75 tips to travel Europe almost for Free

Tourists
Tourists

1. Check out Luxury Hostels around Europe

Luxury hostels are a relatively new phenomenon in the travel business. These places are spread out throughout Europe. These hostels offer comfortable and luxury accommodation to the customers at very reasonable prices. Almost anyone could afford them! Plus, there are often numerous features that other hostels don’t have, such as swimming pools, movie theaters saunas and fine dining options that may cost as little as 10 euro. Some of these high-quality hostels where travels can rest include the network of Plus Hostels, numerous U Hostels, located in Madrid and Gallery Hostel in Porto. Check out our guide to luxury hostels around Europe for more tips and advices on how to find inexpensive accommodation for your next vacation in Europe.

2. University rooms in London

University Rooms is a website that offers users inexpensive living options in more than 120 cities all over the world. This website is definitely worth checking out if you are terrified by hotel prices in the city of your dream vacation. We were able to find rooms in the center of London for as low as 45 pounds for a night, while the cheapest options at hotels cost around 100 pounds for one night. And the price on University rooms included breakfast too! Of course, the rooms there are not luxury, but they are clean and have everything a tourist might need during the holidays. Plus, the convenient location of most rooms in the city center allows tourists to have additional money on transportation.

If you want to explore other types of accommodations, read our guide to best places to stay during your next vacation.

3. Don’t go to Europe in the summer

Summer is the worst time of the year to see European countries, especially if you are going to resorts. All cities are incredibly busy with tourists; the prices are much higher than in the winter and it is difficult to find any accommodation at all. Cold months of the year are much better for European vacations.

4. Substitute a real tour for a virtual one

If you want to travel, but can’t afford it, or if you don’t know where to go on your vacation, watch some movies that take place in Europe for inspiration.

5. Don’t know how to save enough money for the trip?

Look at our advices on how to save up enough to go on a trip of your dreams. In addition, don’t forget about Tourist Information points when you finally come to Europe. These places offer information about cheap or free events that tourists can attend, plus, you can usually pick up a free map.

6. Use tourist passes to save money

If you plan on doing a lot in the city you are visiting, look into buying a tourist pass. These cost a certain amount of money, they are valid for a limited amount of time, and these passes allow you to use public transportation for free and attend every museum that participates in the program for free or at a discount price. However these may not be such a good deal if you don’t want to visit many museums.

7. Walk or use passes for public transportation

Most tourist attractions are usually located close to each other in the city center, so it might be a good idea to walk to them instead of using transport every time. If you can’t walk that far, buy passes for a certain amount of time instead of obtaining single tickets.

8. Watch how locals behave

Getting to know people in a certain country can be even more interesting than visiting a museum or a cathedral. Try making friends with locals, talking to them at a bar or while watching a soccer game at a restaurant. Local markets and festivals are also good places to meet people and try to understand their way of life.

9. Mobile internet- how to avoid a costly bill at the end of the trip

Using the internet abroad or even simply making calls can be extremely expensive, so unless you want to spend tons of money on cell phone charges, don’t use your cell phone service. If you are going to be abroad for a long time, obtain a local sim card, and use it for your calls. This will only work if your cell phone in unlocked. Another way to have internet access is to buy a Wi-Fi device for about 50 euro, and use it for internet access. You can also use different apps for contacting people, for example, Skype, WhatsApp and Viber are good for making calls and sending text messages. However, you can only use these apps if you have internet access.  Check out our guides on how to use cheap mobile service in Italy and Germany for further information!

10. How to travel in France for cheap

Check out our tips on how to save money in France here.

11. Don’t travel by plane 

Traveling by plane within the country in Europe or between countries that border each other is a very bad idea that can cost you a lot. Try taking trains or buses instead!

12. Bicycle fun

Getting around on a bike can have you tons of money and improve your health, but there is another upside to this idea. Warmshowers in a couchsurfing website where travelers who use bikes to get around can look for people who can allow them to stay in their home for free. The entire idea is centered about bikes, so being a bike fan is a must. Locals usually offer accommodation for free or for a very small price.

13. Be smart when taking the train

The best way to save money when traveling by train is to book tickets in advance, as fares can be much lower than those offered on the day of the trip. Prices vary greatly around Europe, but you can travel to Amsterdam or Paris from Frankfurt for less than 40 euro.  It may cost you several hundred euros to complete the same trip by plane.

