These are the best places to backpack in Europe on a budget

Jun 4 2019, 6:44 pm

With summer right around the corner, many wanderlusters are deep in European dreaming. We’re talkin’ sipping wine along the Seine in Paris, carb-loading all the way through Rome, and living like the royals in London – budget backpacking in Europe.

But where are the best spots for travellers to have the most budget-friendly experience on the continent?

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We’ve already shared our top travel tips for an epic European adventure, but now it’s time to really map out your route for budget Europe.

Alpha Travel Insurance has created a Backpacker Index to help you make an informed decision on where to go. Their findings break down the cost of travelling in 60 destinations across Europe based on the cost of hostels, transportation, meals, drinks, and attractions.

backpack europe

Travellers on a train. (Shutterstock)

So, budget-conscious globetrotters, here are the top stops to hit or miss on your Euro-trip this summer. Keep in mind, all the totals are in British Pounds, so be sure to adjust expectations to your home currency.

  • Istanbul takes first place as the least expensive place to travel, with an average spend per day of just £16.41
  • Kiev takes the top spot for the cheapest drink (£2.58 for three local beers), whilst Istanbul is top for the cheapest hostel (£3.76 per night)
  • Zurich is the most expensive place to backpack in Europe, with an overall cost of £92.47 a day
  • London is one of the most expensive destinations for backpacking, coming 51st out of 56 European destinations with a spend per day of £73.70
backpack europe

Istanbul, Turkey. (Shutterstock)

The top 10 cheapest places in Europe along with their average overall cost per day are:

  • Istanbul – £16.41
  • Kiev – £20.04
  • Krakow – £20.71
  • Belgrade – £21.25
  • Bucharest – £21.75
  • Sofia – £24.44
  • Budapest – £25.14
  • Sarajevo – £26.04
  • Riga – £26.57
  • Zagreb – £27.16

The full Backpacker Index from Alpha Travel Insurance can be found in the interactive graphic here. Cities are ranked by the daily price of a hostel, two public transportation rides, three budget meals, the cost of one cultural attraction, and three inexpensive beers (or wines) for each day in each city.

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