Budapest Buda castle

Alpha Travel Insurance has created an interactive graphic that breaks down the cost of travelling to 60 destinations across Europe based on the cost of a hostel, transportation, meals, drinks and attractions.

  • Istanbul takes first place as the least expensive place to travel with an average spend per day of just £16.41

  • Kiev takes the top spot for the cheapest drink (£2.58 for three local beers) whilst Istanbul is top for the cheapest hostel (£3.76 per night)

  • Zurich is the most expensive place to backpack in Europe with an overall cost of £92.47 a day

  • London is one of the most expensive destinations for backpacking coming 51st out of 56 European destinations with a spend per day of £73.70

Whether you’re travelling alone, with a loved one or friends, backpacking can be a life-changing experience of different cultures, amazing sights and new challenges that you’ll carry throughout the rest of your life. One of the first challenges when deciding on your trip is budget. Packing up your belongings into a backpack and heading off to hostels and budget restaurants may be cheaper than a 5* all inclusive holiday, but it still adds up!

October 2018: Findings released today from Alpha travel Insurance allow you to filter the cost of your chosen destination based on what’s important to you, so you can make an informed decision using their interactive graphic. These cities are ranked by the daily price of a hostel, two public transportation rides, three budget meals, the cost of one cultural attraction and three inexpensive beers (or wines) for each day in each city.

Here are the 10 cheapest places to backpack across Europe:



Overall cost per day (£)































Taking the number one spot on The Backpacker Index, Istanbul has become a year-round destination. Visiting top-tier historic sights such as the Aya Sofya and Topkapı Palace is a must on your first trip but there’s a multitude of quaint neighbourhoods and bustling markets to explore too. Flight time is usually under four hours from London and you’re truly immersed into a different culture that has become the magical meeting place of the East and West.

Coming in as the second most affordable place to visit in Europe is the Ukraine’s capital, Kiev. Kiev isn’t everyone’s first thought when deciding on a trip to Europe, which is precisely what has made it such a an affordable destination over the years. Known for its religious architecture and history museums, as one of the oldest cities in Europe its cultural beauty and quaint family run restaurants makes it a perfect getaway at an even more appealing cost. If you’re looking for some sunshine, the hottest time of year is from late May until early September. However, the golden domes of the city are beautifully dusted in snow during the winter and really highlight the cities breathtaking architecture.

London sits on the lower half of the table across all metrics and comes out most expensive for tourist attractions. With an average day spend of £73.70, London takes 51st place out of 60 destinations. This doesn’t seem to be putting tourists off however with the city seeing over 30 million international visitors in 2017 between January and September.

It comes as little surprise that Zurich is the most expensive on The Backpacker Index as a global center for banking and finance located in northern Switzerland. As the largest city in Switzerland, Zurich is a major contemporary art and shopping destination, so if you’re looking to splash the cash, it may be the place to go. The picturesque lake Zurich can also be enjoyed by foot or by boat trips, but be warned, you might struggle to do this on a budget!

Now you have the Backpacker Index, where will you be jetting off to next?

For more information on the cheapest places to backpack across Europe, click HERE


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