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Is this budget realistic for Europe in June?

So I budgeted $10,000 for a 30 day trip through Europe. I’ll be going through London for 5 nights, Paris for 5 nights, Italy for 12 (Venice: 3, Florence: 4, Rome: 5), and Athens for a brief and comfortable 3 days and 4 nights. That gives me a total of 26 days, which means I can add 4 days to add another brief stay in a country like Switzerland, or simply add it to one of my existing locations like Greece.

The budget goes as such:

  1. Plane Ticket: $2000
  2. Activities (tours, pre-booked tickets): $1000
  3. Transportation within Europe: $500 (also worth noting that anything not used in the plane and activities budget can help supplement this, like the plane ticket from Rome to Athens)
  4. Daily Spending: $3000 ($100/day)
  5. Accommodation: $3500 ($116.66/day).

I’ll more than likely have to stay in hostels (hopefully private dorms but June might get super pricey, so if I have to stay in public dorms then I’ll do it. I’m young (depending on who you ask) so comfort isn’t the highest on my priority list. I’ll be spending most of my time exploring anyways, so I really just need 4 walls, a roof, and AIR CONDITIONING.

Is this budget solid or should I rethink my strategy?

EDIT: It’s also worth mentioning that I get anxiety (I mean this more jokingly than literally) with public transportation (trains and taxis are fine but buses and metros confuse and scare me haha) so I prefer walking. Will the only affordable hostels be WAY far from all of the tourist attractions?

Posted by
3601 posts

You do not say where you are starting from, but $2,000 is really a lot for a plane ticket from the US to Europe. $1,000 is achievable in Economy class.
This will help with the transportation budget, which seems a bit low.

Otherwise this seems to be a comfortable budget; you will probably be able to afford hotels (except in London & Paris) and Airbnb's instead of just hostels - or at least, you'll definitely have private rooms in hostels. Do check for AC though (except in London perhaps, and even there heatwaves do happen), it is a good call in June.

And I would give your extra days to Greece: there is so much more to Greece than Athens, and 3 days in Athens is actually a bit much for many. You could spend, say, 6 nights in Athens + one island of your choice, and perhaps add a night each to Paris and London.

Edited for nuance, I mentally computed the figure in euros, close enough but not quite the same!
But still, you will be fine.

Posted by
5324 posts

Your budget is reasonable for budget travel.

However, you should note that visiting large cities and Switzerland (more expensive than the surrounding countries - add 50% ) will cost more.

I never did the hostel thing, but did the B&Bs a lot. You can find B&Bs for almost the same price at a hostel and get a free breakfast and better accommodations. Use Kayak.com and TripAdvisor to find lodging in your price range / TA has a map feature that helps you find great locations).

My wife and I did a four week self-drive tour of England and S. Wales in 2017 that included a rental car and nice B&Bs or small hotels. We spent about $1200 for two, but we didn't stay in London or a city larger than York or Cardiff.

You can save by finding small markets (grocery stores) and purchase you lunch. Minimize your alcohol consumption. Beer is usually cheaper than wine or mixed drinks.
You will need to do laundry at some point, so prior to leaving for your trip find places with coin operated laundries near your lodging. Hand washing will work for underwear and socks, but not so good for jeans or kakis.

Wear a money belt, since Paris and Rome are loaded with pickpockets.

Have a smart phone with google maps to facilitate navigation.

Posted by
6507 posts

Don't expect air conditioning to be as common as it is in the US, or necessary. And if it is there, people wont be using it as much as we do. Buses and metros are your friend. They help you save that precious time. I tried walking London my first trip abroad, and I could hardly get any sites done because of the time eaten up getting around. Consider learning how buses and metros work, to be a problem-solving skill to be acquired. Its easier abroad, and normal people use them there.

Posted by
1736 posts

More than enough for me, but I stay mainly in small town Germany.

For Italy, consider staying in nun-run accommodations. My wife and I wouldn’t consider staying in anything else. Prices are decent and there seem to be quite a few single rooms. You don‘t have to be Catholic or even Christian to stay there. Take a look at monasterystays.com

Posted by
3036 posts

Many of the cities you mention are big cities, not just when it comes to population. And while walking can be a good way of getting around, learn how to use public transport. It is not that hard.

