European Capitals Ranked from Cheapest to Most Expensive for Travelers

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Wanderu gathered pricing information about the services and goods that travelers are most likely to spend money on, including hotels, beer, taxi, public transit, food, beer, coffee, and museums. most expensive European capitals

They then used that info to rank European capitals from the most budget-friendly to the most expensive European capitals, using a specific methodology based on travelers’ average spending habits when they visit a new place.

Let’s look at the rankings that will help you figure out where your travel budget will go the furthest:

Cheapest & most expensive capitals in Europe.

You can already see a pattern emerging. Eastern European countries generally offer the best value to travellers. There’s no shortage of scenic and historic attractions; and for those who love the party scene, there’s tons of vibrant nightlife to enjoy. So, although you may not know too much about Skopje or Yerevan, that doesn’t mean your budget holiday to these destinations won’t be action-packed.

On the other end of the scale, we have Northern and Western Europe with its high cost of living – but if price isn’t your primary deciding factor, there are unique experiences to enjoy. After all, a cruise down a Norwegian fjord or a view of the Northern Lights from Iceland might be expensive, but it’s still the experience of a lifetime.


How Do European Capitals in Different Regions Rank?

As a traveler who is out to see a little more of the world, you’ll probably want to explore more than one country and travel as widely as you can within the region you’ve chosen to tour.

In fact, the best part of bus and train travel in Europe is that it allows you to visit many different countries relatively quickly and for very cheap.

So, the question here is: where should you spend the most time in any region of Europe if your budget is a little tight? Let’s find that out:

Western Europe’s most expensive European capitals

Cheapest & most expensive capitals in Western Europe.

While Brussels isn’t exactly cheap, it’s the most affordable of the Western European capitals for travelers. Monaco, on the other hand, will eat up a bigger chunk of your budget with hotel and meal costs that easily outstrip any other Western European destination. So maybe a day trip to Monaco would be your best bet if you don’t feel like ballin’ out.

However, your choices will also be influenced by the things you like to see and do. Needless to say, marijuana enthusiasts should definitely head to Amsterdam and indulge into the huge variety of coffee shops selling different types of weed goods at pretty decent prices. And although Paris may have relatively high accommodation costs, public transport, taxis, and food are reasonably priced for the region.

Northern Europe’s most expensive European capitals

Cheapest & most expensive capitals in Northern Europe.

As we already established, Northern Europe will make for a pricey European holiday – unless you choose Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania, that is.

Iceland is consistently among the costliest destinations for everything from hotels to a warming cup of coffee. However, the awesome thing about Iceland is that you can pitch a tent basically anywhere in the wilderness and camp for free. However, you should always use designated campsites where they do exist. Check out this resource from the Environment Agency of Iceland for more info on where you can camp. That’s a pretty sweet perk since hiking and exploring the incredible nature of Iceland is easily one of the best things to do there. While there are no buses or trains to get you there (duh!), flights are pretty cheap, and you can easily book your transfer from Keflavík International Airport to Reykjavik on Wanderu!

By Northern European standards, Stockholm and Oslo aren’t too bad. If you want to see the Northern Lights, both Sweden and Norway extend well into the Arctic Circle and a visit to Northern Sweden could probably cost you less than a trip to Iceland.

Central Europe’s most expensive European capitals

Cheapest & most expensive capitals in Central Europe.

Central Europe offers us everything from famed capitals to spots most of your friends will not have heard of. But just because it’s relatively obscure that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be budget-friendly. Just look at Liechtenstein’s ranking. It may be the sixth-smallest country in the world but taking in the sights could be a costly exercise.

Meanwhile, the much more affordable Zagreb in Croatia offers you more historic buildings than you can shake a selfie stick at for a much lower overall cost. But despite this, Bratislava (a.k.a. the most affordable capital in Central Europe) offers the cheapest hotel costs, while the reasonably affordable Budapest has hotel prices that are nearly as high as those you’d pay in Liechtenstein’s Vaduz! Nevertheless, Budapest will give you very affordable transport, food and beverage prices.

Weigh your options and zero in on the destinations you’ll love. Now look for ways to economize. For example, if you save on hotel costs, that trip to Budapest may not be as expensive as it might seem.

Eastern Europe

Cheapest & most expensive capitals in Eastern Europe.

Once again, it’s worth looking at more than the overall picture. For instance, while Macedonia’s Skopje is the cheapest capital in this region overall (and in all of Europe!), its food, beverage, and museum admission costs are higher than those in some other capital cities in the region, including Ankara, Pristina, and Kiev.

