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How Much I Spent on a 4 Week Europe Trip

Europe trip costs

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One of the biggest concerns people have when preparing to travel is estimating how much money the trip will cost them. Before my four week trip throughout Europe this summer, I tried to find a few resources that would give me day-by-day cost breakdowns of what fellow travelers spend in each city.

I couldn’t find anything that helped me estimate daily costs, so I decided to track my spending abroad during the trip and make a resource for fellow Thrifty Travelers looking to plan travel spending wisely.

I have tracked the costs of all aspects of our month-long trip throughout 11 cities in Europe. The cost has been broken down per day and per person. The prices I paid have been converted back into USD to give you a  better picture of the price ranges of money spent in each city.

 

Paying Abroad

I used two cards to purchase everything you see in the list below: my Charles Schwab debit card and my Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. The Schwab debit card highlights include unlimited ATM fee rebates worldwide, no foreign transaction fees, and no minimum balance or monthly fees. This makes the Schwab debit an awesome way to take out local currency from bank ATMs abroad without fees. Read more about the Schwab debit card here.

I also love using my Chase Sapphire Preferred card abroad because I get 2x points on travel and restaurants worldwide. Getting double points for the money I spent every day on our trip was great and the card also doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

I used my Chase Sapphire Preferred card everywhere I could to rack up my points, but when cash was necessary, I used a local ATM attached to a bank. Getting local currency will always be cheapest at an ATM.

 

Transportation Costs

To give you a better idea of what I spent daily in each city, I have calculated my transportation costs separate from daily spending.

I purchased my round-trip flight ticket from Minneapolis to Budapest from a crazy cheap Thrifty Traveler Premium flash sale. I got my Air Canada flight with one stop each way for $380 round trip for a peak summer departure!

Read more about how Thrifty Traveler Premium works to get a cheap international flight deal to your destination. I then purchased a one-way flight to our starting point: Amsterdam. This ended up being much cheaper than a multi-city ticket.

Total flights cost: $510

Instead of purchasing separate flights, train tickets, or bus tickets to get to each of these 11 cities below, we booked a Hop-On Hop-Off Busabout pass. The Busabout Hop-On Hop-Off bus system has a set route and schedule, and picks you up at your hostel in one city and drops you off at your hostel in the next.

Busabout crew are on the bus and provide information on the history of the city, bar and restaurant recommendations, tips on what to see in the city, and can book tours for you in advance. Check out my article to read more about how Busabout works.

I used my ISIC student ID card to get a student discount on a 1 Month Hop-On Hop-Off Pass and then had an extra Christmas promo code.

Total Busabout cost: $426, about $35 per city transport, or about $14 a day

 

busabout

Busabout route through Hungary

Accommodations Abroad

To save money for other activities, we opted to stay in hostels in almost every city. Hostels are a great way to cut your accommodation costs by a significant amount. Don’t worry, it’s not all 6-bed dorms with bunk beds: nearly every single hostel also provides private rooms and suites. Read my article on other benefits hostels provide to travelers, and learn how to use Hostelworld to find the best hostels. All prices are per person.

 

Amsterdam:

DAY 1

Metro ticket from the airport to Central station: $6.21

Metro ticket from Central station to hostel area: $3.50

David Boat House Boat Hostel: $183.41 (2 people, 2 nights, 1 room); $45.85 per person, per night

Thai food dinner: $17.56

 

DAY 2

24-hour metro pass: $8.20

Anne Frank Huis online tickets: $11.71

Amsterdam Pancakes: $17.56

Amsterdam Pancakes…again: $8.20

Supermarket Dinner: $7.03

Thrifty Tip: Save money by grabbing prepackaged salads or sandwiches from a central grocery store instead of eating at a restaurant.

Prostitution Museum: $12.29

Total for Amsterdam: $183.95, about $92 a day

 

Amsterdam

Eating our grocery store salads and chips on an Amsterdam canal.

Berlin:

DAY 1

Travel lunch stop: $11.71

Cityhostel Berlin: $94.76 (3 nights, 2 people, 2 beds in a 6-bed dorm), $15.79 per person, per night

Currywurst and drinks for dinner: $9.37

 

DAY 2

Snack: $3.50

Tip for Free Walking Tour Guide: $5.85

Kebabs Lunch: $9.37

Third Reich Tour Booking: $14.05

Tip for Third Reich guide: $5.85

Metro tickets for Jewish Quarter during tour: $2.34

Hummus Dinner: $11.71

 

DAY 3

Coffee: $3.50

Memorial for Murdered Jews audioguide: $3.51

Bratwurst Lunch: $9.37

Alternative Graffiti Tour: $14.05

Train Tickets for during tour: $4.68

Bürgermeister Dinner: $8.20

Drinks at Cinema Cafe bar: $4.68

Total for Berlin: $169.11, about $56 a day

 

