Europa-Park on a shoestring budget? It can be done!

Discussion in 'Europa-Park Trip Plans and Reports' started by AstroDan, 10th Feb 2019.

  1. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Europa-Park on a shoestring

    You often see and hear people saying that a visit to the highly-acclaimed Europa-Park is expensive. And, with exchange rates certainly not on our side these days due to market uncertainty and political upheaval, it's true to say that - if you want to do Europa-Park in the full-blown resort-hotel style, yes - it will cost you. But equally, it's certainly plausible to do Europa-Park on a shoestring budget - if you are prepared to sacrifice a few home comforts.

    How? Well let me tell you. If you take a car and tent(s) - you'll instantly be able to do a 5 night short break to Europa-Park ( with 3 days in the park itself!) for less than £250 per person - if you get 4 in the car. Including travel, tickets and accommodation. And I am not mad. Here's the specifics!

    Day 1
    Travel down to Dover and aim to cross the channel at around 2pm. Save money by crossing the channel by ferry rather than using the quicker channel tunnel. A 5-day return with DFDS comes in at less than £100 return for a car with 4 passengers. After the crossing, you'll arrive in Calais. Drive to Saint Quentin, it's about an hour or so from Calais and just off the A26 motorway. You'll need to pay a road toll (around €10 today) but it's worth it simply to sit at a comfortable speed, cruise control active. You'll find a good value, modern BB Hotel (rooms for 4 start from around €60) located near several good value restaurants (such as Les Trois Brasseurs or Buffalo Grill) and a hypermarket, Auchan - which has a filling station for cheap fuel. Stay overnight, recharge and get ready for your Europa-Park adventure.

    Day 2
    Grab breakfast at the hotel or from the Auchan hypermarket. Check the tank is full to avoid paying motorway prices and then you're off. I'd aim to leave around 9am.You'll take the A26 to Reims, and then it's the A4 all the way to Strasbourg. If you get hungry, find a McDonald's en route - or even the motorway services aren't too bad. Remember there's some more road tolls (around €40 today) but once you're through Strasbourg, it's just a short hop over the Rhine and you're into Germany. Half an hour later you'll be at Europa-Park! All being well, you'll arrive around 3pm. Make your way to the Europa-Park Camp Resort, pass through the barriers, find a spot and pitch your tent! You'll be able to relax in the Camp Resort during the evening - with good value dining options including Cantina Amigo. Then, perhaps an early night ready for the big day! Toilet and shower facilities are centrally located - but there's loads of showers so you'll not wait long, even in busy periods. Showers are in separate cubicles so don't worry - privacy is assured. Electrical sockets are dotted around the site, too - so choose where you pitch wisely unless you have enough power packs to last you.

    Day 3, 4 & 5
    The Camp Resort is just a 5 minute walk (or free shuttle) to the park entrance. For breakfast, although it is available at the Silver Lake Saloon, you'll be best eating in the park - either from SWR3 Rock Café by the main entrance, or take away croissants and baked goods from the bakery in the French area. The park's gates open at 8.30am - and you can always take a flight on Voletarium, the park's flying theatre, before grabbing food. You've then got 3 full days in the park for around €120 per person (€40; £36/day). In the evenings, check out restaurants in the village such as the Apres Park Pizzeria or Guesthaus Adler. Of course, there's bags of choice - and you may want to splash out one evening by wandering over to the hotel resort for the bars and restaurants there. Being a guest of the Camp Resort, you can take the EP Express Monorail for free between the park entrance to the hotels - even after hours. It runs till around midnight!

    Day 6
    Leaving Europa-Park at around 8am - you'll need to pay your camping charge at the ticket machine For 2019, it's €35 per 24 hour period for a car including 2 tents. Then - it's back the way you came, down the A4 and A26 and to Calais (tolls around €50). We'd recommend booking a ferry around 5pm. Then - you'll be over the channel and home before bedtime.

    Trust us - it can be done - and you'll save, save, save - save big on the more extravagant trips to Europa-Park.

    For a full route map from Calais to Europa-Park - via the overnight stop in Saint Quentin see here.

    The total cost!

    Petrol: Around £220.00
    Ferry Return: Around £100.00
    French Motorway Tolls: Around £90.00
    Stopover Hotel: Around £50.00
    Camping: Around £120.00
    Park Tickets: Around £400.00 (4 x 3-day passes)

    That's a total of £960.00 for 4 people for a 5 night, 3 days-on-park break to one of the best theme parks in the world. You can't say fairer than that. And these aren't 'never can be found' prices. That's just how much it is. Whether a school holiday or not.

    Save even more...!
    • Save £50 by not taking a stopover on the way down. However - be warned. Without a night's break travelling out, you'll arrive at Europa-Park in the evening and it could be dark. Pitching a tent in darkness isn't much fun... plus, you'll be tired when you arrive
    • Save around £55 (€60) of road tolls by taking the route to Europa-Park via Belgium and Luxembourg motorways. However - roads are busier, and it will take a little longer - especially at peak times

    Enjoy!
     
    Last edited: 11th Feb 2019
    Posted 10th Feb 2019
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  2. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    Tremendous post, thanks for sharing.

    I'd love to do this, had no idea you could pitch up a tent at Europa tbh. Thought it was just the wagons/teepees.

    Would be considerably more expensive if there's just two of you (in my case), but it's still an option.
     
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    Posted 10th Feb 2019
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  3. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    So you know, you can of course camp without a car. Tents are €13 (£11.50)per night without a car. This would obviously involve carrying all your stuff, but perhaps a suitcase and return Ryanair flights could work out cheaper than a return car for just 2 people.
     
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    Posted 11th Feb 2019
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  4. IDB

    IDB TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks for this info, an interesting post and one to consider for the future. We are flying as a four in May and it’s come out fairly reasonable.
     
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  5. Charlie Newbold

    Charlie Newbold TowersStreet Member

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    Yeah, flights can be very decent. My family of four flew to Baden-Baden, stayed in an AirbnB and had two days in Europa Park for under £950. It’s also worth noting that public transport to the park is inexpensive, reliable and relatively quick for all those who can’t/aren’t willing to drive abroad.
     
  6. GeorgeT

    GeorgeT TowersStreet Member

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    Wow, thanks for the effort Dan :)
     
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  7. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    We did the drive to Europa in May last year, we decided to take the Belgium/Luxembourg route instead of via France to save on the tolls. It’s worth checking google as you leave the ferry to see the traffic on both routes and work out which is best at the time you are travelling. For us it was only 10 mins slower to go via Belgium and save €50 on tolls - which was a good boost to the beer fund for the trip!

    We also found that booking the Dover-Dunkirk ferry route worked out cheaper than the Calais one, with no material difference in the journey once you get to France.
     
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