How to Start House Sitting in Europe: Spain, Germany, Portugal and More!

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.

1. How to Start House Sitting in Europe

Wait... so 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 for Europe
  • Trustedhousesitters Discount Code
  • Specific house sitting in Europe guides
  • Do you need to speak the language?
  • How to travel around Europe?

2. Why Should You 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! In our experience (and with our limited financial resources) house sitting is the only way to travel Europe not just luxuriously but also on a budget. I mean, 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.

3. 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?

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.

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 (click to read our blog post on how to use the discount code).

4. House Sitting In Europe Guides: Our Experiences

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 sitter 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! You can 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!

european house sitting jobs europe

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. Case in point: 22 top things to do in Berlin that are all FREE! House sitting outside of Berlin can be a little trickier, 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 sitters 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). You can 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 jobs in europe

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. You can start browsing house sitting jobs in Italy here.

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!

housesitting 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, if you wanna, the full story is here: house sitting in Greece. And/or 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!
luxury home sitting

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 house sits and more. Start browsing UK house sits!

House sitting Ireland

House sitting in Ireland is, in my opinion, perfect for first time house sitters and long-term house sitters alike. First time house sitters will find the ratio of exciting foreignness to home comforts very nice here - especially for Brits and Yanks - with everyone speaking English, not to mention them having British plugs, it's easy not to be home sick here, but with gorgeous green scenery it's hard to not feel like you're having an adventure.

luxury house sitter jobs in europe

Long-term house sitters may find this the perfect place to hole up and finish a project - a book for example. I've done one house sit in Ireland for two weeks, two cats, one dog and four chickens. It was perfect. You can start browsing house sitting jobs in Ireland here or read more about house sitting in Ireland.

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.

luxury house sitting jobs

We did a house sitting job in southern Netherlands, looking after two lovely dogs, in a beautiful, traditional Dutch house. You can start browsing house sits in the Netherlands here.

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.

trusted housesitters 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. You can read more about our time here: house sitting in Finland or start browsing house sitting jobs Finland right away!

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.

how to house sit for the rich

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.

5. If Not House Sitting, Then What?

Of course, house sitting is just one of many great ideas to experience living in Europe. If you’re able to do your work remotely and be location-independent, you could also try leading a digital nomad lifestyle. And for many reasons mentioned at the beginning of this article, European countries are perfect to start this exciting adventure.

For those embracing the digital nomad lifestyle, finding the right accommodation is key. It's not just about a place to sleep; it's about having a space that supports both your work and leisure needs. This is where exploring options like digital nomads' housing becomes essential. These accommodations are tailored to meet the demands of remote work, offering not only comfort but also functional workspaces.

An interesting option you should consider is TripOffice - a booking site for digital nomads. It focuses on the presence of amenities that are super useful for remote work, such as ergonomic chairs, desks, and reliable internet access. Of course, it's not the only option out there. But this example shows that there are many resources available to help digital nomads find suitable stays that align with their work-and-travel lifestyle.

Remember, the essence of being a digital nomad is about mixing work with the exploration of new cultures and places. Whether it’s a crowded city or a quiet retreat in the countryside, the right accommodation can make all the difference in your European adventure. So, if house sitting doesn't align with your plans, there are plenty of other ways to immerse yourself in the diverse and rich experiences that Europe has to offer.

6. 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.

7. 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?

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 (unless you're using Interrail) 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.

Wrap Up: How to Become House Sitters 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 and if you have any questions about house sitting Europe, drop us a comment below and we'll get back to you asap. We have also made this video for newcomers to house sitting, enjoy :)

P.S.: If you're interested in a way of travelling and getting accommodation cheaply, you might wanna check out house sitting. was kind enough to provide us and our readers with a 10% discount, feel free to click on the link to use it :)

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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