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Europe Road Trip Costs

A reader asked me to post about our European road trip costs, so we collected the data, saved every receipt and collected all the information you need on driving around Europe for almost 2 weeks into this post. We have petrol ( diesel) costs for all of the European countries we visited, road toll charges, vignette costs and regulations as well as hotel, some food and attraction prices. You’ll see that travelling by road in Europe is an expensive business. Italy, in particular, cost us a lot with high road tolls and high fuel costs but it was fun and we saw some highlights of Europe along the way. We drove through Romania, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, France and finally the UK, to London, we took 12 days and it is most certainly cheaper to fly than to drive across Europe. We hope you find all our hard work in collecting these costs and prices for a European road trip useful. We were driving a large 4×4 diesel truck, so prices are for diesel and our apologies for not documenting every meal or snack, but we got the big expenses.

packing for a europe road trip
Packing for our Europe Road Trip. 2 carry on sized packs for the boys, my larger travel pack plus chef’s backpack, larger again ( not shown). Chef and I also had day packs filled with laptops, cameras and essential documents.

We have converted major costs into US dollars and have given totals in that currency. There are links to posts covering the destinations and attractions we mention in more detail.  We have other posts on driving accross Europe ( see our related posts at the bottom of the page) and a Europe travel blog and guide here. This post may contain affiliate links, they cost you nothing extra should you choose to use them. They pay for us to run the World Travel Family website.

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Europe Road Trip Costs

Requirements for Driving in Mainland Europe

Certain items are required by law when driving in Europe. Check local requirements and regulations for each country you visit.

  • Fluorescent jackets in case of break down.
  • A reflective warning triangle
  • Stickers to redirect headlights
  •  Breathalyzer kit
  • A good GPS or map app
  • Car seats for children

Daily Costs and Road-Trip Route

Day 1. Driving from Romania to Hungary

Europe Road Trip Romania to Hungary Hortobagy National Park
You can’t be in Hungary and not try the goulash! ( Unless you’re a kid)

We left home early enough to make a leisurely drive south-west into Hungary, I’d packed sandwiches for an in-car brunch so we could escape earlier and without morning kitchen mess. The border crossing was uneventful other than a compulsory breathalyzer test. We arrived in Hungary’s Hortobagy National Park in the mid afternoon, giving the boys time to visit a luxurious swimming pool and thermal spa just footsteps away from our hotel while mum worked on scheduling for her bloggers’ group.  We found dinner, above, at the only restaurant in town and it was good. We used the Trip Advisor app to find a dining recommendation, we booked our hotel a few days in advance using Hotels Combined . The hotel below ( there is a link) had a good family suite with 4 beds and breakfast was included. It was a great location for setting out to explore the National Park the next morning.

We Drove From:  Breb, Maramures Romania to  Hortobágy National Park, Hungary

Approx Distance: 240Km

Approx Drive Time: 4 hours

Fuel: Starting on an empty tank, we filled up in Romania, cost approx 75 L of diesel 305 Ron  ( 79 US $)

Breakfast: Peanut butter sandwiches prepared the night before and brought from home.

Lunch: MacDonald’s drive through! Cost 47 Ron

Dinner: 2 pizzas, 2 soups, 4 very nice Hungarian beers, 2 soft drinks. Cost 6,600 HFL

Admissions: Swimming pool and thermal spa for the boys and Chef.  4,150 HFL

Road Charges: Romania requires a vignetta it’s cheap at 5 Euros per week for major roads only. We mostly don’t need one. Hungary requires a vignetta also and they’re really good at catching people who fail to buy one ( they caught me!) but you can buy online in advance. 11 Euros for 7 days.

Extras: 3 Ice Creams in Hungary. We brought bottled water from home. 600HFL

Hotel: 65 UK Pounds per night breakfast included. ( 72 Euros, 85 US $ )

Day 2. Driving Within Hungary

 Lake Balaton Hungary Family Hostel
A hostel right on the shore of Hungary’s inland sea, Lake Balaton. It’s a good place for families to stay with en suite private rooms big enough for larger families.

