Discover Central Europe on a Budget: Budget-Friendly Activities in the Heart of Europe

Are you excited to explore the wonders of Europe’s captivating cities and stunning landscapes, but worried about the expenses of tours and day trips? Planning a vacation can be overwhelming, especially when trying to stay within a budget. But fret not! In this comprehensive guide, we’re here to help you discover Europe’s top destinations without breaking the bank.

Understanding the desire to fully immerse oneself in a new culture while keeping costs down, we’re thrilled to introduce a series of articles offering affordable options for experiencing the beauty and diversity of Europe’s regions. From iconic capitals to hidden gems, we’ll show you how to make the most of your vacation budget without compromising on the quality of your experience.

Throughout this series, we’ll take you on a journey through five distinct regions of Europe:

Southern Europe, Western & Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, and the British Isles.

Each article will delve into the unique attractions and budget-friendly activities available in that region, empowering you to plan your dream vacation without breaking the bank.
For our second part, we’ll explore Western & Central Europe, encompassing the vibrant countries of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. From the romantic streets of Paris to the picturesque canals of Amsterdam, there’s a wealth of affordable adventures awaiting you in this diverse and culturally rich region. So pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of Europe without breaking the bank!


alt="Louvre in Paris France"


Exploring Paris on a budget: Known as the “City of Light,” Paris is famous for its iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. While the architecture itself is a must-see attraction, access isn’t expensive, and English audio guides can be booked in advance on our website to enhance your visit.
For budget-conscious travelers, self-paced, immersive audio walks in Paris are another great option. These self-guided tours offer the perfect companion in the City of Lights for movie-like journeys starting at just 7€.
Don’t miss the opportunity to embark on an epic Seine Sightseeing Cruise. Discover Paris’ most iconic monuments as you glide down the Seine on a sightseeing cruise and listen to the live guide to learn about the history and architecture of the capital for under 11€. Extend this experience with a picnic along the Seine River or explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Le Marais and Belleville. There are plenty of free and affordable activities to enjoy in the City of Love.
If that sounds too ordinary, a great choice are the Instagrammable exploration games & walking tours. Different themed quests, like Haunted Paris, Romantic Montmartre, or Musical Montmartre, take you to iconic landmarks and districts with a specific theme. Prices start at under 7€.

Affordable Day Trips from Paris: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a day trip to the Palace of Versailles, where you can explore the opulent gardens and grand halls of this UNESCO World Heritage site. You can find different options from just entrance tickets to exclusive tours or half-day trips with transport. While this option isn’t the cheapest, be sure to book in advance as tickets are limited and the Palace of Versailles gets crowded quickly in the morning.
Alternatively, hop on a train to the charming town of Giverny, home to Claude Monet’s famous gardens. Consider combining tours with a day trip to Versailles and Giverny for an enriching experience.

Find all our recommended tours for summer 2024 in Paris here:



Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City is a treasure trove of rich history and scenic beauty, offering a variety of activities to enjoy without breaking the bank. Explore the UNESCO-listed Old Town, with its fortified walls, charming squares, and historic buildings that whisper tales of the past. Step into the depths of history with a visit to the impressive Bock Casemates, an underground network of tunnels and galleries revealing the city’s military heritage.

For those seeking a touch of romance, embark on the City Exploration Game: Romantic Luxembourg for just over 11€. Lose yourself in a chivalrous quest through the city’s fine squares, cobbled streets, and romantic rocky paths, discovering hidden gems along the way.

Affordable Day Trips from Luxembourg: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with budget-friendly day trips to the picturesque countryside of Luxembourg. Explore the scenic Müllerthal region, fondly known as “Little Switzerland,” renowned for its stunning rock formations, lush forests, and quaint villages. Alternatively, journey to the historic town of Vianden, where a majestic castle perches atop a hill, offering breathtaking views of the Our Valley. For ultimate flexibility, renting a car is recommended to explore these diverse destinations.

