Interrail on a Budget: The 5 Best Meals to Make in Hostels for You and Your Friends

Interrailing around Europe is a dream adventure for many, offering the perfect blend of exploration, culture, and camaraderie. However, sticking to a budget while exploring the diverse cuisines of Europe can be challenging. That’s where our top five hostel-friendly meals come to the rescue. These recipes are not only delicious but also designed for sharing with your fellow travellers. So, dust off your apron, pack your spices, and get ready to cook up a storm in hostel kitchens across the continent.


Q: What is Interrail?

A: Interrail is a popular train travel pass that allows you to explore Europe by train, offering flexibility and convenience for travelers.

Q: Why cook in hostels while Interrailing?

A: Cooking in hostels is a fantastic way to save money and bond with fellow travelers over a delicious homemade meal.

Q: What are the essential cooking utensils to bring?

A: Consider packing reusable containers for leftovers, and labels for when your food is in the hostel fridges. Hostel kitchens will generally provide everything else.

Q: How can I find hostels with good kitchen facilities?

A: Use filters on Hostelworld to sort by kitchen facilities. Reading reviews can also provide insights into the quality of hostel kitchens.

Q: Are these recipes suitable for vegetarians and vegans?

A: Yes, we have included a vegan dish in our list of recipes. Plus, some recipes can be adapted to suit various dietary preferences.

1. Pasta Perfection: One-Pot Spaghetti Carbonara

Servings: 4 | Calories per Serving: Approximately 550 calories | Cost per Dish: €5

Pasta dishes are a staple for budget travellers, and our one-pot Spaghetti Carbonara is a creamy delight that’s quick to prepare.


  • 400g spaghetti
  • 150g pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 50g grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste


  1. Boil spaghetti until al dente; drain and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, fry pancetta until crispy. Remove from heat.
  3. Whisk eggs, Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, and a generous pinch of black pepper in a bowl.
  4. Toss drained spaghetti in the egg mixture until creamy.
  5. Add crispy pancetta on top and serve immediately.

2. Chilli Con Carne: A Hearty Favourite

Servings: 4 | Calories per Serving: Approximately 400 calories | Cost per Dish: €6

A steaming bowl of Chilli Con Carne is the ultimate comfort food for weary interrailers, and it’s perfect for sharing.


  • 500g minced beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil


  1. Heat olive oil in a pot and sauté onions and garlic until translucent.
  2. Add minced beef and brown it.
  3. Stir in chili powder and cumin.
  4. Add kidney beans and diced tomatoes, then season with salt and pepper.
  5. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Serve with rice or crusty bread.

3. Curry in a Hurry: Easy One-Pot Chicken Curry

Servings: 4 | Calories per Serving: Approximately 380 calories | Cost per Dish: €7

Satisfy your cravings for a taste of India while interrailing with this quick and easy Chicken Curry.


  • 500g chicken breast, diced
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil


  1. Heat oil in a pot and sauté onions and garlic until soft.
  2. Add curry powder and cook for a minute.
  3. Add diced chicken and cook until browned.
  4. Pour in coconut milk and diced tomatoes.
  5. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve with rice or naan bread.

4. Vegan Delight: One-Pot Vegetable Stir-Fry

Servings: 4 | Calories per Serving: Approximately 250 calories | Cost per Dish: €5

For our vegan travelers, this Vegetable Stir-Fry is a healthy and delicious choice that’s easy to whip up in hostel kitchens.


  • 300g tofu, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 200g broccoli florets
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat sesame oil in a pan and sauté tofu until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, stir-fry ginger and garlic until fragrant.
  3. Add all vegetables and stir-fry for a few minutes.
  4. Return tofu to the pan.
  5. Mix soy sauce and rice vinegar, then pour over the stir-fry.
  6. Cook until vegetables are tender.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve with rice or noodles.

5. Mexican Fiesta: One-Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta

Servings: 4 | Calories per Serving: Approximately 480 calories | Cost per Dish: €8

Get a taste of Mexico with this fusion recipe that combines the flavours of chicken fajitas with pasta.


  • 400g penne pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 packet fajita seasoning mix
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 200ml chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil


  1. Heat oil in a pot and brown chicken.
  2. Add onions, garlic, and bell peppers.
  3. Stir in fajita seasoning mix.
  4. Add diced tomatoes and chicken broth.
  5. Simmer until the sauce thickens.
  6. Serve over cooked penne pasta.


Interrail on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing delicious meals. With these five easy and affordable recipes, you can enjoy a variety of cuisines while bonding with your fellow interrailers in hostel kitchens