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Belgium on a Budget // What I Spent in Four Days in Belgium

Belgium on a Budget
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I had an absolutely amazing time in Belgium. While I didn’t travel on the strictest budget of all time, by giving myself a little extra wiggle room I was able to really experience the country (and all of it’s delicious food) despite the fact that I was only there for three days (plus a half day after traveling there).

I didn’t do as good as, say, my daily budget in Thailand would be. But I think I did a fairly good job of traveling Belgium on a budget. In total, I spent €299.60 over four days including flights, amounting to a daily budget of €74.90 per person including flights or €62.62 a day of in-country expenses.

So, where exactly did all of this money go? Let me break it down for you!

Belgium on a Budget

Transportation

Bike Bruges Wall Belgium on a Budget
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Flights

I bought a one way ticket from Edinburgh to Brussels Charleroi for €49.12 (I continued on to the Netherlands after that and then flew home). Cheap flights from the UK and other parts of Europe to Brussels are plentily available. If you’re flying from elsewhere, check out this guide to finding a cheap flight.

In-Country Transportation

I didn’t spend too much money on in-country transportation. In total, I spent €12.40 on a return ticket to Bruges for a day trip, €14 on a bus ticket from Brussels Charleroi to Brussels City Center when I first got there, and €6.30 on public transportation in Brussels.

Transportation Total: €49.12 (Flights) + €32.70 (In-Country Transportation) = €81.82

Accommodation

MEININGER Brussels Belgium on a Budget
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After not having the greatest time in hostels in Switzerland, I was a little bit wary about staying solo in a hostel again. But I went for it because it was the cheapest option, and actually loved my time there! I booked a bed at the MEININGER Brussels for three nights at €24.86/night and was more than happy with this price (Check out my full review of MEININGER Brussels here!).

Accommodation total: €24.86/night x 3 = €74.58

Food

Mary Chocolatier Brussels Belgium on a Budget
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Probably the thing I spent the most money on in Belgium was food. Anyone sensing a pattern here?. Oh well, I just really like food. Two of my bigger costs were a sit down dinner at Chez Leon and the ten pounds of chocolate I bought (this is an exaggeration, but only slightly).

Food total: €15.35 (Mussels dinner at Chez Leon) + €6 (coffee, juice, and pastry breakfast special) + €17.15 (groceries) + €12.57 (chocolate) + €1.06 (bottle of water) + €8 (Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Nibs at Old Chocolate House, Bruges) + €10 (chocolate in Bruges) + €5.50 (Fries and juice) + €1 (street waffle) + €14.87 (Chocolate on my Brussels Chocolate Tour) = €91.20 or €30.40/day

Entertainment

Bruges Canal Tour Belgium on a Budget
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I also spent a decent amount of money on entertaining myself over the three days — though I also did a fair amount of wandering and hunting for comic strip walls!

Entertainment total: €28 (Brussels Waffle Workshop) + €8 (Bruges Boat Tour) + €5 (Brussels Museum of Cacao and Chocolate) = €41

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: DIY Brussels Chocolate Tour

Souvenirs

I don’t usually spend a lot of money on souvenirs, but this time around I couldn’t help but buy a mini Atomium for my science nerd dad and a Mannekin Pis keychain for a friend with a keychain collection and the sense of humor of a ten year old (€9 total). I also bought a few postcards for a total of €2.

Souvenir total: €11

Tips on how to save money while traveling Belgium on a Budget

Cut back on activities

For example, don’t take the €28 Waffle Workshop. You can buy 28 whole €1 waffles off the street for that price! Sure, the workshop is all you can eat… But apparently the record is only 8. That means that you could save 20 whole euros by not taking the workshop but still eat 8 waffles! That’s a lot of waffles. Even I only ate three during my time in Belgium. Or, you could take on the challenge and try to eat 29 waffles at the Waffle Workshop to make sure you get your money’s worth.

Brussels Waffle Workshop
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On that note, in a lot of tourist places you’ll see signs advertising €1 waffles. Where they get you is the toppings – those all cost extra! Instead, eat your street waffles the way the locals do and only get sugar on top. Then your indulgent little snack will really only cost you €1.

Download the USE-IT App

No, I’m not being paid to promote this app. In fact, it’s friggin’ free. How’s that for a budget tip? I talked all about this app in my post about finding the Brussels Comic Strip Walls, but it’s full of loads of other helpful/awesome information as well for loads of cities in Belgium – especially if you love finding local hidden gems.

Brussels Comic Strip Wall Belgium on a Budget
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Brussels Parking 58 View Belgium on a Budget
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Check out this amazing view from the top of a parking garage! I never would have found it if it weren’t for the USE-It app.