Unlock a world of summer adventures with our recommended tours for summer 2024 in Luxembourg!


alt="Brussels Belgium"


Exploring Brussels on a Budget: Brussels, the vibrant capital of Belgium and the heart of the European Union, beckons travelers with its rich history, cultural diversity, and culinary delights, all without breaking the bank. Begin your budget-friendly adventure by exploring the iconic Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site adorned with stunning guildhalls and the majestic Town Hall.
For a fun and inexpensive city exploration, dive into the capital of beer with a game priced at under 9€. Discover Brussels’ renowned drinking spots, unravel tales of an underground river, and meander through the charming old town.
Don’t miss the chance to visit Mini Europe, where you can embark on a unique voyage through all the countries of the European Union in just 1.5 hours. Marvel at miniature replicas of iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, and the gondolas of Venice, all for under 17€.
Explore the city’s quirks with a visit to the famous Manneken Pis statue and admire the vibrant comic book murals scattered throughout Brussels’ streets. Indulge in Belgian fries and waffles from street vendors or browse local markets like Marché du Midi for fresh produce and affordable snacks.

Affordable Day Trips from Brussels:
Bruges: Take a train from Brussels to Bruges, often referred to as the “Venice of the North.” Explore the picturesque canals, medieval architecture, and charming cobblestone streets. Don’t forget to sample Belgian chocolates and enjoy a boat tour along the canals.
Antwerp: Another easily accessible day trip from Brussels is Antwerp, known for its vibrant fashion scene, stunning architecture, and rich cultural heritage. Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady, explore the trendy neighborhoods of Het Zuid and Eilandje, and indulge in local delicacies at Antwerp’s food markets.

Browse all Brussels activities here:


alt="Amsterdam Netherlands"


Exploring Amsterdam on a Budget: Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy and cultural richness of Amsterdam without breaking the bank. Wander through the charming canals of Jordaan, where you can catch free concerts at the iconic Vondelpark during the summer months. Dive deeper into the city’s history with affordable canal tours starting from just 11.46 USD, or embark on self-guided tours and city games available on our website for as low as 7.25 USD. Experience Amsterdam’s famed biking culture by renting a bike for 3 hours at just 11.46 USD and explore the city at your own pace.

Delve into Amsterdam’s intriguing past with tours through the famous red-light district starting from 12.84 USD. Explore the city’s maritime heritage at the free National Maritime Museum and soak up artistic masterpieces at Museumplein, home to the renowned Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum.

Affordable Day Trips from Amsterdam: Venture beyond the city and uncover the Netherlands’ diverse landscapes and attractions on budget-friendly day trips. Discover the iconic windmills and quaint villages of Zaanse Schans, or immerse yourself in Dutch countryside life at the traditional fishing villages of Volendam and Marken. For a taste of medieval charm, explore the picturesque canals and historic architecture of Haarlem. Easily accessible by bus and train, most destinations are within reach for a memorable day trip experience. If you seek flexibility, consider renting a car to explore various destinations at your own pace.

Discover all our recommended tours for summer 2024 in Amsterdam here!


alt="Castle Neuschwanstein Germany"


Exploring Berlin on a Budget:
A city that seamlessly blends the past with the present, Berlin offers visitors a wealth of cultural experiences. Explore historic landmarks like the Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Wall Memorial, or join an interactive exploration game to discover fairytale spots and hidden gems across the city. You can choose from various themes like Grimm Brothers: A Tale of Tales in Berlin, Hidden Gems of East Berlin, or The Greatest Escapes from East Berlin – City Exploration Game, starting under 7 €.

Dive into Berlin’s rich history with free activities like visiting the Berlin Wall East Side Gallery and combine it with a visit of the DDR Museum, offering a hands-on experience of life in socialism for just 12,15€.
A family-friendly idea is also to explore the city’s fascinating past at Little BIG City Berlin for only 12,19€ afollowed by relaxing in the lush parks of Tiergarten and Volkspark Friedrichshain.

