How Much Does it Really Cost to Backpack Europe for 2 months?

People tend to think that traveling Europe is really expensive. They tend to push the idea out their mind before they even give it a chance. Of course, if you plan on traveling 1st class, staying in 5 star hotels, and eating at expensive restaurants the entire trip, expect to be paying some big bucks. However, if you’re okay with traveling 2nd class, staying at hostels in 20-bed dorms, sleeping on a stranger’s couch, and cooking your own food, traveling Europe is actually a possibility for the average, young, wanna-be-traveler.

While you can’t really put a price tag on the kind of life-changing experiences you’ll have by backpacking Europe, you still need to fund your travels. It’s not free by any means, but you can make it affordable. If you’re dying to travel Europe, but you’re low on funds, just know that is really IS possible! Plus, the benefits of traveling Europe, far outweigh the cost.

How Much Does it Really Cost to Backpack Europe for 2 months?

In the summer of 2012, I spent 7 incredible weeks (49 days) backpacking all across Europe. I went to over 20 cities in 14 European countries ranging from Ireland all the way to Greece, took 15+ trains, 10 planes, and 4 buses. I stayed in 23 different hostels across Europe, met people from over 30 different countries, and had countless experiences I’ll never forget.

Read: 2 Months Backpacking Europe Route: 14 Countries, 30 Cities in 49 days

Before I left on my backpacking trip, I was dying to know how much it really costs to backpack Europe for 2 months. I did a ton of research trying to find out the actual cost. I found a lot of different budget guidelines, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. I wanted the real numbers! I was very grateful for the few people who took the time to share their valuable spending information. It helped me tremendously in figuring out my budget, so I decided to do the same. It’s a great way to see if you’re budgeting enough for your trip!

  • Pre-Travel Cost: $100.00

My Pre-Travel costs were basically nothing. The majority of the things I needed for my trip I got for Christmas and my Birthday, so I only spent around $100 more to get some last minute things. I definitely recommend asking for travel related things for you birthday and other holidays before you leave on your trip. It will greatly reduce your Pre-Travel cost, and allow you to spend more money on the fun aspects of you trip!

  • Main Transportation Costs

-Round Trip Flight to/from Europe: 777.62
-In Europe Travel Cost (city to city):
-Plane Travel: 803.40
-Train Travel: 845.53
-Bus Travel: 27.31
Total: $2,453.86

  • Daily Costs USD (for 50 days):

-Hostels: 1,578.79
-Food (inc. alcohol, which was very minimal): 1,619.50
-Attractions (tours, museums, etc): 558.35
-Local Transport (metro, local bus, local train): 393.10
Total: $4,149.74

(Note: I made ATM withdrawals equal to $2341.80 during my 7 week trip that went toward the Food, Attractions, and Local Transport categories. Unfortunately, I did not keep a record of my cash expenses while traveling, so those categories are rough estimates based on my credit card statements and the best of my recollection.)

  • Miscellaneous: $75.93

(shopping, necessities on the road, etc)

  • Bank Fees: $157.14

(currency conversion, foreign transaction fees)

Total Cost: $6,836.67 USD / $136 per day (including everything)

My 2 month Europe trip cost me well over 6K. It’s a bit shocking at first, right?  I know it probably seems like a LOT of money to spend, especially if you have practically zero saved up so far. If you’re starting to lose hope after seeing my cost breakdown, know that you can easily spend less than what I spent.

 Hindsight is 20/20…

Looking back, I wish I would have been more budget conscious. I could have stayed in cheaper hostels, traveled by bus instead of by train, cooked more food at the hostel kitchens instead of eating out, among other things. I definitely spent more than I needed to. It’s easy to get caught up in spending money while traveling, especially in the beginning when you have money in the bank. As your money starts dwindling, you start becoming a lot more conservative, naturally. If you can get in that mind set from the beginning, you’ll spend much less.

Read: Best Backpack For Backpacking Europe

Create a budget/itinerary that is right for you.

You don’t have to go for 2 months, or to 20+ cities to experience Europe. You can get a great feel for Europe in just a few weeks by visiting well known cities like London, Paris, Rome, Venice, Amsterdam, etc, and it’ll cost you significantly less than what I spent. If you’d prefer to spend more time in Europe, another budget friendly option is to try couchsurfing, or volunteering at a hostel in exchange for room and board. Keep in mind that the more frequently you travel, the farther you travel, and the longer you travel, the more expensive it will be.

Start budgeting for your trip!

I hope you can take my information and use it as a guide for your Eurotrip. First, decide when you will have time to travel. Then set a realistic budget for yourself, and work backwards from there. What do you need to do in order to save up enough money in time? You might need to make some serious lifestyle changes. Whatever you need to do, I highly recommend that you make this trip happen. It’s beyond worth it!

