The best of world on a budget of €15 a day…
What do Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have in common?
While I’m sure there is more common ground between them, for me the linking factors is that they are the ten countries I visited on my recent InterRail trip around Europe.
Armed with an InterRail Global Pass and a fold-up Brompton bike, I swooped through these ten countries within a mere 30 days – definitely something that kept me on my toes, especially considering that I was on a budget of €15 a day.
Yes, including accommodation.
One vital lesson is that some countries are more budget-friendly than others and that – with the gift of ever-useful hindsight – perhaps Denmark and Switzerland were perhaps not the smartest choices to include on such a tight budget trip!
Czech Republic, the Netherlands and even Belgium were friendlier to the purse, but read on to get my top three faves….
Top Three Countries for Rail Travel in Europe….
Slovenia is phenomenal – absolutely phenomenal.
Having enjoyed the grace and charm of Ljubljana, the quaint capital, budget travellers should head to the north-eastern corner of the country – the Triglav National Park.
For those travelling on an InterRail pass, trains don’t need reservations here so you can scoot in and around the National Park on some of the Continent’s most beautiful train journeys for absolutely FREE!!!!
Groceries are cheap and are well suited to the best form of Budget Travel eating – the Picnic. Grab some bread, some cheese, some meat and some tomatoes and climb a hill, any hill – for one of the most memorable picnics with some of the best views for next to nothing. Pick up a bottle of wine for a mere €2 to make it more fun, but slightly less memorable!
Activity-wise, you’re not likely to get bored of hiking, swimming and biking so you won’t be shelling out hugely here and the proud and friendly locals will be more than helpful when it comes out to pointing out the best spots.
Well played, Slovenia. 10/10. Check out more of my thoughts about Slovenia on Travelettes.
Travelling on a budget or not, Germany is a favourite. An underrated destination, Germany is full of awesome scenery, cheap eats and giant, friendly Germans. The train system is excellent and very few trains require a reservation.
The beer and the vino are cheap, as is the delicious selection of street food you’ll need to soak it all up.
Berlin, in particular, is the ultimate destination for budget travellers – you can’t walk down the street without stumbling across a €2 Curry Wuerst and some of the city’s (end Europe’s for that matter) best attractions are free. The wall, the East Side Gallery, free walking tours and some excellent museums are yours for the taking.
Rail travel in Austria doesn’t require reservations for those on an InterRail pass, so there’s a huge saving from the start.
And top add a cherry to the cake, the train journeys are EPIC. The Semmeringbahn in particular, curving through the mountains and pretty countryside, is a wonderful journey and an impressive engineering feat to boot.
The cities it connects, Vienna and Graz, are surprisingly budget friendly. In Graz, wandering through the streets and checking out the castle hill and the old town costs you nothing, and Vienna offers up the opportunity to pay a mere €3 for a ticket to see a performance one of the world’s most famous and beautiful Opera Houses, enjoyed after munching on cheap and exotic eats and the city’s top-notch Naschmarkt and you might just have a perfect day on your hands.
Please, Sir, Can I have some more?
Other budget favourites are the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, and even expensive Switzerland and Denmark had endless walks and bikes that are free and easy.
You just have to be OK with a diet of bread and butter during your stay…..