And everything is relative. On the regional listing, Kiev is the most expensive Eastern European destination, but as European destinations go, it’s mid-priced and will still cost you far less than a visit to Rome, London, or Paris.

Southern Europe most expensive European capitals

Cheapest & most expensive capitals in Southern Europe.

Southern Europe offers some surprises. If you thought a stay in Athens, Greece was going to cost you less than a sojourn in Rome and Madrid, think again! Having said that, hotel prices in Malta’s capital, Valletta, are substantially higher than they are in Athens, or anywhere else in the region.

Lisbon is a hands-down winner when it comes to affordability on all counts but one: hotel prices. Unfortunately, as accommodation eats up about 42% of a traveler’s budget, it’s not ranked higher on our list because of that very reason. However, food and transportation costs should more than make up for that, and if you can score a room for less than the average price, you could hit a cost-saving home run. Also, Lisbon is the European city that has the cheapest concert tickets, so if you can combine your visit with seeing your favorite performer live, you’ll definitely come out on top!

European Travel Cost Analysis by Item most expensive European capitals

The cost of your European holiday will depend, not only on your destination but also on your personal tastes and your situation. For example, you may have friends who will let you do a little couch surfing that eliminates hotel costs. Or perhaps you don’t plan to eat out often so that restaurant meal costs are less of a factor in your decision-making.

Whatever the case, let’s take a closer look at European travel costs by the item to see what destinations you should put on your itinerary based on the factors that are most important to you:


Hotel prices across Europe.
# City Country Hotel Rate
1. Skopje Macedonia $62.91
2. Podgorica Montenegro $67.12
3. Pristina Kosovo $70.34
4. Yerevan Armenia $72.54
5. Minsk Belarus $73.55
6. Chisinau Moldova $74.15
7. Tirana Albania $76.16
8. Sofia Bulgaria $79.77
9. Bucharest Romania $82.27
10. Belgrade Serbia $83.18
11. Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina $88.30
12. Bratislava Slovakia $90.30
13. Nicosia Cyprus $91.61
14. Zagreb Croatia $95.32
15. Ankara Turkey $97.03
16. Warsaw Poland $111.48
17. Vilnius Lithuania $113.48
18. Andorra la Vella Andorra $115.89
19. San Marino San Marino $117.77
20. Tbilisi Georgia $129.04
21. Moscow Russia $133.75
22. Brussels Belgium $140.88
23. Baku Azerbaijan $143.38
24. Ljubljana Slovenia 145.19
25. Luxembourg City Luxembourg $147.09
26. Berlin Germany $149
27. Madrid Spain $154.12
28. Kiev Ukraine $164.76
29. Vaduz Liechtenstein $167.90
30. Budapest Hungary $168.07
31. Bern Switzerland $169.28
32. Riga Latvia $169.67
33. Prague Czech Republic $175.49
34. Rome Italy $181.41
35. Tallinn Estonia $193.45
36. Vienna Austria $194.76
37. Athens Greece $201.49
38. Oslo Norway $203.18
39. Lisbon Portugal $205.99
40. Stockholm Sweden $213.22
41. Valletta Malta $233.89
42. Helsinki Finland $267.91
43. Copenhagen Denmark $271.11
44. Paris France $296.10
45. London United Kingdom $314.36
46. Amsterdam The Netherlands $316.57
47. Dublin Ireland $328.10
48. Reykjavik Iceland $371.65
49. Monaco Monaco $456.55

Hotel costs account for a large portion of most people’s travel budgets and they can be a deciding factor on whether or not one ends up visiting a certain destination.

For instance, a taste of jet-set living in Monaco will be costly, even if you choose a relatively average hotel. Since you can’t bet on winning big at Monaco’s casinos, a budget-friendly holiday in Eastern Europe will definitely get you more bang for your buck.

Regardless of your destination, you can use our average hotel price guide to look for good accommodation deals. Save on this line-item, and the overall cost of your holiday will be considerably lower than you might expect.

