Costs when Backpacking through Europe

Cost is one of the biggest factors you need to consider, when planning to backpack through Europe. It is important to keep a budget and then stay on budget. However, there are many unplanned factors that arise from travelling. Below is a broad overview of some important things to consider when setting a budget.

When beginning to plan your destinations, it’s a good idea to determine the average costs per day, from transportation, food and lodging.

Asia(Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, China) US$30-50
(India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Indochina)US$25-40
(Hong Kong, Eastern China, South Korea, Singapore)US$40-70
(Japan) US$50-100 (inc. rail pass)
Australia and New Zealand (NZ little cheaper)US$50-70
Melanesia and Polynesia(more in Hawaii and most remote islands)US$50-70
Americas Central America (cheap - Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras) US$30-50
Central America (general - México (expensive transportation), Belize (most expensive), Costa Rica)US$35-55
South America (general - Brazil (most expensive), Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela)US$35-50
South America (cheap - Bolivia, Ecuador) US$30-40
North America (hard to generalise) - New York, San Fran and a few others, expect more.US$50-70
EuropeWestern EuropeUS$50-100
Eastern EuropeUS$40-60
AfricaWest Africa (costs vary enormously between countries like Ghana (very cheap), and CFA (ex-French) countries) US$30-60
East Africa (general - Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) - excluding tours and safaris - allow US$100-200 per day for safarisUS$30-60
Southern Africa (cheap - Malawi, Mozambique (Northern areas more expensive), Zimbabwe) US$25-40
Southern Africa (general - South Africa, Namibia) - excluding tours and safarisUS$35-45
North Africa (general - Egypt (cheapest), Morocco, Tunisia) US$30-50
Middle East (Israel US$50-80, Iran US$35)US$30-50
Gulf States (lack of budget accommodation)US$50-100

Table Information courtesy of Travel Independent 


Your daily expenses can vary, but should be broken down into 5 major categories:

  1. Transportation
  2. Accommodations
  3. Food
  4. Sightseeing/Tours/Attractions
  5. Other



Stick to public transportation to keep costs down. Many major cities offer single, day or monthly passes-choose what best suits your needs. It’s a great way to move from one end of the city to the other. To go between countries, you can get great prices with discount airlines (beware of the limited carryon choices) or many locals use the high speed train. Eurostar and Eurail also offers various passes for travel.


Budgeting for food can be tricky. By purchasing food and drinks at the grocery store can save you a lot of money and keep you on budget. You will want to still eat out, but by not going to a restaurant each night you will be able to stay on budget.


To save money sightseeing, make sure you take advantage of discounts (ie. student discounts, youth rates) and take advantage of city passes/city tourist cards. For example, if it saves you 20% to do 2 attractions, both which you wanted to do, purchase that together rather than from two different operators. Many European cities have organized walking tours. Take advantage of the free tours (guides work on tips) which allows you to experience more sights and cultures of each city.


 Logistics – trains, planes and automobiles