Posted by
694 posts

You have an itinerary so use Booking.com or some other site to get hotel prices you are comfortable with at each of your destinations. Check the website Man in Seat 61 to get guidance for interEuropean travel connections and costs. Add it up. $10000 without airfare seems quite reasonable to me for 30 days but only you can evaluate your comfort levels about transport, food and rooming). Build in some days off too for a rest and laundry.

Posted by
1515 posts

Your budget looks similar to mine. Flights from Phoenix open jaw into LHR, home from VCE have consistently been in the $1500+ range for economy. I budgeted a little more for hotels in London and Paris, also for entertainment and sightseeing. In addition to 14 days on my own, I am going on a RS tour so that is adding to the cost but worth it to me. My estimated budget is $12000 which includes trip/medical/evac insurance. Trip is planned for September 2022.

As tourism opens up in England, France and Italy I’m thinking costs will increase so am planning for an additional 10% if needed.

EDIT: I know you agonized over and posted several times while planning your itinerary. I just went to mention monastery stays as an option for inexpensive hotels. The monasteries in Venice are about a third to half less than the cost of budget hotels, but you won't have the all the amenities. Most have private baths and A/C.

Posted by
20794 posts

I believe your budget is going to be fine, but it would be prudent to explore lodging options for your travel dates on booking.com to be sure your standards match your budget. Your itinerary, focusing as it does on capital cities, Venice and Florence, is going to be considerably more costly than a trip to a more limited area that encompasses some less-touristy/smaller cities as well as the majors. In addition, thirty days is a rather long time to spend in big (or tourist-clogged, in the case of Florence and Venice) cities without a break in a more laid-back area.

In order to maximize sightseeing time while minimizing travel time, I would drop Athens. Wait till you have time to see more of Greece. Athens is a mostly-modern city surrounding some (I admit) important classical sights. It is not London, Paris or Rome.
Including Athens adds at least one flight to you trip and will almost certainly drive up the cost of your multi-city transatlantic ticket. That's a lot of extra transportation time and cost for just three days.

Posted by
1043 posts

I couldn't tell from your post, but it looks like you are traveling solo. $333.33 dollars per day is very generous and unless it is your preference, hostels won't be necessary. You will be surprised at how many 3-4 star hotels you can find with AC that are reasonable. With your budget you can find very central hotels. I think you have budgeted plenty for this trip. I have never exceeded $250.00 per day (including air fare) and I have traveled very comfortably on many long trips.

Posted by
3140 posts

Honestly, you're going to have to get over your anxiety about metros. Public transportation in Europe is one of my favorite things about Europe! The metros in London and Paris are great. On my first trip to Europe, I wanted to stay at the Louvre longer than my husband and had to get back to the hotel by myself. I don't speak French, but I had no problem. Get the subway maps in advance and practice using them. In London, you may be able to ask another passenger for help when you're waiting. If you use metros, it will be relatively easy to stay further from central London and Paris, where accommodations are less expensive. Metro in Rome is not as useful.

I use a money belt in many places and in 15 trips to Europe, have never been pickpocketed. That doesn't mean it won't happen to me on my next trip. Even if it does happen to you, if you have your passport and a credit card in a safe place, and don't carry a lot of cash, you'll be ok. And worst case scenario, loss of passport, most of your stays are in cities with embassies. I find that thinking about how I would handle various unpleasant scenarios makes me less anxious because I already have a plan. It's easier to plan when you're not upset.

I love Greece, but it's a ways even from Italy, so transportation costs could be a concern. Switzerland is considered to be one of the most expensive countries in Europe. Maybe a trip to the Alps in Italy or France would be cheaper?

It's been awhile, but in 2012 we stayed at a convent in Rome that was easy walking distance to the Colosseum.

Posted by
661 posts

I agree with Threadwear - I just looked and on my last six solo trips, I've never exceeded $250 per day (including airfare) either, and I've never stayed in hostels. I think your budget looks good!

