Food expenses in Europe

Old Jul 15th, 2012, 09:10 AM
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Food expenses in Europe

We (family of 4 adults) will be travelling to Europe (Austria, Switzerland and Italy) in August on a 3 weeks' tour. How much should we budget on food expenses (breakfast and liquor excluded) per day in each country ? Will 100-125 Euro per day be ok with a good restaurant dinner every 3rd day ? Appreciate any help.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 09:28 AM
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Is that per person?

Switzerland is very expensive. A kids Happy Meal at a McD's runs about 15 chf if that gives you an idea.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 09:30 AM
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Opinion as to what consitutes a "good restaurant" dinner vary wildly. Some people would be satisfied with a real cheap place where you could eat for maybe 15-20 euro for dinner, others wouldn't call that "good". So who knows.

I don't understand why four adults are budgeting together, or would have combined finances. I could see a married couple planning a budget together, but not four people. I think people should just suit themselves as to what they spend, that wasy if someone wants to buy more wine or an expensive meal at some place, they can.

But generally, 100 euro per day per person would be very generous, so I can only presume you mean can four adults eat for 25 euro a day for lunch, dinner and snacks? It is possible, of course, but you will have to seek out extremely budget places or not eat very much at all. If you have any kind of "snack" in the afternoon or late afternoon such as ice cream, or just sitting in a cafe having a drink (even seltzer water or a soft drink or lemondae), that may cost you up to five euro. I would not want to spend only 20 euro a day on lunch and dinner together, but you could if you bought a sandwhich for takeout for lunch or something like that (and that would not be a lot to eat, nothing else), and found a very very cheap place for dinner. I don't see savings in there to have a good restaurant dinner every 3rd day on top of that.

I"m not up on costs in Italy as much as the other two countries, but don't think they are that different.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 09:38 AM
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Is that 100-125 euros per day for all four adults??? If so, that's a very slim budget for two meals a day. It might work if you make most of your lunches and only eat in modest restaurants in the evening. You'll want to carry refillable water bottles so that you don't have to buy drinks while you're sightseeing during those hot August days. Sadly, not much will be left for Italian gelato.

If it's 100-125 euros per day per person, it's a very generous budget and probably more than you need.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 09:54 AM
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Sorry for the confusion. We are family of 4, with 2 children aged 18 and 20. The budget 100-125 Euros mentioned by me was for total family, per day. If not sufficient, please indicate a more realistic but reasonable budget for all 4 per day. Tks.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 09:59 AM
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It completely depends on how you want to eat. You can find lunches like sandwiches in bakeries etc for about 5euros, or you can do a 3 course sit down meal for way more. Your current budget is too low I think - thats about what we spend for 2 people, but then we are foodies.

Also depends if you rent an apartment and will be cooking.

Switzerland is very expensive, you can pay upwards of 15 - 20 CHF for a burger so keep that in mind...pizzas can run 6-10 euros depending on where in Italy and they wont generally let you share, especially in touristy areas.

So you can really eat on any budget depending on what you want to do.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 10:03 AM
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Well I'd reckon on about Euro 136 in Italy and Austria but I might expect wine to be included in Italy but not fizzy drinks. Austria wine would not be included. (In All countires I think if you have fizzy drinks it would put the price up but I'm not sure). In Switzerland all bets are off because prices can vary so much depending on where the staff come from (how close to a border the place it etc) but I would budget for say +50% and for wine to be extra (actually for a smile to be extra as well).
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Jul 15th, 2012, 10:15 AM
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I'm not an expert on these countries, but if you're wanting to eat on a budget I often find that you can find good deals for a fixed menu restaurant lunch and then get something lighter for dinner, rather than the other way round.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 10:21 AM
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Hi DennisA,

Are you from the US? If so, calculating the euro presently at 1.23 x $125 per day, divided by 4 people, comes to $38. 43 per day for each of you. Could you vacation at home, in a large city or resort, on that amount?

And you want to include “breakfast and liquor”? No way. Europe is very expensive. Wine is more reasonable, but if you mean “spirits,” that is very expensive.

