So your saving to backpack Europe only you don’t know how much you really need. Your friend says they spent this much, you asked everybody on facebook and even gave google a shot but your still not sure. I did the same thing and came up with a miss mash of information, none of it really answering my question, how much money do I need to backpack Europe?
The worst part unfortunately, there is no real answer as everybody travels differently. Some just want to party while others can’t get enough of the museums and tours. To give you an idea though, I recorded my daily budget for the entire time I backpacked around Europe from April to June 2010 in the hope that it might just help a little bit.
This is the first in a series of posts covering the 13-14 stops I made, the first one however is for Paris where I began my journey. At the end I’ll give you all a grand total and sum up things I could have done better or skipped as well. Right with that all said, here is the figures on Paris.
|Day||Transport||Hostel||Attractions||Lunch||Dinner||Misc||Total €||Total $AU|
All of my transport costs were spent on train tickets in and around Paris. I ended up buying a mixture of individual and daily tickets by the end, it just depended on where I was going and how long I planned to be there. The metro system really is a breeze to navigate once you work out what ticket is what.
The first hostel on my trip and the only one booked before I left Australia. Initially booked for 3 nights I extended for an extra night while there without any problems. Most hostels I looked at were around the 25 euro mark. As this one was some 300-400 meters from the Sacré Coeur Basilica and breakfast included I think it worked out well for me.
Your in Paris, chances are your going to want to see a couple of Museums and probably the Eiffel Tower at least. I got caught out on my second day when I tipped 10 euro on my first free walking tour while most tipped 5 or less, I was still not thinking in euro’s as yet.
I tossed up between climbing the Arc de Triomphe or the Eiffel Tower as I couldn’t justify the cost for both. I ended up going with the Tower which to get to the second level was 9 euro, it was more to go up again to the 3rd floor but if you check out my posts on Paris, the 2nd floor does alright in the view department.
A tip you might like, if your a student and have your ID card with you museums can be as much as half price or free which really helps. For the rest of us, the Lourve cost me 9 euro and so did Musee D’Orsay on the last day I was in Paris.
You gotta eat but if your willing to test your French on the locals I found the small bakeries and food stands were by far the cheapest eats. Finding a place at night that was near closing netted me a couple of huge baquettes for just 2 euros, you would easily pay 7-8 dollars back in Australia for the same.
I didn’t hit the pubs/clubs for a big night in Paris as all of the new found exploring opportunities left me too exhausted to go out at night, not to mention that jetlag. If you do fancy a drop, budget around 5 euro a beer and you should survive.
The only extra cost I had was the 28 euro booking reservation fee for my Eurail pass to ensure I had a seat to get me to Brussels. I’ll get to my thoughts on the Eurail pass in a future post but if you have any pressing questions leave me a comment or send me an email via the contact page at the top.
Total Cost for Paris
All up I spent a total of 242 Euro or 355.88 AUD (at an exchange rate of 1 AUD = 0.68 Euro). This averaged out to just on 60 euros a day, which was below the 70 a day limit I set myself before leaving home.
If however you were to leave Australia now (November 2014) it would cost you $345.90 AUD with the current exchange rate of 1 AUD = 0.70 Euro.
Obviously there is room to swing higher and lower depending on where you book your hostel, what sights you see and how much food/drinking you do. Personally I came to Europe to see museums and the history of the place as well as party the night away if it suited me. I didn’t want to be travelling and find myself skipping things I was desperate to see because my budget for the day had already been blown.
My thoughts were to travel how I wanted not how the guy you meet at the hostel was bragging about how he saw all of Paris for just 10 euros. For some a trip to Europe could be a once in a lifetime experience don’t ruin it by under budgeting yourself.
Thanks for this! I backpacked Europe 4 years ago and could have used this advice big time…
Look forward to seeing the totals as they are posted.
I couldn’t really find out this information before I left to backpack europe either so for that reason I decided to keep a record. I know its only a guide as everyone travels differently, but a guide is better than no information at all.
Thanks. I enjoy budget posts and this was a really helpful post. Hope to see more of these for the countries you visit.
Thanks for the comment Mike. I’m a sucker for budget posts as well, it allows me to work out when I might be able to afford to visit a certain place.
All up I saw about 12-13 countries and have records for them all. I also have a possible trip to more of Europe this coming summer so I’ll be sure to keep records then as well.
Good one you for keeping track of your spending. I always try to when I travel, but I never keep up with it. It’s nice to know an average price for places, even though everyone travels differently like you said. I know Paris is one of the pricier European cities.
