Backpacking Europe: The Final Journey Information

There are few issues as thrilling as embarking on a backpacking journey by way of Europe. The frenzy of pleasure as you step off the airplane or practice 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 yr climbing by way of snowy Sweden, devouring pasta in Italy, making new hostel associates 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 suggest to anybody sooner or later.

In case you’ve ever contemplated spending a couple of weeks or months in Europe, then this text is for you. I’ll focus on the perfect itineraries in Japanese and Western Europe, what to anticipate when it comes to security, and how one can get off the crushed path to see a few of the world’s most unimaginable sights.

*Word: Regulate this. Apparently, as of 2024, residents from the USA, Canada, Australia (and different international locations) who didn’t want to use for something so as to go backpacking within the Schengen visa international locations of Europe, will quickly want to use for an ETIAS (European Journey Info and Authorization System) visa waiver. Additionally, some international locations that wanted to use for a Schengen Visa prior to now might now solely must get hold of an ETIAS waiver. Be taught extra concerning the ETIAS necessities right here.

Finest Time To Go Backpacking in Europe

In case you’re planning on backpacking by way of Europe, you’ll first must resolve what time of the yr to go. It will depend upon a number of elements, together with your funds and what international locations you intend on visiting.

mountain lake in the tatras of slovakia

Relying on the actions you need to do, I believe early fall and late spring are the perfect occasions to go to Europe. Relying on the place you’re going, the climate will in all probability 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 crammed with households, tour teams, and travellers basically.

In case you plan on backpacking Europe in June, July, or August, you may as well count on that costs for inns and flights will likely be a lot greater. It’s not unusual to spend two or thrice greater than you’ll should 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 cost effective throughout these months.

You would possibly assume that the chilly temperatures and brief days make backpacking tougher, however with out all of the vacationers, you’ll get to expertise a completely totally different facet 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, lots of my associates thought I used to be loopy! Nevertheless, my hostel was tremendous low-cost, and I by no means needed to combat by way of 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 mistaken time to go backpacking in Europe. There are benefits and downsides to every season, so that you’ll simply must resolve which era is best for you.

backpacking europe italy

Methods to Get Round Whereas Backpacking Europe

It ought to come as no shock that components of Europe are recognized for his or her quick and environment friendly transportation system. Whereas some international locations make it straightforward to get round when backpacking Europe, different locations could be tougher. When planning your itinerary, you must 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 reasonably priced in comparison with some flights and automobile leases. In some international locations, trains even have free wifi and eating vehicles.

Lately, resulting from funds airways, the practice is extra of an expertise and a snug journey than an inexpensive means of getting round.


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


In case you’re brief on time or going lengthy distances, flying could be 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 reminiscent of RyanAir, EasyJet or WizzAir. 


Renting a automobile is a wonderful possibility if you wish to discover totally 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 related by practice. Nevertheless, leases are typically costlier. And relying on the place you’re travelling, you would possibly 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 way of Europe. Not solely will you get monetary savings on inns, however you’ll additionally have the ability to get off the crushed 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 after 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.

Nevertheless, it might be arduous to resolve which locations to go to throughout your Western Europe journey. So, I put collectively this listing of my prime international locations 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 value way 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 Price: €20-€40
  • Common Finances Resort Price: €60-€70
  • Common Finances Meal Price: €10
  • Price of Beer in Restaurant: €4
  • Price 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 supreme for many who need to expertise metropolis life.

However, 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 way of the nation a breeze!

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

Backpacking France

Though it might be probably the most costly international locations on this listing, France remains to be a must-see vacation spot when backpacking by way of Europe. You’ll be able to 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 supreme for travelling between different international locations round Western Europe.

  • Finances: €100-€120/day
  • Common Dorm Mattress Price: €30-€50
  • Common Finances Resort Price: €90-€100
  • Common Finances Meal Price: €12
  • Price of Beer in Restaurant: €5
  • Price 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 crammed with museums, parks, and wonderful structure.

For hotter climate, make your means down south to Seville or Malaga. Or, you may 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 way of Spain.

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

Backpacking the Netherlands (Holland)

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

For example, you may spend a couple of 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 Price: €20-€40
  • Common Finances Resort Price: €70-€80
  • Common Finances Meal Price: €10
  • Price of Beer in Restaurant: €3
  • Price 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 in search of one thing a bit totally 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 loads 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 Japanese Europe.

Backpacking the Czech Republic (Czechia)

Teeming with gothic structure and cobblestoned cities, the Czech Republic is without doubt one of the best international locations to succeed in 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 generally known as the “Metropolis of a Hundred Spires”. Different cities, reminiscent of Český Krumlov and Brno, are much less touristy however equally gorgeous to go to.

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

Backpacking Bulgaria

Positioned on the Black Sea, Bulgaria is a wonderful vacation spot for many who need each seaside and metropolis life. The capital of Sofia has 2,000 years price of historical past, which is mirrored by town’s numerous and ornate structure. After a couple of 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 recognized for its white-sand seashores and sunbathing.

  • Finances: €30-€40/day
  • Common Dorm Mattress Price: €10-€20
  • Common Finances Resort Price: €30-€40
  • Common Finances Meal Price: €3
  • Price of Beer in Restaurant: €2
  • Price 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 points of interest. 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 really spend extra time within the outside right here than they do within the metropolis! Better of all, Romania is without doubt one of the most cost-effective locations to go to in Japanese Europe.

