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budgeting for food

I will be travelling o germany and going to places like Munich, Rothenburg, The rhine area, berchtesgaden and in Austria Ruette and salzburg and France for 2 nights in Colmar. How much Euro per day should I budget for lunch and dinner ? I am not a large/particular eater, don't drink and there are 2 of us travelling. Thanks.

Posted by
3551 posts

I budget 25 euro per day. In some areas you have lower cost options like Colmar, Rothenberg so what you do not spend one day you can save towards a pricier dinner .

Posted by
9110 posts

Frank might be a tad high, but that's sure a good planning number, especially for the places you're going. You've posted the same question twice.

Posted by
8064 posts

Even in cities like Frankfurt, I seldom spend more than 10 euro for dinner, and maybe about 6 euro for lunch. That is for a complete meal, like schitzel, potatoes and a salad. Many restaurants will have lunch specials, which are a great deal, so perhaps try and make lunch your main meal of the day, with maybe some pizza or some ethnic food at dinner. Döner Kebab are filling and cost around 3.50 eruo, or a an Asian meal for 5 euro. Pizzas will run between 4-7 euro.

Posted by
21655 posts

You can also get a hamburger at McDonald BUT I am not coming to Germany or anywhere else to eat Kebabs and Asian. Part of the travel experience for me is the local food and wine.

Posted by
32 posts

thanks everybody for good advice. Going with 1 simpler meal (dinner) and 1 heavier/costlier meal (lunch specials hopefully)? breakfast if not provided then I will get food from the local bakery. So can I budget about 50Euro for 2 persons a day?

Posted by
8064 posts

That is part of the local experience though. There are kebab stands on every street corner and it is one of the most popular things to eat in Germany. It is also something you would seldom get in the US, though it is similar to a Gyro. My neighborhood stand has lumps of fresh dough that they roll out and bake in front of you for each and every one. As to pizza, well, that too is completely different from what one gets in the US. So, is it German food? No, but the guy is trying to save money and this kind of food is part of the German experience. He may get tired of having a bratwurst or a rindswurst or a currywurst from a street stand every evening too.

Posted by
1357 posts

I'm with Jo on this one. Having a "German experience" doesn't mean having schnitzel and sausages every day. That's not how Germans eat today. They have street-corner kebabs since they're convenient and inexpensive. And, since there's not a kebab place on every corner in Atlanta, I have 'em when I'm there. Honestly, after about 3-4 days, I'm a bit tired of schnitzels and sausages. And I think it's interesting to see how different cultures make food from other cultures, like having pizza or Asian food in Germany. Haven't found any decent Mexican food over there, tho.

Posted by
1357 posts

Almost forgot about the France part -- crepes can be a cheap dinner in Colmar. There's also a restaurant there that serves rosti, which is a hearty Swiss dish that's not too expensive, either. It'd be better to budget more for food, and spend less and have extra money left at the end, then end up spending more than you had planned.

Posted by
2715 posts

Hi Gordon, Our experiences are we've always spent under 50 Euro for dinner in a restaurant. The average is probably about 35 to 40 Euro for the 2 of us at a casual restaurant. I don't drink either (I never cared for beer in particular), but the fact is, having a Coke with dinner is more expensive than having a beer. I "compromise" when in Germany and Austria, as I'll have a Radler beer with dinner. Radler is a 50/50 mix of beer and lemon-lime soda. Sounds wierd, but it tastes good.

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks for everybody's good thoughts here. I guess I will be doing some road side stalls, some pizzas, some kebads, some resturants and of course some authentic German food etc. I agree that how food like kebabs, pizzas are done in different countries are different. For example my wife loves KFC and we have tried in it in England, Thailand, Malaysia and taiwan and they have their slightly different taste to it. the Thai food I had in England was also really good and better than what I had in Thailand. so it is all a different experience. One thing is for sure I am not going to eat any sausages from now till my trip ! Can anybody tell me how is Austrian food different from German food? Thanks.

Posted by
27438 posts

In my experience German food is quite regional, as is Austrian. For example, if you ask for a Bratwurst in Frankfurt-a-M you will get quite a different result than if in Nurnberg or even Regensburg. In fact the latter two, even though quite close and both in Bayern, and the wurst both very small and normally served in groups of 3, are quite different. Austrian cooking is influenced by its former empire and its larger neighbors.

Posted by
18237 posts

Over my last four trips to approximately the same area, rural Germany, I have averaged about €15/day/person for lunch + dinner + tip. Breakfast has always been included with the room. That doesn't include beverages (another €6/day aver). Whether you drink doesn't really matter. Bottled water is often more expensive than beer. Learn not to tip like an American (20%-25%). Most German waiters don't expect that (except from Americans). I generally add one Euro, then round the bill up, and I was chastised by one of my German hosts for over-tipping. Most of my meals are in sit-down restaurants. Sometimes, when I am on the go, I just grab a sandwich and a bottled drink at the train station. Train stations have premade sandwiches in the display cases at reasonable prices. I have one advantage. I can read Germany menus. Regional specialties are much less expensive than steak. German restaurants usually have pork Schnitzel on the menu, and it's often one of the less expensive items. In Austria I noticed a lack of pork Schnitzel, replaced by veal Wienerschnitzel, at a higher price.

