8 cheapest cities in Eastern Europe you have to visit

8 cheapest cities in Eastern Europe you have to visit

Traveling to Europe can be expensive, especially with our currency *cries in Ringgit*. But, if Europe is on top of your list for the long year-end school holiday, why not consider visiting one of the countries in Eastern Europe? Yes, London and Paris sound fabulous but the Eastern Europe region is changing fast and full of quaint charm waiting to be explored. 

The best part is? It’s generally more budget-friendly, with city destinations that are much more affordable than Western Europe! The cities are usually more charming and laidback too, with plenty of free attractions to stretch that budget further! So, pack your bags — here are some of the best places you can visit without breaking your bank. 

Budapest, Hungary

When it comes to beautiful architecture and colorful culture, Hungary’s capital has the best of both worlds. Budapest is becoming increasingly popular among travelers who want to dip their toes in an Eastern European city. It’s easy to reach and tourist-friendly. From the neo-Gothic splendor of the Parliament building to its legendary ruin bars, Budapest is effortlessly charming. It’s also perfect for budget travelers as many of its sights are free or inexpensive. Stroll along the banks of the Danube river, slurp a bowl of hot goulash or hike up to the neo-Romanesque Fisherman’s Bastion for a majestic view of the city.

 

Rough costs

One person meal: From RM20

Accommodation: From RM60. Check Traveloka to see your options.

Local transportation (one-way ticket): RM5

Getting there: Most flights from Kuala Lumpur require a layover en route to Budapest (BUD), and are served by airlines such as Emirates and Finnair. Search flights to Budapest on Traveloka to see the cheapest days to fly.

 

Bratislava, Slovakia

If you’re a 90’s kid, you might remember the movie Eurotrip where the city was featured. We promise the city is nothing like its portrayal in the movie. Surrounded by vineyards and the Little Carpathian mountains, the city is crisscrossed with forested hiking and cycling trails. The city is perfect for budget backpackers as you can easily walk around its main landmarks. The pedestrian-only, 18th-century old town is well known for its lively bars and cafes. Cheap and plenty of cute cafes? Sign us up! 

 

Rough costs

One person meal: From RM28

Accommodation: From RM60. Check Traveloka to see your options.

Local transportation (one-way ticket): RM4.50

Getting there: While there are no direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Bratislava at the moment, you can search for flights to Europe on Traveloka to see the cheapest days for flying. 

 

Krakow, Poland

Architecture and history fans, this city was made for you. Unlike the capital Warsaw, it’s one of the few larger Polish cities that were not damaged during the Second World War, and hence, it’s rich in beautiful historical architecture that spans many centuries. This easy-on-the-wallet city is a haven for budget travelers as all attractions are located in the compact Old Town — this means that it’s walkable so you don’t need to spend on public transportation! In fact, you can easily spend a weekend exploring Krakow. While you’re here, it’s a must to visit the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp.

 

Rough costs

One person meal: From RM27

Accommodation: From RM80. Check Traveloka to see your options.

Local transportation (one-way ticket): RM4.10

Getting there: Most flights from Kuala Lumpur require a layover en route to Krakow (KRK), and are served by airlines such as Emirates and KLM. Search for flights to Krakow on Traveloka to see the cheapest days for flying. 

Dresden, Germany

Germany may not be considered as an Eastern European country, but Dresden is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, so it has a bit of an Eastern influence. Dresden is a city with two different faces and both sides are beautiful. You have the baroque beauty of the Aldstadt (Old Town) and then you have the alternative feel of the Neustadt (New Town). Dresden is perfect for budget travelers as there are plenty of free things to do here. Stroll around the Aldstadt and visit the reconstructed Frauenkirche where you can climb up to the top and enjoy a magnificent view of the city. Cross the river to Dresden’s Neustadt where you’ll find colorful street art, funky restaurants and one of the liveliest nightlife scenes in Germany’s east.

