Belarus, Budgeting & Money, Bulgaria, Europe, General Tips, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Travel Tips, Ukraine

How Much Does It Cost To Travel Eastern Europe For 6 Weeks?

I’ve spent the last several years exploring Europe, and one region specifically: Eastern Europe. It is by far my favorite region in the world—there are so many places to see! This post is all about the cost and the money I spent.

As a seasoned budget traveler, I knew that my big trip this last summer would be relatively cheap compared to any other regions in Europe. But as I was still traveling strictly on a budget, and went for a grand total of 44 days, I knew I needed to be able to keep myself in check. So this summer, I kept a notebook and wrote down every single expense from the trip.

I had given myself a budget of £50 (~$65) per day, excluding accommodation and pre-booked flights. I knew that it would be generally easy to stick to that daily budget, and I kept track of all of my expenses so that I could give an accurate account on my blog on just how much my 6-week trip cost.

A screenshot of my Excel spreadsheet…

So I’ve spent the last few weeks working the spreadsheets, crunching the numbers, and doing lots of math. Here’s a brief breakdown of my analysis:

All expenses are divided into 5 separate categories: accommodation, food/drink, miscellaneous, sightseeing, and transport.

Most of my food/accommodation costs (and other miscellaneous costs, such as laundry) were shared between Adam and myself, which cut costs considerably. Those expenses are split in half, because they were shared with another person.

For days where I visited two cities in one day, that day counts as whichever city I spent the most amount of time in—generally, where I spent the night on that specific day. For example: July 16th counts as Minsk, as I spent literally no time in Riga that morning. August 4th counts as Bucharest, as I spent the entire afternoon and evening there, etc.

Some things like flights and visas were paid for in advance, and therefore are not listed in each city breakdown. However, they are listed in their respective categories in the final category totals at the very end. Similarly, accommodation costs are listed in overall totals for each city, but not in daily costs.

For transportation between cities (buses, trains, etc.), purchased on the day or the day before, those costs are categorized as transportation in whichever city I booked them in. For example, my bus ticket from Bucharest to Varna that I purchased in Bucharest the day before counts in my daily expenses for that day.

Exchange Rates

For all of my math/currency conversions, I used the exchange rates that were current at the time—rounded to the easiest number for conversion. I have also listed totals in both pounds (GBP) and dollars (USD), to make it easier for readers in those countries!

 

On average during July/August, the exchange rate was 1 GBP = 1.30 USD.

All other exchange rates are:

1 GBP = 77 Russian Rubles

1 GBP = 1.10 Euros

1 GBP = 2.5 Belarussian Rubles

1 GBP = 33 Ukrainian Hryvnia

1 GBP = 24 Moldovan Lei

1 GBP = 5 Romanian Lei

1 GBP = 2 Bulgarian Lev

I have listed how much money I spent in each city (which includes accommodation), my average daily cost in each city (which does not include accommodation), the most expensive and the cheapest day in that city, and a breakdown of costs in each category for that city. I also picked one day at random from each city, and itemized all my expenses.

SO! With all of those explanations out of the way, here we go: how much money I actually spent in six weeks of travel in Eastern Europe!

Moscow (Russia)

Currency: Russian Ruble (RUB)

Total money spent in Moscow (over 7 days): £211.01 // $274.02 (including accommodation)

 

Average daily cost in Moscow: £18.30 // $23.73 (excluding accommodation)

 

Most expensive day? June 30th, where I spent £27.88 // $35.78

 

Cheapest day? July 2nd, where I spent £9.58 // $12.54

Category Breakdown:

Accommodation: £83 // $107.90 (8-bed hostel dorm room)

Food/Drink: £76.76 // $99.82

Miscellaneous: £5.90 // $7.65

Sightseeing: £34.45 // $44.37

Transport: £10.90 // £14.28

Random Daily Budget Breakdown: July 1st

Kremlin Cathedral: 500 RUB // £6.50 // $8.45 (Sightseeing)

Teremok: 351 RUB // £4.55 // $5.90 (Food/Drink)

Gulag Museum: 150 RUB // £1.95 // $2.55 (Sightseeing)

Food shop: 208 RUB // £2.70 // $3.50 (Food/Drink)

Total costs: 1209 RUB // £15.70 // $20.40

 

Read More: 25 Places You Must Do in Moscow, How to Get a Russia Tourist Visa in the UK, 20 Practical Tips for Traveling European Russia

St. Petersburg (Russia)

Currency: Russian Ruble (RUB)

Total money spent in St. Petersburg (over 8 days): £368.20 // $478.63 (including accommodation)

I have a massive outlier in my costs for St. Petersburg: I spent £98.70 on a new phone. Without the phone, I would have spent £269.50 // $350.33.

