“How much is backpacking in Europe Cost?” It is a key question before hopping on any plane to Europe.
But by the end of this post, you have a clearer answer! And have some money-saving tips that let you enjoy experiencing Europe without sacrificing too much of your comfort level.
Most of us with a taste of travel daydream about traveling to Europe. However, many of us are afraid of the cost of backpacking Europe.
Over the last 10 years, I’ve been living on the road and writing this travel blog. I’ve spent almost four of those years in Europe. (I’m writing this while road-tripping through Europe) All these tips and information come from those experiences. And in fact, today I’ve moved from North America, and now live in Europe.
- How This Post Will Help Your Backpacking in Europe Cost
- THE COST OF BACKPACKING EUROPE
- PRE-TRIP EXPENSES
- Eastern Europe vs Western Europe
- BEST WAY TO GET AROUND EUROPE
- DAY-BY-DAY COST OF BACKPACKING EUROPE
- WHERE TO STAY IN EUROPE
- EATING AND DRINKING
- Tips to Lower Your Backpacking in Europe Cost
- Do a Group Backpacking Trip
- How much does it cost to travel to Europe for 2 weeks?
- Be Flexible when Planning your Backpacking in Europe Cost
How This Post Will Help Your Backpacking in Europe Cost
Because I’ve spent so much time in this beautiful part of the world, I often asked how to plan a Europe budget. As I am a savvy backpacker and a budget travel junkie.
But this question about travel in Europe stresses me out a little because everyone has their standards for food and hotels. So writing a travel guide about travel costs in Europe is tricky.
The prices of flights are consistently changing and exchange rates are going up and down daily. Of course not every country is equal, places to visit like Italy and France cost a lot more to backpack than countries Romania and Macedonia. And yes and the prices vary depending on what time of year you are visiting.
(Are you starting to see why finding the answer to the “backpacking Europe cost” is tricky)
But wait, before you start pulling your hair out and screaming at the dimly lit laptop you should keep reading. I thrive on backpacking Europe cheaply without sacrificing too much comfort.
This post isn’t going to give you an exact price of how much it costs to backpack Europe because it is impossible. Instead, I will talk you through all the expenses that come with traveling to Europe with an idea of how much you can expect to spend.
But there are ways to lower your cost when you are traveling through Europe. You can lower costs on everything from transportation to accommodation and entertainment.
And that is what this post will help you with! I know the tricks and tips as I have backpacked Europe countless times. And you can use this post as a rough guide to help you lower your cost!
THE COST OF BACKPACKING EUROPE
The foundation for finding out the cost of backpacking Europe is having a rough idea of where you are going, how long you are going, and the things you need before ever leaving home.
Your pack is much more than just a piece of luggage. It is a safeguard that holds everything from your most cherished souvenir to your most important documents like your passport and debit cards.
A lousy backpack will cut into your torso, pull on your back, and shift all the weight into one place. Soon you’ll be left with unwanted souvenirs and achy hips and a sore back.
I live out of a backpack so choosing the right one is a subject I can a lot about. I actually, wrote a massive post that will guide you in picking the best travel backpacks.
Good packs range from $150 -$300+
One of the costs of backpacking Europe is the plane ticket. The plane ticket may be the biggest cost that you have before leaving home.
We all want a cheap flight. But prices change frequently, and I’ve paid as little as $250 for a one way to London and as much as $1200 round trip to Italy and back.
Nowadays, it is easy to find insanely cheap flights. A couple of resources I use when finding a plane ticket are the Skyscanner app and Kayak Explore. (And they aren’t even paying me to say it).
For years I traveled without travel medical insurance, but once (after an unfortunate incident) I found myself in the hospital, and I was stuck with the bill.
The cost I spent at the hospital that day would have bought travel insurance for over two years.
As you can imagine after that, I immediately broke the habit of traveling without insurance.
Travel insurance covers more than just people; it can also cover luggage, theft, and much more. It is your choice whether you choose to insure yourself or not. My recommendation is don’t end up like me. Always travel with insurance.
I use Roam Right or World Nomads! We have teamed up together so using this link gets you a free insurance quote.
Eastern Europe vs Western Europe
If you are questioning the amount of money and how much to travel to Europe for a month you should know that not all places in Europe carry the same price tag.
For example, Western Europe is way more expensive than Eastern Europe.
You can save a lot of money by traveling to Eastern Europe instead of Western Europe. Yep, geographical location plays a big part when figuring out how much it is going to cost to travel to Europe.
Let’s talk about the differences you could expect between the two areas and the different cities in Europe.
Western Europe is home to Europe’s main sites and attractions. Getting around is easier, transportation is nicer, and hostels are better than in Eastern Europe. There are more tour companies. On the other hand that means higher prices, more tourists, and long lines. Sadly, some of the best places in Europe are in the expensive parts.
It is a lot more rustic. I always picture it as what all of Europe was like before the boom of tourism. Prices are cheaper, and fewer people speak English, (Even fewer people speak English in Italy than you think). And everything in the cities feels more authentic.
Eastern Europe starts around the Czech Republic, which is really considered Central Europe but is also a cheap place to travel in Europe.