Dresden:

DAY 1

Kebab Dinner: $5.85

Kangaroo-Stop Hostel: $103.86 (2 nights, 2 people, 2 beds in a 6-bed dorm), $25.97 per person, per night

 

hostel

Kangaroo-Stop Hostel reading room

 

DAY 2

Coffee: $2.34

Pfunds Monterei milk and cheese plate: $5.85

Hygiene Museum: $4.68

Kebab lunch: $5.85

Zwinger Palace tickets: $10.54

Dresden 1900 Dinner: $16.39

Total for Dresden pp: $103.44/pp, about $51 a day

 

Prague:

DAY 1

Prague Art Hole Hostel: $161.97 (2 people, 3 nights, 2 beds in a 4-bed dorm), $27 per person, per night

Lokal Dinner: $22

Absintherie drinks: $4.10

Hemingway Bar drinks: $7.03

 

DAY 2

Free Walking Tour Tip: $3.51

Kolonial Lunch: $11.71

Castle Tour Tickets: $11.71

Beers at Monastery Brewery: $3.51

Krcma Dinner: $8.27

Groceries: $5.01

 

DAY 3

Castle Golden Lane Tickets: $5.83

Chimney Cake: $4.68

Cathedral Cafe drinks: $9.11

Total for Prague: $150.47, about $50 a day

 

Cesky Krumlov:

DAY 1

Hostel Pension Galko: $109.59 (2 people, 2 nights, private room), $27.40 per person, per night

Tower Viewpoint Tickets: $3.19

Garlic Soup Lunch: $9.11

Pork Knee Dinner: $9.57

 

DAY 2

Indian lunch: $7.74

Castle tickets: $10.02

Museum tickets: $3.19

Crepes: $5.38

Indian dinner: $22.78

Total for Cesky Krumlov: $70.98, about $35 a day

 

Munich:

DAY 1

Wombats City Hostel Munich: $223.48 (2 people, 3 nights, 2 beds in a 6-bed dorm), $37.25 per person, per night

Augustiner Dinner: $29.27

Hostel drinks: $8.77

 

DAY 2

Starbucks coffee: $4.68

Tip for Free Tour: $5.85

Thrifty Tip: Free Tours with companies like Sandemans New Europe are a great way to get an introduction to the city. We did a free walking tour in nearly every city we visited. Note that although the tour is free, a tip is highly recommended. We tended to tip between $5-10 per person, depending on the quality of the tour.

Pretzel and sausage lunch: $3.51

Hofbrauhaus beers: $8.20

Groceries: $17.57

tour

Free Walking Tour in Munich

DAY 3

Neuschwanstein Castle Day Trip Tour: $67.91

Castle Entrance Ticket: $16.40

Total for Munich: $273.91, about $91 a day

 

Salzburg:

DAY 1

YOHO International Youth Hostel: $232.74 (2 people, 4 nights, 4-bed dorm), $29.09 per night, per person

Indian lunch: $10.54

Fortress ticket: $14.05

Dinner: $15.22

Snacks: $4.68

 

DAY 2:

All day bus tickets: $11.71

Snacks: $3.51

(Free hostel dinner)

Thrifty Tip: Check out your hostel options on Hostelworld and pick one that has the perks and benefits you want most! We booked two different hostels that provided free breakfasts and free dinners. This helped us save quite a bit on dining costs.

 

DAY 3:

24-hour Salzburg Card: $31.61

Thrifty Tip: Many European cities now offer a 24- or 48-hour city card. It gets you access to all public transportation and included tourist attractions during the time. We used the Salzburg card to get into Mozart’s birthplace, trick fountains, a panoramic view, a boat cruise, a Stiegl brewery tour, and more! This is a cheaper option than buying tickets for each attraction separately.

Grocery store lunch: $5.85

Snacks: $5.85

(Free hostel dinner)

 

DAY 4:

Farmers Market lunch: $5.85

All day bus tickets: $11.71

Salt Mine tour tickets: $16.39

Groceries: $10.54

Thrifty Tip: You won’t see any charges for breakfast meals out at restaurants on this list. This is because we brought breakfast bars and instant oatmeal packets from home to make our own breakfasts each morning at a very low cost.

We also bought fruit from local groceries for breakfast and snacks on the go. We purchased groceries several times throughout the trip to make meals in our hostel to save on dining costs. Pasta, rice, and sandwiches are great cheap options!

Total for Salzburg: $263.87, about $66 a day

 

hostel

We buy groceries and make some meals abroad to save on dining.

