How to Find Budget Accommodation in Europe
The world is an incredible place with so many diverse places and sights to see. From the deserts of Namibia to the mighty Himalayas to the majestic Amazon rainforest. These are the trips of a lifetime that are worth saving up for if you can afford it, but there are places a little closer to home that have a huge amount to offer.
European city breaks offer a great way to unwind at the same time as exploring a culture that's new and yet familiar. With so many fantastic city destinations to choose from there really is a lot of choice, but prices in Europe are also some of the highest in the world.
There are though options for budget travellesr to help keep costs down and below we share our top tips for how you can stay in places in Europe on a budget (including some of the most expensive cities)!
How to Stay in Europe Cheaply
Here are some of the best places to stay without breaking the bank:
Budget Hotels & Guest Houses
Hotels will usually be the most expensive option in terms of accommodation but if you book in advance, or last minute there are still lots of great deals to be had. We recommend using a comparison website to search and compare the best deals. You might also want to choose to stay outside of city centre locations where prices will be cheaper.
- Search hotels in Europe: Booking.com
Hostels are rather more affordable than hotels especially if you choose to stay in a dorm. Don't be put off by the name hostel, no longer are European hostels run down and badly looked after. There are some of the best hostels in the world in this continent with modern high tech facilities and free wifi! Some of the best hostels in Europe also offer free food and drink which will keep costs down. Whether you want to take a gap year in Europe, or are keen for a cheap city break, hostels offer a great cheap alternative to hotels.
- Find hostels in Europe: Hostelbookers
Okay this is rather left field, but why not take a tent and camp? This might seem rediculous but it offers a fun way to stay for the fraction of the price of a hotel. It is also sometimes a lot of fun as you will experience something different and meet similar travellers. For certain festivals and times of the year it can also be the only option e.g. Oktoberfest.
A good way to reduce the cost of hotels and hostels is to literally sleep where you travel. You could buy or rent a campervan in advance and then hit the road!
Booking your own appartment or AirBnB is all the rage now and for good reason. Rather than stay in a bog standard hotel room or dorm get a whole appartment for possibly just slighlty more.
Book a Tour
If you pre-book a group tour of Europe and accommodation is included in the price! You don't need to worry about finding somewhere to stay, or which area is best, you will get every organised in advance and get an experienced guide to take you to the best places.
Couchsurfing is a huge community where you can contact other travellers and go and stay with them for free. It isn't as scary as it sounds - honestly!
Finding Affordable Places to Stay in Popular Cities
Here we share advice for staying on the cheap in some of the most visited (and expensive) Europen cities. We have also shared some sightseeing tips too:
Barcelona is the city that has it all. From spectacular architecture, including the world famous, yet still unfinished, Sagrada Familia to relaxing beaches, and so many bars, restaurants and things to do.
Barcelona is also world famous for another thing, its football team. Barcelona have battled their arch rivals Real Madrid for dominance for many decades, not only in their own league but in the world of football. Camp Nou tours are regular, affordable and great fun, although we can't promise that you'll get to meet Lionel Messi.
Due to the city being so appealing, prices for accommodation here are really high especially if you want to stay central in an area like Las Ramblas. Book in advance, consider an appartment or search the best cheap hostels in Barcelona.
Don’t forget to sample the culinary wonders while exploring the city too. Traditional Catalan cuisine will blow you away with its flavours. There are a lot of places that serve Tapas, tasty seafood Paella, and the mouth-watering Escalivada. Be sure to also try Mató Crema Catalana before leaving this gorgeous city.
Amsterdam is a city that's every in one. Sometimes quiet and relaxing, such as when floating on a boat along a city centre canal, and at times it is raucous and in your face. It's certainly never dull. It's also a city full of art, being home to the world famous Vincent Van Gogh. If tulips are more your thing than sunflowers, then the Bloemenmarkt(flower market) simply has to be seen to be believed. Amsterdam is also a city that appreciates history. The Anne Frank House is a must-visit if you are exploring the city. The museum will take you right back to the World War II era, allowing you to get a glimpse of Anne Frank’s struggles and experience what she told in her diary.
Amsterdam offers memories that will always stay with you, and yet it's just a short hop from the UK. It has a large selection of serviced apartments just waiting for you, however long you're staying for. Alternative options for short budgets include staying cheap backpacker hostels in Amsterdam.
By visiting Amsterdam you can experience the ambience and explore places like the popular Vondelpark. This park was first built in the 19th century and has been the gem of Amsterdam since. There is an open-air theatre with plenty of stunning performances; timing your visit to the park correctly can be incredibly rewarding.
Paris is perhaps the most famous city on earth, and there's one quality above all others that it has become associated with; love. From Seine River cruises, to tours of Notre Dame, and having your picture painted in the Latin Quarter, it's a city that energises and beguiles. If you want to propose to your loved one, there really is no better place to do it in, and if you're single or looking for love, then who knows who you could bump into at the Louvre, or in one of its many charming cafes and bookshops.
The city of amour is one that you can't help but fall in love with, which is why people return to Paris again and again. Romance, however, isn’t the city’s only charm. Paris is also a place with some of the best museums in the world. Not taking the time to explore them would be a waste of a great and memorable trip.
You are certainly familiar with the Louvre Museum and its majestic art collection. Aside from the Louvre, visiting Musée d’Orsay, the National Museum of Modern Art, and Musée du quaiBranly is also highly recommended. The latter features artefacts from other regions, including Asia and Africa. There are thematic exhibitions at certain times, along with over 400,000 artefacts that are on permanent display.
But Paris is also one of the most expensive cities in the world and money doesn't really go far in terms of what you get. A basic hotel room in summer for example can easily be £100 per night. We recommend booking well in advance for hotels or read reviews and book cheap hostels in Paris.
Barcelona, Amsterdam and Paris are three of the best cities to visit in Europe, although are some of the most pricey. Each city in Europe offers a different experience, yet they all have a huge amount to offer, from spectacular sights to events and activities to suit all tastes. These cities like others in Europe have a large selection of serviced apartments available, and budget accommodation options (as discussed above) for every type of traveller to help keep costs down.
So what are you waiting for, view our Europe travel guide and start planning a trip today.