After an OK European breakfast of cold meats, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber and scrambled egg, we packed up early to make the most of our time in Hortobagy National Park. This is a unique grassland and wetland reserve and well worth your time. Our planned highlight was the Mata Stud horsemanship and antique breeds tour which you can see in full by clicking through below. We highly recommend making a visit, you’ll see why if you view the images from the post. We drove south, a short drive today, to arrive on the shores of Lake Balaton, Hungary’s inland sea and a top local vacation destination, before sunset.

We Drove From: Hortobágy National Park, Hungary  ( click through to discover the heritage breeds and incredible horsemanship we discovered there) to Lake Balaton, Hungary.

Approx Distance: 285km

Approx Drive Time: 4 hours

Fuel:  None bought.

Breakfast: Included in last night’s hotel, an OK cold buffet, coffee eggs.

Lunch: We skipped lunch in favour of in-car gas station snacks.

Dinner: 23000HGF at the best restaurant on Lake Balaton ( a Trip Advisor recommendation), it wasn’t great.

Admissions: 19000 HGF for Hortobagy’s Mata Stud attraction with rare breeds and horsemanship displays.

Road Charges: 11 euros for a week of access to Hungary’s roads.

Extras: Gas station snacks.

Hotel: 57 Euros/night no breakfast. ( $67 US) Find it using our special search box, top of the page.

Day 3: From Hungary to Slovenia

An AirBnb in Slovenua, enjoying our Europe Road Trip

Chef’s birthday! So a fancy breakfast in a Lake Balaton waterside café ( it was considerably better than dinner!) before a quick Pokémon hunt around the lake and hopping in the car to head for Slovenia, our only new country of this trip. For a birthday treat we picked a beautiful Airbnb apartment in a stunning location. The free-flowing wine from our hosts’ own vines made our afternoon rather enjoyable. Dinner at a local restaurant and a quick supermarket stop for breakfast foods concluded our day. This apartment had a washing machine, so great, all clothes washed and hung out on our balcony in the Slovenian sunshine.

We Drove From: Siofok, Lake Balaton to the northern Slovenian wineries.

Approx Distance: 280km

Approx Drive Time: 4hours

Fuel: Filled up in Hungary 23,000 HFL ($89 US)

Breakfast: Breakfast in a cafe on Lake Balaton, 4 coffees, 2 juice, 2 ham and eggs, 1 ham/cheese toast. ( Mum shares with Boo usually)

Lunch: Drinks and munchies from a fuel station

Dinner: Big dinner out, enchiladas, mussels, tagliatelle, pork steak, wine, smoothies etc.

Admissions: none.

Road Charges: Slovenia vignette bought at border. 15 euros for a 7 day pass.

Extras: 2 loads of laundry at our Airbnb, included in price. Wine, free.

Hotel: AirBnb in vineyard.

Day 4: Driving Within Slovenia

Airbnb Slovenia Dairy Farm

A full day in Slovenia visiting Ljubjiana on the way to our next Airbnb, another fantastic apartment that we can’t recommend highly enough and again, sensational for even large families. Ljubiana was pretty, but our new dairy farm home was the biggest treat today. We toured the milking shed and learned a lot about dairy production. Dinner was home cooked from the local supermarket.

We Drove From: Near Ptuj to Ljubljana and towards Lake Bled to stay at a dairy farm AirBnb.

Approx Distance: 120 km

Approx Drive Time: 2.5 hours

Fuel: none bought.

Breakfast: Bread, cheese, tomatoes and yogurt from local supermarket.

Lunch: Coffee and cakes in Ljubljana.

Dinner: Bread, cheeses, salami, fruit, wine at our Airbnb. Bought breakfast foods too, total cost 30Euros

Admissions: none

Road Charges: no extra.

