If you’re dreaming of a European adventure but concerned about the pricey travel expenses, don’t worry. You can still turn your dream into a reality by taking advantage of the best travel deals under $500 for Europe. Whether you opt for budget airlines or discounted accommodations, there are plenty of ways to make your European journey both affordable and enjoyable.
This post will highlight some of the best travel deals under $500 for Europe as well as the top destination to travel to, giving you the information you need to plan your dream trip without overspending. Selecting a single destination to visit in Europe can be a challenging task, given the abundance of stunning travel spots to choose from.
For budget-conscious travelers, we have some great ideas that can help you plan an unforgettable and affordable vacation. These cheap vacation recommendations can cost around $500 or less for two people on a multi-day adventure. Thankfully, gone are the days when traveling to Europe most especially from the US was a luxury reserved for the wealthy.
In the past, a minimum of $1000 was necessary to have a successful trip to Europe, making it an expensive endeavor. When you factor in the cost of accommodations, transportation within your destination, and some shopping, even $3000 was not always enough for a round trip from the US to Europe. However, nowadays, it’s possible to make the trip with $500 or less without having to sacrifice your comfort.
Over the years, the number of airlines offering travel options to Europe has increased, leading to stiff competition and a subsequent decrease in prices to attract more travelers. Additionally, the reduction in fuel prices has also contributed to the lowering of airfares. Nevertheless, finding a way to travel to Europe for under $500 isn’t always easy. To help, we’ve compiled a list of ways to get to Europe on a budget of $500 or less, including some fantastic travel deals under $500 for Europe that can make your dream trip a reality.
Are you thinking about visiting Settle? For an amazing adventure, check out our list of the best things to do in Settle (Yorkshire, England)
Here are way to achieve the best travel deals under $500 for Europe:
When it comes to traveling to Europe on a budget, utilizing budget airlines is one of the most effective methods. Although they may not offer the same level of luxury and comfort as some of the pricier airlines, they do provide a cost-effective and convenient way to move between destinations.
Popular budget airlines in Europe include Ryanair, EasyJet, and Wizz Air. By booking your flights in advance and being open to flexible travel dates, you can often find flights for less than $100, enabling you to explore multiple cities or even countries without breaking the bank. This is one of the best ways to get travel deals under $500 for Europe.
If you’re looking to keep your European adventure on a budget, there are a variety of ways to save money on accommodations. Hostels are a popular choice for backpackers and those traveling on a budget, providing an opportunity to connect with other travelers, share experiences, and save money on lodging. Furthermore, many hostels offer private rooms and other amenities, ensuring that you don’t have to compromise comfort for cost.
Another possibility is to make use of services like Airbnb or Couchsurfing, which offer affordable and distinctive accommodations in local neighborhoods. These are just a few examples of the travel deals under $500 for Europe that can make your trip more affordable.
City Passes and Tourist Cards
To stretch your budget further while traveling in Europe, consider purchasing city passes or tourist cards. These passes provide discounts or free entry to many of the top tourist destinations, museums, and other attractions in a particular city or region. Popular choices include the Paris Museum Pass, the Barcelona City Pass, and the Vienna Pass.
Buying these passes ahead of time can help you save money and avoid lengthy queues at popular attractions, enabling you to make the most of your time and resources. These happen to be some of the few examples of the travel deals under $500 for Europe that can help you get the most out of your trip without breaking the bank.
What Are The Affordable Places to Visit in Europe on a Budget?
If you’re dreaming of a European vacation but concerned about the expense, there’s no need to worry. While some cities may be costly, there are plenty of charming and affordable destinations that offer all the European charm you could wish for without breaking the bank.
Places like Ljubljana, Porto, Budapest, and Berlin offer rich culture, breathtaking architecture, and delectable cuisine, all at a fraction of the cost of pricier European capitals. These are just a few examples of the affordable places to visit in Europe on a budget, part of the many travel deals under $500 for Europe that can help you make your dream trip a reality.
With the right approach, it’s possible to explore some of Europe’s most desirable and notoriously expensive destinations without going over budget. By taking advantage of the right travel deals under $500 for Europe, it’s possible to score affordable flights from the United States to major cities like Paris or London. Once you’ve arrived, getting around Europe can be relatively cheap, thanks to budget airlines and other affordable transportation options.
Even large cities like Paris or London offer a wide range of accommodations to suit various budgets, so there’s no need to break the bank to find a place to stay. With a bit of research and planning, you can enjoy all the experiences of these amazing cities without sacrificing your budget. For budget-conscious travelers, one of the best ways to save money in Europe is by shopping at local markets for food.
A picnic of wine, fresh bread, and cheese from a Parisian market under the Eiffel Tower can be a memorable experience. Additionally, many museums, churches, and other attractions in Europe offer free or low-cost admission. You can look out for free entry days or tourist cards that offer access to multiple attractions for a single fee.