 

Average daily cost in St. Petersburg: £31.15 // $40.49 (excluding accommodation)

Without my phone, my daily costs would have been: £18.81 // $24.45 (excluding accommodation).

Most expensive day? July 7th, when I bought a new phone and spent £110.10 // $143.16.

Besides that, my most expensive day was July 13th, where I spent £27.05 // $35.18

 

Cheapest day? July 10th, where I spent £10.95 // $14.26

Category Breakdown:

Accommodation: £119 // $154.70 (2 nights in a private room, 6 nights in a 6-bed dorm room)

Food/Drink: £72.75 // $94.60

Miscellaneous: £119.75 // $155.65 (£98.70 // $128.30 is buying my phone)

Sightseeing: £44.10 // $57.34

Transport: £12.50 // $16.37

Random Daily Budget Breakdown: July 9th

Metro: 45 RUB // £0.60 // $0.78 (Transport)

Train to Peterhof: 60 RUB // £0.80 // $1.05 (Transport)

Peterhof Gardens: 450 RUB // £5.85 // $7.60 (Sightseeing)

Peterhof Palace: 400 RUB // £5.20 // $6.75 (Sightseeing)

Mashrutka to Avtovo: 70 RUB // £0.90 // $1.20 (Transport)

Metro: 45 RUB // £0.60 // $0.78 (Transport)

Food shop: 346 RUB // £4.50 // $5.85 (Food/Drink)

Total costs: 1416 RUB // £18.45 // $24.01

 

Read More: 25 Places You Must Do in St. Petersburg, A Daytrip To Tsarskoe Selo From St. Petersburg, A Peterhof Daytrip: One of My Favorite Places in Russia

Riga (Latvia)

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Total money spent in Riga (over 1 day): £63.95 // $83.20 (including accommodation)

 

Average daily cost in Riga: £20.95 // $27.30 (excluding accommodation)

 

Most expensive day? I was only there for one full day—July 15th, where I spent £20.95 // $27.30

 

Cheapest day? I was only there for one full day—July 15th, where I spent £20.95 // $27.30

Category Breakdown:

Accommodation: £43 // $55.90 (2 nights in a hostel private room)

Food/Drink: £15.45 // $20.10

Miscellaneous: £2.75 // $3.60

Sightseeing: £2.75 // $3.60

Transport: £0 // $0

Random Daily Budget Breakdown: July 15th

Breakfast from Narvesen: 1.88€ // £1.70 // $2.20 (Food/Drink)

Stamps: 3€ // £2.75 // $3.60 (Miscellaneous)

Lido (lunch): 8.10€ // £7.35 // $9.55 (Food/Drink)

Dome Church entry: 3€ // £2.75 // $3.60 (Sightseeing)

Hesburger (dinner): 4€ // £3.65 // $4.75 (Food/Drink)

Beer: 3€ // £2.75 // $3.60 (Food/Drink)

Total costs: 23€ // £20.95 // $27.30

 

Read More: 24 Hours in Riga, Latvia

Minsk (Belarus)

Currency: Belarussian (New) Ruble (BYN)

Total money spent in Minsk (over 5 days): £122.20 // $158.93 (including accommodation)

 

Average daily cost in Minsk: £14.24 // $18.52 (excluding accommodation)

 

Most expensive day? July 18th, where I spent £44.40 // $57.67

 

Cheapest day? July 17th, where I spent £2.00 // $2.60 (and it was on ice cream)

Category Breakdown:

Accommodation: £51 // $66.30 (4 nights in a private room)

Food/Drink: £50.30 // $65.42

Miscellaneous: £0 // $0

Sightseeing: £7.70 // $10.00

Transport: £10.80 // $14.06

Random Daily Budget Breakdown: July 19th

Ferris Wheel Gorky Park: 2.5 BYN // £1.00 // $1.30 (Sightseeing)

