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Backpacking Europe: The Final Journey Information

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

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

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

For those who’ve ever contemplated spending just a few weeks or months in Europe, then this text is for you. I’ll talk about the perfect itineraries in Japanese and Western Europe, what to anticipate by way of security, and how one can get off the overwhelmed path to see a few of the world’s most unbelievable sights.

Highlights of Travel in Europe

*Observe: 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 to be able 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 previously might now solely have to get hold of an ETIAS waiver. Be taught extra in regards to the ETIAS necessities right here.

Greatest Time To Go Backpacking in Europe

For those who’re planning on backpacking by Europe, you’ll first have to determine what time of the yr to go. This can rely upon a number of elements, together with your price range and what nations you intend on visiting.

mountain lake in the tatras of slovakia

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

As a result of faculty vacation schedule, summer season 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.

For those who plan on backpacking Europe in June, July, or August, you can too anticipate that costs for lodges and flights will likely be a lot increased. It’s not unusual to spend two or thrice greater than you’ll should you went throughout the low season.

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

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

Throughout my backpacking journey, I made a decision to fly to Stockholm, Sweden for a number of days in the course of January. Due to the freezing temperatures and harsh snowfall, a number of 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 town all to myself.

The reality is, there’s actually no flawed 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

Tips on how 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 is likely to be tougher. When planning your itinerary, it’s best to take the next strategies of transportation into consideration.


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

Lately, on account of price range airways, the practice is extra of an expertise and a cushty journey than an affordable manner of getting round.


Taking a bus by Europe could also be time-consuming, nevertheless it’s one of many least expensive methods of backpacking Europe. FlixBus and BlaBlaBus are two respected firms working in Western Europe. Yow will discover tickets for as little as €5 every manner — nonetheless, most journeys price between €20 – €40.  


For those who’re brief on time or going lengthy distances, flying is likely to be the most suitable choice. Though you’ll want to permit time for check-in and safety, it’s typically 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 automotive is a superb possibility if you wish to discover totally different cities and cities at your individual tempo. You’ll even have the prospect to go to locations which might be extra distant or not linked by practice. Nonetheless, leases are usually costlier. And relying on the place you’re travelling, you would possibly want a world driving license and the inexperienced gentle 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 lodges, however you’ll additionally be capable to get off the overwhelmed path to a few of 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 at all times 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 arduous to determine which locations to go to throughout your Western Europe journey. So, I put collectively this record of my high 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 unbelievable structure in Matera, or wine tasting in Tuscany, Italy is assured to have one thing that sparks your curiosity.

Greater touristy cities are likely to price far more than the outskirts. Thankfully, a few of Italy’s most lovely 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 practice: €1.50 a technique
backpacking europe

Backpacking Germany

Many individuals journey to Germany for Oktoberfest, Carnival, or just to spend time within the nice outside. Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg are best 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 practice 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 technique

Backpacking France

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

To not point out, the meals is out of this world! Its central location additionally makes it best 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 technique

Backpacking Spain

The laidback ambiance 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 wonderful structure.

For hotter climate, make your manner down south to Seville or Malaga. Or, you possibly can at all times hop to the Canary Islands and Majora for the final word seashore getaway. Foodies and tradition addicts will get pleasure from 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 technique

Backpacking the Netherlands (Holland)

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

As an illustration, you possibly can spend just a few days in a few of the Netherlands’ different massive cities, like The Hague and Rotterdam. Or, make your technique 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 technique

Backpacking Japanese Europe

Japanese Europe is commonly missed 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 totally different, jap Europe packs an enormous punch. To place it merely, nations in Japanese Europe are breathtaking. To not point out, it’s normally so much cheaper than Western Europe.

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

Backpacking the Czech Republic (Czechia)

Teeming with gothic structure and cobblestoned cities, the Czech Republic is among the best nations to succeed in from Western Europe. It’s only a brief practice trip away from Germany, Poland, and Austria.

Structure lovers should go to Prague, the nation’s capital metropolis — in any other case generally known 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 technique

Backpacking Bulgaria

Situated on the Black Sea, Bulgaria is a superb vacation spot for many who need each seashore and metropolis life. The capital of Sofia has 2,000 years price of historical past, which is mirrored by 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 inexpensive 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 technique 
backpacking europe plovdiv

Backpacking Romania

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

Most travellers truly spend extra time within the outside right here than they do within the metropolis! Better of all, Romania is among the least expensive locations to go to in Japanese 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 technique

Backpacking Hungary

Splendid for everybody from price range backpackers to high-end travellers, Hungary is a rustic that pulls you in. In Budapest, you may have 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 technique 

Really helpful Itineraries for Backpacking Europe

There are 44 nations in Europe, which might make planning the appropriate backpacking itinerary a little bit of a problem. Until you may have an infinite price range and trip time, you’ll must be strategic about the place you go to. For those who want some inspiration, then check out a few of my pattern journey itineraries.

2 Weeks in Western Europe: First Time Travellers

For those who’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 take advantage of your go to by tackling the largest highlights and sights.

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 Japanese Europe: First Time Travellers

For those who’re trying to save a couple of bucks in your first backpacking journey, then contemplate heading to Japanese Europe. Lodging, meals, and leisure are less expensive there than in Western Europe, that 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 be capable to make your manner by a few of Japanese 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 Japanese and Western Europe: Highlights

With one month in Europe, you’ll be capable to get a really feel for the ambiance 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: Gradual Paced

Typically, it’s higher to soak within the metropolis fairly than race by it. Gradual-paced travellers can nonetheless backpack by Europe and benefit from the totally 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 Protected?

