How Much Does it Cost to Travel Europe? | Our Three-Month Trip Costs

how much does it cost to travel around europe

Introduction

Are you dreaming of exploring the beautiful continent of Europe but worried about the costs? Well, here’s some good news for you: traveling in Europe doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, it can be done on a modest budget. We embarked on a three-month road trip across Europe, covering destinations from Amsterdam to Portugal, Slovenia to Germany, and Prague. In this article, we will reveal the total cost of our Europe trip, including a breakdown of transportation, food, activities, and accommodation expenses.

Looking for more travel cost posts? We have detailed spending breakdowns of all our travel adventures here, including our Eastern European travel costs, Spain travel costs, Croatia travel costs, how much does it cost to travel America, and New Zealand travel costs.

Europe Accommodation Costs

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to travel Europe, we highly recommend housesitting. We used Trusted Housesitters to find amazing house-sitting opportunities in London, Spain, and Portugal. For this particular trip, we secured a nine-night housesit in the Algarve, where we took care of dogs and pigs. We stayed in a charming converted barn house in the countryside and had the pleasure of being surrounded by adorable animals. Not only did housesitting provide us with a unique experience, but it also saved us a couple of hundred pounds in accommodation expenses.

Amy walking the dogs on Salema Beach on the Algarve, Portugal

Apart from housesitting, we found that Airbnb offered the most affordable accommodation options in Europe. We utilized Airbnb throughout our journey as finding cheap hotels in Europe can be quite challenging. Although we did have some ethical concerns about using the platform, especially when it came to renting apartments, we predominantly opted for spare rooms in people’s homes. However, in larger cities like Porto and Prague, we rented entire apartments. Since we had a car, we chose to stay slightly outside the central areas, which not only saved us money but also allowed for easy transportation. Less-central rooms are generally more cost-effective.

One of our house sitting opportunities, in Lagos, Portugal

Our Europe accommodation costs varied considerably. On average, we spent £22 per night, with our cheapest stay in Coimbra, Portugal, costing just £16.47. Conversely, our most expensive night was in Halblech, Germany, where we splurged on a whole apartment and paid £47.52 per night.

Expense Total Per person Per night Per month
Accommodation £1,959.20 £979.60 £22 £653

Food Prices in Europe

Since we mostly stayed in apartments, we were able to keep our food costs relatively low by shopping at supermarkets and cooking our meals at home. On travel days, our diet wasn’t the healthiest, mostly consisting of snacks and basic ingredients such as bread and hummus. Interestingly, just before the trip, we transitioned to a vegan diet and were pleasantly surprised to find plenty of options available in supermarkets, particularly in Prague. Here’s an example of a typical grocery haul from Tesco in Prague, which cost us £20.

Tesco grocery haul in Prague, Czech Republic

Despite mostly cooking our meals, we did enjoy some dining out experiences during our Europe trip. This included meals with our families in Prague and outings with friends in Porto. We relied on platforms like Tripadvisor to find vegan-friendly restaurants. One of our favorite discoveries was Vegan’s Prague, where we savored a delicious vegan burger. The cost of dining out varied depending on the location. For example, at Lehka Hlava in Prague, we enjoyed their daily menu and cold starter selection, along with two teas, for £17.63. In Namaste Restaurant in Ljubljana, we indulged in a selection of Indian dishes and drinks for £18.38. In That’s Toast in Bruges, we spent £16.87 on a few slices of toast topped with avocados and other vegetables, accompanied by some refreshing beverages. Overall, we found food to be cheapest in Prague and most expensive in Germany and Belgium.

Expense Total Per person Per day Per month
Food £1,022 £511 £11.35 £340.67

Europe Transport Costs

When planning our Europe trip, we had to make decisions regarding the best mode of transportation. Should we fly and rent a car? Should we rely on public transport? Or should we purchase a car and take it with us? Ultimately, we concluded that the most convenient and cost-effective option for us was to travel in our own car. We purchased a Nissan Almera with a 1.5L petrol engine in the UK for £900. Before embarking on our European adventure, we used the car for local travel within the UK. Our car insurance policy allowed for 90 days of usage outside the UK, which dictated the duration of our trip.

If you prefer renting a car in Europe, here’s a glimpse of the costs to give you an idea. In the past, we paid just £50 for a four-week rental in Spain (back in January 2016) and £25 for a three-day rental in Split, Croatia.

The best way to travel around Europe? By car of course!

Expenses such as insurance, vehicle tax, and fuel can vary depending on factors such as the car itself, driving habits, and insurance history. Fuel costs also fluctuate from country to country, with Spain offering the cheapest rates at just over £1 per liter, while the Netherlands was the most costly at nearly £1.30 per liter. We tried to minimize toll costs, which saved us money but often led to longer travel times. In countries like Austria, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic, we had to purchase weekly or monthly vignettes to drive on motorways. Parking expenses were reasonable, and we relied on Parkopedia to find the most affordable parking options.

