Eurosummer On A Budget: Europe’s 5 Cheapest Cities For Aussie Travellers

Really affordable, really fun.

Eurosummer On A Budget: Europe’s 5 Cheapest Cities For Aussie Travellers

Finding truly cheap cities to travel to seems increasingly challenging these days. Lucky for Aussies looking to get away, there are still a few European enclaves where your dollars will go far.

In times gone by, when exchange rates were favourable and distant parts of Europe less explored, the classic Aussie ‘Eurosummer’ was just about affordable. Coffee and food were inexpensive treats, and sun-soaked sangria felt like an easy way to switch off, rather than spike your blood pressure through a stratospheric credit card bill.

While reasonably priced hotels and restaurants seem to be disappearing faster than ever, they haven’t vanished entirely. We’ve done a deep dive into the average prices for holiday essentials such as taxi fares, meal costs and, most importantly, beers to reveal five genuinely affordable cities worth visiting.

Note: All AUD prices were correct at time of publishing, based on data drawn from Numbeo.

Bucharest, Romania

Image: Kayak

Bucharest, Romania’s capital, has all the markers of a great city break: expansive tree-lined avenues, vibrant bars, and swathes of museums. Its blend of Belle Époque architecture with Communist-era housing, a blend that adds a certain mystique.

Cost-wise, Bucharest is remarkably affordable. A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant averages around AU$81.67, while a bottle of wine costs just over AU$9. A coffee comes in at AU$4.67.

Transport is easy on your wallet too, with a single journey on the tram and subway network costing just over AU$0.99. Taxi starting fares and per-kilometre cost both land at around AU$0.99, a heck of a lot lower than the likes of London or Paris…

Gdańsk, Poland

Image: Elena Shamis

Gdańsk, along with Warsaw and Krakow, present Poland’s most affordable and underrated options. With terracotta-topped terraces and wide open boulevards, Gdańsk offers a blend of deep history and bar culture. Pairing a city visit with a trip to nearby beach resorts like Sopot or Gdynia is smart, especially since train tickets average at AU$8.55.

Despite much of its Dutch Renaissance architecture actually being low-key modern replicas due to wartime devastation, Gdańsk’s museums and historical sites are some of the best on the Eastern side of the continent. Invest in a tourist card for complimentary entry.

For dining, a canteen-style meal goes for about AU$4.75.

Porto, Portugal

Image: Independent

Porto offers affordability without compromise. With great restaurants, a host of attractions, and undeniably spectacular weather, Porto is a diamond destination.

The city’s charm lies in its tinned sardine shops, mustard-yellow trams, and narrow streets winding to the bright waterfront. Despite its beauty, Porto remains affordable, with a glass of wine costing just AU$6.51 and a meal for two averaging AU$65.04.

Exploring Porto’s attractions, such as the Dom Luís I Bridge and São Bento railway station, is free. Consider a train journey to Pinhão in the Douro Valley for vineyard tours starting at around AU$38.

Kaunas, Lithuania

Image: NatGeo

Kaunas is Lithuania’s hidden gem. Built around a 14th-century castle complex, Kaunas boasts great cafés, museums, and remarkably low prices.

Visit the Devils Museum for a one-of-a-kind experience, or explore Urmo Bazė, an open-air market for antiques and souvenirs. A lunch in Kaunas typically costs between AU$8.17 and AU$11.40, while a three-course meal for two averages at AU$65.04.

Valencia, Spain

Image: Travel & Leisure

This year’s European Green Capital, Valenica, offers effortless affordability. With extensive park networks, cultural attractions, and an unrivalled culinary scene, Valencia appeals to budget-conscious travellers of all stripes.

Explore Turia Park on foot or by bike before heading to the miles of glistening beaches. Enjoy a cappuccino for AU$2.99 or a bottle of wine for around AU$8.17. The Museo de Bellas Artes offers free entry, while the cathedral showcases centuries of history.

Accommodations in Valencia cater to various budgets, from boutique hotels to hostels.

Cheap Eurosummer Cities: Food

CityMeal for one (inexpensive restaurant)Meal for two (mid-range restaurant, three-course)A pint of beerWater (330 ml bottle)Cappuccino (regular)Bottle of wine (mid-range)
Bucharest, RomaniaAU$16.34AU$81.67AU$4.59AU$3.14AU$4.67AU$9.81
Gdansk, PolandAU$15.01AU$61.92AU$5.62AU$2.39AU$5.07AU$9.77
Porto, PortugalAU$14.63AU$65.04AU$4.07AU$1.80AU$2.57AU$6.50
Kaunas, LithuaniaAU$13.01AU$65.04AU$6.50AU$2.53AU$4.70AU$11.39
Valencia, SpainAU$20.73AU$73.16AU$4.89AU$2.30AU$2.99AU$8.14

Cheap Eurosummer Cities: Transportation

CityOne-way ticket (local transport)Monthly transport passTaxi (starting fare)Taxi fare (per kilometer)
Bucharest, RomaniaAU$0.99AU$26.15AU$0.99AU$0.99
Gdansk, PolandAU$1.81AU$44.67AU$3.00AU$1.12
Porto, PortugalAU$2.92AU$65.04AU$5.70AU$1.14
Kaunas, LithuaniaAU$1.63AU$45.52AU$3.25AU$1.63
Valencia, SpainAU$2.43AU$48.78AU$3.58AU$1.92

Data provided by Numbeo.

Bottom Line

Getting to Europe might still leave a stinging sensation on your bank account — we’ll be dropping some flight deals to help with that soon — but at least these cities offer a good time that’s as affordable as it is memorable once you’ve touched down.