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Planning

Budget Your Money

For most of us, money will be an important factor when planing a trip. Of course, only you know what you can afford and what you’re willing to spend. We will try to show you what you can expect to spend. Once you figure how much you want to spend use the guidelines we have and see if it fits your budget. There are several factors that will determine the cost of your trip.

What Time of the Year Will You Travel?

Where Do You Want To Travel To?

How Long Will You Be Traveling?

Things You Want To See and Do?

What Transportation Will You Need?

What Level of Accommodations & Food Will You Want?

How Will You Save Money?

What Time of the Year Will You Travel ?

In the travel industry there are 3 seasons for travel in Europe.

The Low Season – November to March 

  • Weather – Cold weather in north with snow. Warm clothing a must. This is the best time for skiing.
  • Daylight Hours – avg. 8 1/2 hours. The farther north the few daylight hours.
  • Cost – Seasonally it’s always less expensive to travel in the winter
  • Crowds – Fewer visitors
  • Attractions – Some have limited hours and days of operation. Certain services may even be closed
  • Events – Other than the Christmas Markets in December there are limited events and festivals outdoors.

The High Season – Mid June to August

  • Weather – Extreme heat in southern Mediterranean countries and not all hotels have air conditioning. Best time for Scandinavia travel.
  • Daylight Hours – avg. 15 – 16 hours longest days in Scandinavia.
  • Costs – Costs are highest for airlines and accommodations.
  • Crowds – Can be very heavy as most Europeans vacation in August.
  • Attractions – Almost all attractions are open with extended hours.
  • Events – The summer is when the majority of festivals occur throughout Europe.

The Shoulder Seasons – April to June / September to October  

  • Weather – Mild to warm still good for beaches in Mediterranean.
  • Daylight Hours – avg. 10 – 11 hours, ample lights hours for most activities.
  • Costs – Prices can be slightly lower especially with airlines.
  • Crowds – Moderate to Heavy, lighter crowds than the summer.
  • Attractions – Most are still open and operating.
  • Events – A moderate number of festivals take place with the Oktoberfest’s in the fall in central Europe.

Also, things can more more expensive if there is a major event occurring at the time you plan to visit. Prices will be higher in Munich during Octoberfest or any other city when demand for rooms and other services is extremely high. Check with the local web sites or your hotel for city events, like major conventions. Holidays may also be a time to avoid certain cities especially around religious or national holidays.

Where Do You Want to Travel To?

Some countries are a better value than others. Eastern European countries other can be a better value while the UK & France can be more costly. Cities like London, Paris & Rome are high destinations for most travelers to Europe and cost more but, cities like Budapest, Lisbon, Berlin cab be values at this time and have great attractions and ambiance you’ll never forget. Transportation choices, cost and convenience from the US to countries like, Bulgaria, Romania, the Balkan and Baltic countries can be a little more difficult and costly but, once there are a great value that’s easy on the budget.

The table below has information that should help you to understand how cost may vary in some countries. Keep in mind cost can be higher in major cities and high tourists areas. Cost below can always be less if one is willing to rough it by forfeiting comfort and convenience.

Daily average country cost are calculated by the average daily cost per person. / Additional cost displayed is for higher cost choices in quality.

Accommodations cost are an average price from low to high rates for hostels and hotels based on double occupancy. / Also displayed is a higher average cost for better hotel class.

Food cost are a daily average food cost for 3 meals. / Also displayed is a higher average cost for upscaled dinning.