Posted by
2023 posts

One of our favorite ways to cut cost on meals is to buy ready made sandwiches at the local grocery markets. This is not something we do in large cities but it works well in smaller places. Allows for a splurge at dinner. A 10 euro lunch for two is a deal and the sandwiches are good-yogurt, fruit, and bottle of water complete the meal.

Posted by
429 posts

We just returned from Germany and France. If you ask for a carafe of water, in either France or Germany, you don't have to pay, but bottled water is certainly expensive. We had some wonderful lunches in smaller restaurants for 6-10 euros; less for take-away sandwiches from grocery stores or deli's. Dinners varied in price depending on the restaurant and size of city. In the smaller cities and towns in Burgundy and Alsace, it's very easy to find Menus (3-4 courses) for 16-30 euros, or more. Entrees were generally in the 12-25 euro range. Germany was similarly priced. I roughly budget $46 per person/per day (similar to my per dieums for work travel) to have a rough idea what our food costs would be. I don't think we've ever spent the whole amount. There are lots of small restaurants that don't charge an arm or a leg for meals. Part of the fun in deciding what restaurant to eat in is taking the meal time stroll... along with everyone else. Just go for a walk and read the menus, and then decide which place you're going to eat in... wish I was still over there!! We also ate picnic lunches a lot. When traveling by car to different places, we always had water, fruit, cheese, bread of some sort, sausage or ham, etc. We never know where we'll be when we're hungry, so we usually have some food with us. This is also really helpful in keeping costs down.

Posted by
1804 posts

Agree with James & Frank. There are lots of variables here and nobody knows what Gordon likes to eat and drink except for Gordon. Sure, he may not drink alcohol, but maybe he slurps down 4 bottles of Coca Cola every day, which often costs 2x the amount of a glass of beer or house wine in a European restaurant or bar. I typically budget 50 Euro per day for 3 meals (and I investigate ahead of time what the customary tip is for wherever I'm travelling), a snack and some drinks. There are days when I'm on the go and I've grabbed a kebab or a fast food burger, scored a free breakfast at a hotel and drank nothing except some water and I've barely made a dent in the food budget. Then there are other times I have heard about an amazing restaurant and I've gone over budget for that day. It typically evens out in the end, and what's the worst that will happen if he "over budgets"? He'll find he has some extra cash on hand to pay for the expense he didn't anticipate somewhere else, he'll buy a few extra souvenirs in Duty Free, or he will simply take home some leftover Euros and have them sitting around for the next trip overseas. If Gordon spends 20 minutes looking at menus by pulling up some websites of restaurants he finds interesting, fast food joints he may want to get a quick meal at, and grocery stores he may shop at in the places he is going to visit, he can get a decent sense of how much it will cost him to eat/drink the things he enjoys most and make a decision on how much money he should budget.

Posted by
32 posts

yes thanks everybody for your suggestions. I think I will budget 50 Euro per person per day./ Should be okay as I am not a heavy eater and my prefered choice of drink is water. have not touched a cocoa cola in years. A little off topic but how much petrol costs in Germany, France and Austria?

Posted by
27438 posts

Do you mean unleaded, super unleaded or diesel?

Posted by
32 posts

What is the price of unleaded and super unleaded costs in Germany, Austria and France?

Posted by
429 posts

Hi Gordon. Depends on where you are when you buy fuel. If you're on the Autobahn in Germany/France, you will pay more than if you're in the towns/cities. On #5 Autobahn from Frankfurt through to Mulhouse, France we saw Super for 1.65/68 euros, but in the cities near Colmar - Alsace, Beaune- Burgundy, and Siegen - Germany it was in the 1.55-58 euro range.

Posted by
18237 posts

As for Maureen's comment about different cultures and familiar foods, I've learned the hard way that in Italy (and also Germany), Pepperoni is a pickled yellow pepper (what we might call Pepperocini, not the reddish sausage with which we are familiar.

Posted by
27438 posts

According to the AA, in April (prices have rocketed), Unleaded averaged:
France €1.65, Germany €1.61 and Austria €1.39. Can't get the Super figure but hopefully you won't be worried about costs if you are running a Ferrari down the autobahn. More expensive on the autobahns/autoroutes.

Posted by
32 posts

So it is cheaper to top up the tank in towns rather than autobahns. Any real difference in price between Austria and germany? Thanks