In larger cities, we utilized public transportation extensively. Prague, for instance, offered a cost-effective monthly ticket that covered the metro, trams, and buses for approximately £23.50 per person. On the other hand, Amsterdam proved to be pricier, especially since we stayed a bit outside the city and had to pay around £7 for a day return ticket per person. When our families visited us in Prague, we often chose Uber as a convenient and affordable alternative to walking or using public transport.

Expense Total Per person Per day Per month
Car: Insurance £150 £75 £1.67 £50
Car: Vehicle tax £49.50 £24.75 £0.55 £16.50
Car: Full UK and Europe Breakdown Cover £19.75 £9.87 £0.22 £6.60
Car: Fuel £565.30 £282.65 £6.28 £188.40
Car: Tolls £24.50 £12.25 £0.27 £8.10
Car: Vignettes £37.10 £18.55 £0.41 £12.30
Car: Parking £38 £19 £0.42 £12.60
Other: Uber £34.70 £17.35 £0.39 £11.70
Other: Trains and Public Transport £117.70 £58.85 £1.31 £39.30
Other: Ferry from Dover to Dunkirk Return £94 £47 £1.04 £31.20
Total £1,130.55 £565.28 £12.56 £376.80

Europe Activity Costs

Most of our sightseeing experiences in Europe were free, including activities like hiking and exploring cities on foot. We enjoyed “free” walking tours in Amsterdam, Slovenia, and Prague, where we paid tips rather than fixed fees, usually ranging from €5 to €7 per person. Our most expensive activities were visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany (an absolute must), and attending a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Czech National Theatre. Note that the Lisbon Tourist Card mentioned below was complimentary, generously provided to us by Get Your Guide.

Neuschwanstein Castle from the Marienbrucke Bridge, Germany

Expense Total Per person Per month
Czech Republic: Terezin Memorial £15.30 £7.65 £5.10
Czech Republic: Night Watchman Tour, Prague £26.40 £13.20 £8.80
Czech Republic: Prague Free Walking Tour £13.90 £6.95 £4.63
Czech Republic: National Theatre, Prague £31.70 £15.85 £10.57
Portugal: Clerigos Tower, Porto £8.80 £4.40 £2.93
Portugal: Six bridges boat trip, Porto £21.20 £10.60 £7.07
Portugal: Livraria Lello, Porto £7 £3.50 £2.33
Portugal: Santa Maria da Feira Castle £5.30 £2.65 £1.76
Portugal: Lisbon Tourist Card* £33.50 £16.75 £11.16
Elsewhere: Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany £23 £11.50 £7.67
Elsewhere: Amsterdam canal trip £19.44 £9.72 £5.81
Elsewhere: Amsterdam Free Walking Tour £8.80 £4.40 £2.93
Elsewhere: Ljubljana Free Walking Tour £8.80 £4.40 £2.93
Elsewhere: Ljubljana Castle £17.60 £8.80 £5.86
Elsewhere: Lake Bled Bicycle Hire, Slovenia £10.60 £5.30 £3.53
Total £251.34 £125.67 £83.78

Cost to Travel Europe – Miscellaneous Expenses

In addition to our main expenses, we had a few miscellaneous costs during our Europe trip. We purchased some new clothes, including a couple of jumpers and jeans, while we were in Porto.

Expense Total Per person Per day Per month
Clothes £63.48 £31.74 £0.70 £21.16

Total Cost to Travel Europe for Three Months

So, can you travel Europe on a budget? The answer is a resounding yes! It all depends on how you define “budget.” We managed to explore Europe for less than £50 per day for two people, which is only £15-20 more than our daily spending in Asia. We are thrilled with the incredible places we visited and the unforgettable experiences we had, especially immersing ourselves in the festive atmosphere of the Christmas markets.

Expense Total Per person Per day Per month
Accommodation £1,959.20 £979.60 £22 £653
Food £1,022 £511 £11.35 £340.67
Transport £1,130.55 £565.28 £12.56 £376.85
Activities £251.34 £125.67 £2.79 £83.78
Miscellaneous £63.48 £31.74 £0.70 £21.16
Total £4,426.57 £2,213.29 £49.40 £1,475.46

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Conclusion

Based on our personal experience, it is definitely possible to travel Europe on a budget. We hope that this breakdown of our three-month Europe trip costs has provided valuable insights for your own travel planning. Keep in mind that expenses can vary depending on your travel style, preferences, and the specific destinations you choose. Don’t be discouraged by the misconception that Europe is an expensive destination. By making smart choices and being mindful of your expenses, you can create unforgettable memories on a budget. Let us know your thoughts on the cost to travel Europe in the comments below.

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