Great Patriotic War Museum: 4 BYN // £1.60 // $2.10 (Sightseeing)

Metro: 0.60 BYN // £0.25 // $0.33 (Transport)

Library Observation Deck: 2 BYN // £0.80 // $1.05 (Sightseeing)

Metro: 0.60 BYN // £0.25 // $0.33 (Transport)

Total costs: 9.70 BYN // £3.90 // $5.11

 

Read More: 17 Things to Do in Minsk, A Daytrip to Mir Castle From Minsk, Visiting Belarus Visa-Free For 5 Days: Everything you Need to Know

Kiev (Ukraine)

Currency: Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH)

Total money spent in Kiev (over 5 days): £140.75 // $182.75 (including accommodation)

 

Average daily cost in Kiev: £20.95 // $27.19 (excluding accommodation)

 

Most expensive day? July 22nd, where I spent £77.10 // $99.25. This was a massive outlier, as this was the day of my day tour to Chernobyl, which was £70 // $90 on its own. Without this outlier, my most expensive day was July 24th, where I spent £10.80 // $14.08

 

Cheapest day? July 21st and July 25th, where I spent £4.80 // $6.25

Category Breakdown:

Accommodation: £36 // $46.80 (5 nights in a 6-bed dorm room)

Food/Drink: £27.20 // $35.40

Miscellaneous: £1.15 // $1.50

Sightseeing: £73.10 // $94.03 (including my Chernobyl day tour)

Transport: £3.30 // $4.30

Random Daily Budget Breakdown: July 23rd

Ice cream: 15 UAH // £0.45 // $0.60 (Food/Drink)

Georgian food: 138 UAH // £4.20 // $5.45 (Food/Drink)

Puzata Hata: 29 UAH // £0.90 // $1.15 (Food/Drink)

Beer: 17.50 UAH // £0.55 // $0.70 (Food/Drink)

Laundry: 37.50 UAH // £1.15 // $1.50 (Miscellaneous)

Total costs:237 UAH // £7.25 // $9.40

 

Read More: A Guide to Kiev, Visiting the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine

Chisinau (Moldova)

Currency: Moldovan Lei (MDL)

Total money spent in Chisinau (over 5 days): £88.10 // $114.55 (including accommodation)

 

Average daily cost in Chisinau: £11.08 // $14.41 (excluding accommodation)

 

Most expensive day? July 28th, where I spent £23.55 // $30.65

 

Cheapest day? July 29th, where I spent £4.85 // $6.35

Category Breakdown:

Accommodation: £32.70 // $42.50

Food/Drink: £23.60 // $30.65

Miscellaneous: £3.65 // $4.75

Sightseeing: £20.40 // $26.55

Transport: £6.75 // $8.80

Random Daily Budget Breakdown: July 27th

Water: 13 MDL // £0.55 // $0.70

Food shop: 44 MDL // £1.85 // $2.40

Pharmacy: 88 MDL // £3.65 // $4.75

Total costs: 145 MDL // £6.05 // $7.85

 

Read More: Moldova: The Last Undiscovered Place in Europe?

iasi-church-romania.jpg

Iasi (Romania)

Currency: Romanian Lei (RON)

Total money spent in Iasi (over 1 day): £30.60 // $39.80

 

Average daily cost in Iasi: £17.60 // $22.90

 

Most expensive day? I was only there for barely one day—July 31st, where I spent £17.60 // $22.90

 

Cheapest day? I was only there for barely one day—July 31st, where I spent £17.60 // $22.90

Category Breakdown:

Accommodation: £13 // $16.90 (1 night in a private room)

Food/Drink: £5.60 // $7.30

Miscellaneous: £0// $0

Sightseeing: £0 // $0

Transport: £12.00 // $15.60

Random Daily Budget Breakdown: July 31st

Food/snacks: 8 RON // £1.60 // $2.10 (Food/Drink)

BlaBla Car: 60 RON // £12.00 // $15.60 (Transport)

Bread/sugar rolls from the lady on the side of the road: 5 RON // £1.00 // $1.30 (Food/Drink)

Beer: 9 RON // £1.80 // $2.35 (Food/Drink)

Ice cream: 6 RON // £1.20 // $1.55 (Food/Drink)

Total costs: £17.60 // $22.90

Brasov (Romania)

