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A significant part of the costs of traveling is accommodation. In which cities in the Schengen area is it cheapest to find a place to stay?

Please assume a double room. I'm interested in answers both for winter and summer.

This is in fact a practical question: I stayed in Malta in a very decent 11 euro double room (studio) in winter, and the country was well worth visiting at this time. This made me think about how to choose a travel destination --- the ho(s)tel price might make the difference between staying for 3 days or a whole week.

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Without checking my guess is Transnistria (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transnistria) –  RoflcoptrException Nov 16 '11 at 9:02
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@Roflcoptr That's not Schengen! –  Szabolcs Nov 16 '11 at 9:14
    
A Schengen. Sorry I didn't read that. –  RoflcoptrException Nov 16 '11 at 9:36
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@hippietrail Not Croatia, it's not EU. I really wish Romania were accepted already (it was supposed to be in March, but the decision was vetoed), it'd solve some of the visa troubles I've been mentioning. Of course the least developed ones are obvious candidates to check, but I was more interested in some less obvious / less expected ones, like Malta. Also, in my experience Hungary is not that cheap accommodation-wise –  Szabolcs Nov 16 '11 at 10:31
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I was in Greece for a couple of weeks not a month ago and found it very expensive. I did also find some free accommodation though via camping and hospitality - not via low hotel prices. –  hippietrail Nov 19 '11 at 9:32
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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

OK, so now that I've seen the clarification...

Having travelled through a lot of these countries, let's just go with the list of them:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

That's 25 countries in the Schengen Area.

Given you're concerned about accommodation, I'll focus on hostels. Most do offer one or two double rooms as well as the dorms, so you can stil have your privacy at a low cost. However, generally the same rules will apply to other more expensive forms of accommodation.

Now, accommodation varies, but that's not the total cost of the trip to a place - in some places it's a small part. But we'll focus on accommodation for your question.

Numbeo.com gives a guide by having the average cost of living for a bunch of countries, and breaks it down by rent. Generally, this can be used as a guide for hotel/hostel/accommodation rates. Again, however, this varies depending on what type of accommodation you're prepared or want to take.

Livinginahostel.com has an article (from a year ago) about the Top 10 Most expensive countries to stay in a hostel in Europe. Top lesson from this list - Scandinavia is brutal on the wallet! I can confirm this. From this list, you can probably knock off Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden. The others aren't Schengen.

So now we're down to Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain - 19 countries.

From personal experience - again, it depends on the city, the hostel and the time of year, quite often. Where I've been amazed at the low price, it'd be parts of Spain, definitely Poland (Greg and Tom's hostel in Krakow is one of the best I've stayed in and the cheapest), and Lithuania and Latvia too.

Fortunately, we have yet another list to help out with this - the 10 Cheapest Countries for Hostels in Europe. Again there are some on this list that aren't Schengen, but of the ones that are, it includes Poland, Germany, Latvia, Hungary, Estonia, and Czech Republic.

I personally raise an eyebrow at the Czech Republic and Estonia being on there - since the Euro, Estonia has gone up a bit, but perhaps it just felt more expensive after Lithuania and Latvia. The Czech Republic may have low price accommodation, but other stuff wasn't that cheap from memory. Although we did eat well. Germany too, has price increases over summer, and certainly Munich prices rocket for Oktoberfest!

If you do use Hostels, it pays to check on hostelbookers and I recommend Booking.com for non-hostel. AirBnB is also being mentioned regularly of late, but I've not used it myself.

Good luck and have fun!

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There are 25 countries in the Schengen area, and not 26. –  user766 Nov 19 '11 at 11:06
    
Woops, can't count. Will change it. :) –  Mark Mayo Nov 19 '11 at 12:24
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My best guess would be that the poorer the country the cheaper it should be. So I would try Latvia or Lithuania. Many areas in Poland and Slovakia should also be reasonably cheap.

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Sadly not Estonia - well not in Tallinn. With all the Finns that come across, plus the start of use of the Euro in Estonia has seen prices go up. It comes as a shock after the comparatively lower prices in Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. –  Mark Mayo Nov 19 '11 at 1:29
    
Cheers Mark, removed. –  Grzenio Nov 19 '11 at 14:36
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@MarkMayo A few years ago (21st century but pre-Euro), there was a huge difference between Tallin (hotel prices were already almost on par with western Europe) and Tartu (easily half the price or less). I don't know if that's changed. –  Gilles Nov 19 '11 at 20:13
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