Country Daily AverageAccommodationsDaily Food
Serbia$$21. / $43.$18. / $34.$8. / $18.
Turkey$$24. / $72.$30. / $93.$5. / $11.
Ukraine$$29. / $73.$36. / $43.$7. / $17.
Belarus$$32. / $84.$38. / $98.$10. /$27.
North Macedonia$$36. / $159.$45. / $186.$9.50 / $47
Albania$$47. / $106.$36. / $63.$14. / $32.
Russia$$$51. / $134.$57. / $150.$12. / $31.
Bulgaria$$$58. / $134.$62. / $128.$14. / $38.
Latvia$$$59. / $145.$55. / $125.$21. / $58.
Bosnia Herzegovina$$$62. / $152.$54. / $130.$24. / $60
Montenegro$$$67. / $150.$55. / $116.$24. / $56.
Poland$$$67. / $180.$81. / $212.$16. / $40.
Hungary$$$68. / $176$75. / $204.$16. / $38.
Romania$$$72. / $151.$53. / $117.$25. / 56.
Estonia$$$73. / $182.$85. / $216. $17. / $42.
Lithuania$$$76. / $176.$73. / $149.$30. / $81.
Slovakia$$$77. / $167.$91. / $196.$21. / $47.
Croatia$$$78. / $191.$84. / $206$23. / $55
Czechia$$$83. / $204.$97. / $252.$20. / $44.
Slovenia$$$85. / $180.$95. / $199.$21. / $44.
Cyprus$$$93. / $194.$85. / $178.$37. / $78.
UK-Wales$$$$106. / $272.$151. / $388.$19. / $44.
Norway$$$$109. / $245.$112. / $252.$29. / $65.
Portugal$$$$113. / $266.$100. / $224.$34. / $78.
Belgium$$$$120. / $285.$120. / $270$36. / $93.
Austria$$$$120. / $295.$130. / $323.$28. / $65.
Germany$$$$121. / $301.$122. / $285.$32. / $79.
Ireland$$$$123. / $303.$114. / $274.$36. / $90.
Greece$$$$124. / $334.$124. / $368.$32. / $70.
Spain$$$$126. / $344.$113. / $303.$30. / $75.
Sweden$$$$127. / $303.$124. / $287.$30. / $66.
UK-N. Ireland
$$$$133. / $304.$138. / $348.$49. / $106.
Finland$$$$137. / $298.$129. / $272.$30. / $67.
Netherlands$$$$139. / $339$155. / $395.$34. / $77.
Italy$$$$140. / $357$145. / $365.$37. / $89.
UK-Scotland$$$$142. / $346.$136. / $324.$37. / $87.
Andorra$$$$149. / $307.$124 / $251.$41. / $80.
UK- England$$$$$157. / $446.$181. / $531.$37. / $94.
Luxembourg$$$$$166. / $331$160. / $312.$72. / $143
Iceland$$$$$166. / $389.$160. / $373.$29. / $66.
Denmark$$$$$182. / $472.$151. / $386.$51. / $132.
Leichtenstein$$$$$188. / $355.$200. / $392.$56. / $107.
Malta$$$$$189. / $272.$110. / $215$25. / $49.
Monaco$$$$$190. / $375.$220. / $432.$53. / $103.
Switzerland$$$$$$204. / $504.$263. / $663.$42. / $100.
France$$$$$$206. / $696$276 / $1,035.$34. / $81.

How Long Will You be Traveling?

It goes without saying that the total numbers of days you travel will add a another days cost to your budget. Most people travel for two weeks. Remember you most likely will spend a day traveling to Europe and if you want to be home for one before you go back to work, that will leave you with 12 days in Europe. Will all that one can do in Europe and see, that doesn’t leave very much time.

If you want go for only a week, stay concentrated in a small area so you aren’t spending hours traveling from one destination to the next.

For those of you who plan to spend more than two weeks and make this an adventure we are envious. Hopefully good careful planing will stretch your money and allow you to have an experience of a lifetime. It is possible because people do it all the time, traveling for months at a time.

What Things Do You Want to See and Do ?

The chart below list some of the most popular things to do in each city. Some Museums are free as well as other attractions.  Museums passes will allow for free and immediate entry with no waiting, while others offer a reduce price for entry. There may be additional fees for special or temporary exhibits at museums. Venues such as music halls, sports stadiums, etc. may have minimal entrance fees to tour the facilities but, events will cost extra and tickets will need too be purchased separately.

However, the best part of many cities is just walking around the streets and neighborhoods and looking at the periods of different architecture.  View famous landmarks, beautiful gardens and flowing fountains. Watch the street vendors, the entertainers and its regular local people carrying on with their everyday lives. There is so much to observe and it’s all free, unless of course you decide to shop and eat.

Prices are in USD for adult ticket comparisons. Reduced prices may be available for children & seniors. Museum or city passes may include free entry or a discounted ticket price.