Wondering where all I went in Europe for that price? Check out my 2 month route and itinerary ranging from Ireland to Greece, and almost everywhere in between. Can you only travel for a few weeks? Find out how many countries you can realistically visit in my 3 Week Backpacking Europe Route.

Need packing advice? My favorite travel packs are the Osprey Porter 46L and the Osprey Farpoint 55L. If you need a travel pack that can fit on budget airlines, read about the Porter 46L pack here: Best Backpack for Backpacking Europe. If you’d prefer to have a pack with more space, and a detachable daypack, check out my Osprey Farpoint 55L Travel Pack Review. Not sure what to pack? I list out every single thing I packed and give helpful packing tips here: Backpacking Europe: Ultimate Packing List.

Can you set a realistic budget for backpacking Europe now? Do you need any advice?

About Devon Nicole

Hey! My name is Devon. I'm a 20-something girl from the sunny state of Florida, USA. In 2012, I made the scary decision to backpack Europe SOLO. Now it's 3 years later and I've traveled to over 30 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia! I created this blog to inspire other young women to travel abroad solo too. There's a whole world out there just waiting to be explored!

40 Comments

  1. Your website is God-sent! I was looking everywhere on the net for some valuable insight on how to plan my trip in Europe and working out the costs….until I came across your site. Thank you so much! :)

  2. Hi I am looking at going with my husband in 18 months, we’re only going for 5 to 6 weeks so it will be a little less so thank you for the costs. it’s really helped with our budget, but we will make to over budget too :) thank you!

  3. I think $6800 for 50 days is not bad. And it includes your transportation. Rick Steves quotes $125-150 a day for room and board. How are you affording your trips?

  4. Hey Devon,

    This may be a stupid question, but how do you finance your travels? I’m a college student with loads of student debt, but I still really want to travel. Money is just the issue. I’ve been planning a euro trip, pricing hostels, flights, and trains. For about 30 days (Ireland,England,Italy,France,Spain, and Greece) my travel (trains/buses/flights) and my overnight hostels/hotels added up to around 3,000. Is that what you would expect? Thank for the help! I look forward to hearing from you.

  5. Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve searched everywhere for some estimates for my trip to Europe. I’m planning on going to same amount of time you did and just as many cities! It’s good to know what I’m up against and I’m glad I finally found someone who has experienced it!

  6. You’re, like, my hero! Love your advice & wisdoms…I’ve been weighing between a roadtrip to Alaska & back through the West Coast, then East VERSUS backpacking Europe. I’m sorta leaning toward Europe now! Thank you!

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  8. Thank you so much! This is exactly what i needed!!

  9. I am curious if it cost you less than 7 thousand for over 20 countries in a two month span. How much do you think, going to three countries; Scotland, Ireland, England and Paris, France would cost. I am going for two months like you but I wanted to do fewer countries so I could see more of them. I plan on going back for multiple trips to see more countries. I am going to do like you suggest in another of your posts and get a credit card that offers miles per dollar. So I am hoping that it will cut down a lot of the transportation cost. Can you use those miles through any airplane company? Or in Europe for planes between countries? Also what are your thoughts on couchsurfing. I was thinking of doing that quite a bit so I have more money to spend on gifts, clothing, tattoos etc. Lol I am 20 now and female I will not be going until I have rhe capital saved so that could be a while. In the end I would love to have as much advice and tips as you can share! Thanks!!

  10. Omg girl you sound so much like me. Its like I wrote this myself. Lol I have a 10 year old daughter and I’M A SINGLE MOM but otherwise we are so alike. Thanks for the advise I so wanna hit europe soon. I just started researching it. So far I have only hit ARUBA so far. But looking for something fun next and europe sounds like it’s my next adventure. Backpacking would definitely be interesting. What the hell im only 32yrs old lol

  11. Hi there,

    I’m really hoping to see Europe in around 3 weeks and I would definitely love to cover the major cities such as Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, Paris and maybe a couple others. Would it be too time consuming to just take the train to get to all these places? I’m looking at a 2000 budget excluding my roundtrip flight there. I’d love to know if you have any advise for a first timer to Europe, and also if you have any money saving tips?

  12. I”m so happy and grateful that you’ve done this website/blog!
    I’m planning on travelling around Europe in April this year! I’ve just finished my research with a lot of help from you :) thank you!

    I was wondering, in which month did you go and how old were you?!! :)

  13. Wow, this really helps, thanks a lot :) I’m going for 42 days, and I’ll have $7000, flight already paid for, so I guess that will be plenty :)

  14. Hi! Let me start off by saying that this website is amazing, and is definitely helping me to plan my future trips. Although, I was wondering how you got the money for everything you do. Do you have a job back home that gives you time to travel, or is this your job?

