With its gorgeous churches and old-world appeal, it’s easy to see why Europe is such a hotspot for travelers. But backpacking through Europe on a budget can be surprisingly difficult.
Though the exchange rate in popular countries like Italy and Spain can be difficult for Americans, these tips will help you navigate the continent without breaking the bank.
Eat at Local Corner Shops
There are hundreds of gorgeous, expensive restaurants throughout Europe that will blow your mind. Can’t afford that? Don’t worry! There are plenty of other great options as well. In France, for example, I lived largely on baguettes, cheese and deli meat. I would visit a local bread shop for baguettes ($1) and then a shop across the street for meat and cheese ($2) and voila! A gorgeous baguette sandwich for less than $5. And it was enough to keep me full for two meals!
Fly on Local Airlines
There are lots of great options for getting across Europe on the cheap. Local airlines like EasyJet have great, low-cost options and RyanAir often has European flights for as low as $20 if you time it right.
Spend Time Walking Around
A lot of the big attractions in Europe come with big price tags, but there is so much to see and do by just walking around and eating street food. Most European cities are perfect for strolling– London, Paris, you name it! Choose what you absolutely have to see and do, and spend money on that. Save elsewhere by just walking around discovering hidden gems!
Budget for Accommodation
Hostels in Europe are not as cheap as they are in other parts of the world, but you can still find accommodation on a budget. Renting local apartments can be a great way to save money as most have a kitchen, and if you’re staying with more than one person it likely won’t be more than what you’d pay for a room in a hostel. Couchsurfing is also an option in Europe and a great way to make some new local friends!
Whatever you do, enjoy! There are some things you simply have to spend money on. Paris wouldn’t have been the same for me, had I not gone to the top of the Eiffel Tower, for example. And although you can walk up a million flights of stairs if you so choose, for me, it was money well spent to take the elevator. Decide what’s important to you, and make that a priority.