🇳🇱 Amsterdam
🇬🇷 Athens
🇪🇸 Barcelona
🇩🇪 Berlin
 🇧🇪 Brussels
 🇭🇺 Budapest
🇩🇰 Copenhagen
 🇮🇪 Dublin
 🇭🇷 Dubrovnik
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Edinburgh
🇮🇹 Florence
🇫🇮 Helsinki
🇹🇷 Istanbul
🇵🇱 Krakow
🇵🇹 Lisbon
🇬🇧 London
🇪🇸 Madrid
🇮🇹 Milan
🇷🇺 Moscow
🇩🇪 Munich
🇳🇴 Oslo
🇫🇷 Paris
🇨🇿 Prague
🇮🇹 Rome
🇷🇺 St. Petersburg
🇸🇪 Stockholm
🇮🇹 Venice
🇦🇹 Vienna
🇵🇱 Warsaw
🇨🇭Zürich

What Transportation Will You Need?

Airlines

  • Ticket pricing follows the season trend of pricing with winter having the lowest cost.
  • The airport you fly out of and into can also determine the cost. 
  • The day of travel will also have a bearing on your cost.
  • Booking well enough in advance.

You can shop online at airline web sites or aggregate sites that will scan most airlines for the best prices and options. Go to our » Airlines page for more flight information and our Booking Information page. 

  • Taxis from airports…. By comparison taking taxis from the airport to the city center can be quite a bit more expensive than public transit. Most taxis have flat rates to the center of the center but could vary if you are not in the exact city center.
  • Public transportation from airports… Public airport transportation may also be less with bus over metro or tram.  Special express buses or trains usually have no stops between the airport and center terminal. They are quicker and easier but also more expensive than other public transit but, still less than taxis. Check with your hotel as some offer free airport shuttles and others have agreements with shuttle or limo companies at reduced rates. These will be quicker with door to door delivery and for people who need assistance with luggage.

Trains

Chances are you will use a train during your time in Europe. Unlike the USA they are a major source for good and reliable transportation for millions of Europeans and visitors. The train network in most countries provides service to multiple destinations frequently. Please go to our » Train page for more detailed Train information. 

Public Transportation

While staying in large cities public transportation is your easiest choice. Whether it is the metro, a bus, a tram, a taxi or ride share, you’ll find plenty of transportation available. There are a lot of options as Europeans rely on public transportation more than Americans do. Go to our » Public Transit page for more detailed information.

  • Single ride & multiple day transit tickets… Single ride usually enables you to just one ride and some allow use anywhere for 40 minutes to two hours from validation. Multiple day tickets are easier to use because you have unlimited travel. Many passes include all bus, metro & tram lines as well as, some include boat, ferry, funicular and cable transportation. Tickets at most transit companies are more expensive if you buy them on the transit vehicle. Save money by buying your tickets or passes before boarding a transit vehicle.

What Level of Travel Will You Want ?

Staying near local attractions and hotels featured on TV programs or travel guides are always in high demand so their cost are more. Find alternative neighborhoods to stay in other than the ones always talked about in books or on TV. Stay a distance from major tourists sites but, not too far, it can bring the cost down as well. 

You can save on food and still enjoy the wonderful cuisines European countries have to offer. Many hotels provide a free breakfast so make sure you inquire when booking your accommodations. Look for restaurants away from famous tourist venues to find value. Restaurants with limited menus offerings is a good indicator that everything is made fresh daily and look for locals eating within the restaurant. Prices for more well know and exclusive restaurants be will considerably higher. Hotels restaurants tend to be higher in cost for the same comparable food at a local restaurant. Buying beer or wine in retail stores will be less and many countries and cities permit public consumption of alcoholic beverages. Drinking coffee or cappuccino while standing at a bar is normally less than sitting at a table.

Buying small souvenirs to bring back as you may not have enough room to pack them all in your luggage. Some shops provide shipping back to the US for a fee on special larger purchases. Delivery can take up to several months to receive.

How Will You Save Money ?

I think it speaks for itself, that you need to decide how much you will use any pass before you buy one. Figure out the individual cost of things first and compare that against the pass cost. Don’t buy a city pass for one day when you will only see one attraction or a rail pass and use it only once. Read our pages on these subjects within this web site for more ways to save.

There are many ways to save money on transportation, accommodations, eating, sightseeing and more.
1.  Rail Passes.
2. City & Museum Passes.
3. City and regional transportation passes.
4. Hotel reward programs for free nights or multiple night stays.
5. Using airline miles & promotions.
6. Booking your flight and room together in a package deal.
7. Tourist Office specials.
8. Redeem points and miles from reward & credit card programs into free airline flights and free nights at hotels.

If you shop and make good choices a trip to Europe could could be the best money you’ve ever spent on a vacation.