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House Sitting in Europe

house sitting in europe

Europe is the perfect destination for many people because of its rich food, culture, history, relative safety, 1st world conditions (you can drink the tap water etc) and of course the variety in the countries that are so close together - want to have breakfast in one country, lunch in another and dinner in yet another? Come to Europe!

But Europe can be expensive, especially when it comes to accommodation. That's where house sitting comes in.



What is house sitting: House sitting is an exchange of services - house sitters look after the homeowners' house in return for free accommodation. 



We started house sitting in Europe in 2014. Since then we've done over 15 house sits in eight different European countries. These have ranged from short luxurious weekend breaks to 3-month long term house sits. We are the house sitting experts and we want to help you find your first house sitting jobs in Europe.

In this house sitting Europe guide you will find:

  • Why you should house sit in Europe
  • How to get house sitting jobs in Europe
  • Best house sitting website Europe
  • Trustedhousesitters Discount Code
  • Specific house sitting in Europe guides
  • Do you need to speak the language?
  • How to travel around Europe


WHY YOU SHOULD HOUSE SIT IN EUROPE 

House sitting in Europe is a dream come true for many:

Firstly, you get to explore Europe on a budget - think about how much of your holiday budget, or even day-to-day living costs, go to accommodation: hotels and hostels or rent and mortgages. Now eliminate that number. House sitting means zero accommodation costs - including zero bills!

But it doesn't just stop there, because yes you could explore Europe on a budget with other free accommodation methods like Couchsurfing, camping, workaway, wwoofing, etc. BUT, and this is a big but, they won't be anywhere near as comfortable. House sitting is travel with home comforts:
  • Privacy - not just your own private room, but the whole house to yourself
  • Normality - the use of fully equipped kitchens and washing machines (ask any long-term traveller, this is a dream come true)
  • Pets - love animals? With house sitting you will often have a furry friend or two (or more)!

And it doesn't just stop there, more often than not you'll get to explore Europe in luxury as there are tonnes of luxury house sitting opportunities in Europe. We've house sat places with pools, saunas, Porsches and more! 

House sitting is the only way to travel Europe not just luxuriously but also on a budget

- how often do those two things go hand in hand? 

Last, and certainly not least, this is truly authentic travel - you get to see how real locals really live (or at the very least, real expats). How many times have you stayed in a hotel and felt like you didn't 'truly see' the country? Didn't honestly feel like you'd lived there and witnessed day-to-day living in another culture? House sitting can give you that. 

HOW TO GET HOUSE SITTING JOBS IN EUROPE

First things first, it's important to get some house sitting experience, to a) get some references and b) to see whether or not you really enjoy house sitting. This is easy to do, simply ask friends and family if you can look after their pets and home for a few days. 

Then it's time to find the house sits, what's the best house sitting website in Europe?

Best House Sitting Website Europe 

In our opinion, the best house sitting website Europe is Trustedhousesitters - this is the largest house sitting website for Europe (and actually bonus point, it's the largest house sitting website in the world).

All of our Europe house sits came from Trustedhousesitters and we have continually renewed our membership with them every single year since 2013.  


Trustedhousesitters Discount code

You do have to pay to sign up to Trustedhousesitters, and it costs $107/year - yes this sounds like a lot upfront, but the amount you'll save on accommodation in the long run is astronomical. $107 won't get you very far in Europe using conventional accommodation (hostels and hotels) - 2 weeks at the most on an extremely budgeted trip (read uncomfortable, noisy, shared bathrooms, possible bed bugs etc). 

Compare that to $107 for a YEAR in luxury house sits - central city apartments, country villas, mansions - and it becomes and a no-brainer. 

Plus, if you sign up today, we can offer you a 10% discount code:


HOUSE SITTING IN EUROPE GUIDES

I'm a great believer in seeing is believing, I want to give you a taste of what house sitting in Europe can be like, by showing you some of the European house sits we've done (and giving you tips for each country)

House Sitting Spain

House sitting in Spain is a great place to start your house sitting in Europe adventures. There are so many house sitting jobs in Spain, it's easy, even for newbies, to get a house sit there. Furthermore, with many retired expats here, you can almost guarantee that you will find a long-term, luxurious house sit in Spain:

house sitting in europe

We did a long-term and luxury house sit in Spain for six weeks. In return for looking after three adorable dogs, we lived in a mansion right by the beach, which had two pools! 

