My European odyssey is about half way done now, and it’s been unreal. I’m currently in Croatia (Split to be precise) and it’s bloody gorgeous. I’ve been getting a lot of emails recently asking how much does it cost to backpack around Europe so I thought I’d use France as an (expensive) case study.

how much does it cost to travel in france

I always harp on about traveling being cheaper than people think, and I stand by that. Unfortunately, if you’re on a tight budget, western Europe shouldn’t be on your hitlist, you can say goodbye to those $15 a day Indian dreams. Anyways, here we go:


We’re talking budget travel here folks, so none of this ‘cheap hotel’ malarkey. Hostels run around 20 Euro per dorm bed, one of the priciest countries in the world for accommodation actually. If you’re after a private you may get lucky with 25-30 but don’t hold your breath. Sometimes you can find cheaper deals, if you’re lucky you find a villa in Brittany, Paris or other major cities for great prices if you share with some traveling buddies.

So one month runs around 600 Euro ($740) just for accommodation – ouch.

Sights and Activities:

France is wall to wall museums, galleries and monumnets. Walking around the beautiful cities is of course free, but lots of the world famous attractions incur quite a charge. Budget 5-10 euro per major sight. Not cheap.

Figure seeing at least 20 sights in your 30 days, so that’s approximately 100 Euro ($120) on sights.

Activities such as river cruises, pub crawls, general boozing, will add AT LEAST another 100 euro on.

So 30 days will be around 200 Euro ($245 USD)


This can be a bit of a killer with the TGV from Paris to Lyon can run at 100 Euro, buses are cheaper normally so definitely go with that option. That being said if you see 8-10 places in your 30 days, you’ll be spending around 40 euro per trip (estimated) so 9 X 40 = 360 Euro for the month ($440)


France is famous for its food, but it should be infamous for their prices. If you’re dreaming of French cuisine on a backpacker budget, forget about it, a restaurant feel STARTS at 15 Euro per person. You’ll be on free breakfasts at the hostel, a bakery snack for lunch and something cheap for 5 euro or so in the evenings. If you’re really tight, you can do it for around 10 Euro per day.

That’s 300 Euro ($370) per month.

Total budget for backpacing in France for one month would be:

 ACCOMODATION:               600                  740    

SIGHTS:                                   200                  245

TRANSPORT:                         360                  440

FOOD:                                       300                   370


             TOTAL:                                    1460 Euro       1795 USD

There you have it folks, remember you always spend more than you think so budget for $2000 USD for each month in western Europe IF you’re very careful. Happy travels!

Of course, if you’re doing stuff like visiting the eiffel tower or running the marathon du medoc, the price can shoot up quicklyl

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