Northern Europe – Starting with Denmark. This is one of the most expensive areas to travel to in Europe. Everything from public transport to free walking tours will raise the cost (because you will be expected to tip more)
BEST WAY TO GET AROUND EUROPE
Another expense to factor into your backpacking Europe cost is the price of traveling around. A lot of people think traveling around is expensive but as I talk about in my post – 8 of the Cheapest Ways to Travel Europe – there are plenty of good options that will help you save money.
Here are a few of my favorites.
Eurail Passes are my favorite way to travel around Europe. You get to relax, spread out, and see the landscape instead of just a highway.
There are dozens of different passes. I can almost guarantee that there is a perfect Eurail Pass to meet your needs. A rail pass is one of my favorite ways of getting around Europe.
And trust me, if you are moving around a lot a Eurail Pass is worth it.
This is great for getting off the beaten path. And most of the time, the further you get off the beaten path. The lower your backpacking in Europe costs.
Another option is Busabout. This is a company that was created for free-spirit travelers. They have hopped on hop off buses around Europe, and they stop in dozens of countries.
Buses come every few days and using the app you can book your place a couple of days before. Their prices run somewhere between $600-$900 for a bus pass. Which can be a good way to take transportation expenses out of your budget.
This is a great option for backpackers traveling across Europe solo because you get to meet like-minded budget backpackers.
I made some friends on Busabout over 6 years ago on Busabout that I still talk to today.
RENT A CAR
If you have an international driving permit then renting a car is another valid option for getting around Europe.
Car rentals in Europe are cheap! Usually under $100 a week!
While car rentals are cheap the gas, insurance, and toll roads in Europe are not.
A handy way to get around car insurance is to book the car with a travel credit card that covers the car.
I use the chase sapphire reserve. It protects the car for up to $75,000. Plus the card has a ton of other benefits.
Europe has some great deals on airfare via budget airlines. However, you need to follow their rules carefully or they will slap you with fees.
Ryan Air and Easy jet are the biggest budget airlines. For more check out my guide to budget airlines in Europe.
DAY-BY-DAY COST OF BACKPACKING EUROPE
So since we are answering the question “ How much does it cost to travel Europe on a budget per day” it is very important that we look at the details of everyday expenses when traveling Europe.
When we are looking at how much it costs to travel to Europe we first need to look at expenses. These are the major expenses you will have will backpacking Europe on a budget.
WHERE TO STAY IN EUROPE
What are hostels? This is backpacking Europe for beginners. But Hostels are a popular way to save money when you’re traveling Europe on a budget, and they provide a way to meet other travelers at the same time.
In the simplest of terms, you rent a bed in a hostel rather than a whole room. This means you can have 20+ people in a room.
Hostels in Europe range from $10 – $40 per night. When budgeting out my trip I usually assume the average I am going to pay for a hostel in Europe is $25-$30 per night. . Hostelworld has the best options when booking hostels. You can get a private room in a hostel for a little bit cheaper than a hotel room. This is a budget-friendly accommodation option for people traveling around Europe.
Airbnb – Another great and cheap option. Get $40 off your first stay with Airbnb by signing up using this link. Airbnb’s range from $30-$100.
I spend between $50 -$60 a night when I book Airbnb’s early. Over the years, I’ve saved hundreds using Airbnb coupon codes to refer friends and earn credit.
This is where you can crash on people’s couches for free. It is a great option for international travel. I haven’t had the best of luck with Couchsurfing. But a lot of travelers swear by it. It is a great alternative to Airbnb. And a viable accommodation option when traveling Europe.
EATING AND DRINKING
If you want to do Europe on a budget, then you need to cook your food is the easiest way to save money. However, why venture to Europe to eat your cooking? I think the best way to save money and still indulge in all the fantastic food is by cooking 1/3 of the time. Eating street food and eating out the rest of the time. Street food is cheap and gives you a little bit of the local flavor.
It’s best for budget travelers to add a little extra money for food, this way if you’ve had a long day and you’re just too tired to cook or travel to somewhere inexpensive it won’t offset your backpacking Europe cost.
If you budget about $15 – $30 a day, it should cover 3 cheap meals. If that’s still too much money for you to spend, purchase your food from the grocery store and you’ll save over half that amount.
If I would cook every day, I could travel Europe and only spend 5-7 Euros on food a day. My good buddy at Landlopers has a great post about foods you need to eat in Europe.
There are so many cities to visit for a good party in Europe, but a few top the list of the best places to visit in Europe such as Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city, or Amsterdam, a place where the energizing party never ends.
However, we are trying to lower the cost of backpacking Europe and then limit the partying. Nights out add up quickly and can break the bank.
Go out, have fun, and experience foreign nightlife but not every night.
There are thousands of locations to visit in Europe. You may be wondering which building or museum is in which city. Many of the attractions and churches in Europe cost to enter. These prices range from 2 Euros to over 20 Euros.
You won’t be spending money on sightseeing every single day, but it is wise when planning out backpacking Europe cost to plan to spend $15-$20 a day on sightseeing. More if you are looking for entertainment as well, like movies, plays, and shows.
