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Budget Travel Tips For Europe

Despite more and more travellers discovering their own ways to travel Europe on a budget, and sharing Europe budget travel tips among themselves, Europe still remains a fairly expensive destination to explore.

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 budget 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. From a segway tour in Rome to something as ordinary as a Vienna budget walking tours, everything can feel expensive.

But thankfully, I did a lot of research before starting my great Europe Odyssey, and in the end, travelled to Europe on a budget for less than 30 Euros a day.

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.

Also Read: How To Best Plan A Europe Trip From India

budget travel europe

Top Budget Travel Tips For Europe

I know Europe is expensive to travel, but if you will use the following budget travel tips, you can travel pretty much anywhere in Europe for less than 30 Euros a day.

Some of the tips will even help you travel without spending any money. So let’s get started perhaps with the first tip. And that is…

Fly With Budget Airlines

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, from Rome. 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.

europe flight

Rent A Car

If you are two or more people, it is possible that renting a car in Europe turns out to be a better deal than travelling on a bus or a train.

During my recent Romantic Road Germany trip, we hired a car among two people and it turned out to be just as expensive as travelling in public transport.

Since we were visiting very offbeat destinations with very limited bus and train connectivity, hiring a car made more sense. It moreover saved up heaps of time.

So yea, before you decide whether you want to travel in a bus or a train or fly, think of where you’re going, read these tips for renting a car in Europe, and see if renting a car is a better deal.

budget traveller in europe

Stay In Hostels

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 in a hostel. Among all budget travel tips for Europe mentioned in this blog, this tip is going to save you a lot of money.

It is by cooking for myself, I saved me heaps of money while traveling in Europe since there’s a big price difference between home-cooked pasta and hand-made pasta at the nearby Italian restaurant. Of course, cooking your meal lacks the entire experience of dining out, but if you want to budget travel in Europe, there can’t be a better way.

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

hostels in europe

Volunteer

Workaway, Wwoof, and other work-exchange platforms are also a great way to travel, not only Europe but the world, for almost no money. They moreover give you great travel experiences.

During my 2 months in Europe, I volunteered twice — once in Germany (while learning horse riding in Germany) and once in Italy. Not only did they save me money, the kind of cultural exposure I got in return, was unparalleled.

You can read more about my volunteer experience and how to travel using such networks in this blog: How To Travel World Without Money.

europe hostel travel

Use City Cards

If you are one of those people who like to see a lot of museums and use a lot of public transport, buy a city card. This is going to be the best Europe budget travel tip for you.

For example, I used a 72 hour City Card while travelling in Stuttgart, Germany.

Other than free public transport in and around Stuttgart, the Stuttcard Plus city card gave me free access to most of the tourist sites. For example, I used my Stuttcard Plus city card to access the Mercedez Benz Museum and Television tower for free and saved more than 12 Euros straight away, in addition to free transport throughout its valid period.

europe budget travel

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 18 bus rides in total, and only two train rides, over a period of 2 months. By doing so (and roughly speaking) I saved around 200 EUR. Where a train ride would have cost 50 EUR, the bus took 35, sometimes 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 and sometimes tickets can cost as little as 1 GBP. To travel inside Paris, go for Ouibus. For most other destinations in Central Europe try Flixbus and Eurolines.

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.

Now, for comparison, a 5-day Eurail pass can cost you as much as 374 EUR — so calculate the difference. (Note: the prices mentioned are as per 2019, please check their website for revised prices).

budget bus travel europe

Other Useful Europe Budget Tips

  • Use reusable water bottles. This is not just one of Europe budget travel tips but being ecofriendly too.
  • 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.

Do you know of more Budget travel tips in Europe? Would you like to add them in the comments below? Sharing is caring 🙂

About

I am Dev, and I've been travelling full-time since 2016. I was a journalism student & started my corporate career as a documentary film-maker in England, before moving to India & becoming a full-time nomad. 25+countries. 50+ Brand Partnerships. And the adventure continues...

  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.
    Thanks

  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. William Carman

    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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