Public Transit

Public transit fares across Europe.
# City Country Transit Fare
1. Chisinau Moldova $0.12
2. Kiev Ukraine $0.19
3. Yerevan Armenia $0.21
Tbilisi Georgia $0.21
4. Minsk Belarus $0.30
5. Bucharest Romania $0.35
6. Tirana Albania $0.37
7. Pristina Kosovo $0.47
8. Ankara Turkey $0.57
9. Zagreb Croatia $0.63
10. Skopje Macedonia (FYROM) $0.67
11. Moscow Russia $0.88
12. Baku Azerbaijan $0.89
Belgrade Serbia $0.89
13. Sofia Bulgaria $0.96
14. Podgorica Montenegro $1.05
Bratislava Slovakia $1.05
15. Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina $1.08
16. Prague Czech Republic $1.09
17. Vilnius Lithuania $1.17
18. Warsaw Poland $1.19
19. Budapest Hungary $1.26
20. Riga Latvia $1.35
21. Ljubljana Slovenia $1.40
22. Athens Greece $1.64
23. Lisbon Portugal $1.70
24. Nicosia Cyprus $1.76
Madrid Spain $1.76
Rome Italy $1.76
Valletta Malta $1.76
25. Andorra la Vella Andorra $2.11
26. Paris France $2.22
27. Tallinn Estonia $2.34
Monaco Monaco $2.34
Luxembourg City Luxembourg $2.34
28. Brussels Belgium $2.46
29. Vienna Austria $2.81
30. Dublin Ireland $3.16
31. Berlin Germany $3.28
32. London United Kingdom $3.28
33. Amsterdam The Netherlands $3.39
34. Helsinki Finland $3.51
35. Copenhagen Denmark $3.77
36. Stockholm Sweden $4.08
37. Bern Switzerland $4.24
38. Oslo Norway $4.31
39. Reykjavik Iceland $4.33
40. Vaduz Liechtenstein $4.54

Public transport in Europe is invariably excellent, and since you’ll want to get around a bit, it may be a bigger part of your travel budget than initially planned. Look out for ways to save. For instance, although Stockholm has the 5th highest single-ticket transport prices, a Stockholm Pass gives you cheap metro access and free entry to several tourist attractions you will not want to miss.

Then again, Chisinau in Moldova has super-cheap (and highly recommended) public transport, and who would want to miss a chance to tour the city by trolley bus?


Meal cost across Europe.
# City Country Meal Cost
1. Ankara Turkey $7.30
2. Pristina Kosovo $8.78
3. Skopje Macedonia (FYROM) $9.50
4. Kiev Ukraine $9.57
5. Tbilisi Georgia $10.28
6. Baku Azerbaijan $11.84
7. Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina $11.97
8. Chisinau Moldova $12.09
9. Yerevan Armenia $12.60
10. Tirana Albania $12.87
11. Sofia Bulgaria $13.46
12. Podgorica Montenegro $14.63
13. Belgrade Serbia $14.88
14. Bucharest Romania $15.08
15. Prague Czech Republic $15.84
16. Budapest Hungary $16.24
17. Warsaw Poland $16.29
18. Bratislava Slovakia $17.55
19. Minsk Belarus $17.64
20. Zagreb Croatia $19
21. Andorra la Vella Andorra $19.01
22. Moscow Russia $19.96
23. Vilnius Lithuania $20.48
Riga Latvia $20.48
Ljubljana Slovenia $20.48
Lisbon Portugal $20.48
24. Athens Greece $23.40
Madrid Spain $23.40
Tallinn Estonia $23.40
San Marino San Marino $23.40
25. Berlin Germany $24.57
26. Vienna Austria $26.33
27. Nicosia Cyprus $29.25
Rome Italy $29.25
28. Paris France $32.18
29. London United Kingdom $32.82
30. Valletta Malta $35.10
Brussels Belgium $35.10
Dublin Ireland $35.10
Amsterdam The Netherlands $35.10
31. Stokholm Sweden $39.73
32. Luxembourg City Luxembourg $40.95
Helsinki Finland $40.95
33. Copenhagen Denmark $47.09
34. Oslo Norway $49.26
35. Bern Switzerland $50.37
36. Vaduz Liechtenstein $50.40
37. Reykjavik Iceland $56.43
38. Monaco Monaco $58.50

No matter where you are, you do need to eat. Don’t be taken by surprise if a relatively average restaurant meal in Monaco sets you back a whopping $56. If you’re not a big spender when it comes to eating out, head to Turkey’s Ankara, where the cuisine is equally tasty (if not even tastier) and comes at just a fraction of the price.

For those who have “expensive” cities like Bern, Oslo, or Reykjavik on their bucket list, here’s a red-hot tip: choose hotels where breakfast is included and make breakfast the main meal of your day just like your mom always said you should!

However, one of the best parts about traveling across Europe is getting to experience the amazing local cuisine and trying out dishes that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Europe is definitely a foodie’s paradise, so you might want to actually splurge on this aspect of your trip.


