How much money does it cost to backpack around Europe? This is one of the main questions I’m asked by would-be backpackers. Obviously, it’ll cost however much you spend, but here are some rough estimates for a budget backpacker – while staying in hostels, eating from supermarkets, using public transport, and staying away from the major tourist attractions (i.e. Disneyland).
Add 20% during the peak season, and 10% for hitting the clubs once a week. All costs are for a 2-3 day stay in each city (more if you stay less, less if you stay longer)
Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid and London are the main centers for culture, business, and tourism in the west. Food and transport are expensive, and travel costs reflect this. Expect to spend about 50-70 Euros per day (upto 150 Euros per day if spending any period of time in the tourist trap areas of London, Paris or Amsterdam).
It gets a little cheaper in places like Germany, Czech, Austria and Italy. Expect to spend 30-40 Euros per day (50-70 in Switzerland).
Eastern Europe (North)
The Baltics, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia are very cheap in comparison to their cousins in the west. Public transport is particularly cheap, but food and alcohol is still quite pricey – remember to drink what the locals drink rather than the imports. Expect to spend 20-30 Euros per day.
Eastern Europe (South)
As you get further behind the old iron curtain, you’ll find some things very cheap, and others quite expensive. Expect to spend 15-30 Euros per day. Greece (particularly the islands) is the exception, and you should budget 25-40 Euros/day if you have Greek ambitions.
Far Eastern Europe
Turkey isn’t as cheap as you’d expect – there are high taxes on petrol, alcohol, and anything related to tourism. Remember to take in some duty free, and eat like the locals – 15-20 Euros per day. Georgia and Syria (pre-revolution) are very cheap, you’ll spend as little as 10-15 Euros per day.