Tallinn is one of the most budget-friendly options.
As summer approaches, there are many couples thinking about where to visit and cheap holidays are an option.
Imagine strolling hand-in-hand through charming streets, indulging in exquisite cuisine, and creating unforgettable memories with your significant other.
While the idea of a romantic European getaway may sound like a dream, the perception of it being an expensive endeavour often lingers.
But contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to empty your bank account to experience a magical escapade with your loved one amidst Europe’s breathtaking scenery.
From the picturesque cities to the hidden gems off the beaten path, Europe offers an array of affordable destinations that promise to ignite the flames of romance without breaking your budget.
Whether you’re seeking idyllic sunsets on pristine beaches, exploring ancient cobblestone streets or immersing yourselves in rich cultural heritage, Europe has it all at a fraction of the cost.
Here are 10 of the best cheap holidays in Europe for couples.
Krakow in Poland is one of the best cheap European cities to visit for couples.
The historical sites, amazing ambience, vibrant streets and large 13th-century market square make it an ideal romantic destination.
Some of the must-see places include St Mary’s Basilica, Kanonicza Street and even the Pinball Museum.
If you want to keep your time affordable yet cover all the main sites, a free walking tour of Krakow is recommended.
When it comes to prices, a three-star hotel costs around £70 per night and the average price of a meal is £8.
For couples who enjoy exploring and visiting sites, Krakow is a cheap holiday to consider.
Estonia may not be the most obvious holiday destination but its capital Tallinn is one of the most budget-friendly options.
La Prima Pizza has been ranked as the best restaurant in the city on TripAdvisor and its dishes start from just £7.75.
Serving a wider Italian cuisine than its name suggests, the 50-seat restaurant features live music from Thursday to Saturday evenings.
Meanwhile, Nordic-inspired Rataskaevu 16 is a high-end restaurant but prices are considerably lower than for the same fare in Western Europe.
Tallinn also offers superb rates at innovatively designed hotels, which are close to the city’s many free walking tours.
With coffee averaging around £3 and an evening meal costing around £15, Tallinn is a hidden European gem that will not break the bank.
It is common knowledge that Eastern Europe is cheap but the prices in Albania are extremely budget-friendly, making it a great destination for couples.
At a bistro, couples can enjoy three courses of authentic Albanian food and a bottle of wine for less than £10.
The same goes for entrance fees for the castle of national hero Skanderbeg or sun beds on the Albanian Riviera amid Himare’s blissful, sandy shores.
In Albania, a beer is around £1.50, coffee costs just £1 and an evening meal is priced at £7.
For couples visiting Albania, they can enjoy a whole host of activities without having to think about overspending.
Divided by the stunning River Danube, Budapest is a great cheap holiday for couples.
The great thing about this city is that many of the attractions stay open late at night, including the Fisherman’s Bastion and many of the Hungarian city’s thermal baths.
Other attractions to visit include Central Market Hall and Cave Church.
It is also nice to take a romantic stroll across the Chain Bridge, which comes to life at night.
Near the Hungarian Parliament Building is the iconic New York Cafe, which has been called the world’s most beautiful cafe.
With meal prices averaging around £7, Budapest is a budget-friendly place to go on holiday.
Brittany is the largest French peninsula so you can guarantee that you will not run out of activities.
The omnipresence of crepes and buckwheat galettes is a key reason why Brittany is so doable on a budget.
Open at all hours and never expensive, creperies allow holidaymakers to save up for more lavish seafood dinners.
Even then, the average price of an evening meal is £16.
Also helping to cut costs are direct ferries from Portsmouth, Plymouth or Poole and lower petrol costs.
There is also an abundance of self-catering accommodation including holiday parks.
Spend days on sandy shores or admiring standing stones older than the pyramids.
The family-run Originals Boutique is cosy and modern, with prices ranging from £55 to £75 per night.
North Macedonia is another one of Eastern Europe’s secret gems.
It delivers canyons, mountainous national parks and Ottoman-era villages announced by narrow minarets.
But the standout sight is the beach-lined Lake Ohrid, which is below the clifftop Church of Saint John, making it a picturesque location for couples.
Despite the sights, few tourists visit North Macedonia.
This means very low prices for Brits, further aided by the absence of the euro.
The best time to visit is between June and August, when temperatures peak around 30°C. If you prefer milder weather, go in May or September, when temperatures hover around 20-25°C.
With prices of beer and evening meals averaging just £2 and £6, respectively, it is surprising that more couples are not going on holiday to North Macedonia.
For couples wanting a budget-friendly city break, Portugal’s coastal city of Porto is ranked sixth for value in the Post Office’s 2023 City Costs Barometer.
From the tiled railway station to Livraria Lello, a bookstore rumoured to have inspired Flourish and Blotts in the Harry Potter books, there is plenty to do in Porto.
But the nearby lures are what make Porto such a special place to visit.
Couples can cycle or take the tram to Foz’s various sandy beaches.
You can spend a day exploring the wine region of Douro Valley or you can take a train to the Venice-like town of Aveiro and its art nouveau wonders.
A recommended place to stay is the spacious Rex Hotel, which is an old, high-ceilinged mansion, ideal for a longer stay.
With its scenic views and blue seas, Greece has always been a popular holiday destination among couples.
But its largest island Crete is more budget-friendly compared to the likes of Mykonos or Santorini.
Direct flights mitigate costs while hotel rates tend to outdo smaller islands whose lack of rooms pushes up prices.
Sea-facing sites such as Paleokastritsa Monastery and Rethymnon’s Church of Saint Spyridon are free to visit, as is hiking through the ten-mile Samaria Gorge.
When it comes to the beaches, pristine white sand and clear blue seas make for ideal relaxation spots.
All that saving leaves money for snorkelling expeditions to the sunken Messerschmitt aeroplane.
A top holiday destination for couples that will not break the bank is Malta.
Avoid the capital Valletta – even though that is hardly exorbitant – and you can find plenty of hotels or all-inclusives that are budget-friendly.
Plenty of bedrooms around this small Mediterranean archipelago cost under £100 a night, even in July or August.
Spring and autumn, when it remains hot, are even better. Autumn also delivers warmed-up seas.
It is free to sunbathe on most beaches and happy-hour specials are common at bars.
One of the best places to visit is the resort town of Sliema, which is just north of Valletta’s castles and cathedrals.
Sliema offers plenty of boat tours and there are lots of restaurants and bars to enjoy a romantic evening with your partner.
Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
Sunny Beach has been a longstanding favourite among budget travellers.
Although it is well known for its nightclubs, Sunny Beach also excels at resort hotels that are suitable for families and couples.
From catamaran cruises and mud baths to go-karting and jet-skiing, activities are readily available.
There are also Greek, Roman and Byzantine remains for history enthusiasts to inspect in the ancient city of Nessebar, two miles south.
Most people jet into nearby Bourgas, but you can also fly via capital city Sofia for a dose of street food and onion-domed churches.
It is clear that romance and affordability can indeed coexist.
From sun-soaked beaches to vibrant cities, Europe offers a plethora of options for couples seeking a memorable getaway that won’t break the bank.
It is essential to remember that a romantic holiday is not measured by its price tag, but by the moments shared, the memories created, and the bonds strengthened.
Europe, with its rich history, captivating landscapes, and vibrant cultures, provides the perfect backdrop for couples to nurture their love and create lifelong memories, regardless of their budget.
So by taking advantage of affordable hotels and local restaurants, you can experience the romance and charm of Europe without breaking the bank.