How much spending money do I need for Europe?
We help you do the math.
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Ask certain people how much spending money you need for a holiday in Europe and they'll ask "how long's a piece of string?" in response.
That's because some European countries are more expensive to travel around than others.
If your itinerary includes the likes of Switzerland and Norway or capital cities like Paris or Amsterdam, your ideal-world budget would be about €100 a day, maybe more if you like the finer things in life.
In other destinations like Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia and Slovenia, you'll be quite comfortable on €40–€60 or less if you're into your street food and don't mind using public transport.
More middle-ground countries price-wise include Croatia, Greece and Germany which can set you back €60–€100 per day, depending on how conservative or lavish you are.
Quick facts about money in Europe
- Currency: Euros (€) on the whole though some European countries such as Norway still use their own currencies.
- Exchange rate: €1 equals $1.60.
- Cost of food (in AUD): $5 (in countries like Estonia and Slovakia) to $100 (in countries like Switzerland and Norway).
- Cost of a local beer (in AUD): $2.50 to $11.
- Travel money cards for Europe: Browse your options here.
Exchange rate is approximate and was obtained from xe.com on 6 November 2018
What is the best way to take money to Europe?
Card and cash are both prevalent and accepted throughout Europe. ATMs are readily available with instructions in English and most cafes and restaurants take cards directly. Travel money cards are widely accepted and if you are visiting multiple cities allows you to load various currencies.
In capitals like Berlin you can also make contactless purchases using the likes of Apple Pay in many places.
The only type of credit card that can be tricky to use is American Express, while almost all others are given the green light across the continent.
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What is the cost of certain on-ground travel necessities in Europe?
We break down expected costs for taxis, car hire, food and drink and more.
How much are taxis in Europe?
The cost of taxis tends to be pretty uniform in Europe. For an idea of costs, a taxi from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to central Paris comes up between €50 and €60. This is around a 30-minute drive.
Ubers are readily available throughout Europe, too. As a rule of thumb a 15-minute journey costs €6–€10.
How much does a hire car cost throughout Europe?
Again, the cost of car hire varies depending on which country you're in.
For an idea of what to expect, economy-sized cars can start from under €25 per day in cities like Paris. Medium- to large-sized cars start around €32 per day.
This price can drop considerably in Eastern European countries.
Search for car hire costs throughout Europe
How much do food and drink cost?
The cost of food varies wildly from country to country and from area to area within a country as well.
A 3-course meal with wine in St Mark's Square in Venice will set you back as much as €100 per person. Explore the side streets and you can find a place to buy a slice of freshly made pizza for €5.
The price of beer and wine fluctuates across Europe, too. Stick to the local brews in countries like Germany and Lithuania and you can buy a pint for a few euros. Order a beer in a hotel bar in a capital city and you can look to pay €8–€10 per drink.
How much does sightseeing throughout Europe cost?
If you're staying in a big city, there are always free things to do. For example, it'll cost you nothing to amble down Amsterdam's canals and it's free to see the Trevi Fountain in Rome, unless you throw a coin or three in.
If you're following the guidebook around a destination, the chances are you'll have to pay to visit a highlight at some point.
Admission to sights like the Colosseum and the Eiffel Tower will set you back an average of €12–€25 each time.
Most countries offer sightseeing cards or buses. There's the Paris Pass in Paris and the City Sightseeing bus in Amsterdam, for example. With these, you pay a one-off fee and you get free admission to many sights and reduced admission to lots of other places.
How much for a European SIM card?
Service stations, newsagents and tourist shops usually sell SIM cards for short-term use.
In countries like Germany you'll be looking at paying around €15 for a SIM card which includes 2GB of data, 200 minutes and SMS. Most prepaid credit is valid for 28–30 days.
How much money do I need for a week in Europe?
Again, the answer to this question depends on where you are travelling to and how much luxury you want to experience on your trip.
Eat street food and see the sights from the outside and you can get by on about €350 a week.
Book into premium restaurants and attempt to tick off every sight in the guide book and you'll need to budget way more, up to €1,000 per person for the week.
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