How to travel Europe on a budget

The words “budget” and “Europe” often feel like an oxymoron when they’re too close together. After all, how can a place where an espresso often sets you back 5€ really be budget friendly?

The answer is to broaden your conception of Europe. Europe isn’t just western Europe, there are plenty of gems to be found farther east, especially in countries where the euro isn’t used.

The Guardian’s recent Europe without the Euro article offers a nice rundown on some often overlooked destinations in Europe that are more budget-friendly than traditional hotspots like France, Italy or Spain.

Fancy a cheap stay at the beach? Check out Bulgaria’s Black Sea towns or Turkey’s coastline. Lithuania and Poland are also great bargains, though Poland is on the Euro now, so it’s not quite as cheap as you may have heard from other backpackers.

Rolf also recently addressed the budget Europe dilemma over at World Hum, suggesting that even countries using the Euro have hidden deals. Rolf consulted budget travel guru, Tim Leffel, who says that getting off the beaten path is the key.

“Prices drop noticeably when you get outside the major cities,” Leffel says, “this is especially true in Hungary and the Czech Republic, which offer some of the best deals on the continent.”

I’ll admit that when I’m planning a trip, I often ignore Europe because, at first glance, it seems so expensive. However, keep in mind that while Asia and South America are cheaper once you get on the ground, the airfare is often significantly more expensive (from the U.S. anyway).

Score a cheap ticket to Paris, hop a train east and you may find you’re spending no more than you would in Thailand.

[photo of Bulgarian beach by Boby Dimitrov, Flickr]

Posted by | Comments (5)  | April 21, 2009
Category: General

5 Responses to “How to travel Europe on a budget”

  1. Says:

    It’s easy to travel to Europe on a budget. If you’re open to staying in a hostel or guest house, you can save a ton of cash on travel. Don’t eat at fancy restaurants and stick to the pubs or street vendors. You could always “swap” houses with someone if you plan on being in a certain area for some time. It would be an adventure of a lifetime!

  2. Bob The Girl Says:

    The CouchSurfing Project is huge in Europe and getting bigger in the US. I stayed in Paris just last week with a host there, and went to a couchsurfing project party with a bunch of other hosts in Paris. Check out

  3. Says:

    » How to travel Europe on a budget :: Vagablogging :: Rolf Potts Vagabonding Blog…

    » How to travel Europe on a budget :: Vagablogging :: Rolf Potts Vagabonding Blog…

  4. Says:

    To save money traveling in Europe, I can highly recommend the following:

    Stay in hostels
    Buy food and snacks from supermarkets and make your own meals
    Avoid drinking too much alcohol
    Take trains
    Shop around for tours
    Take public transport