This is a great way to maximize your budget and experience all that Europe has to offer. Before purchasing a tourist pass or city card, it’s wise to calculate the cost of the included attractions to ensure that it is a cost-effective option. However, reducing your budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the quality of your trip.
In fact, by spending less, you can experience local cultures in a more authentic way. Imagine staying in a charming Irish farmhouse, admiring masterpieces in Rome, or indulging in delicious Spanish delicacies. These are not just tricks for budget-conscious travelers, but they also create memorable and unforgettable travel experiences.
Are you thinking about visiting Cyprus? For an amazing adventure, check out our list of the top most amazing places to visit when touring Cyprus.
Here are some of the destinations for an affordable European vacation:
If you’re looking for affordable places to visit in Europe on a budget, consider traveling to Bavaria where you can find travel deals under $500 for Europe. Book a stay at Burg Colmberg, a 14th-century castle perched on a rocky crag above a small village, offering an array of rooms tucked away in hidden nooks and crannies.
While you’re there, don’t miss the chance to see the picturesque Neuschwanstein Castle, which sits atop a mountain, as well as Hohenschwangau, the more modest castle where “Mad King” Ludwig II lived. While Neuschwanstein Castle may be grander and more ornate, Hohenschwangau is steeped in history and offers a cozy, homely atmosphere.
Looking for travel deals under $500 for Europe? Consider staying in a prehistoric trullo in Alberobello, Puglia, Italy. These cylindrical whitewashed houses with cone-shaped roofs of stacked gray stones are a unique and affordable accommodation option. Trullidea, a local entrepreneur, has renovated many abandoned trulli and rents them to visitors.
In addition to the trulli, Puglia’s forested Gargano Peninsula offers affordable places to visit in Europe on a budget. This area is popular with sun-loving Italians but remains refreshingly off the tourist map, providing a glimpse of what the Amalfi Coast was like before it became overrun with hotshots and high prices.
For tourists seeking travel deals under $500 for Europe or affordable places to visit in Europe on a budget, Budapest, the capital of Hungary, presents an excellent option. Despite being equally charming as other popular European destinations, Budapest offers budget-friendly attractions such as the Hungarian Parliament Building and Fisherman’s Bastion. Additionally, there are several affordable lodging, dining, and nightlife options in the city. Even the century-old thermal baths, known for their beautiful architecture, can be visited without spending a lot of money.
Looking for travel deals under $500 for Europe? Why not take a break from the sizzling Costa del Sol beaches and explore the affordable places to visit in Europe on a budget. For instance, you could embark on a self-guided driving tour along the route of the Pueblos Blancos, a string of clifftop, whitewashed villages stretching from Arcos de la Frontera to Ronda. Alternatively, consider a stay in Seville, the capital of Andalusia, where you can marvel at the beautiful architecture, catch a flamenco dancing performance, and indulge in classic tapas.
If you’re looking for travel deals under $500 for Europe or affordable places to visit in Europe on a budget, consider Berlin. This city boasts Cold War mystique, modern architecture, and a thriving gallery and restaurant scene. With its cosmopolitan and edgy atmosphere, it’s no surprise that Berlin has become a cultural hub of central Europe, attracting both creative types and savvy travelers. To start your trip, head to the trendy Mitte district, conveniently located near major attractions like the Reichstag and Potsdamer Platz.
Bath and the Cotswolds, England
The Cotswolds’ delightful villages resemble something out of a fairy tale, especially Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold, and Bourton-on-the-Water, which are among the most charming. Although there are plenty of inns and pubs dotted throughout the small towns, we recommend staying in Bath instead, a picturesque city that dates back to the Roman era, due to the range of lodgings available.
While in Bath, don’t miss the opportunity to see the Royal Crescent, Pulteney Bridge, Bath Abbey, and, of course, the historic Roman baths. The best part is that Bath is less than two hours away from London by train, making it an ideal weekend getaway from the city.
For budget-conscious travelers looking for travel deals under $500 for Europe, Istanbul offers a plethora of affordable places to visit. While many of the city’s major state-run museums may have hefty admission fees, there are still plenty of budget-friendly options for exploring Istanbul’s rich cultural heritage. For example, the Great Palace Mosaic Museum, located just behind the Blue Mosque adjacent to the Arasta Bazaar, offers a fascinating glimpse into everyday life in antiquity for only 60 Turkish lira (approximately $4).
Featuring delightful mosaic scenes depicting hunts, myths, animal battles, and more, the Great Palace Mosaic Museum is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in the history of the Byzantine Empire. These mosaics once covered the floor of a large courtyard of the Palatium Magnum, the Great Palace built between the time of Constantine the Great himself and Justinian I in the fourth to early sixth centuries.