Posted by
1248 posts

Yes $10K is more than enough depending on how you like to travel. We do budget traveling but not skimping on experiences/memories. When I say budget I mean pre-booking a lot of our travel to save money, choosing location over cost due to our time being valuable and eating more street food, pubs, cafe's over 5 star restaurants. At the end of a long day walking we are happy with resting our feet, a good hot meal and usually a short walk from our accommodations. Public transport is very foreign to me and scared me also, I drive everywhere and like that control. With that being said. I just gave myself plenty of time and put it into perspective, I am not performing heart surgery, no one is going to die if I get on the wrong subway, take the wrong bus etc. Just get off, regroup and get on the right one. I found many times I just needed to cross the track to go the other way. For lodging you can look into renting a room on AirBNB which can be a lot cheaper than a hotel or if you do get a hotel get one that includes breakfast and fill up, this is a great savings because you might just need a snack and dinner for the rest of the day.

Posted by
694 posts

For a dozen trips to Europe of 3 to 4 weeks each my wife and I have averaged about $10k per trip total. We usually stay in RS recommended hotels, use trains, buses and rental cars for transportation, don't spend much on fancy restaurants, and don't buy stuff to drag home. So without getting into the details of your budget I'd say that overall it is quite doable.

Posted by
367 posts

I think you will be more than fine. Any time we are in a city for 5 nights or more, we tend to use airbnb. Then we can have a more comfortable place to relax, and since we aren't big breakfast eaters we have a simple breakfast in the room while we finalize our plan for the day. While we eat nearly all lunches and dinners out, we are sometimes tired enough after a packed day that we pick up some good bread, cheese, olives, and some tomatoes or fruit and have that for a light dinner, with the secondary benefit of saving money.

Posted by
13390 posts

Sounds about right but you probably would do better (or at least as good) with AirBnb than hostels.

The $2000 airfare seems a bit conservative (check it on Google Flights).

My 30 day July trip for 2 people (with separate accommodations or sometimes pretty nice 2 bedroom suites or AirBnb's) ran a about $7,000 including airfare.

My airfare, open jaw was fairly complicated but still less than your budget (about half your budget)

IAH - IST - KBP then ODS - IST then IST - ZAG then ATH - IST then IST - IAH

Look at using the big carriers to get there and home and discount airlines to get around (although my trip was all Turkish Air)

Posted by
1734 posts

My husband and I can easily do 30 days in Europe for $10,000. We stay in apartments and use every available form of public transportation - but usually avoid taxis.

Posted by
38 posts

Have you been to London before?

Honestly for me I find London stifling and just too much on the surface and then you get into how much everything costs and it becomes an unenjoyable experience imo. Unless you’re in love with English culture and London as a city by eliminating it and even going somewhere outside like the cotswalds etc. You can have an experience and not have to be in London.

I dunno..I wouldn’t commit extended periods of time in London if you’re being budget conscious because to me with how expensive everything is there as I said, it’s always somthing you’re thinking about. And this is coming from Somone who had no problems
Spending $800 on trains in one day in Interlaken etc.

Posted by
78 posts

Good for you to do a budget on your trip.

Exchange rate-- currently almost 20% for Euro and 39% for pound. With this kind of exchange rate it's kind of like inflation. Your $10,000 now becomes $7-8000.

Prioritize what's important to you and budget accordingly. Spend money on the things that are important to you.
I do not know your age. I don't know about hostels but you brought it up as alternative place to stay. Make sure you are safe and so are your belongings.

What do you want to accomplish from this trip? Make a plan! Visualize your trip.

We like to walk too, but public transportation like on the tube in London is the way to go. We used the public transportation in Rome from the airport, but we walked all over Rome. 25,000 minimum fitbit steps a day! We don't want to miss anything so we like to walk, but in some places, like London or Paris, navigate the trains--turn it into an adventure.

Investigate the places you want to visit and budget accordingly.

You will have a great time!

Posted by
3140 posts

London is expensive but British Museum, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and maybe Churchill War Rooms are must sees.

Posted by
18228 posts

If you go to Europe and just "wing it", your expenses will be a lot more than if you plan you trip in advance. You have the start of an itinerary - London, 5 days, Paris, 5 days, etc. Now start filling in you expected expenses. Don't rely on other travelers opinion; their likes and priorities are probably different from your's. Do your own research. A lot of these cost can be determined with better certainty if you do research.

Start tracking airfare. I don't know where you are coming from. Los Angeles or Seattle to London is going to be pricier that from New York. Coming back from Greece is going to be expensive.

