Backpacking Europe: The Final Journey Information

There are few issues as thrilling as embarking on a backpacking journey by Europe. The push of pleasure as you step off the airplane or prepare in a brand new nation is an unimaginable feeling.

As a traveller who spent eight months backpacking round Europe, it’s a sense I do know fairly properly. Beginning in London, I spent the higher a part of a 12 months mountaineering by snowy Sweden, devouring pasta in Italy, making new hostel pals in Budapest, and dancing the evening away in Spain.

This Europe backpacking journey was probably one of the best expertise of my life — it’s one thing I’d wholeheartedly suggest to anybody sooner or later.

In case you’ve ever contemplated spending just a few weeks or months in Europe, then this text is for you. I’ll talk about one of the best itineraries in Jap and Western Europe, what to anticipate by way of security, and how one can get off the crushed path to see among the world’s most unimaginable sights.

Highlights of Travel in Europe

*Be aware: Keep watch over this. Apparently, as of 2024, residents from the USA, Canada, Australia (and different nations) who didn’t want to use for something in an effort to go backpacking within the Schengen visa nations of Europe, will quickly want to use for an ETIAS (European Journey Data and Authorization System) visa waiver. Additionally, some nations that wanted to use for a Schengen Visa up to now might now solely have to acquire an ETIAS waiver. Be taught extra in regards to the ETIAS necessities right here.

Finest Time To Go Backpacking in Europe

In case you’re planning on backpacking by Europe, you’ll first have to determine what time of the 12 months to go. This may rely on a number of elements, together with your funds and what nations you propose on visiting.

mountain lake in the tatras of slovakia

Relying on the actions you wish to do, I believe early fall and late spring are one of the best occasions to go to Europe. Relying on the place you’re going, the climate will most likely be extra bearable than summer time or winter.

Because of the college vacation schedule, summer time is taken into account the height season in Europe. The climate is heat, the solar units later, and the streets are stuffed with households, tour teams, and travellers normally.

In case you plan on backpacking Europe in June, July, or August, you can even anticipate that costs for motels and flights might be a lot increased. It’s not unusual to spend two or 3 times greater than you’d in the event you went in the course of the low season.

Talking of the low season, the least busy time to journey is from late fall to winter. Though some individuals take further time in the course of the Christmas holidays, Europe is mostly the most affordable throughout these months.

You may assume that the chilly temperatures and brief days make backpacking tougher, however with out all of the vacationers, you’ll get to expertise a wholly completely different aspect of Europe.

Throughout my backpacking journey, I made a decision to fly to Stockholm, Sweden for a number of days in the midst of January. Due to the freezing temperatures and harsh snowfall, numerous my pals thought I used to be loopy! Nonetheless, my hostel was tremendous low-cost, and I by no means needed to combat by crowds or wait in line for eating places. To not point out, I felt like I had the town all to myself.

The reality is, there’s actually no unsuitable time to go backpacking in Europe. There are benefits and downsides to every season, so that you’ll simply have to determine which era is best for you.

backpacking europe italy

The right way to Get Round Whereas Backpacking Europe

It ought to come as no shock that components of Europe are identified for his or her quick and environment friendly transportation system. Whereas some nations make it simple to get round when backpacking Europe, different locations may be tougher. When planning your itinerary, you need to take the next strategies of transportation into consideration.


Zipping from nation to nation by high-speed prepare is a quintessential European backpacking expertise. They’re quick, often on time, and customarily reasonably priced in comparison with some flights and automobile leases. In some nations, trains even have free wifi and eating automobiles.

Today, because of funds airways, the prepare is extra of an expertise and a cushty journey than an inexpensive method of getting round.


Taking a bus by Europe could also be time-consuming, nevertheless it’s one of many most cost-effective methods of backpacking Europe. FlixBus and BlaBlaBus are two respected corporations working in Western Europe. You could find tickets for as little as €5 every method — nonetheless, most journeys price between €20 – €40.  


