Europe is simply magnificent, especially if you’re backpacking through it. Budget travel doesn’t mean doing without things. It means experiencing travel in a different way while staying on a budget. You just need to know what the best ways are to enjoy Europe while sticking to your budget. So thinking about how to plan a trip to Europe on a budget? You’re at the right place. Follow the following top tips on budget travel in Europe, learn to create a budget and get set to travel through one of the most beautiful continents at any time.
Table of Contents
- 1 How To Travel in Europe on a Budget?
- 1.1 Budgeting For Europe Travel
- 1.2 Finding Budget Accommodation in Europe
- 1.3 Finding Food For Cheap in Europe
- 1.4 Finding Cheap Transport in Europe
- 1.5 Budget Travel in Top European Cities
- 1.6 How To Save Money While Backpacking Europe?
- 1.7 Bottom Line
- 2 Click To Save Top Tips on Budget Travel in Europe on Pinterest Board!
How To Travel in Europe on a Budget?
Budgeting For Europe Travel
Pick up the perfect backpack; don’t spend more than $85-$300. Your backpack should have enough space for a small laptop, electronic items, clothing, a water bottle, and a sleep roll.
Don’t spend more than $75+ on all your travel accessories, including plug adaptors, travel towel, sporks and so on. Don’t waste money on maps and guidebooks – use your smartphone for those.
Stick to a budget of $30/week per person. Look for travel insurance plans that cover loss and theft of personal items and rental car collision. Check out World Nomads Travel Insurance’s options for budget travelers.
Set aside a budget of $700-$1500 for airfare, depending on your country of origin. Look for the best deals possible on multiple sites, and grab the cheapest tickets that you can.
Day-To-Day Travel Expenses
Factor in a daily budget for the main daily costs – food, sightseeing, accommodation, public transportation, and a few incidentals. Calculate your total expenses, leave out the airfare and purchases, and come up with a daily expense chart.
Finding Budget Accommodation in Europe
Regular hostel dormitories cost from 18-40 EUR per night. Each city has its own costs, so don’t compare. Check out which is the cheapest and best in each city and then book your hostel. Look up reviews on Hostelworld.com and Europe travel guides and book in advance to save money and earn bonus points.
This is something new in Europe, where people allow backpackers to pitch a tent in their large gardens for a fee of 4-10 EUR. Look it up online and check out garden owners’ profiles before signing up.
Look up couch a surfing option, which lets you sleep over at the homes of locals for free.
If you are prepared to camp, then take advantage of the many campsites in Europe. Many of these campsites offer cooking areas, bathroom, and other facilities.
Finding Food For Cheap in Europe
Making Your Own Food
If you’re inclined, you can pick up groceries at farmers markets for cheap and make your own food at a campsite or hostel.
Avoid buying food at tourist spots – watch where the locals eat and follow them. You’ll find that the locals head to small budget eateries that are far from tourist attractions.
Check out food stalls and food trucks that are usually found in many European cities. Even in Paris, you can grab a crepe for a Euro or two.
The European continent has plenty of little shops where you can buy a salad or sandwich or buy ingredients to make your own. Just eat your food outside and watch the city go by.
Finding Cheap Transport in Europe
Here are the most dependable budget airlines for your European tour: Transavia Airlines, Ryanair, Wizz Air, and EasyJet. Use the Skyscanner App or Momondo App to find the best and cheapest car rentals, flights, hostel, and hotels. Check Lonely Planet Europe (Multi Country Guide) for more budget-friendly tips and information.
Pick up a rail pass and get to know how to travel Europe by train to see all of Europe or just to travel from country to country. Rail travel is the cheapest way to get to different points in Europe.
Several European countries offer free public transport for travelers. Make inquiries for these, and obtain tourist passes to enjoy attractions for free. For example, you can use the Berlin Pass to get free entry to more than 60 top Berlin attractions. Berlin also offers a travel card for unlimited free travel. Most European countries also provide Hop on and off sightseeing tours, a sure-fire way to save money and see more of Europe.
