30 Awesome Money-saving Europe Travel Tips
Europe travel is often considered an extravagant escapade that would cost travelers thousands of dollars in just a few days. Let’s face it, Europe as a tourist destination is a lot more expensive than Southeast Asia, South America and even North America. As a matter of fact, some wealthy socialites and privileged travelers even think of Europe travel as a costly leisurely endeavor.
Amazingly, there have been plenty of backpackers and budget-conscious travelers who have traveled across Europe without breaking the bank. The truth is, you don’t need to spend a tremendous amount of money to get a full taste of Europe’s laid-back splendor, gripping culture and impressive history.
As long you as manage your travel funds properly and play your cards right, you too can have a lovely Europe travel experience without the need to spend a fortune. Of course, a bit of research and Europe travel planning would also come in handy for your European trip.
Traveling to Europe on a tight budget? You might want to take a quick look at these Europe travel tips and suggestions:
1. Europe travel with low-cost airlines
Thanks to the revolution of low-cost airlines like Ryanair and easyJet, traveling across this vast continent via air is now very affordable. Despite their hidden extras, the prices for these airlines are quite good and cheap.
2. Stay in a B&B
For half the price of a lavish hotel, a B&B accommodation offers you a cozy place to stay with an extra touch of cultural intimacy and warmth. You can find these accommodations in most parts in Europe, if you know its native word. In Norway, a B&B is called Husrom, while Slovenians call it Sobe. Germans, meanwhile, call it as Gästezimmer.
3. Opt to stay in a hostel when traveling with a group
Traveling with the entire family or a bunch of friends? Apartments make terrific accommodations for large groups, but if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, it is ideal that you stay in a hostel.
4. Sleep in a budget hotel chain
Europe has a handful of budget hotel chains like Ibis and Travelodge that can give you a cozy and affordable place to get a good night’s sleep.
5. Book accommodations that are far from the city center
Accommodations that are away from the city center are significantly cheaper. The closer your hotel is to the city center, the more money you will have to shell out.
6. Avoid Europe travel during its summer season
For budget-conscious tourists, summer is by far the worst time to visit this continent. Prices are pretty steep, and everything is nearly booked up, during this season. Not to mention, the cities are crowded uncomfortably with tourists.
7. Travel during off-season
Travel during Europe’s off-season, which generally starts from October and ends on April. Not only will get to enjoy cheaper airfares, but you are also going to find more vacancies, as far as affordable hostels and budget rooms, during this time of the year. As a bonus, you will be spending less time in queues as well as meeting more European locals than tourists, allowing you to experience the true feel, essence and beauty of Europe.
8. Pay a visit to the destination’s tourist information point
Every time you arrive in a European city or town, make it a point to drop by the tourism information center, and ask for free maps, discounts as well as information for cost-free events.
9. Take advantage of free museum admissions
You don’t have to skip the fancy museums in Europe, just to save money for your trip. European museums, for the most part, offer free admissions on certain times or days of the week, or at certain periods of the month. For instance, Paris’s highly acclaimed Louvre Museum is open to the public for free every first Sunday of every month, from April to September.
10. Free entertainment
Keep an eye out for performances and concerts that are offered for free in churches, local parks, and other venues. To me, the best places to find free entertainment in Europe are through local entertainment listings and newspapers.
11. Look for a travel partner
Travel with a buddy to save and share expenses for trip. With a Europe travel partner, you will have someone to share the costs of your hotel, guidebooks, and taxi fares (if badly needed).
12. Never buy maps back home
Maps sold back home cost twice as much as the ones in Europe.
13. Download GPS maps to your smartphone or iPhone
Better yet, use your mobile device, and download free travel map and GPS apps like
- Google Maps
- CityMaps 2Go
14. Free walking tours from Sandemans
Do you want to get inside scoop of your destination’s history and culture for free? Then, make sure to take advantage of the free walking tours offered by the sprightly volunteers and tour guides of Sandemans New Europe. As of now, this group offers free tours to the following European destinations:
15. Go to Portugal
Portugal, as far as I’m concerned, is the destination that provides the best value for your money in Western Europe. Famous for its European old-world charm, the country has lovely medieval towns as well as offers cheap yet delectable culinary treats, such as the luscious pastries of Pasteis de Nata.
