Thanks largely to the exchange rate, travelling in Europe can be pricey even if you’ve managed to bag a bargain luxe-for-less holiday which covers your flights and accommodation. From eating and drinking to sightseeing, there is always a lineup of additional expenses which can add up and hit you hard in the wallet. So what are our top tips for saving money once you are at your destination? When it comes to getting around, in most European cities it’s best to avoid taking taxis or renting a car; instead use public transport where it is good, strap on some comfy shoes and walk, or if you are in a city where you can rent a bike cheaply, such as Amsterdam, consider doing that and getting some exercise. Where public transport is concerned you can often buy daily or weekly passes which discount travel, such as London’s Oyster card. If you need to travel between destinations, you can also save money by booking in advance such as train travel, or flying with a budget airline. Eating out and drinking in bars can also be an expensive pastime, so make the most of local supermarkets and liquor stores, especially if you have booked self-catering accommodation and you can cook some of your meals at home. Also be on the lookout for lunch deals or set menu dinner deals, which are popular in many destinations such as London, and in cities where there are weekend markets you can often score cheap eats at food stalls as well as be a part of the local scene.
Sightseeing is a great part of the fun of travelling in Europe, but you’ll need to budget for this also. That said, you can often buy passes in European cities which can offer discounted entry into multiple venues, sometimes combined with free use of public transport in specific regions. Many museums and galleries have free access days in cities including Paris, Berlin and Venice, or you can just stick to free attractions; many cities hold free events such as concerts, and there are often free walking tours including maps to help you get your bearings and see some of the key sights. To find out if there are any in your destination of choice, head for a Tourist Information Desk, which are usually located a key tourism and travel sites, where you can get information on free attractions, cheap transport, and discount cards and accommodation. The people working there should also have plenty of local knowledge to get you away from expensive tourist areas and into the real city for a holiday to remember.