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Say hello to the new series on The Nerdy Me – budget break down!
After travelling for quite some time as a budget traveller, I kept getting a lot of question on how do I travel on a budget, how do I find cheap deals and how the hell can I afford to travel as much as I do while still being a student.
I wrote a few posts on how I find good deals, what resources I use to find cheap tickets and accommodation. But I quickly realized that people love seeing actual numbers instead of hearing ‘cheap’ and ‘affordable’. So what better way to show you my travel expenses than to track them down and make a detailed list of ALL my expenses while travelling?
In this post, I will break it down to you how much I spent for a 6-day trip to the Czech Republic. It includes bus tickets, accommodation, food and everything else to every cent I spent on this trip.
Hopefully, this post will convince you that European travel doesn’t have to break your wallet.
My Czech Republic trip in figures
Dates: Early July/2019
Total days spent travelling: 6 days / 6 nights
Total expenses: 175 EUR
Average daily spendings: 30 EUR
Itinerary: Sniezka – Prague – Bohemian Switzerland – Punkva Caves – Brno
Inbound trip: Kaunas, Lithuania – Jelenia Gora, Poland – Karpacz, Poland (then hike to Sniezka)
Outbound trip: Brno, Czech Republic – Kaunas, Lithuania
The Czech Republic Transportation Prices
Transportation made up the majority of my travel expenses in the Czech Republic, which was kind of inevitable since we wanted to see as much as possible and crammed up quite a lot of day trips/attractions all around the country.
Arriving in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is situated in the central part of Europe, so it can be easily reached from any European city or other continents. But we were travelling from my hometown in Lithuania – Kaunas. Now there are several ways to reach the Czech Republic from Lithuania but since our initial goal was to hike from Polish border over to Mount Sniezka and then reach Prague, it was a bit more tricky.
A long bus and train journey to Karpacz, a small Polish border town cost me around 33 EUR. The outbound trip from Brno cost me 20 EUR.
Of course, you can always choose an easier route and cross to Prague instead. A one-way ticket from Kaunas to Prague can cost anywhere from 12EUR to 50EUR. Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Lithuania to Prague at this moment.
Transportation within the Czech Republic
The country has a very good transportation system within its cities and outside them as well. It is fairly easy to visit all the major attractions using only public transport. Plus, it is super cheap if you’re a student.
Total expenses on buses/trains/metro: 13 EUR
It is important to note, that we had ISIC student card and we had a very fine discount of 80% on almost all of the transportation. This is why I would suggest you visit the Czech Republic while you’re still a student if you want to save a lot of money.
RegioJet offers incredible deals on buses and trains around the country and in the major central European countries. I used this company quite a lot while travelling around Europe and whilst living in Budapest, Hungary.
Some of the price examples from the trip
A bus from Prague to Brno – 1,9 EUR
One-day transportation ticket around Prague – 1 EUR
Bus/train journey to Bohemian Switzerland – 4,5 EUR
Accommodation Prices in the Czech Republic
Accommodation is relatively affordable in the Czech Republic. But expect to pay more if you want more comfort for your stay.
The total price for all days was 47 EUR which I call a huge win considering the fact that we spent almost all nights in Prague.
To break it down to you, we spend one night in the bordering town for 11 EUR and then 3 nights in Prague for 36 EUR.
The rest two nights were overnight buses (one for the inbound and outbound trip each).
After a bit of research, I can safely say that you can get a hostel from anywhere 10EUR-20EUR per night. Keep in mind that these are dorm rooms. If you want a private room, it will most likely cost you around 40-50 EUR per room.
We were lucky because it was four of us, so we managed to get a four-bed dorm room all to ourselves.
Food Prices in the Czech Republic
Just like in any country, you can spend very little or not so little on food depending on your budget. Fortunately for us, budget travellers, Czech traditional food is very filling and quite affordable as well. Plus, beer is super cheap here – you can spend as little as 1 EUR for a pint at the restaurant.
Since we were budget travellers, we didn’t go eating out much. If anything, I think we had only 2 meals at restaurants, cafes during the whole trip. So the main sources of food for us were food stalls, street food and a good old trip to the grocery shop.
In total, I spent around 50 EUR on food.
We had a very filling, a bit overpriced, lunch in the main square in Prague which cost me 16.75EUR (I know!).
But mainly we stuck to making dinners and breakfast in our hostel, buying wine from the grocery store and enjoying it with a nice free view from the Sunset hill.
Of course, if you prefer to eat out more, it will most likely cost you way more than I spent. It all falls back to each own preferences when it comes to travel.
Some of the food price examples
Chimney cake from the food stall – 80 CZK (3.15 EUR)
Traditional goulash – 140 CZK (5.4 EUR) and more!
A pint of standard beer out – 35 EUR (1.3 EUR)
A bottle of wine in the grocery shop – 130 CZK (5.10 EUR)
Czech Republic Attraction and Museums Prices
The Czech Republic is mainly famous for its beautiful architecture and fascinating history. It can work towards budget traveller’s advantage since the majority of attractions are free and require only you strolling around the streets.
However, when it comes to museums, it can get REAL expensive. But I am that person that would rather find a free alternative than spend 6 EUR for a climb to the tower, so I managed to keep my spendings in this area to the minimum.
Here’s a breakdown of all my expenses related to attractions:
Entrance to Karkanosze National Park – 4 PLN (1 EUR)
Entrance to Bohemian Switzerland and a boat – 100 CZK (4 EUR)
Punkva Cave tour with a boat – 180 CZK (7 EUR)
Example of possible prices:
A ticket to Prague castle and museum – mostly free (but entrance inside is around 10EUR)
Walking tours – some are free but require tipping, the paid ones are around 10EUR – 29EUR
How to save money and lower your Czech Republic travel costs
As you can see by this post, I managed to squeeze A LOT of places and sightseeing in a rather small budget. Some of my choices might seem a bit too extreme if you’re more of comfort over budget kind of traveller. But hey! it’s their own.
Here are some of my main tips that can help you save a bit of money and still make your trip enjoyable:
If you’re student, get ISIC card – honestly, the only way we were able to travel as much with public transport and not break our bank was because we were still university students. If you’re a student, definitely invest in an international student card or check beforehand if your national one is valid abroad. You will have an 80% discount on all national transport within the Czech Republic.
Try overnight buses – these will not save your precious travel time as you won’t be wasting a perfect day on a bus but it will also save you a bit of money if done properly. Sometimes a 10 hour-long bus ride for 8EUR is done better during the night. You don’t need to spend additional money on accommodation which can be very pricey. Make sure you get a window seat for the best comfort level.
Cook your own food – doing a small grocery shop in a market nearby could be ten times cheaper than eating out every single time. Hostels and apartments usually have very well functioning kitchens which are free for you to use. But don’t forget to taste some local cuisine as well, one or two restaurant breaks won’t break your wallet as much as eating out daily. Also, street food stalls are good alternative as well.
Limit your drinking – you can save a lot of money if you choose to limit your alcohol intake. Now it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a nice night out while travelling. Simply opt for one cocktail instead of two or even better, choose beer while in the Czech Republic. Seriously, it’s so cheap here! Plus, you can always buy a bottle from the grocery shop and enjoy it by the river or somewhere like the Sunset Hill (best damn view of Prague!).
Let me know what other countries’ or cities’ budgets you want me to break down to you!