Tips to Lower Your Backpacking in Europe Cost
TAKE OVERNIGHT TRAINS
Overnight trains are extremely popular among backpackers and other travelers. For one, it saves a night of accommodation while traveling to your next destination.
If you’ve obtained a Eurail pass, you still may need to purchase reservations for an overnight train, so don’t forget that extra fee! Reservations can be purchased online for many railway companies.
STAY IN HOSTELS
Staying in a hostel instead of a hotel is one of the best ways to lower the cost of backpacking through Europe.
It is also one of the best ways to meet other people traveling to Europe. I’ve made countless friends by basically living in hostels for the last 7 years.
GET THE RIGHT BANK ACCOUNT
Are you still with me? Good because this piece of advice is important and can save you thousands of dollars over years of traveling. When using an ATM card overseas, you get charged BOTH an ATM Fee and a Foreign Transaction Fee. This means fees for just one withdrawal can cost over $5. Small expenses add up to big cash over time.
Look on any US travel blog, and chances are they will all talk about the benefits of traveling with a Charles Schwab account. They reimburse you for all ATM transaction fees and foreign transaction fees at the end of the month. Making it free to draw out cash anywhere in the world!
I have saved thousands in ATM and foreign transaction fees over the years. Many times when I am traveling who aren’t US citizens wire me their money and I draw it out for them because it is cheaper in the long run.
You can open a CS account over the phone or use this link and get up to $100 for opening an account.
What better way to reduce the cost of backpacking Europe than to make your money work for you?
FREE WALKING TOURS
One way to lower your backpacking through Europe cost is by utilizing the hundreds of free walking tours.
Backpacking Europe for Beginners: The tours are tip-based, so the idea is that your guide will be entertaining and knowledgeable. Tips are expected at the end.
Many big cities offer city passes that include entrance to popular attractions and trips on the metro. If you take advantage and use the pass a lot, it can save you a ton of money.
BUY METRO TICKETS IN BUNDLES
At many of the machines in the metros, you can buy packs of metro tickets. If you are going to ride the subway a lot these bundles work out to save you the price of a few metro tickets.
Do a Group Backpacking Trip
Planning a Europe trip with a group of friends, instead of solo travel will also be cheaper. This is because you can split everything from groceries to public transportation. This works as long as you have the same travel style and the idea of budget travel.
Backpacking in Europe Cost: Average Expenses
Let’s use the information above to figure out the cost of backpacking through Europe on a budget for a month. Of course, this all depends on your backpacking Europe itinerary.
Accommodation – Based on a $ 25-a-night average. $600-$700.
Food – I spend between $400-$500 on food depending on how much I eat out.
Party – $200- $300 a month. (Europe has some serious party destinations)
Public Transportation – (Varys on the method of getting around and deals at the time of booking) This is everything from a train, road trip, or just a metro ticket to an old town.
Flights – In my opinion, if you are paying over $600 for a round-trip ticket you are overpaying. (try to find a budget airline)
Sightseeing –. Around $300 – $400 a month (don’t go sightseeing every day.)
How much does it cost to travel to Europe for a month?
A “safe” estimate including accommodation, food, partying, and sightseeing is $1,500 -$2500 a month. Cheaper if you are planning on traveling in Eastern Europe.
How much does it cost to travel to Europe for 2 weeks?
If you just travel between a few big cities you are looking at spending around $700-1,000 depending on the cost of your flight.
Granted, If you are traveling with more than one person, things tend to get cheaper because you are sharing experiences.
Also, some websites have travel budget calculators. Although, I wouldn’t take it as gospel. Instead, you can use it as an estimate of how much your trip to Europe will cost.
However, it can be done for a lot cheaper if you manage your money cook your food, and don’t go out drinking every single night.
Be Flexible when Planning your Backpacking in Europe Cost
Being flexible with your itinerary will allow you room to choose cheaper transportation. The train is a great way but isn’t always the cheapest.
I hope you answer the question of how much it costs to backpack Europe on a budget. Do you feel like a budget traveler now?
You can also get a book and travel guide, like a lonely planet.
Did you find these tips helpful, and do you think they will cut down the cost of backpacking in Europe? Comment below and let me know.
Overall, the best way to travel to Europe is to plan and know your options. Traveling during the summer months will be more expensive; hostels and campsites can be a wallet saver.
I hope this helped you get some insight into the cost of backpacking in Europe. And exploring every European country on your bucket list. Manage your budget, improve your travel tips, and have your best backpacking tour.
Worldpackers, flashpackers, and backpackers can all travel to Europe for cheap. And it is one of my favorite destinations in the entire world. And for more on traveling Europe check out our related posts, on this reader-supported website. Or the backpacking Europe cost reddit.
These tips will lower your backpacking in Europe cost. And this post will help backpacking Europe for beginners, or seasoned travelers.
2 thoughts on “Backpacking in Europe Cost | How to PLan Your Europe Budget”
Hi I am a 58 year old lady and would like to back pack through Italy. Of course I am a bit weary. I would love if you could help me by giving me some advice on where to start and places to stay maybe 2 or 3 nights at a time. I will be travelling from England’s
Thank you so much
Rome is the best place to start in Italy