In case you’re brief on time or going lengthy distances, flying may be the best choice. Though you’ll want to permit time for check-in and safety, it’s usually a lot quicker than driving or taking the bus. You’ll additionally rating good offers on tickets by reserving with a low-cost airline equivalent to RyanAir, EasyJet or WizzAir. 


Renting a automobile is a superb possibility if you wish to discover completely different cities and cities at your personal tempo. You’ll even have the prospect to go to locations which are extra distant or not linked by prepare. Nonetheless, leases are typically dearer. And relying on the place you’re travelling, you may want a global driving license and the inexperienced mild from the rental firm to cross borders. 


For the final word backpacking expertise, contemplate renting a campervan to journey by Europe. Not solely will you lower your expenses on motels, however you’ll additionally have the ability to get off the crushed path to among the continent’s most hidden locations! 

Backpacking Western Europe

As probably the most iconic backpacking locations, Western Europe has all of it. It boasts the glitzy cities and larger-than-life historic monuments that most individuals envision once they consider Europe. There’s all the time a brand new metropolis to discover and new cultures to expertise, whether or not it’s your first, second, or one-hundredth time on the continent.

Nonetheless, it could be laborious to determine which locations to go to throughout your Western Europe journey. So, I put collectively this checklist of my prime nations for backpackers.

Backpacking Italy

Overflowing with historical past and tradition, Italy is a basic cease on any Western European itinerary. Whether or not you’re marvelling on the ruins in Rome, the unimaginable structure in Matera, or wine tasting in Tuscany, Italy is assured to have one thing that sparks your curiosity.

Larger touristy cities are inclined to price rather more than the outskirts. Thankfully, a few of Italy’s most stunning settings are the place you least anticipate finding them.

  • Finances: €50-€70/day
  • Common Dorm Mattress Value: €20-€40
  • Common Finances Lodge Value: €60-€70
  • Common Finances Meal Value: €10
  • Value of Beer in Restaurant: €4
  • Value of Transport by prepare: €1.50 a method
backpacking europe

Backpacking Germany

Many individuals journey to Germany for Oktoberfest, Carnival, or just to spend time within the nice outdoor. Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg are ultimate for many who wish to expertise metropolis life.

Alternatively, there are many cute and charming medieval villages and castles to discover right here too. Better of all, Germany’s environment friendly prepare system makes backpacking by the nation a breeze!

  • Finances: €90-€100/day
  • Common Dorm Mattress Value: €30-€50
  • Common Finances Lodge Value: €70-€80
  • Common Finances Meal Value: €10
  • Value of Beer in Restaurant: €3
  • Value of Transport by Prepare: €2.50 a method

Backpacking France

Though it could be probably the most costly nations on this checklist, France continues to be a must-see vacation spot when backpacking by Europe. You may buy groceries in Paris, take cooking courses in Provence, or chill out on the coast in Good.

To not point out, the meals is out of this world! Its central location additionally makes it ultimate for travelling between different nations round Western Europe.

  • Finances: €100-€120/day
  • Common Dorm Mattress Value: €30-€50
  • Common Finances Lodge Value: €90-€100
  • Common Finances Meal Value: €12
  • Value of Beer in Restaurant: €5
  • Value of Transport by Prepare: €2 a method

Backpacking Spain

The laidback environment of Spain makes it one of many coolest locations to go to in Western Europe. Huge cities like Barcelona and Madrid are stuffed with museums, parks, and superb structure.

For hotter climate, make your method down south to Seville or Malaga. Or, you possibly can all the time hop to the Canary Islands and Majora for the final word seaside getaway. Foodies and tradition addicts will take pleasure in spending the day museum hopping and tapas sampling by Spain.

  • Finances: €70-€80/day
  • Common Dorm Mattress Value: €20-€40
  • Common Finances Lodge Value: €60-€70
  • Common Finances Meal Value: €8
  • Value of Beer in Restaurant: €3
  • Value of Transport by Prepare: €2.20 a method

Backpacking the Netherlands (Holland)

Backpackers flock to Amsterdam for the gorgeous canals, world-class museums, and raging nightlife. Nonetheless, there are various different picturesque cities and villages to go to within the Netherlands.

