Europe on a budget: three countries, six days, less than $1000 spent

Vienna

Duomo

I am in Milan, it is the last full day and half stop before I fly back home after a week of traipsing through Europe. Traipsing, I love that word, makes it seems like I was frolicking through the continent in a white flowy gown.

If you have been reading this blog then you know I have been in Prague, Vienna, Florence (post to come) and now I am in Milan much to my friends chagrin ;). It’s been a week of fun, adventure and Instagramable moments. By right and logic, I am told, this should be costing me a fortune. It’s not.

Full disclosure before we begin, this above cost does not include airfare from your home country, just hotels and travel with Europe and meal expenses.

Prague

I have a $1000 and I want to see at least three countries in Europe, can it be done? Yes it can. Let’s begin with hotels. Most cities in the world can be explored in a day and a half. So I recommend staying one night and a full day in most places, you can do two nights if you really want to explore the surrounds.

I stayed in a four star hotel in Prague for $30 a night close to the castle area, in Vienna I was right around the corner from the major shopping district for $45 a night, also four star. In Florence I was 10mins walking distance away from The cathedral and the gallery that houses David $48 a night and now in Milan I am 100meters away from Piazza Duomo for $72 a night, both four stars.

Pisa

What is this magic, a friend asked. Hotwire. I discovered this site before I set off on my trip when I was looking for affordable accommodation in Florence, the only destination at the beginning of the trip. The catch with the service is they don’t tell what hotel it is until you actually book it. So pick the top stars, 4 and 5. I was expecting the worst when I arrived in Prague but my hotel was pretty decent old but well kept, free wifi and breakfast included. All four hotels have not be disappointing. There are plenty services like this I am told. You can Air’BnB it too.

Then I needed to get to these places, how do I afford to travel from one place to another affordably. Usually best to travel to countries quite close to each other and always take the train, it’s more scenic. Prague to Vienna $75, Vienna to Florence $158 and Florence to Milan $41 — getting to places done.

When on holiday people always fall in the trap of getting guided tours of places, this isn’t a bad thing but they can be expensive. Walk around a city and get lost, it is the best way to discover the place. I once got so lost in Paris that I ended up in front of the Moulin Rouge and went in for a show.

Budget some train or bus money for surrounding areas, in Florence you can catch the train to Pisa for the day. In Vienna you can get on a bus to Bratislava, the capital of Slovenia for the day and add a extra country to your list. Unless you really like museums you pay to go inside them but walking around them is free.

Food, Europe can be mighty expensive. But if all your breakfasts are sorted from your hotels all you need is lunch and dinner, street food is your friend. This also gives you the opportunity to get a taste of the country you’re in. Chum up to some locals and find out where they eat because those places don’t have tourist prices. Street food on average costs about $10 and add an extra $20 for a decent dinner in a non-touristy restaurant. If you’re desperate there is always a MickyDs or Burger King somewhere.

If you like to shop it’s always best to haggle. Now if you walk into a Ferragamo or Gucci in Milan I can’t help you but if you’re looking for some trinkets from street vendors then you can significantly reduce your cost.

So trip over, and my bank is still in tact not broken and I have kept to my budget with out feeling like I missed out on anything major. I actually believe I have some change to spare.

Hotels: $297
Trains: $258
Meals: $180
Day trips: $60
Airport/train transfers: $50
Shopping and trinkets: $100
Grand total: $945

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