Currency: Romanian Lei (RON)

Total money spent in Brasov (over 3 days): £99.25 // $129.10 (including accommodation)

 

Average daily cost in Brasov: £16.08 // $20.93 (excluding accommodation)

 

Most expensive day? August 1st, where I spent £32.65 // $42.50

 

Cheapest day? August 2nd, where I spent £7.50 // $9.75

Category Breakdown:

Accommodation: £51 // $66.30 (2 nights in a 6-bed dorm room, 2 nights in a private room)

Food/Drink: £15.30 // $19.90

Miscellaneous: £6.05 // $7.85

Sightseeing: £26.90 // $35.05

Transport: £0 // $0

Random Daily Budget Breakdown: August 1st

Castle Daytrip: 90 RON // £18.00 // $23.50 (Sightseeing)

Peles Castle: 7.5 RON // £1.50 // $1.95 (Sightseeing)

Pizza: 12 RON // £2.40 // $3.10 (Food/Drink)

Postcard: 2 RON // £0.40 // $0.50 (Miscellaneous)

Bran Castle: 20 RON // £4.00 // $5.20 (Sightseeing)

Sprite // 3.50 RON // £0.70 // $0.90 (Food/Drink)

Tractor up Rasnov: 5 RON // £1.00 // $1.30 (Sightseeing)

Rasnov Citadel: 6 RON // £1.20 // $1.55 (Sightseeing)

McDonalds: 17.25 RON // £3.45 // $4.50 (Food/Drink)

Total costs: 163.25 RON// £32.65 // $42.50

 

Read More: Brasov: An Introduction to Transylvania

Bucharest (Romania)

Currency: Romanian Lei (RON)

Total money spent in Bucharest (over 4 days): £113.95 // $148.12 (including accommodation)

 

Average daily cost in Bucharest: £19.24 // $25.00 (excluding accommodation)

 

Most expensive day? August 4th, where I spent £30.40 // $39.45

 

Cheapest day? August 6th, where I spent £11.50 // $14.92

Category Breakdown:

Accommodation: £37 // $48.10 (3 nights in an 8-bed dorm room)

Food/Drink: £45.65 // $59.42

Miscellaneous: £8.90 // $11.55

Sightseeing: £4.10 // $5.35

Transport: £18.30 // $23.70

Random Daily Budget Breakdown: August 5th

Soft drinks: 7.5 RON // £1.50 // $1.95 (Food/Drink)

Parliament Tour: 18 RON // £3.60 // $4.70 (Sightseeing)

Art Museum: 2.5 RON // £0.50 // $0.65 (Sightseeing)

Soft drinks and donuts: 6.75 RON // £1.35 // $1.75 (Food/Drink)

Kebabs: 25 RON // £5.00 // $6.50 (Food/Drink)

Drinks: 56.50 RON // £11.30 // $14.70 (Food/Drink)

Total costs: 116.25 RON // £23.25 // 30.25

 

Read More: A Quick Guide to Bucharest

Varna (Bulgaria)

Currency: Bulgarian Lev (BGN)

Total money spent in Varna (over 3 days): £56.15 // $73.00 (including accommodation)

 

Average daily cost in Varna: £8.22 // $10.68 (excluding accommodation)

 

Most expensive day? August 9th, where I spent £15.05 // $19.55

 

Cheapest day? August 10th, where I spent £4.35 // $5.70 (this was also my transit day back to the UK)

Category Breakdown:

Accommodation: £31.50 // $40.95 (2 nights in a private room)

Food/Drink: £19.55 // $25.45

Miscellaneous: £0 // $0

Sightseeing: £1.25 // $1.60

Transport: £0.50 // $0.65

Random Daily Budget Breakdown: August 8th

Banitza: 1.5 BGN// £0.75 // $1.00 (Food/Drink)

Drinks at the beach: 2.5 BGN // £1.25 // $1.60 (Food/Drink)

Pizza and drinks: 2 BGN // £1.00 // $1.30 (Food/Drink)

Ice cream: 4.5 BGN // £2.25 // $2.90 (Food/Drink)

Total costs: 10.5 BGN // £5.25 // $6.80

 

Read More: Varna: Bliss on the Black Sea

The Takeaway

There you have it! In case you couldn’t tell, this trip was cheap. Pretty amazingly, gloriously cheap. A big part of that is that all these destinations are affordable ones for travelers with pounds, dollars, and euros.

