Backpacking Europe: The Final Journey Information


There are few issues as thrilling as embarking on a backpacking journey by means of Europe. The frenzy of pleasure as you step off the aircraft 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 nicely. Beginning in London, I spent the higher a part of a yr mountain climbing by means of snowy Sweden, devouring pasta in Italy, making new hostel buddies in Budapest, and dancing the evening away in Spain.

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

If you happen to’ve ever contemplated spending a number of weeks or months in Europe, then this text is for you. I’ll focus on the very best itineraries in Japanese and Western Europe, what to anticipate when it comes to 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

*Notice: Regulate this. Apparently, as of 2024, residents from the USA, Canada, Australia (and different international locations) who didn’t want to use for something with a view to go backpacking within the Schengen visa international locations of Europe, will quickly want to use for an ETIAS (European Journey Data and Authorization System) visa waiver. Additionally, some international locations that wanted to use for a Schengen Visa previously could now solely have to receive an ETIAS waiver. Study extra in regards to the ETIAS necessities right here.

Greatest Time To Go Backpacking in Europe

If you happen to’re planning on backpacking by means of Europe, you’ll first have to resolve what time of the yr to go. This can depend upon a number of elements, together with your finances and what international locations you propose on visiting.

mountain lake in the tatras of slovakia

Relying on the actions you need to do, I feel early fall and late spring are the very best 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 generally.

If you happen to plan on backpacking Europe in June, July, or August, you can too anticipate that costs for inns and flights will probably be a lot greater. It’s not unusual to spend two or thrice greater than you’ll when 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 additional time throughout the Christmas holidays, Europe is mostly the most affordable throughout these months.

You may suppose that the chilly temperatures and brief days make backpacking more durable, 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, plenty of my buddies thought I used to be loopy! Nonetheless, my hostel was tremendous low-cost, and I by no means needed to battle by means of 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 flawed time to go backpacking in Europe. There are benefits and downsides to every season, so that you’ll simply have to resolve which era is best for you.

backpacking europe italy

Get Round Whereas Backpacking Europe

It ought to come as no shock that elements of Europe are identified for his or her quick and environment friendly transportation system. Whereas some international locations make it simple to get round when backpacking Europe, different locations is perhaps harder. When planning your itinerary, it is 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 usually inexpensive in comparison with some flights and automobile leases. In some international locations, trains even have free wifi and eating automobiles.

Nowadays, as a consequence of finances airways, the practice is extra of an expertise and a cushty journey than an inexpensive manner of getting round.


Taking a bus by means of 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 firms working in Western Europe. You’ll find tickets for as little as €5 every manner — nonetheless, most journeys price between €20 – €40.  


If you happen to’re brief on time or going lengthy distances, flying is perhaps the most suitable choice. Though you’ll want to permit time for check-in and safety, it’s typically a lot sooner 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 possibility to go to locations which might be extra distant or not linked by practice. Nonetheless, leases are typically dearer. And relying on the place you’re travelling, you may want a world 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 means of Europe. Not solely will you lower your expenses on inns, however you’ll additionally have the ability to get off the overwhelmed path to a few of the continent’s most hidden locations! 

Backpacking Western Europe

As one of the vital 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 resolve which locations to go to throughout your Western Europe journey. So, I put collectively this checklist of my prime international locations for backpackers.

Backpacking Italy

Overflowing with historical past and tradition, Italy is a traditional 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 way more than the outskirts. Fortuitously, a few of Italy’s most lovely settings are the place you least look forward to 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 open air. Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg are ultimate for many who need to expertise metropolis life.

Then again, 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 means of 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 one of the vital costly international locations on this checklist, France continues to be a must-see vacation spot when backpacking by means of Europe. You’ll be able to buy groceries in Paris, take cooking lessons in Provence, or loosen up 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 international locations 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 environment of Spain makes it one of many coolest locations to go to in Western Europe. Massive cities like Barcelona and Madrid are stuffed with museums, parks, and superb structure.

For hotter climate, make your manner 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 get pleasure from spending the day museum hopping and tapas sampling by means of 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 numerous different picturesque cities and villages to go to within the Netherlands.

For example, you possibly can spend a number of days in a few of the Netherlands’ different huge 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 technique

Backpacking Japanese Europe

Japanese Europe is commonly neglected by travellers in favour of well-known international locations like France, Germany, and Italy. However for the adventurous backpacker who’s searching for one thing a bit completely different, japanese Europe packs a giant punch. To place it merely, international locations in Japanese Europe are breathtaking. To not point out, it’s normally lots cheaper than Western Europe.

If you wish to get off the overwhelmed path and make your greenback stretch additional, try 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 international locations to achieve from Western Europe. It’s only a brief practice journey 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 gorgeous 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

Positioned 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 numerous and ornate structure. After a number of days within the metropolis, head to culture-rich Plovdiv, or Varna, a small resort city situated 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 Fortress, Romania is dotted with otherworldly points of interest. Metropolis-goers can spend time exploring Bucharest and Brașov, whereas outside lovers will revel within the majestic marvel of the Carpathian Mountains.