Affordable Day Trips from Berlin:
Journey to the historic city of Potsdam, home to the magnificent Sanssouci Palace and lush Sanssouci Park. Alternatively, explore the idyllic Spreewald region, known for its network of scenic waterways and charming villages. Rent your car on our website for added convenience.


Exploring Hamburg on a Budget: Experience the maritime charm and cultural diversity of Hamburg without spending a fortune. Take a leisurely stroll along the scenic Alster Lakes, explore the historic Speicherstadt district, and visit the iconic Elbphilharmonie concert hall. See, if there are tickets for a concert available throughout your stay or find tickets to a musical on our website. Journey back in time with a walking tour through Hamburg’s rich history, led by expert guides. Discover centuries-old stories as you explore landmarks like the neo-renaissance Town Hall, a 2,5 hours walking tour is available for under 17€.
If you’re enjoying the dark history, opt for an unforgettable adventure at the Hamburg Dungeons, where legends of bygone days come to life in an extraordinary time travel experience, find tickets for around 20€.
Don’t miss the chance to sample delicious street food at the St. Pauli Night Market.

Affordable Day Trips from Hamburg: Discover the beauty of northern Germany on a day trip from Hamburg. Visit the picturesque seaside town of Lübeck, known for its medieval architecture and marzipan, or explore the charming fishing villages and sandy beaches of the North Sea coast. Both options are accessible by train, or for more convenience, consider renting a car.


Exploring Munich on a Budget: Immerse yourself in the rich history and Bavarian culture of Munich without breaking the bank. Take a stroll through the scenic Englischer Garten, visit the historic Marienplatz and its iconic Glockenspiel, and explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Schwabing and Haidhausen. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in Munich’s vibrant beer culture with the Breweries and Bars of Munich – City Exploration Game, for around 11€. After your exploration, unwind and sample traditional Bavarian cuisine at the city’s beer gardens and food markets.

Affordable Day Trips from Munich: Venture beyond the city limits and explore the breathtaking landscapes of Bavaria on a budget-friendly day trip. Rent a car and journey to the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle, or meander through the charming towns of Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Dinkelsbühl along the Romantic Road. For outdoor enthusiasts, hiking in the Bavarian Alps offers stunning vistas and rejuvenating experiences. Alternatively, book a cultural excursion to Salzburg and the Lake District for just 50€ per person.




Exploring Bern on a Budget Bern, the capital of Switzerland, is renowned for its well-preserved medieval old town, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and breathtaking views of the Bernese Alps. Start your budget-friendly exploration by wandering through the cobbled streets of the Old Town, home to the iconic Zytglogge clock tower and the Federal Palace. Enjoy free admission to the Bern Historical Museum on the first Thursday of every month and explore the city’s history and culture. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll along the Aare River and enjoy the scenic beauty of Bern’s surroundings.

Affordable Day Trips from Bern
Thun: Just a short train ride from Bern lies the charming town of Thun, nestled on the shores of Lake Thun. Explore the medieval Old Town, visit Thun Castle for panoramic views of the lake and mountains, and take a relaxing boat cruise on Lake Thun.
Gruyères: Discover the picturesque village of Gruyères, famous for its medieval castle and delicious Swiss cheese. Take a guided tour of the Gruyères Castle, visit the HR Giger Museum for a unique art experience, and indulge in a cheese tasting session at a local dairy farm.

Find your perfect way to get around in the sections: Car rental, Train or Bus.


Exploring Zurich on a Budget: Discover the cosmopolitan charm and natural beauty of Zurich without breaking the bank. Take a stroll along the picturesque shores of Lake Zurich, explore the historic Old Town, and visit the world-class museums of the Kunsthaus and Swiss National Museum. Don’t miss the chance to sample delicious Swiss chocolates at the famous Sprüngli café.
For an adventurous experience, book Einstein’s Zurich – City Exploration Game, where you’ll accompany Albert Einstein as you visit top Zurich attractions like Paradeplatz, Münsterbrücke, Pata Negra Haus, and more, priced just over 12€. An alternative is to take a guided Zurich Experience City Tour, starting at 30€. Insider tip at this point: for an additional 18€, add a lake cruise to your tour for an unforgettable excursion on Lake Zurich.

