This article presents and validates a Europe-wide electricity system model for techno-economic analysis. It is a zonal model in which 35 countries are modelled as individual bidding zones. Validation of the model is performed via comparing modelling results with historical records of 2016. The model replicates historical electricity system behaviour well in terms of electricity production and cross-border trading. Modelled hourly prices follow historical variations. The model results in an average annual load weighted electricity price of 35.41 €/MWh, which is 3 € less than the historical value. The presented validation exercise provides a simple and fast way to improve modelling accuracy through adjusting input data and modelling assumptions. This article also shows how to set up a complete Europe-wide electricity system model from open-source data.