Thanks Alouise, it started off really easy to keep the records but the more I travelled the less time I really wanted to sit and tally it all up. Thankgod for long train rides is all I can say 🙂
I think this is a great idea for a series of posts. Budget is such a huge part of travel, it’s always nice to get a sense of how much something is going to cost. Even, as you say, if someone’s tastes are different, they can make that adjustment once they have a baseline to work from.
Hey Gray thanks for the comment. You are right, your travel budget is a huge part of your travel plans. Short change yourself along the way and things can go very bad.
If this can at least guide people on what to expect, even just for museum prices then it’s been worth all the effort to keep the records. Not to mention I really wanted to know how much I spent along the way personally.
Great idea for a series Chris! I like how you break down the different expenses too! Very helpful!
Thanks a lot Suzy. Looking back over what I kept a record of actually surprised me with just home detailed I was with some things.
This is awesome. I’m the world’s worst at budgeting! Interesting to see how someone with skills does it!!
haha Abby I wouldn’t say someone with skill, just someone who didn’t want to run out of money before making it to London 🙂
I have a foolproof budget plan…it’s called a wife!
Always been our dream to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower. But like you , 2nd floor was ample viewing pleasure.
Less than 90Aus$ a day is pretty good for Paris I’d think. You did well!
Hey Jim, at this stage i’m still wife/girlfriendless so its all on me unfortunately.
I think while the view from the 3rd floor of the Eiffel Tower might be great, any higher up and my poor camera would have had to zoom to maximum just to take photos of the ground 🙂
Holy crap! I can’t believe you actually calculated everything. Where were you when I was doing my “budget?” Good job! Can’t wait to read the rest of these little budget gems. x
haha D I think I surprised even myself there. In saying that I’ve yet to read what I wrote for Berlin so don’t have too much confidence in me just yet 🙂
This is an AWESOME series idea. Love it.
Cheers Candice, I’m looking forward to getting to the last post and tallying it all up to see just how much I spent.
Gonna be a great series!!
I sure hope so Heather.
I think you did well on the budget. If it was me then I would have ran out of money on the second day with the beer costing 5 Euros!!
Thanks Natalie. I’m sure had I not been suffering from jetlag and my feet not killing me by the end of the day there would have been much beer drinking involved.
great idea, I’ve been trying to work out if we should post up our expenses but it kept getting really complicated – I like how yours is super simple 🙂
Thanks Kirsty. I know how you feel as I wrote this post up a couple of different ways before deciding on this one.
This is a really useful post and a great idea for a series.
I’m not so good at sticking to budgets of an evening. On a recent trip to Paris I paid 15 euro for a small white wine at the Ritz, 12 euro for small wine at Hotel Costes, 50 euro for 2 burgers and diet coke at Cafe Marly (the eatery at the Louvre) and then a whopping 25 euro plus service for 1 cocktail at the bar du Plaza Athenee. Needless to say it was baguette et fromage for lunch AND dinner the next day.
I look forward to some more budget saving tips 🙂
eek Jayne that’s some spending spree you were on. If I add that all up its almost half the budget i spent for 4 days in paris.
Looking forward to this series — while I try to travel on a budget, until very recently I’ve been very bad about recording my expenses. Will be interesting to see an honest representation of what Europe costs to backpack.
Cheers Matt, I think knowing I wanted to use the costs from my trip helped me actaully keep a record of everything. I didn’t so much use it as a reason to stick to A budget but it did help when I got to writing the days costs down. I would add it up and go, umm that cost a lot perhaps tomorrow better be a cheap day.
I love really informative and detailed posts like this — thanks Chris
Cheers Michael. I figured I’d include anything that pre-backpacking me would want to know. I’m sure there is heaps more that could be added but hey you gotta learn some stuff as you go.
Very informative. I was just telling my husband that I’d love to go to Paris one day. We’ve been to Rome and Venice.. and Paris is next on my list. A girl can dream, right? 🙂
Thanks Lola and why dream about it just go 🙂
Such valuable info!
Great ideas to keep track of it all Chris! I bet lots of people will find this extremely useful.
I also appreciate that you make sure you see everything you want to see and do and dont focus too much on your budget, that way you don’t miss out. 🙂
Cheers Cailin. Had I stuck to a firm budget we would never had gone and had that meal in Copenhagen so lucky I’m living for the moments and not my wallet huh 🙂
Great post!! As I am headed to Paris in March, this is even more meaningful for me. Appreciate the info. Thank you for sharing!
Hey Kirsten, good luck in Paris and glad you can make use of my post. Now I just hope it doesn’t lead you astray.
I was actually researching on how much it will cost to travel to europe and fortunately, i saw this site. Thanks for the detailed post and for all the tips. It was really helpful. I hope you do something like this on all your trips.
Hey Steph thanks for the comment. This is just the start of a series of posts on how much it cost me to backpack europe. Still another 13-14 posts to go covering all the places I stopped so you can be expect more for sure.
