Europe Travel Tips

Budget Travel Tips For Europe

Despite more and more budget backpackers making it to Europe, discovering their own quirky ways to travel on a budget, Europe still remains a fairly expensive destination (especially for those who are dealing with a prominent currency difference, as I did, of 1Euro (EUR)= 70 Indian Rupees).

A few things, however, have worked in budget travellers’ favour. For example, the dawn of hospitality networks, the rise of sharing economies, and an introduction of cheaper public transport. And all this has contributed to making Europe more affordable than ever.

During my 2 months of travel in Europe, and especially while travelling across countries like Germany, Austria and Italy, I often get sick to my stomach seeing how expensive travelling in Europe can be. But thankfully, I did a lot of research before starting my great Europe Odyssey.

From volunteering to self-cooking to staying in hostels, I used a mix of things to keep my budget under control. So speaking out of my experiences, here are some tips on how to Budget travel in Europe.

Top Budget Travel Tips For Europe

Take Buses. Avoid Trains

Buses in Europe are a lot cheaper than trains. And most budget backpackers rely on buses to keep their travel costs low. Speaking of my personal experience, during the recent backpacking trip across 8 countries in Europe, I did as many as 18 bus rides, and only two train rides, over a period of 2 months. By doing so (and roughly speaking) I saved around 200 EUR in total. Where a train ride would have cost 50 EUR, the bus took 35, something even lesser. Though of course buses take comparatively more travel-time, for me time was never a problem, and speaking of comfort, I personally found buses just as comfortable as trains.

Megabus is a cheap way to get around the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales) as tickets can cost as little as 1 GBP. To travel inside Paris, go for Ouibus. For most other destinations in Central Europe try Flixbus, Eurolines or RegioJet. If you are travelling long distances and are doing at least 5 journeys, throughout your trip, I would strongly recommend investing in Interflix bus pass for 99 EUR, something similar to Eurail pass. But a 5-day Eurail pass can cost you as much as 374 EUR — now calculate the difference between the costs of taking a bus and taking a train.

Suggested Read: Tips For Renting A Car In Europe

Fly Budget Airlines Between Long Distance Popular Destinations

Budget airlines across Europe are so prolific that competition keeps the fares low. For most of the prominent destinations like Rome-Paris or Paris-Barcelona or Barcelona-Amsterdam, you can find tickets where the fare is just the taxes. For example, in May (before returning to India) I was planning a few days in Paris. Where a train and a bus would have cost approx 80 EUR and 60 EUR, respectively, Ryanair was offering an unbelievably cheaper 25 EUR flight ticket.

Companies like Transavia, EasyJet, and Ryanair offer mind-blowingly cheap flights, so keep an eye on them for travelling between big and popular destinations. Moreover, book at least a month early to scoop up great deals. There are also regular sales, particularly during the off-season to take advantage of.

Tip: I used to compare between different travel options in Europe.

Stay In Hostels, Cook In, And Eat Cheap

Unless you’re planning on buying a whole rack of ribs and have a barbecue in the hostel, you will probably find no problem in buying well-rounded cheap meals at the grocery stores and cooking them for yourself. It is by cooking for myself, I saved me heaps of money while traveling since there’s a big difference between cook-at-home pasta and hand-made pasta that’s been stuffed with four different kinds of cheese at the classy Italian joint around the corner. I mean of course you give up on the quality and taste a bit and much more on the experience, but still… you save a lot of money in return!

So where hostels dormitories are always cheaper and allow solo backpackers, like me, to make friends, the best thing about them is they, almost always and at least in Europe, come with a sharing kitchen, allowing guests to cook their own food.

Use Work-Exchange Platforms

Workaway, Wwoof, and other work-exchange platforms are also a great way to travel, not only Europe but the world, for almost no money. And they moreover, almost always, give you great travel experiences. During my 2 months in Europe, I workaway-ed twice — once in Germany and once in Italy. Not only did they save me money, the kind of cultural exposure I got in return, was unparalleled.

[Further Reading: My Workaway Experience In Rome ]

[Also Read: How Workaway Helps In Travelling The World On A Budget]

A few More Quick Tips…

  • Use reusable water bottles.
  • Invest in a city-card, if you’re planning to visit many museums/tourist attractions and use public transport in a city.
  • Buy a Europe SIM card from this company called TravelSim and save up to 85% on roaming services and data usage. I have personally used them during my few trips to Europe. What’s better is, where the rest of the sim cards offer you a validity of 3 or 6 months, TravelSim remains valid for over one year.
  • When first arriving in a new city make sure to stop by the Tourism Information Center for discounts, free maps, and cost-free events.
  • Take free walking tours. Though you’ll be expected to tip the guide, it will still be a very cheap deal.
  • Swing by open markets and food courts near closing time and get heavily discounted products.

Have you travelled Europe as a budget backpacker? What tips would you like to add for budget travelling in Europe? Spill in comments below.


After my couple of years of corporate career, I left that lifestyle behind, and with it, everything that didn't fit in a backpack. I've learned that this world is too big (and too interesting!) to spend your life working at one place, and that's what inspires me to remain footloose and fancy-free for the rest of my life!

  1. Yes, Europe tends to be expensive 🙁
    Your post is very insightful, but, on the other hand, if you only have 2- or 3-week vacation, then travelling by buses or cooking in takes too much of the valuable time.

  2. wow, good article its a really budget travel tips for Europe…

  3. Oniel D. Jason

    Hi bro
    Thanks, Very Nice Article. .
    How much should i save if i want to travel around europe ? I want to spend around 5 – 7 days.

  4. Europe is very nice place. I love this place. Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. I want to travelling in Europe but Europe tour is very expensive. I read your blog and get the very valuable information on travel tips in Europe. Thanks for sharing the great information. Good Luck!

  5. Thank you for all of these awesome tips! I and my friend Rohan are currently driving from Russia back to the India and are seriously broke. We’ve been researching a ton of ways to travel Europe for free and so far, a lot of the tricks we’re using are working!

  6. Super post, A lot of Great Tips and Very nicely written. I have learned a lot from your article. It’s the best article about budget travel tips Europe. Many many thanks for sharing with us. I will follow your blog next time also.

  7. Staying at hostels and couchsurfing did a great work for me when I was travelling in Europe. Thanks for sharing this.

  8. Thank you, Dev to write such an important post.
    Europe is the dream zone to all the travel lovers. Most of the cases travelers face confusion about the travel budget. This article make me clear to enjoy my Euro trip with low cost.

    Would you please write something about necessary travel accessories.?

    • Hi Robert, glad you found it useful. And thanks for suggesting a topic, it would make a great article. I would definitely write on it. One thing though, did you mean travel accessories to carry in Europe, or in General?

  9. Amazing and very useful tips, Dev! I will definitely try to bear all these tips and tricks in mind! As a budget airline, would you suggest using Wizzair?

  10. Superb post Dev. Keep traveling, and sharing such insights with us.

  11. you are living my dream life 😉

  12. Very nice article with great tips. Well written.

  13. Isha Gupta

    Nice read Dev.

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