14. Ride trains at night

Taking an overnight train is a great way to combine transportation and accommodation for the night at the same price! Sleeper trains are still popular in Europe, and they allow you to save the sum of money it would cost you to stay in a hotel for one night. The prices are very reasonable, for example, you can travel from Amsterdam to Copenhagen for 30 to 50 euro. Just don’t forget your visa!

15. Don’t travel alone

Traveling together with someone is always much cheaper than traveling alone. This is because a single room at a hotel usually costs as much as a double room, but you pay the entire sum yourself. In addition to that, single rooms are usually worse than double rooms are, so try to find a friend, relative or a partner who can come along with you. If there isn’t anyone, consider getting a bed at a hostel. This will save you tons of money.

16. Choose low-cost airlines if you have to take a plane

Low cost airlines, such as EasyJet and Ryanair, made traveling much more affordable for many people. Of course, sometimes you have to pay extra if you are checking in luggage or if you want to have snacks on the plane, but these options are still much cheaper than a lot of other airlines. Remember, the more time there is left before the trip when you book the ticket, the cheaper it will be.

17. Take a bus!

Many bus companies have sales where you can get tickets between different European cities starting at 1 euro! Check out our guide to cheapest bus companies here.

18. Use Busabout if you want to tour Europe

Busabout is a bus tour company that offers its customers hop-on-hop-off bus tours around Europe. Basically, you buy a ticket, get on the bus, get to one city, get off, spend as much time there as you want, and get on the next bus without additional charges.

19. Don’t forget about hitchhiking

This is probably the way to spend the least amount on a trip! Make sure you know all the rules before you go.

20. Ride-sharing

If you are traveling by car and want to save some money on gas, or simply need to get to another city, but don’t want to take a train, go to Bla Bla Car. People there offer rides to others in exchange for gas money.

21. Don’t use ATMs in foreign countries

Withdrawing cash from your card in an ATM can result in getting a bad exchange rate and large fees from the ATM and your bank.  

22.  Never exchange currency at the airport

Currency exchange places at the airports have extremely large fees – they may even be larger than the sum you receive in exchange.

 23. Family-friendly hostels

Nowadays, there are many hostels specifically for families. This is a good way to save money instead of getting a hotel room for everyone.

24. Renting an apartment

This can be a good way to save money it terms of cooking your own meals, as eating at restaurants will be much more expensive. Some of the best websites include HouseTrip and HomeAway .

25. August in Italy

This is a great time to travel to Italy, as most Italians go away to the beach for this month of the year and cities are much less crowded.

26. Travelodge and Ibis

These are hotel chains that offer basic accommodation for cheap. It won’t be luxury, but you will have a place to sleep.

27. Budget boutique hotels

These are another new phenomenon around Europe. Some examples of hotels are Student Hotel in Amsterdam, Bazar Hotel in Rotterdam and Yotel in London.

28. Get a place on the outskirts

The further you are from the city center, the cheaper the hotels are. However don’t choose this option if you are in the city for one or two days.

 29. Family rooms

This is a great option if there are a lot of people traveling with you, as it will be much cheaper for each traveler to stay in one family room instead of getting several double rooms.

30. Couchsurfing

This is a website where people can find locals who offer tourists free accommodation in their homes.

31. Housesitting

Housesitting is a good option of free housing if you are traveling to one city for the entire vacation. Check out our guide on Housesitting for more useful tips.

32. Spend money on memories instead of accommodation

In ten years you won’t remember the hotel where you stayed, you will remember the cool stuff you did, so don’t skip out on that just to save money for a good hotel

33. Places to crash in London, Paris and Edinburgh

These are probably the most expensive cities in Europe, accommodation-vise, so you may want to go somewhere else if you are on a budget. If you still want to go read our guides to cheap hotels in London, Paris and Edinburgh.

34. Chic and Basic is a chain of hotels in Spain with incredibly affordable accommodation.

35. Explore Portugal

If you want to travel to Europe, but don’t have too much money to spend – cove to Portugal! It combines the charm of old Europe with warm sea and good resorts. Small Portuguese towns will be a real treat to every architecture lover, and every foodie out there will sure enjoy tons of fresh sea food and traditional pastries with coffee. The prices here are very delightful – a plate of sea treats can cost you about five euros, a bowl of traditional sea food soup is three euro and a glass of tasty vine is two euro. Some of the best places to visit in Portugal include Madeira, Lisbon and the old town called Porto. You can find something to do here no matter what kind of traveling you prefer, as this town has delicious food, lots of nightclubs and dozens of cultural landmarks.