Take advantage of student and youth discounts

Student and youth discounts are great. Take advantage of them! I didn’t come across a lot of discounts in Belgium, though I wasn’t actually searching that hard. The biggest tip I have for you? Make sure you buy a Go Pass if you plan on taking the train anywhere and you’re under the age of 26. They’re only €6,20 one way to any destination in Belgium!

Go on a free walking tour

Free walking tours are always a great way to get to know a new city while you’re traveling on a budget. Although I didn’t take any while I was in Belgium, I’ve heard great things about Viva’s Tours. They have free walking tours for Antwerp, Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent, so I would definitely recommend checking them out!

Check out free museum days

There are loads of museums in Brussels that have free admittance on certain days of the month — and even some that are free every day! Check out Brussels Museums FAQ’s for the complete list!

Stay in Budget Accommodation

As always, accommodation can be a big drain on your budget. Check out hostels (I stayed in the MEININGER Brussels), AirBnBs (click here for $20 off your first booking!), and budget hotels to find the best price for your needs!

MEININGER Brussels Kitchen
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Staying in a place with a kitchen will help cut down on food costs!
Do you have any other tips for traveling Belgium on a budget? Let me know in the comments down below!

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Looking to travel to Belgium on a budget? Check out this post to see my budget breakdown of what I spent over four days in Belgium and some tips for how to travel Belgium on a budget of only €65 a day!
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Belgium on a Budget
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MY FAVORITE TRAVEL TIPS & RESOURCES

Booking Flights: The first place I turn when I’m searching for flights is actually just Google Flights - it’s great to figure out what sort of routes are available. Then, I check Skyscanner and Kiwi for deals. I also love Kiwi for its destination: anywhere feature!

Transportation: I love Omio for figuring out the cheapest way to get from one place to another, and Trainline for booking train tickets within Europe.

Accommodations: I absolutely love Booking.com for finding great hotel deals. After you stay a certain number of nights, you get Genius discounts! For hostels, Hostelworld is my go-to, and I use Airbnb occasionally as well (click here for $40 off your first booking!)

Travel Insurance: I knew that I shouldn’t travel without insurance for the longest time, but I really learned my lesson when I got an infected cut in Bali. Thank goodness I had travel insurance! I use and love World Nomads for their extremely comprehensive coverage.

Travel Insurance: I knew that I shouldn’t travel without insurance for the longest time, but I really learned my lesson when I got an infected cut in Bali. Thank goodness I had travel insurance! I use and love World Nomads for their extremely comprehensive coverage.

Tours: I always check Urban Adventures for great day tours of cities first–I’m obsessed with them! GetYourGuide and Viator are also great options. For multi-day tours, I highly recommend Intrepid.

Camera Gear: I use a Sony Alpha A6300 camera with an 18-105 mm lens and a 35 mm lens. My tripod is the MeFoto Backpacker Air and I loooooove it! I also use a DJI Mavic Air and a GoPro and which allow me to capture everything my regular camera can’t.

20 thoughts on “Belgium on a Budget // What I Spent in Four Days in Belgium”

  1. Pingback: A Chocolate Tour of Brussels • Addie Abroad

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  7. Great price on that flight! The advantage of starting in Europe – we envy that. Your budgeting is impressive, especially for Belgium. Good to not overspend there, because I’m not sure we’d be able to NOT spend a fortune on the chocolates! We admire your willpower. 🙂 #FlyawayFriday

  8. Your strict budget reminds me of my European travels in my 20’s as well – after flight and travel – we were on $50/day – so your daily budget in 2017 is IMPRESSIVE! I love the waffle tips. 8 waffles would be impressive! Great list – love the ideas. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

  9. Some very good tips here, Addie. It’s good that you also got to do a few experiences on your budget too – €5 for a boat tour is really reasonable. Your flights from the UK were excellent value too. Thanks for inspiring me on #FarawayFiles

  10. I wish I can fly to Belgium for that price! Free tours are one of my favorite ways to learn more about cities. Agree you have to cut down some things if you want to save money. You cannot expect to visit 5 attractions in a day and save. I try to select what I am going to see base don my interests. #FarawayFiles

  11. Omg I def have that same exact photo!!! We didn’t keep track of our budget but probably quite similar – I found Brussels to be pretty expensive! Also – the USE-IT app was the best tip, I downloaded it because of your comic strip walls post and it was so useful in Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent!

  12. That IS a tiny budget, I’m super impressed here! Okay, maybe that’s just cause I’m so used to insane prices in Norway but still 😉 Would love to visit Belgium – mainly to eat all the food, I have to admit!!

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