Read more about our house sit in Spain here. 

Or start browsing house sitting jobs in Spain

House Sitting in Portugal

House sitting in Portugal is similar to house sitting in Spain - incredible weather, delicious food, friendly locals. Portugal tends to be less popular than Spain though, meaning that you'll have less competition when looking for a house sit in Portugal!

house sitting in europe jobs

We did a long-term house sitting job in Portugal - we looked after a dog and a turtle for five weeks near the Algarve. This was one of our absolute favourite house sits - read more about house sitting in Portugal 

Or start browsing house sitting jobs in Portugal

House Sitting Germany

House sitting in Germany should be seen in two categories really - house sitting in Germany and house sitting in Berlin. Why? House sitting in Berlin is perfect for those that want to experience Germany, but can't speak German. Most people speak impeccable English in Berlin. Plus it's one of the coolest cities in the world. 

House sitting outside of Berlin can be a little tricker, but not impossible - Germany is a progressive, practical country which everyone should experience at least once. 

Germany's the perfect place to house sit if you love horses - many rural German house sits come with the odd horse, or three! 

house sitting berlin europe

We've done several house sits in Germany - our first one was in a luxurious house in central Berlin with its own private sauna. We house sat here for two weeks, looking after two chickens. 

We've done a repeat house sit in Hamburg with three dogs, two cats, four lizards and lots of fish - surprisingly, this is one of the easiest and most enjoyable house sits we've ever done. The animals behave perfectly and the beautiful house comes with a sauna and a jacuzzi (and a Porsche!)

We've also house sat in the German countryside - looking after three horses, two donkeys, two dogs, and four cats.  Again, not as crazy as it sounds, but probably not the best idea for your first house sit (unless of course, you've grown up with horses).

Read more about housesitting Berlin

Or start browsing house sitting jobs in Germany

House Sitting Italy

If you visit Europe without visiting Italy, it would be a crying shame. Italy is a shining star in its own right, and so rich with culture, history and delicious Italian food. Luckily for you, there are many house sitting jobs in Italy - from beautiful apartments right in the centre of Rome, Florence and Venice, to villas in the beautiful countryside.

house sitting italy

We've done a repeat luxury and long-term house sitting job in a villa with two dogs and one cat in the Italian countryside. As well as house sit in Sicily in a place with an olive grove, its own pool and one dog.

Start browsing house sitting jobs in Italy

House Sitting in Greece

Thanks no doubt in part to Mama Mia, everyone wants to come to Greece, and although Greece can be cheaper than say Germany or France, luxury villas are still outside of any budget traveller's budget. Not with house sitting though. House sitting jobs in Greece come up frequently, generally with perks of ocean views, olive gardens and more!

house sitting greece europe


We did a house sitting job in central Athens for five weeks, looking after one dog and one cat. We stayed in a luxurious neighbourhood and got to know many lovely locals. 

Start browsing house sitting jobs Greece

House Sitting UK

When it comes to house sitting jobs in Europe, the UK is probably the place that has the most house sits on offer (and thus, even newbie house sitters will find jobs here). It has, of course, the advantage of being an English speaking country, making communication easy (I'm assuming, if you're reading this you speak English. Lol). 

House sits in the UK can range from the not so luxurious to the ultimate luxury house sitting jobs in Europe. Either way, you'll have free accommodation in a country which has ridiculous accommodation prices!

house sitting uk europe

We've done numerous sits in the UK - our first ever one was for two cats, two chickens and three sheep in the beautiful Forest of Dean. We've looked after mansions with dogs, mansions with cats, eco-houses, fancy farms, luxury London apartments and more. 

Read this awesome guest post about House sitting the UK by the Alternative Travelers

Or start browsing UK house sits



House Sitting Netherlands 

House sitting in the Netherlands can be perfect for first-time house sitters. As a sweeping statement, the Netherlands is very English speaking friendly, with most Dutch people having impeccable English.

house sitting in europe

We did a house sitting job in southern Netherlands, looking after two lovely dogs, in a beautiful, traditional Dutch house. 

