Migraine is a disabling neurological disease that affects 14.7 % of Europeans. Studies evaluating the economic impact of migraine are complex to conduct adequately and with time become outdated as healthcare systems evolve. This study sought to quantify and compare direct medical costs of chronic migraine (CM) and episodic migraine (EM) in five European countries. Cross-sectional data collected via a web-based survey were screened for migraine and classified as CM (≥15 headache days/month) or EM (<15 headache days/month), and included sociodemographics, resource use data and medication use. Unit cost data, gathered using publicly available sources, were analyzed for each type of service, stratified by migraine status. Univariate and multivariate log-normal regression models were used to examine the relationship between various factors and their impact on total healthcare costs. This economic analysis included data from respondents with migraine in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. CM participants had higher level of disability and more prevalent psychiatric disorders compared to EM. CM participants had more provider visits, emergency department/hospital visits, and diagnostic tests; the medical costs were three times higher for CM than EM. Per patient annual costs were highest in the UK and Spain and lower in France and Germany. CM was associated with higher medical resource use and total costs compared to EM in all study countries, suggesting that treatments that reduce headache frequency could decrease the clinical and economic burden of migraine in Europe. Comparing patterns of care and outcomes among countries may facilitate the development of more cost-effective care, and bring greater recognition to patients affected by migraine.