Another big part of the low cost is that I am an experienced budget traveler. I know how to travel on the cheap, I know how to cut costs, I know how to go on a shoestring. On this trip, I stayed in hostels, cooked a lot of my own food and ate a lot of sandwiches, used a student discount where I was able, and got around using public transportation (or flights, which were booked well in advance).

Some people wouldn’t want to do a trip like this and wouldn’t want to travel like I did—and that’s just fine! If you want to stay in nice hotels, go out to eat every meal, and take taxis between locations, there’s really nothing wrong with that at all. It’s just a different style of traveling than mine.

I definitely splurged a few times: fancy cocktails all night in Minsk, visiting Chernobyl, a castle daytrip in Romania, a fancy wine tour/tasting at Cricova in Moldova. But for the most part, I traveled like I live my (generally frugal) life: everything in moderation, but treating myself to special experiences every once in a while.

Interesting Facts From My Trip

Most Expensive Day: I spent £110.10 // $143.16 in St. Petersburg on July 7th, the day I bought my new phone. This was a huge outlier though. After that, my most expensive day was July 22nd, where I spent £77.10 // $99.25 in Kiev. But again, this was a huge outlier, as this day included my day tour to Chernobyl (which was £70 // $90). Besides this, my most expensive day was July 18th, where I spent £44.40 // $56.57 in Minsk.

Cheapest Day: I spent £2.00 // $2.60 in Minsk on July 17th. How did this happen?! My expenses for food were bought the day before when I went grocery shopping, I walked everywhere, and everything I did in Minsk that day was free. The only expense was my ice cream. However, the next day was my most expensive of the trip—so you can really see that it’s up to you how much you choose to spend!

Cheapest Metro ride: 5 UAH // £0.15 // $0.20 (Kiev, Ukraine)

Most Expensive Flight: London to Moscow, £137 // $178.10

Cheapest Accommodation: £6.50 // $8.45 per night in Chill Hostel in Chisinau (Moldova), a 4-bed dorm

Most Expensive Accommodation:£21.50 // $27.95 per night in Naughty Squirrel Backpackers in Riga (Latvia), a private room

Like I said, I had given myself a budget of roughly £50 // $65 per day for my daily spending (excluding accommodation, flights, etc.). Besides my two outlier days (discussed above), my expensive day in Minsk was the closest I came to reaching this budget. Most days, I barely spent £25 // $32.50 per day, excluding accommodation and flights.

I definitely surprised myself with how little I spent! I didn’t really realize just how small of a number it was until I did all the (painstaking, time-consuming, frustrating) math for this post. While I knew I was doing it on the cheap, crunching the numbers for this post has definitely inspired me with how inexpensively I can travel on the next trip—and I always want to be a budget traveler, as it allows me to go further afield and for longer.

Wondering how much my costs were for each category?! Here you go:

Accommodation: £552.20 // $717.85

Food/Drink: £352.31 // $458.22

Miscellaneous: £282.15 // $366.75

Sightseeing: £225.30 // $277.89

Transport: £741.05 // $963.93

And finally. The answer I’m sure you’re all waiting for after this insanely long post: How much did I actually spend traveling in Eastern Europe for 6 weeks?!?

GRAND TOTAL: £2153 // $2784.64

 

In actuality, I was gone for approximately 44 days and my daily average, including flights and accommodation, comes down to be nearly exactly £50 (£48.93 // $63.24). For 6 weeks in Eastern Europe. It could have been a lot more—it also could have been a lot less.

So the next time someone tells you travel is insanely expensive, please refer them to this post. Because travel doesn’t have to be all that expensive, unless you want it to be!

Check out my post on my 20 Travel Tips for Eastern Europe!

 

Have you ever budgeted a trip, in Eastern Europe or anywhere else in the world? How expensive was it? If you’ve traveled in Eastern Europe, have you found this kind of budget comparable? What were your experiences like? I’d love to hear about your travels (and their costs!) in the comments below!

4 thoughts on “How Much Does It Cost To Travel Eastern Europe For 6 Weeks?

      1. Couldnt agree more! We are in the process or weening off of overpriced travel 1 airbnb and expensive dinner at a time. 🙂

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