Places to visit in Portugal
16. Visit Sarajevo
Sarajevo may not be as beloved and popular as Paris, London and Rome, but it is nevertheless a magnificent destination filled with freebies and cheap delights.
17. Swing by Berlin
Berlin is, without a shadow of a doubt, one the best value destinations in all of Europe. From luxury hostels to apartments, the city has broad range of top-notch budget accommodations to offer to its visitors. What’s more, there are a lot of free things tourists can do and enjoy in this German hub, such as listening to Berlin Philharmonic’s free concerts during lunchtime.
18. Go to Eastern European cities
Eastern European cities like Istanbul and Budapest are budget-friendly destinations that can give you a memorable Europe travel experience.
19. Communicate online
Instead of sending texts or postcards to your loved ones back home, why don’t you communicate with them through the internet? In Europe, sending a postcard with a stamp would cost as much as a 15-minute session in a cybercafé. Besides, the continent has heaps of hostels, hotels and libraries that offer free internet access.
20. Avoid mobile internet roaming
Roaming charges for internet access abroad are ridiculously expensive, especially in Europe. As an alternative, buy a simcard with a local internet data, and insert it to your phone during your Europe travel.
If, however, your phone is still locked to its original data provider, you can either have it unlocked by a gizmo wizard, or buy a new mobile Wi-Fi device (usually costs around 50 Euros).
21. Make calls to everyone back home for free
You can avoid making costly long-distance calls to your friends and family back home during your Europe travel, by installing these apps to your mobile device:
- Viber App
22. Buy a city pass
If you are planning to swing by a number of attractions in museums in a European city, it is best that you invest in a city pass. To be honest, buying a city pass will cost you a few Euros, which may initially turn off budget-conscious travelers like you. But at the end of the day, this investment can help you save more money for your Europe travel. The Berlin Card, for example, provides free access to the city’s public transportation as well as tons discounts to museum, restaurants, tours, sights and a whole lot more.
23. Walk often
Walk as often as you can, and enjoy the breathtaking sights of the city or town you’re visiting during your Europe travel.
24. Buy a transportation pass
If walking is not your cup of tea, use the city’s public transportation system during your Europe travel. Also, buy a 3-day, one-week or 24-hour transportation pass, so you can save more Euros from your transportation during your Europe travel. Trust me, a transportation pass will work out much cheaper than buying single tickets.
25. Ditch the cabs
Try to avoid taxi cab rides, as much as possible to reduce your expenses during your Europe travel.
26. Rent a bike
Bike rentals are far cheaper than taxi cab trips.
27. Don’t buy bottled water
In most parts of Europe, a whole liter of bottled water costs a couple of Euros or more. And frankly, that’s quite a lot of money for drinking water in my opinion. Two Euros may be worth nothing to you, but why would you pay for something when you can get it for free?
As a budget-conscious traveler in Europe, you can save around six Euros a day from your drinking water by filling your bottles with tap water in your hotel. In Europe, travelers have the luxury to consume clean and drinkable tap water.
28. Shop and dine at department stores
You can get cheap post cards, souvenirs and folk art in Europe’s department stores. Likewise, these stores have restaurants and cafeterias that offer affordable and hearty meals to locals and savvy tourists.
29. Buy products at flea markets
Although they are notorious for ripping off foreigners, open-air flea markets can be a great boon to you during your Europe travel. From spices and food to cool souvenirs, these markets offer great deals for a wide variety of products.
30. Hop on a bus
Buses, even though they are slower, are a tad cheaper than trains, especially in major European cities and top destinations. A train ride in Europe could cost you around 145 USD. A bus ride, on the other hand, with the same route may only cost 45 USD.
With these money-saving Europe travel tips, I’m pretty sure you are going to have a blast in Europe, without the need to shell out a great deal of cash. Ciao!