts, food festivals and sporting events take place in the Greek city.

You can get a delicious meal in Athens for around 7 euros and a bus ticket is also quite cheap at around 4 euros. For an overnight stay you pay on average almost 90 euros.