Now start looking for accommodations in those towns. Find out how to find those private dorm rooms with air conditioning.

Start finding out about eating in those towns. If you eat like a local, you'll probably save money. Learn to read menus in French, Italian, and Greek. Places with English menus probably have higher prices. If you eat like an American, you'll spend like an American.

Posted by
4579 posts

London is expensive

But it doesn't have to be. You can eat very cheaply in London, there are so many places to eat and an almost infinite variety of cuisines that it is probably easier to eat cheaply than any of the major Western cities. Lodging will probably be the most expensive part of a budget in London but when you factor in the relatively cheap cost of transportation and the plethora of free museums then the cost of lodging is recouped quite signifcantly by the savings afforded by free sights. My last trip to London saw us stay at the Rennaissance St Pancras, an expensive hotel but with points and loyalty status it made it more reasonable for us, the Premier Inn across the road would be more affordable and a perfectly acceptable hotel. Lunch at an indoor food market in Brick Lane was an absolute bargain, Korean satay with a noodle stir fry was just shy of £5, free entry to the British Library and a combination of walking and cheap Tube travel meant decent savings. We did splurge for dinner but that was our choice, it doesn't have to be.

Posted by
6236 posts

I’m standing up for London. Been there countless times. Have stayed in hotels, Airbnb’s and friends flats.

Yes it’s expensive but it’s London one of the most culturally diverse and historical cities on the planet! Loads of interesting sites to see, parks to stroll, fabulous, diverse food offerings which wasn’t the case in 1972 when I first visited. There are free museums, the Thames path to stroll, theatre (use the 1/2 price ticket booth), free music concerts, filling and tasty pub lunches ( look for menu offering listed on sidewalk boards) or meander about looking for food trucks.

With the addition of the Premiere Inn hotel chain
( I’ve stayed in 2 in outplaying neighborhoods. Enjoyed both. Chiswick and Richmond. ) They were chosen because I’d never stayed in a Premiere Inn and two, wanted to stay outside London proper. Breakfast is included in the price.

The Richmond Premier Inn was newer and a short walk to the lovely expansive Richmond Park. Nearby is a traditional not Gastro pub, ( at least that was the case in 2019) The Crown.

The Chiswick PI is a long 3 blocks from the Chiswick high road. It’s also across the road from a nice pub with good food. The pub ( George and Devonshire) is owned by Fullers Brewery.

There are PI’s located in the city centre which you should consider. Especially Premiere Inn Hubs. Small but affordable and perfectly laid out.

The tube ( London Underground ) is very easy to use and navigate but if apprehensive then by all means stroll about London. You should also make use of the busses and climb up top to watch the city go by through the nearly floor to ceiling windows.

Personally I find London a very walkable city. You can easily visit the Tower of London, then walk to the last glass covered market ( Leadenhall ) which is right next to the Gherkin ( st Mary’s axe ) and from there it’s a 15 minute stroll to St Paul’s Catherdral and the Millennium Bridge.

If you want to see the interior of St Paul’s or Westminster Abbey without paying an admission attend Evensong. However, show respect and don’t meander about or stand there snapping photos. Appreciate the uniqueness of the service while in a lovely and historical building.

Lastly look on line for days and times for markets such as Maltby, Wood Street indoor, Petticoat Lane and Portobello Road and Goldborne Market. If in an staying in outside neighborhood….check for their market day.

Please visit London. World class city.

Posted by
38 posts

$5 street food is fine. However a huge portion of the “traditional” London pubs are now chains with the exact same menu, exact same prices etc.

I may be a little more jaded by it but coming from Canada the CAD/Pound exchange equaled paying $11-$15 CAD per pint everywhere we went.

Dining is still a black hole despite the UK’s attempt at reinvigorating their image “great” food is few and far between coming from a place like Vancouver that has limitless options of excellent foods from all cultures and countries. We had preemptively routed a lot of our dining on our last trip using custom google maps etc. And the “highly reviewed” more modern takes on food in London were not only incredibly overpriced but average at best.

Then to top it off we ended up paying $340 CAD per night for a studio Airbnb unit with a homeless guy sleeping out in the hall..lol and that’s as pretty much one of the most “acceptable” prices we came across balancing location and price.

