A fun and exciting trip to Europe doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are plenty of budget travellers who make the most out of their trips and get to see all there is to see in any European country for cheap. But why fly to Europe and only enjoy one country? With $3,000, you can easily enjoy a trip through ETIAS countries without compromising the fun of the trip.

Prepare for an incredible cross country trip through Europe on a modest budget. Here are some travelling tips and ways to make the most of a $3,000 vacation.


Budget Getaway: How to Travel through Europe with 3,000 CAD


There are two ways to spend your Loonies wisely on a trip like this. If it’s your first time going to Europe, then maybe you’d like to drop by the popular yet slightly pricier destinations for a few days. But if you’ve been there before, you can go to the places less known to the mainstream crowd. Here are ways you can do any of the two with the given budget.

Must-See Itinerary: Budgeted Travel to 3 Popular Destinations 

1. Paris, France

Paris, France

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Everybody wants to go to France, literally. France is the most visited country in the world with over 86 million tourists coming in yearly. If you want to spend a couple of days here, then you’d have to think about accommodations and food. 

The high-end hotels will definitely kill your budget. But if you stay at a hostel (similar to a dorm) or a modest hotel, you could be paying 35-40 CAD a night. For a whole day’s meal, it will depend on the places you go to. For places in Paris, you can set aside 40 CAD or less a day. 

It won’t be hard to find places to see in the city of love. From the Eiffel Tower to the Notre Dame Cathedral, this city is full of places to check out for free. You can even rent a bike to get from one point to another for 15-20 Euros (or 21-30 CAD) to fully explore the sights. 

For a three-day, two night stay in Paris, you would probably spend 200-250 CAD

2. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Source: Wikimedia Commons

From Paris, you can make your way to Amsterdam, one of the go-to capitals of Europe for people most interested in the liberal culture of this city. This city is a mix of old and new architecture and art that are both stunning in different ways. 

The Eurail can take you from Paris Nord to Amsterdam. To save on money, take the regional train. Your travel time may not be as fast, but at least you get to enjoy the journey of a cross-country train ride. You can opt for a Eurail Pass ahead of time, which allows you to board a trail through Europe within 15 days. If not, a ticket will cost between 50 to 200 euros (74-293 CAD).

Accommodations won’t cost you as much here, with some hotels costing as low as 30 CAD a night. You can keep the food budget consistent at 40 CAD.

There are so many free things to do in this country. From boat rides to walking tours, you won’t run out of new things to experience. So if you’re budget-savvy, you can enjoy a day or two here for about 250-320 CAD including the train fare.

3. Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The last stop on this trip is the great city of Berlin, Germany, which is a train ride away from Amsterdam as well. The ticket is priced at about 40 euro (or 59 CAD) and it’s a 6-7 hour trip. 

Accommodations can be as low as 20 CAD, though you can up the budget here for a better experience. This city is filled with historical stops that you can explore such as the Berlin Wall and the Museum Island. 

You can surely up the budget at double with food in this city, especially if you’re into craft beer. Just like Amsterdam, Berlin is also rich in modern nightlife culture, which you can skip if you’re not after it. But if you are, you would probably need 50 euros (roughly 74 CAD) to explore Berlin’s night scene.

If you spend one night here before getting on the next flight home, you would have spent less than 200 CAD.

Hidden Gems: 5 Affordable Underrated European Hotspots

1. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Portugal is rich in Mediterranean culture, which you can freely explore in your modest budget.

As far as food and accommodations go, Lisbon is quite budget-friendly. You can find places to stay that can go for 20 to 44 CAD. Upscale places will cost you within the 80-112 CAD range, which is not bad for the venues. 

This city is known for its fresh yet cheap seafood, which you can spend 10 euros (less than 15 CAD) on. You can also check out the flea markets, exhibitions, and gardens around the city. 

A two-day, one-night stay would cost a little bit more or less than 100 CAD.

2. Sighișoara, Romania

Sighișoara, Romania

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Romania is one of those European countries that you don’t hear much about, though maybe a place most people know about.

