This post details the estimated Europe cost of travel. It includes links to detailed shoestring and more comfortable backpacking budgets for 9 countries including sample costs. We’ve shoestring budgets for a further 27 countries below and suggestions for deciding on a monthly figure.
How much should you budget per day in 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.
Europe Travel Costs on a Shoestring Budget
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) in various European countries and a couple of nearby ones.
€25/day : Albania, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Turkey, Morocco*
€30/day : Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Russia, Georgia
€35/day : Estonia
€45/day : Spain, Israel*
€70/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 when you do go out. The more detailed budgets (linked countries above) also include a more conservative estimate, which may be more adequate for anyone with limited time hoping to pack a lot in.
These budgets are designed to be little more than a rough guide to give you an idea of typical travel costs in Europe. There are some significant regional variations within the different countries and obviously everyone travels and spends money differently so don’t take this as an exact science.
Which countries have the Euro?
Currently there are 19 European countries that use the Euro. In other words the majority of countries in Europe do not use the single-currency so there’s a good chance you will need to change money and get your hands on alternative currencies at some point in your trip. The UK, Hungary, Czech Republic and all Scandinavian countries besides Finland have their own currency and Euros are rarely accepted.
As of February 2019, one Euro is worth – US$1.14 | £0.88 | 1.59 AUD | 125 YEN | 1276 WON | 1.5 CAD
Europe Cost of Travel – Monthly Backpacking Budgets
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, £1300, $1700
2 months – €3000, £2600, $3400
3 months – €4500, £3900, $5100
(All exchange rates are as of February 2019 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.
That said by following some of the tips below, you should find ways to keep costs to a minimum. Also if you’re under 26 or a student, you can take advantage of plenty of discounts, particularly on railpasses and attractions.
Europe Budget Travel Tips
Here are 5 tips for keeping travel costs down 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. It features in our piece on how to find cheap accommodation as a backpacker.
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 be less. June or September are great options as the weather is still great but the crowds and prices are down.
3) You might want to consider getting a Europe railpass if you want to travel around a lot. Easyjet, Wizz Air and Ryanair are usually the cheapest of the many budget airlines and at times flying is cheaper then getting a bus or train, just watch out for the baggage restrictions.
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. Use our Worldpackers discount code to access a platform that will open up loads of potential travel jobs.
5) If partying and specifically alcohol is going to be a big part of your trip, pre-drinking is essential, certainly in Western Europe. You can find great value booze in the supermarkets in almost all countries so drink in your hostel and limit expenditure to a minimum when you’re out. A few hours in a club can easily blow your daily budget.
There are loads more things you can do to save cash. Check out these 75 tips for budget travellers in Europe for some more inspiration!
The Cost of Travel in Other Regions
How much does it cost to go backpacking in Europe?
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.
If you’re heading there soon then it would be great if you could bookmark this page and put in a quick comment when your trip is done, letting us know if the reality matched the suggestions on this page. Thanks!
This page on the Europe cost of travel was last updated in February 2019.