If you’ve never been as others have said, London national museum and other sites are a must. The Egyptian portion is worth it alone. However if you haven’t been to London In quite some time and have already seen these sites, nothings new.

With a 10k budget and kind of “winging it” in London you could easily spend 2500/3000 of the budget in those first 5 days.

My most recent experience was in October 2019 and previously I had spent 7 days in 2010 staying at the Royal military club by marble arch. Both times I felt like prices were the overwhelming experience I left with.

Posted by
2879 posts

I am with those who don’t exceed 250.00 per day. I am often much lower. I average $70.00 per day spending, and shoot for $150.00 for hotel rooms. As a solo female traveler, I stay in hotels. I feel safer, and less alone if I were to have a problem.

The front desk can help explain something that might cause anxiety. I like them for all the information they can provide. I am very used to public transportation, but each system is different as to how you get tickets, etc. Just ask questions or read up on each system before you go. Take a short ride to try it out, and go from there.

I think 3 days is good for an Athens visit. There is a lot to see and absorb. I would keep Greece in your plan and spend your extra 4 days in Greece. Greece is wonderful. One week in Greece will certainly help your budget, too. Be sure to see Delphi as an overnight trip. Then pick one more location…Maybe Thessaloniki or Napflio…completely different…or an island?

This sounds like a great trip!

Posted by
130 posts

You guys are so cool for all of the responses, thank you :)

I’m glad to see I’m on the right track budget wise. I know Athens is a bit far for some but it’s such a necessary stop for anyone who knows me. Luckily I have the extra time in case I wanted to explore beyond Athens. I like the idea of an island but I’m not terribly interested in places like Santorini or Mykonos. Perhaps maybe Hydra or Crete? And of course I gotta see Delphi with some extra time, definitely no question.

Yeah London and Paris are gonna be rough on the budget, BUT I’m actually not going to do a lot of paid attractions. I think for London, the only places I’ll be paying to go in will be The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. I’ll mostly be walking around and seeing the monuments from the outside and taking advantage of the amazing free museums (British Museum!!!!!)

Same for Paris, I’m actually only paying to go inside the Louvre since no one is seeing the inside of the Notre Dame :,,,,,(. I may make it a point to see the Sainte Chapelle and the Catacombs however but it doesn’t seem like I’m loading up too much stuff. The tickets for these attractions should only be 10-15 euros on average (I think).

This doesn’t include an obvious trip to Versailles which I’ll probably dedicate most of one of my 4 full days, but that still leaves 3 full days to just walk around and visit my few indoor attractions.

I’ll probably only eat 1-2 meals a day with a snack snuck in between, hotels where I can but hostels/AB&Bs where it makes more economic sense. I may buy a “memento” from every country I visit, but we are talking something that could fit on a book shelf in a library that I would like to make :) maybe a Greek statue figurine/sculpture from the Plaka? Maybe a book from Shakespeare & Company? The point is for it to be small enough for a book shelf, relatively cheap-ish, and characteristic of the place it came from. But that’s as far as it goes for me and “spending.”

Posted by
5512 posts

You mentioned the idea of an island, and besides island visits in the lagoon of Venice (itself a group is islands), Greece would be your easiest place for that. If ancient history is a big draw for your attraction to Athens, Crete’s Minoan civilization was even older.

While Crete is big enough to warrant several days for exploring (we had 2+ weeks, with rental car), you could catch a cheap flight from Athens to Iraklio, Crete, and another out of Hania, Crete - unless you kept to one part of the island and did round trip flights. There are hiking opportunities, too, especially hiking down (or up) gorges all over Crete. Food is inexpensive there, with abundant fresh seafood. Besides our rental car, we did use the bus for an easy trip from Iraklio to the nearby Knossos site. We didn’t investigate it, but I’m not certain there’s much train travel, and zero metro on Crete. The Athens metro was simple to use, but did have my only pickpocket encounter I’ve had in Europe on several trips.

Posted by
759 posts

You are right. Ten thousand US dollars is is a good ballpark estimate just to make sure you have enough.

Here are my best guesses after taking 4 solo trips to Europe:
I spent just under $3,100 US dollars for my 2-week trop to the Netherlands and Belgium; /21 = about $222 per day, x 30 = approximately $6,650. My 2-week trip to Greece cost me under $2,500 or under $2,600. $2,600/14 = 186 per day, x 30 = under $5,580.