For the travel connoisseur, the best way to enjoy a city would be on foot or by bike. You can save money and improve your fitness level while on the road.
There are several budget bus companies like Flixbus, which can take you across Europe for real cheap. Tickets start at 5 EUR, and you certainly cannot beat that!
You can share rides with locals between cities and even countries in Europe. You get to meet interesting people too.
Budget Travel in Top European Cities
Europe is expensive, but there are many cheapest cities in Europe to visit where your money can go far. Here are some European cities where you can travel on a budget.
Krakow is now one of the top favorite cities for all where you can enjoy budget travel in Europe. If you want to experience the great nightlife and save money, head to Krakow. You can enjoy plenty of free drinks, delicious, cheap food and live music bars on the cheap here.
Portugal is famous for water sports. You can enjoy as many adventures as you want in Lisbon or the Algarve without breaking your budget. Moreover, budget travelers will find many cheap hostels in Lisbon to stay. You can also do free walking tours in Lisbon with GuruWalk, which will allow you to see the city like a local without spending any money. Just leave a tip at the end of the tour.
Berlin is cool, eccentric and a bit wild, with its lovely walkways, museums, fabulous music, contemporary arts, and theatres. And Berlin offers free travel vouchers for attractions, and free travel passes as well. Traveling through Berlin will be one of your best Europe trips.
Transylvania offers cheap food and transport options. Plus there’s plenty of free things to do. Backpacking is cheap and adventurous here. You’ll like hiking, trekking, rock climbing, horseback riding, white-water rafting and wild camping on a budget.
Spain is one of the best European countries to visit. León is a great budget travel destination for food lovers. This city offers excellent hospitality in the sense that when you order a cheap drink, you get a plate of delightful tapas for free. In fact, you can skip dinner altogether after a few drinks.
How To Save Money While Backpacking Europe?
Move in a Straight Line
Plan your travel before traveling to Europe for the first time. Also, move in a straight line. Try to take advantage of cheap transport options and sightseeing tours along the way. Avoid doubling back; if you plan well, you won’t need to.
Watch That Beer
A bottle of beer may cost only 5 EUR, but they add up. Look for free drinks on ladies nights, or buy drinks cheap at your hostel bars. It’s best to buy a bottle at a discount supermarket and save on the booze. Party across the continent, and you’ll ruin your budget in no time.
City Tourist Card
Visit the local tourism office as soon as you hit a city. You can benefit from tourist cards for attractions, restaurants and even discount travel vouchers. Enjoy free entry and great discounts on attractions and tours and several other freebies along the way.
Pick up your groceries at discount supermarkets such as Profi, Lidl, Aldi, and Penny Market when you visit Europe.
If you are a student, get hold of an ISIC card. You can save 20-50% on the cost of admission to tourist attractions. The ISIC is accepted even where foreign student IDs are not allowed. You can save so much money with an ISIC card that it’s well worth the money you paid for your Schengen visa.
Backpacking through Europe is one of the great rites of passage. If done right, it can be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. From beautiful Paris to the smoke-filled coffee shops of Amsterdam to Berlin’s Oktoberfest – it’s a plethora of delights. Use this ultimate budget travel guide on Europe to plan your trip, and you’ll have a memory to cherish forever.
You might like to book Europe tours, attractions, and activities online or check out some of the options below.
Click To Save Top Tips on Budget Travel in Europe on Pinterest Board!
Have you backpacked in Europe? Share your any money saving tips on budget travel in Europe.
Priya specialized in adventurous travel writing. As an avid travel writer, her blogs and articles give deep insight into various tourist places as a perfect travel guide for someone who is traveling to an area for first-time. She has the best research, writing, and editing skills which make her easily match the reader’s interest and intellect. She has blogged about her travel experience while traveling to several places like Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Europe, Canada, and the USA.
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33 thoughts on “Top Tips on Budget Travel in Europe (Ultimate Guide)”
These tips are very useful especially in saving cost and still enjoying European experience. Thanks for sharing, you have covered almost all the subjects..saving it for laters
Great to know Dear for finding this post useful. Thank you so much!
Lots of great ideas here. I think it is easy to save money on food and drinks. I really enjoy seeing the grocery stores in other countries and it is so much cheaper than restaurants.
Yes, you’re right to say so! It is really very easy to save money on food and drinks, a lot of options are there.
Great tips! I always found that my biggest expense is the activities: all the places I want to see and do. After a while those things can add up! It’s hard to keep to a budget when there are so many new things to eat and see!
Yes, some places admission fees are too high, and then it became tough to visit all the places. But I believe most of the travelers most significant expense is the flight and accommodation, so need to be much smart before expending money on those. If you’re from Europe, then the scenario is bit different 🙂
This is fantastic… couldn’t be more thorough!! I completely agree with watching the beers. Alcohol adds up so quickly, but it’s so hard to resist a pint – especially in Europe! I end up cheaping out on accommodation to compensate for the beers haha. And yes, budget grocery stores in ANY country are the bomb!
Hahaha, thanks for sharing 😀
What a great resource! We traveled around Europe for a few months last summer, and did many of these things as well in order to stay on top of a budget! This is a super handy article for helping others do the same!
That’s great to hear Katie; you already experienced those to enjoy budget travel in Europe.
Ah, I love budget tips! It’s particularly useful for destinations like Europe where the cost of travel/living is much higher than other places in the world. The only country I have traveled in Europe was to Switzerland. And as much as I loved the trip, it practically drained my savings 😛 I have a perception that traveling to Europe is costly, but it’s helpful to know that it can be done on budget!
Some destinations are super expensive in Europe, and apparently, you can’t categorize them as a budget-friendly one. But there are many top cheapest European destinations and so possible to explore on a budget without breaking the bank or savings 😉
This is an amazing list for tips! I was nodding and smiling throughout the article thinking yes, that’s right. I used most of these tips when i traveled to few European countries. Lovely article.
Thank you Ketki, great to know 🙂
A lot of good ideas, definitely take up the free walking tours in Lisbon or any European city you travel to. It’s a great way to meet new people especially if you are a solo traveler! Thanks for sharing!
Yes, free walking tours are not only budget-friendly but also the best way to see the city like a local.
Thank you for sharing. This looks like a comprehensive list of budget saving tips, and I love it. Will definitely be helpful creating our itinerary in the future.
Great to know you found it helpful. Thank you too!
Yep, making your own food and scaling down on accommodations is unavoidable if trying to travel through Europe on a budget! Still, you need to set aside a little bit, to try out some luxuries here and there.
Yes, when you’ll be able to save a bit more from the major expenses, it is possible to even try some luxuries.
Totally agree that Europe can be done cheaply! I am so excited to hear that hostels are now allowing garden camping in some places. I always sleep better in a tent than in a massive dorm with 40 people, so will definitely have to try that next time I’m in Europe!
That’s really cool and thanks for sharing your experiences.
This is super helpful. Most of the time a great trip is cut short because of poor budgeting! I have to save this for future reference. I know I need it.
A pleasure to know, thank you, Bonita!
This is the BEST news!! Europe holds a very special place in my heart and you’ll be to several countries I’ve not seen, so I am over the moon excited to follow along. Thanks for sharing this. Your tips are very helpful. I am a travel freak and travel a lot. Next year Mexico is on my card.
Glad to know Kanika you travel a lot, Mexico sounds great! Thank you too 🙂
I think what makes Europe special is its great variety.
In Europe, you have cities with impressive historic architecture waiting for you. It’s not uncommon to find buildings or places with a history of more than 1.000 years. And because there are so many different countries and cultures sharing one continent no place is like the other!
And then there is the food, of course. As a rule of thumb, the food in Europe gets better the further you travel to the South. But no matter where you go, I think there are great dishes in every country.
Thank you Johnny for sharing your views, you’re right to say so!
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Amazing! I know nothing about traveling all over the country, what a wonderful looking place to explore.
Thank you for sharing your thought!
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