36. Sarajevo

If you absolutely must visit Europe in the summer – come to Sarajevo! Rich culture, amazing history, breathtaking architecture and wonderful weather will definitely leave you with many memories of Bosnia.

37. Berlin

This city is the second greatest European city to visit on a budget after Lisbon in Portugal. It is possible to find places to stay for small amounts of money, as there are hundreds of apartments and hostels. Plus, tourists can visit numerous museums and exhibits for free (we talk about it some more later in the article here, on My Liberty Trip). Even simply walking around the city can be a great way to get to know Berlin for free! In addition, there are tons of street food places that offer dishes, such as kebabs or currywurst for a couple of euro. Find out more about visiting Berlin in our guide to seeing Berlin in 2 days.

38. Explore Germany

Other German cities can be delightful places to spend your vacation. We, here at My Liberty Trip, prepared you a great guide on how to see the entire country and spend only a little amount of money. Some of the places we can advise you to see include Hannover, Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Bremen, Rugen Island, Stuttgart and other cities.

 39. Don’t eat at restaurants to much

Figure out how many times a day you can afford to eat at a restaurant, and follow that plan. Keep in mind that lunches at restaurants are generally cheaper than dinners.

40. Cook at home

If you are renting an apartment or if there is a kitchen at your hotel, go to a local market to buy food, and cook meals yourself! This can be a real money saver if you are on a budget. Plus, you will get to explore local cuisine.

41. Explore markets

Farmer’s markets and local stores usually have fresh, locally-grown foods at low prices, so try to find out where locals get their food. Try to buy what others are buying to get the best stuff.

42. Go people watching

Go on a picnic to a local park or garden, and spend a couple of relaxing hours eating, enjoying the weather, and watching how locals live every day in the country you are visiting.

43. Menu del Dia in Spain

This is the best way of eating lunch in this country, and a good way to save money too! You can get several courses and a drink at a set price, which is cheaper than ordering the same amount of food separately.

44. Aperitivo

This is a good way to get a cheap meal if you are in the northern part of Italy. Find a restaurant that offers an aperitivo option, come in during the hours, which are usually in the evening, get a drink for five to eight euro, and have some snacks on the house! Some restaurants offer buffets. People usually get one plate of food with each drink, but nobody is going to sue you if you get a second one.

45. Having cicchetti in Venice

This is a tradition similar to that of aperitivo. At some bars in Venice you can order spritz, a local drink, together with cicchetti. These are small snacks of local fish, bread, meat and cheese. You have to pay for the snacks, but they cost very little – only a few euro. If you have troubles finding a cicchetti bar – look at our handy list of cicchetti bars.

46. Find out how to eat almost for free in our guides

If you want to save money on food when traveling to some of the major European cities, read about the most reasonably-priced restaurants in London, Paris, Cardiff, Oslo, Bari, Tenerife, Rome, Munich, Florence, Krakow, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Paris.

47. Avoid touristy places

Try not to eat in restaurants that have many tourists in them, instead, find places where locals dine. A good way to find out about such places is to ask the staff at your hotel about their favorite restaurants.

48. Where to have lunch in Spain and Portugal- Empandas

Great places to have lunch, breakfast or just a snack in Spain are called panaderías.  Similar places are called Padaria in Portugal. These are bakeries that usually offer fresh, tasty and cheap pastries and coffee. Your lunch can cost as little as 3 euros if you go to one of such places.

49. Save money by dining in Italian cafeterias

While some people may not think of this as of a good idea at first, eating at Italian cafeterias is a great way to save tons of money on food. Plus, it’s a good way to try real local homemade food.

50. Having snacks in Italy

The best places to have a snack in Italy are local bakeries, which usually have delicious, fresh, locally-produced products at great prices.

51. Go hunting for free tapas during your trip to Spain

Back in the day, every bar in Spain used to offer the guests free tapas, which are small local dishes, with every drink that was bought at the bar. Unfortunately, this tradition is not as common anymore, but you can still hunt down some bars in Leon, Salamanca and Granada.

52. How to find a cheap meal in Athens

Savvas and O Thanasis are two restaurants where you can have a delicious local meal for about 2 euro. These places are located in the center of Athens on the Monastiraki Square.

53. An entire meal for 10 euro in Madrid

La Sanabresa, a famous restaurant in Madrid, offers its customers wholesome meals for just 10 euro. The place is conveniently located next to Plaza Santa Ana.