For example, you possibly can spend just a few days in among the Netherlands’ different massive cities, like The Hague and Rotterdam. Or, make your option to Giethoorn, a fairy-tale-like metropolis with lush inexperienced foliage and dozens of picturesque canals.

  • Finances: €90-€100/day
  • Common Dorm Mattress Value: €20-€40
  • Common Finances Lodge Value: €70-€80
  • Common Finances Meal Value: €10
  • Value of Beer in Restaurant: €3
  • Value of Transport by Prepare: €3.50 a method

Backpacking Jap Europe

Jap Europe is commonly neglected by travellers in favour of well-known nations like France, Germany, and Italy. However for the adventurous backpacker who’s searching for one thing a bit completely different, jap Europe packs an enormous punch. To place it merely, nations in Jap Europe are breathtaking. To not point out, it’s often rather a lot cheaper than Western Europe.

If you wish to get off the crushed path and make your greenback stretch additional, take a look at my favorite locations in Jap Europe.

Backpacking the Czech Republic (Czechia)

Teeming with gothic structure and cobblestoned cities, the Czech Republic is likely one of the best nations to achieve from Western Europe. It’s only a brief prepare experience away from Germany, Poland, and Austria.

Structure lovers should go to Prague, the nation’s capital metropolis — in any other case referred to as the “Metropolis of a Hundred Spires”. Different cities, equivalent to Český Krumlov and Brno, are much less touristy however equally beautiful to go to.

  • Finances: €60-€70/day
  • Common Dorm Mattress Value: €20-€30
  • Common Finances Lodge Value: €60-€70
  • Common Finances Meal Value: €6
  • Value of Beer in Restaurant: €1.50
  • Value of Transport by Prepare: €1.50 a method

Backpacking Bulgaria

Situated on the Black Sea, Bulgaria is a superb vacation spot for many who need each seaside and metropolis life. The capital of Sofia has 2,000 years value of historical past, which is mirrored by the town’s various and ornate structure. After just a few days within the metropolis, head to culture-rich Plovdiv, or Varna, a small resort city positioned on the Black Sea. This vacation spot is reasonably priced and identified for its white-sand seashores and sunbathing.

  • Finances: €30-€40/day
  • Common Dorm Mattress Value: €10-€20
  • Common Finances Lodge Value: €30-€40
  • Common Finances Meal Value: €3
  • Value of Beer in Restaurant: €2
  • Value of Transport by Prepare: €.80 a method 
backpacking europe plovdiv

Backpacking Romania

From the forested area of Transylvania to the clifftop fortress of Bran Fortress, Romania is dotted with otherworldly points of interest. Metropolis-goers can spend time exploring Bucharest and Brașov, whereas out of doors lovers will revel within the majestic marvel of the Carpathian Mountains.

Most travellers really spend extra time within the outdoor right here than they do within the metropolis! Better of all, Romania is likely one of the most cost-effective locations to go to in Jap Europe.

  • Finances: €30-€40/day
  • Common Dorm Mattress Value: €10-€15
  • Common Finances Lodge Value: €30-€40
  • Common Finances Meal Value: €4
  • Value of Beer in Restaurant: €2
  • Value of Transport by Prepare: €1 a method

Backpacking Hungary

Preferrred for everybody from funds backpackers to high-end travellers, Hungary is a rustic that attracts you in. In Budapest, you’ve got gritty hostels and road meals stalls standing subsequent to luxurious resorts and connoisseur eating places. It oozes class and royalty, nonetheless, nonetheless manages to pay homage to its various cultural heritage.

  • Finances: €40-€50/day
  • Common Dorm Mattress Value: €15-€30
  • Common Finances Lodge Value: €30-€40
  • Common Finances Meal Value: €7
  • Value of Beer in Restaurant: €1.50
  • Value of Transport by Prepare: €1.50 a method 

Advisable Itineraries for Backpacking Europe

There are 44 nations in Europe, which might make planning the best backpacking itinerary a little bit of a problem. Except you’ve got an infinite funds and trip time, you’ll have to be strategic about the place you go to. In case you want some inspiration, then check out a few of my pattern journey itineraries.