Wow, that is good then. I will be coming back for sure. Bookmarked your site 🙂
This is super helpful Chris! You should create more of these! So I can print them all out and live by them as I travel haha 🙂
haha Lindsay lets not take my word as gospel just yet 🙂
Wow really thorough and sounds about right for Europe.
Cheers Ayngelina, I just hope the prices are still valid now given I was there 8-9 month ago.
So true about the local bakeries. Every morning I would stop at a bakery and pick up a quiche or something for breakfast and then get a sandwich to bring with me for lunch, or I’d stop at a creperie. So much cheaper when you’re spending 6-7 total for 2 of your meals a day. Allowed for a nicer dinner while still keeping within a budget.
Look forward to your post about Eurorail.
Yes the bakeries sure allowed me to splurge in other areas. I remember sitting down in a little park area with the Eiffel Tower behind me enjoying a nice little meal with a friend.
Wow thanks for the detailed information Chris. It’s great to have access to up to date budget information when economies are less ‘stable’. Cheers fella 🙂
Thanks for the comment Andrew. I found it really frustrating not being able to find this info out before my trip so hope its of use to others looking to travel Europe now.
PWhat a great resource!!! I only wish I was going to Paris sometime soon so I can learn from your spending and eat good cheese of course lol
This is why I like traveling in South America I get more fling for my ca-ching. Japan would have been similar but luckily I had a place to stay the entire time I was there. I still want to explore Europe though and Paris is a must while there.
“fling for my ca-ching”
You said Fling. Coz ur a Monkey. & u Fling. Lolz.
Accommodation is the biggest expense in Paris. If you find a Formula 1 or Etap hotel you could make it much smaller, but then these hotels aren’t usually close to tourist attraction. Worth checking though. A good informative post!
Youll meet people on your way who are in the same boat so learning from others on you way is your best source of information for hints and tips on where to stay and money saving. You need to make a list of essentials for your back pack and then make a list and research what countries you would like to visit and entry i.e visas and make sure your passport is valid with at least one more year left before it expires.
Nice set up! This is handy for travelers on a budget. It’s amazing how fast it adds up.
As I see I should really take a track of my expenses each time I travel cos then people ask me and I cant say the right number.
This is very helpful information! I love Paris and can’t wait to go back someday!
Ace info here – I am off for back packing to Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris in a couple weeks and I am really tight on budget so the above will help. If I have hotels booked already then how much do you suggest I would spend each day ? Around 40 euro’s ?I have my hotels booked up for all three places and I am in Paris for 4 days. Plan to visit one attraction each day, probably one night at the bars and that is it….Also whats the cheapest option to travel between Ams and Paris ?
Ace info here – I am off for back packing to Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris in a couple weeks and I am really tight on budget so the above will help. If I have hotels booked already then how much do you suggest I would spend each day ? Around 40 euro’s ?I have my hotels booked up for all three places and I am in Paris for 4 days. Plan to visit one attraction each day, probably one night at the bars and that is it….Also whats the cheapest option to travel between Ams and Paris ?…..
Hi Ash, glad to hear you are off travelling around. If all of your accommodation is paid for then 40 euro a day should be plenty to survive on. Keep in mind most museums will charge 5-10 euro entry as well so if you have a student card take it as it should guarantee free or nearly free entry.
Cheapest way to get around is by Bus or if you can get an advanced fair train ticket but even then I believe the bus would be quicker. Downside is it takes much longer.
Chris, I’m in Paris right now mate – you’d be lucky to find 5 euro pints here. More like 7-8 euros is normal!! :S
I was just think this that it was very costly and I was right.
Hi — thanks for the info. I’m saving up for my Paris backpacking trip and I was really worried that I might spend a lot, considering how cheap Philippine Peso is compared to Euros.
Reading your post inspired me more to save up for my trip =)
Thanks a lot for the advice. I haven’t been to Europe yet but this surely will be helpful once I decide to visit that part of the world.
Good article. I like it when travelers break it down for people. I was amazed at your daily food allowance. Very reasonable! Did you have wine/beer at all? If so, where is that expense? That’s the bit that can add up really quickly in Paris.
Just thought I’d let you know I keep checking this post. I’ve based my whole France budget on your guide! I hope I am as good a budget traveler as you. This guide was a brilliant idea!
I read your post a while ago, but I came to read it once more 😉
It’s very helpful to set up a budget for my Paris trip (coming up in 2 weeks).
Curious what our costs will be like.
Thanks for sharing!
I think that’s about what I spent in Paris too! The hostel was definitely the bulk of the cost…Couchsurfing could definitely shave off a few Euros. Thanks for sharing!