Free music

54. Vondelpark

If you plan on visiting Vondelpark in the summer, set aside a couple of hours on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday to enjoy a free concert.

55. Free concerts in other cities

It is possible to enjoy music for free in almost every large city in Europe, check out this guide to find out how.

Cheap museum admissions

Many people consider visiting museums a primary part of their vacation, but admission fees can sometimes be pricey, so we prepared a few useful tips on how to save money and see all the cool places

56. Exploring London for free

Laura Porter offers an extensive list with advices on how to enjoy your travel to London at a very low price.

57. If you are traveling to Great Britain, try to choose museums that are owned by the country itself, as they have no admission fees.

58. If you are on a vacation in Italy, and you are under 18 or have a child who is less than 18 years old, visit museums that are owned by the state to get free admission for the person who is under 18. 

59. It never hurts to ask the person at the ticket office about the discounts they offer to different people, as many museums and art galleries offer lower admission fees for students, children and elderly.

60. If you are traveling to Paris, try to visit museums with the highest admission fees on the first Sunday of the month, as everyone can visit all the museums for free on that day.

61. If you are visiting Berlin, go to the Museum of Contemporary Art during the last four business hours on a Thursday to get in for free.

62. Other museums in Berlin that have no admission fees include:

The Berlin Wall Memorial called “Deutscher Dom”

Mies van der Rohe- Haus

Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen, which is the German-Russian Museum in Berlin

Museum of Oddities

Holocaust Memorial Berlin, the Allied Museum, offers free admission to its information center

Sugar Museum

Kunstraum Kreuzberg/ Bethanien

63. You can visit these museums for free during specific time

1. Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design offers free tours with a guide on Sundays at 2 p.m., but you have to pay the admission fee of 4 to 7 euro.

2. It is possible to visit the Märkisches Museum for free on the first Wednesday of each month

3. A museum of agricultural history called Domäne Dahlem allows visitors to enter for free every Wednesday between 10 a. m .to 6 p.m.

4. Academy of Arts at Pariser Platz admits everybody free of charge on the first Sunday of each month between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

5. Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin offers visitors free admission on Mondays.

6. It is possible to visit the Academy of Arts in Hanseatenweg for free on the first Sunday of each month from 11a.m. to 8 p.m.

64. Visit art galleries in Madrid

Everyone can enjoy the exhibits of the Contemporary Art Museum Espacio Conde Duquein Madrid free of charge. However, the gallery sometimes hosts special events that may have admission fees.

65. Read our advices on how to spend a weekend in Paris for 100 euro in this guide.

66. If you are traveling to Paris for the first time, check out this helpful list.

67. The best way to explore Cote D’Azur without spending too much money is to take the train. Check out more tips here!

68. If you are about to get your visa to come to Great Britain, make sure you download these apps that will help you to save loads of money during your rest.

69. You can save dozens of euro during your trip to Italy if you refill your water bottle with water from the water fountains instead of buying bottled water every time.

70.  Drink coffee at the bar in Italy

If you are going on a vacation to Italy, keep in mind that you will have to pay a fee if you sit down at the table, so try to stay by the bar if you are just getting a drink.

71. Free Fringe Festival – the best thing that could happen to you

This is the even to visit if you plan of coming to Edinburgh for the holidays. The festival is free and takes place every year in August. In 2015, more than four thousand artists performed at the festival, with forty of those shows rated at five starts and 140 shows rated at four stars. Pretty awesome for a free festival.

72. Open air movie festivals at no cost

Almost every large city in Europe offers locals and tourists open air movie festivals that have no admission fees. These festivals present a wide range of films, including documentaries, and award-winning movies from different countries, so you will definitely find something to enjoy. For example, one of the best festivals in Italy is held on Piazza Maggiore in Bologna. You can read more about our adventures in Bologna and different attractions of the city here.

73. What to do if going island hopping in Greece in too expensive.

Take the subway in Athens to get to Piraeus, and buy a ticket for a day-long trip on a ferry to one of the islands in the Saronic Gulf Islands.

74. Go on a free guided walking tour

This is a great way to save some cash, see the city, and hear some interesting stories about it from its native. Many companies organize free walking tours in large European cities; one of such companies is called Sandeman’s New Europe. The tours are usually held every day at a certain time for groups of people, and they last an hour or two. Alternatively, you might have to pay 5 euro or more to go on a paid tour.

75. Transportation in London

If you go to London, obtain an Oystercard to get around.

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