2 Weeks in Western Europe: First Time Travellers

In case you’re coming over to Europe for the primary time, you’ll be desperate to see as a lot as you possibly can in only a brief period of time. Though it’s a whirlwind tour, this 2-week itinerary takes you to Western Europe’s most iconic cities.

Whereas two weeks is rarely sufficient time in Europe, you possibly can nonetheless benefit from your go to by tackling the largest highlights and points of interest.

Day 1-3: London, the UK
Day 3-6: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Day 6-8: Berlin, Germany
Day 8-11: Paris, France
Day 11-14: Barcelona, Spain

2 Weeks in Jap Europe: First Time Travellers

In case you’re seeking to save a couple of bucks in your first backpacking journey, then contemplate heading to Jap Europe. Lodging, meals, and leisure are less expensive there than in Western Europe, which means you possibly can really feel snug shopping for your new hostel pals an additional spherical of drinks.

Between the traditional cities and ornate structure, you’ll have the ability to make your method by a few of Jap Europe’s most beautiful locations.

Day 1-3: Prague, the Czech Republic
Day 3-5: Krakow, Poland
Day 5-7: Bratislava, Slovakia
Day 7-10: Budapest, Hungary
Day 10-12: Bucharest, Romania
Day 12-14: Sofia, Bulgaria

1 Month in Jap and Western Europe: Highlights

With one month in Europe, you’ll have the ability to get a really feel for the environment and tradition of every nation. Not solely are you able to spend time within the massive cities, however you’ll additionally get an opportunity to enterprise to smaller villages and cities. By escaping the vacationer traps, you’ll lower your expenses and see a extra genuine lifestyle.

Day 1-3: Paris, France
Day 3-5: Good, France
Day 5-8: Barcelona, Spain
Day 8-10: Seville, Spain
Day 10-14: Rome, Italy
Day 14-16: Florence, Italy
Day 16-19: Munich, Germany
Day 19-21: Prague, the Czech Republic
Day 21-24: Budapest, Hungary
Day 24-26: Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Day 26-28: Bucharest, Romania
Day 28-30: Sofia, Bulgaria

backpacking europe italy

1 Month in Western Europe: Sluggish Paced

Typically, it’s higher to soak within the metropolis fairly than race by it. Sluggish-paced travellers can nonetheless backpack by Europe and benefit from the completely different websites many European nations have to supply. As a profit, you’ll additionally spend much less time (and cash) on the highway.

Day 1-4: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Day 4-8: Berlin, Germany
Day 8-12: Munich, Germany
Day 12-14: Zurich, Switzerland
Day 14-17: Milan, Italy
Day 17-21: Barcelona, Spain
Day 21-25: Madrid, Spain
Day 25-28: Lisbon, Portugal
Day 28-30: Porto, Portugal

Is Backpacking Europe Secure?

Once I advised individuals I used to be backpacking by Europe, their first thought was “Is Europe Secure?” In any case, I used to be a solo feminine traveller staying in hostels, taking trains, and strolling alone for eight months. Their issues have been wholly justified.

Nonetheless, it’s laborious to reply point-blank if Europe is protected or not. Security will rely on quite a lot of elements, together with the place and how you journey. Whereas each place around the globe has its personal set of risks, there are just a few methods to be protected whereas backpacking Europe.

Take Care of Your Valuables

Irrespective of in the event you’re in an enormous metropolis or small village, it’s all the time essential to regulate your private belongings. Pickpockets and thieves may be wherever.

Don’t carry round giant quantities of money, and check out to not put on something you don’t wish to lose, like costly sun shades or fantastic jewelry. In case you’re staying in a lodge, preserve your passport and valuables locked within the lodge protected. And in the event you’re in a hostel, spend money on a padlock to maintain your baggage safe all through the evening.

Make Dependable Mates

Take it from me, backpacking alone is a improbable expertise. You get the prospect to fulfill new individuals in hostels and even pleasant locals within the cafe. For my part, it’s essential to make reliable pals in the course of the journey. Not solely will you’ve got somebody to hang around with, however they’ll be there that can assist you in case something goes awry.

