7 Best European Destinations for a Weekend away on a Budget

Winter Palace St Petersburg Russia

Exploring European cities over a weekend is a great way to explore a new destination on a tight budget. If you can be flexible with dates, you can get return flights from cities like London for as little as £20! Plus, with a short stay you can take hand luggage only, which will help keep costs down. Below are 7 great European destinations for a weekend away on a small budget.

7. St. Petersburg, Russia

Granted, getting a visa for Russia can be expensive, but if you want to see a lesser visited city that’s only a 3 hour flight away, then St Petersburg should be it! Visiting Russia for the first time is very exciting, as its much lesser visited than other european cities. When you’re there, everything is pretty cheap, so it’s easy to see all of the sights the city has to offer without breaking the bank.

6. Trogir, Croatia

If you’re flexible on dates, and can travel outside of peak seasons (i.e. school holidays) then it’s easy to nab great deals on cheap flights to Croatia. Set up price alerts on Skyscanner to get notified when prices are dropping. Trogir is a small town about 1-2 hours outside of Split. It’s a sleepy marina town that is just as beautiful as it’s bigger, tourist heavy neighbour. As it’s less visited than Split, accommodation, shops and restaurants are a lot cheaper. Plus, Split is just over an hour on a bus, so you can easily do a day or afternoon trip to visit Split as well.

5. Copenhagen, Denmark

The Scandinavian countries have a reputation for being the more expensive destinations within Europe, but this is a misconception for some of the more easily visited destinations. Copenhagen was the first place I travelled to as a solo traveller, and this of course played a part in the cost. However, it IS possible to do Copenhagen on a budget.

You can often find cheap return flights with Norwegian airline, and you can stay in a really great hostel in the city for as little as £8 a night. Metro tickets to the city from the airport are also cheap, and it’s easily walkable once you are there! Instead of eating at restaurants, check out Papirøen food market for endless tasty and affordable options!

Hostel recommendation: Copenhagen Downtown Hostel

4. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is an incredible city that has so much to offer. Not only do you have the city and the beach within walking distance, you also have amazing parks and hikes, great food and even better nightlife. The public transport makes getting around super affordable, as you can buy a metro ticket of 10 journeys for €10 (including getting to and from the airport), plus there are SO many amazing restaurants that are pretty cheap for a city too.

3. Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland’s gorgeous city of Edinburgh is another affordable destination that has so much to offer. You can find pretty cheap flights to Edinburgh with easyJet, and there are plenty of affordable accommodation options. There is so much to see simply from wandering around the city, and if you head there in December you can also visit the Christmas markets too!

2. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is easily one of the best cities in Europe for so many reasons. You can find so many hostels and AirBnB’s in the Jewish quarter that are really cheap and the location is great for getting around on foot. Everything in Budapest is very affordable, from the thermal baths, to taxis, restaurants and bars, so you can really make the most of your visit to this city. A favourite restaurant was Mazel Tov, and if you want a cool place to have cheap drinks, you have to visit Szimpla Kert ruin bar.

Hostel recommendation: Vitae Hostel, Budapest

1. Krakow, Poland

Although Budapest is insanely cheap, the number one spot for a budget weekend away HAS to go to Krakow, Poland. Again, not only are flights and accommodation ridiculously affordable, everything else is too! Restaurants, taxis, bars and entry tickets to top attractions are very cheap here. Of course, Krakow is also a destination with a lot of history, so while you can save a lot of money in the city, I’d recommend paying to do a guided tour of Auschwitz. You can visit for free if you make your own way there, but the guided tour really didn’t cost a lot and it was so worth it, because the guide was so knowledgeable.