Cost of beer across Europe.
# City Country Beer Price
1. Baku Azerbaijan $0.89
2. Kiev Ukraine $0.96
3. Chisinau Moldova $0.97
4. Tbilisi Georgia $1.03
5. Sofia Bulgaria $1.19
6. Yerevan Armenia $1.26
7. Tirana Albania $1.39
8. Minsk Belarus $1.54
9. Prague Czech Republic $1.58
10. Moscow Russia $1.59
11. Podgorica Montenegro $1.76
Pristina Kosovo $1.76
Bucharest Romania $1.76
12. Budapest Hungary $1.77
13. Belgrade Serbia $1.79
14. Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina $1.80
15. Skopje Macedonia (FYROM) $1.90
16. Bratislava Slovakia $1.99
17. Lisbon Portugal $2.05
18. Zagreb Croatia $2.38
19. Ankara Turkey $2.50
20. Warsaw Poland $2.62
21. Andorra la Vella Andorra $2.93
Ljubljana Slovenia $2.93
Riga Latvia $2.93
22. Vilnius Lithuania $3.51
Madrid Spain $3.51
Valletta Malta $3.51
23. Nicosia Cyprus $4.10
San Marino San Marino $4.10
Berlin Germany $4.10
24. Tallinn Estonia $4.39
25. Vienna Austria $4.56
26. Brussels Belgium $4.68
Athens Greece $4.68
27. Amsterdam The Netherlands $5.27
28. Luxembourg City Luxembourg $5.85
Rome Italy $5.85
29. Vaduz Liechtenstein $6.05
Bern Switzerland $6.05
30. Dublin Ireland $6.08
31. Monaco Monaco $6.14
32. London United Kingdom $6.56
33. Stockholm Sweden $6.81
34. Copenhagen Denmark $7.07
35. Helsinki Finland $8.19
Paris France $8.19
36. Oslo Norway $10.47
37. Reykjavik Iceland $11.28

There’s nothing like chilling out with a tall glass of cold beer after a day of adventure and excitement. In Northern Europe, the price of alcohol is influenced by the heavy taxes that are levied on just about everything. No surprise then that Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden have some of the most expensive beer in the world.

In Eastern Europe, on the other hand, a cold one at a bar will likely cost you less than a bottle of beer from the supermarket in most other places. Now that’s something worth drinking for. Cheers!


Cost of coffee across Europe.
# City Country Coffee Price
1. Kiev Ukraine $1.01
2. Pristina Kosovo $1.17
3. Tirana Albania $1.25
4. Sofia Bulgaria $1.40
San Marino San Marino $1.40
Rome Italy $1.40
5. Skopje Macedonia (FYROM) $1.43
6. Chisinau Moldova $1.46
7. Valletta Malta $1.49
8. Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina $1.50
9. Budapest Hungary $1.52
10. Belgrade Serbia $1.56
11. Podgorica Montenegro $1.57
12. Tbilisi Georgia $1.63
Lisbon Portugal $1.63
13. Minsk Belarus $1.65
14. Ljubljana Slovenia $1.71
15. Zagreb Croatia $1.74
16. Ankara Turkey $1.83
17. Andorra la Vella Andorra $1.84
18. Baku Azerbaijan $1.90
19. Yerevan Armenia $1.97
20. Madrid Spain $2
21. Bucharest Romania $2.12
22. Prague Czech Republic $2.19
23. Bratislava Slovakia $2.20
24. Warsaw Poland $2.53
25. Riga Latvia $2.55
26. Vilnius Lithuania $2.56
27. Moscow Russia $2.73
28. Tallinn Estonia $3.04
29. Berlin Germany $3.16
30. Amsterdam The Netherlands $3.28
31. Brussels Belgium $3.32
32. Athens Greece $3.40
33. Dublin Ireland $3.50
34. London United Kingdom $3.56
35. Luxembourg City Luxembourg $3.63
36. Vienna Austria $3.65
37. Nicosia Cyprus $3.91
38. Paris France $3.98
39. Vaduz Liechtenstein $4.04
40. Monaco Monaco $4.15
41. Stockholm Sweden $4.24
42. Helsinki Finland $4.27
43. Bern Switzerland $4.50
44. Oslo Norway $4.72
45. Reykjavik Iceland $5.04
46. Copenhagen Denmark $5.56

If you’re like most of us, your day doesn’t begin properly without a piping hot cup of coffee. The good news is some cities are ready to give you a break with surprisingly cheap coffee.

Rome may not be a cheap destination overall, but the coffee flows freely and is among the cheapest in Europe.



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