Inform Household and Mates Your Itinerary

Earlier than you allow in your journey, give your loved ones and pals your detailed itinerary. Write down the deal with of your hostels, particulars of your prepare journey, and another data that can be utilized to achieve you. Don’t neglect additionally to inform them in case your plans change!

Get Journey Insurance coverage

Probably the most essential issues you possibly can take in your journey is worldwide journey insurance coverage. Journey insurance coverage protects you in opposition to quite a lot of travel-related incidents and might prevent hundreds of {dollars} in payments and bills.

Good journey insurance coverage ought to present protection for emergency medical therapies, emergency evacuation, and journey cancellation and interruption. It may additionally embody safety for misplaced and stolen baggage, in addition to missed or delayed flights.

Know The place the Nearest Embassy or Consulate Is

If one thing have been to go unsuitable in your journey, it’s essential that you may flip to your property nation embassy for assist. Most nations in Europe have one embassy and a number of consulate workplaces in your house nation. From misplaced passports to medical emergencies, the embassy ought to have the ability to help you in dire occasions of want.

renting a car in europe

Backpacking Europe Off the Overwhelmed Path

If it’s your first time in Europe, you’ll most likely wish to go to the large cities and in style landmarks. Who can blame you – the Eiffel Tower at evening is spectacular! Nonetheless, among the greatest recollections might be made in the event you get off the crushed path.

Certain, touristy cities are in style for a cause. Alternatively, you’ll be shoulder to shoulder with different vacationers fairly than immersing your self with the locals. In case you’re searching for an genuine expertise in your nation, I like to recommend trying exterior the guidebooks and discovering just a few hidden gems by yourself.

Change into Mates with Locals

Locals have one of the best recommendations on what to see and do of their house nation. They know the place all one of the best eating places are, the place you possibly can rating good offers on garments and souvenirs, and most significantly, the place you need to be spending your time throughout your journey.

Fb, MeetUp, and Couchsurfing are three glorious websites for assembly different travellers and locals. Or in the event you’re feeling pleasant, you possibly can all the time ask your waitress, bartender, or lodge employees to level you in the best path.

Lease a Automobile or Scooter

In case you solely depend on trains and buses, you’re restricted to the place you possibly can go within the nation. Most public transport programs take you the place the touristy websites are within the metropolis centre or to the residential suburbs. By renting a automobile or scooter, you’ll have the ability to enterprise wherever your coronary heart needs.

Moreover, you possibly can go at your personal tempo. Because you’re not tethered to a decent prepare schedule, you possibly can discover your entire space at your leisure.

Do Your Analysis – However Not Too A lot!

As a substitute of studying a guidebook for one of the best locations to go to, I like to recommend scouring the web for recommendation. You’ll discover a whole lot of websites and journey blogs (with footage) about completely different locations different individuals have stumbled upon. And chances are high, the places might be method much less touristy than what your guidebook recommends.

Though it’s good to do your homework, attempt to not stick with a strict itinerary. Be at liberty to be open-minded and take just a few dangers! A few of the greatest experiences are those that occur while you least anticipate them.

The Finest Off the Overwhelmed Path Locations in Europe

By now, you need to have an thought of the place you’d like to go to whereas backpacking in Europe. However for extra inspiration, check out my favorite secret and tucked away locations all through the continent.

  • Cavtat, Croatia: This portside village is only a stone’s throw away from the center of Dubrovnik, Croatia’s most well-known walled metropolis. Alongside the water, you’ll discover out of doors cafes, boutique retailers, and sun-soaked seashores.
  • Reims, France: In case you’re trying so as to add a little bit of luxurious to your backpacking journey, head to French champagne nation. Reims is surrounded by dozens of champagne caves and tasting rooms the place you possibly can pattern this bubbly favorite.
  • Orvieto, Italy: Nestled on the cliffside of a volcano, Orvieto is a cultured, charming village in the midst of Umbria. Come for the breathtaking views or pattern among the most scrumptious handmade pasta from a family-run restaurant.
  • Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber, Germany: Ripped proper from the pages of a fairy story, Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber is a picturesque medieval city. This walled metropolis may be visited only for a day journey. Nonetheless, I like to recommend staying just a few days round Christmas for the well-known Christmas market!
  • Cluj-Napoca, Romania: Within the coronary heart of Transylvania sits Cluj-Napoca, a vibrant, vibrant metropolis identified for its full of life scholar inhabitants. After trying out their cobblestoned previous city, sit in an outside cafe and revel in a pleasant, low-cost cup of espresso.
Travelling in Europe: Highlights From Two Months On The Road