If you’re looking for even more affordable places to visit in Europe on a budget, you can also take advantage of the city’s ferry system to cruise the continents for a reasonable price. With so many amazing attractions to discover in Istanbul, it’s easy to enjoy a fulfilling and memorable trip without spending much.
Discover the stunning architectural works of Jože Plecnik, a local genius who brought his unique Secessionist Art Nouveau style from Vienna (via Prague) to reimagine his hometown, all while staying within your budget with travel deals under $500 for Europe. Similar to Gaudí’s influence on Barcelona, Plecnik’s intricate designs extend to even the smallest details, such as the Pegasus door handles at the entrance of the National and University Library.
Explore his creations throughout Ljubljana, including the bustling central market, the picturesque Triple Bridge, and the charming café-lined riverbanks, all while keeping your travel expenses low by seeking out affordable places to visit in Europe on a budget. Additionally, don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the city’s delectable yet inexpensive dining scene, and take advantage of the public transportation system to visit nearby Lake Bled for a day trip at a small fee.
Check out our guide about Velvet Escape travel blog!
The Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
If you’re looking for travel deals under $500 for Europe, consider skipping the overexposed island of Hvar and checking out the walled medieval village on the Adriatic island of Korcula, which is purported to be the home of Marco Polo. Korcula is a great option for those on a budget as it is more of a day-trip destination, meaning that tourist crowds reduce considerably by sundown, allowing you to relax in cafés and stroll the narrow alleys without too much fuss.
Additionally, while every old city in Europe has an Old City historic district, Split is unique in that it has the only downtown actually carved from the carcass of an ancient Roman palace, making it an affordable place to visit in Europe on a budget. When the emperor Diocletian left his throne in A.D. 305, he built a lavish palace on the Croatian coast to live out his days as head of the empire’s eastern half. In the 1,700 years since, the ruins of his enormous structure have been colonized by the locals, the buildings turned into medieval town houses, and the emperor’s tomb transformed into the cathedral.
Looking for travel deals under $500 for Europe? Consider indulging in affordable French cuisine during lunchtime to save some money. Many cafes and restaurants offer cheaper menus at midday, and a Parisian picnic can be a great option. You can explore a local market for a wide variety of cheese and wine or try a simple yet delicious crepe from a stand.
If you’re planning to visit top museums and attractions in Paris, you may want to invest in a Paris Museum Pass, especially if you’re looking for affordable places to visit in Europe on a budget. For a set fee (depending on the number of days purchased), you can gain access to famous tourist spots like Sainte-Chapelle, the Louvre, the Pantheon, the Musée Rodin, the Arc de Triomphe, and more, while skipping the ticket lines.
County Clare, Ireland
If you want to steer clear of the crowded Ring of Kerry, head north to County Clare instead. This region boasts some of the most stunning natural wonders, including the Cliffs of Moher, which soar over 700 feet above the churning Atlantic. The Burren, with its surreal limestone formations and prehistoric tombs, is another must-see attraction.
And don’t miss the charming village of Doolin, which has gained a reputation as a hub of traditional Celtic music. In the evenings, make sure to stop by one of the local pubs for a hearty and reasonably priced Irish meal, and perhaps even catch some live music if you’re lucky.
For travelers seeking budget-friendly options, Rome is an excellent destination, with many free attractions and affordable places to visit. You can easily find travel deals under $500 for Europe, and by exploring the city, you can discover hidden gems like the Santa Maria del Popolo church, which houses works by famous artists such as Raphael, Bernini, and Caravaggio.
In addition to the churches, you can also explore popular landmarks like the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps without spending a dime. Some museums in Rome offer free entry days, so it’s worth checking their websites to plan your visit accordingly. When looking for affordable places to visit in Europe on a budget, Rome should definitely be on your list.
If you’re looking for affordable places to visit in Europe on a budget with travel deals under $500 for Europe, Porto in northern Portugal is a great option. Among the favorite European cities of Travelpediaonline readers, Porto offers beautiful Art Deco architecture, delicious port wine, and a walkable city where you won’t have to spend a lot of money on. Additionally, taking a day trip to the stunning vineyard region of the Douro Valley along the Douro River is well worth the journey.
Check out our list of the best hidden gem beach towns in Europe!
Planning a trip to Europe on a budget is not as challenging as it once was. By taking advantage of the various travel deals under $500 for Europe and the affordable places to visit in Europe on a budget, it’s possible to enjoy all that Europe has to offer without overspending. With budget airlines, discounted accommodations, and free or low-cost attractions, you can make your European adventure a reality.
Also, with flexibility in your travel dates and thorough research, it is possible to craft a travel guide plan that meets your budget and enables you to experience the exciting adventure that Europe has to offer. So start planning today and get ready to create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime!