Europe Backpacking Budget
On this page you will find estimated daily travel costs for different countries in Europe which will hopefully help you decide upon a realistic backpacking budget for Europe.
The common consensus in pretty much every so-called backpackers guide to Europe is that it is an expensive place to travel in and that is mostly true. However there are ways to get around for much less. Firstly the continent is small and transport is fast. By making use of special deals on budget airlines or by fully taking advantage of a European railpass, you can see quite a lot for less than you might think. By and large Eastern Europe still represents really good value and has much more going on than you might imagine. However Scandinavia and much of Western Europe (especially capital cities) are extremely expensive so you will need a fair amount saved up before embarking on a lengthy backpacking trip around Europe.
Daily Travel Costs in Europe
To do a long trip in Europe you need substantial savings before you set out. The general rule here is that the West is expensive and the East is cheap but the gap is narrowing. Here’s a rough idea of a daily shoestring travel budget (in Euros which is the currency in a large chunk of the continent) in various European countries.
€20/day : Albania
€25/day : Bulgaria, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Morocco*
€30/day : Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Turkey
€35/day : Slovakia, Estonia, Russia
€45/day : Spain, Israel*
€60/day : France
€65/day : Finland, Sweden, Denmark
€70/day : Iceland
€75/day : Norway
€80/day : Switzerland
*not in Europe but easy connections to the continent
These figures are based on staying in hostel dorms and steering clear of fancy restaurants and bars in favour of hostel kitchens and cheapish establishments.
As of January 2017, one Euro is worth – US$1.05 | £0.86 | 1.44 AUD | 123 YEN | 1265 WON | 1.33 CAD
Monthly Backpacking Budget for Europe
The cost of your whole trip will clearly hugely depend on what part of Europe you go. Head East or focus on a small area of Western Europe and spend longer in each destination if you’re on a very tight budget. A benchmark figure for your day-to-day travel costs on a long trip in Europe might average out to around €50/day. A realistic shoestring backpacking budget for Europe, not including flights to/from the region or travel insurance is therefore around:
1 month – €1500, £1290, $1575
2 months – €3000, £2580, $3150
3 months – €4500, £3870, $4725
(All exchange rates are as of January 2017 but the European economy is quite volatile and they do change regularly so use Euros as the base and convert to your own currency at current rates for a better estimate of what you need).
This a pretty rough estimate though and it ultimately depends on you and what your spending habits are like. If you spend a week shopping in Milan and are constantly hitting glamorous nightspots then you could probably double it and then some. Live like a monk and it will be a bit less than what is quoted but not by much.
Read more about the continent in a Europe budget travel overview.
Tips for keeping costs down whilst Travelling in Europe
1) Couchsurfing is very common and saves on accommodation which is typically very expensive and can easily take up at least a third of your daily expenditure in most countries. Use Booking.com to sort out beds or rooms in hostels in advance as the better places often sell out particularly at the weekend. Booking in advance, online is the norm in Europe.
2) If you want to visit Southern countries, particularly coastal destinations in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece then consider visiting outside of the high season (mid-July to late August) and your costs will probably be less.
3) You might want to consider getting a railpass if you want to travel around a lot. For flights easyjet and ryanair are the cheapest of the many budget airlines and often flying is cheaper then getting a bus or train.
4) You can often find short-term work in hostels as you travel which might be a good idea if you’re on a longer trip.
The Cost of Travel in Other Regions
How much did travel in Europe cost you?
If you have travelled recently in the region then please use the comments section below to share with us your experiences of backpacking costs in any European countries you visited. There are so many countries in Europe, it is hard to keep tabs on changing prices in every one so your comments really do help keep this page as accurate as possible. Thanks!
This page was last updated in January 2017.