Whether you want to explore UNESCO-listed Old Towns with medieval cobbled lanes or treat your taste buds to scrumptious regional food and drinks, there's a wealth of affordable European city breaks you can choose from. Join free walking tours that run on tips and give you a local guide's insights into your destination's major landmarks, and give your legs an extra workout by hiking to hilltop viewpoints. When it comes to accommodation, holiday lettings can be a very economical choice, particularly for bigger groups. Below are some of the best places to visit for a cheap city break in Europe.
Travel on a budget in Tallinn
Situated on the Baltic Sea, the unassuming capital of Estonia offers superb sightseeing on the cheap, along with a compact, easily navigable size and a pleasant, relaxed vibe. Toompea Hill serves as the city's historic heart. Don't miss the viewing platforms, including Patkuli and Kohtuotsa, for stellar views over the walled Old Town and the sea. The Gothic Town Hall is the oldest in the Baltic and Scandinavian regions, and its 210-foot-high tower is topped by a weather vane called Old Thomas, a symbol and guardian of Tallinn. Book a holiday home in the city's eastern portion and you'll be near the 18th-century Kadriorg Palace, a popular attraction that's partially used by the Office of the President.
See Barcelona's iconic buildings
Although the capital of the Catalan region is one of the best-known European destinations for striking architecture and beachside bliss, not to mention a vibrant culinary and nightlife scene, a Barcelona city break can be very easy on the budget. You can see many of the top-tier attractions just by strolling around this walkable city. Ciutat Vella holiday rentals put you close to time-worn buildings in Barri Gotic, the oldest part of the city, and La Rambla, Barcelona's most popular boulevard. Choose from holiday lettings in the Eixample district for proximity to some of Gaudi's most famous Modernist landmarks, such as the numero uno attraction in the city, the unfinished Sagrada Familia.
Vilnius city breaks offer value for money
The low-key Lithuanian capital has plenty to offer the thrifty traveller. Begin a day of sightseeing on foot in the Old Town, where you'll find the neoclassical Vilnius Cathedral and the sprawling Vilnius Castle complex. Palaces and churches abound in the city, and if you have time for just one, visit the baroque Church of St Peter and St Paul. It may not look like much on the outside, but its interior is stunning and features some 2,000 stucco figures. Vilnius is also among the European cities with the cheapest museum tickets, so make the most of it and visit attractions like the National Museum of Lithuania, the Gediminas Tower and the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, which is set in the former headquarters of the KGB.
Admire Prague's postcard-perfect cityscape
Picturesque Prague needs no introduction, but did you know that it's also one of the best choices for a cheap city break in Europe? Maximise the sightseeing opportunities in the Old Town by staying in a holiday letting nearby. The elaborate Astronomical Clock is one of the top things to see, especially when it chimes animatedly on the hour, and the twin towers of the Gothic Tyn Church are a noteworthy contribution towards Prague's nickname, 'City of a Hundred Spires'. Join the crowds on Charles Bridge, which is lined with baroque statues, then explore the gardens and grounds of Prague Castle. Holiday rentals in Mala Strana offer proximity to Petrin Hill, a prime spot for taking in the legendary beauty of the Czech capital.
Enjoy a budget-friendly city break in Bratislava
Set on the Danube, the capital city of Slovakia is an underrated destination that's just as worthy of a visit as all of the great European metropolises, and the best parts of a Bratislava city break are the cheap costs and the absence of massive crowds. Start your day with a caffeine hit in the Old Town. Bratislava is big on cafe culture, and you'll find many spots for a Turkish coffee in the main square, which also houses Roland Fountain and the Old Town Hall. After exploring the quaint Old Town's laneways, buildings and churches, make your way to the hilltop Bratislava Castle. The views over the city and the Danube from the storied castle are stunning, and on a clear day, you'll even see parts of Austria and Hungary.