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Cheapest places to visit over the European summer 2023


Woman chasing a man while riding a bike Image: Getty Images

Spend mid-year in Europe without overspending by travelling to one of these budget-friendly destinations.

Experiencing Europe during summer is a rite of passage. It's a chance to bask in the azure waters of the Mediterranean, to walk sun-kissed cobblestoned laneways and to let your hair down at some of the world's best known festivals.

It's also a chance to excuse yourself from the Australian winter and avoid FOMO – because if your feed isn't filled with pictures of the Amalfi Coast, someone else's will.

But holidaying in Europe doesn't come cheap. So we've sussed out the best value destinations based on flight price, on-ground cost and conversion rates so you can spend summer in Europe without overspending. Here we go:

All prices were obtained on 23 April 2019. Flight prices are from Skyscanner based on the cheapest flight in June-August 2019. On-ground costs are from Budget Your Trip and include food, accommodation and local transport. Conversion rates are from and are based on the rate on 23 April 2018 vs 23 April 2019.

Woman enjoying Greece view Image: Getty Images

1. Greece

One of the cheapest ways into the continent is via Greece. Sounds like an odd choice but its combo of inexpensive on-ground costs and cheap flights (thanks to Scoot and Air China) puts it right up there.

  • Flight cost over the European summer: Flights departing from Melbourne via Scoot start from $833 return.
  • On-ground costs: Greece is one of the most affordable countries to holiday in with the average daily cost being $171 (€108.)
  • Currency conversion rate: Greece uses the euro, which has fallen a smidgen over the last year. For every $100 converted, you'll get an extra €1 in your pocket.
  • Book: Check flight prices with Skyscanner

Barcelona street Image: Getty Images

2. Spain

Tapas, sangria and beaches are just a small snapshot of what to expect when you land in Spain. It's also a stone's throw from Portugal, which is one of the most talked about countries for travel this year.

  • Flight cost over the European summer: Flying Air China, flights departing Sydney cost from $833 return.
  • On-ground costs: Spain comes up well-priced for a Western European destination, costing around $174 (€111) per day for travellers.
  • Currency conversion rate: Spain also uses the euro, which isn't much weaker against the dollar compared to 2018. On the upside, if you're travelling to multiple countries in the EU, it means you don't have to rack your brain figuring out multiple currencies.
  • Book: Check flight prices with Skyscanner

Budapest sunset Image: Getty Images

3. Hungary

For somewhere a little different, make your European destination Hungary. With its historical castles, ruin bars and spas, it's a treat for all travellers. The cost is pretty nice, too.

  • Flight cost over the European summer: You'll be chuffed to hear you can get into Budapest from $844 return from Sydney via Air China.
  • On-ground costs: Feel free to splurge a little in Hungary as the average day should set you back around $103 (HUF20,898).
  • Currency conversion rate: For every $100 you exchange this year, you'll get an extra HUF797. That's enough for a beer with change to spare.
  • Book: Check flight prices with Skyscanner

Poland Image: Getty Images

4. Poland

Venture into Central Europe to discover UNESCO World Heritage Old Towns, hiking trails and history in Poland. Flights start cheap thanks to Air China and the cost to stick around isn't too shabby either.

  • Flight cost over the European summer: You can fly in for as little as $867 return from Sydney with Air China.
  • On-ground costs: $100 per day is enough to sort you for food and accommodation.
  • Currency conversion rate: The Polish zloty is slightly weaker against the Aussie dollar this year. Expect to get an extra PLN9 for every $100 you exchange. That can buy you two cans of coke.
  • Book: Check flight prices with Skyscanner

Germany river Image: Getty Images

5. Germany

Again, you can thank low-cost carrier Scoot for keeping Germany right on budget with fares that can go as low as the $600s. Plus, it flies into one of the most affordable cities in the country: Berlin.

  • Flight cost over the European summer: You can get flights starting from $892 return from Melbourne with Scoot.
  • On-ground costs: Stick around Berlin and you'll be spending around $159 per day (€101). Visit somewhere like Dresden and the daily spend increases to $192.
  • Currency conversion rate: Germany uses the euro, whose exchange rate hasn't moved much over the past year.
  • Book: Check flight prices with Skyscanner

Amalfi Italy Image: Getty Images

6. Italy

Italy during summer is always a good idea and while flying into Rome might be your first thought, it's actually cheaper to make Milan your first port of call with flights starting in the $800s.

  • Flight cost over the European summer: Get flights from $821 return when flying out of Melbourne on Air China.
  • On-ground costs: Prices fluctuate by city with big cities like Milan and Rome being more expensive, costing around $170-$200 per day. Smaller cities like Naples and Bari are cheaper with average daily spends at $115 and $141 respectively.
  • Currency conversion rate: Italy also uses the euro.
  • Book: Check flight prices with Skyscanner

Turkey Image: Getty Images

7. Turkey

The Australian dollar has been strengthening against the Turkey lira (TRY) year-on-year, making it a bargain break. Due to unrest, Smartraveller advises that Australians should exercise a high degree of caution when visiting, so bear that in mind when deciding whether to go.

  • Flight cost over the European summer: Get flights from $1,090 return departing from Perth via Turkish Airlines.
  • On-ground costs: Three words: cheap as chips. Expect to spend around $38 (TRY160) per day.
  • Currency conversion rate: The Australian dollar is almost 33% stronger against the lira than last year. For every $100 converted, you'll nab an extra TRY102, which is enough for a mid-range meal for two.
  • Book: Check flight prices with Skyscanner

Ready for that European summer holiday? Catch the best deals here. Or, you can search for your flight with Skyscanner below:

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