Start browsing house sits in the Netherlands

House Sitting Finland

House sitting in Finland might not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think about house sitting Europe, but it might be the ideal house sit for you. Finland is a gorgeous country with beautiful nature and not a lot of people. 

The weather is something to take into account of course - if you are comfortable with the cold (the real cold) go in the winter, if not go in the summer. 

house sitting europe


We did a house sitting job in Helsinki in March, looking after one super-intelligent dog. It was one of the coldest places we've ever been! Helsinki is very expensive, so it was great to be able to enjoy it without worrying about costs. 

Read more about our time House Sitting Finland


Or start browsing house sitting jobs Finland


House Sitting France

Like the UK and Spain, house sitting is very popular in France and house sits pop up all the time there. Newbie house sitters can almost guarantee getting a house sitting job there. French house sits do tend, on the whole, to be more rural so being comfortable driving in France is a plus.


house sitting jobs europe

So far, we have never actually house sat in France ourselves - mainly because my aunt has a house in the south of France that we can visit. 

But I'd definitely like to try house sitting a place in Paris! 

Start browsing house sitting jobs in France

Do you need to speak the languages to house sit Europe? 

Europe is a linguist's dream: One of the best things about Europe is the number of awesome different languages there are all bunched together.

However, this can be a disadvantage to a house sitter, what if you need to get a pipe fixed or, worse, communicate with a vet? 

Ostensibly, no you don't need to speak all the languages. We've house sat in Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands where we only have the vaguest amount of language (aka we can order food), we've also house sat in Finland and Greece where we have absolutely zero amount of language knowledge. In fact, the only places we've house sat in Europe where we could speak the language was England and Germany. 

So what's the solution?

Firstly, like most things when it comes to house sitting, it all depends on the house sit. Some homeowners prefer house sitters that can speak the language, but many others don't mind - often you will find that the homeowners themselves can't speak the language (because they are often expats). 

For example, our house sits in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Greece were for people with English as their first language (British and American expats). Our house sits in Portugal and Finland were for Dutch expats. 

At the end of the day, if they think you can do the sit without speaking the language, you can. But you must be sure to discuss emergency situations with them and what they would like you to do:

With some homeowners, they've had friends or family who are happy to help us in these situations, other times their vets / handy-people have spoken English.  

If you're still worried stick to places at first that speak great English: the UK, the Netherlands, Berlin, etc. 


How to travel around Europe

So you've sorted your free accommodation in Europe, when it comes to food you'll find the costs are similar to Northern America/Australia/New Zealand - in Europe we have expensive supermarkets, cheap supermarkets (usually Aldi or Lidl), we also have excellent fruit and veg markets where you can buy good quality fruit and veg in bulk. 

But what about the third cost: the travel itself? 


Flying to and around Europe

I'm assuming you'll be flying into Europe, and even if you're already in Europe, there will still no doubt be some flying going on. Trains are expensive and buses take ages - flying is a cheap and quick way to cross Europe.

To find the cheapest flights we always use Kiwi, it's light-years ahead of any other flight comparison website, it's ability to find the cheapest flights is unparalleled. It has loads more awesome features, have a quick look at their website to see what I mean. 

I can speak from first hand and say that their customer service is also amazing. When Ryanair did this annoying thing at the beginning of the year with their baggage allowance, I couldn't get in contact with them to fix it. Kiwi, on the other hand, sorted my problem within 24 hours. I love Kiwi. 

But I've written a whole separate blog post about my love affair with Kiwi and how to always get the best deals when travelling. 


Conclusion - House Sitting in Europe

House sitting in Europe is the way to go if you love to travel and love animals. The opportunities really are endless and I hope you love house sitting in Europe as much as we do.

For more information about starting house sitting, check out our most popular house sitting blog post about how to start house sitting. 

When you sign up, don't forget your Trustedhousesitters Discount Code and if you have any questions about house sitting Europe, drop us a comment below and we'll get back to you asap. 



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ABOUTME

We're Laura and Tanbay, a British/German couple who have successfully weaselled our way out of the rat-race and want you to do the same!

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