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How Much Does Backpacking Through Europe Cost


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Cher Rector



Are you dreaming of embarking on a backpacking adventure through the magnificent landscapes and vibrant cities of Europe? Exploring Europe on a backpacking trip is a truly enriching experience that allows you to immerse yourself in different cultures, savor local cuisines, and witness centuries of history come alive. However, one of the crucial aspects to consider before setting off on your European adventure is the cost. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the expenses involved in backpacking through Europe, helping you plan and budget for a memorable trip.


It’s important to note that the cost of backpacking through Europe can vary significantly based on various factors such as the countries you visit, the duration of your trip, your travel style, and personal preferences. While some European countries may be more budget-friendly than others, there are always ways to make your adventure affordable without compromising on the enchanting experience of exploring this diverse continent.


Throughout the article, we will break down the major cost components of a backpacking trip to Europe, including transportation, accommodation, food and drinks, sightseeing, and miscellaneous expenses. We will also provide budget tips and tricks to help you save money without missing out on the must-see attractions and unique experiences that Europe has to offer.


So, if you’re ready to embark on a journey filled with breathtaking scenery, delicious cuisine, and unforgettable memories, join us as we delve into the world of backpacking through Europe and discover the costs associated with this extraordinary adventure.


Transportation Costs

When it comes to backpacking through Europe, transportation costs can be a significant part of your overall budget. Fortunately, Europe is well connected by an extensive network of transportation options, which can cater to a range of budgets.


One popular and budget-friendly mode of transportation is using trains. Europe boasts an excellent train system, offering reliable and efficient travel between cities and countries. Companies like Eurail and Interrail offer passes that allow unlimited train travel within a specified region or duration, providing flexibility and cost savings. Individual train tickets are also available, and prices can vary depending on the distance and class of travel.


Another economical option is traveling by bus. Companies like FlixBus and Eurolines operate throughout Europe, offering affordable fares and connecting both popular tourist destinations and off-the-beaten-path locations. Bus travel can take longer than trains, but it’s a great way to save money, especially for shorter distances.


If you’re feeling adventurous and want to explore the countryside, consider renting a bicycle. Many cities in Europe are bike-friendly, with well-marked bike lanes and rental services available. Not only is this an eco-friendly option, but it also allows you to fully immerse yourself in the local culture and discover hidden gems.


In some cases, air travel may be necessary, especially when covering long distances or visiting countries outside of mainland Europe. To find the best deals on flights, it’s advisable to use flight comparison websites, set fare alerts, and remain flexible with your travel dates. Keep in mind that budget airlines often have strict baggage allowances and additional fees, so factor these into your overall transportation budget.


When budgeting for transportation costs, consider the number of destinations you plan to visit, the distance between them, and the mode of transport that best suits your needs and budget. It’s also worth noting that traveling during off-peak seasons or booking in advance can help you secure better deals and save money on transportation expenses.


Accommodation Costs

Finding suitable and affordable accommodation is a key factor in planning your backpacking trip through Europe. The continent offers a wide range of options to suit different budgets and preferences.


Hostels are a popular choice for backpackers as they provide affordable and social accommodation. Shared dormitory-style rooms with bunk beds are the norm in hostels, allowing you to meet fellow travelers and make new friends. Prices can vary depending on the location and facilities of the hostel, but they generally offer budget-friendly rates compared to hotels.


If you prefer more privacy, guesthouses and budget hotels can be a good option. They offer private rooms with basic amenities at a reasonable price. Airbnb is also a popular choice in many European cities, providing the opportunity to stay in a local’s home or rent an entire apartment. This can be a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and have a more authentic experience.


Camping is another cost-effective option, particularly if you enjoy outdoor adventures. Europe has a vast network of campsites, ranging from basic facilities to fully-equipped sites with amenities such as showers, kitchens, and even swimming pools. Camping allows you to enjoy the natural beauty of your surroundings and can be an excellent option for those on a tight budget.


When selecting your accommodation, consider the location, reviews, and ratings to ensure it meets your needs and preferences. It’s also worth noting that prices may vary depending on the season and demand, so booking in advance or being flexible with your travel dates can help you secure better deals.