Vienna:

DAY 1

Airbnb: $181.25 (2 people, 3 nights, private room in apartment), $30.21 per person, per night

Groceries: $21. 66

 

DAY 2

Cathedral entrance tickets: $16.39

Opera tour tickets: $4.68

Hofburg Palace: $14.05

Central Cafe coffee and desserts: $18.73

Drinks on the patio: $17.56

 

DAY 3

All day metro pass: $9.37

Schonbrunn Palace: $23.42

Prater ride ticket: $5.85

Total for Vienna pp: $222.34, about $74 a day

 

Bratislava:

DAY 1

Hostel Folks Hostel: $227.91 (2 people, 2 nights, private room), $56.98 per person, per night

Pulitzer Lunch: $9.37

Walking Tour tip: $5.85

Dinner: $18.73

Gelato: $3.51

 

DAY 2

Pulitzer Lunch: $7.03

Beer: $4.68

Multium Mirror Museum: $3.51

Groceries: $5.85

Total for Bratislava pp: $172.49, about $86 a day

 

Krakow:

DAY 1

Greg & Tom Hostel: $88.04 (2 people, 3 nights, 4-bed dorm), $14.67 per person, per night

Goulash dinner: $10.45

Groceries: $4.07

 

DAY 2

Auschwitz Day Trip Tour: $39

Curry lunch: $4.77

Dragon Lair ticket: $1.46

(Free hostel dinner)

 

DAY 3

Krakow in 15 show: $3.80

Free tour tip: $5.85

Drinks: $2.71

Pierogis lunch: $6.79

(Free hostel dinner)

Total for Krakow pp: $122.91, about $41 a day

 

Budapest:

DAY 1

Taxi to hostel: $5.37

Inside Hostel Budapest: $213.96 (5 nights, 2 people, private room ensuite), $21.40 per person, per night

Groceries: $1.79

 

DAY 2

10-pack metro tickets: $5.37

Ice cream: $2.15

Matthias Church ticket: $3.58

Kebabs dinner: $5.37

Thrifty Tip: Not all dining out has to be expensive! Find some options in each city that are inexpensive and delicious. For us, this was kebabs in Berlin and Budapest. Kebabs are a Turkish food that are cheap, and incredibly delicious and filling. At $5 for this huge plate, that’s hard to beat.

World Cup Drinks: $2.87

Szimpla bar drinks and shisha: $8.60

Groceries: $8.96

 

kebab

Kebab Plate and Durum Kebab (wrap) in Budapest

DAY 3

Margaret Island thermal baths: $8.60

Kebabs dinner: $6.45

Kuplung bar: $3.58

 

DAY 4

10-pack metro tickets: $5.37

Ice cream: $1.79

Lemonade: $3.58

Terror museum: $10.75

Kebabs dinner: $6.09

Langos food truck: $1.79

Fogas bar: $1.79

 

DAY 5

Groceries: $3.58

Szechenyi thermal baths day pass, locker, and massage: $90

Kebab dinner: $6.45

Airport shuttle: $3.22

Total for Budapest: $304.10, about $61 a day

 

Bottom Line

I am proud to say, all expenses included, we saw 11 cities in 4 weeks and had the Europe trip of a lifetime for under $3,000! In the cities, I spent a total of $2,037.57 (per person). My grand total including flights and bus was $2,973.57 (per person).

Hopefully, this breakdown of what we spent on accommodation, activities, food, and other daily expenses in Europe can help you estimate what you will need to save for your trip abroad. Adjust your personal travel cost estimation for your personal preferences: if you plan to stay in hotels rather than hostels or prefer to eat out for every meal rather than buy groceries, this will increase your daily spend.

Tracking my spending in each city not only helped me write this article and share this knowledge with you, but also kept my spending in check. Next time you travel, I encourage you to keep an Excel spreadsheet or a log in your Notes app on your phone of each purchase you make on a trip. Challenge yourself to find thrifty ways to save on your travels.

 

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

4 Responses

  1. I can’t figure out the math. If the plane tickets were $510 pp and Bus About tickets were $426 pp, that comes to $1,872, leaving hotel, meals, local transport, admissions/tours, etc at $1,128 for two people, or approximately $40 per day or $20 per person per day. Sounds too good to be true. I’m hoping I missed/misunderstood something.

    • Mikhala Stutzman says:

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for catching! Those totals are per person — sorry for the confusion. I’ve changed wording in concluding paragraph to clear that up. That would definitely be too good to be true for two people!

  2. $72.75 pp per day , including accommodations ain’t too shabby 🙂 Well done!!! Now challenge yourself to halve that by going to Asia or Latin America.

    • Mikhala Stutzman says:

      Thank you! Lived in Asia for a year, and agree–much easier to get by for half this price in Asia. Europe is a different beast 🙂

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