How Much We Spent Traveling in Belgium
After visiting Luxembourg for a couple days and spending a week and a half in the Netherlands, Andy and I moved on to Belgium. We spent one week in Brussels and took a few day trips. We originally planned on doing more, but our time in the Netherlands ended up being a lot more fast-paced than we wanted, and the conference wore us out. We needed some time to relax and catch up on writing while we were in Belgium, so a couple of day trips got cut. We didn’t want to get too burnt out so early on our European trip. Here’s the breakdown of how much we spent traveling in Belgium.
Total Belgium travel costs
457€ / $598.67 – accommodation
87.20€ / $114.23 – trains
48.80€ / $63.93 – other transportation
311.60€ / $408.20 – food and alcohol
66.40€ / $86.98 – activities
22.50€ / $29.48 – miscellaneous
993.50€ / $1,301.49 – total
Belgium accommodation expenses – 457€
We found a halfway decent apartment on Airbnb again for our stay in Brussels. The owner didn’t live in the apartment, so it was a little bare and lacked a few things we normally would want. The bed was also incredibly stiff so we didn’t sleep so well.
We also realized that, even though it was extremely close to a grocery store and public transportation, there weren’t any nearby restaurants, and it was a little farther from the center of town than we would’ve liked. This apartment was probably what inspired Andy to write his apartment checklist for slow travelers. For 7 nights, the average came out to 65.29€ per night, which is definitely cheaper than a hotel.
Train costs in Belgium – 87.20€
This number includes our tickets from Rotterdam, Netherlands to Brussels. It also includes our round trip tickets to Ghent and round trip tickets to Leuven. Rotterdam to Brussels cost 47.20€ for the two of us, so the tickets inside of Belgium for our day trips from Brussels were much more reasonable.
Other transport costs in Belgium – 48.80€
The public transport system in Brussels is pretty good, and with a tram stop 2 minutes from our apartment, we used it often. They didn’t have passes good for a certain number of days or a week, but they did have a pass that was good for 10 rides. That cost 13.50€ per person. Single tickets were 2€ each. However we did learn that buying a ticket on a bus from the driver was an extra 50 cents each. Transport tickets in Ghent cost 2.40€ each and were good for one hour.
Food and alcohol costs in Belgium – 311.60€
Clearly we still need to work on this category. We ate breakfast in the apartment every day, and we definitely bought groceries and made several meals at home. But this just goes to show how much eating out even a few times can increase your spending.
We had some drinks out a couple nights, but we also bought some at the grocery store. We were in Belgium after all, and we couldn’t pass up the tasty Belgian beer. We also spent 20.50€ on chocolate from Zaabär since we liked it so much when we were there last year. And Brussels was also where we discovered the best sandwiches ever. This averages out to about 22.26€ per person per day.
Cost of activities in Belgium – 66.40€
This includes 2 tickets each to Mini Europe (14.20€ per person), the Cantillon Brewery (6€ per person), Castle Gravensteen in Ghent (8€ per person), and the Belfry bell tower in Ghent (5€ per person).
Miscellaneous spending – 22.50€
We did laundry twice in Brussels, and unfortunately the apartment didn’t have a washing machine so we had to go down the street to a laundromat. I also had to buy contact solution while we were in Brussels.
Andy and I averaged 141.93€ per day, or about 70.96€ per person per day for a week in Belgium. Overall I think it wasn’t too bad. If we had skipped two nights when we went out drinking and had an overpriced dinner, our food and alcohol spending would’ve dropped by 114€. Not that we need more proof, but alcohol is expensive. We also could’ve cooked at home a little more. Other than that category, I’m not sure we would’ve liked cutting back on anything else. I’m happy with how much we spent traveling in Belgium.
You might also enjoy:
- How Much We Spent Traveling in Europe for Two Months
- How Much We Spent Traveling in the Netherlands
- How Much We Spent Traveling in Warsaw, Poland
- Or read more real travel budgets
October 3, 2013 @ 10:05 AM
This may sound a bit weird, but really other than the things Ali listed, the apartment was fine. Not the best place we stayed in by any means, but it was ok. The owners lived downstairs and were really nice. Being close to transport was nice too. It just could have been a bit more home-like.
We definitely do need to get better about eating and drinking out. The nights she mentioned were just bad choices on our part. Overall though Belgium was a good week.
October 3, 2013 @ 11:05 AM
October 3, 2013 @ 8:28 PM
Alcohol and food gets me every time! But like you mentioned, splurging on beer and chocolates in Belgium really is a must 😉 Love these posts.
Happy travels 🙂
October 4, 2013 @ 3:33 PM
Thanks Lauren, glad you’re enjoying my budget posts! It’s hard for me to look at the high numbers for the food and alcohol category and realize, if we had just cut back a little, cooked a couple extra meals instead of ate out, and bought a few drinks at a grocery store instead of a bar, we would’ve saved soooo much money!
October 4, 2013 @ 3:54 AM
We stayed in a hotel room in Brussels that was much more like a large three story apartment. It was really very nice, too. I like Brussel’s public transportation (although I do like the Tube and Paris and Taipei’s metros better). I dunno if you can work on the food and alcohol section, Brussels is kind of expensive.
October 4, 2013 @ 3:35 PM
Wow, that sounds nice! I think we could’ve cut back on 2 specific nights and saved a lot, but other than that, no not so much. You’re right, Brussels can be expensive, but for the most part we did ok. Alcohol just really adds up quickly!
October 8, 2013 @ 9:43 PM
fun fun fun!
October 9, 2013 @ 12:00 PM
October 9, 2013 @ 1:10 PM
Don’t be too hard on yourself for eating out – everyone deserves a treat, you weren’t there for very long so you need to get out and about in order to develop a well rounded opinion. Dining in can be a bit isolating – guess you could have invited neighbors in, but overall, for you were, I think you did pretty well. 1301.49 is the total for you both, right?
October 11, 2013 @ 12:01 PM
Yes, that’s the total for 2 people for one week. I agree, it’s pretty good, and there really isn’t much I’d change. I guess it’s just knowing those 2 nights were such a huge part of the food/alcohol category. Thanks Maria!
October 11, 2013 @ 8:03 AM
I love these posts. You are way more organized than I am when it comes to tracking your spending.
October 11, 2013 @ 12:02 PM
Thanks Christy! I’m so used to seeing budget posts about how people spent next to nothing on their bare bones budget trip, and that’s great for some people, but doesn’t quite work for us. So I was curious to see how much we actually spent and just made sure to track every penny as we spent it.
October 16, 2013 @ 2:31 AM
I love that you’ve written about the nitty-gritty budget stuff, it’s so practical. And boy does food add up if you don’t watch it… Europe is absolutely wonderful but you really have to watch what you’re spending or it can totally wipe you out. Thanks for the post!
October 16, 2013 @ 12:39 PM
Thanks Sally! Europe really can be expensive, but it’s probably my favorite part of the world so it’s worth it. There are definitely ways of reducing travel spending, we just aren’t always so disciplined!