Lastly, don’t forget to take advantage of loyalty programs, discount codes, and membership benefits where applicable. Many websites and travel agencies offer promotions and discounts that can significantly reduce your accommodation costs, so be sure to do your research and compare prices before making a reservation.


Food and Drink Costs

Experiencing the diverse and delicious cuisines of Europe is an integral part of any backpacking trip. While dining out can be a significant expense, there are several ways to enjoy the local cuisine without breaking the bank.


One of the best ways to save money on food is by exploring local markets and grocery stores. Stocking up on fresh produce, bread, cheese, and other essentials allows you to prepare your own meals or picnic lunches, saving you money on restaurant bills. This approach also offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and try regional specialties.


For a budget-friendly meal, consider indulging in street food. Europe is renowned for its delicious street delicacies, such as crepes in Paris, bratwurst in Berlin, and gelato in Italy. Not only are these options affordable, but they also present a chance to savor authentic flavors while enjoying the city’s atmosphere.


When dining out, opt for local eateries and smaller restaurants instead of tourist hotspots. Not only will you likely pay less, but you’ll also have a more authentic dining experience. Look for daily specials or set menus, which are often cheaper than ordering à la carte.


Another tip to save money on beverages is to drink tap water or purchase refillable water bottles. In many European countries, tap water is safe to drink and readily available. Avoiding bottled water not only saves money but also contributes to reducing plastic waste.


Lastly, be sure to try the local drinks without breaking your budget. Opt for local wines, beers, or spirits, which are often more reasonably priced than imported options. Happy hours and drink specials are also common in many European cities, providing a chance to enjoy your favorite beverages at a discounted price.


Remember, striking a balance between eating out and cooking your own meals can help you save money while still enjoying the culinary delights of Europe. With a little planning and budgeting, you can savor delectable meals without putting a strain on your finances.


Sightseeing Costs

Europe is a treasure trove of historical landmarks, iconic attractions, and breathtaking natural beauty. However, sightseeing can quickly add up, especially if you plan to visit multiple attractions or museums. Here are some tips to help you manage sightseeing costs and make the most of your budget.


Before your trip, research the attractions you want to visit and determine if there are any discounted or combined tickets available. Many cities offer city passes or tourist cards that provide discounted or even free entry to popular sights and museums. These passes often include public transportation options as well, offering additional value for money.


Take advantage of free or low-cost attractions. Europe is rich in public parks, stunning architecture, and historic neighborhoods that can be explored without spending a dime. Many cities also have free walking tours or affordable guided tours that offer insights into the local history and culture.


Consider visiting attractions during off-peak hours or on specific days when entry fees are discounted. Some museums and sights offer reduced admissions on certain days of the week or during specific times. By planning your visits accordingly, you can save money and avoid crowds.


Another cost-saving strategy is to prioritize your must-see attractions and be selective about which ones you pay to enter. While it’s tempting to visit every famous landmark, it’s important to be realistic and focus on the attractions that truly interest you. Remember, the charm of Europe lies not only in its iconic sights but also in its local markets, quaint streets, and hidden gems, which often come at no cost.


Lastly, consider alternative viewpoints and vantage points to admire popular landmarks. From climbing a nearby hill or exploring a rooftop terrace to taking a river cruise, there are often affordable alternatives that provide stunning views of famous landmarks without the hefty price tag.


By planning ahead, being flexible, and taking advantage of discounts and free attractions, you can explore the wonders of Europe without straining your budget. Embrace the blend of iconic sights and off-the-beaten-path discoveries to create a truly memorable and cost-effective experience.


Miscellaneous Expenses

In addition to transportation, accommodation, food, and sightseeing, there are various miscellaneous expenses to consider when budgeting for your backpacking journey through Europe. These costs can vary depending on your personal preferences and travel style, but here are some common expenses to keep in mind.


First and foremost, travel insurance is an essential expense that should not be overlooked. It provides coverage for unforeseen events such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or lost luggage. While it may seem like an additional cost, it provides peace of mind and financial protection in case of any unexpected situations.


Budget for transportation within cities. While walking or using public transportation can be affordable, sometimes you may need to take a taxi or rideshare service, especially if you have limited time or are traveling with heavy luggage. It’s a good idea to research the local transportation options and estimate the expenses accordingly.


