Best & Cheapest Ways to Travel Europe
Dreaming of breakfast in Paris, a gondola ride in Venice, island hopping in Croatia, an overland adventure or discovering the best food in Spain?
Europe is an amazing continent and although it isn't the cheapest region there are lots of options when it comes to getting around.
If you would like to explore Europe without breaking the bank view our guide to the best transportion options and tips for the cheapest and most fun ways to travel.
The quickest and easiest way to travel to destinations in Europe is by plane. Several low cost budget airlines offer flights in Europe including Ryanair, EasyJet, Eurowings, Flybe, Norwegian Air, Vueling, Wizz Air and Wow Air.
Most flights in Europe are very cheap due to the amount of airlines now offering similar routes. If you book in advance, usually 1 month or more you will get great deals on prices. We recommend using Skyscanner which is the best flight comparison website to get the best prices.
Busabout are an award-winning company and offer flexible hop-on hop-off bus passes to multiple destinations in the continent between May to October.
This is one of the best ways to travel around Europe as it allows you to have a changeable schedule, stop where you want, visit lots of different locations (many of which you might not have thought about visiting before) and also meet other travellers.
These Bus Passes are very popular with backpackers and you can choose from over 38 stops in 13 counties.
Short Trips (From 1-4 weeks):
- 3 Stop Pass £169
- 6 Stop Pass £329
- 9 Stop Pass £489
Long Trips (From 1-6 months):
- 12 Stop Pass £639
- 15 Stop Pass £779
- Unlimited Pass £899
Save 10% off Hop-on Hop-off with the coupon code: EB1. Offer available until 16 November 2018. Book now!
If you are after one of the most affordable ways to get across Europe then bus is recommended. Although journey times can be long and it isn't the most comfortable way to travel, prices are cheap, sometimes the fraction of the cost of trains and flying. A lot of journeys are also during the night too so you can save money on accommodation whilst most services offer free WiFi.
These are some of the best bus operators in Europe:
FlixBus has made getting around Europe easier and cheaper. Over the past 3 years they have established Europe's largest intercity bus network with journeys to over 2,000 destinations in 29 countries throughout Europe.
Over 100 million passengers have travelled with Flixbus, 40 million in 2017 alone! With an easy to use e-ticketing system, the FlixBus-App, free Wi-Fi on board and GPS Live Tracking, and budget prices you really can't go wrong.
Popular destinations you can visit include Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Marseille, Milan and Munich just to name a few.
Eurolines is one of the largest low cost operator of international coach lines in Europe! Fares, schedules and online-ticketing available for more than 700 destinations. Expect a reliable and punctual service with cheap tickets.
Megabus is a long distance coach operator which started offering bus travel in August 2003. Megabus offers several routes and are one of the cheapest ways to travel in the UK.
You can visit locations throughout the UK and from London you can travel to popular cities like Bournemouth, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Edinburgh.
The earlier you book the cheaper the trip will be but even if you book late it will still usually be a fraction of the cost of a train. You can sometimes get special discounted trips for as low as £1!
National Express (UK)
If you are looking for another cheap way to travel around the UK then National Express offer a good alternative to Megabus. You can choose from hundreds of coach journeys to towns, cities and airports throughout the Great Britain. Book in advance to get really low prices.
Exploring Europe by train can be one of the most scenic and comfortable ways to travel. There is a fantastic train network connecting almost the whole of Europe and you can book single/return tickets, or for a more longer trip rail passes are available.
Interrail takes you to your dream destinations in Europe. Train passes give you the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want! Experience the major sights, cities and sunny beaches of Europe using just 1 train pass. Discover new cultures, food and landscapes. Travelling by Interrail gives you the freedom to create your own story, station by station, stop by stop. It's the convenient option for independent travellers with a thirst for adventure.
Local and international travel companies offer overland, island hopping and adventure tours in Europe. Some companies offer small group tours whilst others use large coaches and you can choose from hundreds of different short and long duration trips.
From exploring one country, to travelling overland visiting multiple destinations for over a month, there really is a lot of choice.
When you check prices you might think the cost is quite high compared to travelling independently for example, but remember all transport, accommodation and some meals and activities are included in the price. Sometimes it can work out cheaper than booking accommodation and transport yourself especially during summer.
Tours are also a lot of fun as you will get to meet new people, get an experienced guide and also see amazing places.
European tour companies we recommend include:
Busbaout offer over 60 trips in Europe for summer, winter and all year round. Options include hop-on hop-off passes, overland adventures, sailing and island hopping, festivals, winter and ski trips and small group adventures. Benefits of booking with Busabout include passionate and expert guides, freedom to choose how you spend your money, visit the best European destinations, get local tips and knowledge, meet other travellers and get an amazing backpacker vibe.
Contiki have been offering trips in Europe since 1962 and travelling with Contiki is an experience like no other. Whether you’re a history buff, sun-seeker or party animal, they have got a Europe tour package tailor made for you. Contiki European tours are legendary and you can choose from 148 different trips! So pack your bags and get set for an adventure of a lifetime (and don't forget your camera).
From Dublin to Moscow, Athens to the Arctic Circle, Topdeck's comprehensive range of European trips take in the best that this epic continent has to offer. Whether you embark on a multi-destination adventure to get a taste of Europe, take a one-way journey between two easily accessible cities or focus more in-depth on a particular country or region, they have got a trip style to suit you. The hard part is deciding where to go with over 180 tours to choose from!
G Adventures are one of the most popular travel operators in the world and offer over 100 small group tours in Europe. Thousands of people book trips with G Adventures every year and you can choose from several different travel styles including fun-filled and fast-movin tours designed just for travellers aged 18 to 39.
Stoke Travel do not offer transport, but they do offer endless fun, unlimited booze and the best party travel experiences around Europe.
You can enjoy some of the best and craziest festivals and destinations in Europe including La Tomatina, Oktoberfest, Running of the Bulls, surf camps, music festivals, city breaks and more!
Enter promo code ONEWORLD365 when booking on the Stoke Travel website to get free unlimited beer and sangria and a discount of €10 per day!
Renting a Car
One of the most flexible and independent ways to travel is to rent your own car. This gives you the freedom to go where you want, when you want. Rental costs are very cheap especially if you go for budget car options. There are lots of websites to rent a car and you can get great value if you book well in advance of departure.
Hitchhiking literally allows you to travel to the new destinations throughout Europe for free. Although the cheapest option on our list, there are several things to consider like safety, how much time you have and how flexible you are. Just standing by a road and getting a quick ride to your destination of choice is difficult, sometimes journeys can be long, stressful and difficult especially with the language barriers. Although most people you will encounter will be very friendly, you never know who you might meet. We don't really recommend hitchhiking if you are travelling solo for safety reasons.