Affordable Day Trips from Zurich: Escape the city and discover the scenic Swiss countryside on a day trip. Take a train to the charming town of Lucerne and enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Lucerne, or venture into the stunning landscapes of the Swiss Alps in nearby Appenzell or Engelberg by rental car. Another fantastic option is a guided day tour to the majestic Rhine Falls for around 50€.

Unlock a world of adventure with our recommended tours for summer 2024 in Zurich!


Exploring Basel on a Budget: Basel, nestled on the banks of the Rhine River, offers a wealth of budget-friendly attractions. Start your exploration with a stroll along the Rhine promenade and marvel at the city’s historic architecture. Visit the Basel Minster for panoramic views of the city and explore the Old Town’s narrow streets lined with colorful buildings. Take advantage of free admission days at museums like the Kunstmuseum Basel and the Museum Tinguely, which showcase impressive art collections.
Affordable Day Trips from Basel: Escape the city and embark on affordable day trips from Basel to nearby destinations. Explore the charming town of Lucerne, known for its medieval old town, picturesque lakeside setting, and iconic Chapel Bridge. Alternatively, head to the scenic Black Forest region in Germany and discover quaint villages, dense forests, and stunning natural landscapes.


alt="Vienna Austria"


Exploring Vienna on a Budget: Experience the imperial grandeur and cultural riches of Vienna without breaking the bank. Take a leisurely stroll through the historic streets of the Innere Stadt, marveling at architectural wonders like St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Palace. Explore one of Vienna’s many museums, such as the Leopold Museum, which boasts one of the most important collections of modern Austrian art in the world. With entrance fees under 15€, it’s a budget-friendly way to immerse yourself in Vienna’s rich cultural heritage.
For a deeper dive into Vienna’s musical history, treat yourself to the melodies of Mozart at Mozarthaus Vienna. This unique museum, priced at just 10€ for admission, offers a captivating journey into the life and works of the great composer.
If traditional city tours aren’t your cup of tea, consider embarking on one of Vienna’s themed City Exploration Games. Whether you’re intrigued by the lives of Freud, Mozart, and Beethoven, or fascinated by medieval legends or the seven wonders of Vienna, there’s a game to suit every interest. With prices starting under 9€, these interactive adventures offer a fun and affordable way to explore the city’s rich history and culture.
Also, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the majestic Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and explore its sprawling gardens. For a taste of local life, wander through the vibrant Naschmarkt food market, where you can sample delicious Austrian delicacies and soak up the lively atmosphere. And best of all, enjoy a free classical music concert at the beautiful Karlskirche, where the soaring melodies will transport you to another era.

Affordable Day Trips from Vienna: Venture beyond Vienna and discover the charming towns and picturesque countryside of Austria. Rent a car and head to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wachau Valley, where you can cruise along the Danube River and visit historic villages like Dürnstein and Krems. Alternatively, take a train to the historic town of Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and setting of “The Sound of Music.” Explore the city’s charming old town, visit Mozart’s birthplace, and soak up the stunning alpine scenery.


Exploring Innsbruck on a Budget: Immerse yourself in the charm of Innsbruck, the capital of the Austrian Alps, without breaking the bank. Wander through the historic Old Town and marvel at architectural wonders like the Golden Roof and the Imperial Palace. Take a leisurely stroll along Maria-Theresien-Straße, dotted with quaint shops and cafes, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains from Hofgarten park. Don’t forget to visit the Bergisel Ski Jump and Olympic Stadium for breathtaking vistas of the city and its Alpine backdrop.
For an authentic Tyrolean experience, join a lively Tyrolean evening at the Alpensaal an der Messe (Expo). Enjoy traditional entertainment including yodeling and folk dances, priced at just 36.11 USD for drinks and hotel pick-up.
Soar to new heights with the Innsbruck Cable Car, whisking you from the city center to high-altitude mountain terrain in just twenty minutes. Tickets start from 40 USD, offering stunning vistas of the surrounding landscapes.

