The European Foodie Cities Index
These are the cheapest (and most expensive) foodie cities in Europe!
Are you a major foodie but don’t want to break the bank? Holidu has your back! Holidu, the search engine for holiday rentals decided to seek out the cities in Europe where food and drink are the cheapest! Using the cost of living data from Numbeo, Holidu ranked the cities by their average costs, from a bottle of wine to a mid-range meal for two, and has created the ultimate foodie travel guide, no matter your budget! We hope you are hungry, get ready to eat to your heart’s content and book your next foodie adventure to one of these cities.
- Belgrade, Serbia ranks #1 as the cheapest city in Europe for foodie lovers
- Budapest, Hungary and Sofia, Bulgaria complete the podium
- Oslo, Norway ranks as the most expensive foodie city in Europe (and the world!) for food
Belgrade, Serbia ranks #1 as the cheapest city in Europe for foodie lovers!
With the average cost of a mid-range three-course meal for two coming in at less than 30 euros, Belgrade is officially the ideal location for your next foodie-inspired city break. This capital city has a bustling and chaotic atmosphere and is perfect for anyone seeking a more gritty, underground scene. But no matter what your vibe, the city offers unbeatable gastronomic delights for everyone – whether that’s fine dining for a higher budget or edgy street food stands to satisfy those of you who simply love good food at a bargain price.
Belgrade credit Dimitrije Milenkovic via Unsplash
The Hungarian capital of Budapest ranks #2
Healing thermal waters, impressive architecture and incredible nightlife aren’t the only reasons why Budapest is a much-loved city break destination. Its foodie scene is also top class! A meal at an inexpensive restaurant averages at around €6,56, and the price of a domestic beer is €1,71 – so no need for any bank-breaking whilst on holiday here! One of Budapest’s most famous attractions is its Ruin Bars, a collection of bars that are located inside abandoned buildings and are decorated with colourful graffiti and plants. So if hipster vibes at an affordable price is your thing, Budapest awaits you!
Budapest credit Ervin Lukac via Unsplash
Completing the top 3, Sofia, Bulgaria is the 3rd cheapest city in Europe for your foodie fix
Visitors to Bulgaria often flock to ski in the mountains or sunbathe by the coast, but the modern and youthful city of Sofia should not be missed. The fact that this city is often overlooked makes it an attractive choice for people looking for a more hidden gem vibe, with fewer tourists than its more popular European capital counterparts. In regard to foodie delights, you will find a huge offering of independent food and drink establishments dotted across the city. So if you fancy some typical Bulgarian snacks, a vegan meal or some craft beer, you’ll find it here.
Sofia credit Fred Moon via Unsplash
Oslo, Norway ranks as the most expensive foodie city in Europe (and the world) for a meal!
On the other end of the spectrum, Oslo comes in as the most expensive foodie city on our world list! This Norwegian hub ranks high across the board, but especially when it comes to a Mid-range meal for two, which you can expect to set you back around €98,86. Although a bit pricier, the Norwegians uphold a high level of quality. Be sure to indulge in their smoked salmon or kjøttkaker. Make sure to save up for your next trip if Oslo is on your foodie destinations list.
Oslo credit Arvid Malde via Unsplash
In second and third place, respectively, we have the Swiss cities of Zürich and Geneva
Heading to Switzerland now, it comes as no real surprise to discover that two of the top three most expensive foodie cities in Europe and the world belong to this notoriously pricey country. The high price tag for a trip here is worth it though! Being the home of mouthwatering chocolate and delicious raclette, the Swiss sure know how to do their food. A mid-range three-course meal for two will set you back around €116,97 in Zürich, and a beer will cost €7,31 in Geneva – so make sure to save plenty before you treat yourself to a foodie break in Switzerland!
Geneva credit Dino Sabic via Unsplash
Zurich credit Henriqu Ferreira via Unsplash
Interested in seeing where these European cities land in the world ranking? Head to our World Foodie Cities Index study page.
To create the Foodie Destinations Index, we first collated a list of over 150 cities using ‘The world’s 100 best cities’ from bestcities.org and other various sources.
We then analysed each city on the below factors:
- Meal, inexpensive restaurant
- Meal for 2 people, mid-range restaurant, three-course
- Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)
- Imported Beer (0.33 liter draught)
- Cappuccino (regular)
- Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)
- Local Cheese (1kg)
- Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)
We used Numbeo’s Cost of Living database as the primary source of data for this ranking, extracting the data in March 2022. Only cities with data available for all data points were considered. We then ranked the cities from first (cheapest) to last (most expensive) based on this data.
As some factors are more important than others, the scores from ‘Meal, inexpensive restaurant’ and ‘Meal for 2 people, mid-range restaurant, three-course’ are double weighted as being the two most important factors.
We then added the scores together to get a total score, before ranking the cities based on this overall, final score.