We’re pretty sure we don’t have to tell you how amazing it is to travel through Europe, how you get from one country to the next in no time and how the continent has the perfect combination of nightlife, culture, history, cities, beaches and mountains. You probably know all of that already. However, what you may not know is how to do and see all of that without spending an incredible amount of money. We do, and we will tell you exactly how to survive Europe on a budget.
Tip 1. Act like local
One of the best things to do when you travel on a budget is to go to the places the locals go. This doesn’t only give you the most authentic and fun experience but also saves you A LOT of money. Find out where the locals eat, drink and go out. Ask the hostel staff for ideas or browse through our blogs to read insider tips for specific destinations, for instance non-touristy things to do in Stockholm.
Tip 2. Use public transportation
Europe has an excellent public transportation network. Busses, trains, trams and metros run in almost every city and are much cheaper than taking a taxi or using airport transfers. You can simply use Google Maps to find out which bus to take or to see what time your train departs. In the larger cities there usually is a metro network too – also fully integrated in Google Maps, so no need to even look at the complicated metro maps anymore!
Tip 3. Get a rail pass
If you’re planning to see more of Europe than one or two cities consider purchasing an Interrail/Eurail Pass. This rail pass allows you to use almost every train (and even some ferries) within Europe or a specific region. It’s a very popular way to travel around, especially because purchasing individual train rides can be expensive. Also, having an Interrail/Eurail Pass gives you a lot of discounts on other things, such 10% discount on our hostels!
Tip 4. Avoid going into expensive tourist attractions
Sometimes you feel like you have to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower and visit the Colosseum but isn’t it exciting enough to just see those landmarks from a distance? If you want to visit all of them, get your wallet ready because the admission fees can be pricey.
Tip 5. Explore cities with the Free Walking Tours
The best (and cheapest) way to explore a city is with a Free Walking Tour. In one or a few hours a guide takes to you to the most famous and beautiful places in the city you’re staying. They tell you about the history, give insider tips on where to go for food, parties and how to avoid tourist traps. A good thing to know about the Free Walking Tours is that they often leave from the hostels. Ask the reception for the best tour to join and they will give you all the information you need. Also, the tours are free but giving your guide a tip is the norm rather than the exception.
Tip 6. Bring your student card
If you have a student card (preferably an ISIC card) make sure to bring it on your trip. Students often get discount/free admission to museums and attractions (the Acropolis in Athens for instance is free for students – usually 20 euros (!). Sometimes it’s not even mentioned on the price lists so make sure to ask if there’s a student price before you pay!
Tip 7. Check which museums are free
Various cities (i.e. Barcelona, Rome, Vienna) offer free entrance to museums on the first Sunday of the month. Double check this and any other special days where you don’t have to pay an entrance fee on the website of the local tourism board. Also, in the UK most museums are free. So make sure you get your portion of museum visits there!
Tip 8. Use City Passes
If you’re planning to visit a lot of museums and attractions consider purchasing a City Pass. Almost every city/region offers one. City passes often allow you to visit an unlimited amount of sights within a certain time frame and sometimes include public transport or a ride in the sightseeing bus as well! Purchase them online to get the best deals.
Tip 9. Make lunch your main meal
In Europe restaurants and cafes often offer great lunch deals. Most of the time you will get about the same amount of food as dinner but it’s just a lot cheaper. Find nice places you’d like to go for food and get lunch there. For dinner go to the local markets and cook something at your hostel. You’ll notice that a lot of other travellers will do the same and cooking together is an amazing way to make new friends!
Tip 10. Stay in hostels
Hostels are the hotspot in most European cities and towns. It’s the place to meet people, go on a walking tour/pub crawl or to just hang around with a coffee and have a chat. A good thing about Famous Hostels is that all hostels are at the best locations in cities, are clean and have something special, such as rooftop bars with an amazing view, hot tubs or simply the best breakfast you can think off. To check if there’s a Famous Hostel in the city you want to visit click here.