The combination of price hikes and the cost of living crisis has left many families wondering when they will be able to afford a summer holiday abroad, if at all.
With many families not having been abroad since before lockdown in 2020, we’ve tried to put together some ideas of where you might be able to take cheap European holidays in 2023 and get a bit more for your hard-earned cash.
In our experience, looking for a holiday in the traditional summer holiday spots like Spain or Greece means you’ll spend significantly more than you need to. To get more for your money and find cheaper holidays you should look outside of these popular spots and consider destinations that might not immediately seem so obvious.
Whilst the average cost of anything in any destination will obviously vary depending on the location, the quality, and often the time of year you plan to visit, we have included some costs as a starter for ten.
Cheap European holiday destinations
The Algarve is very popular with Brits but flights to the Algarve in mid-Summer can be incredibly expensive. Instead of flying to Faro, why not fly to Lisbon and head West to Cascais for fantastic restaurants, incredible beaches, and surfing! We loved our trip to Cascais and friends have returned year on year for surf school.
Your cheaper flight into Lisbon should help with the overall reduction of cost for the trip, even if the average costs of the rest of the trip are a little higher than the other cheap European destinations we have included.
Hotel room for a family of 4 per night – between £90-£150
Evening meal per person - £10.50
Beer - £1
Glass of wine - £1.50
Cheap excursion: Day trip to Sintra and the fairytale Pena Castle Link opens in a new window
Best excursion: Learn to Surf Link opens in a new window for the week
Bulgaria is perhaps one of the cheapest destinations to visit in Europe. It offers beautiful Black Sea beaches, historical sites like Veliko Tarnovo and Plovdiv and affordable resorts such as Sunny Beach.
Sunny Beach is known for being a family-friendly resort and is famous for its 15 kilometres of golden sand, vibrant nightlife, aqua parks, friendly people and good food. There are numerous hotels and resorts offering facilities catering to families with children. Many hotels have kids clubs, playgrounds, and entertainment programs designed to keep young ones engaged and entertained.
Hotel room for a family of 4 per night – between £40-£90
Evening meal per person - £5-£10
Beer - £1.30
Glass of wine - £1.80
Cheap excursion: Day at the beach
Best excursion: Captain Jack’s Pirate Cruise Link opens in a new window
You could visit the capital Budapest for a cheap European city break and it’s a great destination for families. In Budapest you can visit the Buda Castle, take a boat cruise along the Danube River and relax in the thermal baths. The city also has numerous parks and playgrounds for the kids.
You can easily do a beach holiday in Hungary too. Whilst Hungary itself is landlocked, many of the lakeside resorts along the shore of Lake Balaton cater to children with artificial sandy beaches, playgrounds, sports pitches and paddle boats.
The north side of the lake is home to established resorts like Balatonfüred and Balatonalmádi, where you can relax on grassy banks by the water, while the south side has more of a party vibe with a lively club scene.
Hotel room for a family of 4 per night – between £60-£80
Evening meal per person - £5-£15
Beer - £1.90
Glass of wine - £2
Cheap excursion: Swimming in Lake Balaton and feeding the swans
Best excursion: Paddleboarding Link opens in a new window on Lake Balaton
4. Czech Republic
Although Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is often renowned for Winter stag and hen do’s, it’s a picturesque city with a rich history, perfect for cheap European city breaks. You can explore Prague Castle, stroll across Charles Bridge and visit Prague Zoo. The country also has beautiful countryside and spa towns like Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně, and Teplice where you can have a mineral-rich thermal bath and enjoy spa experiences.
Hotel room for a family of 4 per night – between £55-£93
Evening meal per person - £10-£15
Beer - £1.50
Glass of wine - £2.40
Cheap excursion: Free walking tour in Prague and see all the sights
Best excursion: Aquapalace Waterpark Link opens in a new window in Prague
Whilst Greece is one of our favourite places to holiday in Europe, its often not the cheapest place to fly to in the summer holidays.
Albania however shares a coastline with Greece and is an increasingly popular summer holiday destination. Albania boasts stunning beaches along its Adriatic and Ionian coastlines. Places like Saranda, Ksamil, and Durres offer picturesque sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters. These beaches are often less crowded and more affordable compared to other European destinations, making them a brilliant choice for a cheap European holiday.
Hotel room for a family of 4 per night – £34-£50
Evening meal per person – £11
Beer - £0.40
Glass of wine - £0.50
Cheap excursion: Swim in the Blue Eye, a water spring and natural phenomenon
So there we have it, five cheap European holiday destinations that are perfect for the whole family.
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