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

Backpacking Hungary

Perfect for everybody from funds 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 gourmand eating places. It oozes class and royalty, nevertheless, nonetheless manages to pay homage to its numerous cultural heritage.

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

Really useful Itineraries for Backpacking Europe

There are 44 international locations in Europe, which might make planning the best backpacking itinerary a little bit of a problem. Until you may have a limiteless 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 may 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 may nonetheless profit 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

In case you’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, which means you may really feel comfy shopping for your new hostel associates an additional spherical of drinks.

Between the traditional cities and ornate structure, you’ll have the ability to make your means by way 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 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 get monetary savings 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 fairly than race by way of it. Sluggish-paced travellers can nonetheless backpack by way of Europe and benefit from the totally 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?

After I instructed individuals I used to be backpacking by way 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 considerations have been wholly justified.

Nevertheless, it’s arduous to reply point-blank if Europe is protected or not. Security will depend upon quite a lot 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 couple of methods to be protected whereas backpacking Europe.

Take Care of Your Valuables

Irrespective of should you’re in a giant metropolis or small village, it’s all the time vital to control your private belongings. Pickpockets and thieves may be wherever.

Don’t carry round giant quantities of money, and take a look at to not put on something you don’t need to lose, like costly sun shades or nice jewelry. In case you’re staying in a lodge, hold your passport and valuables locked within the lodge protected. And should you’re in a hostel, spend money on a padlock to maintain your luggage safe all through the night time.

Make Dependable Pals

Take it from me, backpacking alone is a incredible expertise. You get the possibility to fulfill new individuals in hostels and even pleasant locals within the cafe. For my part, it’s essential to make reliable associates in the course of 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 Pals Your Itinerary

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

Get Journey Insurance coverage

Some of the vital issues you may 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 embrace 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 mistaken in your journey, it’s essential that you would be able to flip to your property nation embassy for assist. Most international locations in Europe have one embassy and a number of consulate workplaces 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 Overwhelmed Path

If it’s your first time in Europe, you’ll in all probability need to go to the large cities and standard landmarks. Who can blame you – the Eiffel Tower at night time is spectacular! Nevertheless, a few of the greatest reminiscences will likely be made should you get off the crushed path.

Certain, touristy cities are standard for a cause. However, you’ll be shoulder to shoulder with different vacationers fairly than immersing your self with the locals. In case you’re in search of an genuine expertise in your nation, I like to recommend trying outdoors the guidebooks and discovering a couple of hidden gems by yourself.

Turn out to be Pals with Locals

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

Fb, MeetUp, and Couchsurfing are three wonderful websites for assembly different travellers and locals. Or should you’re feeling pleasant, you may all the time ask your waitress, bartender, or lodge workers to level you in the best route.

Lease a Automotive or Scooter

In case you solely depend on trains and buses, you’re restricted to the place you may go within the nation. Most public transport techniques 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 wishes.

Moreover, you may go at your personal tempo. Because you’re not tethered to a good practice schedule, you may discover the whole space at your leisure.

Do Your Analysis – However Not Too A lot!

As a substitute 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 web sites and journey blogs (with photos) about totally different locations different individuals have stumbled upon. And chances are high, the places will likely be means much less touristy than what your guidebook recommends.

Though it’s good to do your homework, strive to not keep on with a strict itinerary. Be happy to be open-minded and take a couple of dangers! A number of the greatest experiences are those that occur if you least count on them.

The Finest Off the Overwhelmed Path Locations in Europe

By now, you must 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 out of doors cafes, boutique outlets, 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 may pattern this bubbly favorite.
  • Orvieto, Italy: Nestled on the cliffside of a volcano, Orvieto is a cultured, 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 may be visited only for a day journey. Nevertheless, I like to recommend staying a couple 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 recognized for its full of life pupil inhabitants. After testing their cobblestoned previous city, sit down in an out of doors 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

After all, the large cities in Europe are fantastic on their very own. Nevertheless, it’s the pure fantastic thing about the outside that brings these international locations to life. For a breath of contemporary air, contemplate embarking on an out of doors journey with certainly one of these wonderful back-country hikes in Europe.

You’ll discover trails and hikes wherever there are mountains, however listed below are a few of 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.

Japanese Dolomites, Italy

Many individuals flock to the Dolomites within the winter for picture-perfect snowboarding and snowboarding situations. Nevertheless, Japanese Dolomites can be an ideal place for climbing within the spring or summer season.

Think about making the trek from Dobbiaco to Belluno on this 10-day 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 without doubt one of 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, however 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 consultants can take the whole 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 may eat and spend the night time. Since they will guide 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 good for intermediate or skilled travellers, because the trek to the highest may be steep and rocky. Nevertheless, the dramatic views from the 100-metre peak make it price it.

Bohemian Switzerland, the Czech Republic

Regardless of its identify, Bohemian Switzerland really runs from Germany into the Czech Republic! Positioned just a few hours from Prague, this brief, leisurely hike boasts a few of the coolest karst formations in the whole 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 got an concept of what backpacking Europe is like, it’s time to begin planning your supreme vacation. Spend a couple of weeks train-hopping by way of 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 may 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 fulfill individuals from all over the world. 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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