  15. Hi! Let me start off by saying that this website is amazing, and is definitely helping me to plan my future trips. Although, I was wondering how you got the money for everything you do. Do you have a job back home that gives you time to travel, or is this your job?

    • Thanks! I work to travel right now. I work for a few months, then take off traveling. I figure I may as well do it while I’m young! I do hope to turn it into a job soon though! :)

      • I love this blog, it has really inspired me to start traveling! You said that you work to travel, but out of curiosity, how do you manage to get so much time off? Do you freelance or something like that?

        Thank you!

        • Hey Jacklyn, I started traveling a lot during my college breaks. I would work a lot during the semesters to save up the money and then travel. Now, I’m actually able to do most of my work at my current job online, as long as I have an internet connection. So that allows me to travel and work!

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  17. Hello!

    I was wondering:
    Did you buy the Eurail global pass? If so on average how much did you spend of reservation fees for over night train rides?? Is it better to do over night train rides??

    would really appreciate your help!
    Thank you so much!!!

    • Hey Sarah,

      I didn’t buy a Eurail global pass because I flew to about half of the cities I visited because of time constraints. I only used trains for the second half of my trip and I found it to be cheaper to just buy point-to-point tickets. The reservation fees for overnight trains can be found here: http://www.eurail.com/plan-your-trip/reservation-guide/reservation-fees/night-train-reservation-fees. They can go as high as 40+ euros depending which one and how far it travels. Overnight trains do save you the cost of a night in a hostel, though, and the time spend traveling during the day. I really like overnight trains. The only part I don’t like is feeling gross the next morning. Usually you can’t check into your hostel until later in the afternoon so you have to go out sighteseeing without showering sometimes. If it’s the summer and you’re sweating a lot… it’s not so fun haha.

      The reservation fees really do add up though, and considering what the Eurail pass costs… I would check and see if point-to-point tickets wouldn’t be cheaper. You can check that out here: http://www.raileurope.com/index.html

      Good luck in planning!

      -Devon

  18. Devon, thank you for taking time to share your experience. Our daughter just graduated university and will be taking a “gap year” prior to staring law school so we thought we would give a month long backpacking trip for two for her graduation gift. Your post gives us a great jump start to our research.

    Thank you again,
    Bill

  19. Hey BlondeChickTravels,

    I just returned from a 47 day trip across Europe, very similar to yours and I just wanted to say thank you for your amazing blog! It really helped put things into perspective for me before I left. Your budget is definitely the most realistic I have seen online! That’s approximately how much I spent on my travels as well.

    Overall, I want to say you have an amazing and incredibly helpful blog!

    Thank you.

    Sukh

  20. Christoffer Andrews

    I like your suggested destinations in your 3 week european getaway, i wonder if how much would it cost me for a 3 week european trip. I never been to europe yet, and i am planning in advance on my european dream backpacking. After i tried to do backpacking solo in malaysia and singapore, i clamour for a more challenging and exciting destination to do my next backpacking. I met estonian, dutch and germans and i find them very friendly and id decided to pursue that travel in european cities. Thanks

  21. Hey how many cities did you go to on this budget? I was also thinking about going for two months but before I go crazy with cities I wanted to see how many you went to?

    • Hey, I went to about 30 cities in about 49 days! It was pretty intense doing so much in such a short amount of time, but it was totally worth it to me. One piece of advice I would give is to give yourself a “vacation” from your vacation like half way through the trip to recharge your batteries. Like go somewhere where you can just chill on the beach for like 4-5 days or something and stay in one place. Traveling around every couple days and then sightseeing full time gets exhausting! (Much more so than I initially thought.) Check out this article for more information about my 2 month route: http://www.blondechicktravels.com/2-months-backpacking-europe-my-route-and-itinerary/

  22. Devon,

    I am a service member getting ready for a tour of duty complete and moving on from the military. I’ve been planning a nice long trip through Europe and have some questions. How is the exchange rate? Would 10k be enough for a solo? You seem to prefer solo, what are the pros and cons? What is it like trying to communicate in train stations or when looking for rooms? What travel guides are updated for 2014? As you can see, I’m a little lost. Use my e-mail if you can to chat while you’re out. As I am currently underway it would be a little easier. Thank you for your site and all your help.

    Very Respectfully,
    Jeff Shane

  23. Hey there, I’m curious to know- what do you for your day job when you’re not traveling? and do you have any student loan payments?

    I’m very passionate about working and traveling remotely and am trying to get some tips. After reading that your trip cost $7k though- I was a bit discouraged.