Backpacking Europe: The Finest Hikes

In fact, the large cities in Europe are fantastic on their very own. Nonetheless, it’s the pure fantastic thing about the outside that brings these nations to life. For a breath of contemporary air, contemplate embarking on an outside journey with certainly one of these superb back-country hikes in Europe.

You’ll discover trails and hikes wherever there are mountains, however listed below are among the hottest journies in Europe.

Camino de Santiago, Spain

Attracting non secular and leisure hikers alike, the Camino de Santiago has 300 years of custom. This hottest route takes roughly a month and leads you from the Camino Frances from St. Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Be ready to fulfill tons of different like-minded people who’re additionally on a self-discovery journey. Click on right here to study extra.

Jap Dolomites, Italy

Many individuals flock to the Dolomites within the winter for picture-perfect snowboarding and snowboarding situations. Nonetheless, Jap Dolomites can be an awesome place for mountaineering within the spring or summer time.

Contemplate making the trek from Dobbiaco to Belluno on this 10-day mountaineering tour of Italy. The best level of the journey is sort of 3,000-meters above sea degree, the place you’ll get to take pleasure in marvellous views of neighbouring Tofana and Lagazuoi.

Slovenian Mountain Path, Slovenia

Crossing over 5 completely different mountains, the Slovenian Mountain Path is likely one of the greatest Jap European backpacking trails. In simply 28 days, you’ll get to discover Slovenia’s most interesting – Pohorje Hills, Kamnik and Savinja Alps, the Karavanke Alps, and the Julian Alps. It’s not a visit for the faint of coronary heart, nevertheless it’s a must-do for any nature lover!

Eagle’s Stroll, Austria

With over 33 completely different trails, Austria’s Eagle’s Stroll is ideal for each day journeys and long-distance hikes. Novices will benefit from the flat, leisurely tempo alongside Lake Zireiner See, whereas specialists can take your entire 24-day problem to see as a lot of South Tirol as they’ll.

There are dozens of huts and motels alongside the way in which, the place you possibly can eat and spend the evening. Since they’ll e book out upfront, I like to recommend reserving a mattress forward of time.

Samaria Gorge, Greece

If you end up in Crete, then contemplate taking the journey throughout the beautiful Samaria Gorge. This 16 kilometer hike is good for intermediate or skilled travellers, because the trek to the highest may be steep and rocky. Nonetheless, the dramatic views from the 100-metre peak make it value it.

Bohemian Switzerland, the Czech Republic

Regardless of its identify, Bohemian Switzerland really runs from Germany into the Czech Republic! Situated only some hours from Prague, this brief, leisurely hike boasts among the coolest karst formations in your entire nation. The spotlight of the hike is Pravčická Gate, a novel rock bridge that was used within the Chronicles of Narnia movie.

Able to Go Backpacking Europe?

Now that you’ve an thought of what backpacking Europe is like, it’s time to start out planning your ultimate vacation. Spend just a few weeks train-hopping by Germany, sunbathing within the south of Spain, or driving down the coast from Romania to Bulgaria. Irrespective of in the event you select Jap Europe, Western Europe, or each, your choices for journey are limitless.

Even when you’ve got only one week, you possibly can nonetheless take pleasure in many cities and points of interest on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. However with extra time, you’ll actually get to immerse your self in your environment.

And bear in mind, it’s all the time essential to journey with an open thoughts. As a backpacker, you’ll inevitably expertise new cultures and have the chance to fulfill individuals from around the globe. So long as you’re open to new experiences, I’m certain you’re going to have an unforgettable backpacking journey.

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