Internet and communication expenses can also add up, especially if you rely on your phone for navigation, staying in touch with loved ones, or accessing online resources. Look into prepaid SIM cards or data packages, as they can provide cost-effective options for staying connected during your trip.


Souvenirs and shopping are tempting aspects of any trip, but they can quickly inflate your expenses. Set a budget for souvenirs and be mindful of your spending. Consider purchasing unique and meaningful items from local markets or independent artisans, as they often offer better value and support the local economy.


Additionally, budget for unforeseen or emergency expenses. It’s always wise to have some extra money set aside for unexpected situations, such as lost belongings, last-minute changes to your itinerary, or emergency accommodation needs.


Finally, don’t forget to account for currency exchange fees and ATM withdrawal charges. Research the best ways to access and manage your money while abroad to minimize unnecessary fees and save on foreign exchange rates.


By considering these miscellaneous expenses and incorporating them into your budget, you can ensure that you are prepared for the unexpected and have a realistic understanding of the total costs involved in your backpacking adventure through Europe.


Budget Tips and Tricks

Backpacking through Europe on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing the quality of your experience. With the right planning and some savvy strategies, you can make the most of your trip while keeping your expenses in check. Here are some budget tips and tricks to help you stretch your money further:

  • Travel during the shoulder or off-peak seasons: Prices for accommodation, transportation, and attractions tend to be lower during these times, allowing you to save money and avoid crowds.
  • Research and compare prices: Use online travel websites and comparison platforms to find the best deals on flights, accommodation, and activities. Be sure to read reviews and check the credibility of the providers.
  • Utilize public transportation: Instead of relying on taxis or private cars, opt for public transportation, such as buses, trams, or metro systems, which tend to be more affordable and efficient.
  • Cook your meals: Save money on food by cooking your own meals or eating at local markets. This not only cuts down on expenses but also allows you to experience the local food culture.
  • Take advantage of free or discounted attractions: Look out for free museum days, walking tours, and city passes that offer discounted or free entry to popular attractions.
  • Connect with other travelers: Join online travel communities and forums to connect with fellow backpackers. They can provide valuable tips, share costs for shared transportation or accommodations, and even offer suggestions for off-the-beaten-path attractions.
  • Consider volunteering or working for accommodation: Some hostels and guesthouses offer free or discounted accommodation in exchange for a few hours of work per day. This can be a great way to extend your budget and establish connections with locals.
  • Stay flexible: Being open to changing your itinerary or dates can lead to better deals on flights and accommodation. Last-minute discounts and promotions can often be found for those who are flexible with their travel plans.
  • Avoid unnecessary fees: Research the fees associated with foreign currency exchange, ATM withdrawals, and credit card transactions. Look for banks or cards that offer low or no fees for international use.
  • Embrace the local culture: Engage in free or low-cost activities that provide insights into the local culture. Explore parks, attend local festivals, or simply wander through charming neighborhoods to soak up the atmosphere without spending a fortune.

By implementing these budget tips and tricks, you can make the most of your backpacking adventure through Europe without breaking the bank. Remember, the key is to find a balance between experiencing the wonders of Europe while being mindful of your spending. Happy travels!



Backpacking through Europe is a dream for many travelers, and with proper planning and budgeting, it can become a reality. Throughout this article, we have explored the various costs associated with backpacking through Europe, including transportation, accommodation, food, sightseeing, and miscellaneous expenses.


By being strategic and considering budget-friendly options, such as staying in hostels, exploring local markets for food, and taking advantage of discounted attractions, you can make your trip affordable without compromising on the incredible experiences that Europe has to offer.


Remember to set a realistic budget based on your personal preferences and travel style. Be proactive in researching deals, comparing prices, and taking advantage of discounts and promotions. Stay flexible with your plans, embrace the local culture, and connect with fellow backpackers to share costs and tips.


As you embark on your backpacking adventure through Europe, keep in mind that the true value of the journey lies not only in the sights you see but also in the connections you make, the memories you create, and the experiences you cherish. Stay open-minded, embrace different cultures, and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Europe’s history, cuisine, and natural beauty.


With careful planning, a sense of adventure, and a smart approach to budgeting, you can embark on a remarkable backpacking experience through Europe that will leave you with lifelong memories. So go ahead, pack your bags, and enjoy the journey of a lifetime!