I used to think I could only take USA-based airlines. maybe I was wrong. The maximum I spent on round-trip plane tickets was under $1,490. Check whether there is a boat from Italy to Greece. Of course don't just pick the cheapest tickets you see; make sure any trip you buy gives more than 2 hours to switch planes.

I like the "Free" walking tours ; always give a "free" tour guide the equivalent of $11-20 US dollars. I used to think I had to take expensive pre-booked tours to see sights properly. I changed my mind. In Rome I took a pre-booked tour that went to the basement level of the Colosseum and the Roman forum. I could have done advanced background reading and used guidebooks to help.

In Florence, Italy, and in Chania, Greece, the hostels I stayed in were within walking distance of the sights. In other cities I went so far - Montreal, Canada; London, England; Antwerp, Belgium; the Hague; Amsterdam; Rome, and Naples, Italy, the hostels I stayed in were surrounded by city-like neighborhoods but I still needed public transportation.

My original reason for buying my food from grocery stores and markets was because I am nuts about food, I was afraid restaurant food is too high in fat, sodium, or is otherwise unhealthy. I am trying to not worry so much about food but I still plan to buy most of my food from markets or grocery stores. I probably save a huge amount of money on food when traveling. In case you do what I do, your daily spending could be much less than $100 US dollars.

I give myself a hotel or hostel budget of $60 US dollars on average, per night, in Europe (I give myself a budget of about $90 or more per night in the USA).

Edit: I wash my clothes in the sinks of hostels or hotels. Yeah I know you are "not supposed to" do that.

Edit: I don't keep track of how much money I save by not consuming alcohol, tobacco, or other substances.

Edit: I was 32 when took my first solo trip for leasure. I have stayed in hostels, in shared rooms 3/4 of the time so far. I switched to all hotels (private rooms) for my next trip to Europe in March 2022. The worst part about the hostels was the disgusting sound of snoring. Otherwise even the worst hostel I stayed at was pleasant enough.

Posted by
11 posts

For the 16-day solo trip I had planned, but didn't get to take this summer, I was at $1650-ish for flight and accommodations. I was mostly staying at centrally located hostels in public dorms. So, I would say you can do it for significantly less if you do it right.

The catch will be the round trip to the continent. Once I know I am going, I am on Google Flights constantly looking for the right deal. I never usually have an exactly entry and exit point in mind to help with the overall investment. Flying inside of Europe is super cheap so if you find a good flight to Zurich or some other city, you should be able to move to your desired destination quite quickly. Post-pandemic there is no way to accurately predict what the flight prices will be.

I know the way I travel isn't for everyone, but I would say you should be able to have a "luxurious" 30-day stay in Europe for $5000 (minus daily spending). I think I spent around $1200-1500 during my 13-night stay in 2018. If I was going by myself I feel like I would spend considerably less. When I am with a group, I always feel the need to go out and get drinks with a nice dinner. Feel free to message me if you would like some more information.

Posted by
759 posts

The reason I switched to all hotel rooms for my next trip is because nobody could reassure me that I wouldn't inhale coronavirus-2019 or some other airborne contagious disease from others in hostels. I don't know that I have permanently given up on hostels. On past trips I found my hostels on booking.com. Maybe other sites list hostels. I didn't want to just automatically pick the cheapest places. I was looking for places in decent enough neighborhoods, a shared kitchen or other amenities, and rooms with about 4 beds, except for in the Netherlands when I picked rooms with 6 beds because there were no 4-bed rooms left, and in Antwerp I was in a hostel room with ten beds but at least all ten beds were on floor level; it was not 5 bunk beds; interestingly everybody was totally quiet in the room and nobody turned the lights on.

Make sure you print your confirmations for hotels or hostels and carry them with you in a folder. I reserved 2 nights in Antwerp but then before my trip I reserved an extra night, so 3 nights total. But the employee at the desk of the hostel said I had 2 nights reserved. I showed my printed confirmation page. They accommodated me for the 3rd night. That's all that mattered. They put me in the 5-bed room I reserved for 2 nights and in the 10 bed room for the 3rd night.