Extras: none

Hotel: Airbnb on a dairy farm 40 Euros

Day 5:  In Slovenia, Driving to Lake Bled

clean water lake bled slovenia
Stunning Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj were well worth the extra day. We visited, swam, walked and fell in love with Slovenia. See our full post for more information on this great little country.

We Drove From: Our AirBnb to Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj and back. We needed a quieter day to plan and catch up with work.

Approx Distance: 160km

Approx Drive Time: 3 hours

Fuel: Filled tank @ 1.14 Euro a litre. 65 Euros ($76 US)

Breakfast: See dinner costs last night.

Lunch: sandwich from shop.

Dinner: 20 Euros at supermarket

Admissions: none

Road Charges: 15 euros for a 7 day pass in Slovenia

Extras: none

Hotel: Same AirBnb as last night. 40 Euros. ($47 US)

Day 6: Driving to Venice from Slovenia

Venice Blue Gondolas driving to venice
We drove to the car park, hopped on a public water taxi and explored Venice for an hour or two before continuing or journey to Monsa ready to enter France the next day.

We Drove From: Prase, Slovenia to Venice, to Monsa Italy

Approx Distance: 504 Km

Approx Drive Time: 6 hours

Fuel: None bought today but prices in Italy are 1.34 Euros / litre plus

Breakfast: Supermarket food from yesterday

Lunch: 11 euros in Venice for 3 ice creams and 1 drink.

Dinner: 20 euros from the local supermarket

Admissions: none

Road Charges: 60 Euros in tolls across Italy today alone.

Extras: 60 Euro for ferry tickets to Venice , 14 Euros for car parking

Hotel: 99 Euros $117 USD Breakfast included.

Day 7: Driving From Italy to France via the Mont Blanc Tunnel

Driving through Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc from Chamonix, on the French side, was totally spectacular. Absolutely do not pass up an opportunity to take the road tunnel which passes through Europe’s tallest mountain between Italy and France.

Our hotel in Monsa was nice, modern and sleek with 2 interconnecting rooms and a buffet breakfast. Breakfast was OK but the Italians love cake for breakfast, there was little else other than yet more pastries and some sloppy scrambled egg. At least the coffee was good, a decent Americano not an egg cup of espresso. We drove north west towards the mountains, the snows of the Alps were visible for most of the day but once we started the approach to Mont Blanc the views were breathtaking. Almost as breathtaking as the fees to use Italy’s roads and the fuel prices. Italy hurts your wallet and I would’t choose this route again.  Switzerland is even worse, so that leaves Germany and much as we dislike driving on German autobahns, cost would sway our decision making. The views of Mont Blanc were worth the hundreds of dollars in road tolls, particularly from the French side, there’s not much to see from the Italian side. The Mont Blanc Tunnel is hugely expensive. But we were in France , in Chamonix, more beautiful scenery and countryside as we headed north on slightly cheaper roads to our overnight stop, half-way to Paris. We’d picked an older privately owned hotel in a small town on a river. The hotel had lots of quirks but the town was cute and there was a great boulangerie patisserie next door.

We Drove From: Monza, via the Mont Blanc tunnel to France.

Approx Distance: 425 km

Approx Drive Time: 6 hours

Fuel: 10 Euros @ 1.34 Euros / litre, 40 Euros @ 1.65 Euros /litre in Italy. 40 Euros @ 1.32 Euros/ l France. Total 90 Euros  ($106 US )

Breakfast: Included in hotel.

Lunch: sandwiches from service station. 11 euros.

Dinner: Pizzas and drinks at local restaurant 56 euros.

Admissions: none

Road Charges: 32 Euros in Italy, 44 Euros for Mont Blanc tunnel and 10 Euros in France.

Extras: none

Hotel: 75 Euros plus 5 Euros parking. $94 USD. No breakfast.

