Europe

Top 10 cities to stay in Europe for under £40

We’re 40 this year, believe it or not (we use good anti-wrinkle cream) and to celebrate we’ve combed through all our hostel deals across Europe to piece together a list of cities that you can stay in for two nights for less than £40!

We said it once (well, much more than once) and we’ll say it again: travelling doesn’t have to be expensive. We’ve got the goods to prove it.

WINTER STAYS

Porto, Portugal

This picturesque little Portuguese city is perfect for a break at any time of year – the weather is a little cooler in winter (about 12°C) but that shouldn’t stop you from taking a walk along the waterfront and knocking back a few ports from the cellars. The rest of the time? Spend it wandering the old-world streets, soaking up the culture in the various galleries and museums, and eating copious pastel de nata’s.

Where?

Bluesock Hostels (2 nights under £40 throughout November)

  • Walking distance to the city’s main attractions
  • Traditional blue-tiled building – do it for the ‘Gram!

Split, Croatia

If you’re not going for the beaches or island hopping, then Split in winter can be just as charming and at a quarter of the price. Wander the inner walls of the ancient UNESCO Diocletians Palace and go bar and restaurant-hopping, and shopping. If you’re looking for a decent culture-filled break that avoids the tourist crowds, then this is it.

Where?

Design Hostel Goli & Bosi (2 nights under £40 throughout November)

  • Boutique hostel set in a 19th Century warehouse
  • On-site cinema
  • Set right in the old town of Split

SPRING STAYS

Athens, Greece

This ancient city starts warming up in spring, and the tourists don’t arrive til summer, making it the ideal destination for a short break. Go for the crumbling ruins and history, but stay for the surprisingly hipster bar culture, street art scene and generous servings of halloumi.

Where?

AthenStyle Hostel (2 nights for under £40 throughout April or October – another good time of year to visit)

  • Rooftop terrace with Acropolis view – hello, chilled sundowners!
  • Walking distance from most attractions

SUMMER STAYS

London, United Kingdom

The buzzing capital of England comes alive in the summer – beer gardens full of locals taking advantage of happy hours, music and cultural festivals popping up across the city, street markets overflowing with tasty food and live buskers, plus art galleries and museums hosting some of their best world-class exhibitions. You can do London at any time of year, but summer is when it shines.

Where?

Clink 78 (£41 for 2 night’s stay during the week in August.) We know we said under £40 but we just had to include this!

  • Former courthouse – super cool, slightly hipster hostel (you sleep in a former cell)
  • Ideally located 10 minutes’ walk to Kings Cross Station, meaning you can get to other parts of the UK pretty easily after getting your fill of London

Madrid, Spain

Madrid is all about balmy evenings, vibrant energy, and gastronomic revolution. Dance til dawn, eat your body weight in Spanish cuisine, explore the historical architecture, and marvel at the masterpieces of Picasso, Dalí and Miró. It’s a cultural discovery, times 1000.

Where?

Cat’s Chill Out Hostel (2 night stay under £40 for August weekdays)

  • Right in the centre of Madrid
  • Beautiful Arab-Andalusian style patio
  • Has its own ‘cave’ – chill out in the day, party at night!

AUTUMN STAYS

Rome, Italy

Italy is arguably better explored during autumn or spring, because the weather is still warm, but the selfie-stick-touting families are nowhere to be seen (well, most of them anyway). Rome still gets about eight hours of sunshine a day in October, so you can get in all your sightseeing, tuck into a huge bowl of pasta al fresco in the sun, and spend your evenings sipping on Aperol’s.

Where?

Yellow Hostel (2 night stay under £40 for October weekdays)

  • Super cool hostel complete with bar, club, escape room, salon and tattoo parlour (avoid after a few beers, unless you want a tattoo of a pizza)
  • Fantastic central location, 8 min walk from Termini train station – ideal for a city-hopping tour of Europe!

YEAR-ROUND STAYS

Venice, Italy

This romantic little slice of Italy is best enjoyed when there’s less crowds – the best time to visit is generally April and May, or September and October. The winding lanes and quirky layout of the mainland is much more enjoyable to get lost in when you’re not sandwiched in with other tourists. Spend your days wandering aimlessly along the streets, dipping in to wine bars, art galleries, museums, churches and shops.

Where?

Anda Hostel (2 night stay under £40 at any time of year)

  • The hostel itself is actually in Mestre (on the mainland from Venice, a 10 min/€1.50 bus ride to Venice station) and gives off more authentic Italian vibes than if you were stay in central Venice – and it’s a lot cheaper!
  • Regular entertainment – live music/DJ sets etc – on weekends

Prague, Czech Republic

You could arguably visit this ancient city of spires at any time of the year. Afterall, the beer is the best in the world, and stays cold year-round. The weather is mild in spring and autumn, so it’s much better for sightseeing, but also the coziness of the pubs and Christmas markets makes winter a truly magical time to visit. Lucky for you, we’ve got a hostel that’s cheap all year!

Where?

Plus Prague (2 night stay under £40 at any time of year)

  • Located in a quiet area – 20 mins by tram into the city
  • Indoor pool and sauna

Istanbul, Turkey

Where East meets West. Istanbul is incredibly diverse, from its architecture to its food and everything in between. With welcoming locals, high-spirited communities, artistic treasures and bags of culture (think galleries, museums, festivals and attractions), it’s no wonder Istanbul is one of our trending destinations this year. The best time to visit Istanbul is spring or autumn, where the temperature is comfortable but tourist numbers are low, giving you a proper feel for authentic Turkish life.

Where?

#Bunk Taksim (2 night stay under £40 at any time of year)

  • Located a stone’s throw from trendy Taksim Square
  • #Bunk roof – a terrace to enjoy the (included) breakfast or enjoy a cocktail at sunset!
  • Award-winning luxury hostel

To make it clear, these prices aren’t including flights or transport – but we can get you some pretty good deals on those too. Search our cheap flights to Europe page, our rail passes hub, or even our campervan page if you’re feeling a European roadtrip!