Most travellers truly spend extra time within the open air right here than they do within the metropolis! Better of all, Romania is among the most cost-effective 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

Perfect for everybody from finances backpackers to high-end travellers, Hungary is a rustic that pulls you in. In Budapest, you may have gritty hostels and avenue meals stalls standing subsequent to luxurious resorts and connoisseur eating places. It oozes class and royalty, nonetheless, nonetheless manages to pay homage to its numerous 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 

Beneficial Itineraries for Backpacking Europe

There are 44 international locations in Europe, which may make planning the appropriate backpacking itinerary a little bit of a problem. Until you may have a vast finances and trip time, you’ll have to be strategic about the place you go to. If you happen to want some inspiration, then check out a few of my pattern journey itineraries.

2 Weeks in Western Europe: First Time Travellers

If you happen to’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 Japanese Europe: First Time Travellers

If you happen to’re seeking 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 buddies an additional spherical of drinks.

Between the traditional cities and ornate structure, you’ll have the ability to make your manner by means of a few of Japanese Europe’s most gorgeous 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 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 huge 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

Generally, it’s higher to soak within the metropolis relatively than race by means of it. Sluggish-paced travellers can nonetheless backpack by means of Europe and benefit from the completely different websites many European international locations 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 instructed folks I used to be backpacking by means of Europe, their first thought was “Is Europe Protected?” In any case, I used to be a solo feminine traveller staying in hostels, taking trains, and strolling alone for eight months. Their issues had been wholly justified.

Nonetheless, it’s laborious to reply point-blank if Europe is secure or not. Security will depend upon a wide range of elements, together with the place and how you journey. Whereas each place all over the world has its personal set of risks, there are a number of methods to be secure whereas backpacking Europe.

Take Care of Your Valuables

Regardless of when you’re in a giant metropolis or small village, it’s all the time vital to regulate your private belongings. Pickpockets and thieves could be anyplace.

Don’t carry round giant quantities of money, and check out to not put on something you don’t need to lose, like costly sun shades or advantageous jewelry. If you happen to’re staying in a lodge, maintain your passport and valuables locked within the lodge secure. And when 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 incredible expertise. You get the possibility to satisfy new folks in hostels and even pleasant locals within the cafe. In my view, it’s essential to make reliable buddies throughout the journey. Not solely will you may have somebody to hang around with, however they’ll be there that will help you in case something goes awry.

Inform Household and Mates Your Itinerary

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

Get Journey Insurance coverage

One of the vital vital issues you possibly can take in your journey is worldwide journey insurance coverage. Journey insurance coverage protects you in opposition to 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 remedies, 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 had been to go flawed in your journey, it’s essential you can flip to your house nation embassy for assist. Most international locations in Europe have one embassy and a number of consulate places of work in your dwelling 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 Crushed Path

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

Positive, touristy cities are in style for a motive. Then again, you’ll be shoulder to shoulder with different vacationers relatively than immersing your self with the locals. If you happen to’re searching for an genuine expertise in your nation, I like to recommend trying outdoors the guidebooks and discovering a number of hidden gems by yourself.

Develop into Mates with Locals

Locals have the very best tips on what to see and do of their dwelling nation. They know the place all the very best 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 when you’re feeling pleasant, you possibly can all the time ask your waitress, bartender, or lodge workers to level you in the appropriate route.

Hire a Automotive or Scooter

If you happen to solely depend on trains and buses, you’re restricted to the place you possibly can go within the nation. Most public transport methods 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 good 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 very best locations to go to, I like to recommend scouring the web for recommendation. You’ll discover a whole bunch of web sites and journey blogs (with photos) about completely different locations different folks have stumbled upon. And likelihood is, the areas will probably be manner much less touristy than what your guidebook recommends.

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

The Greatest Off the Crushed Path Locations in Europe

By now, it is best to have an concept 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 guts of Dubrovnik, Croatia’s most well-known walled metropolis. Alongside the water, you’ll discover outside cafes, boutique retailers, and sun-soaked seashores.
  • Reims, France: If you happen to’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 midst 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 a number of 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 energetic pupil inhabitants. After trying out their cobblestoned previous city, sit down in an out of doors 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 great on their very own. Nonetheless, it’s the pure great thing about the outside that brings these international locations to life. For a breath of recent air, contemplate embarking on an out of doors journey with certainly one of these superb back-country hikes in Europe.

You’ll discover trails and hikes anyplace there are mountains, however listed below 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 an ideal place for mountain climbing within the spring or summer season.

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

Slovenian Mountain Path, Slovenia

Crossing over 5 completely 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 best – 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. 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 inns alongside the best way, the place you possibly can eat and spend the evening. Since they will 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 gorgeous 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 value it.

Bohemian Switzerland, the Czech Republic

Regardless of its identify, Bohemian Switzerland truly runs from Germany into the Czech Republic! Positioned only some 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 novel rock bridge that was used within the Chronicles of Narnia movie.

Able to Go Backpacking Europe?

Now that you’ve an concept of what backpacking Europe is like, it’s time to begin planning your ultimate vacation. Spend a number of weeks train-hopping by means of Germany, sunbathing within the south of Spain, or driving down the coast from Romania to Bulgaria. Regardless of when you select Japanese Europe, Western Europe, or each, your choices for journey are limitless.

Even you probably have only one week, you possibly can nonetheless get pleasure from 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 keep in mind, it’s all the time vital to journey with an open thoughts. As a backpacker, you’ll inevitably expertise new cultures and have the chance to satisfy folks from all over the world. So long as you’re open to new experiences, I’m positive you’re going to have an unforgettable backpacking journey.

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