 

Rough costs

One person meal: From RM30

Accommodation: From RM150. Check Traveloka to see your options.

Local transportation (one-way ticket): RM11

Getting there: Most flights from Kuala Lumpur require a layover en route to Dresden (DRS), and are served by airlines such as Lufthansa and KLM. Search for flights to Dresden on Traveloka to see the cheapest days for flying. 

 

Riga, Latvia

Riga may not be a popular tourist destination in Europe (yet!) but this shouldn’t stop you from visiting this beautiful city. Riga is well known for its Art Nouveau architecture, which dates back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. Since Riga is fairly small, you can easily explore the city on foot. Learn more about the history of Latvia at the Museum of the Occupation and the Freedom Monument, which are free to visit. If you’re planning to visit in winter, make sure to bundle up as the temperature could drop to as low as –10 degrees Celsius!

 

Rough costs

One person meal: From RM30

Accommodation: From RM80. Check Traveloka to see your options.

Local transportation (one-way ticket): RM9.20

Getting there: Most flights from Kuala Lumpur require a layover en route to Riga (RIX), and are served by Lufthansa airline. Search for flights to Riga on Traveloka to see the cheapest days for flying. 

 

Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Although the mention of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina might be associated with war and tragedy, the city has recovered and found its inner beauty. Tourism is on the rise and there’s no better time to visit it than now. The reason is obvious — surrounded by forested mountains, the city is tucked inside a valley and everywhere you turn you’ll catch a glimpse of an idyllic picture-perfect backdrop. Wondering if it’s expensive to visit Sarajevo? Compared to Western European countries, you’ll get more spending power with your money. Although, do be warned that the museums are a bit steep in price. But, hey, you can always enjoy the abundant natural beauty around the city for free!

 

Rough costs

One person meal: From RM16

Accommodation: From RM60. Check Traveloka to see your options.

Local transportation (one-way ticket): RM4.30

Getting there: Most flights from Kuala Lumpur require a layover en route to Sarajevo (SJJ), and are served by Lufthansa airline. Search for flights to Sarajevo on Traveloka to see the cheapest days for flying. 

 

Tallinn, Estonia

Can’t afford Copenhagen? Visit Tallinn! For a fraction of the Nordic countries’ price tag, you’ll get the same thing, thanks to its cross-cultural geographical location. The country borders Russia and Latvia and is just south of Finland and east of Sweden across the Baltic Sea, resulting in a unique blend of Eastern and Nordic cultures. It also makes a heaven for foodies as you can find Baltic, Nordic and Russian cuisine easily in Tallinn. From meat dumplings and fermented vegetables to pickled fish, you’ll find what is called “new Nordic” dishes here. Despite its proximity to expensive Nordic countries, the attractions and landmarks in Tallinn are mostly free so you can spend more money on delicious food! Be sure to take in the medieval houses and crumbling remnants of the city wall in the Old Town.

 

Rough costs

One person meal: From RM30

Accommodation: From RM100. Check Traveloka to see your options.

Local transportation (one-way ticket): RM9

Getting there: While there are no direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Tallinn (TLL) at the moment, you can search for flights to Europe on Traveloka to see the cheapest days for flying. 

 

Transylvania, Romania

Transylvania may sound like a place where bloodthirsty vampires and howling wolves live (Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel was set here), but while the blood-sucking creature is a work of fiction, this central Romanian region is a real place. Known as “the land beyond the forest”, cities in this region still have that medieval feel. You’ll find hardwood forests, wildflower meadows, and thermal springs here  — perfect if you’re tired of the more modern cities and want to see how Europe was like 100 years ago. So, pack your garlic cos it’s time to explore Europe’s most captivating region.

 

Rough costs

One person meal: From RM30

Accommodation: From RM100. Check Traveloka to see your options.

Local transportation (one-way ticket): RM1.20

Getting there: While there are no direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Transylvania (TGM) at the moment, you can search for flights to Europe on Traveloka to see the cheapest days for flying. 

 


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