Affordable Day Trips from Innsbruck: Venture beyond the city and explore the beauty of Tyrol on budget-friendly day trips. Discover the medieval charm of Hall in Tirol, with its well-preserved old town and historic landmarks. Alternatively, explore the scenic Stubai Valley, where outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and paragliding amidst breathtaking Alpine scenery.
For a touch of glamour, visit the Swarovski Crystal Worlds, where you can marvel at dazzling displays of crystal artistry starting from 18.90 USD.

To explore more of Tyrol’s hidden gems, consider renting a car for added flexibility and convenience.

Find all our recommended tours for summer 2024 in Innsbruck here:


Exploring Graz on a Budget: Graz, Austria’s second-largest city, offers a plethora of budget-friendly activities. Explore the historic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and admire architectural marvels like the Clock Tower and Graz Cathedral. Take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful Stadtpark and enjoy the tranquil ambiance. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Graz Art Museum, which offers free admission on Saturdays, and explore the city’s vibrant street art scene.

Affordable Day Trips from Graz: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and embark on affordable day trips from Graz. Discover the stunning natural beauty of the Styrian countryside with a visit to the Schöckl Mountain, where you can enjoy hiking, cycling, and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Alternatively, explore the picturesque wine region of Southern Styria and indulge in wine tasting sessions at local vineyards.


Exploring Salzburg on a Budget: Dive into the cultural richness of Salzburg without breaking the bank. Wander through the historic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and marvel at iconic landmarks such as Hohensalzburg Fortress and Mirabell Palace. Take leisurely strolls along the banks of the Salzach River, soaking in panoramic views of the city’s skyline. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy free concerts and events held in Salzburg’s public squares and parks throughout the summer months.
Enhance your exploration with self-paced city tours and city exploration games available for as low as 5.44 USD.

Affordable Day Trips from Salzburg: Consider the Salzburg Card: Unlock the city with the Salzburg Card! Enjoy free admission to attractions, free use of public transport, and discounts on concerts, day trips, and more. Prices start at 32 USD for a one-day pass.
Venture beyond Salzburg to discover the scenic beauty of the Austrian countryside. Explore the enchanting lakeside town of Hallstatt, renowned for its breathtaking Alpine scenery and rich history. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the charm of Werfen village and visit the iconic Hohenwerfen Castle, nestled amidst picturesque mountain landscapes.
Embark on the “Original Sound of Music Tour®”: Follow in the footsteps of the Von Trapp family as you explore Salzburg’s lakes, mountains, and historical sites. Price: 55 USD.

For added flexibility, renting a car is recommended.

Find all our recommended tours for summer 2024 in Salzburg here:

As we wrap up our exploration of budget excursions in Western and Central Europe, I hope you’re feeling inspired to dive into the rich culture and stunning landscapes of this diverse region. From the charming canals of Amsterdam to the majestic Alps of Switzerland, Western and Central Europe offer a plethora of experiences waiting to be uncovered.

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean compromising on quality or missing out on the highlights of a destination. With careful planning and insider tips, you can enjoy unforgettable experiences without breaking the bank.

Ready to kickstart your budget-friendly journey? Explore the array of deals and options available on Travelplanbooker! Our platform provides a variety of affordable tours and excursions, ensuring you can craft your ideal vacation without exceeding your budget. Whether you’re yearning for a wine-tasting tour in France or a scenic train ride through Austria, Travelplanbooker has everything you need to turn your travel dreams into reality.

Begin crafting your budget-friendly journey through Central Europe today, and make memories that will last you forever!