Of course, with your children at 18 and 20- they will be working up quite an appetite with all that touring. Good luck…
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 10:28 AM
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As Gwan says, take a large lunch M-F (the meal of the day) at a commercial inn should be able to get three courses for Euro 13, this would mean a limited menu and maybe not what you are used to eating but this is what locals eat. Evening meal tends to be more expensive.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 10:28 AM
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your question can't possibly be answered here because you have not told us where you are going in these countries/

suppose someone asked what they should budget for meals in the us/

there is a big difference on what you would budget for new york city and what you would budget for oklahoma city or some small town in missouri/

the performance artist known as razr//
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 10:52 AM
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Hi all, I am from Singapore and I had mentioned in the first post that B/F and Liquor EXCLUDED in the proposed budget of 100-125 Euros. But, going through all the valuable responses, I think a budget of 150-160 per day should be manageable for us. Pepper - We will be visiting Vienna, Zurich, Venice and Rome, including the nearby tourist attractions in these places.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 11:08 AM
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sorry - 18 and 20 aren;t children - and will probably eat ore than the parents. And 125 euros a day for 4 people is woefully inadequate - unless you plan on eating all of your meals from markets (bread, cheese, fruit and water etc.

We figure about 100 euros per day per person for a causale (bus sit down) lunch, a small snack or drink in the later afternoon and a pleasant sit down dinner with wine. We like to have one special meal in each city - and for that we allow 300 euros per couple - including a decent wine.

You will have special problems in Switz - which is very expensive. On the McDonald's meter (not that you should eat there - but for comparative purposes - the McMeal that is $8 in the US is about $18 in Switz). Also I assume that all four of you will drink wine, beer or water - which will be cheaper than soft drinks. In europe soft drinks are VERY expensive - and come in incredibly tiny little cans (no supersize drinks and definitely no free refills). If kids drink several US sized soft drinks each day that can easily cost you $30 or $35 per day.

Also - don;t know the type of appetites these kids have - young men can often comsume more than 2 or 3 adults - and european portion sizes are usually considerably smaller than in chain restaurants in the US.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 11:11 AM
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We had a McTasty meal at a McD's in Lucerne last fall for 12 Swiss francs each. Silly, yes, but consider that the US Dollar and Swiss franc are very close in worth, so assume you will b paying more for food in Switzerland than elsewhere.

We were in Italy for nearly a month, and saved the most on food during the two weeks we had a flat in Umbria. We would either have a full meal at lunch in a restaurant and a salad and sandwich or soup at night. We made big breakfasts each morning with the brightest fresh eggs you can imagine, and fantastic Italian ham, with toasted crusty bread and local jams. (stop at a Conads for groceries, although bakeries are best for baked goods.).

When we stayed in hotels, we tried to stick to hotels that included breakfast. They nearly all offered copious amounts of food, fruit, breads, deli-like meats and cheese, so we took advantage of those in the mornings.

We also enjoyed picking up picnic stuff during our explorations...

BUT I think we overall spent about 75-100€ per day on food and beverages, for the two of us. That covered 8 nights in Rome, 13 in Umbria, 2 in Riomaggiori, 1 in Cremona, and 4 nights in Bellagio. ( and of course, that 24 francs in Lucerne!)
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 11:13 AM
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Our costs included wine.

It is best if you build your budget on a spreadsheet, with a column where you can calculate both in your home currency and Euros ( and swiss francs for your time there). The more comfortable you are with seeing costs in those currency, the easier it is when you are there.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 11:20 AM
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Just one general note: buffets may look like a good value. however, unlike the U.S. (I don't know where you're traveling from) Swiss buffets normally allow you only one trip. People can't fill their plate and then go back for seconds etc. And the plates usually aren't large. So if you see a restaurant with a buffet sign, don't assume you've found an "all you can eat" meal.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 11:22 AM
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We were in Frankfurt, Prague, Southern France and Italy a year ago May. The 4 of us adults could not get the most simple lunch for less than what I calculated to be $15 a person. Though the Euro is worth less today, I'd say even 125 Euro per day for your family is VERY tight.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 11:32 AM
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Thanks all of you for your good response which was quite helpful. Got some good hints from these posts. Might trouble you with some more queries later ... please bear with me !
DennisA is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2012, 11:36 AM
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NO, it's not. Switzerland is, but most of the rest of Europe is fairly reasonable. Still, $125-$150 a day for food for four adults is not going to suffice unless you are very, very careful about what you buy and eat. I would think at least $200 a day would be necessary. And that would not allow for fancy meals.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 11:37 AM
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When visiting Zurich, many years ago, we used to go for lunch at some local department stores. Their coffee shops had a great selection of excellent sandwiches and drinks, and for a very reasonable price.
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