Once I informed folks I used to be backpacking by Europe, their first thought was “Is Europe Protected?” In spite of everything, I used to be a solo feminine traveller staying in hostels, taking trains, and strolling alone for eight months. Their considerations have been wholly justified.

Nonetheless, it’s arduous to reply point-blank if Europe is protected or not. Security will rely upon a wide range 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 should you’re in an enormous metropolis or small village, it’s at all times necessary to regulate your private belongings. Pickpockets and thieves could be wherever.

Don’t carry round massive quantities of money, and take a look at to not put on something you don’t wish to lose, like costly sun shades or high-quality jewelry. For those who’re staying in a lodge, hold your passport and valuables locked within the lodge protected. And should you’re in a hostel, put money into a padlock to maintain your luggage safe all through the night time.

Make Dependable Pals

Take it from me, backpacking alone is a improbable expertise. You get the prospect to satisfy new folks in hostels and even pleasant locals within the cafe. In my view, it’s essential to make reliable pals throughout the journey. Not solely will you may have somebody to hang around with, however they’ll be there that can assist you in case something goes awry.

Inform Household and Pals Your Itinerary

Earlier than you allow to your journey, give your loved ones and pals your detailed itinerary. Write down the tackle of your hostels, particulars of your practice journey, and every other info that can be utilized to succeed in you. Don’t overlook additionally to inform them in case your plans change!

Get Journey Insurance coverage

One of the crucial necessary issues you possibly can take in your journey is worldwide journey insurance coverage. Journey insurance coverage protects you towards a wide range of travel-related incidents and may 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 flawed in your journey, it’s essential that you would be able to flip to your house nation embassy for assist. Most nations in Europe have one embassy and a number of consulate workplaces to your dwelling nation. From misplaced passports to medical emergencies, the embassy ought to be capable to help you in dire occasions of want.

renting a car in europe

Backpacking Europe Off the Crushed Path

If it’s your first time in Europe, you’ll most likely wish to go to the massive cities and fashionable landmarks. Who can blame you – the Eiffel Tower at night time is spectacular! Nonetheless, a few of the greatest recollections will likely be made should you get off the overwhelmed path.

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

Develop into Pals with Locals

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

Fb, MeetUp, and Couchsurfing are three glorious websites for assembly different travellers and locals. Or should you’re feeling pleasant, you possibly can at all times ask your waitress, bartender, or lodge workers to level you in the appropriate course.

Hire a Automobile or Scooter

For those who 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 automotive or scooter, you’ll be capable to enterprise wherever your coronary heart wishes.

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

Do Your Analysis – However Not Too A lot!

As an alternative of studying a guidebook for the perfect locations to go to, I like to recommend scouring the web for recommendation. You’ll discover tons of of websites and journey blogs (with photos) about totally different locations different folks have stumbled upon. And chances are high, the places will likely be manner much less touristy than what your guidebook recommends.

Though it’s good to do your homework, strive 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 Greatest Off the Crushed Path Locations in Europe

By now, it’s best 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 outlets, and sun-soaked seashores.
  • Reims, France: For those who’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 an aesthetic, charming village in the course of Umbria. Come for the breathtaking views or pattern a few of 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 could 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 vigorous pupil inhabitants. After trying out their cobblestoned outdated city, sit down in an outside cafe and luxuriate in a pleasant, low-cost cup of espresso.
Travelling in Europe: Highlights From Two Months On The Road

Backpacking Europe: The Greatest Hikes

In fact, the massive 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 recent air, contemplate embarking on an outside journey with certainly one of these wonderful back-country hikes in Europe.

You’ll discover trails and hikes wherever there are mountains, however listed here are a few of the hottest journies in Europe.

Camino de Santiago, Spain

Attracting religious 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 satisfy tons of different like-minded people who’re additionally on a self-discovery journey. Click on right here to be taught extra.

Japanese Dolomites, Italy

Many individuals flock to the Dolomites within the winter for picture-perfect snowboarding and snowboarding circumstances. Nonetheless, Japanese Dolomites can also be a terrific place for mountain climbing within the spring or summer season.

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

Slovenian Mountain Path, Slovenia

Crossing over 5 totally different mountains, the Slovenian Mountain Path is among the greatest Japanese 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 totally different trails, Austria’s Eagle’s Stroll is ideal for each day journeys and long-distance hikes. Newbies 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 will.

There are dozens of huts and lodges alongside the way in which, the place you possibly can eat and spend the night time. Since they will guide out prematurely, 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 right for intermediate or skilled travellers, because the trek to the highest could be steep and rocky. Nonetheless, the dramatic views from the 100-metre peak make it price it.

Bohemian Switzerland, the Czech Republic

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

Able to Go Backpacking Europe?

Now that you’ve got an thought of what backpacking Europe is like, it’s time to begin planning your best 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 should you select Japanese Europe, Western Europe, or each, your choices for journey are limitless.

Even in case you have only one week, you possibly can nonetheless get pleasure from many cities and sights 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 at all times necessary to journey with an open thoughts. As a backpacker, you’ll inevitably expertise new cultures and have the chance to satisfy folks 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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