Day 8: Driving in France, to North of Paris

Parc Asterix Hotel Paris
The official Parc Asterix hotel is one of the Premier Classe properties, we can highly recommend them to road tripping families, we used the same chain in the Somme Valley, both hotels were good and you’ll find links below

Pain au chocolate for breakfast, yum! I had to use my French for the first time since school and grabbed a fresh baguette to munch in the car as we headed north towards Paris. A big drive but we got there early to enjoy hotel room comfort and good wi-fi. This hotel had a garden full of baby white bunnies, goats and a pot bellied pig. It’s a great place for families. We grabbed stinky cheese, wine, fruit and cured meats from the local supermarket. Food prices were incredibly low.

We Drove From: Pont D’Ain France to just north of Paris, near Charles de Gaul Airport.

Approx Distance: 505 km

Approx Drive Time: 6 hours

Fuel: 80 euros @ 1.32 Euros / Litre ($94 US)

Breakfast: 9 euros on coffee and pain au chocolate

Lunch: service station sandwiches 11 Euros. MacDonald’s @ 23 Euros

Dinner: 15 euros at the local supermarket

Admissions: none

Road Charges: 32 Euros across the whole of France

Extras: none

Hotel: 85 euros per night no breakfast $98 USD

Day 9: Drive to and from Parc Asterix

log flume at park asterix theme park paris
It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Reviewing parks, attractions and hotels is part of my job as a professional travel blogger. Parc Asterix was a blast.

Read about our big day out at Parc Asterix in the post below. Highly recommended and superb rollercoasters for my teen and tween.

We Drove From: Parc Asterix, full day, we were guests of the park.

Approx Distance: 10km

Approx Drive Time: 20 minutes

Fuel: none bought today.

Breakfast: 7 euros for coffee and pain au chocolate

Lunch: In the theme park, various snacks and very expensive bottled water,

Dinner: supermarket 20 euros

Admissions: None, we were guests of the park.

Road Charges:

Extras:

Hotel: 85 Euros per night, no breakfast.

Day 10: Driving into Paris

 Driving into Paris Europe road trip eating frogs legs
We had to drive into Paris to see the “big pointy thing” and eat snails and frogs legs at a pavement cafe. The drive was fairly painful but parking was pretty easy with a bit of forward planning. I forgot my camera on this day, phone only.

Driving into Paris was easier and quicker than taking the train for us. We didn’t need to stay there long, Boo just wanted to see the ” big pointy thing” and the car park we found online was near Notre Dame, so we saw the cathedral before walking along the Seine and accross the city to the Eiffel Tower. It was a long walk and we had to get the bus back to the car park. Frogs legs and snails were consumed and today was the day I quit carbs, coffee and wine ready for my return to running back in the UK. Another night in the hotel above.

We Drove From: Our hotel north of Paris to a car park near Notre Dame Cathedral and back

Approx Distance: 70km

Approx Drive Time: 3.5 hours

Fuel: none bought today

Breakfast: 12 euros for two adults

Lunch: 33 euros

Dinner: 22 euros from supermarket

Admissions: None

Road Charges: 1.60 euros

Extras: 9.80 Euros crepes. 16 Euros car park. 8 Euros bus ( we walked too far to the Eiffel Tower so got the bus back to Notre Dame.)

Hotel: 85 Euros per night no breakfast.

Day 11: Driving from Paris to the Somme Valley Battlefields

Europe road trip driving to the Somme battlefields by car
Exploring the Somme battlefields, the bomb craters, the trenches, the never-ending cemetaries and the beautiful French countryside was sobering, educational and remarkable. Add this to every worldschooler’s list of must-dos.

We picked another Premiere Classe hotel in the Somme Valley. We arrived fairly early so took the afternoon and evening to explore this area. A post about this is on it’s way. This was another highlight and highly recommended.

We Drove From: North of Paris to the Somme Vally and battlefields.