    • Hey Natalie,
      I was in college while I was saving up for my first backpacking trip, and I was really fortunate enough to have all of my college and living expenses covered at the time. That meant that I was able to put basically everything I made as a party-time nanny towards my trip (it took me about 6 months). It would have been incredibly more difficult to save up if I had also needed to cover my rent, car payment, food, and everything else. Now I have a job that allows me to work online doing data entry/letter writing. So as long as I have an internet connection, I’m able to work. I do have student loan payments, although the payment isn’t very high.
      If you’re not able to save up $7000, that doesn’t mean you can’t do a Europe backpacking trip. It just means maybe you can’t go to as many places as I did, or travel as long. If you went for just one month, you’d probably spend a little more than $3000, which may be more doable. Europe is a very expensive place to travel in the backpacking world. In south east asia you could prob get by on $2000 a month. So maybe consider other destinations…
      If you’re okay with living in one city for awhile you could get an English teaching job in a bunch of different countries. That’s one way to get paid to travel!
      Sorry I can’t be much more help! -Devon

  24. You are article gives me hope to travel around Britain. Matter of fact, it inspires me to save up my money and travel, instead of buying myself a Porsche.

    Thank you for posting this! I have subscribed to your blog.

    • Lol, that is seriously so cool! I mean a Porsche would be awesome, but personally I value my travel experiences way more. As I’m sure you will too! Good luck with your saving, and I hope you make it happen! :)

  25. Love your blog, info, and advice. I’m just starting out and planning my travels.

  26. Hello Devon,

    You mention you were working on your travels and needed internet connection. I work online too while travelling and was thinking if internet is a non-issue in all of Europe? Did you find any troubling regions in your route where you couldn’t get internet connectivity?

    Also, were you reliant on hostels’ Wi-Fi or did you purchase some local network data?

    • Hi Rafia,

      I’ve been reliant mainly on hostels’ Wi-Fi. For the most part it’s fine. However, sometimes the internet connection is not the best (super slow), and then I’ll have to go seek out a better connection at a cafe or somewhere else in the city. It’s doesn’t really work to purchase local network data if you’re constantly changing countries every few days, but if you plan to stay somewhere for a little while it could be worth it. I did purchase a European sim card (Global Gig/Data Roam) that gave me internet access in almost of European countries. They also have a hotspot type thing that you could get to connect to your laptop.

  27. Hi Devon,

    First off, amazing. You’re amazing for sharing this blog and your experiences on the internet for everyone!!
    I’ve read a lot from your entries and I’m still wondering what you did for a phone! Did you have an American cell phone while traveling or just a laptop, or did you purchase a phone in Europe? I went to Croatia last summer for a month to visit family and of course see everything and I ended up bringing my original cell phone over by putting my Canadian account on hold and unlocking my phone so I could use Croatian SIM cards. **I wouldn’t be texting or calling almost at all, just for emergencies. I would use it for internet/data for my communication and research/bookings** I know getting specific country’s sim cards isn’t practical for backpacking while travelling around so much, so I’m curious as to what you did. I would love to stay in Croatia and Greece for 1-2 weeks each so maybe it could be worth it in those places. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Kayla

    • Hi Kayla,

      I travel with my phone and my laptop, but if I wasn’t working/blogging while traveling, I would leave my laptop at home since it’s really not necessary. I’ve traveled Europe just relying on Wi-Fi (and having an emergency 100mb for $25 plan), and also while having a European Sim Card. The European Sim Card I used is from Data Roam and it worked really well. I had about 1GB/month to use in basically all the European countries. It’s not exactly cheap, but I used up my 100MB so fast, that it ended up being much cheaper in the long run.

      For you, it depends what you plan on doing in Croatia and Greece. If you’re staying at hostels or any place with Wifi you should be able to get by with just that. I mean you’ll probably be outside enjoying the sights and the beach otherwise! Relying solely on wifi takes a bit of getting used to, but there’s wifi in pretty much all the cafe’s/restaurants/hostels, etc. It’s definitely doable, since that’s what most travelers do! (You also don’t want to be that traveler who’s constantly staring at her phone while in a foreign country either, haha!) Depending on the prices, it could be worth getting a sim card in those two countries, but you’d have to check the prices when you get there.

      Best of luck!
      -Devon

      • Good call!
        I agree, I definitely would not be the girl constantly on my phone, I just like to use my phone as a camera cause I’m not sure I want to bring a bulky SLR. And with my phone if I’m able to snapchat my sights to show real time, that’s awesome! But I’d need wifi. I spent the first 2 weeks in Croatia without a phone trying to find the proper SIM (because they usually only had the one for iPhone 4 at the time) and lived to tell the tale so I should be fine, I was just wondering if you used a specific European plan.

        Next summer, very similar route to one of your trips… 60 days, 14 countries and 20 cities…. So excited!!!!

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