The historic region of Transylvania, which rings a bell with lots of people, is located here. The town of Sighișoara is within this area. It is a quaint colorful and bright town that embraces the vampire lores, so don’t be surprised finding it in many of their souvenirs. 

Accommodations don’t go any higher than three digits, the most expensive being 50 CAD a night. Walking around the city will feel a lot like a gothic fairytale come to life.

Expect to only spend 80 CAD in a two-day stay here.

3. Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia

Source: Wikimedia Commons

There are hundreds of castles in Europe that you can find in ETIAS countries. One place you’d find them is in the country of Slovakia.

Bratislava, the capital, is home to the Bratislava castle. This gigantic structure is definitely the town’s main attraction with its stunning views.

You may not exactly stay in the castle itself, but you can definitely find a place to stay for 80 CAD. The food around is a mix of their traditional comfort food and modern bites, so you’d be able to find some eats at your 40 CAD budget.

You probably won’t spend over 120 CAD if you keep your budget in check.

4. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Budapest is the largest and most popular city in Hungary, which doesn’t have many tourists at all. But if you’re truly interested in the history of Eastern Europe, this is the perfect spot to go to.

This city is stunning in many ways. From nature to the old architecture, it takes a real traveller to truly appreciate this place. Accommodations are cheap. There are places that will take you in for the night at 38 CAD. 

You can have a pleasant stay in under 100 CAD.

5. San Marino

San Marino

Source: Wikimedia Commons

One of the least visited places in Europe, San Marino is a micro-state country within Italy, which means you can easily explore it in a matter of days.

The accommodations here are a little bit pricey, which can be justified by the gorgeous views and buildings here. If lucky, you’d be able to find accommodation at 50 CAD. 

Since this country is within Italy, then you’d be able to find Italian cuisine along these streets. Feel free to nudge the budget a little to enjoy the authentic Italian eats. But there are cheap places around this city that serve good food as well that a 40 CAD budget could afford.

Since it is within Italy, one of the more expensive countries to visit, you would need to bump a budget of 200 CAD for a stay here.

How to Stick to the Budget

Pack Everything You May Need

Save all your travel money for fun experiences and good food. Pack whatever essentials you may need along the way so you won’t have to buy them along the way.

Walk More

To get a feel of the places you’re going, it is great to take it to the streets and explore. Walking around these destinations instead of taking public transit may save you a couple of euros.

Travel at Night

Taking the regular train at night can also save you travel time and accommodation fees. If you save on accommodations, it may leave you room in the budget for other things.

Take Pictures 

Souvenirs are great, sure. But they can be pricey just for something that can help you remember the trip. Take a lot of snapshots instead and have them printed when you get back home. 

Important Fees to Take Care of Before the Flight

The Ticket

Tickets to Europe and back are the main concern of your travel budget. Depending on where you board in Canada, off-peak season tickets will cost 700-950 CAD one way. You may be able to save money by taking planes with stopovers, that is if you’re willing. 

Eurail Pass

You may only need to use the train twice or five times, but having this pass can save you a lot of money. It is currently about 176 CAD, which is not bad considering the period of time you’d be there. Plus, it does offer convenience. With a Eurail Pass, passengers don’t have to pay for a ticket.

ETIAS Visa Waiver

There is no need to be alarmed by the extra charge of an ETIAS Visa waiver by 2021. The application is simple and you’d only have to take out about 7 euro or less than 11 CAD. People under 18 don’t have to pay for the processing fee, though they would still need it.


You can customize your budget trip any way you want, whether you choose to visit the pricey yet gorgeous spots that Europe is known for or take a small trip across the European roads less taken. Either way, the budget shouldn’t get in the way of having a good time. 

Make sure you’ve prepared long and hard for this to make sure you’ve got everything you need. And when the pleasantly unexpected opportunity to try something new pops us, don’t be afraid to take your chances on it.

By 2021, the ETIAS visa waiver will soon come into work to provide Europe with extra security. So if you’re planning your trip through ETIAS countries, then check out the references from Etiaseurope.ca, a platform that can update you with the news about ETIAS and assist you by the time of its implementation. Currently, this company provides professional services to assist travelers in the current system. Contact us for further assistance in your European travels.

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