Approx Distance: 70km

Approx Drive Time: 3.5 hours

Fuel: 77 euros @ 1.12 Euros litre ($90 USD)

Breakfast:  fruit

Lunch: 33 Euros, MacDonalds

Dinner: 21 Euros at supermarket

Admissions: None

Road Charges: 1.60 euros

Extras: none

Hotel: 65 Euros per night no breakfast. $77 USD

Day 12 Driving to London from France, via Ferry to Dover

 The white cliffs of dover. European Road trip and car ferry to Europe
The white cliffs of Dover, home again, for a while. The frequent, easy car ferries are by far the easiest way to take a car into Europe for a road trip, beating the Chunnel on price and comfort every time.

An early start to push through to Calais and our waiting ferry. By now eager to get to London and see our favourite couple of cats. We always enjoy these ferry crossings, they are cheap and expensive fish and chips are served by cheery chaps with strong British regional accents. It’s a family tradition to have fish, chips and mushy peas on the ferry and the kids always look forward to it, it’s good to be back home.

We Drove From: The Somme Valley, to Calais for the ferry, to Dover and on to London.

Approx Distance: 111km to Port of Calais then Port of Dover to House sit 115km (73 miles) Total 226.

Approx Drive Time:  4 hours driving plus 90 minutes on the ferry.

Fuel:  none bought today

Breakfast: fruit from the supermarket yesterday.

Lunch: On the ferry, fish and chips x 2 @21 Euros

Dinner: at home

Admissions: none

Road Charges: 7.90 euros

Extras: ferry 60 Euros

Hotel: None. Arrived at our base in London

Total Europe Road Trip Costs and Daily Averages

Total Fuel Cost: $534

Total Hotel Cost: $893 USD

Total Road Tolls: $244 USD

It’s interesting that fuel was a comparatively minor cost compared to hotels. It’s very obvious that flying would be very much cheaper, we normally pay around $40 each to fly Romania to London. If we take the direct route through Germany, France and Belgium we make this drive in 3-5 days, fuel costs are less and of course there are fewer nights in hotels, but this trip was at least partially holiday for us. It’s obvious from the above that costs are much lower in Romania, Hungary and Slovenia, the lower hotel prices for the two Airbnbs we used don’t indicate that Airbnbs are cheaper, they simply reflect lower acommodation costs generally in Slovenia. However, the two Airbnbs we used were superb and we recommend signing up for Airbnb (join via our link here for a special credit). So I hope this gives you an idea of how much to budget for a trip like this, we spent between $100 and $200 per day, which really isn’t too bad at all. Hope this helps.

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Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.

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Isabella Jones

Friday 1st of September 2017

This is by far the best articulated blog on a road trip across Europe. I know now how to plan my trip. Thank you so much for your help. I cannot wait to whiz past the beautiful country roads of Europe.

Melanie

Monday 7th of August 2017

This is a fantastic resource Alyson. Thanks so much. I want to visit Slovenia even more now. It looks spectacular!

Lisa/Syncopated Mama

Monday 7th of August 2017

I loved it, even though it has me itching to get over there and explore Europe some more! It was fun seeing all the costs, especially since our trips over there have all the extra $$$ tacked on due to the longhaul flight!

Charlotte C Taft

Monday 7th of August 2017

This is so useful, alyson! also, dang i always (since i dont drive) forget the diff in fuel costs of US vs EU! 75L = ~20gallons is 50 USD!

Kathryn Smutek

Monday 7th of August 2017

Thank you for this. Taking a roadtrip next year and the road tolls are my biggest fear, particularly in Italy. I really need to factor them in to my planning in advance. All accommodation is paid for in advance.

Alyson Long for World Travel Family

Monday 7th of August 2017

Well, we're glad we only boked 2 or 3 days in advance with the hotels because twice we changed our plan, we had an extra day in Slovenia and an extra day in Paris. I think you need to keep some wriggle room in case of sickness or things coming up. We had the ferry booked in advance, it's much cheaper that way than just turning up, but we knew that whatever happened we could get there, we could drive through the night if necessary.

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