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Why This Under Appreciated European Capital Is The Best Destination For Budget Travelers  

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Exploring Europe doesn’t have to break the bank.  

And while cities like London, Oslo, and Zurich are notoriously expensive, there are still plenty of affordable destinations left for you to explore.  

Warsaw Old Town in Summer

Travel insurance company Quotezone has conducted research to find Europe’s most affordable cities. And this underappreciated cultural spot was found to be the best for budget travelers.  

An Affordable Hot Spot 

Warsaw is an incredibly affordable vacation destination with hotel rooms averaging just 45.60 euros ($49.50) per night. And as an added bonus the city doesn’t have a tourist tax.  

Jumping on public transport to navigate your way around the city will cost less than 1 euro (and less than $1) while you won’t have to spend more than $6-7 to visit one of the city’s many museums and galleries.  

park in the Krasinski Palace and garden in Warsaw.

But there are so many more reasons to visit this beautiful city than simply the affordable price.  

Here’s why I think Warsaw is so underrated, and why the city stands head and shoulders above so many of its contemporaries for a budget break.  

The Best Attractions In Warsaw  

Warsaw is a city with a rich and troubled history.  

Much of the city and in particular its Old Town was raised to the ground during the Second World War, but it was so painstakingly rebuilt that it is now the most popular tourist attraction in the city.  

Reconstructed Medieval Square In Warsaw, Poland, Central-Eastern Europe

Warsaw’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it is such a pretty and colorful space. Exploring the Old Town of Warsaw is free, making it a great option for budget travelers.  

And while many of the city’s museums and other attractions do have a small charge, many of them are also free at various points throughout the week.  

 the Warsaw Barbacan, Polish barbakan warszawski in the summer

Visiting the beautiful Warsaw Royal castle will cost 30 zl ($7.60) but entry is free on Wednesdays. The Chopin Museum also offers free entry on Wednesdays.  

The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews has a 25 zl ($6.30) entrance charge but is free on Thursdays.  

You can also visit the Warsaw Rising museum for free on Sundays, otherwise entry is a very reasonable 25 zl ($6.30).  

The Palace of Culture and Science, one of the main symbols of Warsaw skyline, Poland

The Palace of Culture and Science costs 20zl ($5.00) but I highly recommend this attraction. The building itself was the last ‘gift’ to the city by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and it is a highly controversial building. What makes it really stand out though is its viewing terrace, where you can enjoy views over the whole city.  

Excellent Hospitality  

Everywhere you go in Warsaw you’ll be sure of a warm welcome: tourists are wanted here. They are proud of their city and they want to share it.  

Warsaw was the birthplace of both Chopin and Marie Curie and you’ll find both celebrated on the streets.

vistulan boulevard in warsaw poland

In the Old Town there are even benches that play Chopin’s music when you sit down.  

And the food in Warsaw is excellent. From traditional Polish dumplings to incredible Asian cuisine, and hands-down the best pizza I've ever eaten, you really will be spoilt for choice.  

The nightlife in the city is great too. My favorite place to be after dark is the Roots Cocktail Bar, which was chosen as the number one bar in Warsaw by Tripadvisor (and by me!)  

The drinks are incredible, the staff are attentive, and they have live music at the weekends. It’s such a good vibe.  

Monument of Praga's Backyard Orchestra

And if you cross over the Wisła River then you’ll find Praga, which is the quirky artistic hub of the city and popular with its students. You’ll find cafes, bookstores, funky graffiti and an abundance of local pubs here. I think its best visited in the evening.  

Warsaw isn’t the most popular tourist destination in Poland. The city tends to be overshadowed by other Polish cities such as Krakow and Gdansk. Which is a real shame as Warsaw isn’t as showy perhaps, but it is still my favorite Polish city.  

There are some real hidden gems in Warsaw that are well worth exploring. Especially if you’re travelling on a budget.  

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This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Lee Adler

Sunday 2nd of June 2024

I lived in Warsaw for 7 months in 2021 and I have to agree completely with this take. It's a great capital and a great city. I think that the price you have quoted on public transit is wrong. Also, the average room rate is significantly higher since the pandemic. It's not the bargain it once was, but relative to the rest of Europe, it is still a huge bargain. One piece of good news is that for older folks, 70 and older, riding public transit is free! That includes the local bus, trams and metro, and the extensive regional train network to anywhere in Warsaw's far flung suburbs.

I have been in over 250 cities and towns in Europe and Warsaw has the best restaurants I've ever eaten in. That includes all kinds of cuisines. And the prices are about half of what they are in Western Europe.

And for those who like marketplaces, Hala Mirowska is one of the biggest and most authentic in all of Europe.

Kashlee Kucheran

Sunday 2nd of June 2024

Wow thanks Lee for the added insight! :)